The Thomson High School football team paused Thursday to pray for former coach Luther Welsh, who is reported in grave condition in an Augusta hospital.
First-year coach Milan Turner asked the junior varsity and varsity squads and staff to keep Welsh in their prayers.
"Remember everything he worked for and how he wants us to live this day," Turner said.
Players gathered in rings around Turner as he called special attention during the regular prayer.
New part-time coach Howard Ellis stood on the outer edge of the group and rested his hand on the shoulder of a player as the athletes bowed their heads.
Ellis, who was a defensive coordinator in Lincoln County for 29 years before joining the Thomson program part-time this season, said he never coached against Welsh in the regular season, but met the Bulldogs in scrimmages.
"He was very hardworking," Ellis said. "One of the best coaches in the state of Georgia."