|Mississippian is first woman official in Bowl Subdivision|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 15 September 2007 14:48|
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -When Jacksonville State and Memphis kicked off Saturday night, line judge S.B. Thomas didn't stand out.|
Stationed at the goal line, average height, white pants, vertical black and white striped shirt with a white ``L'' in a black box on the back.
But S.B. 'Sarah' Thomas' appearance marked the first time a female official has worked a game in the Football Bowl Subdivision, formerly I-A. Thomas, a veteran Mississippi high school official, was assigned to the game by Conference USA. Most experts and C-USA officials cannot recall another woman calling a major college game.
In 2002, Annice Canady became the first woman ever to officiate a lower-tier Championship Subdivision football game.
Thomas of Walnut Grove, Miss. was not available for comment in the week before Saturday's game. The conference has a policy prohibiting officials from talking to the media.
Other than an occasional photographer subtly taking a picture, there was little fanfare.
In 2001, Jacksonville State's Ashley Martin became the first woman to play and score in Championship Subdivision, formerly I-AA, football, kicking three extra points in the Gamecocks' 72-10 win over Cumberland.
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