2018-01-10 / Community

Area News Around Us

Bainbridge - Kirby Smart ran onto the field and pumped his fist into the air Monday night, letting out a cry of victory.

Georgia running back Sony Michel had just scored the winning touchdown in double overtime against Oklahoma in the College Football Playoff semifinal.

This wasn’t just any game for the former Bearcat. It wasn’t just any win.

It was the historic Rose Bowl, the granddaddy of them all.

The boy who grew up playing Bainbridge rec. ball, who helped lead the Bearcats to the state semifinals in 1993 and was an All-SEC defensive back for the Bulldogs, coached his alma mater to one of the biggest wins in the program’s history.

Even better, it punched Georgia’s ticket to the national championship game in Atlanta.

Georgia’s 54-48 win marks the highest scoring Rose Bowl game ever. It was also the first time a Rose Bowl had gone into overtime.

“What a game, what an atmosphere,” Smart said to ESPN analyst Maria Taylor after the win. “Nobody ever quit. Everybody fought hard. I’m so proud of these kids and seniors.”

After Smart was handed the Leishman Trophy, he held it high in the air and passed it back to his players. ESPN host Rece Davis asked Smart what was going through his mind when Michel was running down the sideline to score the winning touchdown.

A three-sport athlete at Bainbridge, Smart played guard on coach Larry Slaughter’s Bearcats basketball team and shortstop on coach Stan Killough’s Bearcats baseball team.

After high school, Smart went on to earn All-Southeastern Conference and All-Southeastern Conference academic honors as a defensive back with the Bulldogs.

Blakely - Authorities are searching for Deon Demonte James, 22, of Blakely, for questioning in connection with a shooting Monday night on Mulberry Lane.

The Early County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call at 158 Mulberry Lane shortly before 10 p.m. Upon arrival, Jawanis Horn, 22, of Blakely was found suffering from a single gunshot wound.

Authorities questioned witnesses throughout the night, but they have reason to believe there are several more witnesses to the incident or the events leading up to the shooting.

Cairo - Local law enforcement officers helped the U.S. Marshals Service apprehend a 52-year-old man last week wanted for attempted murder in Florida.

Ellison Gerard Jackson is accused of beating a woman with a metal skillet and choking her until she lost consciousness in Gainesville, FL, on December 4, 2017. The woman, whose name has not been released, was beaten so badly that she had to be put into a medically induced coma.

Authorities suspected Jackson may have fled to Grady County where he has family ties.

Officers from Grady County worked with the U.S. Marshals and arrested Jackson Thursday around 4:30 p.m. standing at the corner of Jowers Road and US 84 in Whigham and took him into custody without incident, said Lt. Chris Luckey, investigator with the Grady County Sheriff’s Department.

Jackson is being held in the Grady Detention Center and has refused to waive extradition back to Florida. He is charged with attempted second degree murder and grand theft auto in Gainesville, FL.

Donalsonville - Countless Seminole County Bulldog fans flew west to Pasadena, California, to witness Monday’s Georgia Bulldogs’ 54-48 victory over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Rose Bowl.

However, one group ventured out on a time-of-their-lives Rose Bowl road trip. Seminole County Indians head football coach Wes Williams, his brother, Russ, and childhood friend, Michael Fincher traveled 2,223 miles, 4,446 round trip, to root for the Dawgs. Russ’s wife, Caitlin Williams, and friends, Eric Eubanks and Eric Kimbrel, joined the cross-country travelers in Phoenix.

“The scenery was beautiful, and we had the time of our lives. Traveling to the historic Rose Bowl game, supporting the Dawgs and witnessing an unbelievable Georgia victory with family and friends will be a memory I will cherish forever,” commented Williams.

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