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.”