Photo courtesy of Michael Youngblood

While the off season football rules do not allow for full contact, much can be done to sharpen other aspects of the game.

While many are enjoying summer vacations with trips to the beach, mountains, or other places, the Thomson Bulldog football team has been devoting time to getting better.

While some of the players have done their share of summer fun, they have also worked out and attended two football camps that honed skills.

The Dogs went to a 7-on-7 camp at McEachern High School in mid-June and on Tuesday completed a camp at Fayette County High School.

The Dogs have also been doing the FCA camps with Grovetown High School and Greenbrier High School on Tuesday nights. We have taken a trip to Evans High School, and they have visited us for a camp.

“With those, we have had a really great chance to look over ourselves and see where we are and where we need to go,” said Michael Youngblood, THS head football coach.

The coach said the visit to Fayette County gave the Bulldogs a chance to line up against a great grade of players.

“At that camp, they had teams with four- and five-star players,” said Youngblood.

“I want them to know that it does not matter how many stars you have by your name, you still have to put your clothes on and play the game of football.”

Playing a higher caliber of team and players will, in the coach’s view, help the team not be shell shocked.

“At the end of the day, you are going to have to play a team from the north and have to be able to deal with that caliber of team in that environment,” said the coach.

Following Thomson’s scrimmage win against Burke County in mid-May, “Now, we are about creating depth,” said Youngblood.

“We want to develop to the point where if something happens to one of our kids, we are able to keep everything rolling so it won’t seem like we are missing somebody. We want the opponent to not only be worried about our first person at a position, but also pay attention to the next man up at that position.”

Next up, the Bulldogs will get two weeks off for rest and vacation.

“We’ll come back strong July 9, hit the weight room, and attend a camp at Burke County,” said Youngblood.

“After that, it’s about getting ready to go to Oconee County in the scrimmage game, and then, of course, the regular season comes next.”

The Bulldogs begin team practices in late July, with full pads beginning Aug. 1. On Aug. 16, the Dogs travel head west down Interstate 20 to Oconee County to face the Warriors in a preseason scrimmage.

The regular season kicks off the next Friday night at Luther Welsh Field at The Brickyard when the Yellow Jackets of North Augusta High School, S.C. comes to town.

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