SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

October 1, 2013

St. John's Prep star RB Thomas comments on season ending knee injury

St. John’s Prep star running back Johnathan Thomas is done for the season.

Thomas, who has verbally committed to play Division 1 college football at the University of Maryland, will have surgery later this week to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee. He was injured after an 8-yard run in the third quarter of Saturday’s 35-14 home loss to Everett.

“Righ now, getting the surgery done is the big thing. I know I will get through this,” said Thomas last night from his Peabody home.

“I know I will come back and be on the field. I’ll be stronger and better than before.”

At the time of Thomas’ injury, he had rushed for 98 yards. In just three-and-a-half games this season, the reigning Salem News Player of the Year already had 766 rushing yards and eight total touchdowns.

“He’s very disappointed,” Prep coach Jim O’Leary said of Thomas last night. “He’ll have surgery to repair the ACL and a few other minor things in the knee, but the ACL is the big thing. He plans to get back in rehabiliation quickly and get ready for the next level.

“Johnny was having a phenomenal season. It happened on a regular football play, not a big huge hit. It’s something that happened to him hundreds of times before ... but on this hit it was different.”

If Thomas’ high school career is indeed over, his career statistics at St. John’s place him among the elite running backs in North Shore high school football history.

He finished with 3,709 yards rushing in less than two-and-a-half years worth of varsity playing time, including 37 rushing touchdowns and 42 total. He also had 254 career points (including one 2-point conversion). During St. John’s Prep’s run to the Division 1 Super Bowl crown a year ago, Thomas ran for 1,812 yards and scored 16 TDs on the ground.

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