On Monday night in the Bronson cafeteria, Eagles’ football coach Russell Holley addressed the audience that was there to see senior Ke’Tron Thomas sign with Edward Waters University.
One of the times that Holley first got a chance to see Thomas play was his second game against Ocala Christian Academy.
“KT was guarding a guy that was running all over him and he was having trouble staying with him, and we kept moving people around and trying to get that guy off of KT, but look at where he is now,” Holley said proudly. “When you’re young and you’re in the ninth grade or the 10th grade you’re going to take some lumps sometimes, and KT took those lumps.”
Holley noted that Thomas started off trying to be a strong safety and a corner. He was even in the backfield and tried to play quarterback.
“One of the first things that we talked about was, let’s get you in the right position and get you in the right place so that we can help you continue to play,” he said.
As a sophomore, Thomas was one of the leaders on the team. Holley said he was “somebody that everybody looked to.”
“When KT got in the weight room, everybody went in the weight room,” Holley said. “Between his sophomore and his junior year what KT did in the weight room was miraculous. He led by example.”
Thomas had a rough senior season and only played in four games due to injury, but Holley noted that if it had not been for the hard work that Thomas put in the weight room the injury would have been serious—an ACL tear.
A defensive player by trade, Thomas was injured in week one after getting hit while catching a swing pass.
“The weight room saved him from a serious knee injury the way he was hit,” Holley said.
What he did in the weight room allowed him to continue to play. It also allowed him to compete at a high level.
“The weight room was everything for me because I’m undersized (5-foot-7) and it really just equalized me with everybody else knowing that no matter how big and fast you are I can still tackle you because we’re the same amount of strength,” he said.
The hard work has paid off and he now has a chance to play football at the next level and continue his education.
“Ever since I decided to come out the spring of my ninth-grade year, going into the fall of 10th grade, I knew automatically that I really wanted to play football,” Thomas said. “And coming into high school and having a not so high GPA, I knew that sports could help get me to the next level because without sports I probably wouldn’t even be going to college.”
Thomas, who said he is both coachable and versatile, came back and played in the final three games in the fall. He finished with 28 tackles in just four games.
“We ended up 5-5, but with [Thomas] we probably win a couple more,” Holley said. “He’s been a leader and kids gravitate towards him.”
Thomas, who is expected to play a hybrid safety/linebacker position at EWC, will report to the Tigers in June. He joins teammate Jesse Williams as the latest Bronson player to advance to the college level. Williams signed with Rhodes College on April 28.