SportsAthlete of the Week


Athletes of the Week: Peyton's very own AJ Mannering and Abbie Nickell

Posted at 9:00 AM, Mar 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-09 11:00:07-05

Disclaimer: This is sponsored content. All opinions and views are of Colorado Springs Orthopaedic Group and does not reflect the same of KOAA.

Life-long friends are making a lasting legacy in one small southern Colorado town.

Our Athletes of the Week are Peyton High School Seniors AJ Mannering and Abbie Nickell.

They are leaders of the girl's basketball team and the best-scoring tandem in the state.

I was at Denver University this weekend as the two hoped to lead their school to a state championship.

AJ and Abbie have led their team right here to the final four and won Friday night to send them to the state championship game.

Together this duo averages over 50 points per game. And have helped lead the Panthers to a historic season.

On the court, the dynamic duo of seniors AJ Mannering and Abbie Nickell is among the best in the state but off the court, they go beyond just teammates.

"We've been friends for as long as we can remember. I mean, there was never a point, where we weren't friends, said Abbie Nickell. "We played our elementary school. We played 2nd through 5th grade and then middle school, and club, and now high school."

After all their years as teammates and friends, it has led to a unique bond on the hardwood.

"I know I can count on Abby to be there whenever I get double-teamed or whenever I need help taking up the ball, and I just. I think we just feed really well off of each other in the game," says Mannering.

"I know exactly what she's going to do 99% of the time and I think she knows exactly what I'm going to do. So it's not like we have a second doubt. About each other. We're confident in one another and we just. Know that we trust each other and have each other's back," says Nickell.

This chemistry has helped the Panthers complete an undefeated regular season and a regional championship, but AJ and Abbie's impact goes way beyond what's on the stat sheet.

"It's like almost having two additional coaches out on the floor and it takes, it takes some pressure off the other players too, and then and everybody kind of plays off of those two," says Assistant Coach Allen Thomas.

"They're fantastic. They're role models, they're hard workers. They're friendly, and outgoing," said Head Coach Allen Green

Before they both leave for college, they hope to deliver something the town of Peyton has never had, a state basketball championship with that opportunity coming up against Colorado Springs Christian Academy on Saturday at 4:00 p.m.

About Athlete of the Week

News5 works to honor the high school Athlete of the Week throughout the school year in our Tuesday evening newscasts. We’re looking for that special teen who is working hard and playing right all while making parents and coaches proud.

Nominate your Athlete of the Week today! See our current and past athletes of the week, click here.