CES principal finds balance in rivalry

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By Ryan Butler




In a town where all three public schools share essentially the same mascot and colors, Chiefland Elementary School principal Angel Thomas is proud to support Chiefland High School. She has worn a Chiefland Indians shirt to every varsity football game this season. 

Against Chiefland rival Trenton, however, she’ll be wearing the Tigers’ colors of orange and black. 

Thomas, an alumna of Chiefland High School, is also married to Trenton’s head coach, Andrew Thomas. Though she won’t explicitly wear anything with “Trenton” on it Friday night, she will be quietly supporting her husband. 

“I’m neverously excited about this week,” Thomas said. 

The first-year CES principal is always looking to support her husband as he looks to coach his team to its second-consecutive undefeated regular season Friday night. But in two small towns separated by 10 miles there are bound to be competing interests between different groups of connections. 

 Coach Thomas was a two-year assistant at CHS before taking the head coaching job at Trenton before the 2011 season. 

Both the Thomas’ and CHS head coach Aaron Richardson have a child in Denise Cowart’s kindergarten class at CES. 

“They like to talk back and forth and banter about whose dad is the best coach,” Thomas said. 

 Thomas’ other two children also attend CES. They are much more open about their support for their father and his team. 

“Occasionally they get a hard time, more so to Tyler (the oldest, a fifth grader),” Thomas said. “They’re very quick to respond. And they don’t let it bother them.”

Come Saturday, Angel Thomas will be back suporting Chiefland. But Friday night the Tigers will have one extra fan.