COVINGTON, Ga. — Adarius Thomas started his senior campaign with aspirations of making a major statement.
That statement? That he was a viable go-to player on a Newton team that many thought were void of star power at before the beginning of the season. Technically, Thomas’ breakout party came last year in the playoffs in that narrow, overtime loss to Parkview.
This year, he wanted to prove that he could be more of an every-down back, and with close to 1,000 rushing yards he didn’t do a bad job of it.
Thomas has also proven himself to be a viable receiver out of the backfield, with 159 yards on 22 catches and three receiving touchdowns. He set a career-high rushing total twice in the same season, first with 172 yards on 24 carries against Westlake and 175 yards on 25 carries and a score against Shiloh.
the 5-foot-7, 175-pound senior took a few moments to recap his season and career at Newton, now that it has come to an end.
STOVALL: I know this isn’t the way you wanted to see your senior year end, but what did it mean for you to be able to suit up with your guys one more time?
THOMAS: “It felt good, you know. I’ve been going to battle with my boys since I was in 10th grade. It’s been good. It’s been a long season. A lot of hard work. A lot of dog days, but I feel like I love them boys to the death. And even after high school, I’m still gonna come visit. I’m still gonna support and always be a Newton Ram. I’ll always be a Newton Boy.”
STOVALL: What kind of made things difficult in the last game?
THOMAS: “I feel like we did a good job preparing. The concepts were there, but we just didn’t do a good job of executing. And on defense, we made some step-ups at times, but if we would’ve done that consistently, it would’ve been a different ball game.”
STOVALL: How different was it preparing for this game with all the changes and transitions coming from coach Banks resigning and coach Grant stepping in?
THOMAS: “We felt good like any other week. But it was smoother. Practice was more intense, and we felt like we were coming out to win. That’s how we prepared for it. They prepared us well, but it just didn’t go our way.
STOVALL: What do you think was the biggest challenge this year, and what would say has been your highlight at Newton?
THOMAS: “The biggest challenge, just waking up every day and being at workouts. Sometimes your body just gets used to it after a while, but it can still be difficult. As for my highlight here at Newton, I’d say playing my sophomore year when we had JJ (Holloman) and all those guys. Playing with them, and now seeing them at the collegiate level. That was cool. Hopefully one day I’ll be like that, getting on the collegiate level and being able to come back and show support to my boys from there.”
STOVALL: Speaking of the collegiate level, what are your plans going forward? What kind of offers and interests are you entertaining?
THOMAS: “I’ve got a couple of colleges that are showing interest right now, so I’m just gonna wait and surprise everybody with where I’m going.”
STOVALL: What do you feel like being at Newton has done to help you be a better man and prepare you for life after high school?
THOMAS: “I feel like waking up on all those early mornings, it taught me discipline. Like nobody sleeps in in the regular world, so waking up, being here at a certain time for early morning workouts has taught me discipline that I’ll have to have, you know, when I’m one day gonna have to provide for my family like that. So I feel like I have to thank my coaches for teaching me discipline. I feel like they taught me integrity, too. Character. What you do when people aren’t looking. Being on this football team definitely made me a better man.”