Gaines looking to start this fall

Published 11:00 am Friday, July 20, 2012

Former Bearcat and current Arkansas Razorback Rohan Gaines recently participated in the James Butler Jr. DREAM Foundation youth football camp in Bainbridge.

Former Bainbridge High School Bearcats three-sport athlete Rohan Gaines, a redshirt freshman at the University of Arkansas, has reportedly moved up to the top of the depth chart at free safety for the Razorbacks football team.

He talked about his progress, during a break in last Saturday’s James Butler Dream Foundation free youth football camp at Centennial Field.

“I started spring practice No. 2 at free safety, but I worked my way up to No. 1 by the end of drills,” he said. “Senior Jerry Mitchell, who was the starter at free safety, moved up to No. 1 at strong safety and I went to No. 1 at free safety.”

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“Our new head coach, John L. Smith, was my position coach my first season.”

Gaines was Bainbridge High School’s 2010-2011 male senior athlete of the year. He was also an All-Region 1-AAAA performer as a safety on coach Ed Pilcher’s football team and an All-Region 1-AAAA guard on coach Rickey McCullough’s basketball team.

He helped lead coach Larry Cosby’s 2011 track team to the State Class AAAA championship. He participated in the long jump and was a member of the 4-by-100-meter relay team.

Despite missing the final two football games of his senior season due to injury, Gaines was third on the Bearcats, with 59 tackles. Five of his tackles were for a loss.

During his sophomore, junior and senior seasons, he was part of Bainbridge basketball teams that posted an 81-12 record, made two State Class AAAA Final Four appearances and won three Region 1-AAAA championships.

He credits his parents, Maurice and Loretta Gaines, his basketball coaches Rickey McCullough and Kelvin Cochran, Bearcats offensive coordinator Leonard Guyton and teacher and former Bearcats quarterback Dr. Joe Sweet Jr. with being his role models.

“My parents, coaches and Dr, Sweet always taught me that academics come first,” he said. “My philosophy, which I learned from them, is that nothing great ever occurs without hard work and determination.”