Football Friday nights are special

Published 6:22 pm Friday, August 19, 2011

I’ve been watching and covering high school football in southwest Georgia for more than 40 years, and the games never fail to provide me with new thrills every Friday night.

I’m not going to predict what record the Bainbridge High School Bearcats will have this season or how far they might advance in the playoffs, but I will guarantee you one thing.

It is simply this. With coach Ed Pilcher, one of the most respected and successful head coaches in the state at the helm, no one is going to out-hustle or out-execute our young men.

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Coach Pilcher constantly talks about the pace he wants his team to maintain in practice and games.

He has won five state championships at Thomas County Central High School and he believes practices and games must be played at an upbeat tempo.

Strong senior leadership is an extremely important ingredient that any successful team must have.

Three key leaders have performed extremely well in preseason practice sessions.

A key leader on defense is tackle Shammai Wilburn. He has consistently put pressure on opposing offenses.

Two key senior leaders on offense are receiver Rashad Kelly, who pulled in many big receptions during preseason passing camps, and running back Aaron Hall, who is currently sidelined with a cracked bone in his knee.

Fall Friday nights at Centennial Field are special. Paschal Ward, the Decatur County School System director of bands, and his award-winning Marching Bearcats provide outstanding halftime shows. Coach Lea Hawkins’s award-winning football and competition cheerleading squad works with them to keep the fans fired up.

In closing, I would just like to remind everyone how special our high school football team, band and cheerleaders are to Bainbridge and Decatur County.

While we might root for many different college and professional football teams,  the youngsters on the football team, in the band and on the cheerleading squad are our youngsters and they deserve our whole-hearted support.

I’ll see you at the games.