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A look back at a successful 2010
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Another successful year has been completed in Dawson County sports. There have been many champions crowned and titles won.


Following are recaps of some of the most memorable local sports stories of 2010.



High school receives sportsmanship award


Each sport preaches sportsmanship and honesty, but Dawson County High School did such a good job it was named the recipient of the 2010 Georgia High School Association and Georgia Electric Membership Corporation Georgia EMC Cooperative Spirit Sportsmanship Award for Region 8-AA.


The program honors student athletes along with fellow students, school staff, parents and game spectators, making the award not only a school, but also a community honor.


The school is one of 38 Georgia High School Association member high schools honored for sportsmanship demonstrated during the 2009-2010 school year.


The awards program is designed to promote sportsmanship by honoring those who do it well, reinforcing the association’s philosophy: “Student athletes, coaches, spectators, and all others associated with high school activities and programs should adhere to the fundamental values of respect, fairness, honesty and responsibility.”



Eighth grade Tigers win championship


The Dawson County Middle School eighth grade boys’ basketball  team was crowned champions of the Mountain League tournament with a 40-23 win over Pickens County Middle School last January.


Head Coach Jonathon Tinsley’s team finished the season with a perfect 13-0 record.


“This is a special group. It has been a pleasure to coach them this year, and I can’t wait to see what they do in high school,” Tinsley said.


Jonathan Sanderson was named tournament MVP.


Members of the team were: Logan Burt, Colton Chester, Cameron Millholland, Chase Wilson, Jackson Putnam, Jonathan Sanderson, Sam Muenchen, Lucas Pain and Caleb Stepp.



11 & 12 years-olds win tourney


The Dawson County Park and Recreation 11-12 year old girls basketball team captured the state basketball championship with dominating play at the tournament held in Fannin County.


The team defeated host Fannin, 46-9, in the opening round of play.

In the semi-finals, Dawson manhandled Manchester, 67-17. The team then ran away from Fitzgerald, 71-42, to capture the championship.


The team was coached by Thad Burgess, Barry Bearden and Tina Brady.


Members of the team were: Eliza Sillesky, Brittany Griggs, Lauren Burgess, Heather Brady, Ansley Costley, Peytan Porter, Tabitha Morrison, Karlie Bearden, Haley Burgess and Summer Vaughan.



Varsity boys make it to state


For the fourth consecutive season the Dawson County High School boys’ basketball team made the state tournament during the 2009-10 season.


The Tigers lost to Callaway High School, 59-50, ending its season.


Jacob Evans had a double-double in the contest. He scored 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds.


The Tigers finished the season with an impressive 20-9 record.



Cross country  finishes sixth


The Dawson County boys’ 2010 cross country team finished in sixth place in AA at the state meet in Carrollton with 221 points.


“This was our best finish in recent history,” said Head coach Brian DeRose. “I think one year we came in eighth.”


The top four runners for the Tigers set new personal records. Leading the Tigers was Tyler Thurmond. Thurmond crossed the finish line in 27th place out of 213 runners from across Georgia. Tyler completed the race with a time of 17:56.67.


“Even if our top three runners were 10-15 seconds faster it still wouldn’t have made a difference in team points,” DeRose said.


Chris Bywaletz and Preston Adams completed the course in 55th and 56th place respectively. Bywaletz time was 18:45.03, while Adams set a time of 18:47.07, both were personal records for the two runners.


Sam Wentworth, Zach Yarborough and Luke Williamson also ran for the Tigers.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better showing at state. Our top four runners set a PR and that’s pretty good. We will lose seniors Luke Williamson and Zach Yarborough to graduation,” DeRose said.



Lady Tigers seventh best in state


The Dawson County girls’ golf team finished in seventh place at the AA state golf tournament in 2010. The Lady Tigers were paced by junior Rachel Dotson who finished the 18-hole event with a score of 108.


Dawson qualified for the state tournament with a second place finish in the Region 8-AA tournament two weeks prior.


“I’m super proud of these girls,” said Head Coach Van Samples. “Nobody really gave them a chance to get this far. These girls have improved so much this season.”


Sophomore Taylor Hasbrouck finished the event with an 111 to give Dawson a team score of 219 and the seventh place finish.


“Both Rachel and Taylor had one bad hole that inflated their scores, otherwise they played a pretty good round of golf against some tough competition,” Samples said.



