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Bearcats had great senior leadership

Congratulations to head coach Ed Pilcher, his fine coaching staff and the Bainbridge High School Bearcats football players on an outstanding 2011 season.

They would not be denied as they rolled to an 8-3 overall record and a 5-2 Region 1-AAAA mark and a third-place finish in one of the strongest regions in the state.

Their season ended Friday night in a well-played 21-14 loss to the Ware County High School Gators, the No. 2 team in Region 2-AAAA, at Waycross’s Memorial Stadium.

On the strength of a 3-yard first-quarter touchdown run and a 65-yard third-quarter touchdown run by Damian Bouie, the Bearcats led 14-7 in the third quarter and the final outcome was in doubt until the final play.

You don’t have an outstanding season, like the one the Bearcats just finished, without everybody contributing.

Right now, however, I would like to concentrate on the Bearcats seniors and the great play and leadership they provided throughout the season.

I’ll start with quarterback Quincy Fortson who ran coach Pilcher’s split back veer offense efficiently throughout the season.

Fortson and senior wide receiver and defensive back Rodney Glenn hooked up on one of the most memorable and exciting plays of the season.

It was a 14-yard touchdown pass in overtime that gave the Bearcats a 27-24 victory over the Thomas County Central High School Yellow Jackets in the final game of the regular season at Centennial Field — a win that nailed down third place in Region 1-AAAA.

I also recall all the clutch catches made by senior wide receiver Rashad Kelly during the season. Senior tight end Bernard Burke also played well.

Defensively, what Bearcat fan could ever forget the many drive-stopping tackles made by senior tackle Shammai Wilburn. Senior defensive tackle Tarow Barney and senior linebacker Chris Campbell also had their share of big hits during the season.

Also contributing on defense were senior linebacker Emmanuel Miller, senior end Anthony Jackson and senior tackle Leviaus Smart.

I can’t talk about the seniors without talking about running back Aaron Hall, Bainbridge’s top rusher a year ago, who missed the entire season with a knee injury. He supported and encouraged his teammates throughout the season.

No team has an outstanding season without strong senior leadership, and the Bearcats had some of the best.

With 34 juniors returning for their senior year next season, I am really looking forward to an extremely competitive spring practice. It should be exciting.

In conclusion I just want to thank coach Pilcher, his staff and players for bringing us such a successful and exciting season and I wish the seniors nothing but the best in their future lives.