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Jones, McCord receive scholarships, Mrs. Welsh steals booster banquet show


Lizzie B.J. Thomas (left) and Anne Welsh laugh as Mrs. Welsh holds up a fake magazine cover with her picture on it.

Scholarships were awarded. An old Bulldog got some laughs. Bellies were filled, and the keynote speaker was inspirational.

But everyone agreed the night belonged to the wife of a legendary football coach. Anne Welsh was honored by The Thomson High School Athletic Booster Club Friday evening during its annual banquet for doing what she said was her duty.


Superintendent Mark Petersen hugs Mrs. Welsh during Friday night's banquet.

"It was really nice, and I appreciate all of it," Mrs. Welsh said after the banquet.

During her speech, Mrs. Welsh told stories about supporting her husband, Luther, over the years. Several stories shared the theme of surprise like the time she read about Coach Welsh leaving Dougherty in the newspaper before he told her.

Mrs. Welsh said she didn't know why she had been chosen by the Booster Club for the honor. She said she was simply doing what coach's wives should do, support their husbands through it all while doing the job of both parents most of the time.


Arcephus Jones smiles as he receives the McNeill scholarship from Don McNeill Friday night.

"Well you just have to trust in the Lord to get you through the bad years, and they really make you enjoy the good years," Mrs. Welsh said.

Coach Welsh was also appreciative of the recognition given to his wife for her nearly half century of support.

"I think it was a great night for her and for the entire family," he said, glancing at his grandchildren who joined them at the head table. "Of course she has put up with a lot with me, and she stuck with me when things were good and stuck with me when things were not good. And she never complained."


Thomson Head Coach Luther Welsh presents Tim McCord with the Adam McCorkle, Tony Smith Scholarship.

Also recognized during the banquet were two football players receiving the Club's two scholarships. Both plan to play football in college.

Wingback Tim McCord received the Adam McCorkle, Tony Smith Scholarship. As first reported in The McDuffie Mirror, Tim will play for Cumberland University next fall.

"I think it's a great opportunity for me because this doesn't happen to everyone. So I'm just real grateful for it," Tim said of the scholarship. "...Hopefully one day I'll be able to give back to my community and inspire some kid how Coach Welsh has done for me."


Mrs. Welsh gestures during the banquet.

Offensive Lineman Arcephus Jones was awarded the Mary Knox McNeill Memorial Scholarship. He will attend and play for Fort Valley State this coming year.

"It's a great honor. There's a lot of people they could have chosen, but they chose me," Arcephus said. "...(Playing football in college) is something I've always dreamed of, and that dream is finally coming true. I'm ready for it."


Speaker Ken Smith talks during the banquet.

It was people like Tim, Arcephus, and the Thomson coaching staff that keynote speaker Ken Smith praised for making McDuffie County such a great community. His message was a humorous one that reminded the audience to stay grounded.

And of course former THS football player Cooper Gunby provided entertainment once again. His jokes and reminiscing of old Bulldog coaches and players provided plenty of chuckles for the audience.

Web posted on Thursday, March 30, 2006

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