By Chris Cox
Shawnee junior Ejion Thomas is only entering his third year in the program, but he’s already
seen the ups and downs football can bring. As a freshman the Wolves made the playoffs for the
second straight year and seemed to be an up-and-coming team. Then last year things did not go
according to plan. The Wolves finished 0-10 and missed the 5A playoffs for the first time since 2015.
But Thomas’s love for the game, and commitment to his team, never wavered. “I’ve just loved this sport since I was a little kid,” he says. “I just love competing, making new friends every year, and making new bonds.”
This year’s Shawnee football team is young with just eight seniors on the opening week roster. That means, a lot of the leadership roles will fall to experienced juniors like Thomas. He is embracing that role and says he is trying to lead by example.
“I’m just trying to compete and have a competing mentality,” he says. “I am trying to work hard every play so we can show them (underclassmen) a different Shawnee.” A different Shawnee is something of a mantra for this year’s team. The Wolves have a new head coach in Jason Madonna and Thomas says he can see the turnaround happening.
“I love them,” he says. “They’re actually making us into a different team this year. His coaching, play calling, and the way he pushes us in practice is great.”
To his credit, Thomas has also earned the praise of his new coach.
“He’s a two-way starter us,” Madonna says. “He’s a really dynamic receiver that is good at finding space and understanding route concepts. He’s a young man with a big ceiling and big future. He’s been committed all offseason to build his body to be a two-way player in 5A.”
Outside of football, Thomas plays basketball and runs track for the Wolves but one of his biggest passions off the field is rodeo.
“I’ve been rodeoing since I was little,” he says. “I love the energy everyone brings to the rodeo.
I watched my uncle (Tank Adams) do it and now he’s in the PBR (Professional Bull Riders). I really look forward to rodeo and travel a lot with it.”
After high school, Thomas plans to go straight into the work force and practice carpentry.