Bearcats have impressive spirit

Published 1:03 am Saturday, October 12, 2013

I’ve lived in Bainbridge for barely two weeks. I’ve seen downtown, met all sorts of wonderful people. I’ve even had lunch at Yuki on Highway 84. Good stuff, that hibachi chicken.

But what I’ve been most impressed with in this city was what I saw last Friday night. Even though the Bearcats lost, I was stunned with the level of energy and excitement this community brings to Centennial Field.

My high school was the complete opposite of high energy.

My class was the first to go through all four years at North Oconee in Bogart. The building was new, the athletics were new and no one was sure if it was okay or “cool” to get excited about anything. After all, we lost almost every single football game of the season before I became a freshman.

School spirit didn’t exist. We wanted to win and cheer, but nothing was fueling the fire. The bleachers were sparse on Friday nights.

So I’ve never experienced a loud high school stadium that goes ballistic when a defensive end clobbers a running back and forces a three-and-out.

I’ve never seen the crowd stand on their feet to scream and stomp after the quarterback completes a scoring pass.

Maybe it’s because I’m new to all this, but Bainbridge has got school spirit that compares to what I see at a Georgia Bulldog football game, just on a slightly smaller scale.

People come to these events because they care, they’ve got the enthusiasm and they want to see their teams do well.

Interviewing the players and Coach Littleton makes it clear that there is no place they’d rather be on Friday nights than fighting for the Bearcats. That’s amazing, and definitely not an aspect all high schools get to experience.

North Oconee has grown since I’ve graduated, and as a result they’ve become more competitive. I hear they’re doing well this season, 4-1. Maybe the bleachers are filled, and good for them if they are. I still root for my alma mater. But my attention has drifted to the Bearcats.

Win or lose, that stadium is going to be rocking. I can’t wait to be there.