Opp senior earns chance to play at next level

Published 12:05 am Friday, April 1, 2016

Raheem Bonam bust through an arm tackle.

Raheem Bonam bust through an arm tackle.

Opp High School standout senior Raheem Bonam has earned a scholarship and the chance to play football next season for North East Community College in Booneville, Miss.

“It feels really good,” Bonam said. “I had a few schools talking to me, but they were the main ones.”

For his career at Opp, Bonam rushed for 2,067 yards and scored 33 total touchdowns. His junior season, Bonam rushed for 1,336 yards and 18 touchdowns as he helped led the Bobcats to the third round of the playoffs.

“I had an outstanding junior year, but I kind of fell off my senior year,” Bonam said. “ I’m glad God has given me another chance to bounce back, and not only play ball but to get my education. I want to do that so that I can make my mom and the City of Opp proud.”

Bonam rushed for 622 yards and seven touchdowns his senior season. Bonam also caught 12 passes for 199 yards and two scores, and added two interceptions as a defensive back.

“I know he felt he had a down year, but even the best players have a tough time when everyone knows who you are,” Hill said. “A lot teams keyed on him, but he never gave up and continued to do help his team.”

Three words constantly come up when talking to those who know Bonam best; passion, talent and humble.

“He is a very gifted young man,” Opp head football coach Brent Hill said. “He is a legit 4.4 runner, and a low 4.4 at that.”

That’s just part of the talent that Bonam brings to the field.

“Raheem is just an outstanding young man,” Hill said. “My family loves him. He spends some time over at the house and we just love the kid. There are a lot of families around Opp that feel the same way about him. We are all excited that he is getting this chance.”

Hill said that North East Community College coaches also seem to be excited to land the senior.

“He is perfect fit for them and they seem to be very excited about him coming,” Hill said. “With junior colleges, they can only bring in the eight guys from out of state. He will be competing with one other player for a spot. Most of the time in junior college you get one year to prove yourself and then you are gone if you don’t. They have already said that if the other guy beats him out that they would redshirt Raheem.”

Hill said that Bonam’s game come from his passion for it.

“He always works hard and tries improve himself and his teammates,” Hill said. “In my opinion, North East isn’t just getting a good athlete, they are getting a great kid. He isn’t boastful and he is very humble.”

Bonam will head to North East Community College over the summer.