SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Since Ken Sheats first arrived at Social Circle High School in 2015, he’s been a big man on campus.
As a 6-foot-4, 393 pound freshman, he towered over both his classmates and teammates on the football team.
Heading into his senior season, he’s trimmed down to a svelte 355 pounds, thanks to a renewed commitment to a healthier diet and rigorous workouts.
Despite his slimmer physique, he’ll serve an oversized role on a team that hopes to snap a near-decades long postseason drought.
As a freshman, he played a minor role on the Redskins squad that snapped the schools 41-game losing skid. He counts it among the fondest memories of his high school career. But that would be easily eclipsed by helping the school earn a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2009.
“Back when I was first getting started, Coach Estes always told us that it was our class that would make a difference,” Sheats said. “He told us If we’d put in the work and made a commitment, we could do something special.”
Sheats has bought in and is doing his part.
“He’s really stepped up his work,” Estes said. “He’s increased his strength in the weight room and is benching 335. But most of all he’s one of our leaders on the field and the locker room.”
Sheats vividly recalls his freshman year and the advice he received from the upperclassmen.
“They always said to play every game like it’s your last,” Sheats said. “You only get 40 games and it all goes by so fast. Now that I’m a senior, I see what they meant, and I’m trying to pass that along to the younger guys on the team.”
Sheats has manned nearly every position on both sides of the front lines. He’s played guard and tackle on each side of center and nose guard and end on defense.
He’s slated to start at right guard and nose this year but will likely bounce around as needed. Wherever he ends up, he’ll make a big impact.
“We’ve gone to several camps this summer and he’s been unstoppable,” Estes said. “He’s tough to block and really clogs things up.”
Offensively, Estes says the ‘Skins will run right behind his wide body when key yards are needed.
“We’re expecting some big things from him this year,” Estes said.