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Thomson Middle Dogs ready for season start

The road to a second straight Super 10 Region Championship has already been bumpy and full of curves for the Thomson Middle School Bulldogs.

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Daniel Poston gets ready to catch a ball.

If the squad of seventh and eighth graders want to cherish the glory of receiving another big trophy at season's end, they must overcome several hurdles and obstacles that have plagued the team over the past several weeks.

The biggest obstacle that the Bulldogs have faced thus far in the pre-season has been the injuries to key personnel, mostly on the offensive unit.

"The injury bug has bit us big time in the past few weeks," said Bulldog Head Coach Nick Brinson. "The injuries we have experienced are parallel to what the varsity squad is going through right now."

Coach Brinson, who is beginning his sixth year as engineer of the Thomson Middle football program, added, "At the moment, we have six or seven players out that are nursing crucial injuries that will prevent them from seeing action at the beginning of the season. A few of these players might miss the entire season."

The Bulldog players who are suffering those injuries are Trey Bailey -- shoulder, Tommy Smallwood -- collarbone, Chris Bowick -- collarbone, Jonathan Talkington -- back, McKenzie Mullins -- leg, and James Bonner -- wrist.

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Brandon Huff smiles during a water break at Thomson Middle football practice.

Besides all these injuries, the Bulldog roster consists of 63 players, which is an average number of participants over the past few years.

At this point in the practice sessions for the Bulldogs, the defensive unit is the strongest aspect of the team.

"Our defense is fast and strong, and the guys 'get to the bone'," Coach Brinson said. "We have showed a lot of promise defensively, and hopefully, our offense will be right behind them."

As with any team, when a squad has strengths, there are weaknesses that follow suit. Right now, according to Coach Brinson, his Bulldogs are weak in hustle and game knowledge.

With all these strengths and weaknesses, the Bulldogs will be put to the test this Saturday, Aug. 28, in a four-team pre-season jamboree in Sandersville at Elder Middle School. Along with TMS, the other teams participating will be Warren County, Washington County and Wrens.

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James Gwinn catches a pass.

"We are looking forward to playing in this jamboree, so we can see what some of our competition looks like," Coach Brinson said. "These teams are on the 'B' side of our region, and we will be facing them in just a few weeks in the regular season."

The Bulldogs will open their regular season on Friday night, September 3 at home, against Louis-Frazier Middle School of Hinesville. Game time is 6 p.m. at the Brickyard.

"Before we play the teams in our region, we need a lot of improvement on both sides of the football," Coach Brinson said. "We must find more depth at several key positions."

He added, "With all the injuries to our players, we are trying to stay positive about the upcoming season. Many answers to a lot of questions hopefully will be answered this Saturday."

Coach Brinson and his staff of Defensive Coordinator Aaron Hall, Brett Chalker and Brian Usry are trying to build a true-base of athletes for the Thomson High JV squad. This goal will be easier to reach when the injuries have healed, and the team's weaknesses have been dissolved.

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Matthew McEver (right) gets ready to hit.

The Bulldogs finished last season with an 8-0 record and clinched the Super 10 Region Championship with a big victory over Hancock County.


TMS7.jpg

Jeremy McGahee runs during TMS practice.


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Coach Nick Brinson talks with some of his players.


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Coach Brian Usry watches practice unfold.


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Coach Aaron Hall shows players the correct catching technique.




Web posted on Thursday, August 26, 2004


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