Union to honor injured graduate Sterling Thomas
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Thursday, November 01, 2012
11/01/12 at 5:10 AM
Union High football players will honor former teammate Sterling Thomas during Friday's regular-season final game against Ponca City.
Thomas, now a freshman at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo., suffered a severe spinal injury in last Saturday's 45-30 win over Missouri Southern.
He was in serious condition at a hospital near the school, but is on track to recover, a Lindenwood University release said.
"This is something close to our heart," Union head coach Kirk Fridrich said. "The team is definitely shaken up by this, as many of our guys were playing with him last year."
Thomas' younger brother, Selton Thomas, a junior defensive lineman for the Redskins, is dealing with his own injury issues, Fridrich said.
Thomas made 51 tackles as a Union starting cornerback last season and intercepted a pass to set up a field goal in the Redskins' 23-22 win over Broken Arrow in the Class 6A championship game.
"He had an outstanding year. We relied on him quite a bit," Fridrich said. "But the things he did (athletically) are pretty small compared to the kind of kid he was. He was outstanding."
Fridrich said the Redskins had established an account in Thomas' name. Donations can be made at any Tulsa-area Bank of Oklahoma location.
Donations also will be collected during Friday's game, set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Union-Tuttle Stadium. The Redskins will wear helmet stickers with Thomas' initials.
Lindenwood is a Division II school playing its inaugural season in the Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association. Thomas had played in seven of the Lions' nine games, totaling four solo tackles.
"Sterling has a ton of strength and mental toughness," Lindenwood head coach Patrick Ross said in the school release. "He and his family have a long road ahead of them, but they won't be alone. ... Lindenwood University will be with them every step of the way."
Lindenwood captain Malach Radigan said the team is dedicating the remainder of its season to Thomas.
"From here on out, you'll see 108 football players selling out every play for our little brother and LU Soldier, Sterling Thomas," Radigan said.
Original Print Headline: Union to honor graduate injured in college football game
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