Southmoore Honors Eight Signees With Ceremony
Thursday, July 28th 2011, 6:06 pm
News On 6
Originally Published: Feb 16, 2011 5:52 PM CDTCorey DeMoss
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY – Southmoore’s Signing Day ceremony had to be delayed several times due to weather conditions, but the school finally was able to recognize its signees Wednesday.
The ceremony honored a total of eight athletes, headlined by quarterback Kendal Thompson. Thompson already has begun attending classes at Oklahoma and working out with the team, but said he wanted to return to his high school to be part of the celebration.
Thompson was joined at the ceremony by softball players Haley Strawn and Hartley Tyler as well as football teammates Austin Brooks, Lucas Stalnaker, D’Vante Henry, Tyler Whitfield and Jermaine Tucker.
“It was kind of like a family deal for the Southmoore family,” Thompson said. “Just a celebration for all the athletes, all the hard work the whole program puts in. I just wanted to come back and pay my respects to the program.”
Thompson is still getting used to his college lifestyle, but his transition has been helped by the presence of former Southmoore teammate Austin Haywood. Haywood signed with the Sooners last year, and the two are in classes and tutoring together.
“[College has] more intensity and I’d say there’s a faster pace,” Thompson said. “Overall with your schoolwork, practices, it’s just higher intensity and you have to compete that much harder.”
Thompson is the son of former OU quarterback Charles Thompson, who ran the Wishbone formation with the Sooners in the late 1980s. Charles Thompson said he realized his son would not find success if he focused on his athleticism and running ability, so the two focused on turning Kendal into a better pure passer.
“I think one of the things that I like most about Kendal is he has his own identity,” Charles Thompson said. “He understands his identity, and his ability to do things are obviously totally different than what I did. The days have changed since the days of the Wishbone.”
Both Thompsons acknowledged that the fanfare surrounding high school recruitment has increased significantly since Charles entered college, but Kendal said he tried to stay focused during the process.
“Back then, the recruiting process wasn’t as made out as it is today,” Kendal Thompson said. “The whole deal, I just kind of take it in and keep working. Right now, I’m back at the bottom of the depth chart so you have to get back to work and earn your keep at the next level.”