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Weekend was happy

New Year’s weekend was a very happy weekend for me and my family.

Since my dear friend Billy Simmons Jr. and I were not able to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my brother and sister-in-law, Tom and Cheryl, and their family in Sharpsburg due to illness, we decided to meet in Columbus Saturday to enjoy a family meal and exchange our gifts.

The day was even more special because my dear niece, Jennifer Roberts, brought her son and my 2-year-old great-nephew, Samuel Lincoln “Linc” Roberts, along. My Christmas gift to Linc was a toy dump truck.

When I gave the dump truck to Linc, he immediately raised his hands toward Jennifer and asked her to take him out of his high chair. When she put him down on his feet, he immediately went over to a smaller adjoining table and started smiling and laughing while rolling the truck back and forth on the table top. You know that made his Great Uncle Joe very happy.

Also on hand for Saturday’s post Christmas family meal in Columbus were my nephews Billy and Matthew.

Saturday morning, before Billy and I left for Columbus, I covered the Bainbridge Kiwanis Club River Run, held annually to benefit the many Kiwanis worthwhile projects.

My congratulations to the 84 runners who braved the cold to run in either the 5,000-meter 3.1-mile run or the 10,000-meter 6.2-mile run.

This weekend the Bainbridge High School Lady Cats and Bearcats will resume regular season play after turning in strong performances in holiday tournaments.

Both teams finished a strong second in the Thomasville High School Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs Holiday Hoopfest and the Bearcats posted wins over Tallahassee, Fla., schools Godby and Leon in last week’s Capital City Classic. Devon Baulkman pumped in a game-high 39 points against Leon.

Alexis Burke, April Thomas and Bria Harris continue to hit in double figures for the Lady Cats.

Friday night, the Lady Cats, who are 12-1, and the Bearcats, who are 9-4, will host the Colquitt County High School Lady Packers and Packers from Moultrie at the new Bainbridge High School Gymnasium. The girls game will begin at 6 p.m. and the boys game will get underway at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday night, they will travel to Colquitt for 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. games with the Miller County High School Lady Pirates and Pirates.

Saturday, five senior Bainbridge High School Bearcats football players—safety Jonathan Warren, defensive tackle Kenny Jacobs, running back Thomas Smiley, tight end Markeith Chrispen and wide receiver Sylvester Byrd—will be playing for the Southwest Georgia Senior All-Stars in the second annual Georgia Florida Border Wars All-Star Football Game at Thomas County Central High School’s Jackets’ Nest Stadium. Kickoff will be at 2 p.m.

A story about the game appears elsewhere in today’s sports section. If you have the time, go on over to Thomas County and cheer for our former Bearcats as they complete their high school football careers.