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First-year coach says he 's proud of his team

Whether it's a player or a coach, losing a game hurts.

In other words, the bigger the game, the bigger the hurt.

Thomson High School first-year coach Jason Osborn knows what it's like from both sides.

His latest experience came as a baseball coach.

Coach Osborn's team lost out in their bid not only to play in the finals of the Georgia Class AAA state baseball playoffs this past weekend, but to play host to the championship series for the first time in school history.

Though the Bulldogs got off to a good start, as they won Game 1 of their semifinal series against the Columbus Blue Devils last Monday, they ended up losing Games 2 and 3 -- thus ending their season with the best record ever recorded by a THS baseball team at 27-6.

"We found out that we've got a group of kids that aren't quitters," lamented coach Osborn after his team was eliminated in the Final Four playoffs. "We're a young team and we gained a lot of experience from getting this far into the state playoffs. I'm so proud of these boys. To get beat hurts, but you move on."

Similar comments were made by longtime Westside High School coach Gerald Barnes when coach Osborn played for him and the Patriots years ago.

Ironically, the Westside Patriots played Columbus back then during the Class AAA semifinals, too. Like was the case with the Thomson/Columbus series, it was the Blue Devils prevailing victorious.

After the series concluded, coach Osborn said he was proud of the way his players fought all season.

"We finished the season the way we started it, even going back to the first game against Harlem," said coach Osborn. "We proved right away that we were going to be fighters in every game.

Down 8-4 going to the last inning, coach Osborn said he still had hopes his team could find a way to get the job done.

"Guys, we can do this thing," he told his players. "Get your minds right. We're going to finish this thing the right way."

Coach Osborn, who just completed his first season as head coach at Thomson, is hopeful his encouraging words to his players will spill over to next season.

"We're going to work hard to get back into the state playoffs next year," said coach Osborn, noting that the 2011 season might be the year the Thomson Bulldogs win it all.

"We'll just have to wait and see," added coach Osborn.

Web posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010

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