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HOOPS PREVIEW: Social Circle wants to play fast, build on last year’s success
Senior KJ Reid (0) is one of the Social Circle’s leaders heading into 2021, according to Redskins head coach Taylor Jackson. - photo by Covington News/File Photo

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Head coach Taylor Jackson is entering his third season at the helm of the Social Circle boys basketball team. 

In his first two years, Jackson admits that the team has played at a slower pace. While playing slow has rendered a lot of wins, Jackson did say that it wasn’t very fun to watch. 

Entering 2021, though, the Redskins have prepared all summer to play at a faster pace. 

“We prioritize playing really fast,” Jackson said. “And we want to shoot a lot of three-pointers. So, that’s been the real focus for us playing faster and shooting the ball deeper and better.” 

 The Redskins have done so during a summer that was “packed.” 

In June alone, Social Circle had 25 games in which they went 22-3. Throughout all of the contests, Jackson noticed that the team’s chemistry and understanding of the game was strengthened. 

Leading the charge in that department, according to Jackson, has been the Redskins’ guards. He also highlighted this as the team’s biggest strength heading into the new season. 

“I think our guards are the best single A guards in the state,” Jackson said. “I’m really excited about how our guard group looks.” 

KJ Reid and Tyrell Branch, in particular, are two players who have stood out this offseason, too, to their head coach. 

Jackson labeled them both as two of the team’s top leaders. He also has high hopes for Reid and Branch in 2021. 

“They’re both going to be 1,000 point scorers this year,” Jackson boldly predicted. “KJ has been a four-year varsity starter this year. Tyrell is in his third year as a varsity starter. They’re just tough, disciplined and they both love to win so much. They understand the flow and what’s going on. I trust them completely and value what they say and their insights.” 

Now, the Redskins are working toward building off of last year’s success. 

Social Circle finished third in Region 8A-Public in 2020 with a 10-2 region record. Overall, the Redskins went 17-10. They also made some noise in the Class A-Public playoffs. 

The Redskins advanced to the Sweet Sixteen after defeating Taylor County in round 1, 55-52. 

This year, however, the Redskins are hungry for more. And Jackson is optimistic about his chances to make an even deeper run in 2021. 

“Our expectations are to win the region championship,” Jackson said. “Then, we want to make a really, really deep state playoff run. We’ve got the guys to do it along with the mindset. We’ve been battle tested. We’ll put together over the course of a long year as we prepare for late January and February.”