NFL Draft weekend was a milestone in the life of Altavista native and 2015 graduate Juan Thornhill.The former Altavista Colonels football star, who most recently played for the Virginia Cavaliers, was chosen by the Kansas City Chiefs in the second round as the 63rd overall pick. Having played the de-fensive backfield positions of cornerback and safety during his tenure at Virgin-ia, Thornhill fills a need in Kansas City’s secondary after the release of long-time veteran safety Eric Berry, who was let go due to high salary cap numbers and injury concerns that have kept him sidelined for much of the last two seasons. Thornhill had a sign-ing party Friday night (the night he was drafted) at Two Sisters Tap Room in Altavista, which is run by Altavista Mayor Mike Mattox. Mattox said the local community is glad to see Thornhill representing the community at the highest level of sports. “The people of Altavista are proud of Juan and wish him well. He reflects our community very well,” he said. Apparently, the Chiefs have gained a new fan base in the Altavista area as a result of them drafting one of their citizens. “Someone said that with Juan getting drafted to Kansas City, they know they’ve got 3,500 addi-tional fans,” Mattox said. The Chiefs plan to use Thornhill at the safety po-sition. Tyrann Mathieu is slotted to start at one safe-ty spot, while Thornhill will compete for playing time at the other spot with players such as Daniel So-renson, Jordan Lucas and Armani Watts.
For more on this story, see this week's Altavista Journal.