Brickyard bible
By Jim Wallace

John Barnett felt a story of Thomson High School Bulldog football needed to be told.
That telling has come to fruition in a book “Ghosts of the Brickyard.”
The 340-page hardback book was co-authored by Barnett and Alvin Richardson, of Madison.
Barnett coached for 26 seasons, with 21 of those years as defensive coordinator. His incredible memory gives him a knack for sharing stories.
He said that he would not have undertaken the effort that covers more than a century of teams without the encouragement of Richardson. Barnett and Richardson were opposing assistant coaches in 1979, when Barnett was at Wrens High School and Richardson was at Lincoln County.
“In recent years, he and I talked about it and I tossed and turned about it all night and worried about how it needed to be told,” said Barnett, who is co-host with Ralph Starling of the “Sports Talk with Coach and Ralph” radio program. Barnett came out of retirement this year to be a Bulldog assistant coach guiding linebackers.
Barnett and his wife, Kim, financed the book.
“I asked her, and she said to go for it, and I am so grateful for that,” said Barnett, who taught school for 31 years, 28 in McDuffie County.
Richardson said Barnett gave so much of himself to the book.
“John lent so much inside knowledge and passion for Thomson football,” said Richardson, a retired coach from Morgan County High School. “It was a difference-maker. This is my fifth book of this kind around Georgia, but I’ve never been around someone like John, who has lived it and breathed it like he does.”

To read more on this story, pick up the Thursday, August 28, edition of The McDuffie Progress.





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