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One Man's Opinion

It's hard to believe, but it's true. The prep football season is upon us and in a big way.

I've been working around the clock lining up interviews with local football players and coaches as we near the publication date of our annual prep football preview.

As in years past, we will feature season previews for Thomson High School, Briarwood Academy and Warren County High School. This in-depth special will appear inside our regular newspaper edition on Aug. 26.

I hope this year's prep football section will be better than ever. I strive to make it better each year and this year is no exception.

We have scheduled 10 individual profiles on players from the three schools in addition to several human-interest stories on coaches Luther Welsh, John Barnett and Curtis Williams, all of whom plan to retire after this season.

I'll also have a story on Ann Welsh, the wife of legendary Thomson coach Luther Welsh. She's been by her husband's side for more than five decades and still enjoys rooting for him and his players.

She will provide you with a little inside information on what life has been like living with a football coach all these years. She also will be sharing what life is expected to be like for her and Coach Welsh after his retirement from the game he has been part of for such a long, long time.

Our football special, titled, Friday Night Lights , also will include a story about one of the greatest football coaches in University of Georgia history, Vince Dooley.

Now retired, but still an avid fan of the UGA Bulldogs, the former athletic director will be the special guest at Briarwood Academy on Sept. 10 when the Buccaneers play host to Piedmont Academy for their first home game of the season.

Dooley visited McDuffie County last year and to know that he is returning soon is a real treat for me, because I admire him so much.

He shared some memories from his days as coach at UGA and even presented me with one of his autographed books, Dooley, My 40 Years at Georgia .

The night he visits Briarwood Academy will be special for John Osborne, the football coach and athletic director at Briarwood Academy. Coach Osborne played for coach Ray Goff when Dooley served as athletic director. Coach Osborne reflects on that time in a story in our football section.

Even though it always involves a ton of work for me, I truly hope the time and effort put into this special section will be meaningful and appreciated by all those who read it.

Web posted on Thursday, August 19, 2010

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