Thomas Dale High School had another player sign to the college ranks last week. Kicker-punter Garrett Graves will be heading to Bridgewater College.  “Garrett... Knights’ Graves headed to Bridgewater College
Garrett Graves punts the pigskin.

Thomas Dale High School had another player sign to the college ranks last week. Kicker-punter Garrett Graves will be heading to Bridgewater College. 

“Garrett is a hard-working young man who knew very little about football when he started four years ago,” coach Kevin Tucker said. “He has matured and grown into a fine young man who understands the game of football and will bring a wealth of knowledge to his team.”

Originally a soccer player, Graves was convinced to join the football team by Plato Eliades, a Thomas Dale grad who played both versions of “football.” While there was a learning curve initially, but by his senior season Graves was consistent.

Statistically, Graves made 11 of 13 extra point attempts and two of his three field goal attempts, but really showed his leg as a punter, booting 30 kicks for 1,136 yards, a 37.9 average. His long was a 68-yard boot.

The kicker’s development was aided by Eliades, who also went to Bridgewater and served as the team’s primary punter during the 2017-18 season. Eliades booted 53 punts for a 35.1-yard average.

Another collegiate kicker, Anthony Prevost, came back during summers and helped Graves and the other kickers on the TDHS roster. Prevost graduated from Hampton University and kicked at the FCS level for four seasons.

“Without both of those guys [Eliades and Prevost], Garrett would not have made it as far as he did,” Tucker said,

Graves is the first of what could be several college commitments coming for the Knights in the coming weeks, as quarterback-defensive back Ejay Walker and linebacker Adam Hall could have decisions finalized soon, among others. 

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