High school coaches build character

Published 7:03 am Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I wish all my readers and news sources a very Merry Christmas and happy and prosperous new year.
I have covered high school sports for many years and it is my firm opinion that high school coaches build more character in athletes than coaches at any other level.

In my 42 years of covering sports for this fine newspaper, I have witnessed firsthand the positive influence many local coaches have had on Bainbridge and Decatur County youth.

I’m talking about football coaches like coach Spencer “Onion” Davis and Dr. Larry Clark.

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Coach Davis was the highly successful Bainbridge High School Bearcats head football coach from 1955 through 1965 and Dr.Clark, who built the Bearcats track program to one of the top programs in the state, were both outstanding role models.

I’m also talking about basketball coaches like the late Lynwood Mock and the late Charles Bess who led strong West Bainbridge High School and Attapulgus High School basketball programs, respectively. Coach Bess later coached some strong Bainbridge High School Bearcats basketball teams.

Former Decatur County School Superintendent Ralph Jones, who coached the Bainbridge High School Bearcats to the 1982 State Class AAA football championship, was also a great coach and role model.

In October, Jones, his coaching staff and team were honored, along with 1982 Bainbridge High School principal Bobby Trawick, with a 30th anniversary reception.

Trawick, who led Bainbridge High School Lady Cats basketball teams to a number of strong seasons, was an outstanding role model for local youth in his own right.

I personally covered the Bearcats 1982 State Class AAA football championship season and it is an experience I will never forget.