He’s dependable. He’s physical. He’s athletic.
He’s Wartburg’s running back, number 11, Reese Thompson. For four years now Thompson has been tearing up the field on offense for the Knights.
Coach Willis said, “Reese is now a very experienced player for us. He runs with a style that’s probably bigger than he actually is. He’s been very consistent for us over the years and just offers a lot to us.”
Even though he isn’t the biggest running back on the field his stats throughout the years have plenty of size. In his four years in the orange and black uniform, Thompson has 34 touchdowns and almost 2,500 rushing yards. However, these numbers don’t mean as much to Reese as the digits in the win column.
“Reese is a very unselfish player,” said Willis. “He’s very supportive of the other backs. He has helped the other backs learn and you know our backs aren’t worried about how many carries they get, they’re worried about how our team does.”
Thompson said, “It’s just getting out there with everybody and when everybody’s all fired up you can’t beat that team experience.”
When it comes to the game, Thompson knows what he has to do every time he hits the turf.
Reese added, “I run hard, I have good vision and good knowledge of the play book.”
When Thompson puts on that number 11 jersey it means more to him than a football game and he lets his passion for football show every game.
“Coach always talks about everybody pulling together and everybody being tight as a fist,” said Thompson. “So putting on that uniform just shows that you’re there for absolutely everybody else on the team.”
Willis added, “He does play with a lot of passion, with a lot of determination, with a lot of toughness on a consistent basis.”
When it comes to a favorite memory of Thompson playing football at Wartburg, both Coach Willis and Reese had the same thoughts.
“Probably going down to Central…we won the conference championship…that sealed it,” said Reese.
Coach recalled, “In 2010 on the final drive down at Central, Reese ran through a central defender down inside the 20 yard line to convert a first down for us that led to the score.”
“That was an unbelievable atmosphere,” stated Reese.
With only one game left in his career at Wartburg, has it fully hit Thompson?
“Not really, actually,” said Reese. “We keep on talking about how the practices are down to single digits and all this stuff but it really hasn’t hit me.”
Thompson has truly left an impact on and off the field for the Wartburg football program and he will be missed next year.
“It’s really a pleasure to have Reese on our team and someone that I enjoy spending time with every day,” said Willis.