Bearcats, Bobcats a family affair
For a second consecutive year, Friday night’s football game between the Bainbridge High School Bearcats and Early County High School Bobcats will be a family affair.
Kaylon Harrell, the Bobcats senior starting center, and his sophomore brother, Van Harrell, the Bobcats sophomore starting tight end, are the grandsons of Bearcats head coach Ed Pilcher and his wife, Lorraine. They are the sons of the Pilchers’ daughter, Chelle, and her husband, Tracy Harrell, of Blakely.
Joining Kaylon as a leader on the Bobcats offensive line is senior Jordan Heath.
“‘I love my grandsons and want them to have a good game Friday night and a good season, but when the game starts, we will be focused on winning,” said Pilcher, a former Early County head coach.
“Early County operates out of the wing-T formation on offense and uses an eight-man front on defense. They have a young offensive line but they are big. They have some quick little backs with speed who run hard,” Pilcher said.
The backs Pilcher is referring to include senior Ronald Latson and juniors Darius Mitchell, Deangelo Young, Quayven Levatte and Camery Flowers.
His grandsons are not the only connection between Pilcher and the Early County football team.
Bobcats head coach Trey Woolf was defensive backfield coach on his 1990 Bobcats staff, and Bob Hall Bobcats offensive coordinator and offensive line coach played for him at Early County.
Making this year’s game even more of a family affair is the Pilchers’ son and Bearcats new running backs coach Doug Pilcher, who quarterbacked for his father at Thomas County Central High School and played at Valdosta State University.
Last season at Standifer Stadium in Blakely, the Bobcats jumped out to a 21-14 halftime lead but the Bearcats bounced back in the second half to post a 38-21 victory.