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Eagles Soar Into District Playoffs
12u eagles
Head coach Darrell Thomas (center) teaching plays to the 12u Eagles during a practice session. (Photo/Zane Rowland)

The 12u Richmond Hill Eagles football team are looking to come home with a championship this postseason. As the only 12u team to make it to the district playoffs in the area, the Eagles, and their head football coach Darrell Thomas, are hoping the playoff run ends with a trophy.

“I am very proud of these guys and the progress that we have made,” Thomas said. “We had a good season overall, going 5-3, and with the addition of some of the Richmond Hill Wildcats 12u players, I really feel like we have a chance to make a good run at this thing.”

In his first year as a head coach, Thomas is in a great position to do just that. “This is my third year coaching overall, but it is my first year as a head coach,” Thomas said. “I enjoyed the experience of the first two years, but I am just glad that I am now able to run the program my way, and do things the way I feel they should be done.” 

With a background in playing organized sports, specifically football in high school as a wideout and defensive back, Thomas felt that he would be able to properly teach the young athletes the game he enjoyed in his own youth. “I feel like with my knowledge of the game, I have the ability to teach proper fundamentals to the kids. I wanted to ensure that they learned the right way to do things, and that drove me to want better for my son and the athletes in this community.”

As a ten-year army veteran most recently stationed out of Savannah, Thomas is also able to instill discipline in his athletes, and help them to build their character along the way. “Doing things the right way is important,” Thomas said. “I want them to do it the right way every time, both on the field, in the classroom and in the community. All of those lessons can be taught on a football team.”

The Wilmington, Delaware native has had several athletes to stand out this year, including son Justice Thomas, who is one of the top wideouts on the team, following in his dad’s footsteps. “I am very proud of him,” Thomas said. “He has come a long way in the last few years. We have worked really hard together and he is getting really good at the game. I coached the NFL Flag League here recently and he did really well with that too, as we went on to an 8-1 record and won the championship.”

“Another player that has done really well this year is Jacob Cordell,” Thomas said. He is our quarterback and unquestioned leader. I love his game IQ and he works hard at it. Austin Preston is a Tailback and Linebacker that has done great with our team as well. Hudson Bope is the smallest guy on the team, but he is by far our hardest hitting player. Trey Wadsworth is a great slot receiver who makes great catches as well.”

The 12u Richmond Hill Eagles begin the playoffs on November 14th as they take on Liberty County in Brunswick. Kickoff is at 7.

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