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July 15, 2009 > Chris Thomas on his way to Columbia

Chris Thomas on his way to Columbia

By Jeff Weisinger

Anyone that had a chance to know or meet recent Moreau Catholic graduate Chris Thomas knows that he is a kid on his way to certain success, not just on the football field, but in life.

Thomas, who starred at Moreau Catholic as a defensive back and kick returner, is on his way to attend Columbia University where he'll continue his football career.

"I wanted it to be his decision," said Anthony Thomas, Chris' father. "When I asked him why, he said 'afterwards when I graduate, you have Wall Street out there and the business mecca, where I can make business contacts and walk in the door.' "

The New York City-based Ivy League school has a graduation rate of 86 percent, with a majority of it's students going into the business world.

"What set it apart was the coach's vision," said Thomas of his future coach at Columbia. "He wanted men who would commit to a cause and have a goal in mind."

In his two years on the varsity with the Mariners, Thomas racked up a total of five interceptions as a defensive back, and caught 20 balls for 300 yards with two touchdowns. However, most of Thomas' action came on special teams, where he returned seven kickoffs for touchdowns in his two years on varsity.

Despite everything that Thomas achieved on the field, he alone could not help the Mariners get over the hump as Moreau Catholic finished the 2009 season 0-12.

"He's sort of the guy that everyone rallies around to give us that upbeat feeling during times of hardship," Mariners coach Andrew Cotter said about Thomas. "He was able to take a positive in the worst of situations and get everybody back in focus. You know you're seeing something special."

Thomas leaves a rebuilding situation at Moreau Catholic, and enters another one at Columbia. In 2008, the Lions finished the season 2-8, with their only victories coming against Dartmouth and Cornell. However, despite Columbia's losing season last year, Thomas is going in with a very steady mindset.

"Winning is great, but you learn more from your losses," Thomas mentioned. "This season showed me all the things I need to work on. We did lose, but that's not the end, and it will change."

The Lions will be a more veteran team in 2009, only losing nine seniors. They were outscored a total of 245-171 last year, allowing an average of 328 yards a game.

"Columbia is getting somebody who will not quit, will always preserve and will look at adversity in the face and use that as a burning desire to work hard," Cotter added. "He's not scared to go into a situation that has a rebuilding sort of thing that has to happen. He's the kind of kid that will see that happen. They're gaining something special."

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