Jackson Nabors named 2021 Shelby County Player of the Year

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

The 2021 soccer season marked a record-setting year for Indian Springs, and that wouldn’t have been complete without a stellar year from junior forward Jackson Nabors.

The star soccer player for Springs was one of the most dangerous scoring threats in the country this year with 52 goals to his name, while he also found a way to pick up an assist when defenses decided to guard him even closer.

With Springs scoring a state-record 140 goals this season, Nabors scored or assisted on 75 of those goals.

His gaudy numbers for this year’s Class 4A-5A state champion has earned him the award of 2021 Shelby County Player of the Year.

And his performance on the pitch wasn’t a fluke.

While Springs did have some easier games on the schedule that helped him hit those historic marks, he also performed his best against state-championship contending teams like Pelham, John Carroll, Homewood and Westminster at Oak Mountain, before finishing the postseason with his best play against the top teams in his team’s classification.

After leading Indian Springs to a 4-0 win against Marbury in the first round of the playoffs, Nabors played a big role in a 2-1 win against No. 4 John Carroll in the second round before helping them beat No. 9 American Christian 9-1 to earn a trip to the Final Four.

And that’s where Nabors put his talent on display on the biggest stage.

During the semifinal game against Montgomery Academy, Nabors walked away with assists on both of Indian Springs’ second half goals in a 2-0 win to advance to the championship.

Then, in the title game, Nabors scored both of the team’s goals to earn the MVP of the Final Four.

His first goal came in a full sprint, as he leapt in the air and headed the ball from 5 yards outside of the penalty box over the top of the goalie’s hands and directly into the back of the net.

He then completed his two-goal performance later in the first half when a ball was sent far down the field for him to catch up to, and he did just that. In another full-on sprint, he just beat a defender to the ball and got a clean kick on it to squeeze it by the keeper for his second goal in less than 10 minutes.

That put a cap on a historic 52-goal, state-championship season for this year’s player of the year.