Thomson Middle School just posted one of its most successful athletic campaigns in school history under the leadership of athletics director Mark Ivory.
The Tigers won both the seventh- and eighth-grade county championships in football, while the boys soccer and cheerleading programs showed tremendous improvement by finishing second and third, respectively.
Ivory has been the driving force behind Thomsons athletics department for the past 10 years. He previously was an assistant football coach at the high school level under former Northside head coach Conrad Nix, who was known for his ability to tutor quarterbacks.
It has been a big change for me moving to middle school, Ivory said. You have to be more hands on, talk a little different to them and hold their hand a little more. I learned coming over here that middle school coaches work really hard.
Thomson serves as a feeder school to Northside, and the middle school has had tremendous success turning out football players who go on to star for the Eagles.
Its pretty important to have a guy like (Ivory) over there at Thomson, Northside head coach Kevin Kinsler said. The communication and the cooperation is great. Whenever we go over there to start meeting the kids, hes always extremely helpful and encourages them to become Northside Eagles. Hes an asset to have over there.
Ivory is looking forward to another successful year leading the seventh- and eighth-graders at the Centerville school.
We always strive to get better at everything we do every year, Ivory said. Everybody wants to win, but we want to continue to turn out good athletes, good kids and good citizens. I believe that when a kid plays sports, it transfers over into the classroom and motivates them to do the best they can.
-- Ryan Jordan
Click on the links below to read of 14 to Watch in 2014 stories:
Joe Molyson, 66, Bonaire, retired colonel and assistant director of operations for intelligence, Air Force Reserve Command at Robins Air Force Base; also retired Houston County High School astronomy teacher