Local football standout loses six-month battle with cancer
Parkview Christian Academy football standout Jeremiah Thomas, 16, died Sunday night at his family’s home in China Spring after a six-month battle with osteoblastic osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer.
"We lost a fighter and a good one at that,” Parkview head football coach Bryce Frazier said Monday.
As a freshman, Thomas led the Parkview Pacers to the state semi-finals in six-man football and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Last year as a sophomore, Thomas won All-State honors for the second year in a row as the Pacers won the state championship.
He played every down on offense and defense.
"He loved everybody that he came in contact with, and showed love and he showed the love of Christ on everything he did and someone who could just could make you laugh," Frazier said.
Thomas was also an anti-abortion activist.
His Make-a-Wish request, which was granted, was to talk to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott by phone so he could ask Abbott to abolish abortion in Texas.
The story went viral on news outlets across the country and around the world.
Thomas received a lot of hate mail as a result, but Frazier says he always responded in love.
In a video made during his last days, Jeremiah said: “Sometimes bravery involves giving up on everything you've ever known, for everyone you've ever loved or everything you've ever wanted for the sake of something greater."
"I don't know how much time I have left on this earth but with a time that I do have I want it to count for my God and for my generation," he said in the video.
Jeremiah was the ninth of 13 children.
His locker at Parkview won’t be changed.
"We're going to keep his locker here for him, make sure that he still lives on in this locker room too,” Frazier said.
Thomas wanted to become a minister, and believed strongly in conservative ideals that he gleaned from his father and the Bible.
A funeral service begins at 10 a.m. Friday at Antioch Community Church at 510 North 20th Street.
Burial will follow at Oakwood Cemetery.
Visitation is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Church of the Open Door at 900 Loop 340 in Waco.
His family will take the field with his team Friday night for Parkview’s first game of the season against Fort Worth THESA.
"You know I asked them (the team) Friday night if they wanted to play and they said ‘yes they want to fight’ and that's our word this year fight and it's going to be a fight for him," Frazier said.