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SPORTS FEATURE

Gabe Thomas: from Zebra to Wolverine

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
By: Aaron Jackson for The News Messenger
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Former Lincoln High Fighting Zebra Gabe Thomas is now a Sierra College Wolverine. Thomas has gone from being a great defender in Lincoln to being a solid starter in Rocklin.

“Lincoln football was the best thing that has happened to me. Coach Bean had a huge impact on my life,” Thomas said. “I loved playing for the community and it got me excited to want to play college football.”

Thomas totaled 48 tackles and a half sack playing varsity at Lincoln. So far, as a Wolverine, he has 14 tackles and two sacks through six games.

His efforts have helped Sierra compile a 4-2 record and his sacks put him in a tie for third highest on the team.

After graduating high school in 2017, Thomas did not participate in sports. This season, the defensive lineman decided to lace up his cleats once again.

“I’ve loved it, making the choice to go back to football, especially at Sierra. (It) is one of the best decisions I have made,” Thomas said. “I love the coaching staff, players and the program in general.”

Outside of football, Thomas is carrying 15 academic units. He said his days are 10-12 hours long.

He said it has not been hard balancing school with football, but said it has been time consuming. He said the hardest part is sitting around waiting for classes or practice to begin.

While Thomas has performed very well, there are areas of his game where he feels he can improve.

“I want to work on my speed a little more,” said the 6-foot-2-inch, 235-pound freshman. “This offseason, I want to get bigger and take the weight room more seriously.

“I plan on big things for next year and the weight room would be key for getting better,” Thomas added.

Although Thomas is very active on the defensive side of the ball, he has scored a touchdown catching a 1-yard pass from fellow Zebra-to-Wolverine Ryan Graham.

He said the play was designed specifically for him.

He said he enjoys playing with friends he played with in high school. He said that local camaraderie brings the team closer, as well. 

Thomas has already received offers from multiple four-year colleges. His has been recruited by Missouri Valley College and Graceland University.

Thomas said if things do not go as planned after transferring to a four-year college, he plans to become a firefighter. He also had some advice for others who want to play sports in college.

“Up your mindset; don’t be caught up in how good you were in high school because things change when you get to the upper level,” Thomas said. “It’s not going to be as easy.”

Meanwhile, the former Zebra will continue playing a key role in Sierra’s success doing what he loves.