I'm no fan of football coaches using newspaper articles or internet chat rooms as motivational fodder. It takes credit away from the efforts of the players' inner drive in preparing themselves for a game. Besides, what happens if you wait around for a reporter to diss you and they never do?
However, I do believe that The Augusta Chronicle's Jeff Sentell's mid-season grade of the Thomson Bulldogs in last Friday's paper could be prime bulletin board material for Coach Welsh to share with the team. Based on the thrashing of Hephzibah, maybe he did use it. Sentell gave the Dogs a grade of C based on a three-point loss to Burke County. He spoke of the team "taking the semester off to party." I'm sure he was being satirical. I hope so. Coach Welsh ain't running a fraternity house.
He suggested that at 5-1, now 6-1, the Bulldogs only deserved a C because "this was a state title contender." Are they no longer a championship contender because they lost to Burke County? Realistically, I wouldn't bet the mortgage that this team will be state champs come December, but I sure as heck wouldn't bet against it either. Anything can happen and that loss on Sept. 10 has only served to help the cause.
Interestingly enough, he gave three Augusta schools higher grades. Aquinas got an A+ and promptly gave up over 500 yards in a 27-0 loss to Lincoln Co. Glenn Hills scored an A for a 5-1 record and were picked to play Thomson for the region title on October 22.
Cross Creek, with only two wins, was given a B+ just for figuring out that an occasional victory is allowed. The star student Razorbacks were smashed by lowly Thomson three weeks ago. Mr. Sentell made an excuse for Greenbrier's C- by blaming it on injuries and tough road games. Do you suppose he never heard about Thomson's rash of injuries? Did he just dismiss their tough road game at Cross Creek? That question was satirical. I promise.
Fellow region opponents Burke County, Harlem, Hephzibah, ARC and Butler were not graded. I suppose they were given extra time to get their midterm work turned in. After all, how much credit could Burke County get for their biggest win coming against mediocre Thomson? Maybe he didn't want to give the others a D or F.
Another pet peeve of mine from the big city media is Channel 6's Football Friday Night. I'll never understand why two sports anchors can't designate someone to call in final scores from each home team. What's the point in showing two plays of highlights, and I use that word loosely, from the second quarter but not having a final score to report?
Rather than pleading over the air for a caller to fill them in, why not prearrange for a team's statistician, P.A. announcer, mascot, or anybody to give them a buzz. Maybe they're too busy dreaming up cutesy comments to think of that. I have made this suggestion to the TV screen for years.
I will give them credit for one thing. At least they don't fill the studio with Josey band members and cheerleaders like Tony "Cornbread" Cornish, Jr. did every week a few years back. That was real bulletin board stuff at my house.