THA’s Thomas is on the mend, talks region-winning season
Logan Thomas’ football season ended with 8 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in Thomas Heyward’s SCISA Class A state playoff game against visiting Pee Dee.
The Rebels were trying to keep the Eagles from taking the lead on Nov. 10 as Thomas, the team’s four-year starting quarterback, who was starting at safety for the first time since his freshman season, charged hard to make a tackle on the right sideline.
Thomas rammed into Pee Dee’s McKinley Smith, knocking the senior receiver out of bounds. When he landed, Thomas remembers a couple of players “collapsing” on him.
The impact broke his fibula and tore ligaments in his left ankle. Thomas had played through a shoulder injury in the past, but despite the adrenaline keeping the pain at bay Thomas knew this injury was different. He needed assistance leaving the field.
“I knew I couldn’t play,” he said.
Less than a week later he’d be named the Region 2-A offensive player of the year, but for the rest of the semifinal Thomas could only watch as Pee Dee rallied and the Rebels lost 42-34.
“It was very hard,” Thomas said last Thursday, a day before surgery was scheduled. He was set to have a plate put in the leg. “I talked to Pablo (Orozco) our center, telling him to lead. To get him to vocally get it done. It was hard to sit and watch.”
Thomas hopes to be out of the cast by the end of February and begin rehab. He also hopes to compete during the spring in SCISA’s speed and strength competition.
He hasn’t given up on football. Thomas applied for early decision to Wofford College in Spartanburg. If he’s accepted, he plans to study international business and hopes to be able to be a football walk-on at the NCAA Division I (FCS) school.
“The perfect fit. Wofford’s not too small, not too big,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the state semifinal playoff game was similar to last season’s 42-35 playoff loss at Pee Dee, both games were back and forth.
“It was kind of like déjà vu,” he said.
THA led 26-14 at halftime before Pee Dee rallied for a 28-26 third-quarter lead. The Rebels went ahead 34-28 after Thomas’ 1-yard scoring run and J.R. Patterson’s two-point conversion, but Pee Dee scored to take a 35-34 lead with 4:27 remaining in the game.
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound Thomas, who last started at safety Sept. 26, 2014 at Dorchester, said he was excited to play both ways.
“I’m not afraid of contact,” said Thomas, who often played safety during practice drills. “I was ready.”
The loss didn’t diminish the Rebels’ successful season. THA was 9-3 and won a region crown for the first time since 2007.
After starting the season 1-2 — and being a combined 13-19 the prior three seasons — Thomas said he and fellow senior Zach Bond made sure this season didn’t end in mediocrity. Even though Thomas Heyward had 21 underclassmen, Thomas and Bond believed the team could go on a winning streak.
“I was talking to Zach and we said we didn’t want the season to be the same way (as prior years),” Thomas said “We started turning it up.”
The Rebels won eight straight games before the loss to Pee Dee. Thomas said Bond, the region defensive player of the year, helped spark the team.
“He gets them fired up,” Thomas said. “I’ve watched him mature and grow up into that vocal leader.”
Thomas said he and the team were inspired all season and especially during the two playoff games by the supportive home crowd.
“We had big crowds,” Thomas said. “To know we are doing something special, it motivates me more.”