A group of football players that Thompson High football coach Mark Freeman aptly described as “special kids from special families,” got together for a joyous National Signing Day celebration on Thursday morning at the school’s auditorium.
Eight Thompson High senior football players, all integral members on a team that won a Class 7A Region 3 and finished the regular season unbeaten, sat side-by-side on the stage and celebrated their next step in life. All eight are headed off to play college football.
The group of signees consisted of Jalen Rayam (UAB), Mackie McNeal (East Mississippi Community College), Myles Brown (Jacksonville State), Seth Whitlock (Millsaps), Ahmad Edwards (Jacksonville State), Mo Edwards (South Alabama), K.J. Robertson (Troy) and Evan Clark (Huntingdon).
Thompson High principal Dr. Wesley Hester called Wednesday’s celebration an “awesome, awesome experience.”
Each of the players took a moment to reflect on their journey and thank the people responsible for helping them reach this point in their life. They each thanked their parents and thanked God. They each thanked Freeman and the other coaches, as well as administrators at Thompson. Most reflected on just how far the program came in their time at Thompson.
The Warriors didn’t win a varsity game when each of the players were freshmen. After two consecutive five win seasons, Freeman’s first two as head coach, the Warriors put together one of the most special seasons in school history this past fall. Thompson finished 10-0 in the regular season, including a region championship clinching road victory over Hoover. The Warriors fell short of capturing the state title, losing in the Class 7A semifinals to Hoover, but that didn’t take away everything from what was a special season.
“The carry with them something that’s rare, which is they had an undefeated, 10-0, season,” Freeman said.
Freeman also added that this group has “set the tone” for every other player who passes through the Thompson program.