WYOMING, Ohio — Wyoming High School athletic director Jan Wilking will not soon forget Beau Thomas' smile.
"It would light up a room when he walked in it," Wilking said. "He flashed that smile a lot whether it was in the cafeteria or the front office or the football field or the track. He was certainly a great athlete but certainly a whole lot more to that young man than just being a great athlete, but when you say his name probably to a person they'll say what a great smile."
Wyoming City Schools announced Sunday they are mourning the death of Thomas, a former Kentucky Wesleyan College football player and 2021 Wyoming High School graduate. Thomas was 18. The cause of death was not announced.
Thomas played running back and defensive line for the Cowboys and was part of Wyoming's 2018 Division IV state championship team. He ran sprint events in track, too. He was a Division IV third-team all-state selection and was first-team all-Cincinnati Hills League his senior season. He was also a team captain.
"Beau was an incredible young man, a leader on and off the field and was loved by many," said Jeff King, Wyoming High School assistant athletic director in a press release.
Thomas had been a freshman at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro, Ky., where he was a linebacker on the football team.
"He was a charismatic leader," Wilking said. "It was interesting our [boys] soccer coach [Adam Jones] said, 'You know I don't know all the football kids but I knew Beau because he would always say hi as he walked past and pat me on the back or whatnot.' So I think that says a lot about his character and about how he just connected with other people in a very friendly and charismatic way. Definitely a leader within our school."
Wyoming City School's counseling staff, along with therapists from Best Point Behavioral Health, will be available to students on an individualized basis in the coming weeks, the district said.
"So many other schools have reached out which is very much appreciated in support," Wilking said. "Unfortunately because many of them have gone through the exact same things that we're going through today. So I think just knowing that that many people care about the kids that are not only at Wyoming High School but across the Cincinnati area is a good thing to know."