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Team reached goals set early in the year

What a journey the Lady Bulldogs of Thomson High School had during their 2010 softball season.

It was an unforgettable one.

The team accomplished things never before achieved.

Among them: winning the school's first-ever Region 3-AAA softball championship and finishing fourth among all Class AAA softball teams in the state playoffs.

The latter happened last week when they won two games and lost two games during the Georgia High School Association Class AAA state playoffs in Columbus. Thomson finished fourth in the state -- the best finish in school history.

"We had a great season," said Thomson head coach Jason Osborn after his team was eliminated 3-1 from the playoffs by Allatoona. "It was a great ride."

Coach Osborn, whose team finished the season with an overall record of 25-11, consisted of the following players: Hannah Wilson, Sharlette Farmer, Shannon Chalker, Caitlin Carpenter -- all seniors -- as well as Brooke Herkel, Samantha Sims, Breanna Stephens, Brea Boutwell, Jadah Lawson, Christian Marsh, Brianna Poss, Haley Poss and Khadeja Fanning. The team's assistant coaches included Bennie "Clyde" Hester and Katie Southerland.

"I thought we gave a great effort in this tournament," said coach Osborn. "I was very proud of the way these girls represented themselves and Thomson High School. I'm very proud of how far our softball program has come. All the credit goes to these girls. They're the ones who put in all the hard work."

During a conversation with his players immediately after the loss at the hands of Allatoona, coach Osborn told his team how proud he was to be their coach.

From the start of the season, the Lady Bulldogs set their goals high.

Their first goal was to win a region championship -- something they accomplished by beating the Harlem High Lady Bulldogs in back-to-back games just a week before the state playoffs began.

Thomson's second big goal was to make it back to the Elite Eight Championship Series in Columbus.

"We wanted to do even better than we did last year and were able to accomplish that by winning two games this year," said coach Osborn.

He said such would not have been possible had team members not been willing to work as hard as they did to accomplish those goals.

"We refused to step backwards," said coach Osborn. "We wanted to go forward and accomplish the goals we set out to accomplish. Thanks to the effort of these girls, we were able to do just that. It was a terrific season - one we'll remember for a long, long time."

Coach Osborn pointed out that if someone had told him several weeks ago that his team would finish fourth in the Class AAA state championship series this year, "I would have told them they were off their rocker."

Again, he attributed the team's success to the players. "They had a great season," said coach Osborn.

Web posted on Thursday, November 04, 2010

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