(Photo courtesy of Kim Thompson)

Words couldn’t express the feeling of pride Kim Thompson had watching her son, Christopher Thompson, surrounded by his teachers and principal at VOISE Academy, sign his football scholarship papers during a March 10, ceremony at the school.

Thompson, 19, a senior at VOISE, was presented with the opportunity to attend St. Xavier University on a full, four-year football scholarship after being scouted by the university’s assistant coach. Thompson’s highlight video appeared on the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA) recruiting page.

There, athletes are shopped to schools based on their stats. Thompson received 37 views that led to Xavier’s head coach calling him for a visit. Less than a week later, he was called with an offer to attend the university.

“I’m glad nothing deterred him from what needs to be done for him to obtain his goal,” said Kim Thompson, who works at VOISE Academy, which is located on the Austin High School campus at 231 N. Pine.

Since he was 5 years old, Thompson has played football in school and on LaFollette Park’s youth squad.

For the past two years, he played various positions on the Austin Tigers team, including wide receiver, running back and quarterback. Even with his success in football, Thompson maintains a focus on education. He’s an honor roll student with a 3.8 grade=-point average, in addition to being a member of the National Honor Society.

Thompson’s currently a member of the school’s track team and helps coach a youth football team, as well as mentoring kids at his church. As he eyes college next fall, Thompson insists that he owes it all to his family and mentors.

“I have so many mentors that helped me — my pastor; Coach James Bailey, who was my first coach; my head coach. … I especially want to thank David Pughsley who made my videos and put them on YouTube and on the NCSA site,” Thompson said, adding that he couldn’t forget his family, friends.

“And, of course, my dad, Dannie Sr., or he’ll kill me,” Thompson said laughing.

Kim Thompson, 43, said it wasn’t easy raising her children but she’s proud to see her son receive his scholarship after seeing how hard he worked for it.

“It’s been different seeing them advance to the next level. But with God’s help, I was able to keep them into sports and music, no matter what their surroundings were,” she said.

Thompson has three other siblings — brothers Dannie and Priestly and a younger sister, Danielle. Being around his older brothers, he said, made them all competitive in sports, from baseball to basketball.

Although he’s going to the college with the idea of playing football, he also plans on getting his bachelor’s degree in education and wants to come back to his high school as a dean.

“I love football and education, and you need that to rely on,” Thompson said. “I want to come back and give back to the community and show them there are other opportunities besides selling drugs and gang banging.”

After graduating from VOISE, Thompson will begin his studies as well as football practices with the St. Xavier Cougars in August.

According to his mom, Thompson is an example that you can do anything if you put your mind to it.

“He is a good kid from this community,” she said. “Hopefully, more people will realize just because you’re from the Austin community; doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.”

Twitter: @jeramiebizzle87