Excitement for Bearcats growing

Published 8:48 pm Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The beginning of the Bainbridge High School Bearcats 2010 football season is getting close, and I can feel a lot of excitement as I talk with fans around town.

Coach Ed Pilcher’s team will travel to Americus this Friday for a preseason scrimmage with the Americus-Sumter County High School Panthers.

Then on Friday, Aug. 27, they will travel to Blakely for their season-opener against the Early County High School Bobcats.

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Their home-opener will be Friday, Sept. 3, against the Cairo High School Syrupmakers at Centennial Field.

Although they are young, the Bearcats appear to have some promising players at the skilled positions this season.

The running backs are particularly young overall. Senior starting linebacker Jamario Brown, who will see some duty at running back, is the only veteran. The young group of running backs includes sophomore Michael Stubbs, who had numerous big runs for the ninth-grade Bearcats last season.

Stubbs’ father, Michael Stubbs Sr., was a quarterback on coach Ralph Jones’ 1982 state Class AAA champion Bearcats team.

Another sophomore, B.J. Cheatem, who quarterbacked the ninth-grade Bearcats a season ago, is also in the running back mix.

The wide receiving corps has a more veteran presence with seniors Devonta Johnson, Derrick Stubbs and Kalvin Coly leading the way.

While coach Pilcher’s split-back veer attack is not a pass-oriented offense, Johnson, Stubbs and Coly have all made some big catches in preseason drills.

The Bearcats have two excellent quarterbacks to run the offense in senior Rohan Gaines and junior Steven Bench.

They also have a great kicking game led by returning senior All-Region 1AAAA and All-State punter and kicker Keenan Adams, who recently verbally committed to sign a football grant-in-aid scholarship with the Colorado State University Rams in February.

The Bearcats have a great home schedule this year with six games scheduled for Centennial Field.

My feeling after watching several Bearcats preseason practice sessions is that they will give their opponents all they want and then some.

Coach Pilcher’s practice sessions, whether in the spring, summer or fall, are always fast paced.

When the season starts, you will not find another team in better shape.

If you have a strong kicking game and defense, as I feel the Bearcats do, they will be right in a bunch of games with a chance to win.

I urge everyone to support coach Pilcher and his team at home and on the road. I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself and see as good and exciting a high school football game as you will see anywhere.

See you at the games.