Player coached by local men leads team in TDs

Published 8:31 am Friday, June 25, 2010

A former Smithfield High School running back who played under head coach Joe Jones of Holland and assistant coach Ronald “Butch” Turner of Franklin has scored 27 touchdowns this season for the American Indoor Football Association with the Harrisburg (Pa.) Stampede.

The news doesn’t surprise Jones, who began working with Eugene Goodman, a 2001 Smithfield High graduate, during his freshman year of high school.

“As a freshman he was on the JV team,” said Jones. “In 10th grade, we decided to keep him at JV. Every time we had practice, he was sneaking over to the varsity. I’d turn around, and he’d be in the huddle.”

Turner, who on Saturday saw Goodman’s team play against the Richmond Raiders at the Richmond Coliseum, was thrilled to see him score three touchdowns, including one on a 19-yard pass from the quarterback.

“I just love watching my kids that I coached,” Turner said. “It just means so much to see them succeed. He’s a great kid and has a great desire to be successful.”

Goodman leads the Stampede in rushing with 333 yards or 3.9 yards per carry. He also leads in touchdowns and kickoff returns with 11, carrying the ball 304 yards or an average of 27.6 yards per carry for 2 touchdowns.

Goodman in 2005 graduated from Liberty University in Lynchburg, where he studied sports management. He also played in the Canadian Football League.

The Stampede is 10-3 in the conference and plays its final game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 26, against the N.J. Revolution.