'Cats experience growing pains - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

'Cats experience growing pains

August 14, 2002

If Bainbridge head coach Greg Guy is going to avoid a sophomore jinx, it will be because young, inexperienced players grow up in a hurry. Bainbridge head coach Greg Guy said, "Not lot of experience and that's the thing in camp we're trying to do. We're trying to play. These kids need to play."

 Guy, who led the BearCats to a 5-5 record in his first year, is feeling the effects of losing 30 seniors off of last year's team. Guy said, "We came in here last year and they had a large number of seniors and we felt like the best thing to do (was leave everything the same). The coaching change wasn't those kids fault, wasn't my fault, let's come in here and give them the best opportunity they can to enjoy their senior year and that's exactly what we did."

 And most of those seniors were starters, in fact the BearCats return only two starters, one on each side of the ball, but those two were big contributers in 2001. Junior running back Lawrence Akins will carry much of the offensive load this year after a breakout sophomore season in which he was the region's third leading rusher. Guy said, "He ain't but 135 pounds soaking wet, but very quick and very shifty and had some good blocking for him last year and if we can get those guys grown up a little on the offensive line then maybe he'll have a good year."

Defensively, senior safety Ellis Borden will be looked on to not only be a leader in the secondary but also in the stat column. Senior Ellis Borden said, "Everybody is looking up to me because I'm the only one that's played three consecutive years, so it's like I have to be the leader for everyone."

And with virtually a brand new team comes a new region. The BearCats drop down to 1 quad A in 2002, but that's not necessarily a break. Guy said, "You trade the Lowndes and the Valdosta's for the Cairo's and the Thomasville Central's and the Dougherty's so it doesn't get a whole lot better but we're just going to have to go out there and see, that's why we play the game."