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Mississippi College

Football Referee Sarah Thomas Headlines Mississippi College Athletics Dinner

October 2, 2013

A trailblazer as a football referee who seeks to work NFL games next season, Sarah Thomas is the keynote speaker at Mississippi College’s athletics dinner this fall.

The October 29 event at the B.C. Rogers Student Center on the Clinton campus is the biggest fund-raiser of the year for MC athletics. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. that Tuesday evening.

A Pascagoula native, Thomas was the first woman to officiate a major college football game. In 2013, she became one of 21 finalists for a permanent NFL officiating position next season.

A former University of Mobile basketball standout, she also became the first woman to officiate at a football bowl game in 2009. It was the Little Caesar’s bowl game matching Marshall and Ohio University.

Presently, Thomas is an active member of Pinelake Church in Brandon where she is involved in the Upward Bound basketball ministry and officiates at Friday night games. Thomas and her husband, Brian, are Brandon residents and the parents of three children.

Over the past 11 years, the Choctaws athletics dinners on the Mississippi College campus in Clinton have raised more than $1 million, including over $163,000 last year.

The annual Billy Joe Cross Athletics Dinner has attracted such keynote speakers as retired University of Mississippi Chancellor Robert Khayat, Ole Miss Rebels baseball coach Mike Bianco and former Major League Baseball stars John Smoltz and Jeff Brantley.

“Our athletic department at Mississippi College owes much of our success directly to the Athletics Dinner,” said Athletic Director Mike Jones. “We are blessed to have the support we receive from our friends and alumni and look forward to another great year.”

Mississippi College is taking steps to become an NCAA Division II member next season. MC would rejoin the Birmingham-based Gulf South Conference to renew rivalries with teams like Delta State, West Alabama, North Alabama and Valdosta State and face other GSC schools like Union University in Jackson, Tennessee, Shorter University in Rome, Georgia and West Florida in Pensacola. Presently, MC is an NCAA Division III member of the Texas-based American Southwest Conference.

For additional information on tickets, contact Missa Turman at 601.925.3341 or by email at turman@mc.edu.

Photo: Football referee Sarah Thomas keynotes Mississippi College athletics dinner October 29.