State Champion Yellow Jackets open spring practice

Apr. 30—THOMASVILLE — For the first time since winning the state championship in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Thomas County Central Yellow Jackets stepped onto the football field for spring practice.

A season coming off a championship can be a whole different beast for a coach, but Thomas County Central head coach Justin Rogers likes the high expectations that this team already feels for the 2024-2025 campaign.

"The biggest thing is it just sets a high expectation," said Rogers. "It's nice the fact that the kids kind of want to strive for that goal, that bar. and then also them understanding that it's a realistic possibility because they experienced it. I think it's been great for the excitement and energy and the kids really pushing themselves."

or Rogers and his staff, they focused own two main things: Physicality and identifying production. As Rogers put it, "You only have so many days to be in pads". So the Yellow Jackets are spending a lot of time on the run game, both offensively and defensively.

The Yellow Jackets coaching staff is also working on identifying the guys who are going to take over starting spots. Last years Central squad was full of seniors. The Yellow Jackets lost nearly all of their offensive starters and are returning a handful of guys on the defensive side.

One thing that is benefitting the incoming starters is the state championship. Because of the Yellow Jackets' run, those players got an extra month of practice under their belts last season, making it easier for them to get into the groove of football once again.

One thing is for sure. The defending state champions are hungry, they are excited and they are ready to hit something hard.