Pilcher is a class act all the way

Published 1:55 pm Wednesday, November 12, 2008

When I first met Bainbridge High School Bearcats head football coach Ed Pilcher in January, he said something that really impressed me.

“I enjoy seeing kids mature as students and athletes during their high school years,” he said.

Another thing he has emphasized to me during our coach reporter relationship is that he caches character, a fact that has been very obvious to me this season.

“A player who has great ability but does not have great character will not help your team very much,” he once told me. One of the first things he did was mandate that the coaches and players wear blazers and ties on game days.

After each game, the coaches and players gather in the center of the field and participate in a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) prayer with the coaches and players from the opposing team.

BHS principal Tommie Howell once told me that coach Pilcher, who represents Region 1AAAA on the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) executive committee, is possibly the most respected coach in the state of Georgia.

In my short time working with him, I have found him to be a first-class act and as good a Christian role model for his players and young people in general as anybody I have ever come into contact with.

Following Friday night’s game in Thomas County, I was busy calling in my story to The Post-Searchlight and was not really paying attention to what was happening on the field.

Over the weekend, I was informed that a rather unfortunate and in poor-taste depiction of coach Pilcher and Bearcats offensive coordinator Leonard Guyton, a Central graduate and quarterback on two of his state championship teams, appeared on the scoreboard video screen.

Saturday, I received a voice mail from coach Mike Singletary, the Central athletic coordinator, apologizing for the incident and saying it was completely unacceptable to put anything on their scoreboard that would bring disrespect to coach Pilcher and his staff.

I thank coach Singletary for being a stand-up guy, realizing the error and making the apology so quickly.

In the apology, he assured Bainbridge High School officials, coaches and players that nothing like that would ever happen again.

Coach Pilcher, coach Guyton and the rest of the Bearcats coaching staff are all class acts and we are fortunate to have them leading our young student athletes.

We are also fortunate to have a head coach the caliber of coach Pilcher on our side.

I look forward to working with him through many more successful seasons.