Dillon McTier is back again. And he's bigger and quicker than ever before.
The 17-year-old Dillon is on a special mission this year. That mission: Help the Thomson High School Bulldogs win another football state championship.
Now a senior, Dillon would love nothing more than to bring back such glory days to the school and community.
The son of Mike and Lynne McTier, of Dearing, Dillon is the starting left tackle on the offensive line for the Bulldogs. He also is on the defensive goal-line team.
"It would be great to win a state championship," said Dillon during a recent interview. "That would really be special in lots of ways."
Standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 285 pounds, he's one of the biggest offensive linemen on the team.
"We've been working hard all summer, getting ready for the start of the season," said Dillon. "We still got some work to do, but I can tell you now we're going to be a much better football team than we were last year."
Dillon said players believe in themselves, again, because coaches believe in them.
"Our coaches really believe in us a lot," said Dillon. "That means a lot to all of us," said Dillon. "It makes me and my teammates work just that much harder."
An A-B student, Dillon is another college football prospect.
Duke University has sent him several letters, expressing interest in him playing football, there.
"I'd like to play college football at Duke University," said Dillon. "I'd like to study to become a teacher and a coach."
His aspiration is to return to Thomson High School and become football head coach.
"I'd love to be the head coach at Thomson High School one day," said Dillon. "That's my dream."
As for the upcoming season, which gets underway on Friday night when the Bulldogs play the Washington-Wilkes Tigers, Dillon said he's excited about the first game.
"I'm real excited," said Dillon. "If everybody does what they are capable of doing on the field, we should be able to win a lot more games this season."
It's an emotional year for the Bulldogs, since three of their longtime coaches, Luther Welsh, John Barnett and Curtis Williams are planning to leave Thomson High after this season.
"I'd like to honor them by having a winning season, winning a region title and doing well in the state playoffs," said Dillon. "It would be unbelievable and a great accomplishment -- certainly a season to remember for sure."
Dillon says the Bulldogs are a different team in many ways this year. One of those ways: "We have a lot more respect for one another, he pointed out.
Dillon enjoys fishing and hunting.