The 2020 high school soccer season is finally upon us.
After two intense weeks of try-outs and practice, both Tigers and Lady Tigers squads are set to begin this year’s campaign with a scrimmage against the White County Warriors on Jan. 31 at Dawson County High School.
With the regular season set to begin on the road against Forsyth County on Feb. 4, Friday’s game will be the first opportunity for DCHS fans to see the teams in action.
Both head coaches, Chess Hamby for the Lady Tigers and Patrick Muenchen of the Tigers, are returning for 2020 and are looking for a repeat of the success they saw last season.
After going undefeated in regional play during 2019 and finishing with a 13-2-2 record overall, the Lady Tigers start this season as the defending region 7-AAA champions and Hamby wants a repeat of those feats as goal for this year’s version of the team.
“We hope to continue the success that we have experienced over the years,” Hamby said. “Our goals are the same as years past. Obviously, we want to defend last year’s Region Championship and, hopefully, make a deeper run into the playoffs.”
The team lost five seniors to graduation and, despite the return of junior Molly Muenchen, who holds the DCHS record for goals scored in a single season at 36, Hamby is concerned about the team’s offensive abilities in the early portion of the season.
“We will have to replace some production from last year,” Hamby said. “But I think there are some girls that are ready to step into a more prominent role.”
The region 7-4A White County Lady Warriors finished last season in the first round of the GHSA state tournament with an overall record of 13-4. The Lady Warriors averaged three goals a game while limiting opponents to 1, and make for a good squad to test the mettle of the Lady Tigers.
“This group works hard and they are pushing each other to improve each day,” Hamby said. “We want to create a player led team and there have been some girls that are really stepping up and trying to lead the right way. I am looking forward to seeing how they grow and develop has a team.”
After being eliminated in the first round of last year’s GHSA state playoffs, the Tigers lost a whopping 13 seniors from last year’s roster.
With the losses coming primarily from the defensive wings and midfield defenders, Muenchen will be relying heavily on returning junior and team captain, Caleb Bonesteel who will anchor a group comprised almost entirely of players new to their positions.
“Caleb Bonesteel is our strong returning defender,” Muenchen said. “But our other midfield defenders and defensive wing backs are new to the varsity defense position and this test will see what they’ve got.”
Co-captains Michael Velasquez and Pablo Hernandez, both seniors, will feature prominently in the offensive scheme as the most experienced strikers returning to the program and look to build on a program whose average margin of victory was two goals in 2019.
“We are strong, skilled and fast on the attack and in the offensive midfield.” Muenchen said. “If our boys play the soccer they are capable of I believe we will have a positive result.”
2020 Dawson County Tigers Soccer
F—1/31 White County (scrimmage) 5:30 7:30
T—2/4 @Forsyth Central 5:55 7:55
F—2/7 Cartersville 5:30 7:30
T—2/11 @Creekview 5:45 7:45
Th—2/13 @S. Forsyth 5:30 7:30
T–2/18 Denmark 5:30 7:30
F—2/21 Habersham Central Boys 7:30
F—2/21 @Habersham Central Girls 7:30
T—2/25 Pickens 5:30 7:30
F—2/28 @Calhoun 5:30 7:30
T—3/3 Cherokee Bluff 5:30 7:30
F—3/6 Chestatee 5:30 7:30
T—3/10 Pinecrest 5:30 7:30
Th—3/13 @ GAC 5:30 7:30
F—3/20 Eastside 5:30 7:30
T—3/24 @North Hall 5:30 7:30
F—3/27 Lumpkin County 5:30 7:30
T—3/31 Fannin County (SR Night) 5:30 7:30
T—4/14 @East Hall 5:30 7:30
M—2/3 North Hall 5:00
M—2/10 Lumpkin 5:00 7:00
W—2/12 @Pickens County 5:00 7:00
W—2/19 @Denmark 5:55 7:30
F—2/21 JV Boys v Habersham 5:30
F—2/21 @JV Girls @ Habersham C 5:30
M—2/24 @Creekview 5:45 7:15
M—3/2 @Lumpkin County 5:00 7:00
W—3/4 @North Hall 5:00
M—3/9 @Cherokee Bluff 5:30 7:00
W—3/11 Creekview 5:45 7:15
W—3/18 Pickens County 5:00 7:00
3/30-4/3 Lumpkin JV Tournament TBA
Varsity Region games in BOLD.