DILLON, S.C. – Nemo Squire runs that much faster, pushes that much harder. It’s not just about effort; it’s a celebration the Dillon High School senior has of his gratitude — a gratitude he’s here.
When his mother was pregnant with him, complications put Squire’s entrance into this world in doubt. Yet here he is, one of the state’s top running backs with a football future at East Carolina University.
“Every day, I have gratitude,” Squire said. “And it makes me even more grateful for the prayers that were prayed and the sacrifices that were made for me to get to the level that I play. I have a happiness, and that happiness makes me work harder. It takes a village to raise a child, and it’s true. There are a lot of people who added on to the person that I am now. And, I feel that I do them a great value just playing the way I’m playing, carrying myself the way I’m carrying myself every day. It’s a great motivator for me.”
Before the season, the South Carolina Football Hall of Fame gave Squire its Bridge Builder Excellence Award.
“Football has allowed me to many things and impact people,” said Squire, who also assists the homeless while working through ministry. “I just thank God for the opportunity to get to play this game at a high level. I use youth football as a platform. I’m a student-athlete first, and if all else fails and I don’t make it to the NFL, I’m going to get a great education. I’m going to network and make an impact wherever I go because that’s what God ordained me to be.”
When Squire was 13, he received the National Sports Report’s “Platinum Star” award – youth football’s version of the Heisman Trophy. And, he has just gotten better.
But before Squire carries his game to the next level, he wants to win a state championship ring as a member of the Wildcats. Dillon’s most recent state crown was won in 2017, and Squire sees that as too long a drought.
With 1,009 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, Squire is ready to make yet another push when Dillon plays in Friday’s Class 3A lower-state final at 2020 state runner-up, Camden.
Squire loves the experience of racing toward the end zone with defenders behind him. He doesn’t get enough of it.
“It’s adrenaline when you see nothing but green grass and that opening before hitting it full speed,” Squire said. “The closer you get to the end zone, it gets even more nerve-racking because you don’t want to get caught from behind. But at the same time, you’re enjoying the ride. When I have another chance to get to the end zone, I have another chance to put our team in a better position to win.”
Since fellow running back Nigel George was lost for the season due to injury, that much more responsibility was placed on Squire.
And, he has thrived.
“He’s been the leader of our football team. He doesn’t always have to carry the football,” Dillon coach Kelvin Roller said. “He can catch it; he knows how to block. He’s an excellent blocker, and we don’t have to worry about his assignments. He can execute at a high level each week, even while also playing at outside linebacker when we need him. He’s just that much of a tremendous leader on and off the field, and it has rubbed off on a lot of our kids.”
That’s what Squire is all about – football, but at the same time, more than football.
“I was never the type of kid who fit in and followed things,” Squire said. “And I’m going to carry that on through college. When I leave Dillon, I want to be known as a leader who knows the game is bigger than him.
“And, that’s how I play.”