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Athletes get break during dead week
Dead Week pic1
Two Dawson County High School Tigers loosen up during a recent weight training session. - photo by Pam Jacobs Dawson Community News

Tiger sports teams will observe a mandatory "dead week" this week.

The period runs from July 1 through July 7. Beginning three summers ago, the Georgia High School Association executive committee approved the "dead week" by request of the GHSA coaches.

Each year the "dead week" will run from the Sunday through the Saturday in which the Fourth of July falls, according to rules.

The GHSA states that during this time no school teams may conduct conditioning drills, practices, or be involved in competitions on or off the school's campus.

This means that weight training, running drills, passing league games in football, school-based summer league games in baseball, as well as team camps in a variety of sports may not occur during this week.

With the final countdown for high school football teams quickly approaching most coaches are delighted with the week off.

Dawson County head coach Jeff Lee said: "Our players have been working extremely hard since last football season came to an end. When July gets here they begin to see the start of the season approaching and they give that little extra."

The first day of conditioning for football may begin on July 25.

On Aug. 1 the Tigers will begin football camp at midnight.

The midnight practice will be the beginning of a 4-day football camp at the school. On that day all teams in Georgia may practice in shorts, helmets and shoulder pads.

The Tigers will open the season with a scrimmage game, at home, against Towns County on Aug. 17.

Dawson County will begin the regular season with a game on Aug. 31 against rival Lumpkin County.

Both games will kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Boys basketball coach Thad Burgess said: "We are pretty much done until school begins anyway. Our kids played at the Fellowship Christian High School and Auburn University last week. After this camp we won't see them until preseason workouts begin when school opens."

Lee said his football players have had a good summer so far.

"June was a good month for us. Our kids participated in most everything we did. I think our kids are looking for this week off to recharge their batteries," he said.

Most coaches also seem to feel that players need the time off during the holiday week.

"I'm looking forward to taking some time off from basketball," Burgess said. "I know the players are."

Lee and his staff will turn their attention on getting his players used to the hot and humid days of August.

"We have to get our kids in top physical condition. Our coaching staff does a great job of teaching our players about hydration and taking care of their bodies. This will be our major focus in preparation of full pads in August," he said.

The earliest date for softball, cheerleading and cross country to practice is Aug. 1. Games may begin for softball on Aug. 10, cheerleading on Aug. 11, and cross country on Aug. 13.