Swamp Birds

By: Jason Bishop

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

In three years I want you to remember that you read what I am about to say here. The Brantley County Herons are going to be competing for region titles by 2026.

In this last cycle of coaching hires the Brantley County school system made the biggest hire in the state, they hired David Shores as their head football coach.

Who is David Shores you ask? Glad you asked. Shores is the best coach that has flown under the radar over the last five years.

Shores has former head coaching experience in Alabama and has coached at nothing but elite programs since. These stops include Hoover, DC at Lowndes, DC at Camden and Special Teams Coordinator at Brunswick High.

As a matter of fact, when Camden hired Jeff Herron a few years ago they almost hired David Shores instead. That is how good of a coach he is.

Most importantly, Shores has gotten a commitment from the Brantley County school system to commit resources to the football program, something that has not been common in Nahunta, GA.

Brantley is a huge county filled with that talent. That talent often finds its way onto other rosters that are not in Brantley County…..Ware, Pierce, Brunswick, Charlton, etc.

If Shores can keep his talent inside county lines you will see overnight success and improvement for the Heron program.

The Herons will play in a brand new region this season that will consist of Berrien, Bacon County, Fitzgerald, Jeff Davis, Thomasville and Worth County. This is Region 1-A Division 1.

While I don’t expect Brantley to be able to unseat Fitzgerald as the favorite in that region, I do think the playoffs are a reality for the ‘Swamp Birds’.

Last season the Herons went 5-5 overall and 2-4 in region play. A record of 5-5 isnt terrible but the losses are very telling. Against the better teams (Pierce, Toombs, Appling) on their schedule the Herons were outscored 148-20.

The Herons travel to Folkston to take on Charlton to open the season on August 16.

Brantley will also travel to Pierce, Worth, Thomasville, and Bacon County.

The Herons will host Windsor Forest, Vidalia, Jeff Davis, Fitzgerald and Berrien.

Probably the most crucial game on the schedule is going to be the Jeff Davis game. I think the winner of that game will finish with the #4 seed and a playoff berth, where the loser will have to look to 2025 for a playoff appearance.

In 2024 I will predict the Herons go 5-5 in 2024 and begin to build some special things in Nahunta.

By the way, former UGA QB Stetson Bennett is from Brantley but did not play for the Herons. Remember what I was saying about keeping talent inside county lines?



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