2022 Bearcats Football honored at Awards Banquet

Published 10:36 am Thursday, January 26, 2023

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The 2022 Bainbridge High School football team had the chance to gather as a team one last time on Tuesday, January 24 as Bainbridge High School hosted their annual football banquet to both celebrate the accomplishments on and off the field of the Bearcats and also celebrate the 2023 senior class. Head Coach Jeff Littleton along with the Bearcats Touchdown Club prepared a special night for this season’s Bearcats. 

The night began with Touchdown Club President Bert Hines addressing the players, their families and all in attendance by thanking everyone who makes it possible for the Bearcat football program to succeed. Whether it’s local businesses like Rickey’s steakhouse supplying food, Mike and Connie Mitchell creating the yearly program, or the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office escorting the Bearcats to road games and keeping them safe, it takes a village to build a successful program. 

“We don’t want to just have a good team,” said Head Coach Jeff Littleton while addressing everyone in attendance. “We want to build a great program. With that, it takes a village. From the families of the coaches and the players to everyone in the community, there is a lot of time and effort that goes into this program each year and we couldn’t do it without everyone’s support.”

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Something that was special about the 2022 Bearcats team, are the 11 seniors who stepped up in their roles both on the field, in the classroom, and off the field as leaders. Seniors Bo Smith, RJ Hamilton, Dontavious Broadnax, Davayon Stroud, Tevon Moore, Kenneth Jackson, Brian Pugh, Dariyon Smart, Devon Smart, Mason Brown, Brian Pugh, Alexander Pearson, and William Goodson were all recognized for the time, effort and all they accomplished during their time in the Bearcat football program. 

Since 2019, the 2023 senior class has won 35 regular season games, a 16-2 region record including three straight region championships, has advanced to the third round or better in the playoffs three of their four years and has set many records along the way. 

“These seniors know how to win,” said Littleton. “They’ve led the region in scoring and scoring defense for three straight years, we’ve defeated rival Cairo for six years in a row, they have made it to the third round or better in the playoffs for three of their four years.”

After Littleton addressed the audience, a 20 minute slideshow made by Meagan Bridges of Elite Vision Photography was shown that highlighted each game of the season as the players had one last chance to laugh, smile and reminisce over the memories they have made during the 2022 season. 

As the video concluded, Bearcat football players were presented with a variety of awards that went beyond excellence on the field, and awarded players for their dedication in the classroom, leadership on the field and sacrifices made for the team. 

The first awards announced were All Region winners which include Co-Region defensive players of the year Dontavious Broadnax and Dariyon Smart, Region offensive player of the year Antavious Murphy, and Region MVP Keenan Phillips. 

First-Team All Region offense was awarded to Bo Smith, Keenan Phillips, Antavious Murphy, Mason Brown, and Brian Pugh. First-Team All Region defense was awarded to Dontavious Broadnax, Dariyon Smart, Devon Smart, RJ Hamilton and Kennan Phillips while kicker Nicholas Tyre was named first team All-Region special teams. 

For second-team All Region offense, Kahleem Murphy and Cam Sanders were recognized as well as Donterrious Williams, Braylon Phillips and Tevon Moore being recognized on the defensive end. 

Many players received a multitude of awards that recognized on-field performance, leadership, in the classroom performance and the embodiment of Bearcat football. Winners include Bo Smith, Keenan Phillips, Brian Pugh, Antavious Murphy, Cam Scott, Mason Brown, Dontavious Broadnax, Cam Sanders, Tevon Moore, RJ Hamilton, Aiden Velasquez, William Goodson, Davayon Stroud, Tashun Carter, Jace Weaver, Kenny Jackson, Travius Freeman, Dariyon Smart, Devon Smart, Braylon Phillips, Bradley Marshburn, Kahleem Murphy, Andrew Carnes, and Samuel Blyth. 

The Bearcat freshman and the future of the program also is bright as freshman Brooks Hines, Jah’Bari Smith, Mark Esquivel, and Jacorey Murphy all took home awards. Every player left with a plaque and a certificate of their achievements and effort shown during the 2022 season as they will be etched in Bearcat history for years to come.