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The Journal
Weekly Newspaper covering Marion, Schley, Chattahoochee, Webster, and Stewart Counties.
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Marion County ends historic season by
beating Charlton in State Championship

From the December 18, 2013 Newspaper

By Richard Harris

   When the high school football season officially kicked off last August there were 470 teams across the state with the same dream – advancing to the Georgia Dome and winning a state championship. After beating Charlton County in the Georgia Dome last Saturday, Marion County High School is one of only seven teams in the state’s various classifications that made the dream come true. That’s only 1.4%.

   “It was a very special season,” said Head Coach Mike Swaney. “A lot of people never get to experience it. I’m so happy for our players, our school, and our community.”

   Maybe that’s why it was so hard for the players to describe what they were feeling as they sat in the locker room of the Georgia Dome after the game. They were obviously elated, as there were plenty of “whoops and hollers” but when asked how they felt, well, they struggled for the right words.

   “It’s beyond anything that words can describe,” said Dustin Pickren, senior center.

   Lorenzo Smothers simply grinned and said, “All Glory goes to God that we won it.”

   Senior kicker/punter A.J. Wells said, “It hasn’t even really hit me yet, but it’s crazy. It’s amazing.”

   When asked what made it all possible, however, none of them had any problems answering the question.

   “We realized that we had to put in extra work, because nobody was going to give it to us,” said Wells. “I remember sitting down with (quarterback) Dustin Eckert after last season. We were in the weight room the Monday after getting our tails kicked by Wilcox County (in the quarterfinals of the playoffs) and I said, ... Online subscribers click here for the rest of the story.