ARCOLA (WCIA) — Tanner Thomas is used to throwing a fastball but the new Arcola quarterback is still getting used to putting his arm to good use on the gridiron.

“There’s been a few times where I try to throw it too hard,” Thomas joked before practice on Tuesday.

“Couple times I’m like, ‘Hey, put a little touch on that ball,'” Arcola head coach Nick Lindsey added.

The adjustment from starting pitcher to QB1 is an ongoing process for Tanner but it’s hard to blame the flamethrower when he puts a little too much heat on a pass in the pocket. The 15-year old committed to Louisville baseball last fall. He’s touched 88 miles per hour on the radar gun over the summer, all before he could even get his driver’s license.

“I really don’t have arm issues, my arm’s always in shape,” Thomas said. “It also helps with fitting it into tight windows.”

“I think he really enjoys football,” Lindsey said. “The coaches at Louisville want him to play everything. It’s pretty special that you have a kid of that caliber in a sport, and wants to do everything. You don’t get that very often.”

Thomas isn’t new to the varsity field either. A year ago, he put together an all-conference season as a slot receiver and do-it-all freshman for the Riders.

“Somewhere around 500 yards receiving, like 20 total touchdowns between kick return, defense, receiving,” Lindsey said.

“It really last year that he was in our position group, cause he understands in the routes and where the receivers will be,” Arcola senior wide receiver Austin Kutz said. “Plus he’s already committed for baseball. He’s already got a good arm, we already know that.”

But being the Purple Riders’ QB1 is a whole different ballgame.

“Of course there’s nerves but as soon as you step onto the field it’s just Tuscola vs. Arcola,” Thomas said. “It’s just another game. You just gotta maintain those nerves as your starting the game and once the game starts, it’s just playing football.”

Thomas will try and help Arcola take its first Cola Wars win since 1997 as they try and snap a 14-game losing streak in the first Friday Football Fever Spotlight Game of the Week this fall.