By Ray Hamill — Lane Thrap is following his long-time friend Trevor Bell to Santa Rosa JC, announcing his decision to play football for the Bear Cubs on Monday.
Thrap, an outstanding three-sport athlete during his four years at St. Bernard’s, admitted it was not an easy decision, but deep down says he knew football was what he wanted to play at the next level.
“Well, it was a really tough decision actually,” he said. “I wanted to play either baseball, basketball or football in college, but at night, when I’m lying in bed, it’s football that I think about.”
Thrap had a sensational senior campaign on the football field, leading the entire North Coast Section in receiving yards with 1,550 and pulling in 23 touchdowns.
According to his high school head coach Matt Tomlin, it was the greatest season ever by a receiver in the H-DNL.
“He is the toughest player I’ve ever coached,” Tomlin said of Thrap after the season. “Lane Thrap will fight you in an alley way, he’ll hit you as hard as he has to hit you, and he’ll give you his full effort for all four quarters.”
Within the past 12 months Thrap was named Cal-Hi Sports first-team all-state in both football and basketball.
“He’s just the ultimate competitor,” Tomlin added.
He joins Eureka quarterback Bell, who also recently committed to play at Santa Rosa after graduation, renewing an old friendship between the two, who played on the same basketball team for years before high school.
“We’ve been friends since we were little,” said Thrap, who added he’s looking forward to playing with his crosstown rival this fall.
He’s also looking forward to renewing another old friendship at Santa Rosa, with fellow St. Bernard’s receiver Micah Fontenot-Cornely, who is expected to play there this fall after red-shirting in 2019.
The two receivers played for the Crusaders during Thrap’s first two years at the high school, and the elder player was a big influence for the newcomer.
“He was always the senior out there teaching us how to do things,” Thrap said. “Hopefully we’ll get to play side by side (at Santa Rosa).”
Ironically, Thrap’s decision to play football at Santa Rosa has a lot to do with his basketball career.
It was through basketball that he became familiar with the community college.
“I played basketball there over the summer and I really liked the school and the area,” he said. “And it’s not too far.”
Tomlin played a big role in helping him move on, putting him in touch with Santa Rosa head coach Lenny Wagner.
“Coach Tomlin, he helped me a lot through all of this,” Thrap said.
As for the moments Thrap will remember the most from his tremendous success at St. Bernard’s, there are too many to list.
But one, he admits, stands out above all others.
“Definitely winning the state championship,” he said of the 2019 football team’s historic title. “That was definitely the best night of my life. And every road trip. Every road trip we made a new memory. We had a lot of fun.”
In addition to Tomlin’s huge influence on his career, Thrap also paid tribute to the support of his parents, Susan and Steve, the latter of whom coached him in basketball at St. Bernard’s for the past four years.
Good and all as the St. Bernard’s senior is in football, he was arguably even better on the basketball court.
As a junior he averaged 22.8 points a game, the second best single-season mark ever at the school, trailing only the legendary Garry Mendenhall, who averaged 25.2 a game in 1976/77.
It’s not the records, however, that Thrap will remember the most from his time on the court.
“I have a lot of good memories in basketball,” he said. “I just liked all the friendships I made and it was pretty cool playing for my dad.”
The St. Bernard’s senior missed out on his final high school baseball season due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis, something that naturally is a source of disappointment.
But he knows it’s something beyond his control and is doing his best to move on from it.
“It sucks, obviously,” he said. “But there’s like nothing we can do about it. I’ve just got to keep working and preparing myself for college football.”
Thrap says he will major in business and is hoping to play football at a four-year school after his time at Santa Rosa.