Dillon McTier loves this time of the year more than words could say.
There's a special reason: It's high school football season.
"It's great that the season is finally here," said the 16-year-old starter junior center for the Thomson High Bulldogs. "Football is something I love."
McTier, the son of Mike and Lynne McTier, of Dearing, was the starting center for the Bulldogs during the last four games of last season.
He's one of the biggest players on the offensive line, standing 6-1 and weighing 260 pounds.
McTier, an A-B student, admitted he's wanted to play for the Bulldogs and Head Coach Luther Welsh since he was a little boy.
"This has been my dream since I was 8 years old," said McTier, noting that those dreams began when he started playing midget football with the Thomson-McDuffie Recreation and Leisure Services.
McTier has played center the past eight years. By the time he entered eighth grade, he had been tapped as the starting center for the Thomson Middle School Bulldogs. The same held true when he became a freshman, playing for THS Junior Varsity Head Coach Chris Hodges.
"It's a position I really love playing," said McTier, adding that football allows him to better deal with anger. "It's my anger management course."
McTier said he doesn't win every blocking battle on the gridiron.
"Sometimes I meet my match," said McTier, who considers himself a country boy. "And sometimes I can hit back pretty good."
There are many key components to becoming a well-rounded center. McTier says one of the most important ingredients is to listen to what coaches say.
"They (Coach Welsh and Assistant Coach Brad Smith) show me the right techniques and blocking assignments," McTier said. "They keep after me and other offensive linemen to keep low, drive my feet and keep going until you knock them (opponents) down."
McTier said he strives to do his best always, because of his competitive nature and because he likes winning as much as his coaches do.
"I do my best, just like the coaches do," he said. "I want to give them my best effort, because they do so much for us."
McTier, who loves to fish and hunt when he's not playing football, also credits his older brother, Josh Davis, of Augusta, with having taught him a lot about the game.
"I learned a lot of things from him," said McTier.
Davis, who was known by the nickname, "Big Country," played at Thomson High and graduated in 1998.
McTier said he believes the Bulldogs will have another successful season.
"I think our new offense is going to be real effective," he said, referencing the team's new concept of mixing up of their Wing-T offense with a lot more passing.
"It's something we've never done before. I think it will work, because we've been practicing it a lot."