Bearcats will bounce back strong

Published 1:10 pm Tuesday, October 6, 2009

There is an old saying in sports that goes something like this: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.”

The Bainbridge High School Bearcats hit a little bump in the road Friday night when they dropped a 28-19 Region 1AAAA decision to the Jones County Greyhounds at Centennial Field.

It was a tough loss, but the Bearcats are winners, and I have no doubt that they will bounce back and get going again.

While they are disappointed in the setback, they know they did some good things and their mistakes are very correctable.

They have a very respectable 4-2 overall record and 2-2 Region 1AAAA mark and their goals of posting a solid season record and earning a high seeding in the state Class AAAA playoffs are still very attainable.

Among the highlights for the Bearcats Friday night were the strong rushing and pass receiving performance of senior running back Jeremy Harper, the strong running of senior running back Thomas Smiley and the strong play of senior defensive back Jonathan Warren. Senior linebacker Daniel Bivins had some big hits as well.

Going into Friday night’s game, Warren was leading Region 1AAAA in solo tackles with 29.

I am happy to report that my dear friend and No. 1 Bearcats fan Billy Simmons Jr., who had surgery on his foot during the summer, is doing fine following a little mishap on the sideline Friday night.

Billy, who diligently works to keep the water bottles full to send out to the players each Friday night during time outs, fell just before halftime and had to be helped over to the bench in front of the field house by team chaplain Derrick Cox.

I am happy to report that Billy, who is an inspiration to me and a lot of other people in Bainbridge and Decatur County, kept his foot elevated all weekend and is doing just fine now.

Greyhounds senior running back Terrance Gore was outstanding Friday night. You could make a strong case that his 20-carry, 184-yard, two-touchdown performance was the difference in the game.

To their credit, the Bearcats kept coming back. Down 28-13 with less than two minutes remaining in the game, junior quarterback Rohan Gaines completed two key passes to Harper, the first for a first down on a fourth-down situation, and the second for 15 yards and a touchdown cutting the score to the final of 28-19 and culminating a nine-play 66-yard drive.

The Bearcats will have a chance to regroup with an open date this week. They will return to action Friday, Oct. 16, when they travel to Columbus for a 7:30 p.m. game with the Hardaway High School Golden Hawks.

In conclusion, let me just say that I am convinced Bearcats head coach Ed Pilcher is building a solid Bearcats football program foundation and good things are still to come this year and in the future.

He, his coaching staff and the Bearcats players are representing Bainbridge and Decatur County with class, and I thank and salute them for that.