Soccer team makes playoffs, finish season 11-5


The Dawson County boys’ soccer team was eliminated from the A/AA state playoffs by Athens Academy in Athens by a 2-0 score. Both goals came by way of penalty kicks.


With the loss, Dawson finished the season with an 11-5 record.



Runners: Place 10th at state


The Dawson County High School girls’ cross country team finished in 10th place overall at the state meet held in Carrollton in November.


Madalyn Walters led the Lady Tigers with a 16th place finish out of 184 runners.

The Lady Tigers had three runners accomplish a personal record at the state meet. Michelle Burkett (22:54.33), Allie Costly (23:54.94) and Morgan Collett (23:37.32) all set new personal records.



Lady Tiger golf 7th in state


Head Coach Van Samples and his girls’ golf team finished in seventh place at the AA state golf tournament in May.


The Lady Tigers were paced by junior Rachel Dotson. She finished the 18-hole event with a score of 108.


Dawson qualified for the state tournament with a second place finish in the Region 8-AA tournament two weeks prior.


Sophomore Taylor Hasbrouck finished the event with an 111 to give Dawson a team score of 219 and the seventh place finish. Lady Tigers Jessi Phillips and Erin Pruitt also participated for Samples’ team.        



Girls track competes in Albany


The Dawson County High School girls’ track team competed in the AA state championships in May at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. Head Coach Arron Haynes team competed in three events: 4x400 relay, 400 meters and 3200 meters.


In the 3200 meters finals, Madalyn Walters crossed the finish line in fourth place with a time of 11:58.49. Walters earned five points for her Dawson team with the fourth place finish.


The 4x400 meter relay team of Judith Hall, Gracie Hovan, Kimberly Wallace and Kerstin Hlinski came in fifth place in their qualifying heat with a time of 52.37.


The time was not good enough to enter the finals in the event, but the Lady Tigers ran a good race against some tough competition.


Alternates, in case of injury or illness, for the Lady Tigers were Tiffanie Rowan and Crystal Pittman.


Hlinski also ran in the 400-meters. She finished eighth in her qualifying heat with a time of 1:03.39, but the time wasn’t good enough to qualify Hlinski for the finals.


As a team, the Lady Tigers came in 20th place with five points.



Boys golf finishes 10th


In their very first state golf tournament the Dawson County boys’ golf team finished in a respectable 10th place in May at the Capital City Golf Club in Woodstock.


The Westminster School won the AA team title.


Wesley Bearden was low medalist for the Tigers shooting an 81 over the tough 18-hole course.


Zach Williams followed with an 84, Cody Palmer came in with an 86, Justin Denard finished with an 89, John Chameli shot a 91 and Caleb Samples holed out with a 99. Only the top four scores count toward a team score.


“I’m very proud of these guys,” said Head Coach Van Samples. “I couldn’t be happier with a top 10 finish in their first state tournament.”



Ladies kick their way into state


The Lady Tiger soccer team qualified for the state tournament last spring.


Dawson lost to North Oconee in the opening round, 3-0, ending their playoff hopes.


Lindsey Vinson, Chelsea Terrell, Sara Kate Parris, Caitlyn Carr, Elizabeth Byard, Sydney Cox, Vanessa Stowers and Yoselin Giron were all seniors on the team. Dawson finished the season as area champions. The team’s overall record was 7-7-2.



Wrestlers very successful in 2010


The Dawson County High School wrestling team participated in the state traditional wrestling tournament last year at the Gwinnett Arena in Duluth. The Tiger wrestlers accumulated 11.5 points to finish in 41st place. Four Dawson wrestlers participated in the tournament.


Tiger James Evans wrestled at 112 pounds. Evans won his first round match against Jasper Woods from Callaway with a technical fall, 15-0.


Evans wasn’t as fortunate in the second round. He lost to Greg Wynn from Macintosh County.


In the wrestle backs Evans bounced back to defeat Spencer Hutchins from Buford with a pin.


The 112-pounder was then put out of the tournament with a 7-3 loss to Caleb Bumpers of Greater Atlanta Christian.


David Wood, 125 pounds, got off to a great start. Wood defeated his first two opponents, Devonte Carr from Northeast Macon by a pin and Antoine Tyson from Macintosh County, 7-6.


Wood was eliminated from the tournament after losing his next two matches to Matt Woodring (Adairsville), 4-2, and Chris Solar from Blessed Trinity by a 7-4 score.


Charles Short (135) and Preston Adams (145) lost their opening round matches and were eliminated.