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Athlete of the Week: Jalik Thomas

Thomas switched from defensive back to quarterback and has led the Central Chargers to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

MACON, Ga. — The Central Chargers are in the playoffs for the first time since 2014. They can attribute a lot of this year's success to the dazzling plays of junior quarterback Jalik Thomas.

When you watch Thomas play on the football field, his head coach Joaquin Sample says prepare to be amazed.

"Jalik's went to offense and he's lifted that side of the ball with his talent and his effort and how much he wants it. It's kind of stabilized the whole team," Sample said.

The junior QB, who began the year on defense, shredded defenses all year and led the Chargers to the playoffs for the first time since 2014. He said he just did what his team asked of him every week.

"My team needed me now on offense, now I gotta come play offense. We have the spark and now we're in the playoffs," Thomas said. "I feel like I can do it. My team relies on me and I depend on my team. Together, we can't be stopped."

Thomas can't be stopped in the classroom either. Posting a 3.6 GPA, he said his mother emphasized the books as much as the football field.

"'Books first, ball second' -- that's what my mama taught me. She put more emphasis on books. [She] makes sure I got all my grades up before I come to practice," Thomas said.

The junior likes to lead by example on and off the field. He exemplifies leadership qualities that spread to the rest of the team.

"We've got good chemistry. When we come on the field, we try to be the first one. Try to be the last one to leave the field. Try to make sure everything goes, bang, bang simple," Thomas said.

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