By DOUG IRELAND, Journal Sports
Soccer is a rising sport around here. The NSU Lady Demon program has won championships and collaborated with local youth soccer enthusiasts; Natchitoches Central High School has a solid program; and there are plenty of kids in local leagues and even some on travel teams.
In Texas, soccer has much deeper roots, including pro franchises, and high school competition is among the best in the country.
Figure the odds that somebody with Natchitoches roots and local grandparents would be a key figure on a 2023 Texas high school state championship team. Then double those odds.
Two young people with local ties helped their teams win state titles recently on the big stage of Texas prep soccer. The Natchitoches Parish Journal will spotlight both – Maddox Thomas of boys’ Class 5A champion Frisco Lone Star High School, and Erin Hebert, the first-year coach of the girls’ Class 6A surprise champion, Marcus High School.
Today, we spotlight Maddox Thomas, the son of Natchitoches native and St. Mary’s 1993 graduate Carson Thomas, a 1998 NSU alumnus. Maddox’ grandparents are Dr. Durwood Thomas of Natchitoches and Donna Dalme (Mrs. John Richard Dalme) of Arcadia, and his proud aunt is another SMHS graduate, Melinda Adams of Alexandria.
Maddox is a two-time All-District performer and was a captain this year for Frisco Lone Star. He was a part of a defensive back line that gave up only five goals in seven playoff games.
The Rangers defeated El Paso Bel Air 4-1 in the state championship game in Georgetown, Texas, April 15. Bel AIr had previously been undefeated at 28-0-1.
Maddox was the main defender on a player for Bel AIr who had scored over 30 goals this season and Maddox didn’t allow him to have a shot on goal. Lone Star ended the season 24-1-2, the best record in school history, and won the first state title in any sport for the high school in the north Dallas metroplex.
He helped Lone Star rise from a two-win team in 2021 to the regional finals in 2022, and this spring’s state championship.
Maddox began to play soccer at age three. He is headed to the University of Arkansas this fall to study physical therapy. He has a 3.8 GPA as he prepares to graduate.
Check back with the NPJ soon for a spotlight on Erin Hebert, the daughter of former Natchitoches resident Susan Arthur.