Trib HSSN May Madness: Todd Thomas, Beaver Falls vs. Lance Jeter, Beaver Falls

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Friday, May 22, 2020 | 9:00 AM


Over the course of the next month and a half, May Madness will determine who fans believe is the WPIAL Athlete of the Century.

HSSN has put together two 32-player brackets, one for the boys and one for the girls, of WPIAL alums. Outside of a few exceptions, the field is made up of former district players who excelled in more than one sport.

Each weekday, May Madness will have one matchup each on the boys and girls bracket with a little background info on each athlete found in a daily tale of the tape.

Starting at 9 a.m. Friday and running through 9 a.m. Saturday, you can vote on the HSSN twitter page on the two athletes featured in this first-round matchup.

Check the HSSN website at noon Saturday for the matchup’s final results.

Here is the contest for the boys. Round 1, Day 16:

Todd Thomas vs. Lance Jeter is simply a battle of Beaver Falls grads with a spot in the second round and bragging rights of all the Fightin’ Tigers in black and orange at stake.

Todd Thomas — Beaver Falls Class of 2009

(Football, basketball, track and field)

• 2008 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 25 football all-star.

• 2006, 2007 and 2008 Associated Press Pa. Class AA all-star at three positions: defensive back, running back and then wide receiver.

• For his career, Thomas rushed for 2,786 yards on 366 carries for an average of 7.6 yards per carry and had 1,215 yards in receiving. He also scored 53 touchdowns.

• As a senior in 2008, Thomas rushed for 865 yards and caught 21 passes for 557 yards for an average of 26.5 yards per reception.

• Helped Beaver Falls reach the WPIAL Class AA football championship game in both his junior and season seasons, but lost both games at Heinz Field. The Tigers lost to Jeannette, 61-12, in 2007 and fell to rival Aliquippa, 8-6, in 2008.

• Rated as the No. 6 prospect in Pennsylvania by Rivals.com and No. 18 by SuperPrep.

• 2009 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 10 basketball all-star with 2,063 career points, putting him at No. 22 at the time on the WPIAL all-time scoring list.

• Won gold at the 2009 WPIAL track and field championships as part of Beaver Falls’ 1,600-meter relay team. He took home silver in the long jump with a leap of 22-10¼ and helped Beaver Falls win the 2009 WPIAL Class AA team track and field championship.

• Played college football as a linebacker at Pitt.

Lancer Jeter — Beaver Falls Class of 2006

(Basketball, football, baseball)

• 2005 and 2006 Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Terrific 10 basketball all-star.

• Two-time first-team all-state in basketball in 2005 and 2006 and first-team all-state football in football in 2006.

• As a four-year starter on the Beaver Falls basketball team, Jeter scored 2,243 career points, 13th best at the time in the WPIAL.

• In his four years on the hardwood, Jeter helped Beaver Falls to a combined 102-19 record. The Tigers reached the WPIAL title game twice with Jeter, losing to Aliquippa in 2004 and then beating the Quips a year later.

• Beaver Falls also played in two PIAA championship games, winning a state title over York Catholic in 2005 and losing to Prep Charter in 2006.

• Jeter cemented his district legacy in the 2005 WPIAL finals when he hit a long-range desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, then banked in another 3-pointer at the buzzer from 30 feet out to give the Tigers an incredible 79-78 triple overtime instant classic win over Aliquippa.

• He was one of the top wide receivers in the WPIAL his senior season, catching 50 passes for 810 yards for an average of 16.2 yards per catch. He also scored 15 touchdowns and played in the Big 33 Classic.

• Played baseball for the first time as a senior, became the starting shortstop for Beaver Falls and batted over .300 with a walk-off grand slam to his credit.

• Originally went to Cincinnati on a football scholarship, but transferred to Polk Community College to play basketball and later transferred to play college basketball at Nebraska. He has enjoyed a long career playing pro basketball overseas.

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