Bainbridge receives Region All-Sports Award in wake of outstanding athletics year
Published 12:41 pm Monday, May 9, 2016
The Bainbridge High School athletic program has been recognized for an outstanding year that saw six teams capture region 1-AAAA championships. The Bearcats were announced as the 2015-16 winners of the Region 1-AAAA All-Sports award earlier this week. This is the third time in school history that Bainbridge has won the all-sport award. The two previous times came in 1974 and 2009.
“To me it says we had a lot of good athletes that were coached by some outstanding coaches,” Athletic Director Stan Killough said. “
The football teams and boys cross-country, the boy’s and girls’ swimming teams, golf team and the boys’ tennis team each won a region championship this year.
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“We’ve won a lot of region championships, but the thing is that you might have a sport or two that for one reason or another doesn’t contribute points,” Killough said. “This year everybody was able to contribute some points.”
The football team got the ball rolling with a perfect 11-0 regular season. They clinched the region championship with a 14-6 win over Cairo before advancing to the state semifinals.
“Winning is not something that just comes to you,” head football coach Jeff Littleton said. “You have to learn how to win. I think as a football team we’ve learned how to do that.”
The boy’s cross-country team was led to the region championship by junior Poncherella Leonard who claimed an individual region title in a time of 16:24 and freshman Caleb Harris who finished second at the region meet in a time of 17:04.
The boys’ and girls’ swimming teams swept the region meet as they each had multiple individual champions. The Lady Cats were led by Tara Stevens who qualified for the state meet in the 100-yard freestyle, the 100 breaststroke, the 200 individual medley, the 100 backstroke and the 200 freestyle. She chose to only compete in the 200 freestyle and 100 backstroke at the state meet and finished 14th and 26th overall respectively.
The Bearcats were led by Caleb Boutwell who won individual region championships in the 50 and 100 freestyle races.
“The commitment of the swimmers giving it their all just made us all proud to be Bearcats,” said head swimming coach Tracey Poppell. “I’m so proud of all out athletes. Their hard work and dedication has definitely paid off.”
The Bearcat gold team claimed their first region championship in 40 years. Their team score of 347 enabled them to qualify for the state tournament, which will be held May 15 at Jones Creek Golf Club in Augusta.
The boy’s tennis team finished off the 2015-16 athletic year strong as they claimed the region championship with a shutout victory over Cook County at Bill Reynolds Tennis Complex. They advanced to the second round of the state playoffs before being eliminated by Woodward Academy.
“I think it was exciting for Bainbridge High School to accomplish this together,” head tennis coach Amy Thomas said. “An award like this can’t be won by one team.”
The Bearcats also receiving strong contributions were the girls’ cross-county and tennis teams and the boys’ basketball team who all finished as region runner-up.