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Jalin Thomas, Sam Miletello get grooves back
August 30, 2017, 11:06 pm

By Jimmy Watson, The Times

A self-described nerd due to his affinity for playing video games, collecting reading glasses and watching “old” horror flicks like “Scream 3,” Byrd’s Jalin Thomas will be super excited to be in action Thursday evening against Calvary.
Thomas, along with fellow senior running back Sam Miletello, suffered season-ending injuries during their Byrd careers, forcing them to miss all or most of the last two seasons. They’re among 10 Jackets lost early in 2016 for Mike Suggs and crew, which left the coaching staff struggling to fill holes with youngsters.
So Thomas will be all smiles when the first kickoff launches in Lee Hedges Stadium for his final season of football action, after watching his team struggle last fall.
“That was very hard for me because I knew my team needed me,” Thomas said. “I was supposed to make a difference on kickoffs. I felt like I let the team down, and all I could do was pray about it.”

Byrd lost its first five games last season before winning four in a row. The Jackets closed the books on their first losing season (4-7) in seven years after falling in their LHSAA Division I playoff opener at St. Augustine.
Now, it’s time for redemption from a pair of running backs who have gone through lengthy and painful rehabs without a thought of giving up football.
Double trouble for Thomas 
Thomas was first injured against Parkway during his sophomore season when he dove low and a player landed on his leg.
“It was excruciating pain and I had it operated on the same day,” Thomas said. “I was on bed rest for a month after that. My teammates kept me uplifted and I knew I had more time to do great things.”

Click here to read the rest of The Times article.


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