Class AAA - Region 3 Football Preview

2005 Football Preview
Class AAA - Region 3

The 2004 season never materialized like the Thomson Bulldogs hoped. With 16 returning starters and a drop in classification, many expected Thomson to go deep into the postseason and challenge for the state championship. Instead, the Bulldogs got upset in the first round, their earliest postseason exit since coach Luther Welsh returned in 1999. This season should be better. Defensively, the team will build around lineman Kelcey Neal (64 tackles, 3 sacks), linebacker Montrell Walker (99 tackles, 1 sack), and defensive back Vincent Scott (2 interceptions) and on offense running back Tim McCord (480 yards) and fullback LaBrandon Hudson (344 yards) will help new quarterback Anthony "Pooh" Erwin, who averaged 10 yards a carry as the backup last year. With some strength on both lines, Thomson can play into late November if some skill position players come through, particularly at wide receiver. The Bulldogs are the preseason favorite in the North subregion.

Glenn Hills continues to make strides under Felix Curry. The Spartans should once again challenge for a spot in the playoffs.

Butler should be the biggest threat to Glenn Hills. After finishing 8-3 in 2003, the teams slipped to a 5-5 finished last year. The Bulldogs are expected to be much improved.

Cross Creek, Hephzibah, Richmond Academy and Harlem shouldn't figure in the playoff race.

In the South subregion, South Effingham was young last season and yet made the playoffs. The Mustangs should be even better in 2005. There are plenty of skill players on offense, including senior quarterback Mark Teal (6-0, 185).

Burke County, South Effingham and Jefferson County all finished tied in the subregion standings last year, but Burke lost the tiebreaker. Despite the loss of stud linebacker Marcus Washington, a UGA signee, the Bears could have their best team under coach Steve Summers as a solid senior class returns.

Jefferson County also has a solid returning nucleus, including junior quarterback Dennis Thomas (6-2, 200), and should once again challenge for a postseason spot.

The remainder of the region - Benedictine, Liberty County and Richmond Hill - will finish at the bottom of the region.


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