NORFOLK, Va. — Nathaniel Knox is a running back and linebacker for the Maury Commodores. Nobody call him Nathaniel. It's "Booga" all day and all night. "I got my nickname "Booga" from when I was younger. I was bad. I used to beat people up and I was irritating to everybody, so my momma she just decided she was going to call me "Booga."
He's much less irritating now. He says, "I'm mature. I say that I've matured a little bit and I just started playing football more."
Seems like everybody on the football team has a nickname. Head coach Dyrii McCain sees value in it, "It's everything. It brings more to the table. It's true brotherhood. It's family."
Da'Jon Evans has been called "Dae Dae" since he was a young boy. He sums up the whole idea of nicknames, "It just means that we're all together as one. If I can call you a nickname and you know who I'm talking to and everyone else, that means that we have a connection."
When he was one of the younger guys in the Maury receiving corps, Ahmarian Granger earned the nickname the "Green Ranger." Classic! He has grown up, gotten more experience and now the "Green Ranger" is in his past. The way he tells it, "When I was the "Green Ranger" I didn't play that much. And then this year, I basically, you know can do it all. Well, not all, but."
Quarterback Eric Gibson is a junior, hence the "E.J." moniker. But early in his career he wanted to be called Eric. There was already an Eric on the team so he says, "One day I walked in the office and coach McCain was like which one sounds better after a touchdown? 'Touchdown Eric Gibson or touchdown E.J. Gibson.' (emphasis on the E.J.)So after that, I stuck with it and I liked it a little bit."
Whatever name they go by, the Maury Commodores have a lot of great players. They are the defending state champs in Class 5 and start the playoffs this Friday. Get ready for more of the name game.