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The Journal
Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
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Eagles look to continue winning tradition
as they shoot for 4th region title in a row
From the August 28, 2013 newspaper
By Richard Harris

The Marion County High School football team should fly high again this year, as the Eagles shoot for their fourth region title in a row. Last year the Eagles finished 9-3 and advanced to the second round of the state playoffs. Their wins included a road victory over region foe Dooly County, which went on to play in the state championship game.
Last year I think we had one of the best teams in the state, maybe the third best team, said Head Coach Mike Swaney. We had a great season. We think we can have another great season this year, maybe even win the state championship, but that is a very hard thing to do. Our goal going into the season, as always, is to win the region championship. Even that is not easy, especially in our region. You cannot take anything for granted. … Then once the playoffs start we will play one game at a time. We have to focus on each game and not look ahead too much.
This is a special season for Coach Swaney, because the seniors are the first ones to play for him all the way through high school. So far, they have posted a combined record of 30-6 and won three region titles.
Coach Swaney said he is not sure who should be considered the

Click here to see all stories in the August 28, 2013 newspaper.

 

team to beat in Region 4A this year, but he is confident that his Eagles will be in the mix.
Dooly County played for the state championship last year and they have a lot of players back, he noted. Brookstone is always strong and they had 71 kids come out this year. That is the most in the region. I also think Hawkinsville may be a sleeper. They have a lot of returning players. Of course the region is pretty strong all the way through, so we can’t take the other teams for granted either.
The teams level of success this year will likely be determined in the trenches.
I think the biggest key will be how our offensive line and defense line plays, said Coach Swaney. We have some depth everywhere else, but our starters on the line will have to play tough and stay healthy, because our backups are mostly young guys.
The Offense
Junior offensive linemen Michael Tyler and Tray Smith are returning starters and will be counted on to anchor the line. New starting center and long-snapper Dustin Pickren will also play a crucial role.
Our linemen will be the heart of the team, said Swaney. No matter how good your running backs are, you have to have a good line to really move the ball.
Dustin Eckert, junior, takes over at the ... Online subscribers click here for the rest of the story.