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Getting down and dirty

On Monday, at 8:30 a.m., 72 Bulldogs reported to the first day of two-a-days as Thomson begins preparing for the 2004 Class AAA campaign.

THS_practice2.jpg

Photo by Jason B. Smith
The players, clad in helmets and pads, were greeted by cruel summer heat and a coaching staff that was ready to get the preparation for the upcoming season underway. Two-a-days began at 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. The players returned at 6 p.m. and practiced until 8:30 p.m.

"As far as my people, the offensive linemen, I thought they moved much quicker than they did last year. They should. They are a year older and a year faster," said head coach and athletic director Luther Welsh, in the fourth year of his second stint with the Dogs.

Coach Welsh said he talked with the other coaches and reported that things seemed pretty good for the first day of practice.

"We're just beginning to work on getting on the same page, he said, "We have players that are going into their fourth year. They know what is going on. But we have kids coming over from the middle school and they are up against it learning the way we do things here at the high school level. So, we're kind of getting used to each other."

The 72-year-old coach did have warning.

"If the older kids don't get it straight, some of the younger kids are going to play," he said, alluding to the fact there might be some relaxing going on. "If they (the older players) think they have it made, they will get fooled. Some of these younger players may pass them by."

The coach said two places the Dogs will need to find help is at linebacker and kicker.

"We lost good players at those positions," said Coach Welsh. "As far as a kicker, we are starting from scratch. I don't know what we have as far as a kicker. We'll just have to see."

The previous week, the team ended passing leagues. The leagues, mini games played in helmets and jerseys, do not record scores. Each team gets several 12-play intervals to run offense and defense. Coach Welsh said the three league games primarily helped the defense.

"The defense already has an idea about coverages and so forth. The passing camps give them a chance to get used to defending the pass and also the run to a degree. As far as offense, I was kind of disap-pointed that we didn't catch the football better. What puzzles me is a lot of those kids play basketball and their eye-hand co-ordination should help improve their pass catching." Coach Welsh said currently the receiving corps has no seniors.

"They are underclassmen," he said, "so they are going to have to get better and grow up in experi-ence. It's like this. The more you do something, the better you get. Right now, we are focusing on getting to a spot and then catch-ing the ball. After a while, they'll run the routes as second nature. We'll get more precise and we'll get better."

Thomson will play the first of two scrimmages at Lincoln County Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. The second scrimmage will be the fol-lowing Friday at 8 p.m. at Screven County. The regular season begins Aug. 20 at The Brickyard against non-sub-region opponent Elbert County.



Web posted on Thursday, July 22, 2004


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