Updated: Aug 24, 2022
Written by Logan Butts
On Monday, former Ravenwood multi-sport star Kaylen Thomas was named one of four recipients of the third annual Tampa Bay Buccaneers Girls in Football Scholarship.
The unique academic scholarship program was established to benefit graduating high school seniors participating in a form of organized football (flag, tackle, or touch) with plans to enroll in a full-time accredited four-year college or university.
Candidates were required to have earned a minimum 3.0 grade point average during their high school academic career and were asked to submit essays on how they planned to utilize their career ventures to enact positive change in the sports industry.
"An injury can be a redirection into a new path," said Thomas in a statement. "I found a love of Rugby. I hope to major in Health Sciences with a path to physical therapy and athletic training so that I can help encourage other young athletes to keep pushing forward when unexpected injury setbacks occur. I hope to show the incoming athletes that they are stronger than their losses and setbacks."
Thomas led Ravenwood to a championship in the inaugural Williamson County Girls Flag Football season. She scored three touchdowns in a 32-0 romp over Page in the title game at Nissan Stadium.
"I hope to be an example that if you push forward, you'll realize that you are necessary to help your team," Thomas continued. "I will teach values such as self-motivation, high integrity, courage, encouragement, confidence, and compassion. These values and characteristics are important in an athlete. These are my personal core values."
Thomas wasn't just a star in flag football. In wrestling, Thomas won the state championship in the girls 132 class and led Ravenwood to the first-ever regional title for a Williamson County girls program, earning All-State and All-WillCo honors in the process.
In track and field, Thomas earned a state championship in the AAA class in the 100m sprint with a time of 12.62 seconds. She also placed fifth in the 200m at the state championship meet.
"Being a female athlete is not glamorous," Thomas said. "I have experienced pulled hamstrings, knee sprains, and broken wrist bones. I was determined to keep playing sports. These injury setbacks led me to different outcomes."
Thomas plans to play on the rugby team at Mount St. Mary's while pursuing her degree in Health Sciences.