The Thomson Middle-Thomson-McDuffie Junior High Bulldogs have concluded their 2009 football campaign with a winning season.
The season was somewhat of a surprising one for second year head coach Aaron Hall. The reason: The Bulldogs lost their season opener to the Washington-Wilkes Middle Tigers. And coach Hall wasn't happy.
"We didn't play like we were capable of playing," lamented coach Hall. "We should have won that ballgame."
Even though his team lost their first game of the season, they demonstrated they could come back with a vengeance. They proved it when they avenged Washington-Wilkes with a 30-14 in the last game of the season.
"We played them a lot better game the second time around," said coach Hall.
Following the loss, coach Hall said he and his staff made some changes that he believes made a difference in the outcome of the season.
"Defensively, we stepped it up," noted coach Hall. "We made a few changes that proved to be instrumental in us having a winning season."
Prior to the last game, Thomson played another close game. It was against the Wrens Middle Colts of head coach Chris Thigpen, a former standout football player at Thomson High School. Thomson prevailed 22-16.
"Wrens gave us a tough fight," said coach Hall. "I was glad we were able to do what we needed to do and get away with a win."
Overall, he said he was proud of his players and the commitment they made to the football program this year.
"I think we were persistent and I think that's one of the reasons we were as successful as we were this season," added coach Hall.
The head mentor praised several of his players who turned in what he described as an outstanding season.
They included: John Cody, a seventh grader who played center; Juan Sturgis, a fullback and defensive end; Quay Cummings, quarterback and defensive back; Felton Hatcher, fullback and defensive back; Hunter Toomey, tight end and defensive end; and Ryan Kelly, wide receiver and defensive back.
Coach Hall said he was sending over "a good corps of players" to the high school next year. A total of 35 eighth graders are expected to be moving up to the next level.