The Thompson Warriors Gear Up for a Historic 2023 Football Season

Alabaster, AL – Anticipation is running high as the Thompson Warriors gear up for the much-anticipated 2023 season. Under the leadership of head coach Mark Freeman, the Warriors are focused on building upon their impressive streak of four consecutive Class 7A state championships. Their ultimate goal now is to achieve an unprecedented fifth consecutive title, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since the Hazelwood Bears captured five consecutive Class 2A state titles between 1988 and 1992.

The Warriors’ remarkable journey kicked off when Mark Freeman stepped on campus in 2015. Following a pair of 5-5 finishes, Thompson embarked on a remarkable 73-8 run, marked by four consecutive state titles, one state runner-up finish, three region championships, and a 21-2 mark in the postseason. In the five seasons preceding Freeman’s arrival in Alabaster, the Warriors struggled to a 10-40 record.

One of the focal points for the upcoming 2023 season revolves around the quarterback position. Senior Zach Sims and freshman Trent Seaborn are currently in a competition for the starting position. While only one can lead the Warriors initial drive, Coach Freeman has devised a strategic plan to capitalize on the distinctive strengths of both quarterbacks throughout the season. Despite Seaborn’s exceptional performance as an eighth-grader during the Warriors 2022 championship run, he remains grounded and mindful of the obstacles that lie ahead as Thompson’s primary quarterback. The camaraderie between Sims and Seaborn underscores their shared dedication to the Warriors’ success.

Moving beyond the quarterback position, the Thompson offense boasts an imposing pair of running backs in AJ Green and Michael Dujon. Their contributions will play a pivotal role in the team’s emphasis on a run-centric offensive approach. Despite the departure of last season’s primary receiver, Korbyn Williams, the return of Deuce Oliver and Kolby Hearn is set to inject new energy into the receiving unit. Emerging talents like Angel Jones, Trey Knight, and Colben Landrew hint at a promising future for Thompson’s receiving arsenal.

The battle in the trenches remains a key focus for the Warriors. The offensive line features a competitive pool of ten players vying for the five starting positions. On the defensive front, the departure of standout lineman Peter Woods presents a challenge that Caleb Ballard, an All-County First Team talent, is poised to address. Supported by Matthew Hurd, Noah Streeter, Haden McDonald, and Cam Pritchard, the defensive line is expected to sustain its effectiveness.

In the linebacker room, Jayden Davis and Tyler Hicks are primed to take on leadership responsibilities. The Warriors’ secondary showcases the safety duo of Kaleb Harris and Anquon Fegans. Harris’s versatility combined with Fegans’s skill set are projected to play a crucial role in shaping the team’s defensive strategy. Fegans, a five-star junior committed to the USC Trojans, is anticipated to shine in a breakout season for the Warriors.

The Thompson Warriors celebrate their 2022 state championship victory at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. (Brant Berry | PrepsNet)

The special teams unit, led by the acclaimed five-star kicker and punter John Alan McGuire, is well-positioned to provide a strategic edge. McGuire’s recognition as the top-ranked kicker and punter in the state adds a formidable dimension to Thompson’s game plan. The return game, featuring the speed of athletes Anquon Fegans and Deuce Oliver, promises to deliver exhilarating moments for the Warrior faithful.

The pursuit of a fifth consecutive blue map kicks off with a clash against the Opelika Bulldogs at the annual AHSAA Kickoff Classic on August 25 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. The intensity escalates the following week as the Warriors welcome national powerhouse IMG Academy to Alabaster. Thompson’s third non-region matchup takes them on a mid-season journey to face Class 6A powerhouse Clay-Chalkville, a game scheduled to be broadcast nationally on ESPN2. The heart of the season revolves around Class 7A Region 3 matchups, featuring home games against Vestavia Hills, Chelsea, and Tuscaloosa County and road contests at Spain Park, Hewitt-Trussville, Oak Mountain, and Hoover.

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