State champs honored Thursday

Published 6:47 pm Friday, May 21, 2010

Thursday was a whirlwind day of recognition for Coach Larry Cosby’s Region 1AAAA and state Class AAAA champion Bainbridge High School Bearcats track team.

They were honored in recognition ceremonies at two different venues.

In the morning at the school, Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds presented a congratulatory proclamation from himself, members of the city council and the citizens expressing their pride in their great accomplishment and commending them and their coaches for their good sportsmanship and team play.

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Thursday night, Decatur County School Superintendent Ralph Jones and the Decatur County Board of Education honored them and then presented their state championship award to Bainbridge High School Principal Tommie Howell.

During his comments to the team Thursday morning, Mayor Reynolds praised them for earning points in 11 of their 13 events at the state Class AAAA meet in Jefferson, their strong individual efforts on their way to the state and region championships, and the renown they have brought to the community with their team play.

In concluding his remarks, the mayor talked about the pride the city has in the team.

“By the power invested in me as Mayor of the City of Bainbridge, and on behalf of our entire city council and all of our citizens, I extend to the Bainbridge High School Bearcats boys track team our pride in your accomplishments and do hereby recognize and commend each team member and the coaches for their sportsmanship and team play,” he said.

Cosby, his mentor and coach Larry Clark, who built the strong Bearcats track program and has been a part of it for 33 years, and Bainbridge High School Lady Cats head track coach Tandria Phillips, and Howell were also on hand for the mayor’s proclamation presentation.

This past season, the Bearcats and Lady Cats teams hosted the first Larry Clark invitational Meet in his honor at the new Bainbridge High School track.

In addition to Cosby, Clark and Phillips, the BHS track coaching staff includes Harold Smith and Patrick Clark.

Leading the way to the Bearcats State Class AAAA championship was their 4-by-100-meter relay team of Shawn Samuels, Brandon Handsford, Thomas Smiley and Denzel Reynolds that finished first in the state Class AAAA meet with a time of 41.31 seconds.

Their time was not only the best in Class AAAA, but also the best in all four classifications, A, AA, AAA and AAAA.