Continuing tradition, Thomas inks with Missouri Valley

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Cassville senior Glen Thomas recently signed a national letter of intent to play football at Missouri Valley College in Marshall. Those pictured include, front row, from left: John and Wendy Lueckenhoff, friends of the family; and John Thomas, uncle. Back row: David Large, Cassville athletic director; and Lance Parnell, Cassville football coach. Jared Lankford/sports@cassville-democrat.com

For Cassville senior football player Glen Thomas, football was a great sport but, not his ticket to a college scholarship.

"I always liked track," Thomas said. "I was fast and knew that if I was going to get a college scholarship it would probably be in track."

That all changed his senior season. After paying his dues on the junior varsity team and then as a second string varsity player, Thomas earned a starting spot on the Wildcats' defense his senior season and flourished.

"Glen has a tremendous work ethic and that is what sets him apart from a lot of players," said Lance Parnell, Cassville football coach. "He played multiple positions for us during his career and is just a great guy to be around."

Thomas changed his mind about track and signed with Missouri Valley College in Marshall to play football, instead.

"I count it a big honor and blessing to be going to college on a football scholarship," Thomas said. "The more playing time I got the more I realized this was the sport for me."

Under Parnell's eye, Thomas grew from a defensive back into a linebacker, and then weak-side defensive end.

"Glen was our speed rusher off the back side," Parnell said. "He had a simple job: go and get the quarterback."

During his senior season, Thomas amassed 45 tackles, four sacks and three tackles for loss.

He will be joining a Missouri Valley team nationally recognized as one of the oldest and most successful small college programs in the country.

In its history, Missouri Valley has won 18 conference championships, a national title, two national runner-up finishes and 13 national bowl games.

Thomas said his best memory at Cassville was home football games.

"Running out of the locker room and seeing the stands full of black and gold clad fans was awesome," Thomas said. "I don't know how to describe the feelings I had, but it made me proud to be a Wildcat. It means a lot to me, that I am part of that tradition. I want to thank the fans for their support."

Thomas would like to pursue a degree in graphic design or athletic training.

"I would tell those who want a football scholarship to keep working," Thomas said. "You can't take a day, a week or a month off. Hard work will pay off in the end."

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