• 52°

Chip is always there when you need him

He came through again.

That was my reaction Sunday afternoon when I dropped by the paper and listened to one of the messages on my voice mail.

The message was from Bainbridge High School Lady Cats head soccer coach Chip Ariail, who also coaches seventh-grade football and is statistician for coach Ed Pilcher’s BHS Bearcats football team and The Post-Searchlight.

In the Bearcat football program each year, he has scores, records and coaches from 1913 when the Bearcats began playing football, to the present.

He also personally developed the Bearcat Wall of Fame at the Centennial field house, which contains framed photos and stories of outstanding Bearcat players and teams through the years. Chip is the authority on Bearcat football history.

Ask him who scored the Bearcats winning touchdown in a game against a particular team in a particular year, and more likely than not, he can probably tell you.

On Sunday’s voice mail message, Chip informed me that he had contacted coach Pilcher and the other eight Region 1AAAA coaches asking them to submit nominations for a 2008 All-Region 1AAAA football team.

He said he had heard from most of them and hoped to have all the nominations in and compiled so he could release the All-Region 1AAAA team to me and the other Region papers by Thursday.

Chip is an asset to the school system, both as an outstanding Hutto Middle School art teacher and coach, but he is also much more than that. He is one of the finest and most dedicated people I have ever known.

The statistical information he provides to me and the Bearcat coaches during football season is invaluable.

Statistics are an important part of sports, but keeping them is not my strong point as a sports writer. Chip enjoys keeping them, so together we make a pretty good team.

Chip also does something else to help young BHS athletes that people don’t even know about.

He spends countless hours of his own time going through game tapes and producing highlight films for players who are being recruited to send to colleges.

Chip is always willing to do whatever he can to help young Bainbridge and Decatur County students and student athletes succeed.

While his favorite sports are football and soccer, Chip has also coached basketball and cross country in his career.

He is as good a Christian role model for young people as you will find anywhere.

He and his wife, Lisa, who produces all of our digital photos here at The Post-Searchlight, have always done an A, No. 1 job and made my job easier. I can’t thank them enough.