Super Bowl LIV: 49ers' Solomon Thomas Embraces His Lacrosse Roots


Solomon Thomas, right, played for the Coppell Bulldogs before focusing on football. Now, he'll play for the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl.

It seems every year the lacrosse community learns of another NFL pro that has roots in the sport. Whether it was Luke Kuechly, Chris Long or that former Penn State lacrosse player named Chris Hogan, lacrosse fans have celebrated their successes in football — especially when each took part in the Super Bowl.

Add Solomon Thomas to that list.

Solomon Thomas is busy preparing for his first appearance in the Super Bowl, in which his San Francisco 49ers will look to defeat the Kansas City Chiefs and win their sixth NFL title in franchise history. Thomas, a defensive end, has played a role in getting the 49ers to the big game, with two sacks and 15 tackles this season.

The former third overall pick by the 49ers came out of Stanford but hails from Coppell, Texas. That’s where his lacrosse career started — and ended, as he began to narrow his focus on football.

Below is a photo of the Coppell team from 2006, when Thomas was an eager fourth grader.

Thomas, or “Solly” according to former coach Dale Hruby, played for the Coppell Bulldogs youth lacrosse team through middle school.

Even at that age, Hruby could see Thomas was developing into an elite athlete.

“He was very athletic, great footwork and not afraid of contact,” Hruby said. “Refs were always a little too eager to throw a flag when he squared up on someone and got a little physical, but I guess that’s a good thing.”

Thomas played alongside Hruby’s son, Nick, who starred for four seasons at Air Force as an All-SoCon attackman and the school’s second all-time leading scorer. Although he eventually dropped lacrosse for football in middle school, Thomas remained friends with a handful of his lacrosse teammates.

When he’d come home during college and into his NFL career, he’d find time to grab a stick and play catch.

“They’re a band of brothers,” Hruby said.

Thomas made sure to visit Nick Hruby during his time at Air Force, and Hruby returned the favor when he met his friend on-field before the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers on Jan. 19.

The 49ers defensive end will take the field in Miami with not only San Francisco fans behind him, but dozens of current and former lacrosse players across the country.

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