One of the most successful high school football seasons in the history of Murray County came in 1984 when the Indians went 12-2 and lost in the state semifinals.
The Indians beat Dalton 13-7 in the regular season and topped Cedartown in the region championship before falling to Marist in the state semifinals. Leading that team were all-state quarterback Patrick Baynes and linebacker Keith Swilling, and on the sideline was coach Tony Plavich.
Plavich, who started his career at Southeast Whitfield and was the coach of the Indians from 1983-1990 and compiled a record of 44-41, died on Oct. 4.
"In all of my memories of Tony, I can tell you he was a tenacious competitor that you respected," said former Dalton head coach Ronnie McClurg. "He loved coaching and he loved his players more than anything. He was a comedian, a wonderful friend and a good person. You just enjoyed being around him."
In honor of Plavich's life, Indian Trace Golf Course will host a benefit tournament today. The four-man scramble tournament will have tee times at 8 am. and 1 p.m. and all proceeds from the tournament will go to the AIM Center in Chattanooga. Connie Plavich, coach Plavich's wife of 32 years who died in 2017, worked for many years with the AIM Center, which works to help mental health patients. Plavich continued to volunteer at the center after his wife's death.
Indian Trace head professional Tracy Spurlock said having a benefit tournament in Plavich's honor was natural because of the impact Plavich had on others.
"He was a good coach, but it is the impact that he had on so many of his players as men which is so impressive," Spurlock said. "It is a big deal, and this is nothing to do with us here at the course. We have had a huge response and it goes to a great cause in honor of a good man. He has been a big influence throughout the community."
Spurlock said even those who are not playing in the tournament have responded with donations.
"The community has really gotten behind this," Spurlock said. "It has been unbelievable. We received a $1,000 donation the other day and have around 20 hole sponsors."