Bainbridge Football Preview Week 3: Thomas County Central

Published 5:30 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

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The Bearcats started preparing for their game against Thomas County Central by looking inward.

“What is your ‘why,’ why are you here,” The coaching staff asked the players Monday. “Do you love football more than anything else?” 

Head Coach Jeff Littleton is putting a positive spin on the loss against Coffee Friday night. He said the team has unearthed “issues that need to be fixed” and will address them in practice this week. 

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“You’re always going to find issues during the beginning of the year,” Littleton said. “You’re going to find strengths, and you’re going to find weaknesses… that’s all part of the evaluation and getting people in the right spots.” 

Littleton has been the Bearcats’ head coach for 11 seasons, creating a culture of finding and fixing issues early. He schedules a tough, non-region schedule at the beginning of the season to test his players and build a team that can compete with talented competition later in the year.  

The Bearcats take on Thomas County Central (TCC) Friday at home. The 6-A state runners-up boast dangerous individual talent and a solid team as a whole. 

“It’s an exciting week,” Littleton said. “The chance to play a top ranked team at home, it doesn’t get much better than that.

The Yellow Jackets strike a tricky balance between run and air threats on offense. Senior running back Trey Brenton and junior running back A.J. Clark make up the backfield committee. The physical running backs can grind a team’s defense down. 

“You get tired of tackling him before he gets tired of running,” TCC head coach Justin Rogers said about Brenton.

Sophomore quarterback Jaylen Johnson leads the Yellow Jackets. Though young, Rogers said Johnson is getting more comfortable in the position. Johnson had 302 passing yards and three touchdowns in his most recent performance against Thomasville High School.

“You’ve got to be aware of those two running backs, but you’ve also got to do things in the secondary to cover up,” Littleton said. “Hopefully, we can keep their big plays to a minimum.”

Junior safety/wide receiver Kendarius Reddick is TCC’s most nationally recognized player. The 4-star athlete is dangerous on both sides of the ball and can be a problem if not contained.

“He’s a good player, you know, we’ve got some pretty good players too,” Littleton said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to match up with him pretty good.”

The Bearcats welcome the Yellow Jackets to Centennial Field Friday, kickoff at 7:30 p.m.