The season may have come to an end, but there are plenty of noteworthy moments that make this past season unforgettable. Some of which may have a positive impact on the futures of many young and talented athletes. Garden City RB Tomaz McNeil is just one of those budding athletes with amazing training ethics, a ton of natural talent, and a genuine love for the game of football.
We had the opportunity to talk with Tomaz about this past season and all the trials and joys it brought upon their football team as well as him personally. While many football players have specialized skills and single positions on a team, those who know Tomaz say he is a jack-of-all trades. In fact, he has been called Garden City's "Mr. Everything" because of his incredibly versatile abilities which include running, catching, returning kicks, and even defensive play.
This season, Tomaz had 176 carries for 1006 rushing yards with zero fumbles. He also recorded 38 receiving yards on 3 catches along with 324 return yards on 15 attempts in only eight games.
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Numbers don't lie folks, and it's no question that Tomaz is an exceptional football player which is one reason Garden City turned their program around and nearly made it to the playoffs two years in a row. Last year they were in a neck to neck game with Allen Park in the first round of the playoffs, but their efforts fell short of victory by one point.
"Last year when our team made the playoffs," Tomaz commented. "It felt pretty good, especially since we hadn't been there in eight years, but losing to Allen Park in the first round by one point was truly heartbreaking."
But despite the loss, Tomaz still played amazing games this year which included both the Redford Union games and the first Edsel Ford game. These games would probably be considered the highlight of Tomaz's performance this season, but regardless of his obvious talent this high schooler doesn't mind sharing the spot light with his very deserving teammates.
"In the Redford Union game I was able to accomplish a total of 168 yards on 28 carries and 4 touchdowns" recalls McNeil. Edsel Ford allowed me 21 carries, 156 yards and a single touchdown, but none of it would have been possible without my line. I couldn't have went anywhere without them."
Behind every good player is a very patient, hardworking and dedicated coach; Garden City High School's Coach Murray is no exception. Garden City's football team can also accredit many of their winning efforts to Coach Murray's training and guidance.
"He teaches us that you have to work for what you want and that no one will just give you a win. Most of all, he teaches us to play as a family which has been the key to many of our successes."
So what's next for our talented football player? With high school football behind him, we can probably expect more action on the field from Tomaz come time for college football season next year. For some reason, McNeil has been under the radar of many colleges, but many schools have started to take notice as they see some of his exceptional game film.
"I'm actually not on the radar as much as you think, but so far Olivet University, Trine University and Adrian University have all contacted me thanks to the efforts of Coach Murray and a few other coaches who are all helping me out. I've had a lot of positive feedback from the colleges themselves and many of them tell me that I'm "the man for the job."
McNeil will be an absolute steal for any D2 team who finds out about him, and this article might be all it takes for several coaches to take notice. On December 21st, he along with countless others will be attending MichiganPreps Unsigned Senior Camp at Total Sports Complex. This is THE event of the year for unsigned seniors and McNeil is the perfect example of the the kind of players who this will benefit.
"I've just been hitting the weight room and working out," McNeil responds when asked if he'll be ready for the Unsigned Senior Camp. "I've also been speed training with Coach Merhi as well as doing boxes which really helps to improve my skills. Hopefully I can get these scouts to see what our coaching staff at Garden City sees in me; a hard worker with a lot of heart for the game."