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Bulldogs hope to build on good start

It's baseball season, and the Thomson High School team has begun what it hopes will be its best year yet.

So far, the team's record is 2-0, and it has defeated Evans High School 10-4 and South Effingham High School 10-2.

One reason for the team's power may be that the players have been together since long before high school. Catcher Nic Wood and right fielder Jesse Usry, both seniors, said that a good number of the team has been playing ball together -- since as early as 6 or 7 years old.

"We've grown up together on the field," Usry said. "We understand each other and don't get down on each other if something goes wrong."

Head coach Jason Osborn said working with a group of players so comfortable with one another makes his job a little easier.

"When you put a group together like this, it really does make a difference," he said of their closeness. "They know each other, how to push each other and how they're going to play."

That support and camaraderie seem to have paid off. The team has made the playoffs for the past few years and last year made it to the final four of the state playoffs. The players' sights are set just as high this year, and they are confident that their last year together will be one to remember.

"We set our goals one game at a time," Osborn said. "We work to be as prepared for that game as possible, and I think everything else will take care of itself."

Although Thomson has always been a knockout football town, Osborn said baseball had somewhat fallen behind by the time he came to the team.

"We've had a ton of community and parental support, and the guys have worked really hard," he said.

The players acknowledge that improvement as well and said that even in the past few years they have seen the program pick up speed.

"We've come a long way," Wood said. "We have a very good chance to do a lot of good this year. We need to stay focused and work hard, but we know we can do it."

Web posted on Thursday, March 03, 2011

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