Los Angeles Preps: Jherremya Leuta-Douyere

Orange County: Jody Thomas has big dreams for Servite in marquee matchup

September, 3, 2010
Jody Thomas is a dreamer. He gets told each week by Servite defensive line coaches Chris Barrett and Mike Pitre to picture himself having success. Imagine himself making big plays. You know, “Be the ball.” But really, who could imagine the 5-foot-10, 225-pound tackle intercepting two passes, returning a fumble for a touchdown and sacking the quarterback?

Courtesy of Laurence Martinez
Jody Thomas returns an interception during Servite's 31-7 win over Oceanside.

Yet that's what Thomas did Thursday as he set the tone for a Servite defense that led the way in a 31-7 victory over Oceanside to begin the 2010 prep season. The game matched Servite, ranked No. 1 in the ESPNLA top 25 and the reigning Division II State Bowl champion, against Oceanside, ranked No. 2 in San Diego and the reigning Division I State Bowl champion.

Oceanside is in rebuilding mode, but with six consecutive section titles, 16 consecutive appearances in the semifinals, and a 39-game unbeaten streak, the program guided by John Carroll – who was defensive coordinator on Servite's 1982 and 1983 championship teams – isn't exactly poverty stricken in the talent department.

Servite's defense was rebuilding, too. Rebuilding its defensive line, where Thomas is the only returning starter, and that was because he was a replacement for injured star Kirifi Taula (Arizona). Flanked by brothers Jarrett and Jherramya Leuta-Douyere and Connor Einck, they had an outstanding game collectively, relegating the defense's anchor, linebacker Matt Inman, to spectator.

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