Harris wins ‘Hustle’ award at football banquet

Published 2:43 pm Friday, December 14, 2012

AWARDS WINNERS: Bainbridge High School Bearcats players, who received awards and recognition at Tuesday night’s Bainbridge High School Bearcat Touchdown Club awards banquet, display their honors. Shown are: front row, left to right, Austin Rowe, Cole Granato, Darryl McGee, Cameron McDowell, B.J. Cheatem, Dontavious Baulkman and Madison Malone; back row, left to right, Tim Shaw, Terry Lewis, Daniel Provence, Damian Bouie, Paul Soden and Jamez Harris.

Bainbridge senior linebacker Jamez Harris won the “Tommy Smith Hustle Award,” highlighting Tuesday night’s Bearcat Touchdown Club’s 2012 awards banquet, which honored coach Ed Pilcher’s Bearcats, at the Bainbridge High School cafeteria.

The Bearcats finished 7-4 overall and 3-2 in Region 1-AAAAA play, and made the first round of the state Class AAAAA playoffs.

The Smith Award is the top honor a Bearcats football player can receive. It is named for a former Bearcat, Navy Lt. j.g. Thomas Livingston Smith Jr., who died Nov. 27, 1961. Smith died when he stayed with his plummeting disabled aircraft, in order 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 BHS. The award goes annually to a Bearcat player who demonstrates the same qualities of character, leadership, academic achievement and hustle that Smith demonstrated.

The top offensive player award went to senior Damian Bouie, who shared time between running back and quarterback, and the top defensive player award went to senior linebacker B.J. Cheatem.

TOP HONOREE: Bainbridge High School Bearcats head football coach Ed Pilcher presents the Tommy Smith Hustle Award, the top honor a Bearcats football player can receive, to senior linebacker Jamez Harris.

Bouie finished with 155 carries for 1,006 yards, and a team-leading 14 touchdowns. He averaged 91.5 yards a game.

Cheatem had 90 tackles — 56 solo and 34 assisted — two tackles for a loss, and three forced fumbles.

Senior offensive lineman Cole Granato received the “Bearcat Award” for his outstanding play and team leadership.

The most improved player award went to senior punter Paul Soden, who had a long punt of 55 yards and 14 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line.

Co-winners of the academic award for the highest grade point average on the team were senior tight end Madison Malone and senior tight end Austin Rowe.

Pilcher also recognized the Bearcats players who made the coaches’ All-Region 1-AAAAA team.

Honored as first team all-region members were senior running back Terry Lewis, senior offensive tackle Tim Shaw, junior place kicker Daniel Provence, senior defensive end Darryl McGee, senior linebacker Jamez Harris, senior defensive back Dontavious Baulkman, senior punter Paul Soden, senior linebacker B.J. Cheatem, and senior defensive back, quarterback and receiver Cameron McDowell. McDowell also made second team all-region, as a return specialist.

Second-team all-region honorees were senior offensive guard and long snapper Andre Jeglinski, senior running back and quarterback Damian Bouie, and senior linebacker Marshall Mack.

Honorable mention all-region selections honored Tuesday night were senior center Cole Granato and junior offensive tackle Chris Johnson.