The 22-year-old Fredericton native and Leo Hayes High
School football product, a fourth round draft choice of the Bombers in the
Canadian college draft in May, is part of the Canadian Football League club’s
46-man roster which was field with the league Friday night. He’ll travel with
the team to Vancouver for Saturday’s season opening game against the reigning
Grey Cup champion B.C. Lions in a rematch of the Grey Cup game.
“It’s pretty awesome,” said the soft-spoken,
six-foot-two inch, 266 pound defensive lineman, who starred with the Acadia
Axemen of the Atlantic University Sport Football Conference, where he achieved
Thomas called the realization of his pro football
ambition “a dream come true.”
“Watching all my brothers always playing football,
it’s something I always wanted to do for life. It’s pretty awesome I can make a
living at it.”
Thomas is the youngest of three Thomas boys. His older
brother Josh was a star at Acadia before Jake followed in his footsteps. Billy
was a running back at Mount Allison University. Thomas will wear number 95 for
the Blue Bombers, the number he wore in high school at Leo Hayes and last year
with Team Canada at the International Federation of American Football
tournament in Vienna, where he helped Canada to a silver medal.
“It was also Josh’s high school number (at Fredericton
High School) so I think that’s probably why I picked it back when I played high
Thomas felt he had “about a 50-50 chance” to make the
Bombers’ roster as a rookie.
“I thought I had an OK chance,” he said. “It wasn’t
going to be a guarantee by any means. But I was just trying to get better every
day...run to the ball and do all the things that didn’t really take skill work
but were more hard work...learn the technique, but always have my motor at 100
It paid off. He played sparingly in the Bombers’ two
exhibition games, starting on specialty teams and briefly on the defensive
line. The Bombers split those games, beating the Montreal Alouettes 22-10 on
June 14 and losing a 26-25 heartbreaker to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last
Wednesday at home.
Thomas compared the step to pro football from
university to the one he made from high school to university ball at Acadia
five years ago.
“It’s kind of like that again,” he said. “You get here
and everything is faster...everyone’s bigger, stronger, faster. But as the
weeks go on, you get used to the tempo. But there’s definitely a learning curve
the first few days.”
Thomas completed his first practice with the final
46-man roster Sunday morning. They’ll practise at home for three more days
before flying to Vancouver Thurday for the Friday night season opener. The
Bombers play their first four games on the road, including a July 6 appointment
in Montreal against the Alouettes.
“I hope to play every game and eventually work my way
onto the field,” said Thomas, listed third on the Bombers’ depth chart at left
defensive tackle in the last exhibition game behind two players who have since
been released, including veteran Dorian Smith and Ryan Lucas, both among the
final cuts. “I want to make an impact on special teams as best I can.”
Thomas expects to be nervous.
“I get nervous before pretty much every game,” he
said. “I think that’s a good thing. I find if I start to get complacent, that’s
when I play badly. But I’ll probably be a little extra nervous for this game.”
Thomas signed a two-year contract with a team option
for a third shortly after being selected by the Bombers in the draft.
Welcome to my Blog. I am the four term Councillor for beautiful and prosperous Ward 3, having first been elected in 2001, and again in 2004, 2008 and May 14, 2012.
Ward 3 is on the northside of Fredericton (the majestic Saint John River carves the city into equal north/south components). For those familair with our city, the approximate Ward 3 boundaries are: the Saint John River to the south, St. Mary's 1st Nation/Cliffe Street to the east, Brookside Drive to the west and the city limits/Killarney Lake to the north.
In my intial two terms, I was asked to co-chair the massive rewrite and public hearing process for Fredericton's new Municipal Plan. I also served two years as the Citys' Deputy Mayor; two years as Chair of the Development Services Committee, and as the inaugural Chair of the City of Fredericton Affordable Housing Committee.
In the third term, I had the honor of serving as Chair; Finance & Administration Committee for three years, Chair; City of Fredericton Pension Board for three year and continued as Chair of the Affordable Housing Committee
In this fourth term, I have been appointed Chair of Community Services, which encompasses recreation, liesure services, sports & facilites, parks and trees, and senior's issues. I am also serving as Chair of the labour/management contract Negotiaitons Committee, also as Chair of the City Employee's SuperAnnuation (pension) Board, and again, as Affordable Housing Chair
Please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or at Fredericton City Hall, PO Box 130, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 4Y7 (506) 460-2020