Thomas living a dream as NFL official

Published 12:40 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE official Marcus Thomas chats with another official on the sideline.

Marcus Thomas, the son of Bainbridge Middle School principal Dr. Marvin Thomas, is living a sports enthusiast’s dream.

A former basketball player at Mitchell-Baker High School and 1995 graduate of Bainbidge High School, he officiates both National Football League games and college football games in the Southern Conference.

Thomas, who works for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Insurance Company in Jacksonville, Fla., first heard about the possibility of becoming a professional or college football official from his boss David Lafontane, who was a high school official in Jacksonville.

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“David was nice enough to get me in touch with some officials’ associations and that got the ball rolling,” Thomas said. “Living in Jacksonville, I started doing some camp and preseason work with the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars.

“In my NFL assignments, I am usually the first alternate official. In the Southern Conference I do Georgia Southern and Furman games.”

Thomas works a lot of Jacksonville Jaguars exhibition games, and works out at their practice facility to stay in shape.