Home Local Sports Tomorrow’s Talent: Jayden Hamilton and Makayla Brown

Tomorrow’s Talent: Jayden Hamilton and Makayla Brown

Jayden Hamilton (left) and Makayla Brown (right) were student-athletes at Rockingham and Hamlet this year. (Deon Cranford)

With 2021-22 school year now over, area high school sports fans have a couple of months off before the Richmond Raider sports teams are in action again. 

For those that do not follow middle school sports, the Richmond Observer will take a look at some future Raiders that you may or may not know about.  Today’s featured female and male middle school athlete are Makayla Brown of Hamlet Middle and Jayden Hamilton of Rockingham Middle.

Makayla Brown

If it is a goal for all athletes to be the best at what they do, then rising freshman Makayla Brown did just that at Hamlet Middle School this year.   Brown served as a cheerleader for Hamlet Middle during the fall and winter sports seasons before joining the Lady Red Rams soccer team in the spring.  At the school’s recent athletic awards ceremony, Brown was tabbed as the school’s most valuable player for both cheerleading and soccer.

Brown enjoyed her time as a cheerleader and credits her coach Peyton Turnage for both her instruction and her care. “She is really good and so respectful,” Brown said of Turnage.

There were not enough adjectives available for Turnage when describing Brown.  “Makayla is one of the most down to earth, caring, strong, driven, kindest and hardworking cheerleaders I’ve ever had the privilege to coach,” shared Turnage.

While Brown loves to cheer, she also enjoyed her time on the soccer pitch.  The speedy eighth grader notably recorded a hat trick against Anson in the first round of the middle school playoffs in May.

In addition to sports, Brown also joined Red Rams News at Hamlet Middle.  She plans to continue participating in cheerleading and soccer at Richmond Senior High School.

Jayden Hamilton

Probably one of the biggest names to come out of middle school athletics this school year, Jayden Hamilton shined whenever given the opportunity.  The Rockingham Middle eighth grader stayed busy in each of the three athletic seasons competing in football in the fall, basketball in the winter and soccer in the spring.

At Rockingham Middle’s athletic awards ceremony, Hamilton received the MVP award in both football and basketball, and shared MVP honors with teammate Jake Veach in soccer.  His contributions to the trio of Rocket programs earned him at spot on Rockingham Middle’s all-around athlete list and he was also named the 2022 Male Athlete of the Year.


Hamilton says that winning the conference championship in basketball was definitely the highlight of this school year and says that all of his coaches, in each sport, helped him a lot.

“Jayden demonstrates excellence leadership skills,” said Deion Green, Rockingham Middle social worker and assistant basketball coach.  “He also works very hard in the classroom. He’s very helpful to his classmates. Even though he’s the man on campus, he puts others before himself – that’s what makes him so great. He’s very well-mannered and just an awesome guy to be around.”

Hamilton has no plans of slowing down.  As he moves on to the Ninth Grade Academy, he hopes to play football, basketball and track throughout his high school years. 

Less than a week after his final school day as a Rockingham Middle School student, Hamilton participated in his first high school football meeting and competed with the high school basketball program against multiple area schools in Richmond Senior’s basketball jamboree at Raider Gym.  He is also playing travel basketball as well.

Rockingham Middle head basketball coach Julius Bowden describes Hamilton as “hardworking, accountable and very respectful.”  

“Jayden played a major role in our success this season on the court,” shared Bowden.  “He is a proven leader on and off the court. That quality will help him continue to be successful in whatever he decides to do.”

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