From the Aug. 20 issue of The Journal
By Richard Harris
The Marion County High School football team is flying high, coming off of a 13-1 season and its first State Championship. However, Head Coach Mike Swaney said the competition in Region 4A will be so tough that they can't afford to be obsessed with going "Back to the Dome." Of course, he hopes this year's season will once again lead to Atlanta, but says it's far from being a given.
Instead, they will focus on trying to win their fifth consecutive region title or at least come close enough to that goal to make the state playoffs.
"We want to win our region," said Coach Swaney. "If you win your region, you're guaranteed at least one home playoff game. Then we kind of take it from there. Once you get in the playoffs anything can happen."
In the last four years the Eagles have posted a 43-7 overall record while rolling to four region titles in a row (including one co-championship with Brookstone), with many of the wins being close victories over region rivals. So, Coach Swaney knows other teams in the region are gunning for them.
"Other teams gauge their program based on how they do against us, so that says a lot about our program," he said. "We know everybody wants to beat us."
In addition, he notes that Region 4A is full of good teams. Last year 5-of-8 teams in the region made the state playoffs. This year, Taylor County, which made the playoffs last year in Class AA, is dropping back down so the region will have six returning playoff teams.
"The region is going to be really tough," said Swaney. "There will be a lot of ... Online subscribers click here for the rest of the story.