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UNT football player, Micah Thompson, has been raised by the game
Audra Stamp / Staff Writer
Micah Thompson – a sophomore offensive linesman for UNT – is happy to be playing Division I football, but he, at 21 years old, has experience that many of his teammates do not understand.
From the age of four Thompson was without a father, and relied on his coaches to discipline and teach him. Growing up with a single mother of two rowdy boys, the income was low and food stamps became a way of life for a period of time.
But with his mother’s guidance, coaches’ wisdom and wife’s love, he was able to sustain a full-ride football scholarship to UNT and is now fathering his own seven-month-old son, Kendrix.
“I never had a father figure,” Thompson said. “Football kind of really helped, that was my go-to for a father figure. Every coach I had was like a dad to me.”
Living in the small country town of Jones, Okla., Thompson’s father left the family shortly before his son’s fourth birthday. Never really knowing his father or his reason for leaving, Thompson relied on his coaches, who understood his situation and watched over him like their own son.
Getting government help, having an occasional fight at school and struggling at times in the classroom, Thompson found his escape in sports. He became involved in the athletic program at Jones High School, leaving as a four-year letterman in football, weightlifting and track.
In high school, Thompson also met his future wife, Kira Simpson. The two connected because they both lacked a father figure growing up and understood that they would have each other.
“It made me want a relationship more based on love with a guy because I didn’t have my dad around,” Kira said. “So I wanted Micah because he knew exactly what it felt like.”
In December 2011 – his freshman year of college – he married Kira and became a father soon after. Though Thompson never expected to have a child so early, he hoped he would be a better father than his own.
Not knowing what to do as a college student athlete and a soon-to-be father, Thompson was nervous. Remembering men from his past in a situation similar to his, he hoped he wouldn’t end up like them – no longer an athlete or even in school.
“It was rough because I didn’t know what to do,” Thompson said. “I didn’t have anybody to turn to or talk to about it but my mom.”
In his second year as a sociology student at UNT he lives in an apartment with his wife and child.
Thompson attends classes in the morning then goes to practice, meetings, study hall, and still finds time to spend at home at the end of the day with Kira and Kendrix.
“The time commitment for student athletes who don’t have children is unbelievably taxing,” senior associate athletic director Eric Capper said. “But for someone who is also trying to be a dad at that time, it’s really difficult, and I think Micah’s done a good job of being able to balance life.”
Despite the time he spends on the field and in the classroom, Thompson plans on being in his son’s life, being the best father he can and teaching him a motto he lives by: never give up.