By Will Nations
From his time as a player at Oak Hill Academy and Mississippi College to his stints on the sidelines with various high schools, West Point native Tommy Nester has always found time for Christ in his life.
Tuesday night, the Indianola Academy head coach received the Bill Buckner Influence Award from the Mississippi Fellowship of Christian Athletes at the MAIS Coaching Clinic in Jackson.
The Bill Buckner Influence Award is given out annually. The award is named after Buckner, a native of Starkville, who was one of the three founding members of the Mississippi FCA chapter, which includes Boo Ferris and former Alabama quarter Steve Sloan, in 1987. Buckner, 69, died May 23 after a long battle with leukemia.
Nester has worked with FCA throughout his more than 30-year coaching career, starting his role as a FCA leader at Carroll Academy in Carrollton. He said the opportunity to present a Christian role model for student-athletes in high school is a great task to undertake.
â€śI have done a lot through FCA,â€ť Nester said. â€śI led the FCA groups at Carroll Academy and Pillow Academy (in Greenville), and I also assist with the meetings at Indianola. FCA helps build the faith in a schoolâ€™s community. We are sometimes the only Christian example for many kids. FCA helps grow the faith, and I want student-athletes to share my faith.â€ť
A 1980 OHA graduate, Nester attended Mississippi College from 1980-84. He was a dual-sport athlete for the Choctaws in football and baseball. Nester is ranked in all four Top 10 passing categories for Mississippi College. As the Choctawsâ€™ starting quarterback, he amassed 2,430 yards passing on 183 completions and 12 touchdowns during his career.
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