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.
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.
Photo by Jason B. Smith
"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
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
"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.