Alex Thomas plays soccer, basketball and softball for Benjamin Franklin High School.
But ask the sophomore her favorite of the three, and it’s not even close.
Soccer wins hands down.
“The feeling you get when you win a huge game or score a big goal, there’s nothing like it,” said Thomas. “In basketball there are a lot of points scored and in softball there is a lot of running bases, but nothing beats seeing the ball hit the back of the net.”
Thomas has done a lot of scoring in her two-year career, and on Tuesday she was named Louisiana’s Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year . She is the first Ben Franklin athlete to win the honor.
“It means a lot,” said Thomas. “With All the work that my teammates and I put into the sport, it shows that hard work pays off.”
Thomas scored 44 goals and had eight assists this past season, leading the Falcons to their second consecutive Division II state championship.
The goal she scored in this year’s 2-0 title game victory against St. Thomas More is the one she says she remembers the most.
“That one stands out because I was being marked,” she said. “To be ale to break free from the mark was pretty amazing to me.”
In addition to being named Metro Player of the Year by The New Orleans Advocate, Thomas is also a two-time First Team All-State selection and was named Division II Player
of the Year by the Louisiana High School Soccer Coaches Association.
“It’s a tremendous award for the school and our soccer program,” said Ben Franklin coach Jose Ferrand. “Alex is extremely skilled and she has a very high soccer high IQ. She’s an important part of our success.”
Even more impressive is that Thomas is now 40-0 in her high school career after back-to-back 20-0 seasons. She has never lost a high school game. How will she respond when (or if) she loses a game.
“We haven’t lost one, so I am not really sure,” she said. “But I know my teammates and we are close. It wouldn’t be devastating. We can overcome adversity.”
It’s not just her numbers on the field that helped her land the Gatorade honor though. She also has a 3.98 gpa, a vital part of the award that also recognizes high standards of academic
achievement and exemplary character on and off the field.
“Everybody has total respect for her,” Ferrand said. “Alex is really intelligent and low key. She is able to get around defenders and make phenomenal runs and is such an unselfish player, always about the team first. She knows the bulls-eye is on her back. On the field, she is going to get even stronger and more athletic.”
It is the fourth straight year that a player from the New Orleans area has won the Gatorade award. Katherine Cuntz of Dominican and Mandeville’s Delaney Sheehan won it the past two years.
Thomas looks to go back-to-back as well next season in what will be her final season.
An LSU commit, Thomas plans to graduate a year early and start her collegiate career in 2015.
“A lot of my teammates on my club team are graduating, so I would’ve been playing only high school soccer,” Thomas explained about her decision. “Plus I have almost an entire extra year of credits, so it just made more sense.”
She is looking for her final season though, where she’d like nothing more than for another undefeated season and a third state title.
“This season we did really well,” Thomas said. “Next year I am even more excited because we will have some of our players back that were injured.”
And after that?
I just want to go as far as I can possibly go in soccer,” Thomas said. “I know I have to just keep working.”