November 5, 2008 by Joey Donia
Thomasville (WALB)- The game Thomas County Central fans have waited all season for is Friday night.
Former Jacket head coach Ed Pilcher returns with his new team the Bainbridge Bearcats in a very big region 1-AAAA game.
Ed Pilcher said "I've been with those guys a long time, I'm friends with everyone on that staff. "
For 17 years Ed Pilcher was the face of Thomas County Central football.
Jackets quarterback Taylor Payne said. "South Georgia hardcore football coach you know that everybody loved and the players loved him, just a hard nose kind of guy."
After chalking up over 150 wins and 5 state champions a legendary run came to an end.
After years of coaching against Bainbridge, Pilcher was now a Bearcat.
Just about 30 miles down the road are Pilcher's former players and good friends.
Bill Shaver said. "I have so much love and respect for Coach Pilcher as a coach, as a man, he taught us not only how to coach football but how to handle kids and how to treat kids."
Coach Shaver served on Pilcher's staff with the Yellow Jackets for 14 years.
Shaver said. "When I came here I had been only coaching high school football for three years and coach kind of took me under his wing. I first coached quarterbacks for him and then after one year he let me turn over and be offensive coordinator. He's kind of like a father figure to me."
So now Shaver is head coach of the Yellow Jackets.
Friday night after years of coaching together the two will coach against one another.
Pilcher said. "We're friends there's no question about that. We're good friends and I have a lot of respect for their coaching staff with what they've done this year. I wish them well every week besides this one."
Shaver said. "It's kind of like when you play a pick up game of basketball in your back yard against your brother. You know when you go out there you're going to play your hardest to beat your brother. Probably even more so than you would to beat your next door neighbor. So you know when the games over you love your brother more than you do your next door neighbor."
Pilcher said. "I've got a deep fondness for those kids but I've got a deep fondness for these kids over here too so you know it will be a little bit different there's no question about that. But I guarantee once we tee it up right there it will all be about our kids."
Game time is 7:30 p.m. Friday night at the Jackets Nest in Thomasville.