The Hinesville Hurricanes semi-professional football team will host the Middle Georgia Pitbulls at 7 p.m. tomorrow. The squad is dedicating the game to Dakarai Thompkins, a Hinesville toddler who died Wednesday from injuries sustained Sunday when he was struck by a driver who now faces a DUI and other charges.
"For us it’s all about working with the community and helping this family heal," Hurricanes coach James Sharp said. "Coach Michael ‘Ice’ Jones and I spoke with Thompkins’ parents, Marshall and Michelle, about honoring their son, so we plan to have a few things in place for this during the game."
Last season, the Hurricanes annihilated the Middle Georgia Pitbulls, 55- 6, during a home game in June. But the Pitbulls avenged the loss on their turf in August, winning 18-0.
Sharp said his team doesn’t want to lose on its home field.
"We are prepared," he said. "Our players even took it upon themselves to train on a day when the coaches were not available and then we practiced yesterday."
The team went 2-0 in the pre-season and currently is 2-1 in the regular season. The ’Canes’ first loss came June 26 at the hands of the Flying Raiders, the reigning league champions. The Hinesville boys lost by 2 points.Sharp said his team hopes to make the championship game this year, especially since Liberty County Recreation Department Director Jimmy Martin gave the ’Canes coach the OK to host the match.
"I talked to Jimmy Martin yesterday and we got the approval to host the championship game here in Hinesville," Sharp said. "We hosted a championship game once before on Fort Stewart but we weren’t in it and that didn’t sit well with us at all. We are going to make sure that doesn’t happen again."
But the coach said they have to knock out each opponent one game at a time, and tomorrow it’s the Pitbulls day to fall.
The game and dedication are at Long Bell Stadium in Hinesville. Admission is $5 and children 12 and younger are free. There will be concessions available for purchase and raffle tickets for prize giveaways will be sold. Raffle winners must present tickets to claim prizes.