ESTES

The Covington News - - SPORTS -

When Estes called the team in for one last hud­dle be­fore go­ing back to the locker room, the team broke the hud­dle shout­ing “Play­offs” be­fore jog­ging off the field. And Estes isn’t shy about say­ing that So­cial Cir­cle get­ting back to the post­sea­son is no longer just a nice, warm, fuzzy thought.

“That’s my ex­pec­ta­tion,” he said. “I’ve been do­ing this, I’ve been coach­ing foot­ball for a long time. I had a chance to help get Mon­roe Area on a good run be­fore I came here, and that’s the same goal I ar­rived here with — to turn this pro­gram around and get into the play­offs.”

Estes says he likes his tal­ent, too. Although he rec­og­nizes that com­pet­ing in Class AA ball will mean the Red­skins will have to de­velop more of a nasty streak.

“We’ve gotta get more phys­i­cal,” he said. “That’s the bot­tom line. This game is tough and phys­i­cal. It’s a col­li­sion sport. We’ve gotta get more phys­i­cal and play faster.”

Of­fen­sively, Estes said he’ll look to se­nior quar­ter­back Jack­son Will to “man­age our team on of­fense.” Will be­ing back as a sec­ond year starter gives the Red­skins more com­fort­a­bil­ity on the of­fen­sive side of the ball.

On de­fense, it’s se­nior lineback­ers Micah Thomp­son and Levi Spurl­ing who Estes will look to to help shore up a unit that played hard in 2016 but was leaky at times, sur­ren­der­ing over 31 points per game. Estes was also high on ju­nior Tate Pe­ters, who’s a bit of a slash player for the Red­skins.

“Tate’s a dual threat guy who plays safety for us, but he’ll also be play­ing a lit­tle slot re­ceiver for us, and we’ll put him at quar­ter­back as well,” Estes said.

He went on to em­pha­size the qual­ity of the play­ers in his pro­gram, and how he be­lieves they can be cor­ner­stones to greater suc­cess.

“We’ve got some good play­ers,” he said. “We re­ally do. We’ve got a lot of good kids who are work­ing ex­tremely hard, and as coaches we just want to get them to play at the high­est level they can. If they prac­tice that way, they can play that way.”

Estes will take his bunch on the road to John­ston High in Gainesville, Fri­day Au­gust 18 for the sea­son opener, with hopes of start­ing the sea­son off with a win for the sec­ond straight year. So­cial Cir­cle de­feated John­son 19-14 in 2016’s opener, and a sim­i­lar re­sult this year could give the Red­skins the early sea­son mo­men­tum needed to make that cov­eted play­off run — some­thing he feels his team is get­ting closer to each sea­son.

“It’s some­thing that hasn’t hap­pened in a long time around here,” Estes said. “But I think we’re well on our way. Now whether or not that hap­pens this year, I don’t know. But that’s the goal, and I think we’re closer than what we’ve been.”

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