Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 21, 2018

Carson Thomas: a study in perseverance

Sep 25, 2017

By Xiomara Levsen, The JOURNAL


At the homecoming game began Friday evening, Washington High School Homecoming King Carson Thomas was able to carry the football into the end zone for a touchdown.

His parents, Kelley and Dave Thomas, watched in anticipation from the sidelines and listened to the cheers from the crowd when Carson ran across the goal line.

“It’s pretty cool when you have a kid that loves football and loves Demon football [to] get to do this,” Kelley said. “Any parent wants to see your kid have a smile on his face.”

Ryan Reighard and Jacob Hall were the two classmates, along with Ryan’s mom, Vicki Reighard, who advocated for Carson to be able to do a touchdown, Kelley said.

The student body at Washington High School also voted for Carson to be their homecoming king, which was announced Thursday evening.

“The student body has always really been so good to him,” Kelley said.

“It’s a big community doing big things,” Dave added.

Carson has digeorge syndrome and can’t do day-to-day things most people are able to do.

“It’s a large spectrum of things, but a lot of kids have major organ stuff,” Kelley said. “He just basically has physically and developmentally [issues].”

However, he’s attending school and watching his favorite team — the Demons — play. He is also considered to be a part of the Demon football team as an honorary player.

“While Carson is unable to physically handle the demands of the day-in and day-out practice of the game of football, he still is at practice and on the sidelines of games cheering on his teammates,” head football coach Garrison Carter said. “Carson is at practice every day. He wears his jersey down the halls on game day.

“His smile is infectious and he has been an inspiration to myself and the team.”

Carter said Carson has never complained about anything and shows other kids what it means to persevere.

“A lot of people think they have it bad,” Carter said. “Carson has overcome so much to be where he is today. He is the product of two strong and dedicated parents who refused to give up. Every time he steps on the practice field or sideline on game night it puts a lot in perspective. Kids complaining about that extra sprint they have to run, or a drill they don’t want to do instantly become invalid excuses.”

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