CONYERS -- When asked to score goals, Khafri Jamison came through more times than not.

Whether it was Heritage's come-from-behind victory over Lakeside, or the Patriots' first win over cross-town rival Rockdale County since 2016, Jamison was there to deliver.

This past week, the Patriots' standout striker signed his National Letter of Intent to Thomas University after being put in contact with the NAIA program back in February.

"Coach (Brandon) Stewart is really good friends with their coach and he put me in a good position," Jamison said. "I went down and trained with them and they really liked me. We emailed back and forth and eventually they came up with a deal for me that I couldn't resist. Playing soccer in college has always been something that I've wanted to do, so I had to take the opportunity."

Much like Jamison's teammate, Lynden Dawson, who singed his NLI to Eckerd College moments after Jamison, Heritage head coach Stewart said he knew he'd be getting a great player, one that could play multiple positions on the field.

"His skills were obvious from the get-go," Stewart said. "Very skilled. Very quick. Very attacking minded. I still think he's one of the best defensive center midfielders in the state. That may be where he ends up at the next level, but for us, we kind of had some of those places filled and that allowed him to really push and get into the offensive things."

And of course, that's what every player likes. I think with him, it's a growth of doing different things and attacking different ways. I hope, for both of their sake's, they have enjoyed the experience for four years."

As a junior in 2018, Jamison scored 16 goals and dished out 11 assists. As a senior in 2019, Jamison scored 23 goals to lead the team while handing out seven assists. Of Jamison's 23 goals, the senior recorded four hat tricks.

In a 3-2 victory against Lakeside, the eventual Region 3-AAAAAA champion, Jamison scored both the game-tying goal, and the game-winning goal in overtime. Against Rockdale, Jamison scored both Patriots' goals to help secure a 2-0 victory.

"I'm glad that my senior year went this well," Jamison said. "I couldn't have asked for better teammates. They all helped me with everything that I got. It all came from them. I can't thank them enough."

While the senior said he will miss both his friends and teammates at Heritage, the excitement to start his collegiate career is in full effect.

"I'm excited," Jamison said. "Of course, I want to get a good education. Soccer wise, I want to eventually make my way into the starting lineup and prove myself there. Most freshman don't really play in college, but I want to set a new standard and be different. Score a couple of goals like this year."

Playing in the forward position as as senior, Stewart said that with his versatility, an open-mindedness at Thomas will get him on the field sooner, rather than later.

"He can play anywhere on the field besides goalkeeper," Stewart said. "I think he's going to be able to learn on the job and be a versatile player. I think that's going to help him get on the field somewhere at Thomas. That could be outside midfield, could be defensive center midfielder, could be wingback. His possibility of playing straight away is pretty high because of his versatility and his intelligence."

While Stewart had bared witness to many soccer signings in his time tenure at Heritage, watching both Jamison and Dawson sign was special, he said.

"They've earned it," Stewart said. "For any of our athletes that take the next step, they've earned it. They put the time in and the work in. We got the last quarter of their soccer career because they've put so much work in before (Heritage). By the time that you get to college, you're at that 5000 or 6000-hour mark. They've put in the work at club, they've put in the work on their own. They're good dudes, good teammates and to me, that's probably more important than just the soccer stuff."

Sports Editor

A 2017 graduate of the University of North Georgia, Colin joined the Rockdale/Newton Citizen in March of 2018 as the papers' full-time sports editor. A 2013 graduate of Jackson County High School, Colin received a golf scholarship to Andrew College.

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