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Sports talk

Last December, when the high school football season was over, I wrote that Thomson High head coach Luther Welsh would likely need to adjust his offensive approach. It was not that I thought coach Welsh needed the advice of some bozo writer who didn't make it in coaching. I doubt he even read it.

After watching his ground-oriented Wing-T attack stifled by teams loading the line of scrimmage, I am sure coach Welsh realized on his own that changes were needed. Compounding the issue for this season was an heir-apparent quarterback whose skills are better suited for passing than running the football. That would be junior Phillip Anderson.

If you watched the scrimmage in Lincoln County on Friday night, you must give coach Welsh credit for realizing that an offensive change was necessary and for having the conviction to move away from a philosophy that has worked so well for him. His record speaks for itself.

In our wildest dreams did any of us anticipate that a Luther Welsh team would play a whole game from the shotgun/spread formation? That is what happened Friday night. I do not recall a Bulldog quarterback taking a single snap from under center.

There is no doubt Anderson has a great throwing arm and pretty good receivers to throw to. As with any passing attack, you'll complete some and you'll miss some, especially when the offense is new to the players.

All things considered, the offense gave a good accounting of itself against the Red Devils, though pass blocking should improve.

This isn't to say Thomson did not rush at all. The Bulldogs have implemented an assortment of running plays with Wing-T blocking schemes, only executing them from the shotgun. There were also a few draw plays.

Kudos go to offensive staff members Bobby Thomas, Eddie Lee Ivery, Brad Smith, Chris Hodges and Alvin Wright for implementing a new plan and getting it game-ready. The players especially should be commended for buying into the system and working hard to make it go.

My overall impression: the Bulldogs might be lacking in the speed department. There are some position players who have great first steps and quickness for 20 yards or so, but I'm not sure there is a true game breaker who can outrun a defense for 70 yards.

The Bulldogs are working hard for next week's opener against Washington-Wilkes in The Brickyard. Watching a new offensive attack develop should be lots of fun.

I just hope I don't hear fans yelling, "Run the ball" after every incomplete pass.



Web posted on Thursday, August 27, 2009













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