Complete focus follows ‘dead week’

Published 8:49 am Tuesday, June 26, 2012

After next week, Bainbridge High School Bearcats head coach Ed Pilcher and other high school football coaches around the state will start turning their complete focus toward the 2012 season.

The week of the July 4 holiday each year is designated as a “dead week,” by the Georgia High School Association.

No team is allowed to do anything in the weight room or on the field during the week.

Email newsletter signup

After next week, coaches and players throughout Georgia would start turning their complete focus toward the upcoming season. The first time teams can go into full pads is Wednesday, August 1.

Recently Pilcher’s 2012 Bearcats have been working out in the weight room and the quarterbacks and receivers have been doing a little throwing and catching in shorts.

Top receivers coming out of spring practice included senior A.J. Miller and junior Greg Cooper. Doing the throwing were junior quarterback Preston Norris and senior quarterback Cameron McDowell.

Defensively, the Bearcats are led by a trio of senior linebackers who were dominant during spring practice.

Senior linebackers Marshall Mack, B.J. Cheatem and Jamez Harris showed a lot of quickness, hustle and desire in the spring.

Offensively the Bearcats operate from the split back veer set, which is geared toward the run, and do not throw often. When they do throw, however; there is a good chance receivers will be open. Call it the element of surprise.

In the split back veer, the quarterback has to decide which of three options to employ after looking at how the opposing defense is set up.

He can either keep the ball himself on an option run, hand off or pitch out to a running back, or drop back to pass.

The Bearcats return a veteran offensive line anchored by senior center Cole Granato. The guards are seniors Anquivious Carroll, Tim Shaw and Andrzej Jeglinski. Senior Jason Long is a solid senior at tackle as well.

The key to any offense executing successfully is the play of the offensive line and a strong veteran group like the Bearcats have up front is a big asset.

They will be opening some big holes and running lanes for veteran running backs like seniors Terry Lewis and Damian Bouie.

The Bearcats’ kicking game remains strong with junior place kicker Daniel Provence and senior punter Paul Soden returning.

All in all, I’m excited about the upcoming Bearcats football season. I’m not going to make any prediction about what the record will be, but I will guarantee you one thing. No team the Bearcats play will be better prepared than they are.

I have known Pilcher and covered his Bearcats teams for five years, and during that time I have gained a lot of respect for him.

His workouts, whether lifting in the weight room or working out on the practice field, are intense.

When the dead period ends, it will be full speed ahead.

Joe Crine is the sports editor of The Post-Searchlight. You can email him at