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Don’t bet on the warm-ups

Ed Pilcher, head football coach at Bainbridge High School, gave the Bainbridge Rotary Club a preview of the upcoming season during lunch on Tuesday.

“We’re going to lose warm-ups every time, so if you’re worried about that, don’t show up until kick-off,” Pilcher said referring to his team’s lack of physical size. “But these guys will play hard and they’ll be physical, I can promise you that.”

While the lack of size, no player on the offensive line weighs in more that 200 pounds, and lack of experience, only 10 players come into the season with significant playing time, Pilcher is encouraged by the work ethic and effort of this team.

“We’re excited about this bunch of kids we have, they’re a good bunch of young ‘uns, they’re working awfully hard and our coaches are doing a good job working them hard,” said Pilcher.

“We’ll run the same offense we’ve been running for the past 23 years. We’re a split-back veer team, and we’ll mix it up a little, but we’ll run the football first, run the football second, and probably run the football third,” Pilcher said in response to a question about the Bearcat’s style of offense.

The Bearcats open the season this Saturday night at Cairo. Pilcher explained that scheduling difficulty is the reason for the game being played on Saturday night, rather than the traditional Friday night for high school football.

Saturday, Aug. 22, is the first day that any school in the state can play football, according to Georgia High School Athletic Association rules. The teams could not find an open date later in the season to play, so with permission from the state association the first available date to play was chosen.

With Pilcher’s five career state championships, two former coaches in attendance at the meeting added to the state championships present. Ralph Jones, former coach at Bainbridge and Cairo, has won two career championships, and Jim Hughes, former coach at Thomasville and Colquitt County, has three career state championships.

All told, an impressive 10 high school football state championships were represented at the lunch meeting.