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Mar, 2020

Nick Wright Named Football Coach at Canton

By Stan Morris
Journal Star
Posted Mar 19, 2020 at 3:05 PMUpdated Mar 19, 2020 at 3:05 PM
   

The Little Giants chose one of their own to be their next varsity football coach.

Nick Wright, a 2006 graduate of Canton High School, was approved as the new Little Giants coach at Wednesday night’s district No. 66 board of education meeting.

Wright was on staff at Havana the past nine years, including the last three as head coach. He takes over at Canton after Cody Myers stepped down to take the head position at Deer Creek-Mackinaw.

“It’s kinda nice coming home, it’s exciting,” said Wright, who was a receiver and defensive back as a Canton player. “I know the support of the community has been great so far. I haven’t been able to put my phone down this morning.”

Wright, a Monmouth College graduate, was a position coach at Havana as well as offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator at times before taking over as head coach in 2017. The Ducks were 1-9 his first two years, then went 5-4 last season and reached the Class 1A playoffs before a loss to eventual state runner-up Moweaqua Central A & M.

“Part of my success, part of the reason I was on Canton’s radar was those kids bought in,” Wright said of last year’s Havana team. “It took a few years to really get things set. There were a lot of guys in those 1-9 seasons that were part of that 5-4 season to help turn the program around.”

Wright hopes to continue the turnaround at Canton. The Little Giants were 4-5 in 2019, after going 1-8 in 2018 and 5-4 in 2017 under Myers. Ryan Pearson coached Canton to the Class 4A semifinals in 2016, before going to Princeton..

“Coach Myers did a great job building the program after coach Pearson,” Wright said. “I grew up on the sidelines as a ball boy and a lot of those good late 90s early 2000s teams that Canton had, I witnessed all that stuff. That was part of the reason for going back, that nostalgia and wanting to do that for myself and for the community to get back there and put my spin on things.”

Wright has yet to get in contact with the Little Giants players, given school is out due to COVID-19.

“It’s a struggle for all the coaches now,” Wright said. “Once things clear, hopefully soon, you have to hit the ground running a little faster than normal. All this time off now is allowing me a chance to work towards that and getting a plan in once we are able to talk to kids.

“I’ll find some way to talk to kids, whether it’s putting out a video or calling them one on one, whatever I have to do to introduce myself and get acquainted.”

Stan Morris can be reached at 686-3214 or [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @stanmorrispjs

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Canton JFL

Hulit Park, 590 N. 20th Ave.
Canton, Illinois 61520

Phone: 309-647-1345
Email: [email protected]
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