Bearcats season frustrating

Published 8:06 am Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Bainbridge High School Bearcats 2010 football season can best be described by a number of words that quickly come to mind.

Two of those words are desire and frustration. The team, led by 21 quality seniors, played hard, and with a break here or there, could have remained in the hunt for a playoff spot the entire season.

Unfortunately, they lost their last five Region 1AAAA games by a total of a mere 19 points.

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The Yellow Jackets jumped out to a 21-0 lead after one quarter Friday night but the Bearcats roared back to outscore them 13-7 in the second quarter and trailed just 28-13 at halftime.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Bearcats outscored their hosts 21-7 in the fourth quarter to fall just short on their comeback run.

There was also something else that was very special about Friday night’s game at Central’s Jackets’ Nest Stadium.

Safety Rohan Gaines and place kicker and punter Keenan Adams, a pair of seniors who were out with injuries, were honored in a special way by two of their teammates.

Senior cornerback, wide receiver and punt and kickoff returner Shawn Samuels, whose regular number is 1, wore Gaines’ number 13. Junior quarterback Steven Bench, whose regular number is 12, wore Adams’ number 19, in honor of their injured teammates. That was special.

Last week in this space, I wrote about the outstanding football season our Bainbridge Middle School seventh grade Bearcats had in 2010. Unfortunately in listing the names of the players, I inadvertently left out one. Dylan Day, who played center, was a key member of the team’s strong offensive line.

Getting back to the varsity Bearcats, while I know so many heartbreaking setbacks and near misses were not what the coaches or players expected, the team hung together and played hard.

I strongly believe that Bearcats head coach Ed Pilcher is building a solid football foundation at Bainbridge High School.

Coach Pilcher, his offensive coordinator Leonard Guyton—who quarterbacked two state championship teams for him at Thomas County Central—his defensive coordinator Tommy Gilstrap and the rest of the coaches want to turn things around and I am confident they will.

You don’t compile the kind of record Coach Pilcher has compiled as a head coach without doing a lot of things right.

He served on the Georgia High School Association board for many years, and, in working with him and covering his Bearcats teams the past three years, I have found that he always puts the players and their welfare first.

To the seniors, who provided so much team leadership, I say thanks for the opportunity to cover a small portion of your young lives.

To the underclassmen, I look forward to covering you with the 2011 Bearcats. I know it will be exciting.