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Loss doesn 't overshadow season

Everything was going good for the Thomson High Bulldogs until they hit a roadblock.

That obstacle turned out to be in the form of a baseball team called the Columbus Blue Devils.

Thus, it brought to an end one of the finest seasons in school history.

The only team that faired better than this year's Thomson team was the Bulldog team of 1968.

So, what happened to them last week in Columbus? And why weren't the Bulldogs able to advance to the Class AAA title series against Ringgold this past weekend?

Simply put, those two questions and many others may never be answered.

What is crystal clear is that the Thomson Bulldogs were never intimidated, despite what some may have thought.

It simply boiled down to pitching and a couple of unexpected defensive miscues. Such allowed the Columbus Blue Devils to take advantage of the Bulldogs.

Thomson's Abram Cartledge, who won 13 games this season, including Game 1 against Columbus, demonstrated his character and his love for his team in a special way by telling coach Jason Osborn that he could pitch in Game 3, too. He worked three innings as the starter.

Even though he didn't come out the winner and neither did the Bulldogs as a team, they left the field of play with a sense of pride knowing they did their best.

When a team accomplishes those things that's all they can do.

In Games 1 and 3, Thomson showed they could compete and that Columbus' rich winning tradition and the fact they had won nine state titles since 1984 had nothing to do with who won or loss the series.

It wasn't like the Bulldogs didn't know they would be playing a solid baseball team -- one weaker in hitting and scoring runs than they were at pitching and playing defense.

Even coach Osborn and his assistant coaches Aaron Hall and Wes Harrell knew they would be up against some of the best coaching they have faced all season. It didn't matter.

They still prepared for the series against Columbus just like they did against all the other good teams they faced in the playoffs.

The bottom line is that Thomson played well -- just not well enough to have beaten Columbus, which happened to have played better in Games 2 and 3.

This season may have passed the Bulldogs by in getting to the title game.

But watch out for next year.

Web posted on Thursday, June 03, 2010

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