Players wearing No. 2 still stand tall in Germantown grid history
Former star Thomas praises quarterback Lawhorn
Chermond Thomas looks a bit more substantial than when he was darting in and out of trouble, driving defenders mad and otherwise leading the Germantown football team through times of glory and tragedy as an all-state running back in 1997 and 1998.
As recalled, he was generously listed as 139 pounds in the 1997 roster, a season where he ran for more than 2,000 yards behind all-state offensive tackle Terry Stephan (his personal "security blanket") in pacing the Warhawks to the state Division 2 finals.
He wasn't much bigger when the Warhawks won their first state title in 1998, a year that was marked by tragedy when another Germantown player was responsible for an in-season auto accident that killed a prominent Mequon farmer.
Thomas finished high school with a fine state place-winning track season, went to college down south ("where I finally learned about eating right and lifting weights"), and earned degrees in psychology and sociology.
Cheering on the Warhawks
He stayed awhile in the south, got married and just recently came back home to the Milwaukee area, where he could be found on the Germantown sideline celebrating along with all the other happy Warhawks fans after the football team's 14-13 upset win over Whitefish Bay on Friday.
Particularly, he was celebrating the exploits of another Warhawk who is now wearing the No. 2 jersey he made famous all those years ago.
"He's got a great number," he laughed when he talked about sophomore quarterback Dwayne Lawhorn, who threw two touchdown passes in the win over Bay. Lawhorn, in his own way, is almost as skinny at 6-2, 172, as Thomas was when he broke in as a 5-7 junior, dazzling the crowd in his first game at West Bend West, making people miss left and right en route to a magical debut.
Thomas himself was dazzled at the calm and poise the young signal-caller Lawhorn had in leading the Warhawks back from not one but two deficits, and how he hit a clutch first down pass late in the game that allowed Germantown to run out the clock.
Thomas advised Lawhorn to hit the weights and eat well and go to as many camps as possible in the off-season. He could see that his Alma-mater is doing well and he clearly wanted its present and future in Lawhorn to get even better than he already was in his impressive home debut.
That's because Thomas is a man ever looking forward. His old coach, Phil Datka, is now a semiretired legend assisting a strong Brookfield Central program with another former Warhawks running back Jamie Meulemans at the helm, but there are still people in Germantown who remember Thomas.
Old rivals unite
Current Germantown coach Jake Davis, was a star offensive lineman from 1999-2001 at the Warhawks' archrival Homestead, but his face lit up after the game when he was told Thomas was in the house and was coming over to talk to him about what a great job the team was doing.
Once rivals, they are now Warhawks together through and through.
Thomas said he is now looking forward to law school, and remaining a presence on the Germantown sideline.
"You'll see me from time to time," he smiled. "It's fun here. It's always been fun here."
With another No. 2 in the huddle, that's certain to remain the case.
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- Track and field: Germantown's Pratcher cool under fire in winning state long jump
- Softball: Germantown softball's state streak comes to an end
- Germantown softball team rallies to hold off Brookfield Central, 5-3
- Belief earns Germantown track teams many state berths