What a soccer season it was for the Thomson High Bulldogs.
They made it all the way to the Class AAA state playoffs -- something never before achieved.
The Bulldogs also accomplished another feat -- putting together their first-ever 10-game winning season. Thomson finished with an impressive overall record of 10-6-1.
In the first round of the playoffs, which was played against the LaGrange Grangers two weeks ago, Thomson was upended 9-0. Despite the outcome of that game, first year head coach Jimy Dominquez-Young was proud of his team's accomplishments this season.
"They won more games than they have ever won before," said coach Dominquez-Young during an interview prior to his team's banquet at New Hope Baptist Church near Thomson on Monday night. "It was a wonderful experience getting to the state playoffs. It was a pleasure working with the team and the parents. These players are all nice, polite gentlemen. They represented Thomson High School very well."
Coach Dominquez-Young praised his assistant coach, Bobby Temenak.
"Bobby was a big part of our program," the head coach added. "I really thank him for being there when I couldn't"
Coach Temenak pointed out that several of the Thomson players are members of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and that before every game they prayed together as a team.
"You can't get any better than that," coach Temenak said, noting that he and coach Dominquez-Young also are Christians.
"Praying is something I do first everyday," coach Dominquez-Young emphasized. "We shouldn't be ashamed of that. It was a necessity for us to pray as a team."
As for the seniors, coach Dominquez-Young said he had been "honored" to have served as their coach.
"Our seniors will be missed," he added.
The five seniors on the team included: Jay Bieltz, Dalton Herrington, George Rosales, Cody Adkins and Dementrius D'ante Thomas.
The five players received special parting gifts from Linda and Dr. John Bieltz - parents of Jay Bieltz, Thomson's all-time leading scorer.
In closing comments to his players, coach Dominquez-Young asked his players to be examples for others.
"Be an example," he said. "There's always somebody looking up to you."
The head coach later presented trophies to some of the team's top players. They included:
Jay Bieltz, Most Effective Striker;
Justin Bettross, Most Valuable Attacking Midfielder;
Dalton Herrington, Most Valuable Defensive Player;
Marc Ricketson, Most Valuable Defender;
Johnathon Atkins, Most Improved Player; and
Ben Hobbs, Coaches Award.
Letter certificates also were presented to several of the players.