Getting the opportunity to play starting quarterback for the Thomson High School Bulldogs is like a dream come true for Josh Jones.
It will mark the 16-year-old sophomore's first year as the starting quarterback. He was the backup to former starting quarterback Phillip Anderson last season. Josh was selected the starting quarterback after Anderson moved away from Thomson to Lee County.
"I've wanted to be the starting quarterback at Thomson High ever since I played in middle school," said Josh during a recent interview.
The dream is now a reality and Josh said he's looking forward to the challenges and experiences that await him during the 2010 season.
"I feel like I'm carrying the city on my back now," said Josh. "It's a great feeling."
He explained that he feels no pressure.
It's just the opposite for Josh, the son of Felicia and Jamie Bridges, of Thomson.
"I like the pressure, actually," said Josh, noting he believes he performs his best when he's playing in pressure situations.
He's also optimistic about the upcoming season, which begins Friday night as the Thomson Bulldogs play host to the Washington-Wilkes Tigers at The Brickyard in Thomson.
Josh says hard work will be the key ingredient if the Bulldogs are to turn around the football program around from where it was last season. The team went 2-8 and failed to make the playoffs.
"We're working a lot harder this year, so we won't repeat anything like that again," said Josh. "The feeling of losing last year was very emotional and wasn't any fun. We want to turn things around this year. We've got a lot of people willing to work hard and sacrifice for the team."
As the new starting quarterback for the Thomson Bulldogs, Josh played the last two games of last season. They included battles against Burke County and Baldwin County. In the game against Baldwin's Braves, he completed three touchdown passes.
Josh says he likes the role of playing quarterback because it gives him a big leadership role.
"I like to lead by example," said Josh. "I don't like to get too high or too low. I like to stay somewhere in the middle. I seem to play better."
Josh, who would like someday to play college football, is a two-sport athlete at Thomson High School. He also plays baseball -- helping the Bulldogs to back-to-back region titles the past two seasons.
Already, he has received letters of interest to play college ball from Georgia, Tennessee, Liberty College and Mercer.
Josh, who stands 6-feet tall and weighs 160 pounds, said playing quarterback "is the best position on the football field. I really like playing quarterback, even though there is a lot of responsibility at that position."
Back in June, Josh attended a quarterback showcase at Riverwood High School in Sandy Springs, Ga. where he was ranked second from dozens of players across the state.
"That was very encouraging to me," said Josh.
As for the upcoming season, Josh said, "Fans will be pleased at the end of the season."