March 8, 2017 Edition

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Thomas earns national title

Demetrius Thomas celebrates with assistant coach Dan Capp (left) and head coach Kerry Regner (back) after claiming the national title in the NAIA Wrestling Championships in Topeka, Kan.

Demetrius Thomas brought home Williams Baptist College's first ever NAIA national championship at the National Wrestling Championships on Saturday evening in Topeka, Kan. Thomas, who came in as the fifth seed, scored a 10-2 major victory by decision over third-seeded Ceron Francisco.

"I am at a loss for words. Demetrius is exactly what we want in a wrestler and student athlete. I cannot sell him short on how hard of a worker he is. He shows up and works incredibly hard every day. He glorifies God with his actions, and always is the first to encourage and help out his teammates," said head coach Kerry Regner.

The Ferguson, Mo., native opened up the bout strong, with a takedown and near fall in the first period, getting an early 6-1 lead. The second period was fairly uneventful, as Francisco earned the only point on escape. This set up the final frame with Thomas leading 6-2. He had also accumulated over a minute's riding time, which if maintained would give him an extra point.

Thomas used that advantage in the third period by scoring three points. One escape and one take down would be plenty. Adding the riding time, he finished with a 10-2 major decision victory.

He becomes the first National Champion at Williams since the 1992-93 women's basketball team won the NCCAA National Championship. It is the first NAIA National Championship in school history.

"This is an incredible honor. All glory has to go to God. I could not be here without the impact he has had on my life. It blows my mind to be a National Champion. I am so honored to be able to wrestle at WBC, and I have the best teammates and coaches around," said Thomas.

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