November 30, 2020

Times-Georgian names Barron Offensive Player of the Year

(Carrollton, GA) — Several Heard County Brave football players were honored this week by being named to the 2015 Times-Georgian All-Area Football Team.

Leading the way was Senior Brave running back Austin Barron who was named as the area’s Offensive Player of the Year.

Senior defensive lineman Austin Dean and Matt Brown along with sophomore Jaden Moreland were each named as members of the first team defense for the Times-Georgian coverage area.

Players named to the second team squad included sophomore quarterback Emory Jones, junior wide receiver Austin Miller, senior defensive lineman Diamond Delgado, and junior defensive back Mike Holmes.

Quay Daniel, Trey Wiggins, Chandler Moon, Peyton Ehlers, and Jacob Bishop each received honorable mentions.

C.J. Brewer from Bowdon was named as All-Area MVP and Roury Glanton of Carrollton was awarded Defensive Player of the Year. Newcomer of the Year was Jaylan Thomas of Carrollton while Coach of the Year went to Keith Holloway of Mt. Zion.

The Times-Georgian coverage area includes Carrollton, Central, Bremen, Bowdon, Mt. Zion, Holy Ground, Temple, Heard County and Villa Rica.

Read the entire feature write-up on Austin Barron below courtesy of Jordan Hofeditz and

Special Run for Barron, Braves

Austin Barron (Photo: Melanie Boyd/ Times-Georgian)

Austin Barron (Photo: Melanie Boyd/ Times-Georgian)

( Hofeditz) — An injury may have held Austin Barron out of three-plus games this season, but it hardly slowed him down.

Even in limited games in 2015, the Heard County High School football team’s top rushing threat finished with 1,036 yards and 15 rushing touchdowns to go with 107 yards receiving and two more scores. For the early-season games he did miss, it wasn’t just the offense, but what Barron brought to the team in every aspect.

“One of the big things he brought, not just being physically on the field, was his leadership. You could tell when he got hurt. He was able to play about 10 snaps against Macon County, and the minute that we put him in you could just see the energy level amongst the team kind of go up,” Heard County head coach and Austin’s father Tim Barron said. “He couldn’t [even] play tailback at that time because he couldn’t plant and cut, we put him in there to block.”

The hardest part of the ordeal wasn’t the injury itself for the 2015 Times-Georgian All-Area Offensive Player of the Year, it was not being able to be out of the field with the rest of the Braves.

“It drove me about crazy to see those guys battling and me not really able to do anything to help. That was probably the hardest part, to see them face adversity and me to be helpless. That was really the toughest part of it,” Austin Barron said. “You can handle the pain and all that, but really what was just terrible was not being able to do anything [on the field].”

But what that did was add a little more reason to go out and give it his all once he did get healthy. Austin Barron also was a big part of the Heard County leadership this past season. While he wasn’t the only one, he may have been the most recognizable one.

“It motivated me a lot. It really puts things into perspective and it makes you value not just every game, but every play,” Austin Barron said. “I was happy to be able to step into that role, but it wasn’t just me. It was our whole senior class. That group of guys really took on that responsibility to say, ‘We might not be the most talented, but nobody’s going to out-work us.’ We took that attitude and it trickled down as a team.”

There was little question that the Braves were a better football team with Austin Barron on the field. Not only what he did when running the ball, but also to keep defenses honest from keying in on sophomore quarterback Emory Jones.

“There’s no doubt that the minute he was on the field, when you have a quarterback like Emory and you had one more dynamic to it, all the sudden defenses can’t focus on one guy. Having both of them on the field … They had to get another hat in the box to stop the run,” Tim Barron said. “They just complemented each other so well when both of them were healthy and both of them were on the field.”

There was also the father/coach-son/player dynamic that the Barrons had to work with for the past four years. Tim Barron didn’t want to show any favoritism toward his son, but he also didn’t want to spend four years constantly on him.

