Leroy Cummings III is a prep football player who has a strong belief: Work hard and it will pay off.
He's planning on putting such to the test this season as embarks on his senior season at Thomson High School.
Sadly, he remembers all too well where the Bulldogs ended up last season -- in the cellar of the region standings and a losing season to top it off.
Leroy, son of Leroy and Elaine Cummings, of Thomson, is a starting defensive lineman. Standing 6 feet tall and weighing 270 pounds, he's not only intimidating-looking, but can back up those looks with tremendous hits.
"I like hitting people," said Leroy in a recent interview. "I'm planning on hitting as many opponents as I possibly can this season."
The defensive squad, headed by longtime defensive coordinator John Barnett, this season has been dubbed "The Dirt Dogs." That name, according to Leroy, was given the squad by Nic Wood.
"It was a really good idea, because it gives our defensive unit a special identity," said Leroy, who has received letters from Army and Averett University to play college football.
"I'd love to play college football," said Leroy. "That's always been a dream of mine."
First things, first, though.
Leroy is now concentrating on his senior football season with the Bulldogs.
It's a time that he has been looking forward to since working hard in the weight room this summer.
"This year is going to be different, because we're going to make it different," said Leroy. "We're determined and focused this year. Last year, we weren't. It will be a different year, I'm telling you."
He is a member of the new senior leadership club which was formed by coach Luther Welsh and assistant coach/team chaplain Bernard Grant.
"It's a club whereby all the seniors came together and decided to become leaders of the football team," said Leroy. "It's all about helping make our team better all the way around. It's about younger players looking up to us and learning by the examples we set, whether it's character or whatever."
Leroy said the senior leadership club has been well received.
"It's a real good thing to be a member of," said Leroy. "I believe, as a senior that it's going to take all of us to lead the Thomson Bulldogs back to a winning tradition. We can make it happen."
Leroy, like several of his teammates, also believes the Bulldogs can put together a championship season.
"If we stay together, work hard and improve and do what the coaches tell us, we can win the region title," said Leroy. "We've got to stay consistent and the rest will work itself out."