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Thompson to pace Boardman offense

August 18, 2013
By JOHN VARGO - Tribune Chronicle ( , Underthelights

Turel Thompson doesn't want you to think his 5-feet-10, 150-pound stature is solely dedicated to the slot of the Boardman High School offense.

However, running out of the backfield isn't an anomaly to the Spartans senior offensive juggernaut.

Last season, Thompson had 570 yards on 56 carries and 19 touchdowns.

Add to that, 20 receptions for 282 yards and four scores.

When Boardman wants an offensive spark, call up No. 2. He doesn't have a preference where he comes from.

"It really doesn't matter. You have to stop me, pretty much," Thompson said.

Coach Joe Ignazio knows full well Thompson is the offensive leader.

"The kids get a sense he's driven, he wants to do well, he wants to play football at the next level," Ignazio said. "I have conversations with him often. The kids understand he has a driving force behind him. I think they buy in for him to do that. The coaching staff is looking to him to be a leader. He takes on that role."

Ignazio said Thompson is not a vocal leader, but the players respect him. He agrees with his coach.

"I try to keep their heads up as much as possible," Thompson said. "Of course, you have coaches getting on them. Sometimes they have their head down. I tell them to have thick skin and try to do better."

Ignazio said he needs to get his other teammates involved.

"The thing he needs to be comfortable with is other guys getting the football," he said. "We ran jet so much the last couple of years and he was so good at it. Now we're trying new things at the beginning of the year. I talk to him often about not getting frustrated because he's going to be primary focus we want to get the ball to and he's done a really good job of that."

Thompson said he wants to double his stats from last year, see Boardman have a winning record, get to the playoffs and make positive plays.

"Set the tempo," Thompson said. "Coaches preach that a lot. Then, others will follow behind you."

He said no colleges have given him any offers. However, Ignazio said he has his share of followers.

"Lot of interest from Division II and III schools," Ignazio said. "I don't know if size is an issue. Have a lot of conversations with Division I-AA schools about him. Being a 25-touchdown kid in the Federal League, with our league being so competitive, obviously a lot of colleges have noticed him. He's getting a look by everyone as of right now."

Seeing Thompson on Fridays is the eason why he's drawing interest.

"When he gets the ball, he's extremely dangerous and quick," Ignazio said. "He has to know our other guys are going to see that and buy into it."

Especially when Thompson jukes a defender.

"I wouldn't call it fun ... but it was fun," Thompson said.


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