BAINBRIDGE, GA (WALB) - The Bainbridge Bearcats found themselves on a mission for the city this past football season.
They were only playing for a state title, but they were playing for all those who lost so much.
The sound of a city over joyed by what their football team had overcome in this season.
Taking home, a state title in December, after hurricane Michael devastated most of South Georgia just two months earlier.
“Me, myself, my power was out for 8 days," said senior defensive lineman Roman Harrison. Some were longer. It was really hard for some of us to get to practice.”
With the city in ruins, many wondered if they would even be able to finish the season or if they should.
But the Bearcats knew they needed to dedicate this season to Bainbridge.
“He said that we all have to depend on each other, said Junior tight end Arkevious Marshall. "The city is down right now and they looking at us to build it back up. Build the spirits back up.”
Before their road to glory, the Bearcats were 3-5 at the time of hurricane Michael, but when they thought of the city they rose to the occasion.
“We started off kind of rough and we were really weren’t working together and coach just kept telling people we were getting better every week," said Junior tight end Jackson Wheeler. They just couldn’t see that through the games that we were losing but we really were. It paid off in the end.”
The road wasn’t easy, but the challenge they were looking for.
The Bearcats had to face two different #1 seeds just to reach the finals.
But unity kept them together.
“We came from a broken puzzle of just almost 100 different pieces.," said sophomore lineman Lawson Chandler. If you take five guys and put them in a line and you nail a two by four to their back and moved it all at once, that’s what we became from that broken puzzle.”
And when that championship game came… they laid it all on the line.
“That championship," said junior offensive lineman Vick Wimberly, "we just laid it all out. They made mistakes, we took advantage.”
When that final whistle blew, the Bearcats finished the Cinderella story, and took home the 2018 state championship.
“It’s just a tremendous effort by our kids and our coaches and I’m really proud of the fact that everybody had each other’s back and worked together,” said head bainbridge football coach Jeff Littleton.
Now… the Bearcats are back in the weight room, trying to build off their success for years to come.