By Grant Bissell

St. Charles (KSDK) - The Lindenwood University Football team is raising money for a severely injured teammate.

Freshman Sterling Thomas is known by his teammates as a fiery competitor. But the defensive back from Tulsa, Oklahoma injured his spinal cord on Saturday while making a tackle. He's been hospitalized with his family by his side ever since.

In his honor, players are keeping Thomas' jersey on the field during every practice. They've even dedicated the rest of their season to Thomas.

The 18-year-old has a long road to recovery ahead of him. But his coaches and teammates have vowed to support him emotionally, spiritually and even financially.

"We'll be selling bracelets that say 'ST #27 LU Soldier'. His dad always calls him a soldier and that's what he is," said senior team captain Malach Radigan.

"Whether it takes 10 days, 10 years, 20 years we're going to be here for sterling and do everything we can," added head coach Patrick Ross.

The bracelets go on sale next week on Lindenwood's St. Charles campus. Students can get one for a donation of at least a dollar. If you'd like to make a contribution to the Sterling Thomas fund, just call 636-949-4427 or email

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