Bainbridge linebackers, defensive backs hang hat on speed, power

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Bainbridge’s defensive secondary is blessed with fast, talented senior leadership for the 2018 season.

While coaches admit they are not tall, the Bearcat linebackers and defensive backs are fast, hit hard and play every play to the whistle.

With spread offenses becoming more rampant throughout Georgia football, Bainbridge will need to rely on that speed to keep quarterbacks on their heels and wide receivers locked down tight.

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“We’re trying to match up with all the spread offenses we see, getting faster kids on the field,” said linebackers coach Joe Dollar.

Two seniors, Bryce Worthy and Randy Fillingame, bring plenty of defensive knowledge to the position to help build up younger players. Last year, Worthy recorded 29 tackles and Fillingame racked up 74. Both will be transitioning from outside linebacker to inside linebacker this season.

“They are both really smart players,” said Dollar. “It hasn’t been much of a transition for them. They just pick it up and run with it.”

Anthony Brooks, another senior who Dollar said was the fastest linebacker the Bearcats had last year, will also see himself in a starting spot for Bainbridge. He had 55 tackles and six sacks in 2017.

Jarvis Martin, a junior, has been making big strides during practice as well.

Behind Bainbridge’s swarm of linebackers are another senior-heavy group, but plenty of young talent will keep them fresh on coverage.

Senior Fred Thompson will start at cornerback, sophomore Caleb McDowell is returning at safety and freshman Deyon Bouie has earned himself a starting spot at the other cornerback position.

Jalen Peterson, AJ Cooper, Michael Ryan are also names to watch for at the cornerback position. Aaron Spivie will see plays at cornerback, but may also work in at linebacker as well, said defensive backs coach Brian Hill.

Lots of these players will also be on offense.

“Some of those offensive guys are going to have to rest each other,” said Hill. “We are going to have to have the right rotation.”

As it stands right now, the players have a great attitude about contributing and putting the team before themselves, said Hill.

“We cover pretty well,” added Hill. “This is one of my better groups, cover wise. We are not going to be very big, but we’re fast.”