Quincy Fortson wins top awards

Published 5:13 pm Friday, January 13, 2012

BAINBRIDGE HIGH SCHOOL Bearcats football players display the honors they received at Thursday night’s Bearcat Touchdown Club’s annual banquet honoring the 2011 Bearcats. From left, seated; Rodney Glenn, Shammia Wilburn, Damian Bouie and Bernard Burke, standing; Quincy Fortson, B.J. Cheatem and Darryl McGee.

Senior quarterback Quincy Fortson won the Tommy Smith Hustle Award and received the Davis-Williams Scholarship, highlighting Thursday night’s Bearcat Touchdown Club’s annual banquet honoring the 2011 Bainbridge High School Bearcats football team. That team posted an 8-2 regular season record and advanced to the first round of the State Class AAAA playoffs.

The Smith Award and the Davis-Williams scholarship are the top two honors a Bearcats football player can receive.

The Smith Award is named for a former Bearcat, Navy Lt. j.g. Thomas Livingston Smith Jr., who died Nov. 27, 1961, while staying with his plummeting disabled aircraft to steer it away from a densely populated area near the Naval Air Station in Atsugi, Japan,

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A portrait of Smith, who was too low for his parachute to open when he ejected from the plane, hangs prominently at Bainbridge High School. The award goes annually to a Bearcat player who demonstrates the same qualities of character, leadership, academic achievement and hustle.

The Davis-Williams Scholarship is named for former Bearcats coaches Spencer “Onion” Davis and the late Sam Williams. It goes to a player who demonstrates hard work, sportsmanship and other high qualities taught by Davis and Williams.

Davis, a member of the first Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame Class in 2011, served as Bearcats head coach from 1955 to 1965 with Williams as his top assistant. Williams, who served as Bearcats head coach from 1966 to 1969, led the Bearcats to a 9-2 record in 1966 and a 6-4 record in 1967.

Bainbridge head coach Ed Pilcher, who presented the scholarship to Fortson, described the two former coaches as men who shaped young mens lives forever in a positive way.

LINDA LONG of the Decatur County Breast Cancer Society holds a $1,000 check. The funds were made during the Bearcats Friday, October 7 pink out game against the Northside Columbus High School Patriots at Centennial Field. Taking part in the presentation were Bearcats head coach Ed Pilcher, left, Bearcats quarterback Quincy Fortson, second from left, and Bearcats Touchdown Club president Phil Long, right.

A special presentation of $1,000 was made to the Decatur County Breast Cancer Society by touchdown club president Phil Long. The money was made through the sale of breast cancer awareness T-shirts, during the Bearcats’ win over Northside-Columbus on Oct. 7. The team wore pink socks during the game.

Senior defensive tackle Shammai Williams, the 2011 Region 1-AAAA defensive player of the year, and first team All-State selection by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Associated Press, won the Bearcat Award for his outstanding hustle and desire. He had 57 tackles, 36 solo and 21 assisted.

He was honored Thursday night, along with his other teammates who made the All-Region 1-AAAA team.

Making first team All-Region 1-AAAA with him were senior defensive back Rodney Glenn and junior defensive end Darryl McGhee.

Glenn, who was second in the Region with five interceptions, also broke up nine passes and recovered two fumbles. He also saw duty at wide receiver on offense, and made what was probably the Bearcats’ biggest offensive play of the year when he caught a game-winning touchdown pass in overtime to beat Thomas County Central.

The academic award, for the top grade-point average on the team, went to senior tight end Bernard Burke.

Junior running back Damian Bouie received the offensive player of the year award and junior linebacker B.J. Cheatem received the defensive player of the year award.

Bouie picked up 733 yards and scored nine touchdowns. Cheatem had 102 tackles, 64 solo and 38 assisted. He also had 10 tackles for loss, caused two fumbles and had two quarterback sacks and five quarterback hurries.

Junior defensive end Darryl McGee, also honored as a first team All-Region 1-AAAA selection, received the most improved defensive player award. He had 68 tackles, 46 solo and 22 assisted. Ten of his tackles were for a loss and he caused one fumble, had four sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery.

Other All-Region 1-AAAA performers honored Thursday night included second-team junior offensive guard and long snapper Andzrej Jeglinski, second-team junior offensive tackle Tim Shaw, second-team junior running back Terry Lewis, second-team junior linebacker Marshall Mack, second-team junior linebacker Jamez Harris, second-team all-purpose performer B.J. Cheatem and second-team sophomore return specialist Greg Cooper.

Honorable mention All-Region performers honored Thursday night were junior center Cole Granato, junior running back Damian Bouie, senior defensive lineman Tarow Barney and junior defensive back Dontavious Baulkman.

The most improved offensive lineman award went to junior guard Tim Shaw.

The most improved offensive back award went to Bouie and the most improved defensive back award went to Cheatem.