Pascagoula native Sarah Thomas 1st woman to officiate bowl

By Jeff Shepard – bio | email

DETROIT (AP) - Sarah Thomas is making history at the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl.

A bowl spokesman says Thomas, a native of Pascagoula, became the first woman to officiate a bowl game when she worked Saturday's Ohio-Marshall matchup as the line judge.

She was the first woman to be an official for a major college football game in 2007 and is on the NFL's list of officiating prospects. The married mother of two young sons is from Brandon, Miss., and is a pharmaceutical representative.

Thomas is one of five women officiating in major college football.

Terri Valenti is believed to be the first woman to officiate a pro game. She was the head linesman earlier this year in a United Football League game.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)