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Dogs look forward to Screven scrimmage

An interesting rivalry has sprung up between Thomson and Screven County in recent years.

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Thomson Head Coach Luther Welsh takes a bite of watermelon following practice Monday. the Watson-Brown Foundation donated the melons - which were delivered to the team by booster club members.

With Screven's former principal and last two head football coaches now at Thomson, a still friendly but unique dynamic could be present when those teams face off in their scrimmage in Sylvania tomorrow.

"It's going back where you came from," said Thomson Head Coach Luther Welsh who coached at Screven County from 1996 to 1998. "I enjoyed it there. They didn't run me off. I still have friends there, and they were good to me. Therefore, we still have that good relationship."

In addition to Coach Welsh, Thomson High Principal Rudy Falana came to Thomson from Screven County. And most recently, Mark Daniel served as Screven's head coach from 1999 to 2005, before moving to serve as Thomson's offensive coordinator.

All that familiarity hasn't really bred contempt, just mounds of knowledge on how each team will attack and react. Coach Welsh said with the Gamecocks continuing to use the same system as when he coached there, preparation for the scrimmage shouldn't be too difficult.

"We're just putting in practice just like we would for a football game," Coach Welsh said. "...We'll kind of know what they're doing. Of course, they'll know what we're doing, too."

In the past few years, Thomson teams have utilized two scrimmages, but with the start of the season being moved back to September, all teams are allowed only one. And one is enough, Coach Welsh said.

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THS Booster Club President Rick McCorkle handles a piece of watermelon.

"It gives you time not to have to rush so much. Especially this year when we didn't have two-a-days, it turned out good not to have that one," he said.

Coaches use the scrimmage to tweak plays and make sure each position will be filled by the right player when the games start counting toward the team's record.

"Really, all those games are for is just to see how those kids react. We make it like a regular game, and they're out there on their own," Coach Welsh said.

Some of the younger players will get necessary game experience in the scrimmage, too. The second group will play the second half. Coach Welsh said with little depth this season, he hopes his second string can grow up in a hurry.

The Bulldogs will face the Gamecocks at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Screven County's stadium in Sylvania.



Web posted on Thursday, August 24, 2006













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