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Sixth-year tight end puts team first in final season

Thomas Tews plays a key role in the Lopers’ rush offense. Photo provided by Kylie Schwab / Antelope Staff

While he may not have a list of accolades to his name, sixth-year Loper football player Thomas Tews has become a staple in the UNK offense. 

In a run-heavy scheme where Tews doesn’t get thrown the ball often, sacrificing touches is crucial for the team’s success. 

“Basically from the start, they said my position group has to be the most unselfish group because we’re a run-heavy offense,” Tews said. “I’m more proud of my good blocks than catches. If I can get a good block and one of our running backs or quarterback breaks it for a big one that makes me pretty happy. That’s what I get my satisfaction from.”

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound tight end joined the Lopers in 2017, making him a member of coach Josh Lynn’s first recruiting class. 

“It’s kind of cool to be able to call ourselves that first part of this program and be his first recruiting class,” Tews said. “We’ve been here since the start, we’ve been able to actually see the rise happen and it’s been pretty cool to see the culture develop here and everything change.”

In the Lopers most recent victory, a 38-20 win over Fort Hays State, freshman tight end Luke Blatchford caught a 48-yard touchdown. He attributes his early success to Tews’ leadership.

“Thomas Tews has been a great mentor,” Blatchford said. “He’s the No. 1 tight end, he’s always there every day giving me advice and he’s really helped me along this entire way. When I’m watching film, I’m trying to mimic Tews right there because he does it right every time.”

Last season, Tews had three receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. This year he had a 40-yard reception in the 38-6 win over Central Missouri.

“We’ve thrown a couple balls to him, but his primary goal is to block,” Lynn said. “When somebody else has success he’s the first one to get over there and celebrate. He’s the true definition of a great teammate and he’s really unselfish. When you talk about young men that you want to lead your program, Thomas is definitely one of those.”

After redshirting in 2017 and facing various injury obstacles, Tews stuck with it and has seen his role increase each season. Now as the first string tight end, he wants to leave his mark on the team in his final season.

“I’m a big lead by action kind of guy,” Tews said. “I’m not the most vocal person out there, but I’m out there trying to lead the offense while also trying to do my part and help develop the young guys.”

Tews obtained his bachelor’s degree with a double major in sports management and exercise science. He is now getting his master’s degree in sports administration and will finish in the spring.

While it can be challenging to manage both academics and football, Tews has made it a priority. He has been named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll in each of his seasons with the Lopers.

Football has always been a part of Tews’ life, and it has shaped him into the person he is today.

“I’ve played it for probably over 15 years,” Tews said. “It’s probably been one of the most important stable sports I’ve played. I was a multi-sport athlete in high school, but I think football was always No. 1 for me and I think it always will be.”

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KEVIN BURD, Sports Edior
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