Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local Sports

November 21, 2012

Eagles ready to defend the nest in first round of state playoffs

BUENA VISTA — The Marion County Eagles have had a tremendous season thus far in 2012, but at this moment the regular season is far from their minds. After defeating powerhouse Dooly County and tying for first place in Region 4-A, the Eagles have now turned their attention to the playoffs and a tough first round home match-up with the Charlton County Indians at home at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night.

Charlton County is a school with a storied football history including four state championships since 1999, and eight region championships in that 13 year period. The Indians have an impressive football history, but they come into their first round game with a 5-5 overall record including a 3-3 record in Region 2-A. Still, Charlton is a very dangerous team that will require the Eagles full attention on Friday night in Buena Vista according to Marion County head coach Mike Swaney. “They have got a lot of tradition and their record is very deceiving,” he said. “They play in a very good region with Wilcox and Irwin County. The boys know that they have won four state titles since the 90’s, and that Champ Bailey played there.”

The Indians like to run an up-tempo offense in which they utilize the no huddle to catch their opponent out of position. Swaney said there are two keys to slowing down this offense and winning the game. “First we have to play good defense.  We also have to move the ball (on offense) to keep it away from their offense. It might take us a while to get used to the tempo but we will get used to it.”

The Eagles have been hard at work practicing since their final regular season game two weeks ago according to Swaney. “We have been practicing because we pretty much already knew who we were going to play. I have been real pleased with the team because they have been really focused. They know with the new playoff setup there are no easy weeks and that all the teams in it are very good.”

The Eagles will be playing a school rich in football history, with the hopes of building some history of their own according to Marion County athletic director David Wells. “This is a big step for our program. We are a young program trying to build tradition, so this is a huge game for us.,” he said. “We are playing a known powerhouse in Charlton that could really put us on the map for football.”

The Eagles will host Charlton this Friday in the second round of the Class A State Football playoffs at the brand new Eagle Field, which is located on Highway 41 North, three miles north of Buena Vista. “In my opinion we have as nice of a facility as anyone in the state,” Wells said. “The school system has done such a great job of providing a good, clean atmosphere with sportsmanship and hospitality, and we would love for anybody in the area to come watch and enjoy the excitement,” he added.

Everyone who loves football or high school athletics is invited to attend the Eagles second round playoff game on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. There will be an extensive offering of food and beverages available before and during the game, and the contest itself is one of the most anticipated in the state. The Eagles will try to move to the third round for the first time in school history, and they could use the support of everyone who is interested in attending their historic game.

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