COLUMBIA, S.C. - On the sidelines of Williams Brice Stadium Saturday night was one former Thomson offensive lineman who wasn't there to play, but he got a front-row seat to watch old teammates playing in the Southeastern Conference.
Billy Brunson serves as an equipment manager for the University of Georgia football team. Watching Danny Verdun Wheeler, along with South Carolina's Jasper and Casper Brinkley on the same field brought back memories of Thomson's 2002 state championship run.
"It's a testament to our team we had that year and our coaches. It's awesome for me just to be a part of it," he said. "Being a part of it reminds me of that season."
Aside from handling equipment for Georgia's offensive line, Brunson was glad to have the chance to reconnect with old teammates.
"I got to talk Jap and Cap before the game," he said. "I told them to play good, but not too good. That's probably something I've never had happen before, having somebody that you want to see do good and somebody you care about on the other team."
Brunson can keep an eye on Verdun Wheeler. But despite the Brinkleys' choice of colleges, he wishes them well during the rest of the season.
"I'm real excited for them because it couldn't happen to two better people," he said. "You like to see people like that do good and get that opportunity, even if it is South Carolina."