Community Captain: Thomas Teal

The Carolina Panthers have selected Thomas Teal, a senior offensive guard and defensive tackle at Marlboro County High School (Bennettsville, SC), as a 2009 Carolina Panthers Community Captain. The Carolina Panthers Community Captain program recognizes high school football student-athletes in North and South Carolina who excel in the classroom, in the community and on the field.

The program is designed to recognize outstanding young leaders and to encourage their future development as role models while they continue their personal growth in college and in their professional careers.

As a natural born leader, being a captain is nothing new to Teal. Teal exhibits Community Captain attributes through his willingness to lead on and off the field, and as captain of the Marlboro County High School varsity football team.

For the past two years, Teal has serviced his community through the national Relay For Life campaign, serving as Marlboro County High's team captain. Under Teal's leadership, the Marlboro County High Relay For Life team raised over $10,000. "Thomas is a great leader. When he puts it in his mind to do something, he gets it done. He led his team in Relay on fundraising and on logistics," said Relay for Life Team Chair, Randy Neely.

Along with Relay For Life, Teal was also the March of Dimes co-chair. With this position, Teal was responsible for helping with event day tasks, walking and spending time with the children involved. "I like being able to help with such a great cause," said Teal regarding both events.

Teal's ability to be a leader is also seen in the classroom. "He is a natural leader, and is someone others want to team up with," said Katherine Manville, Teal's chemistry teacher.

Someone who is self motivated to succeed, Teal's academic determination helped him obtain a 3.29 GPA and a Triple Crown award, which signifies he passed his senior exit exam on the first try. "Academically I have done what I have needed to do to give myself every opportunity to be able to go to school," said Teal.

During Teal's four years at Marlboro County High, his good character and integrity have not gone unnoticed by his peers and staff. "Teal is a great young man, he works hard and has his head on right. He takes responsibility for his decisions," said Athletic Director, Dean Boyd.

Teal earned All-State honors during his junior campaign and has been an All-Region recipient for the past two years. Teal will soon trade in his Bulldog black and gold for his Wolfpack Red and Black, as he has verbally committed to playing for North Carolina State University in the fall of 2010.

The 2009 Carolina Panthers Community Captain Class will be recognized during a special on-field ceremony at the Panthers home game versus the Minnesota Vikings on December 20th. Winners will receive an authentic Community Captain jersey and will have the opportunity to participate in select Panthers community outreach events with current Panthers players.

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