Last Friday afternoon, former Thomson Bulldogs Jamyes Evans and Jamon Fanning signed letters of intent to play football at Hanover College in Indiana.
The two young athletes, their coach, families and friends gathered in the conference room at the Thomson Family Y for the signing.
“It’s been very tough for this senior class because they didn’t get a change finishing out the way they would like to finish out — having prom, graduation, and national signing day,” Thomson High School Head Football Coach Michael Youngblood said. “We are very fortunate today to have Jamyes and Jamon to be able to sign with Hanover College to further their education, be able to hopefully, if we can get this virus under control, potentially play football again.”
Youngblood said in his two years at THS, these two young men have gone above and beyond to do everything they can to be model citizens in the community and the classroom.
“You’re talking about two kids, and not right off the top of my head I can tell you their GPAs, but I do know they’re over 3.0 GPAs,” said Youngblood. “They will tell you that is one thing that I take pride in is making sure academically that they are doing what they are supposed to do and I hold them accountable. Whether we have football or not, there’s nothing that you can do to take away their academic abilities and that is what is going to prepare them for their future and their lives.”
Evans committed earlier to Hanover to both play football and run track and now will be joined by his teammate.
Evans had a photo of his mother with him on the table as he signed. Youngblood said Evans lost his monther and lived with his sister but never missed practice, never complained, and always worked hard despite all he faced.
“You’re just so happy to see a kid like Jamyes be able to sign and go to college,” Youngblood said.
The coach said Fanning has done an excellent job also. Different colleges looked at him early but nothing ever materialized, said Youngblood.
“The biggest thing for him is just getting the chance to play again. Because there are a lot of kids that don’t get that opportunity any more. Once high school is over, it’s over,” said Youngblood.
He said Evans truly is a utility player that lined up at receiver for THS but also can play in the defensive secondary.
“He is a very, very smart football player and knows what everybody around him is supposed to do.,” the coach said. “Sometimes you need that extra guy there that’s not your quarterback to know everything and help everybody else. That’s what he was for us, he was that extra coach on the field.”
Fanning is what Youngblood called the team’s “quarterback on defense.”
The free safety was a two-year starter for the Thomson Bulldogs.
“He’s going to be a piece we will struggle with and miss this upcoming season because of his leadership. When I tell you he set the table for everything we did on defense on the back in, he did that,” Youngblood explained.