The Dawson County sports programs continue to find success within the region and beyond, as evidenced by this last school year.
For the second consecutive year Dawson County High School was awarded the Region 7-AAA All Sports Award for its success as the school competed in 19 out of the 20 available sports in the region on the varsity level.
Of the 19 competing teams, 16 finished in the top four of the region.
With the new school year, the Tigers will officially compete in all 20 as volleyball is added to the program under the leadership of Coach Tanya Porter.
The upcoming year will also see changes for the boys' basketball program with the new head coach Chad Pittman and assistant coach Michael Parker.
During the 2015-16 school year, it was easy to be a proud Tiger fan.
Under head coach Jimmy Pruett, the girls' team made it to the first round of the state playoffs and finished with a 10-17 overall record. The Lady Tigers were fourth in the region and had four players named to the all-region team.
During Coach Sid Maxwell's first season at Dawson County, the Tigers had a history-making season when they became Region 7-AAA champions and advanced to the state quarterfinals. The team went 9-4 and sophomore quarterback Coey Watson was named region player of the year. Twenty Tigers were named to the all-region team with nine on the first team.
Boys Cross Country
For the first time in school history, the boys cross country team won a region title in November. Jacob Poston won an individual title as well. Poston, Christopher Shelp and Cody Wood were named to the all-region team and the Tigers were 10th in the Class AAA state meet.
Girls Cross Country
Dawson County Lady Tigers finished first in the region for the second year in a row. Freshman Frankie Muldoon won the individual title. Five runners were named to the first team all-region: Muldoon, Marley Hamby, Faith Sinclair, Bailey Cotter and Melanie Rimawi. The team finished fourth in the state meet.
The DCHS Competition Cheerleading Squad also brought home a region championship for the Tigers. The team easily took the title with only one senior on the team. During the state competition, the team finished in sixth place. Under Coach Kim Fleming the Lady Tigers have qualified for state 20 times and been in the finals 19 out of the 20.
This was the first year for the competitive shooting team under the guidance of Major Robert Wiley. The five team members developed quickly and there are plans to expand the team to 10 athletes next year. Each shooter in a meet can score up to 300 points and the top four shooters' scores are used in each event. The first year team broke their goal of 1000 during their third meet.
DCHS established their first ever swim team under Coach Linda Sperin. Many of the swimmers had competed on swim teams through park and rec or other schools. Sophomore Jessica Applegate qualified for the state meet where she competed in the 200-meter individual medley and the 100-meter backstroke.
Despite having a young team, the Tigers finished 13-13 under Coach Thad Burgess. It was the final season for Burgess at DCHS. The team will return all of its players. Burgess accepted an offer to coach for Oconee County and Dawson County hired Chad Pittman to replace him.
Head Coach Steve Sweat earned his 500th win during the Lady Tigers season that took them to the Sweet 16 of the state playoffs. They finished the season with a 24-5 overall record and senior Karlie Bearden received player of the year honors in the region. Haley Burgess, Kaylee Sticker, Katelynn Simpson, Peytan Porter and Eliza Sillesky all also received all-region honors.
Coach Arron Haynes recorded his 300th win during his 13th season as head wrestling coach. Wrestlers Kelton LeBaron, Wyatt Smith and Jeremy Whalen all qualified for the state wrestling championships.
The Tigers finished their season play at 22-9 overall and 13-5 as region runner up. The team advanced to the Sweet 16 of the Class AAA state playoffs. Six players received first team all-region honors and two others were recognized on the second team.
The Lady Tigers shut out Banks County to secure their second region championship in five years under Coach Jed Lacey who was named region coach of the year. The girls' team advanced to the Elite Eight in the state tournament and senior Emily Queen was named region player of the year. Four girls were named to first team all-region including Queen, Fallan Lacey, Rachael Rajczak and Ava Walker. Ten other girls also received all-region honors. They were 16-2-1 overall and undefeated in region play.
The Tigers advanced to the Elite Eight of the state tournament, finishing their season with a 14-4-1 overall record and second place in the region at 5-1. Three players-Ty Anglin, Dennis Pyetsukh and Alan Sanchez-were all named to the first team of all region. Eight other players were recognized with all region honors.
Led by Coach Stefanie Gibbs, the girls' team finished fourth in the region and qualified for the state playoffs. Emma Brown and Peyton Porter made the first ever all-area team in doubles and Brandi Jo Halfermalz received honorable mention in singles. The boys' team completed their season with a 6-6 overall record.
Boys Track and Field
The boys' team had a school best finish coming in third in the region. Multiple athletes qualified for the state meet including Duncan Kobor, Christopher Shelp and Jacob Poston. Poston broke three school records during the state meet while finishing fourth in state in the 800 meter and sixth in state in the 1600.
Girls Track and Field
It was another history making season, this time with the Lady Tiger track team winning a region championship for the first time ever. Dana Little, Marley Hamby, Melanie Rimawi, Faith Sinclair, Bailey Cotter, Abby Cotter and Camryn Geiger all qualified for the state meet. Hamby took seventh place in state in the 3200.
This year's boys and girls golf teams sent Hunter Burt and Sydney Morgan to the state championship at Fort Gordon in Augusta. The two competitors had the best scores from Region 7-AAA in the match. Morgan shot a 91 to take the 20th spot in the state while Burt shot a 79 to capture the 17th position.