By Chris McCarthy/ Publisher/Editor
Three state medals were not the only prizes that Lamar Thomas earned this past track and field season.
On July 11, the Etowah High senior signed a scholarship with Kansas City (Kans.) Community College.
Thomas capped his only year on the EHS track team with three medals at the Class 5A state track and field meet in May. He won the first place gold medal in the 100-meter dash with a time of 11.05 seconds and captured the third-place bronze in the 200-meter dash with a time of 22.13 seconds. He also was a member of the Blue Devils’ silver medal winning 400-meter relay team along with DeTavise Glover, Trey Parker and Tevin Peterson.
Thomas, whose gold medal is believed to be the first for Etowah since at least 1999, said that EHS assistant track coach Jim Bogle was instrumental in obtaining the scholarship.
“I thought that I wasn’t going to get [a scholarship] at first, but Coach Bogle really helped me out,” said Thomas, who plans on studying criminal justice at KCCC. “I also want to thank my brother Andrew, my mother and all other coaches here. They never gave up on me in helping me get to go to college.”
Thomas’ best time in the 100-meter event this spring was at a meet in Albertville, where he ran a 10.03. Thomas defeated Oxford High football standout and Auburn University signee Roc Thomas in that race.
“Lamar passed [Roc Thomas] in the last 20 meters with emphasis, and the whole crowd knew at that point that [Lamar] would win,” said EHS head track coach Blake Hudson. “Lamar really was a blessing to coach, and he listens really well.
Trey and Tevin have been my fastest sprinters since they were in the 7th grade, and Lamar consistently blew their doors off at practice. He’s upper-echelon fast. Along with his God-given speed, once Lamar gets some maturity and muscle on him with the college workout program, he’ll probably run 9.09’s, and that’s scary fast.”
Thomas currently is competing with the AAU Gadsden Burners in a summer track league.
According to the KCCC website, head track and field coach Al Hobson has coached Fana Ashby, the 100 and 200-meter National Junior College Athletic Association national champion in 2003. Hobson also had two 4×100 and two 4×400 national champion relays and two sprint medley and 4×100 and 4×400 relay teams win championships at the Texas Relays, as well as many events won at the Kansas Relays.
“With Coach Hobson, Lamar’s going to a guy that really knows track and field,” said Bogle. “He’ll be able to fix stuff with La-mar that we couldn’t do. [Hobson] has coached several Olympians, so Lamar has a great opportunity out there.
As the Blue Devils’ top receiver last season, Thomas caught 35 passes for 627 yards. He was named to the Class 5A, All-Region 7 first team.
“Lamar’s speed is phenomenal, and he’s one of the most gifted athletes that I’ve ever been around,” said EHS head football coach Drew Noles. “I don’t know if I’ve ever been as proud of a person as I am with Lamar. He’s come a long way, both on and off the field, and he’s got a bright future in front of him. With continued training, Lamar has the chance to do some really extraordinary things.”