If anybody is happy about the history-making soccer season that the Thomson High School Lady Bulldogs have enjoyed this season, it has to be seniors Casey Brooks and Chelsea Jones.
Both players have had stellar performances. Now the biggest game of their prep careers is just around the corner - Friday to be specific. In talking to them, both Brooks and Jones contend they are ready to face the challenge that awaits them.
The big game will be played in The Brickyard in Thomson at 5:30 p.m. They will play be hosting Worth County.
No matter the outcome of the game, the Lady Bulldogs have the kind of season they had wanted - to get into the Class AAA State Soccer Playoffs for the first time in school history.
"We've had a great season up to this point," said Jones. "It would be great if we could win in the first-round of the state playoffs."
Brooks shares those sentiments.
"I'm hoping we will play well and win," said Brooks. "I think it's going to be fun. We've never played in a bigger game."
The Lady Bulldogs, who have lost only two games this season - one to St. Vincent by a score of 14-0 in Savannah more than a week ago and a regular season loss at the hands of Cross Creek's Lady Razorbacks, which spoiled Thomson's bid for their first undefeated regular season. The loss to St. Vincent was expected, since the school has one of the finest girls' soccer programs in Georgia.
Brooks and Jones have been two of the star players for the Lady Bulldogs this season. They have done the little things that it has taken for the team to be where they find themselves at this stage of the season - the state playoffs.
The Thomson team has had to undergo some emotional times of late - losing their head coach, Ben Davall, towards the end of the regular season because of a suspension by McDuffie County School Superintendent Mark Petersen. Since Mr. Davall's suspension, the girls' varsity soccer program has been overseen by Thomson boys' soccer Head Coach Barry Arrington.
Both players admit that it's been an emotional lull for the team, but that they believe they have done well coping with the situation.
"What's more important right now is trying to win our very first state playoff soccer game," said Brooks.
Jones couldn't agree more.
"We have to concentrate totally on the playoff game, now," said Jones. "That's all I want to think about right now."
From an offensive standpoint, Brooks has been nothing less than sensational this season. She leads the team in scoring.
"I love scoring goals," said Brooks. "I love helping my team win games."
Brooks and Jones have been friends since they attended elementary school together and both of them have played soccer since they were youngsters playing with the youth soccer program with the Thomson-McDuffie County Recreation and Leisure Services at Sweetwater Park.