Local football star Xavier Thigpen begins his career in law enforcement

SOSO, Miss. (WDAM) – Xavier Thigpen was once a terror on the football pitch.

Now he’s busy keeping the peace as the new Jones County Sheriff’s Department Patrol Deputy.

“Always watching Law & Order and all those shows with my dad on the couch and growing up, that was something that always interested me,” Thigpen said. “When I got to college, I decided to study it a bit.”

When he wasn’t immersed in those criminal justice books, “PawPaw” was making a name for himself as the defensive end for Southern Miss at “The Rock.”

Although he usually goes through Deputy Thigpen these days, what he’s learned between the lines has helped him in the line of duty – like how to handle pressure situations.

“Yeah, sometimes on third down you don’t want to control your emotions, but you have to be able to calm yourself down to play the game,” Thigpen said. “So it’s the same here. You don’t want your emotions to make you make a bad decision.

Thigpen kinda misses football.

A quick chat with her West Jones High School coach, Scott Pierson, brings back a flood of memories of Friday nights in Soso.

The place that prepared him for life.

“Whenever adversity hits, you have to keep fighting,” Thigpen said. “It’s like sports. You may be depressed, but you have to keep clawing and scratching. Coach Pierson, he instilled it in all his football players and took him to college, took him to the next level. As far as you want to go and you can bring it back to life. Whenever something bad happens, you can’t stop and let it get you down. You must continue.

The worst happened to Thigpen in 2017 when he lost his father, Terry, a pastor for many years at Mount Bethel Missionary Baptist Church.

His mother Deanna is still teaching with over 30 years in her profession.

Thigpen has now found a way to make an impact in her community.

“Whenever I see kids in the yard throwing football or shooting hoops, I get out of my car and go with them,” Thigpen said. “It is an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to be a Member of Parliament for the riding in which you were born and raised. I do not take this opportunity lightly.”

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About Michael C. Lovelace

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