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Valwood Valiants senior wide receiver Tajh Sanders is loving his new home in Hahira.
When he steps on the field, the defense needs to know where he’s lining up at all times. Sanders brings explosiveness on every snap with a quick first step to get away from his defender.
Through three games, his decision to come to Valwood after being ruled ineligible at Valdosta High School has paid immediate dividends. As Sanders puts it, it doesn’t matter what jersey you have on – it’s about how much you love the game.
“It was unexpected, once we moved from Moultrie, I knew the rest of my school career would be as a Wildcat.” Sanders said. “However, due to some unfortunate events that have transpired in order to continue my football career, I had to choose a private school. It’s a change of pace, but it’s football and I love this sport.”
Sanders has made a huge impact on the Valiants’ offense, becoming a highlight machine on his catches. His longest touchdown came two weeks ago against Savannah Christian as he appeared to be tackled before breaking loose and running 80-yards for a touchdown.
Since arriving at Valwood, Sanders already leads the team in receptions, touchdown catches and all-purpose yards.
Sanders went into this off-season with the goal of becoming a better receiver.
“I worked on all aspects of my game, strength, speed, agility, hands and my balance,” Sanders said. “Anything that I think will take my game to the next level.”
Last week against Georgia Christian in Dasher, Sanders showed everything he’s worked on. Special teams is a critical part of the game, but with Sanders lined up to return, things can get dangerous for the opposition.
Sanders wasted no time making an impact as he returned a punt 75 yards to the house – making it back-to-back weeks with Sanders having a touchdown play over 70 yards.
Playing in the GISA after playing in Region 1-7A at Colquitt and Region 1-6A at Valdosta, Sanders is seeing what the GISA has to offer for the first time.
“In my first three games, I’ve learned that there is talent in all levels of high school football not just GHSA,” Sanders said. “A lot of people think there isn’t any talent in GISA, but there is a lot of talent over here.”
A playmaker like Sanders not only earns the respect of opponents, but the respect of teammates as a senior leader.
“Coach Henderson inspires me to be a better leader because a lot of the players look up to me, despite what I have been through,” Sanders said. “He motivates me to keep pushing and not give up! I really like that about him, really all of my teammates.”
After much uncertainty about where he would play after the controversy at Valdosta, Sanders is glad to find a home for his senior year and focus on helping the Valiants win games.
“At this point, I just need a school that is just as committed to me as I am to them,” Sanders said. “Continuing my education and football career.”