I did something Friday night that I will ashamedly admit to having not done in a couple or three years. I went to Thomson High School to the basketball games where our Bulldogs were playing host to the Harlem Bulldogs.
Last season I traveled to Gray, Ga., to cover the state tournament game against Douglas County but I didn't find my way to the local gym for a game. My son, Wesley, makes a few games to support his THS classmates and I'm sure to throw in a little socializing. I'm glad for him, sad for me.
Like their football counterparts, these young ladies and men deserve our support. Not that there was not a good crowd there, there was. The THS gym is rather large and has plenty of seating, so the house was not packed. Maybe it should be, especially on a Friday night.
I realize that basketball is a different sport than football, mainly in the sheer number of games played. In football there are only five home games, played on Friday nights. Unlike basketball there are no Tuesday and Saturday night games to spread out the attendance.
High school fans scorn Saturday night games in football because for working folks, there's usually a lot already on the plate for Saturdays. I suspect they feel the same way during the cold months of basketball season. Tuesdays, well they're Tuesdays.
But if you can find time to make it to the THS gym for a game, I'll think you'll be pleased. From what I observed, both teams hustle and are well coached. A few more hands clapping and cheers from the bleachers just may give them a real home court advantage.
For the record, the dates of the remaining home games are January 25 against Hephzibah and January 29 against Jefferson Co. Why not pick one of those nights and start a new tradition of attending at least one home basketball game? Who knows, it may even turn into a habit that the basketball players would really appreciate.
Coach Welsh gave me the grand tour of the new $2.3 million athletic facility at THS on Saturday morning. He told me that he is well pleased with how it turned out. Much credit should be given to the voters of McDuffie County for approving the SPLOST that paid for it and to former superintendent Dr. Ed Grisham for making a dream a reality.
As a former coach that once briefly worked in the confines of the old field house in The Brickyard and the sized down athletic wing of the high school, I can assure you this building was long overdue.
Allow me to also note the performance of the Atlanta Falcons in their 47-17 stomping of the Rams in last Saturday night's playoff game. They looked like a real juggernaut. Never have I gone to church on a Sunday morning and heard so many people with the word "Falcons" rolling off their tongues. That was before the sermon of course.
The best part for me was seeing the Georgia Dome on television filled with fans dressed in red having such a good time. Atlanta fans leaving early to catch MARTA because the game was well in hand in their favor is quite a switch from most of the years the Falcons have inhabited the Dome.
Good luck to the Falcons in the NFC Championship game in Philadelphia against the Eagles this Sunday.