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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
By KEITH NIEBUHR, Times Staff Writer
Published September 1, 2007
TAMPA - Had Marc Thomas or his mother, Jacky Ponton, cried Friday night, it would have been understandable. But they didn't because "Dad" wouldn't have wanted them to.
So instead, they simply enjoyed the moment.
And what a moment it was.
Just 10 days after Earl Thomas, Marc's father and the man in Jacky's life for the past two decades, died after a long battle with heart troubles, the younger Thomas scored four touchdowns in Hillsborough's impressive 43-20 win over Jefferson.
"To be honest," his mother said moments after the game, "I'm kind of overwhelmed. I'm so proud of him."
A senior who plays running back and linebacker, Thomas scored on runs of 3, 1, 4 and 10 yards.
It wasn't his first four-touchdown effort.
But, Thomas said, he hadn't had one since he played in the youth leagues.
"I was doing it for my dad," Thomas said.
Thomas wasn't the only Terrier to shine.
Quarterback Tarean Austin managed the offense well, running backs Lindsey Lamar and Iziah Wyche ran strong, the offensive line had its best effort in recent memory, and the defense was solid from start to finish in a game that was close early but didn't end that way.
Locked in a 7-all tie after the first, the Terriers (1-0) put 23 on the board in the second for a lead Jefferson (0-1) couldn't overcome.
"It was a great way to start," Hillsborough coach Earl Garcia said. "I'm very proud of our team."