2013 Football Season Preview

By Trey Alford and Austin Barron (7/31/13)

Heard County High School football fans are more excited than ever to get the 2013 football season underway. Franklin is beginning to fill with talk as it gets closer and closer to kickoff time, and it is clear the whole community has high expectations for the Braves. With all key offensive skill players returning, along with one of the strongest offensive lines in the state, the sky is the limit for this season. “We are very excited about the possibilities of the 2013 season,” stated head coach Tim Barron. “We return some very valuable players. However, we are a very long way from where we want to be. So much is yet to be determined. We know we have an explosive offense as we did in 2012, however, it will be how we develop on defense and special teams that will determine how good we can be.” The Braves have been working extremely hard this offseason on the field as well as in the weight room, hoping to develop into an outstanding football team.

The Braves dominated their opponents during the 2012 regular season. With most of the starters on offense and defense returning, this year should not be much different. Most of the Braves success was due in large part to their explosive offense. Leading the offense is senior quarterback, Jonathon Hunt. In 2012, Hunt threw for 1,434 yards and rushed for 469. The offense also features two extremely talented backs. At running back the Braves have Region 5-AA Offensive Player of the year, Duranta Dunson. Last year Dunson rushed for 1,622 yards on 157 carries, which averaged out to 10.3 yards per carry. At fullback, Ta Freeland rushed for 710 yards on 70 carries. These backs do a tremendous job, but without the help of the big guys up front it would not be possible. The O-line does a great job making the backs job much easier. Leading the line will be the senior, Jake Edwards. The 6’4 Georgia Bulldog commit will be the anchor up front and will definitely have to be a worry for any defense. The defense will be led by an accumulation of seniors consisting of Hunt at linebacker, Tori Rogers at defensive back, and Freeland at strong safety. They will be accompanied by the Braves’ previous season leading tackler, Dunson, at safety.

The coaching staff has realized that in order to be a serious threat in the playoffs this season that they must improve on defense and special teams. The Braves lack in depth, which means that most players will be playing both ways, even on special teams. This offseason the Braves have been working very hard trying to become a shutdown defense. The Braves have installed various new man and zone coverages to stop the passing attack. The Braves hope to make it difficult on the opposing team on offense this season. The players know that when they improve on these two phases of the game that they could do something that no other Heard County team has done before. “We have to develop mentally on defense to stop great offenses. On special teams, our great players have to understand that great teams are great in all three phases of the game,” claims Barron. “Our players have to realize that they have a great opportunity in front of them. If every player on this team can accept their role and put the team goals over individual recognition then the community of Heard County could be in for a special season.

The conglomeration of excitement surrounding the 2013 season has the entire community itching for the moment the Braves play under the lights again. Everyone believes great things are in store. The Heard County Braves football team is going to be something special this year and Staples Stadium will surely be packed come kickoff time.


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