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Reveiz recognized at ‘Hall’ induction


Nick Reveiz was a fierce competitor at a very early age.

In fact, this former Farragut High School state champion wrestler and “Mr. Football” finalist learned to love violent gridiron collisions in pre-school.


In his first year of football as an 8-year-old, “Nick came off the field and told his dad [Fuad], ‘they’re not serious out there,’ he was talking about the team,” said his mother, Gayle Reveiz, just two hours prior to Nick receiving the “Male High School Athlete of the Year” award representing the Knox County metropolitan area.

It came as part of the 25th Annual Greater Knoxville Sports Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony Thursday, July 27, in Knoxville Convention Center.

“Nicholas, from day one when he put a football uniform on, always wanted to hit people,” Gayle added about her All-state linebacker son who also won back-to-back Division I wrestling state championships in the 215-pound class. “And he was always very serious from day one. He never played around.”

At 5-foot-10, 235 pounds, Nick is preparing to join The University of Tennessee football team as an invited walk-on next month.

Gayle said she expects to shed some tears when Nick runs through the Pride of the Southland Marching Band’s famous pre-game “T” that leads the Vols onto the field during Neyland Stadium Saturdays.

“Because every time I watched Fuad run through the ‘T’ I cried,” Gayle said in reference to her husband’s days as a standout UT kicker in the early 1980s. “To know you’ve got a loved-one running through that ‘T,’ it’s just a feeling you can’t describe.

“The first time I’ll see Nick run through that ‘T,’ I’ll just be wanting to cry. I want to just thinking about it”.

Making an official visit to UT while at FHS, “He stood on the sidelines and he told his daddy, I know can play here,” Gayle said. “Ever since he’s been a little boy, he’s wanted to run through that ‘T’ and be a player. And he wants to play, he doesn’t want to just suit up and sit on the sidelines.”

EARLY INFLUENCE

From an observation standpoint, Nick and younger brother Shane — also a standout linebacker at FHS preparing for his senior season — first cut their football teeth in Minnesota around Fuad’s Minnesota Vikings.

The eldest Reveiz briefly held the NFL record for consecutive field goals made (32) while at Minnesota.

Nick soaked up information beginning as a pre-schooler, fascinated with football when going to Vikings games.

“Nick would ask me everything they were doing, ‘mom, what are they doing, what is the quarterback doing?’ Gayle said.

“That’s when Nicholas and Shane really got that desire to play football.”

Nick added, “That was the beginning, that’s when I started asking, ‘what’s that?’ … That’s when I started getting my understanding of football. That’s where I really developed my first love. Seeing the linebackers play.”

By age 5, “He’d say, ‘What is Jack Del Rio doing, I want to hit, I want to do that right there,” Gayle said about Nick’s first football idol, a standout linebacker who is now head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“I always wore his jersey, every game,” Nick said. “I love my dad, but I love just seeing people just hit each other. And I love linebackers.”

Gayle jokingly said her sons became “real athletes, they wanted to hit somebody” as opposed to their father.

Mom then got away from the jokes and added, “It’s much more exciting to see my boys hit people, carry the ball into the end zone, that kind of thing. … We never tried to make either one of our boys a kicker. We never pushed it on ’em. Of course, we put the ball on the tee and Fuad would say, ‘this is how you kick it.’

While their mother said neither Nick nor Share showed a desire to kick, “Nick was especially never interested in kicking the football. They both played soccer one year, and they were quite bored.”

But Nick did follow in his father’s footsteps in terms of Hall of Fame recognition, as Fuad was a 1994 Special Awards recipient as Professional Athlete of the Year.

BROTHERS BONDING

Nick said his bond with Shane has paid huge dividends.

“We train together in everything we do, so I think that’s what makes us better … not just on the football field, but running together and lifting weights,” Nick said. “When Shane steps it up another notch, it makes me [say], ‘I need to step it up a notch,’ and I know it’s vice-versa. We train together real hard.”

“I look up to Nick a lot,” Shane said. “The accomplishments he’s [had], it makes me want to work hard. … Our competitive nature, we want to be the best.”

Gayle said that the family’s youngest member, Bryanna, a rising sophomore middle hitter on the FHS volleyball team, also is highly competitive.

MOM

Nick then turned his attention to mom.

“My dad’s instilled a great love for football, but I think my mom has really hammered in a work ethic,” Nick said. “I think that’s going to take us beyond football, I think it’s going to take us through life.

“Without my mother I don’t know where I’d be today, without her love and encouragement.”

OTHER HONOREES

The ceremony, including former UT Vol All-American and current Indianapolis Colts record-setting quarterback Peyton Manning as featured speaker, included 10 Hall inductees and five special awards recipients.

Hall of Fame inductees included two with Farragut or West Knox County connections: Former Bearden star and UT standout basketball player Bert Bertelkamp and former Vol and NFL quarterback Bobby Scott.

Other inductees included former UT quarterback Dewey Warren, ex-Vol basketball guard Tony White Sr., and Bud Ford, longtime UT Associate Athletics Director for Media Relations.

Meredith Anne Ayres, Webb School’s record-breaking state championship swimmer and Stanford University recruit, was honored as “Female High School Athlete of the Year.”

 

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