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Thompson armed for a strong season

By By KEVIN TRAVIS, Sports Editor
Austin Thompson can put some serious zip on the ball. The Washington Pam Pack quarterback showed off his strong arm with a couple of absolute thread-the-needle bullets to Dakuan Spencer during Wednesday’s passing league at J.G. “Choppy” Wagner Stadium.
The rising senior demonstrated that he can put a soft touch on his passes as well. Thompson lofted a couple picture-perfect throws to receivers Mike Godley and Mike Moore, who had broken away from their defenders, leading to an easy six points.
Thompson, who was named the WDN’s All-Area First Team quarterback last season, said he’s happy to be participating in the passing leagues.
The Pack signal-caller, who was in England and missed last week’s passing league, said the squad has been improving throughout the summer.
Thompson said playing in the passing leagues will benefit the team as it heads into its season-opener Aug. 22 against North Pitt.
The Pack, which also faced Havelock and West Carteret in last night’s competition, will wrap up its passing league July 19 at North Carolina’s Kenan Stadium.
When the Pack opens its season, it will do so without two key components from last year’s 8-4 team. Travis Daniels, the WDN Offensive Player of the Year, and Jamont Jones, a First-Teamer, both graduated. Daniels will be playing at UNC-Pembroke and Jones is headed to Lenoir-Rhyne to play football.
That makes Thompson’s return to quarterback just that much more important.
Thompson knows he won’t have Daniels or Jones this year, but he fully believes in his receivers and Tony Turnage, who is slated to replace Daniels in the backfield.
Thompson is coming off a sensational junior year, where he completed 67 of 125 passes (53.6 percent) for 1,072 yards. He threw 17 touchdown passes against just five interceptions, coming in a brutal Coastal Conference. Thompson also ran for 129 yards and two more scores.
Thompson isn’t worried about numbers this year. He has a more pressing goal he’d like to achieve.