With the high school football season just a few weeks away, the coaching staff at Thomson High School is hoping to build on the team's success from the end of last season when the Bulldogs made it to the second round of the Class AAA State Playoffs.
"We had a pretty good season last year," said Thomson Head Coach Luther Welsh during a recent interview. "I'm hoping we'll have that kind of season again this year. Only time will tell."
Time is on the side of the Bulldogs right now.
They won't start their season at the same time most prep teams in Georgia will.
The reason: the team's schedule.
Like last year, Thomson will open its 2009 football season Aug. 28.
"We hope that extra time will help us be more prepared for the season," said Coach Welsh. "That's what we're going to be counting on -- you can believe that. We've got a lot of things to get together in terms of being ready for the season."
The following Friday night, Sept. 4, will be a big showdown with one of the longest prep rivalries in this area -- the Washington-Wilkes Tigers. The game will be played at The Brickyard in Thomson at 7:30 p.m.
The team will take on the Lincoln County Red Devils in a scrimmage game at Lincolnton on Friday, Aug. 21.
"We've got another tough schedule this year," said Coach Welsh, who is about to embark on his 53rd career coaching season.
Coach Welsh said he has been pleased with the team's attitude in the weight room this summer.
"The kids have had a real positive attitude about our weight lifting program and that's been pleasing to all of us as coaches," said Coach Welsh. "That's been real encouraging."
The new weight lifting program is modeled after Georgia Tech's program.
Players ventured onto the field for practice session Monday.
"This week, we'll be looking at a lot of players to see where they can best fit in for us," Coach Welsh said. "We'll have a pretty good indication of all of that within a week or two."