According to Bainbridge Bearcats Coach Jeff Littleton, expectations are high for this year’s football team.
Coach Jeff Littleton spoke at the Bainbridge Decatur County Chamber Luncheon, sponsored by First National Bank, on Thursday, August 4
After a historic season last year, which saw the Cats finish the regular season as undefeated Region champs and make the Semifinal game in the state playoffs, high expectations aren’t unexpected. The Bearcats return 7 offensive starters including superstar running back Dameon Pierce, Quarterback Brett McLaughlin, and 3 starters on the Offensive line, including preseason all state lineman Christian Glover. The Bearcats return 5 starters from last year’s defense which helped lead the team to a 13-1 record. And on special teams, returning a kicker and punter from last year’s team is a huge benefit – kickers that have kicked in big games are invaluable and Bainbridge returns both. Add to those returning starters a list of 24 seniors on this year’s team – the most they’ve had under Coach Littleton and it’s easy to see a recipe for success.
However, with all of the preseason hype, the Bearcats have never won back to back region championships. And this season, the Cats have moved up to AAAAA classification – changing the region alignment to include bigger schools with more players. Winning the region a second year in a row will be a tall task playing against teams like Veterans and Thomas County Central. Warner Robins boasts one of the best players in the state, Marquez Calloway, a 4 star athlete who is committed to Tennessee. The region schedule also doesn’t get started until the last four games of the year, kicking off October 7 against Veterans High School at home. Away games versus Harris County and Thomas County Central, followed by a home tilt against Warner Robins to end the season is a grueling way to finish a long schedule, especially if the region championship is on the line. If you think the region schedule looks daunting, remember it follows games against rivals Early County and Cairo, southwest Georgia powerhouse Lee county and out state competition like Dothan High School, Rickards and Lincoln from Tallahassee. Speaking about the lone preseason scrimmage, Coach Littleton said, “It’s a long season and we need to prepare for Lowndes, which is a full game with 4 quarters, kickoffs, etc”.
That being said, fall camp kicked off this week and things are looking good – players are in pads for the first time and every player loves the first chance to lay on lick on someone. This team is chock full of experience and talent, so a good season is not a far fetched idea. Fan day will be at Centennial Field on August 12 at 6:00 p.m. and it will be a great chance to get a glimpse of what could be a special team this fall.
BEARCAT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
8/5 8:00 p.m. @Lowndes
8/26 7:00 p.m. Lee County
9/2 7:00 p.m. @Lincoln
9/9 7:30 p.m. Cairo
9/16 8:00 p.m. @Early County
9/23 7:30 p.m. Dothan High School
9/30 7:00 p.m. @ Rickards
10/7 7:30 p.m. Veterans High School
10/21 7:30 p.m. @Thomas County Central
10/28 7:30 p.m. @Harris County
11/4 7:00 p.m. Warner Robins