Tartan High grad earns lacrosse-based scholarship

Theresa Thomas

The evening of July 14 wasn’t the greatest for a cookout weather-wise, but the reason for the one held at the Tartan High School stadium that night made it worthwhile. The cookout was part of a ceremony to honor a recent Tartan graduate and present her with a scholarship.

Theresa Thomas was among Tartan’s Class of 2016, which graduated last month. She was presented with a scholarship from the Give 60 for #60 Foundation.

The foundation was created in memory of Jake Anderson, who passed away in December of 2013. He played high school lacrosse at Orono and was a planning on playing club lacrosse at the University of Minnesota. Jake’s father Bill was on hand at Tartan to present Theresa with the scholarship.

“The foundation was created to foster sportsmanship, community service, leadership, kindness and integrity,” Anderson told the gathered crowd at the ceremony. “Jake played like a gentleman. He’d never get whipped up on the field. That’s what we’re trying to promote.”

The foundation gives out two scholarships each year, one each to a senior boy and girl. The recipient must be involved in lacrosse, but must also show leadership in school and in the community and must be a solid academically. 

Anderson said Theresa was the perfect choice. 

Theresa was a freshman the year Tartan started offering lacrosse and a bunch of her hockey teammates were planning on playing. They got Theresa to join them and she was hooked right away and played all four years at Tartan.

She graduated with a 4.39 grade-point average and her favorite subjects are math, science and Spanish. She was president of Tartan’s National Honor Society group and served as secretary of the student council. 

Outside of school, Theresa volunteers at Hope for the Journey Home, a homeless shelter connected to the Guardian Angels church in Oakdale.

“It just means I’ve made an impact on the community,” Theresa said of receiving the scholarship. “I love lacrosse and I love my team and I love playing. It’s just recognition of that.”

Later this summer, Theresa is headed to southern California, where she’ll attend the University of San Diego and double major in Spanish and behavioral neuroscience as part of her pre-med track.

Theresa hopes to play club lacrosse, is big into yoga and thinks she might also take up surfing.

One of the big draws to the University of San Diego was the weather.

“I’ve never been a big fan of Minnesota weather, like today,” Theresa said.

Tartan girls lacrosse coach Erik Tvedten got the ball rolling on the scholarship quest. He received an email regarding the foundation and what it was looking for in its scholarship recipients. He submitted a nomination, Theresa wrote the required essay and a couple of months later she was selected.

“She’s a very caring person,” Tvedten said. “She’s thoughtful about what everyone needs. I don’t think I’ve ever heard her say a negative thing about anyone or anything. She always finds a way to twist it and stay positive and that makes for a great teammate.”

That caring nature earned Theresa the nickname “Mama T,” short for Mother Theresa.

“Mama T,” Anderson said. “I love that.”


Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


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