Noah Nelson was reinstated to the Williams Field football team on Thursday morning. The highly decorated Oklahoma Sooner commit was suspended by the AIA last Friday for unknowingly breaking rule 14.4.1 .
I met up with Noah at a local donut shop shortly after he was cleared to resume playing. His story captured the Arizona high school sports scene over the last six days.
Q- What did you learn out of all of this?
Noah Nelson -“I learned to be careful with everything. I didn’t feel like I was breaking any rules helping somebody, he was a Hamilton defensive end that I’ve seen around the gym and he was like, “hey I’m going up to varsity do you mind if I take a couple of reps against you and see how I do because I want to make sure, being moved up to varsity that I’m on my game”, I was like ok, I’m helping out my buddy, so I did a couple one on one reps with him, there were no trainers in the vicinity. I didn’t really know that it was recorded, it’s what it is”.
Q – Did you know the rule(14.4.1) inside and out?
Noah Nelson -“No, not really, I didn’t even feel like it was breaking or even touching those guidelines because it was me just helping somebody else out. I was getting my normal lift in on a Monday night. I just figured I was helping someone out, there was no outside instruction on how to play football or anything like that”.
Q – You missed the Friday game at Casteel, it’s the first game that you’ve ever missed. What was today like?
Noah Nelson – “All of the support was crazy from the superintendent, athletic directors, principles all coming out, I felt the love from the community over this, especially on social media.
Q – #Free Noah!
Noah Nelson – (laughing)”Ya, it was pretty crazy
Q – The letter that you wrote had thousands of views on it
Noah Nelson – I checked the stats, and it said 70-thousand people looked it, so that was pretty cool
Q –Walk me through the meeting this morning. What was asked? What was said? What can you share?
Noah Nelson – “I signed in with my head coach, superintendent, athletic directors from Hamilton and Williams Field, everybody there to support their people and I thought that was cool. We went out and met in front of the executive board and they asked what our side of the story was, then they met, and called us back into the room and everybody carried the motion to not press any penalties for what happened , so that was pretty cool “.
Q- And what was that moment like?
Noah Nelson – “I was really relieved, but like I said in the beginning, it was such a small thing that I don’t think it should’ve come to this. I’m just glad I can get back on track and be able to play with my brothers, because that was the big thing I definitely would’ve missed if I hadn’t been able to play. I was super happy”.
Q – How was Oklahoma during all of this?
Noah Nelson – They were good! I called them as soon as it happened and they thought, “it’s kind of dumb rule, it doesn’t really matter over here”. It was cool.