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8th graders begin working

Thirty-five players greeted coaches for the first day of Bainbridge Middle School eighth-grade Bearcats football practice Wednesday at the school practice field.

Decatur County School System middle school football coordinator Scott Starr said Friday that he expects even more players to come out next week when the team dons pads for the first time.

EIGHTH GRADERS Nicholas Hancock and DeAndre Lewis watch the ball as assistant coach Mike Jones leads a drill.|Justin Schuver

“There are several players who still need to get their physical forms filled out and turned in,” coach Starr said. “When everyone comes out we should have around 45 players.”

Starr, who coaches the eighth-grade Bearcats with Ell Willis and Mike Jones, a pair of former Bainbridge High School players, said he and his coaches are taking practice precautions because of the severe heat.

“We are giving the players frequent water breaks and also letting them take breaks in a shady area,” Starr said.

Starr was the defensive backfield coach on former Decatur County School Superintendent Ralph Jones’s 1990 Cairo Class AAA state championship staff. Jones also led Bainbridge to the Class AAA state championship in 1982.

The eighth-grade Bearcats will open their season Thursday, Sept. 1, against the Thomas County Central Middle School eighth-grade Yellow Jackets at Central’s Jackets’ Nest Stadium. Kickoff will be at 5 p.m.

Joe Crine can be reached by e-mail at joe.crine@thepostsearchlight.com, or by telephone at (229) 246-2827, Ext. 116.