By Thomas Sellers Jr.
MURFREESBORO – Who is Artavius Thomas?
After a standout senior year, there are many answers to that question. Artavius Thomas is an All-District 14-3A football player at two positions. Thomas is also a participant in two events at the 2015 Class 3A State Track Meet in the Long and Triple jumps.
Another response is Artavius Thomas is a medalist. After landing a triple jump of 44-feet, 3 and half inches Friday morning, Thomas earned seventh place in the event.
“I didn’t see this all coming,” he said. “This year turned out pretty good, but I could have done better if I had stayed dedicated like I was at first.”
Thomas’ athlete heart belongs to football. Coming into his senior season, Thomas put in the extra work to earn a starting spot in the defensive back field, receiver and special teams.
In the first game of the year, Thomas took a punt back for a touchdown against Germantown. That was when most of the Shelby-Metro area started to notice him.
West Tennessee had Thomas on the map as he compiled touchdowns, interceptions and played all over the field. He earned All-District defensive back and returner. Thomas saw action at quarterback, safety and even running back in 2014.
“It felt amazing,” Thomas said of his honors. “It took that dedication and hard work to get All-District in two positions. It feels good that coaches recognize that.”
Once football was over, Thomas finally convinced his mother Andrea to allow him to practice in track. Her permission paid off with Thomas having a standout season.
Before reaching Murfreesboro, Thomas took first in the long jump with a leap of 21 feet at the University of Memphis High School Invitational. Thomas also earned first in the triple jump at the Collierville Invitational. Then at the Shelby County Meet, Thomas was first once again in the triple jump.
At Sectionals Thomas qualified in both the long and triple jumps taking the top spot in the triple with a leap of 45-feet, 4-inches.
“It feels OK to make it up here in two events,’ he said. “But I felt I should have done better.”
Thomas qualified in the long jump with a leap of 20-feet, 9 and three quarters. But he didn’t make it out of the first round at State.
Thomas was more consistent in the triple jump earning a medal.
“I don’t even know where my potential was,” he concluded. “Wait, my Momma wouldn’t let me run track. It is her fault because she would not let me run. But I made the most out of it.”