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Looking ahead

It seems that the favorite pastime for sports writers and sportscasters is to look ahead. As a regular old fan not trained in sports writing, I don't like to look ahead because I don't believe in it. It is actually a stupid thing to do if you are involved with a football team. Since I am writing this for the newspaper, all bets are off, so here goes.

Like many schools in the state, the Thomson Bulldogs are coming off an open date this week when they travel to Hephzibah. For some reason many schools had their open dates on the second or fourth week of the season, and coupled with the games lost or shortened by the weather, it has been hard to get a grip on who may have a good team or who may just be a wanna-be.

Since I don't believe in counting your chickens before they hatch, I will look back and see how many biddies that we do have. The combined record of Thomson's first three opponents so far is 5-5-1. Salem, at 3-1, has not lost since opening night against the Bulldogs. Washington-Wilkes is 1-3 against a slate that has a record of 7-5-1. Jefferson County is 1-1-1 but their three opponents have combined for five wins, only two losses and, of course, one rain-shortened tie.

The Hephzibah Rebels are 2-2 with their two wins against 1-3 Monroe Area and winless Butler. They lost their first two games of the season to unbeaten teams Cross Creek and Glenn Hills. They scored 49 against Monroe Area and 41 on hapless Butler, so it sounds like they have some offensive threats. With the game to be played in Hephzibah, Thomson needs to be ready.

Thomson's opponent for next week, Benedictine, is 2-1 and they play host to Butler tomorrow night so they will be 3-1 when they come to The Brickyard. After that the Butler Bulldogs come to town, and this is the only game that I would consider a gimme on Thomson's remaining schedule.

Most fans will be looking to the season finale against Washington County as "the" big game, but on Oct. 19, Thomson plays Glenn Hills in The Pit. Right now Glenn Hills is 3-0 and plays at Burke County, at Liberty County, and plays host to Harlem over the next three weeks. That likely means that the worst the Spartans will be is 4-2 and they very well could still be undefeated when that game rolls around. That game, played in Augusta, is setting up as a dangerous one for Thomson.

After that Thomson plays host to Harlem - who is now 1-2, travels to Cross Creek - who is now 3-0 and plays host to Washington County - who is now 0-3. The Hawks have lost to Baldwin, Westminster and Dublin, three good football teams who are a combined 6-3 right now.

All of these numbers tell me that Thomson has already played a pretty tough schedule and still has some legitimate tests ahead. On future Friday nights these numbers will be meaningless, so all I have proven here is that even I can be stupid when I want to be.

Web posted on Thursday, September 27, 2007

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