“I’ve heard different coaches that I talked to, going into it was a concern of mine. I wanted it to be special, mainly I wanted it to be special for him. I’ve seen it where kids don’t get to enjoy it with their dad, they’re on them constantly. I made a conscious decision that I didn’t want to coach his position,” Tim Barron said. “To me, when he was in the game I was more like a dad and let the other coaches handle what they needed to handle and I just stayed out of their way.”

In fact, one of the fonder memories was when Austin Barron decided to participate in a sport his father knew little to nothing about. Throughout Austin Barron’s childhood there were moments that could have been coachable ones that the elder Barron chose to just be a father. But when MMA came into the picture one summer, it was the only choice he had.

“One summer he decided to do some MMA and I had no clue about MMA,” Tim Barron said. “Went to his first tournament and I’m watching him and he could have been doing terrible, but it looked neat to me. At that tournament, it was probably the most joy I had up to that point watching him do something and it was mainly because I had no clue what he was doing … I enjoyed that and it made me think hard that I’ve got my whole life to coach, but I’ve got four years to be his dad while he’s in high school and I wanted to enjoy it, as well.”

It not only worked, it allowed Austin Barron to be part of the most successful class to ever play Heard County football.

“They’ll graduate as the winningest class in Heard County history, those seniors and what they were a part of. You talk about Austin and his leadership and character, that entire senior group was a high-character group and not all of them are going to be able to go on and play football at the next level,” Tim Barron said. “But when you have those special groups that come through that love each other and care about each other, they’re fun to coach.”

That group won three Region 5-AA titles, getting it back this year after finishing runner-up in 2014. That was also a goal of this team because of a common quote said by players and coaches.

“Very special. We always say to leave it better than we found it. That was one of the things we wanted to do, get the region championship back in Heard County. Especially to do it with our senior class, it was very special for our close-knit group,” Austin Barron said.

It was that senior group that got together after a 2-5 start heading into region play. The talk was a good one as the Braves went a perfect 5-0 in region and won their first-round contest before a rematch against Fitzgerald and eventual state runner-up in the second round ended the season.

“The seniors got together before practice and we talked, laughed and joked around but then it got serious. We talked and we decided we didn’t want to lose another [game], be region champs, leave it better than we found it,” Austin Barron said. “I’ll probably never forget sitting in that film room, talking with the guys deciding that whatever we had to do, whether it was staying after practice, put in extra hours, extra hills, whatever to be a better football team, we were going to do that.”

In the end, that balance was found and the success was enjoyed.

“I feel very thankful, especially for the relationship that we have. You really want to play good for your coach, especially a coach who cares about you and you take that attitude and double it, probably, when it’s your father,” Austin Barron said. “You want to be everything that he asks. That’s kind of the attitude I took towards it.”

Now the next phase of Austin Barron’s career is being worked on. There are some offers and some waiting that will take place between now and National Signing Day.

“It’s almost a waiting game. He’s got several offers out there and he’s got some decisions to make. One of the big things he’s done, he’s an academic kid, a 4.0 and he’s waiting to see his next ACT score,” Tim Barron said. “A lot of the Ivy League schools are looking at him and want him to play for them … Again, we’ll sit down as a family, but I’ve got enough respect for him that he’s going to make the right decision for him. He’s the one who’s got to go play.”

Of course, the parents do have a bit of a preference. The closer to home the better, unless it is a great academic opportunity as well as athletic. For now, Austin Barron is just enjoying the ride.

“I’m enjoying the process. It’s been fun, exciting talking with all the coaches and visiting places. And I’m still enjoying my last semester in high school, too,” Austin Barron said.

As for his career, it ended the way it started — winning and with a group he would not have wanted to play without. That’s what makes it really special.

“I’m extremely thankful to play with the guys I played with and the coaches I played under. It was extremely special playing under my dad and the Curbows and the entire coaching staff that really were other father figures in my life,” Austin Barron said.

“Growing up around each and every one of them … I’m very thankful to have run behind the O-line I did. Regardless of how good a running back you are, you’re nothing without a good O-Line. To play with Emory, that also helped because when you have a quarterback as great as Emory that opens up the run and receivers that took pride in blocking.”

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