Not only is the Heard County High School football coach dealing with homecoming week and everything that entails, Barron also points to the fact that his Braves are coming off an emotional, 28-21 overtime victory against Manchester and now await winless Jordan coming up to Staples Stadium for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff on Friday.
“The scary thing is we’re coming off the win against Manchester in overtime. Of course, there’s a lot of excitement to that game. And you always worry about a letdown the following week. And then on top of that, we’ve got homecoming going on, as well. It’s a coach’s nightmare dealing with those things and distractions. But hopefully our kids are mature enough to understand that homecoming is about us going out and taking care of our business,” Barron said.
The No. 7 Braves (6-0, 4-0 Region 5-AA) took over sole possession of first place in 5-AA with the come-from-behind victory over the Blue Devils last week, and now the challenge is to stay in that spot down the stretch run of the regular season.
Jordan (0-7, 0-5) has been able to put some points on the board this season — averaging 17 per game — but the Red Jackets have been giving up 43.5 per contest. Jordan is also on a 21-game losing streak, dating back to the midway point of the 2010 campaign.
Again, Barron said this week is more about the Braves working hard to improve, where Friday night should take care of itself if they do what they’re supposed to do between Monday and Thursday.
“The thing is when you’re playing a game like this, you’ve got to focus on yourself. We’ve got to focus on Heard County and what we can do to make ourselves better. You set goals for the week and you go out and try to obtain those goals,” Barron said.
The Braves will be without two-way starter Corey Freeman on Friday night due to a hamstring injury. Freeman is one of the team’s senior leaders, starting at guard and defensive tackle. Barron is hopeful of getting Freeman healed up over the next few weeks before the postseason begins.
“He’s been our most productive defensive lineman ... It’s just a hamstring issue that he’s been battling for a few weeks. So he’ll be out this week. But other than being sore from the Manchester game, I feel pretty good about where we’re at health-wise, as far as the team. But Corey’s a big part of the success we’ve had. So we’re just trying to get him healthy over these next two, three to four weeks,” Barron said.