As the Stranahan flag football team continues its march to the district tournament, the Dragons are flying high with a 6-0 record and the No. 14 ranking in the state poll. For senior running back/linebacker Coco-Chanel Thomas (who has one of the best names I’ve encountered while covering high school sports), that’s a lot to get excited about, especially since she missed time last season with a knee injury. Here in 10 Questions, Thomas talks flag football, her unique name, and why she’d love to meet tennis star Serena Williams.
Q: What’s your favorite class in school?
CT: “Math. I love math, I don’t know why. I’m just not a science type of girl, but I love math. There’s something about it.”
Q: What’s your favorite part about playing flag football?
CT: “I like the running part. I love the running part. I used to run track when I was in middle school, but I stopped because of my knee. Out here, I can push through it. I love it.”
Q: If you could change anything about this sport, what would it be?
CT: “I’d change how they call little things as flag pulls. They call everything, even if you run into a girl by accident. I hate when they call flags on that, or when you make contact trying to make an interception. You’re going for the ball, but they call the flag pull.”
Q: What’s your favorite thing about playing here at Stranahan:
CT: “Everybody’s humble. Everyone has a positive attitude and everyone loves each other. Nobody has an attitude with anybody, no one thinks they’re better than everyone else. Everyone wants to be out here working together.”
Q: What’s the story behind your really creative name?
CT: “My mom. My mom loves Chanel, Chanel purses. She bought me a Chanel perfume, the lotion. I have everything. She loves the name because it’s different. She didn’t expect anyone else to have my name. People think my middle name is Chanel, but actually, my first name is Coco-Chanel.”
Q: What’s your favorite way to unwind when you’re not playing flag football?
CT: “The pool. I just love to lay back there and be in the water.”
Q: What’s your favorite way to prepare for a game?
CT: “I listen to music. I just keep my mind focused, listen to my music and sit by myself on the bus.”
Q: Who’s your hero?
CT: “My mom, Twinetta Thomas. I didn’t grow up with a dad, so she’s my mom and dad. She’s very supportive and very strong. We’ve struggled, but she’s always been there and she’s strong enough to handle anything.”
Q: If you could vacation anywhere, where would you go and why?
CT: “Hawaii! It just looks so calm and peaceful. Everyone looks calm and relaxed in pictures.”
Q: If you had the opportunity to meet anyone, who would it be?
CT: “Serena Williams. I see her and she’s like me. She’s athletic. She pushes herself. She doesn’t worry about what people think about her body. I have muscles and I used to get self-conscious about my big arms. But I see hers, she wears dresses, and she looks good. So I try to follow her and feel as comfortable as she does.”
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun