Littleton answers questions from Rotary Club on new season

Published 7:20 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bainbridge football coach Jeff Littleton spoke to Rotary Club on Tuesday and answered a wide assortment questions, ranging from prayer to star running back Dameon Pierce’s commitment to Florida.

“We are excited about the start of the season,” Littleton said. “We started Friday night versus Lowndes. Lowndes is a top rated team in 7A. We held our own pretty good. I heard some good comments out of some of you. We made some minor mistakes, especially early on. I attribute that to some nervous energy.”

Littleton was referring to a first half filled with offsides penalties, but he added that the team finally got that straightened out.

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The team is eager to improve on last year, he said, and they feel like they are on the right track to be a contender this year.

The fifth-year coach was asked what his opinion on prayer at football games was, and whether it was regulated by the Georgia High School Association.

“You’re not supposed to have prayer on the field during a high school sanctioned event,” Littleton said. “They really do not enforce that, unless it impedes the process of the game. It usually doesn’t.”

Another hot topic question was thrown out: What would you do if a player refused to stand during the national anthem? The question is a reference to a small group of NFL players who have made headlines by sitting during the national anthem as a form of protest.

“I would ask him to stand up,” Littleton said with a smile. “I’ve had that before in the classroom. They weren’t doing it because of any kind of protest.”

Littleton commented on the work new offensive coordinator Mike Harville was doing. The majority of the system is the same as last year, he said, with small changes that fans may not even notice on the field.

When asked about senior running back Pierce’s commitment to the Gators, Littleton said he did his best to guide him to make the best choice.

“Personally, I wish he would have waited a little bit,” Littleton said. “If you aren’t committed somewhere, you have a chip on your shoulder and you feel like you have something to prove. Dameon is solid in his thinking, though. He’ll be fine. He’s going to play as hard as he can play.”

Other players that are getting looks from colleges are senior Zyon McGee, who is committed to Georgia Southern, and junior Roman Harrison, who has an offer from Florida Atlantic.

Bainbridge starts its season next Friday at Lee County. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.

Bainbridge’s home opener will be Friday, Sept. 1, against Lincoln (Tallahassee) at 7:30 p.m.