I’ll never forget the two state championships Bainbridge has

Published 4:58 pm Friday, May 2, 2014

One date I will never forget is Saturday, March 15, 2010. That was the day coach Larry Cosby’ Bainbridge High School Bearcats track team won the State Class AAAA track championship in Jefferson, the only state track championship in school history.
Coach Cosby was Albany Herald’s All-Area boy’s track coach of the year for that 2010 season.
The team was led by the 4-by-100 meter relay team of Shawn Samuels, Brandon Handsford, Thomas Smiley and Denzel Reynolds, who were first in a time of 41.31 seconds.
Denzel Gamble finished second in the 110-meter hurdles in a time of 14.4 seconds and second in the triple jump with a leap of 47-feet-4.5-inches.
I remember Bainbridge Mayor Edward Reynolds going to the BHS campus following the team’s return from Jefferson and personally congratulating them.
It was the second high school state championship team I had the honor and joy of covering during my 44 years as sports editor of this fine newspaper.
The first was coach Ralph Jones’ 1982 State Class AAA champion Bearcats football team.
Most high school sports reporters do not have the opportunity to cover one state championship team. I was blessed with the opportunity to cover two.
Congratulations to coach Larry Cosby’s Bearcats and coach Tandria Phillips’ Bainbridge High School Lady Cats on the strong track seasons they are involved in this year.
The Bearcats won the region 1-AAAAA championship and the Lady Cats finished a strong third.
Both teams have won a lot of individual and relay team honors.
Year in and year out the Bearcats and Lady Cats track programs are two of the strongest sports programs at Bainbridge.
During his years as a BHS athlete, Cosby, who coaches running backs on coach Jeff Littleton’s Bearcats football team, was an outstanding sprinter on the track team and an outstanding running back.
In my 44 years of coverings Bearcats football, he is the only running back who started all four years. He also had an outstanding college football career as a running back at Tusculum College.
Phillips, the former Tandria Cox, was also an outstanding athlete at Bainbridge High School in both basketball and track. She went on to have an outstanding track career at Albany State University.
Dr. Larry Clark, principal of Jones-Wheat Elementary School and a member of the Decatur County Sports Hall of Fame’s first class, was an outstanding football and track performer with the Bearcats.
He built the track programs to the high levels they are at today.
Clark is one of the best role models for young people that we have in Decatur County. When he stepped down as Bearcats track coach, Cosby, who ran for him, was his hand picked successor.