The job of a high school football coach may be one of the toughest around. But tougher still is the job of a coach's wife.
No one knows that better than Anne Welsh. Her husband, Luther, has been helping turn young football players into men for nearly 50 years -15 of those in Thomson - leaving her to handle much of what was needed around the home.
Anne Welsh cheers on the Dogs during a game last season. Later this month, she will be honored by the Thomson High School Athletic Booster Club.
Photo by Staff
The Thomson High School Athletic Booster Club will pay tribute to her unwavering support of her husband and his program at its ninth annual awards banquet on March 24.
"I can't think of anybody that is more deserving than Mrs. Anne Welsh," said Booster Club Member Ralph Starling. "She's been with him through all his victories and all his losses, and she is a true blue Thomson High fan in the greatest way."
Mrs. Welsh said she is honored by the recognition, but she still has no idea why the club would choose her.
"I'm really flattered, but I really think they ought to pick somebody else," she said. "...I feel like what I do is what every coach's wife should do. You just support your husband. I can't help it if his job isn't a nine-to-five job. It's an eight-to-whenever job."
Mrs. Welsh often tells her husband prior to the first practice she will see him again at Christmas. She remembers a dinner discussion the night of winning a state championship when her daughter asked Coach Welsh when they were going Christmas shopping. He said he'd need a week to relax first.
"She said, 'Daddy you're going to Christmas shop after Christmas?'" Mrs. Welsh recalled.
In addition to paying tribute to the model coach's wife, the booster club will also give away its two scholarships, the Adam McCorkle / Tony Smith Scholarship and the Mary Knox McNeill Memorial Scholarship.
The special guest speaker will be the former chaplain for the Florida State and South Carolina football teams, Ken Smith. He also served as Chairman of the Florida Baptist Convention's State Board. He speaks at many events across the country, including Billy Graham crusades.
"I am always excited to do athletic banquets because I feel a lot of life lessons are learned there," Mr. Smith said. "Thomson, no doubt, has some class leaders in the community and in the athletic department. I am thrilled to get the opportunity to talk to tomorrow's leaders."
The banquet begins at 7 p.m. at the Thomson First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall and will be catered by Neal's Bar-B-Que. Thomson native Cooper Gunby will again be providing special entertainment. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at Queensboro National Bank, Sears, BiLo or The McDuffie Mirror.
In addition to the banquet, the four-man Lauderdale golf tournament will take place Saturday and Sunday at Belle Meade with shotgun starts at 1:30 p.m. both days. Contact Stuart Young, Henry Thomas or visit Belle Meade to sign up.
"It's our major fundraisers of the year," Mr. Starling said. "...If (people or businesses) would like to make a contribution, it goes to our total budget. And we're funding a whole lot of stuff, not only football, but baseball and girls softball, every sport at Thomson High School."