Moments later, Tomes received a text message.
"Have fun at the mall," the text read.
The message wasn't from a friend, teammate or a family member. It was from a college basketball coach -- Tomes doesn't remember exactly who -- but one of the many who started following the East Ridge senior on his social media accounts last summer when he was in the midst of his college recruitment process.
"It was a wake-up call," Tomes said, "like he's following me, everything I post."
Tomes, who committed to Air Force last fall, said he knew coaches could see his posts, but he didn't think they were paying attention on Twitter until an influx of coaches started to boost his follower count.
"They're going to see (what I post)," Tomes said.
And they're paying close attention.
Minnesota State Mankato football coach Todd Hoffner said social media is just one piece of the recruiting puzzle for coaches, but he said social media could help tip the scales on a recruit.
"You've got so many things that you look at when going into recruiting a kid. Looking at their Twitter account, Facebook, Instagram or whatever," Gophers men's basketball coach Richard Pitino said. "There's a lot of guys that can turn you off with the things that they say or they do on social media."
High school recruits have been left on guard about what they post.
"I think before I tweet, I'd definitely say that," said Apple Valley center Brock Bertram, who has offers from LaSalle and Texas Tech and will be a senior this fall.
"I don't want to tweet anything dumb or stupid that could really risk my chances of going somewhere or will make myself look bad."Rosemount volleyball player and Gophers commit Brittany McLean remembers when a coach from Purdue followed her on Twitter, which she said was awkward at the time.
"I had to become more responsible about who was following me and what I was posting," said McLean, who will be a senior this fall.
Responsibility and social media can be concepts that don't jibe for high school kids.
Eighty-one percent of kids between ages 15 and 17 use social media, according to a 2015 Pew Research Center report. Many kids will throw caution to the wind when posting on their Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat accounts. McLean said she knows of athletes who have gotten into trouble for things they've posted."They don't have a filter, really," Tomes said. "I definitely see some tweets and Instagram posts that are pretty 'out there.' "
Still, Hoffner said he takes things he sees from recruits on social media "with a grain of salt."
"They're young, they have young minds," he said. "Some of the things that are posted on there do not shock me."
Tomes said he believes the topics on which a person posts reflect who he or she is as a person. Pitino uses social media posts to help determine what type of mentality a player might have.
"A pet peeve of mine is they retweet everything that everybody writes about them," Pitino said of potential recruits. "To me, you've got to find guys who are about the team and less about themselves and attention.
"Social media will tell on you, that's for sure. It'll show you who cares about writing about them and who cares about themselves more than the team. There's been a lot of guys when we've looked at it, it's raised some red flags."
But Tomes never let the recruiting process deter him from using social media -- primarily his Twitter and Instagram accounts.
"I'm still a kid," he said. "I post just like other kids do."
What's the primary difference between Tomes and some other kids his age?
"I'm mindful," he said.
Hoffner said he talks to his players about social media once they get to campus in Mankato. He said at one point the athletics department regulated and monitored what athletes posted, but that system has been removed.
"It came to a point where they quit nitpicking," he said, "because these young men and women also have rights and the freedom of speech."
McLean said some people might consider self-enforced regulations to be restricting, but she said it's the same thing she would do if she were searching for a job.
"It was what I had to learn," she said. "People can see what you post, and I don't want to leave a bad trail behind me."
By Jace Frederick, posted on twincities.com