Carly Thomas Overcomes Injury To Win Second Consecutive State Wrestling Championship
ALABASTER- An incredible 12-month rollercoaster ride of emotions has ended on a high note for Carly Thomas of Bob Jones High.
The sophomore Lady Patriot, the lone member of girls wrestling at the school, won her second consecutive girls wrestling State Championship with a second period pin of a competitor from Baker High in the 128-pound weight class at the AHSAA Girls State Wrestling Tournament held at Thompson High in Alabaster.
“It feels amazing and I’m glad I’m back able to do everything I could do before,” said Thomas on her gold medal winning effort. “I’m glad my coaches encouraged me into remaining in the sport.”
After winning the 120pound weight class state championship a year ago while wrestling with a shoulder injury she actually suffered as a seventh grader while wrestling as a student at Discovery Middle School. Her extraordinary performance of a season ago was deemed amazing since the shoulder and entire upper body muscles are necessary to perform well in wrestling. On March 17 she underwent surgery to repair her labrum of her right shoulder and was forced to sit out of the sport for six months. During her layoff she gained 20 pounds and once returning to wrestling in the fall was forced with the decision on which weight class she wanted to attack.
“The weight loss was certainly the hardest part of the recovery,” said Thomas. “It was a very tough comeback and very stressful to make the weight for the State Tournament. I thank my coaches for getting me in position to wrestle.”
The 2021-2022 season for Thomas was a busy one. She finished the regular season at 20-6 with 10 pins along the way and was seeded No. 1 going into the State Tournament. Once arriving for the season-ending competition she received a first round bye for being the top seed. In the semi-final round of action she scored a pin over a wrestler from Gulf Shores in a remarkable 10 seconds. Advancing to the finals, Thomas opened an 8-2 score into the second period. “While we were standing, my opponent took a shot at me for a takedown and I quickly used a double-hook move and got her on her back,” said Thomas. “She put up a fight and it took about 15 seconds for me to get the pin.”
Thomas carries a 4.0 grade point average in the classroom and looks to make the Bob Jones softball team this spring as an outfielder. Once the softball season is complete she plans on tackling off-season wrestling tournaments during the summer months, which is the much needed session of wrestling she missed last year due to her surgery.
“I would like to continue wrestling through high school and possibly wrestle in college,” added Thomas. “What a ride this has been for me.”