It seems like a Thornhill has been a baseball fixture at University of Georgia for the past decade, but really the run has been seven seasons in a row, which is certainly impressive.
Former Greenbrier High School star Mark Thornhill was the first member of his family to play ball in Athens. He had a stellar career for the Bulldogs from 1998 to 2001.
Then it was Mark's younger brother, Chad Thornhill, who parlayed a tremendous prep career at Greenbrier into a stint at UGA.
During his three seasons as a starter for the Wolfpack, Chad helped pace Greenbrier to an 80-14 record, three region titles, and a state championship in 1999.
Along the way, Thornhill hit .355 with 35 home runs, and averaged better than an RBI per game.
Thornhill currently is a redshirt sophomore at Georgia. He played sparingly last season after a redshirt freshman year. The 6-foot-1, 215-pound first baseman hopefully will get more playing time in 2004.
This season, another Columbia County native will be on the diamond in Athens, as former Harlem High School standout Johnny Dobbs makes his debut with the Dogs in 2004.
Like Chad Thornhill, Dobbs graduated from high school in 2001, and he too had a superb prep career.
In Dobbs' last two seasons at Harlem, his team posted a 50-17 record. During that span, Dobbs went 13-3 on the mound while compiling an amazing 1.18 earned run average. The hard-throwing right hander also had 131 strikeouts in 108 innings pitched.
Dobbs has spent the last two seasons at Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Alabama, where he led the squad in wins and set a school record for saves during his sophomore campaign.
After going 3-2 with a 3.07 ERA as a freshman, Dobbs came on strong in his second college season, rolling to a 9-2 record, and ERA of 2.47, with nine saves and 77 strikeouts in 73 innings of work.
Thanks to those numbers, Dobbs was named first team all-region, first team All-Southern Division, and he was selected to the Alabama Junior College state all-tournament team.
It's no wonder the coaching staff at UGA snatched up the former Harlem Bulldog.
Thornhill, Dobbs and the Dogs open their season Feb. 13 at home against Bethune-Cookman. Georgia also plays the Atlanta Braves March 3 at the Braves' spring training facility in Orlando, and the Dogs square off with Georgia Tech at Turner Field on May 11.
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