Pascagoula native Sarah Thomas making history as first female official in the Super Bowl

When you are watching the Super Bowl this coming Sunday you will see Pascagoula native Sarah Thomas as she makes history.

Thomas is the first female NFL official in Super Bowl history.

Pascagoula High School may look a lot different than when Sarah Thomas walked the halls in the 90s, but the mark she left on the school is still there.

Thomas, a star athlete and role model to many, was a leader even before becoming the first female to ever officiate a Super Bowl.

Leigh Hanna, a friend of Thomas, says she was a beast on the basketball court. “She was a fierce competitor. We enjoyed watching her play when I was younger. I came to a lot of the games with my mother who worked at Pascagoula High School at that time. So, it was just somebody you looked up to and somebody you wanted to be like when you were on the court.”

Thomas always had a love for sports, playing basketball and softball. She was voted most athletic in high school. The love of basketball led her to the University of Mobile where she was on a basketball scholarship and was an Academic All-American.

Lewis Sims, a childhood friend and the football coach at Pascagoula High, says he uses Thomas as an example for his students. “For our kids, what I like to do is let them know there is more than one way to become a pro. A lot of times, you only see the players on the field or the coaches, but there are other vital aspects of the game. Being an official is something that is very important to the game and to the preservation of the game.”

Sarah Tomas still comes back to the City of Pascagoula to not only give back to her community, but to also host referee training sessions. Former Pascagoula football coach Tobben Dubose said, “She is a good example. A home town girl and she comes back and gives back to the community in her off seasons.”

Although it has been tough for the 47-year-old in a male dominated business, Thomas never let that stop her from reaching her goal. “Being able to referee in the Super Bowl is reaching the top of your profession.”

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