This time last year, new head coach Zach Grage preached on “bringing pride back to the Diamond T.” Now in his second year, the message is the same and stronger than ever.
“We are still working on changing the culture and teaching these kids how to win,” Grage said.
Even though last season felt like significant progress under Grage’s new leadership, he still attributes the rise and then decline of their 2016 season to the collective mindset that they have continued to address this offseason.
“Our motto has been, ‘Start fast, go play like you can play, and don’t wait on someone else to set the tone,’ he said. “We set the tone. We are Thomasville.”
The Bulldogs return an impressive 14 starters, but competition for these positions is at unprecedented levels.
“While a lot of people are going to tell you [that they will depend on] leadership and character, ability is actually going to be our strength,” said Grage. “For AA football, we have a lot of big talent, and our depth is going to be great.”
This talented squad will face the defending region champions from AAAA and AAAAA before running the gauntlet of 1-AA, but for the Bulldogs, the opponent shouldn’t matter.
“If we could only have one word for the year, it’d be ‘represent,’” Grage said. “You’ve got to represent for something bigger than you. You represent for your family, this community, the Diamond T, and you expect to win… no doubts.”
In the Game Magazine / South Georgia / August – September 2017
Grage Urges the Bulldogs to Tap into the Tradition of Winning of the Diamond T
Written by Cole Parker
Photos by Danna Cooper