SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Social Circle baseball has gone through this season with high aspirations to make a run for a state title.
A season ago, the Redskins came up short in the Final Four — the program’s first appearance that deep into the postseason — but they want to make a push in a new way in 2023.
During last year’s playoff run, the Redskins spent their time on the road as they battled their way into the Class A semifinals. Sitting with a 21-5 overall record and second in the Region 5A-Division I standings at 5-1, Social Circle has high hopes of staying closer to home this time around.
“[Playing at home] would be huge, last year we did not play a single home [playoff] game,” coach Dawkins said. “This year, it would be nice for those seniors to get to play a couple home playoff series. It would be huge for the program but also huge for the community.”
Players such as Mason Moore, Brayden Mitchell and Logan Cross have played a pivotal role for the Redskins’ diamond success.
Knowing that they are nearing the end of their playing careers for Social Circle, the chance to stay close to home in the state tournament would mean a lot to the seniors on the diamond. Moore recognized the significance of hosting a few playoff series in his last hurrah as a Redskin.
“We would love for all the teams to come down to Social Circle and see our beautiful facilities and get after it,” Moore said, “and hopefully have some good competition out here.”
The current senior group has played with one another since sixth grade at Social Circle middle school.
Throughout their time together, Moore said that all of the players have grown as a unit and a family on and off the field.
“Our biggest strength is how we work together,” Moore said. “We are always trying to win and it does not matter how we do it. We just get the job done and we come together as a team nicely.”
In their four-year high school careers, specifically, the seniors have enjoyed great success. Not only with last year’s Final Four run but, over the past four seasons, Social Circle’s record has steadily improved.
Dawkins gave his players all the credit.
“The big thing is just competing against one another.” Dawkins said. “You push each other to be better and you hold each other accountable. We do not take reps off in practice, we do not take reps off in the games. It’s one of those things where we want to be super competitive and we want to challenge each other to be better.”
Playoffs are right around the corner for the Redskins. But, first, Social Circle stares down its final Region 5A-Division series against Prince Avenue this week.
When the Redskins and Wolverines square-off, it will determine who finishes atop the region.
From now until the postseason arrives, Dawkins and his coaching staff is wanting to see more focus and determination from this group.
Dawkins believes, if the players buy into maintaining their attention, the Redskins could go a long way.
“The big thing we have battled this year with our 10 seniors and all the other guys from the Final Four team coming back is complacency,” Dawkins said. “We struggled with that early on so we preach that every day when you show up to practice and games is that you have to earn every rep and every bit of success that you have.”