Former Tulsa Union standout Sterling Thomas, a freshman defensive back at Lindenwood University, suffered a traumatic neck injury in Lindenwood's 45-30 victory against Missouri Southern on Saturday.
Thomas was taken from the field by ambulance to a local hospital in serious condition after sustaining a severe spinal cord injury.
The school released a statement saying that Thomas is on track with his recovery at this point.
The statement said that family members, coaches and teammates have been a constant at the hospital trying to provide support.
Thomas' teammates will soon begin selling bracelets that say "S.T. #27 – LU Soldier" to assist with the family's medical expenses. Other university fundraising endeavors are also under way.
"We are going to be there to assist the family in every way possible," Lindenwood coach Patrick Ross said. "Sterling has a ton of strength and mental toughness. He and his family have a long road ahead of them, but they won't be alone. The team, students, staff, and administration at Lindenwood University will be with them every step of the way."
Lindenwood captain Malach Radigan said the Lions will dedicate the rest of the season to Thomas.
"He is our little brother," Radigan said. "From here on out, you'll see 108 football players selling out every play for our little brother and LU Soldier, Sterling Thomas."
Thomas, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback, was named honorable mention all-state at Union, as well as, first-team all-district. He had four tackles this season.
Anyone interested in contributing to the Sterling Thomas fund at Lindenwood should contact Jane Baum at (636) 949-4427 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Former Tulsa Union football player Sterling Thomas, now at Lindenwood University, has been transferred to a facility in Atlanta for treatment of a spinal cord injury suffered in a game last month.
The freshman was hurt Oct. 27 in Lindenwood's 45-30 win over Missouri Southern. The game was played on the Lindenwood campus in the St. Louis suburb of St. Charles.
Thomas was transferred from a suburban St. Louis hospital to Shepherd Center's Spinal Cord Injury Program on Monday. The center says he will begin a rigorous rehabilitation program under the guidance of medical and rehab specialists.