Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Maurice Thorne: the Local Guy

If you were to come across Maurice (Rece) Thorne as you walked the streets of Richmond, you would have no idea he was a professional athlete.  He comes off as just another local guy who works, enjoys his family and loves football.  But once you get to know him, you realize just how passionate he is about playing for his hometown team, the Richmond Raiders.

Raised in Hopewell, VA, Rece began playing football at the age of seven in a local junior league where he started at HB and won a title under Coach Peanut.  As he continued through his adolescence, Rece played at several positions, but found his true calling at DB.  The highlight of his high school career came in December of 2003 when Hopewell High School beat Massaponax in the state championship. The roster was loaded with football talent, including Jerrett Brown (Richmond Raiders), PJ Berry (New Orleans VooDoo), and DeShaun Parker.  The victory was even more meaningful that year as it was Rece's final year at Hopewell and they had beaten local rival Meadowbrook to make it to the the championship game. 

After high school graduation, Rece attended North Carolina Wesleyan.  While the main focus was academics, he did join the football team, where he went on to play in five games.  Rece decided to leave North Carolina after his freshman year and moved back to the Richmond area to pursue a career in finance.  Even though he had put football behind him, it called him back in the form of local semi-pro teams.

Rece joined the RAFL VA Cowboys (http://www.rafl.net/) and the VA Hornets (http://www.vahornets.com/) and continued to grow as a defensive player.  It was at one of these team functions that he first heard about the Richmond Raiders in the fall of 2009.  Immediately Rece knew it was time to go pro.

He attended the open try-outs and made the 2010 roster for the Richmond Raiders, playing along side Jerome Mann and Deleon Raynor in the backfield, and Jerrett Brown at LB.  The Raiders would end up with a 6-8 record in the AIFA East and missed the playoffs.  After the 2010 season, the Raider roster faced massive turn over as the core of the 2010 Richmond Revolution came aboard and a majority of the first year Raider players signed with Fayetteville.  Rece stayed put.

The 2011 Raider team was stacked with talent but was plagued with injuries.  Rece didn't see much playing time during the first half of the season, but when Stephen Cason and JR Rosegreen went out, he came in and became a play maker.  He would finish the 2011 season leading the Raider defense in total interceptions.  The Raiders finished the 2011 season with a record of 6-6.

When asked what it meant to him to be a part of the Richmond Raiders, Rece responded "I'm the under the radar guy.  I'm the local guy.  When you go to Kroger you might see me there.  I'm not going anywhere unless I get called up.  I will never forget where I came from."

If Rece can come back in 2012 and repeat his 2011 performance, there is no question that the he will leave the under the radar title far behind.

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