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BHS named region’s best

The Bainbridge High School sports program is No. 1.

The strong finishes of the school’s Bearcats and Lady Cats teams has earned them the nine-team Region 1AAAA’s All-Sports Award.

Decatur County Athletic Director and BHS Bearcats Head Football Coach Ed Pilcher and BHS Principal Tommie Howell both expressed the feeling that the dedication and hard work of the athletes and coaches were the reason for the high athletic honor.

“The All-Sports Award is a very big honor and every athlete and every coach in each of our sports contributed to it,” Pilcher said. “We are very proud of each of them. It was a team effort.”

Howell said this is the first time Bearcats and Lady Cats teams have won a Region All-Sports Award since the 1974-75 school year when he was a BHS junior.

That fall, the late athletic director and head football coach Prescott Forsyth’s Bearcats defeated the late coach Nick Hyder’s Valdosta High School Wildcats 19-14 at Centennial Field.

The Bearcat quarterback was Carlton Gainous, who is now athletic director at Cairo High School, and the Wildcats quarterback was Buck Belue, who went on to quarterback the University of Georgia Bulldogs to the 1980 national championship.

That season the Bearcats were in Region 1AAAA with Valdosta, Lowndes County, Tift County and Moultrie.

Howell said the All Sports Trophy is a particularly big honor because the school is now in a nine-school region

“This school year our Region expanded from four to nine schools that geographically encompass more than one third of the state of Georgia,” he said. “The student athletes representing the purple and gold fared quite well.

“Our teams won Region championships in boys cross country, girls cross country, boys basketball, girls basketball, girls tennis and boys track and field,” the principal said.

The Bearcats were runners-up in boys swimming, girls swimming, boys golf, girls golf and girls track and field.

“Winning the Region 1AAAA All-Sports Trophy is a tremendous accomplishment and it was not even close. You could say it was a slam dunk. Congratulations to our athletes, tour coaches and Bainbridge High School.”