By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
3 things we heard, 3 things we learned at 2022 Fall Media Day
Head football coach Sid Maxwell talks about his team’s progress at the DCN Fall Media Day. (Photo by Altura Social)

The Dawson County News hosted its second annual Fall Media Day to highlight the five Dawson County High School sports teams that will be competing this fall.

Here are some of the important takeaways from the interviews with coaches and players from the football, cheerleading, volleyball, softball and cross country teams. 

Three things we learned:

1. Football ready for new-look offense, region changes

Head coach Sid Maxwell has been keeping his team focused on its day-to-day progress this summer while knowing that the offense will be evolving as the season goes along. 

With the team prepared to bring out its first new starting quarterback in three years, Maxwell has entrusted a strong senior class to help keep the team grounded while the offense faces a learning curve.

“I’m really blessed this year to have such a strong senior class,” Maxwell said. “They all work well together and they make others around them better.”

One of those seniors who will be working with prospective starting quarterback and sophomore Davis Glass is wide receiver Doug Pagel, who is also helping lead a young receiving corps. 

Fellow senior Kade Moledor, normally a defensive player, will be joining the committee of running backs behind Glass.

The Tigers will also play two new teams in Region 7-3A — Pickens County and Wesleyan. For Maxwell, his approach toward these teams will be much the same as it is with any other team.

2. Cheer team looking to repeat as state champions

There is little doubt as to the goals of the Dawson County competition cheer team, led by head coach Kim Fleming. Looking to repeat as state champions, the team is just as prepared and confident this summer as they were last season, according to Fleming.

“The stunts we are doing now are just as difficult — or more difficult — than the ones we did last year,” Fleming said. “We have a great team [with] lots of talent.”

While the team lost three seniors from last season’s squad, including a pair of All-State selections, the current group of five seniors is ready to carry on the standard of excellence.

An element to the team’s success has been its mental discipline. For Fleming, minimizing distractions during competition is the key to accomplishing that.

“When we get to a competition, I keep them separated from the crowd,” Fleming said. “We stay focused.”

3. Volleyball looks to use depth for state playoff run

Assistant volleyball coach Audrey Goode has been observing the rapid growth of a team that is looking to make a deep run in the state tournament.

A group of six seniors will lead a team that has a well of underclassmen depth that has been steadily growing from the youth levels since head coach Tanya Porter helped establish the program.

Seniors Abby Felkai and Emerald Sallee are two players taking initiative and leading drills during summer practices. 

“When we split up for positions, Abby takes the whole setter group and does a lot of drills with them,” Goode said. “We call on [Emerald] a lot to lead our whole defense on the back row because she plays such a big role in that.”

Last season, the team had a 20-win regular season before facing an early exit at the region tournament. This year, the team is aiming to progress further.

“Communication on the court is one of the most important things we need to work on,” Goode said. “This is probably the most talented group of girls we’ve had in the program.”

Three things we heard

1.  Softball team much younger than last season, but small senior class can help the team grow

“I think it’s important for those older kids who have been here to just be the example and settle the nerves of some of the younger ones,” head coach Justin Rickett said. “When we played at South [Forsyth] the other day, it made a huge difference on the younger kids on how relaxed they were to have the [seniors] there.”

2. LeCave looking to bounce back from injury to lead cross country

“I just got back maybe two weeks ago [from injury],” LeCave said. “Since then, I’ve been trying to slowly get back into it and run more and more every day. I’m really trying to motivate myself and push myself as much as I can this summer.”

3. Adams looks to lead defensive line and help boost confidence of young QB Glass

“I think it makes [Glass] more comfortable when he has a confident defense behind him,” defensive lineman Cade Adams said. “If he knows that the [other] offense isn’t going to be much of a challenge, he doesn’t feel pressured to put more points on the board.”