Impact Player: Van running back Thomas expecting huge season - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Impact Player: Van running back Thomas expecting huge season


There's no doubt that Van Vandals running back Aphonso Thomas has the tools needed to be the top running back in East Texas - maybe even the whole state. But Thomas says he not only wants to leave a lasting impression on Van football, he also wants to leave an impression on his younger teammates.

Thomas, who has verbally committed to play for Nebraska, says he hopes to show leadership skills this season.

"I’m trying to fill that role, I’m trying to be very verbal. I not only want to lead by example, but I want to let them know what’s up too," he says. "I want to be a good leader, and hopefully they follow. And hopefully we can be a very successful football team."

He says he wants to be able to say goodbye to the field and team knowing he did all that he could. Thomas’s biggest personal goal is breaking through the 1,000 ceiling for rushing yards.

"I just want to have the best season possible," Thomas says. "I want to possibly be the best running back in Texas. I feel like I have the potential to do that, and I really want to do that."

And Head Coach Jared Moffatt thinks he has it in the bag.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt. Last year our team was such that Aphonso and Matt Savage shared the carries," Moffatt says. "This year with Matt graduated, Aphonso ... having to carry the load for us. We expect a lot out of him and I know he is ready to deliver." 

This season will be one to watch out for not only because of Thomas, but because the Vandals are on a mission to prove the rankings wrong and take a district championship. And despite not having a set-in-stone starting QB, Thomas has both of their backs.

“We have two right now, and I love them both. I’m really confident in either one of them. Whether I’m faking for them, or they're faking for me, you know its all love, and I think we’ll be good,” Thomas says.

We will find out just how good on Friday, when Van takes on Palestine. And you can be sure Thomas is ready.

“I’m really excited, I’m really ready," he says. "I’ve been waiting on this since last football season. And all I think about is football so I’m really excited."

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