Gaines, Thomas outstanding

Published 5:55 pm Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday morning I had the pleasure of interviewing Rohan Gaines and April Thomas, two outstanding young people and athletes.

I talked with them after they were named Bainbridge High School’s 2010-2011 male and female senior athletes of the year.

In today’s sports section, there is a story about them and their great accomplishments in both academics and athletics.

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They are both honor roll students and true student athletes in every sense of the words.

If you will bear with me, I would like to share with you some of the fond memories I have of covering their athletic endeavors.

Rohan was one of the most versatile athletes ever to play at Bainbridge High School . Whether he was coming up to make a tackle or put pressure on the opposing quarterback on the football field or driving in for a layup or setting up an open teammate for a shot with a pinpoint pass on the basketball court, he always seemed to be around the action and contributing.

Turning to Thomas, I will always remember the great speed and quickness she displayed getting down the basketball court after taking an outlet pass from her dear friend and fellow senior basketball teammate Bria Harris.

Thomas’ deadly shooting from three-point range was also special to cover and watch.

Thomas also used her great speed running the bases and running down outfield fly balls for the Bearcats softball team.

There is an old saying in sports that there is no substitute for speed and athletes like Rohan and April prove that that is very true.

One of the greatest pleasures I have gotten during my 41 years as sports editor of this fine newspaper has been the opportunity it has given me to cover and watch young people and young athletes like Rohan and April perform on the fields and courts.

I wish them nothing but the best as they embark on their college academic and athletic college careers.

Rohan has received a football scholarship to the University of Arkansas, while April has received a basketball scholarship to Albany State University.

I enjoy college and professional sports as much as anybody, but high school sports is where it is at as far as I am concerned.

High school athletes are not on full college athletic scholarships or earning six-figure salaries to play professional sports.

They are bringing positive publicity to their school, their city and their county. That is what Rohan and April have done, and they have done it well.

I am sure they will be successful in college and in whatever they decide to do in their future lives.

I will always treasure the opportunity I have had to cover their outstanding high school athletic arenas. It has been a true pleasure.