THS football finalizes 2017 schedule
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – The Thompson High School football team will kick off the 2017 season by hosting one of the top Class 2A teams from Georgia before moving into its Alabama Class 7A gauntlet, according to the school’s recently finalized fall schedule.
The Warriors will start its regular season on Friday, Aug. 25, by hosting Atlanta’s Hapeville Charter School at Larry Simmons Stadium. Hapeville Charter has an enrollment of about 680, and advanced to Georgia’s Class 2A semifinals last year en route to a 10-4 overall record and 6-0 region record.
This season, Hapeville Charter returns its quarterback, Hajj-Malik Williams, who completed 175 of 303 passing attempts for 2,901 yards, 27 touchdowns and 10 interceptions last season. Williams was also the team’s top rusher last year, carrying the ball 82 times for 534 yards and eight touchdowns.
Hapeville also returns its top two receivers from last season: Rory Starkey, who ended 2016 with 46 catches for 762 yards and six touchdowns, Andunte Devereux, who reeled in 41 passes for 616 yards and six touchdowns. The Hornets also return their top defensive player from 2016 in Caleb Kelly, who recorded 21 solo tackles, 24 assists, two interceptions and two-and-a-half sacks.
After hosting Hapeville Charter, the Warriors will have a bye week on Sept. 1 before hosting Tuscaloosa County on Sept. 8 and Mountain Brook on Sept. 15. Thompson’s first road test will come at Oak Mountain on Sept. 22 before the Warriors return home to face rival Pelham on Sept. 29.
THS will travel to Vestavia Hills and Spain Park in back-to-back games on Oct. 6 and Oct. 13 before returning home to host Huffman on Oct. 20. The Warriors will round out the season by traveling to Hoover on Oct. 27 and traveling to Hillcrest Tuscaloosa for a Thursday night game on Nov. 2.
The following is Thompson’s full 2017 schedule (Region games noted with an asterisk):
-Aug. 25 home against Hapeville (Georgia) Charter
-Sept. 8 home against Tuscaloosa County*
-Sept. 15 home against Mountain Brook*
-Sept. 22 away at Oak Mountain*
-Sept. 29 home against Pelham
-Oct. 6 away at Vestavia Hills*
-Oct. 13 away at Spain Park*
-Oct. 20 home against Huffman*
-Oct. 27 away at Hoover*
-Nov. 2 (Thursday) away at Hillcrest Tuscaloosa