Sneak peeks were impressive

Published 8:17 pm Friday, July 30, 2010

On Thursday evening, I was able to get a little sneak peek at the Bainbridge High School Bearcats football team and award-winning Marching Bearcats Band as one prepared to begin their annual preseason camp and the other completed theirs.

Coach Ed Pilcher’s Bearcats football team looked good throwing and catching the football at their final passing camp in shorts and T-shirts early Thursday evening on their practice field.

Quarterbacks Steven Bench and Rohan Gaines did a good job throwing the football against visiting teams from Cairo, Leon of Tallahassee, Fla., Abbeville, Ala., and Eufaula, Ala.

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While a lot of throwing usually does not take place in the Bearcats split-back veer offense, there is a good chance that when they do throw, receivers will be open. It’s called the element of surprise.

Senior receivers Devonte Johnson, D.J. Stubbs and Kevin Coly did a good job of catching the football in Thursday’s passing camp and a passing camp a week earlier in Cairo. I thought Johnson ran particularly good routes.

Defensive back Shawn Samuels and linebacker Emmanuel Miller both defended well against the pass. Samuels broke up several passes.

Although the Bearcats will be very young at running back this season, four young men have looked good so far. One is Jamario Brown, a starting senior linebacker, who will also see some duty in the offensive backfield.

The other three young backs who have shown some good moves and speed running the football are Michael Stubbs, Aaron Hall and Terry Lewis.

Stubbs’ father Michael was a quarterback on coach Ralph Jones’ 1982 Bearcats State Class AAA champion football team. He had several outstanding runs for the Bearcats junior varsity last season.

Director Paschal Ward’s award-winning Marching Bearcats were also very impressive later Thursday evening.

Prior to the beginning of the Marching Bearcats’ performance, I had a chance to visit with my good friend Mike Chapman, who was assistant BHS band director for 17 years. Chapman is now retired and living in his hometown of Valdosta.

Mike and myself are both avid Atlanta Braves baseball fans, so in addition to discussing how great the band’s performance was, we lamented some about the Braves’ current hitting woes.

We agreed that, while rookie right fielder Jason Heyward, veteran switch-hitting third baseman Chipper Jones and All-Star MVP catcher Brian McCann are doing their part, the rest of the lineup is kind of dormant at the moment.

We expressed a mutual hope that the Braves, who are currently leading the National League’s Eastern Division, will trade for another hitter soon.