Fourth-year varsity seniors Tyler Atwood and Tyler Nicol have been two of Creswell’s football leaders through thick and thin ever since they joined the program. With their careers winding down, it was only fitting to see them shine their brightest as the Bulldogs rallied for a 25-14 home victory Friday night, April 2 over Lowell.
Creswell quarterback Connor Hanson connected with Nicol 6 times for 163 yards and 2 touchdowns. “That’s the most receiving yards anybody has had since I’ve been coaching here,” said Bulldogs coach Scott Worsham, in his fourth year as head coach.
Atwood also made some big plays from his defensive end position, posting 5 tackles, including 2 for loss, and a sack. “Those two losses were huge, like 9 or 10 yards, and both were big momentum-killers,” Worsham said. “He made a lot of timely plays.”
For the last four seasons, Worsham has gone into each game night knowing that the Tyler & Tyler Show is going to produce some eye-popping highlights. Now, as they prepare to put on the pads one last time Friday night against Coquille, the coach wants his guys to walk off the field knowing they gave it their best — because that’s what they’ve always done.
Nicol and Atwood
“They’ve always brought a winning attitude,” Worsham said. “Atwood, right from the get-go, was big, while Nicol was small – about 5-9, 145-150 – with good hands.
“Atwood would be a good wide receiver too, but we needed him on the offensive line. What I like about Tyler Atwood is he’s always willing to play where he’s asked to play. ‘Yes coach, I’m ready to go.’ He sees the importance of being a team player.”
He learned about teamwork just by being part of the Atwood family. He’s the youngest of eight children, and all of his siblings played sports. Two of his five brothers — Nick and Trevor Johnson — played on the 2010 Creswell team that went to state.
Atwood says Nicol is almost like a brother to him too.
“We’ve played sports together since first grade,” Atwood said. “We’re always messing with each other … and driving each other, as well.”
Nicol’s family is much smaller, but his father, Bob, is the former head coach at Creswell. Tyler’s only sibling is Emily, a former volleyball player.
Nicol doesn’t have the fondest of memories of that freshman season, when he split time as a tight end and defensive end.
“I always seemed to go against somebody about twice my weight,” Nicol said. “So I usually got handled. … But my dad knew I could catch the ball and run routes.”
For the season, Nicol has 26 receptions for 350 yards. For his career, he has 57 catches for 748 yards.
In 2019, both Tylers received all-league honors on offense and defense in the Mountain Valley Conference. Nicol was a first-team wide receiver and second-team defensive end, while Atwood received honorable mention on the offensive line and at defensive end.
Those who have watched the Bulldogs this season know that Hanson, the inexperienced sophomore quarterback, has been lighting up the scoreboard week after week. Lowell became his latest victim, as he completed 11 of 17 for 263 yards, including a 65-yard score to Jayden Warthen in the second quarter.
But Hanson is more the quiet, laid-back type. Not so much the take-charge military type.
“I know it’s rare for an offensive lineman and a wide receiver to be team leaders but we’re the leaders,” Nicol said. “This has been a special team to be a part of. From the start to where we are now, we’ve improved more than I’ve ever seen.”
Strangely enough, the two Tylers have always been so closely linked since grade school, and now both plan to enter the electrical field after high school. Atwood says he wants ”to be a lineman and work on power lines.” Nicol says, “I think I’m going to school to be an electrician. Lane has a two-year program.”
They should do well. These two Tylers are wired to succeed.