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It may be three months until the Tigers board the bus for their first game of the 2012 season, but the Dawson County varsity football squad is already taking the second step toward success.

After its winter weight training and speed programs, the team set about to focus on the fundamentals needed to play each position during its spring practices, said head coach Jeff Lee.

The focal point this spring was to prepare this team for the preseason and see where we are compared to last season, added the coach.

The weeks of spring practice culminated in the annual Maroon and Gold Spring game last Saturday at Tiger Stadium.

The spring game offers benefits for both the players and the coaching staff.

The players get to experience an actual game situation after working hard for two weeks.

And the coaches, said Lee, have a chance to evaluate players in a game setting, which will help us as we begin summer camp.

With several roster positions which are not yet filled, the coaching staff will continue to appraise the abilities of players, often up to the first week of the season, Lee said.

New this season will be a move up to Class AAA as Dawson County will leave behind the familiarity of Region 8A-AA.

If the Tigers hope to make noise in the new Region 7A-AAA, they will need to continue building on the foundations they have already laid.

It is a very good football region, Lee said, We are excited about the opportunities we will have on Friday nights this Fall.

But Dawson will still have a few games against familiar foes in the non-Region portion of the schedule, including a road-trip to Lumpkin County early in the season.

As the team prepares to begin summer workouts, Lee said the coaching staff is very pleased with where the Tigers find themselves at this stage of preparation for 2012.

The kids have bought into what we are trying to accomplish, he said, which makes it that much more exciting.

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