Family affair: Wrestlers succeed at state, follow in brother’s footsteps

For the Thomas’, wrestling is a family affair. This year, two of the members of the Thomas family advanced to the 6A state wrestling tournament where they were coached by their older brother, also a former Viking wrestler.

“Wrestling is a family sport,” senior Ja’marcus Thomas said. “It’s our life-everything is wrestling.”

Older brother and coach, Victor Thomas has a positive attitude about the family dynamic of the team.

“It’s an awesome feeling getting to coach them.” Victor said. “At first it was a little nerve racking being in their corners. It took some time to view them as my athlete and not just my siblings.”

Having her oldest brother as a coach pushes sophomore Jenny Thomas to be the best athlete she can be.

“It means a lot that he’s my coach” Jenny said. “He pushes us a lot harder than anybody else on the team because we’re his younger siblings.”

Ja’marcus loves wrestling because of the dedication and hard work it takes to be part of the team.

“Having to come in everyday just to get slammed and wrestle and compete with your partner,” Ja’marcus said. “It is a lot of work, and losing is really rough.”

When wrestling at BHS, Victor qualified three times and placed twice at state, leaving Jenny and Ja’marcus a lot to live up to.

“Since they are my siblings, I can’t help but to hold them to a high standard.” Victor said. “So far, they have both risen to the challenge, and that makes me very proud.”

Both Jenny and Ja’marcus made it to state this year and agree that the meet was a challenge that pushed them to be better athletes.

“It was tough this year,” Ja’marcus said. “Everyone is good at state, especially at a 6A level. Every match is a battle and I could have won or lost to any one, but I came out with a lot of wins.”

Jenny had a slightly different experience with state this year.

“State meet wasn’t easy.” Jenny said “I didn’t finish how I wanted to but I’m a two time district champ as a sophomore, I got regional runner up, and I made it to day two of state. I was one match away from placing.”

Victor is proud of his two younger siblings and can’t wait to see them grow as wrestlers in the years to come.

“I would love nothing better than for them to outdo me in their careers.” Victor said. “With the way Ja’marcus has competed this year, I can say without a doubt that he has shown me up. Jennifer has the talent to pass us both, and I cannot wait to see how her career unfolds.”