Social Circle, Heard prepare for face-off

As the time approaches for the Social Circle-Heard County opening round state playoff contest, the schools' respective coaches are busy giving praise to the other team.

"We expect Heard County to be a very good team," said SCHS coach Ken Stoundenmire.

Tim Barron, the first-year Heard County coach, returns the compliment."I expect Social Circle to be a very physical team," Barron said. "They whipped us in a preseason scrimmage. We didn't have much success against them at all."

Barron has guided the Braves to a 9-1 mark in 2002 with a No. 2 seed in Region 5-A. Heard County defeated Bowden 14-7 in overtime last week to earn the right to host this week's game against Social Circle.

"I believe Social Circle is even better now than when we played them the first time," Barron said.

The Braves will rely on fullback Thomas Keith, who carried the football 37 times for 152 yards against Bowden last Friday. T.J. Watkins, a tight end/defensive end, is also a key player for Heard County, Barron said.

"We tasted success early this season and the players bought into what we were trying to do," Barron said.

Stoudenmire is in his second season with SCHS and has seen his Redskins qualify for the state playoffs both years.

"We feel good about the fact we played Heard County before and know something about them," Stoudenmire said. "We did well against them in the preseason scrimmage, but they were also missing some key players."

The Redskins (5-5 overall) earned the No. 3 seed from Region 8-A.

"We believe we have gotten better and found some people this season who can play for us," the SCHS coach said. "We will just line up, play hard and see what happens. When you get to the playoffs, there are no guarantees. Our coaches met for a long time Sunday preparing. We believe with our personnel and work ethic we can win the game."

Kickoff Friday in Franklin is 7:30 p.m.

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