ODESSA, TX (KWES) - This spring, the UTPB Falcons thought they needed to search for someone to replace one of their key players, Jared Thames. That's because after a disappointing two and nine season, the defensive tackle decided his playing days were over, instead, focusing on his future.
"I was on the other side of things. I was actually coaching them instead of being a player," said Jared Thames.
That's a good experience for Jared, who's studying Exercise Science and History and hopes to be a coach after graduation.But it turns out, he wasn't quite ready to stay on the sidelines.
"Spring ball kicked up and then the itch started and yeah I knew I couldn't get away from it," said Jared Thames.
So, he's back on the field for one last round.
"It's definitely a different mindset going into this season, just knowing like, this is it, like lay it all out there like you ever wanted to lay it on someone. This is the time," said Jared Thames.
Thames came to Odessa from Tarleton State, where Coach Carrigan was an assistant. But his hometown is Glen Rose, Texas.
"It's small there's not much to do. I guess if you're a kid the only thing to do is go hang out in the high school parking lot. It's a good town a lot of really good people though, really supportive. They really just surround people if you're from there. They love you and support you, it's a good place to be from," explained Thames.
While he is thankful for the support he continues to receive from home, he is also grateful for the people of the Permian Basin.
"That atmosphere just, it tops the charts. The atmosphere and support from the community here is unparalleled, it's incomparable, it really is," said Thames.
Thames thinks this season will be special. Not just because it's the finale for this senior but because the team's made strides that people will undoubtedly notice.