ROCKINGHAM — As Dakwa Nichols was competing at the Southeastern Conference track championship on Tuesday, he wasn’t 100 percent focused on the meet.
Instead, Nichols was thinking about making the biggest decision in his young life — committing to a college.
Later that day, the junior running back announced he would attend North Carolina State after receiving a scholarship offer from head coach Tom O’Brien.
“I didn’t expect it,” Nichols said. “I went to the spring game and as soon as I arrived, Devant’e (Covington) and I were taken up to Coach Tom O’Brien’s office. He talked to us and he offered me right on the spot. I wasn’t expecting it, especially from the head coach.”
Despite the shock of getting an offer, Nichols recalls what O’Brien told him.
“He said he wanted me to come and play for the Wolfpack,” Nichols said. “He said he thinks I can help out at running back or on special teams.”
Nichols was second on the Raiders in rushing last season despite missing the final two games after breaking his football in the first half of the Pinecrest game. He finished with 945 yards on 80 carries, an average of 11.8 yards an attempt. He scored a team-high 15 rushing touchdowns. Nichols averaged 31.3 yards on kickoff returns and 26.1 yards on punt returns. He also returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns.
He becomes the second Raider to give a verbal commitment to a Division I program this week. Covington accepted an offer from South Carolina on Monday night.
Nichols said he is happy to get his recruitment out of the way.
“It feels good because now I can focus on my senior season and hopefully win a state championship,” Nichols said.
Unlike Covington who plans on taking all of his official visits, Nichols said he will only take one of his five.
“I’m pretty solid,” Nichols said about his commitment. “I wanted to go close to home.”
Raiders finish third in SEC track meet
SOUTHERN PINES — The Richmond Senior boys track team finish third in the Southeastern Conference track meet Wednesday at Pinecrest.
Pinecrest finished first with 170 points, followed by Scotland at 163 and Richmond at 108.
Individually, Jordan Richardson was selected as the field event MVP after finishing first in the shot put and third in the discus. Richmond’s other individual champion was Tafari Rose in the 400-meter run. Xavier Brown took second in the 300-meter hurdles. All three were named to the all-conference team and will compete in the 4A
In the relay events, Richmond’s 4x100, 4x200 and 4x400 teams finished second.
The following individuals were compete at the 4A East Regional track meet at West Johnston: Brown, Richardson, Rose, Sayoun Flowers, Tyrone Crowder, Dakwa Nichols, Shun Bloomfield, Devontae Watkins, Diquon Cox, Robert Williams, Stephen Houston, Erren Green, Trent Green and Sean Thompson.
NCHSAA adopts new policies
CHAPEL HILL — During its spring meeting, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Board of Directors approved a handful of new policies.
The board elected to return to the old policy of having 12 weeks to play 11 football games. This will be in place for the 2013 season.
It also adopted a new mercy rule for soccer. If the goal differential in a contest reaches nine by halftime or at anytime in the second half, the game will be stopped.
In addition, the board agreed to continue seeding the state basketball playoffs for another season.
— Sports editor Shawn Stinson can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org