High School Hero Week 9: Ashley Ridge's Donavan Thompson

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- Ashley Ridge's Donavan Thompson is a guy who loves football, and as a member of special teams, he's the guy to watch on kick returns. He's returned several for touchdowns, making him this week's High School Hero.

Thompson makes returning kicks look easy, but there's a lot of worth that goes into returning kicks for touchdowns. But he loves putting in the work for the Swamp Foxes each week.

"It's just fun because once you get back, then you get everyone wondering, 'Who is this guy?'" Thompson said.

He says those successful runs are all about being aware of what's coming for him and where the field is opening up.

"When you're looking up, you really can't see anything down here. So once you catch it, I'm just looking for anything that is wide open to the widest space.{} and I have good blockers," Thompson said. "But even the ones I don't return back, I go back on film and look back on what I should have done."

And the perseverance Thompson uses to get better on the field is the same perseverance he uses to be a good role model in life.

"Donavan is a quiet leader. He leads by example," said Head Coach Kenny Walker. "And one thing we try to do is get our players involved in the community as well. He's done that by going over to Beech Hill Elementary. Kids are excited to see high school football players with their jersey on and Donavan is one of them that they recognize."

And Thompson recognizes the effect he has.

"Whatever I do, they are just going to be looking at what I do. If I'm a humble person, they are going to look at me and say, 'See, he doesn't need to show off, he just does his job,'" he said. "And that's how I want to be. I don't want to be that big tough guy that everybody better be scared, no I'm not that guy."

But he still leaves opposing teams nervous and his head coach full of confidence.

"Just get the return set up and I know he'll catch it. And I like our chances," said Walker.

Thompson and Ashley Ridge head to Summerville Friday night in the Sports 4 Game of the Week.