There will be new faces on the Thomson gridiron this year, and they should be familiar to Bulldog fans.
The Thomson High coaching staff announced who will be replacing two of the coaches that are leaving at the end of the year for Glynn Academy in Brunswick, Ga.
The junior varsity coach will be coming home for his new job. A 1994 Thomson High graduate and former Bulldog, Chris Hodges, will take the helm of the JV team. And Rodney Garvin, the defensive coordinator for the past two years on the Evans staff will be the new defensive line coach for the THS varsity team.
Coach Hodges is currently coaching varsity running backs, golf and is the JV offensive coordinator at Lumpkin County High School in Dahlonega, Ga.
His JV team went 5-1 last year. He has been in Lumpkin County for three years, but he is happy to return to his old team.
"It's something I've always wanted to do is be able to go back (to Thomson) because it's where I played and went to school, and I have a lot of pride in that," Coach Hodges said.
Coach Hodges, who will teach social studies, also said he will be glad to coach a familiar style of football along side coaches that he played under.
"Just to be able to go and coach with Coach Welsh and just to learn a lot from him, I think will help me out a lot down the road," he said. "I'm looking forward to being able to coach with (John Barnett) too."
Not only is he glad to return to his old school, but to his hometown and his family.
One of his brothers runs the website www.thomsonbulldogs.com, and another was a member of the 2002 state championship team.
Coach Garvin, the new defensive line coach, student-taught at Screven County and worked in Jenkins County prior to moving to Evans. The physical education teacher said he's glad to be a Bulldog now.
"I'm excited about it, very much so. It's a great opportunity for me, no doubt about it," said Coach Garvin.
Coach Welsh is happy with the new additions to the coaching staff, stating that their experience and familiarity with the program would come in handy.
"They'll do a good job. They have experience in it. It's not something new to them," he said.
Coach Garvin will replace Lee Hutto and Coach Hodges will take over for Josh Veal who both followed Thomson Offensive Coordinator Rob Ridings after he took the head-coaching job at Glynn Academy.
No word yet who will replace Coach Ridings. According to Coach Welsh the new offensive coordinator will have to be a math or English teacher because those are the teaching positions open at THS.
"We're having a problem with it because you know you have to fill a teaching slot first, and I can't always find coaches that will fit in an English class or a math class," Coach Welsh said.