My favorite Region Championship moment came before kick off

Published 7:10 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Last Friday was one of the most fun times I have ever had watching sports.

The Bainbridge Bearcats beat the Cairo Syrupmakers 14-6 in Cairo for the Region 1-AAAA Championship, and boy, was it wild.

Everyone who was there knows what I mean.

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For starters, West Thomas Stadium has a great atmosphere for big games. The sound system is top notch, there is plenty of sitting space on both sides of the field to draw in big crowds and Cairo is passionate about their football team. The ingredients are there for a memorable night of high school football. But it was extra special for the Region Championship.

One of my favorite parts of the night was before the game even started.

The moment the Bearcat special teams players took the field for warm ups, roughly 45 minutes before kick off, the Bainbridge crowd let out a cheer that made the hair on your arms stand up straight. It wasn’t even game time yet and it was that loud. I felt the rumble of the stands from my chair in the press box.

Then the music started, and it couldn’t have been better timing. The foreboding opening notes of “For Those About to Rock” by AC/DC chimed out from the speakers. (If you don’t know the song, stop now, go to YouTube and read the rest of this with the intro playing.) The visitors locker room is behind the Cairo stands, so when players enter the field, they do so by running down a hill on the left side of the bleachers.

As the music played and the second guitar cut into the mix, there, atop that hill, came the shimmer of gold helmets and white jerseys proudly bearing purple numbers. The Bearcats jogged down the hill and onto the field, every step saying one thing: we mean business. The tension could be cut with a knife.

The Bainbridge crowd began to cheer. And it just kept getting louder. The song began to pick up intensity, until finally the drums came crashing in. It was such an incredible moment of atmosphere and attitude, and set the tone for what was about to be the hardest fought game of Bainbridge’s season thus far. I couldn’t have been the only one with goose bumps.

After the game, an amazed coach Jeff Littleton praised the energy coming from the stands. This entire city is all-in on the Bearcats. They did it. They’ve made history. They are 10-0 with a Region Championship for the first time. Ever.

So what comes next?

How about they make history again by going 11-0, something never done before in the program’s history? That’s a heck of a way to start the post-season.

With the momentum this team has and the overwhelming support from the community, I bet we’ll see them accomplish even more.

There’s only one way to find out. Don’t miss the game Friday against Griffin.

Keep on cheering, Bainbridge, and let’s watch these ‘Cats keep on playing.