In remembrance of grandfather keeps Higheagle playing football

LAPWAI, ID - Though it really should be anywhere you go, it seems that having a strong sense of family is extremely important in smaller towns and communities. Today we meet a young man whose sense of family knows no limits, and if it weren't for his love for his kin, he might not be helping his football team to a winning record. This week's P1FCU "Prep Athlete of The Week" is Lapwai High Senior, Nico Higheagle.

Nico Higheagle is a talented basketball player and track athlete that only played football when he was much younger. He came back his senior year for one reason.

"Well football I played all the way from the end of middle school then I didn't play this year," said Higheagle. "I just wanted to play because I wanted to play for my grandpa cause he got sick and he passed away."

Nico's grandfather sadly passed away on August 14th, and though he sports number one on game days, he wears 33 on the practice field for sentimental reasons.

"Number 33 is the day my grandpa was born and the day he died and you add those two numbers together and you get 33," said Higheagle.

And now that he's playing football again, he likes what his team is doing.

"Our team chemistry is pretty good," said Higheagle. "We just need to work on our defense. We got a lot of speed and talent but not really a lot of big guys to step up...just a lot of little fast guys."

Off the field, Nico is now more focused on his grades because of that important figure in his life.

"Pretty good, then again I probably want to get better grades for my grandpa too," said Higheagle. "We just got our report card and I had all A's and two B+'s and that's doing better than before."

And outside school and sports, it's just more sports!

"Usually I play basketball mostly during the weekends. really like to play basketball a lot," said Higheagle. "I'll just go to the Pi Nee Waus and play a lot cause they have an open gym."

And his expectations for the Lapwai basketball team this year are high!

"I'm expecting us to go down to state and win...the whole thing," said Higheagle.

He hopes to further his education past high school.

"I'd like to go to a J-C first like my sister then play a couple years of college basketball then try to go bigger," said Higheagle.

His first university choice would be Eastern Washington, but if it came down to being a Vandal or a Coug?

"I'd go to WSU because that's who my grandpa liked a lot, he loved the Cougs," said Higheagle. "He had home tickets for every home game and I used to go with him all the time."

And in case you couldn't guess who his hero's are, that honor will go to his family.

"Probably my grandparents and all my family and friends," said Higheagle. "Everyone who watches me and supports me."

And receiving this honor is big for him...he's following in his sister's footsteps and making mom proud.

"It means a lot because my sister got this before, and I always told my mom I was going to get prep athlete like that my senior year cause she got hers her senior year," said Higheagle.

Congratulations to this week's P1FCU "Prep Athlete of The Week" Lapwai High Senior Nico Higheagle. We hope you enjoyed meeting Nico Higheagle today. Each week throughout this school year KLEW sports and P1FCU team up to highlight a deserving athlete in the area. If you have someone you'd like to nominate, just go to, click on sports and then prep athlete. Every Wednesday those athletes are showcased right here on KLEW-TV for their outstanding accomplishments.