CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Four years ago, Nitro offensive coordinator Derek Midkiff jokingly gave his good friend Alex White an ultimatum: be a kicker for the Wildcats or else.
White, a 14-year-old freshman at the time, agreed, and it has turned out to be a great decision for White and Nitro's first-year football coach.
This season, White leads the state with nine made field goals, and his kicking abilities have helped Nitro (2-4) match the most wins combined over the past three seasons. The Wildcats went 1-9 in 2009 and 2010, and were winless (0-10) in 2011.
"I know Alex personally and have known him and his family for years," Midkiff said. "He lives across the street from my parents. We have a great relationship. He was in my wedding. We couldn't be much closer. It would be the same thing as having a son out there and be successful at whatever. I'm very proud of him."
White confirmed his coach's take on their relationship.
"He's absolutely like an older brother to me," White said. "He is a very close friend. I started kicking my freshman year and I did it for him."
In leading the state in field goals, White has given Midkiff and the Wildcats a scoring weapon, and even kicked Nitro to a 27-24 victory over Lincoln County on Sept. 21 with the game-winning 30-yard field goal with 7 seconds left.
"It's been pretty big and means a lot," White said. "I had that game-winning field goal. Derek (Midkiff) set it up really nice, right down the middle. I was calm, and kicked it perfectly down the middle. I kicked a few field goals to help beat St. Albans."