Chiefs' football player hospitalized Friday
By By Adam Prestridge
A Northview High School football player was hospitalized Friday morning following a one-vehicle accident on Hwy. 4.
John "J.T." Thompson, a junior offensive lineman and linebacker for the Chiefs, was on his way to school when he lost control of his car and left the roadway. According to Florida State Trooper Gary Carnley, Thompson apparently then landed in a culvert, struck a tree and flipped several times and was ejected before the vehicle came to a stop upside down and pinned him beneath the car.
Northview principal Gayle Weaver, head football coach Cody Keene and the school resource officer each reported to the scene as soon as they learned of the accident. Weaver told the students of the accident and Thomas' condition during the morning announcements over the PA.
According to Weaver, Keene traveled to West Florida Hospital where Thomas was transported by ambulance and periodically updated her on his player's condition. For a while, it was unknown of the severity of Thomas' injuries, but news of his quick improvement by mid-morning was a sigh of relief.
"We are encouraged and optimistic about his condition this morning," Weaver said Friday morning. "Coach Keene is giving us updates on his condition from the hospital and the latest report was that he was now talking and was alert. His vitals were all good as well. Coach Keene also said that J.T. was concerned about his football jersey. He was wearing his game jersey at the time of the accident and the paramedics had to cut it to help him. That's a good sign."
Friday marked the home opener for the Chiefs and concerns for their teammate were heavy on their minds. But despite the accident, school officials were certain that Thomas would want the team to carry on.
"Tonight is our first home game of the season and that is certainly on everyone's mind," Weaver said. "Coach Keene is trying to keep the players focused. They are all very concerned. They all like J.T. and he is a part of their team family. We believe that J.T. would want his teammates to remain focused on tonight's game. In a situation like this, the players concern for J.T. could be a deterrent for tonight's game, but then again it could cause the team to rally together for J.T."
The Century Fire Department responded to the scene of the accident as well as deputies with the Escambia County, Fla. Sheriff's Office. Brantley's out of Flomaton towed the vehicle.
The accident is still under investigation.
No specific details of Thomas' injuries or condition were available at press time.