Sullivan North's Kairi Thompson was running with a purpose last week against Union High.
Sometimes a game is more than just a game for a player. Last Friday night Sullivan North running back Kairi Thompson had a homecoming of sorts, but this time he was the visitor.
Thompson, who lived in Big Stone Gap, Virginia until the fourth grade, returned to Bullitt Park with Sullivan North and ran for 202 yards and two touchdowns on just 14 carries in the Raiders' 41-17 win over Union.
"I've had family play there and I just felt like I needed to pick up where my family left off," Thompson said. "I felt like there was a lot of unfinished business there."
Robbie Norris is head coach at Sullivan North. "I think he had a different fire in his eye. He played extremely hard and we were proud of him," the coach said.
As a senior, Thompson knew this would be his last chance to play in front of his family and friends that still live in Big Stone Gap. He wanted to make sure he went out on a high note.
"I just thought about the last touchdown I scored," he said. "I just wanted to shut that place down. I just wanted everyone to remember me, remember who I was."
Thompson's performance the other night may have reminded some people of Thomas and Julius Jones, who used to run wild at Bullitt Park for Powell Valley. "I know the name, I know their history, I know about them. They hold records up there so it felt good to be able to do something similar to what they were doing on the field, so that's a lot of inspiration there," Thompson said.