PONTIAC, Mich. – Pontiac High School is celebrating two student-athletes who received state titles in MHSAA wrestling in a big way.
Cory Thomas Jr. won the MHSAA Wrestler individual state tournament, and Adam Polk Jr. finished third place.
Friday the high school surprised the two with a pep rally.
Pontiac School District’s athletic director Craig Covington along with high school administration planned the event.
“When you win a state championship in basketball usually the city has parades, winning in football they shut down school go down to ford field and wrestling is one of those sports that doesn’t get a lot of recognition,” said Covington. “I think that it needs to be shown in front of everybody that we have a state champion.”
Cory Thomas Jr. loves wrestling and started back when he was just three years old.
His father Cory Thomas Sr. and stepmom Lilliana couldn’t be prouder.
Their joy for the man Thomas Jr. is becoming hit a new high when they got a call about a pep rally in his honor.
“We didn’t expect that we just expected a handshake and good job and that sort of thing. But to see the girls dancing, all the faculty standing up and the crowd cheering my son’s name. It was an awesome feeling,” said Thomas Sr.
The pep rally was a surprise for Thomas Jr. and his teammate Polk Jr.
“It means a lot,” said Thomas Jr. “It makes it feel like what I do matters for the community, and it makes you want to achieve more stuff and help more because it feels like I really had an impact on the people in the school.”
Covington and Thomas Sr. both agree that this moment marks a new era.
“Cory is a 3.6 GPA student and he’s an athlete so he’s the definition of a student athlete,” said Covington. “I want all our students to know we have great kids here at Pontiac, and we’re going to keep rising and the Phoenix is going to rise.”
“It was fitting,” said Thomas Sr. “When you come to Pontiac High School, you see outside all of the construction, and so the city is really reinvesting into the next generation.”