Thompson has 12 headed to play college sports

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The last year has presented its share of challenges, but Wednesday, Feb. 3, was a day to rejoice at Thompson High School.

After dedicating their high school days to countless hours of work, 12 THS athletes signed to play their respective sport at the next level, including 10 football players, one baseball player and one cross country runner.

“We do this four times a year, and there is never a scenario where I’m personally blown away by the number of kids that we have sit up here across the entire athletic department,” Thompson Athletic Director Vincent Pitts said. “We’re very proud of the fact that we’ve had players from across our department sign to go on to the next level. It’s an exciting time and we’re all very thankful.”

But as Thompson principal Wesley Hester stated, it didn’t come without its share of challenges along the way.

“They look very sharp and dapper today. As nice and as wonderful as they look today, this is for everyone else to know, they didn’t look this good to get to this point because hard work and sweat and the grind they have been through is ugly and dirty, and they embraced every single bit of it along the way,” Hester said. “So that’s why this day is so special, because they have reached a milestone that very few young people get the opportunity to do”

After winning back-to-back state championships, the football team was well represented on signing day with Tre Roberson, Gavin Shipman, Greg Green, KaMarion Hambright, EJ Edwards, Connor Howard, Anthony Butler, Anthony Kilburn, Jamaal Peterson and Piorre Carpenter all signing to the next level.

Roberson, who was one of the team’s top receivers and was forced to come in as the backup quarterback in the state championship game, signed with Air Force Academy.

Shipman is headed to Harvard after not only displaying talent on the field at defensive back, but also showing his ability in the classroom.

After playing an important role on the defensive line, Greg Green signed with Eastern Kentucky University to continue his playing days.

Hambright was also key up front and will continue playing the sport he loves at Campblesville University.

Edwards, who was key across the field but especially in the secondary, signed with Lindsey Wilson College.

One of the team’s top linemen this year on the offensive side, Howard will now continue to be a force in college after signing with the University of West Georgia.

Butler is headed to Culver Stockton College after a special run with the Warriors.

Kilburn, who was another force up front for Thompson, signed his letter of intent to join Olivet Nazarene University, where he’ll look to make a quick impact.

Peteerson will now look to get some more exposure with the Birmingham Prep Cardinals, which is a local prep school to help give him a chance at playing even higher in the next couple of years.

Carpenter also signed with a prep school and is headed across state lines to join the Georgia Prep Knights.

Beyond football, Trey Puckett signed to play baseball at the next level, while Emily Standifer is headed to run cross country in college.

Puckett signed his letter of intent with Snead State Community College. He will be a key leader on this year’s team, as they look to battle for a state championship.

Standifer, who has been a talented runner for the Warriors, is now going to Montreat College where she will be prepared for success.

“I want to say congratulations to all of you for sitting up here at this table today,” Hester said. “To our families, thank you for sharing your children with us, for allowing us to teach them, to coach them, to grow them, to develop them into the people they are today. They are outstanding people.”