It's the year that Jay Bieltz has long awaited -- his senior year of soccer at Thomson High School.
After three games this season, the 18-year-old senior star soccer player has scored eight goals and only needs three more to eclipse the all-time school scoring record of 80 -- a record that has stood for several years.
"He's a very special player," says Thomson first year head coach Jimmy Dominquez. "Jay is a very talented player with very good work habits. He's always somewhere close to the ball."
Coach Dominquez added that he expects big things from Bieltz this season.
The record could be broken this Friday night when the Bulldogs travel to South Georgia to take on Richmond Hill in their first Region 3-AAA game of the season.
Already, the Bulldogs have gotten off to a nice start, having won their first two games over Grovetown and Westside high schools. In their latest game, which was played in Lincolnton last Friday night, Bieltz kicked a second half goal that led to a 1-1 tie with the Lincoln County Red Devils.
Bieltz, the son of Dr. John and Linda Bieltz, of Thomson, has wanted to break the all-time scoring record in soccer at Thomson High School, since his freshman year as a starter. He remembers telling his father that he wanted to accomplish such a feat.
"I told my Dad when I was first joined the varsity team that I wanted to break the school scoring record," recalled Bieltz during a telephone interview with The McDuffie Mirror on Monday night.
Bieltz explained that since he has such a passion and love for soccer that it's one way he can leave his legacy at the school when he graduates.
"It would be a big, big accomplishment for me, personally, to break the all-time scoring record," said Bieltz, who wants to achieve the honor at home rather than on the road. "I'd rather break the goal at home, because I think it would be more special."
And if he doesn't do it in the game against Richmond Hill on Friday night, he could possibly do it when the Bulldogs play host to Liberty County this Saturday. All home games this season will be played on the field behind Thomson High School rather than in The Brickyard. Both weekend games are key Region 3-AAA matches for the Bulldogs.
"I'd love to break the record at home on Saturday," said Bieltz.
Bieltz, who is in his fourth year as a star soccer player, is a member of the boys' golf team at THS, as well as the former placekicker for the Bulldogs in football for three years.
This season, like has been the case since he was a sophomore, Bieltz is juggling a heavy spring sports load. He's playing soccer and golf at the same time.
Even though he liked playing football and likes golf, those two sports don't offer what he gets out of playing soccer.
"I guess it's (soccer) just my thing," said Bieltz.
Though time is rapidly approaching for three-sport athlete to break the soccer scoring record at THS, it's not something he feels pressured about.
"I don't ever let pressure bother me," said Bieltz. "I just try to go out and do the best I can in every game."
Because he is such a talented soccer player, he has drawn the interest of several college soccer colleges. Two of those colleges include Georgia South Western and Anderson College in Anderson, S.C.
Just a week ago, Bieltz visited the campus of Anderson College. He plans to announce where he is going to play college soccer later this season.