Dawson County Tigers Football
Head coach: Sid Maxwell, seventh season
Last year’s record: 6-6, Sweet 16 Appearance
Key returners: Cade Adams (Jr. OL/DL), Logan Berry (Sr. DE), Conley Dyer (Sr. RB), Kevin Haymond (Jr. OL/DL), Zach Holtzclaw (Sr. QB), Braedon Hubbard (Sr. WR/DB), Kade Moledor (Jr. LB)Key newcomers: Bailey Dameron (Sr. WR), Jackson Grindle (Sr. RB), Doug Pagel (Jr. WR/DB), Dylan Thompson (Sr. K) and Briggs Weaver (So. OL)
Last season was crazy for the Tigers. Football is never a sport with a lot of constants, but everything went out the window as far as players quarantining due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tigers finished 6-6 and made it to the Sweet 16 of the GHSA 3A state tournament, continuing head coach Sid Maxwell’s streak of six playoff appearances since moving to Dawson County.
Zach Holtzclaw returns for his third season as the starting quarterback of the Tigers. With just 1,834 passing yards this season, Holtzclaw will pass Dawson County legends Tyler Dominy and Coey Watson for the most passing yards in school history.
Holtzclaw is going to have to set the record books with a completely new group of wide receivers after losing his top four targets from last season. Senior defensive back Braedon Hubbard saw a lot of snaps at receivers during summer workouts, along with Bailey Dameron and Doug Pagel.
“Most of the guys are in my grade so it was more about getting our timing and routes down,” Holtzclaw said. “That’s what the passing game is. You find those windows and find the open grass. The more experience they get, the more they’ll understand to go with their landmarks.”
Hubbard and Pagel, who are both listed as 5’8”, will be getting a lot of playing time in the defensive secondary, a position where the Tigers struggled last season, only picking off two passes.
“We have guys who aren’t the biggest on our secondary but they fly around like missiles,” Maxwell said. “If you look at them, I always joke they couldn’t ride the six flags ride if they wanted. We’re gonna need to play our hands well this year because we won’t win too many jump balls.”
The defense is loaded with studs who received All-Region recognitions last season in Cade Adams, Logan Berry, Kevin Haymond and Kade Moledor. The offensive line will be young, but have Adams and Haymond returning to anchor the offensive line, but a few new faces, Like Jimmy Fallstrom and Briggs Weaver, will need to stop up for the Tigers.
Overall, Dawson County should be locked and loaded to make their seventh state playoff appearance in a row.
Their season starts Friday, Aug. 20 against Cass High School at home. The Tigers lost 23-7 against Cass last season.