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Athlete close up: Sully Laiche
October 20, 2016
Although this is his first collegiate football season, Nicholls defensive lineman Sully Laiche has been indistinguishable from the older players on the team. The freshman has recorded 39 tackles this season, the third most of any player on his team. Laiche has also been leading the Nicholls defense in other areas with a forced fumble, a blocked field goal and four sacks.
Laiche had his most productive game against Stephen F. Austin State University for homecoming, recording 14 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in double overtime. Laiche’s performance earned him Defensive Player of the Week awards from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, STATS Football Championship Subdivision and the Southland Conference. Laiche was the third player on the team to receive recognition for defensive performance this season.
“It means a lot to me, coming in as a freshman,” Laiche said on his recognitions.
While he said that he greatly appreciates the awards, recognition has not been the focus for Laiche. Aside from his award-winning performance against Stephen F. Austin State University, Laiche recorded eight tackles against the University of South Alabama and another seven against Houston Baptist University.
“He brings a quiet confidence. He’s a kid that goes a hundred percent every day at practice; he doesn’t take a day off,” Anthony Camp, the defensive line coach for Nicholls, said.
“The coaches gave me an opportunity that I really didn’t think I was going to have,” Laiche said. “Coach Camp and Coach Rybacki put me in a great position to get the plays that I’m making right now.”
One of Laiche’s biggest plays this season was the fumble he forced against Stephen F. Austin State University. Laiche’s major play in double overtime sealed the game for Nicholls. This win not only snapped their losing streak against the Lumberjacks, but also kept the Colonels undefeated at home.
“I just practice hard and listen to the coaches really. They study film even more than us and so they know what plays are going to happen at what time,” Laiche said.
Laiche’s work ethic has shown itself in the game, as he is the only player on the Nicholls defense to have recorded both a forced fumble and a blocked field goal this season.
“It makes me happy, knowing that I have him for another three years,” Camp said on Laiche’s performance as a freshman. “I think it pushes the other guys, too. To see a true freshman come in and do the things that he’s done, it’s really started to push some of the older guys to work harder and see that it doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or senior. You can come out here if you do the things you’re supposed to do and make plays.”
Laiche said that he refuses to be content with just his own personal performance. He indicated that the team’s overall performance was of far greater importance than him putting up large numbers and making big plays.
“This year is going to be a special year,” Laiche said. “I think we’ll have a few conference championships in the next few years to come.”
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