Bushland coach Jimmy Thomas, right, talks with his son and Falcons quarterback, Jared, during a game earlier this season. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]
Bushland head coach Jimmy Thomas has plenty to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.
He’s thankful his Falcons have been on a season-long roll at 12-0 overall.
He’s sure thankful that his team is still strapping on the pads after turkey day, when Bushland squares off with Brock in a Class 3A Division I regional semifinal at 3 p.m. Friday at Hawks Stadium in Iowa Park.
But what Thomas is most thankful for is the quality time he’s gotten to spend coaching his son, and Falcon senior quarterback, Jared.
“It’s been fun,” said Thomas said, who is 47-24 in six seasons at Bushland. “I’m just trying to take it all in because it goes so fast.”
Jared echoed his father’s comments.
“You see how rewarding it is and how special it is to have your dad on the sideline,” Jared said. “I know if there’s something I do wrong I’m going to get that look from him, or hear it from him. But I’ve been lucky to have this opportunity.”
Jared split time at quarterback early last season as a junior, while making a hand at linebacker. Jared ended up missing the five-game district season with a severe leg injury. When he tried to make it back for the playoffs, Jared’s luck took another wrong turn when he tore his ACL.
After a recovery, and strong rehab, Jared has thrived as a senior leader for the unbeaten Falcons in 2019.
Playing in all 12 games, he’s thrown for 2,729 yards with 43 touchdown passes to only six interceptions.
Jared also leads the team in rushing with 464 yards adding another 10 TDs.
“What stands out to me is the year he’s had,” said Thomas, who is 109-62 in 16 years as a head coach. “Jared’s done a good job for us, and taken major strides. It’s been special to share this kind of year with him.”
Being the son of a coach, Jared has seen his father’s offense for years, giving him the smarts to be another game manager on the field.
Bushland coach Jimmy Thomas, left, and his son, Jared, share a passion for football. [Kale Steed/ Press Pass Sports]
“We’ve had great quarterbacks at Bushland,” Thomas said. “I know there are better runners or passers, but Jared is one of the better pre-snap QB’s I’ve seen. He does a good job at the line, and he knows where to go with the football.”
Whether on the field or off it, the immediate bond Thomas and his son Jared share is a passion for football. The two live it, watch it, eat it and breathe it. That’s been the case since Jared could walk.
“I have a picture of him drooling on a district championship gold ball when he was nine months old,” Thomas said. “He was a ball boy for us when he was little. My dad, myself and Jared, we all have just loved being around the game.”
It’s been awesome,” Jared said. “I’ve been lucky to grow up around the game. Being around my dad, I’ve gotten to know the game, and get a great mindset for it. It’s what we do.”
Next up: The Bushland-Brock winner faces the Wall-Pilot Point winner in a state quarterfinal.