The long awaited beginning of the 2012-13 Tiger basketball season finally begins this week.
Coming off an Elite Eight appearance and a 25-7 record, there are a lot of expectations for head coach Thad Burgess' team this year.
Dawson County delayed the beginning of its season in order to avoid conflict with the state football playoffs.
Burgess' team begins the season tonight with a trip to Dahlonega to face Lumpkin County.
Lumpkin County coach Chris Guthrie's team comes into today's game with a 1-1 record.
Dawson County will play its first home game on Saturday against the same Indian team.
Tip-off for the boys' game will be around 8:30 p.m., immediately following the girls' game.
The Tigers next game will be on Tuesday as the team travels to Blue Ridge to face Fannin County.
The Rebels are currently 2-1 on the season with wins over Copper Basin, Tenn., and Pickens County.
The game against Fannin will be the Tigers' first game of the season against a Region 7-AAA opponent.
The top eight scorers and rebounders return for the Tigers this season, including five experienced seniors.
Heading the list is last year's scoring leader, Tyler Dominy.
Dominy averaged 15 points and eight rebounds per game last season and was named honorable mention All-State in Class AA.
Joining Dominy will be fellow seniors Bruce Clark, Will Anglin, Gunnar Armstrong and Camron Chester.
Clark was the leading rebounder for the Tigers last season.
Anglin averaged nine points and three steals per game.
Armstrong averaged eight points per game and was lethal at the free throw line. He connected on 85 percent of his attempted shots from behind the charity stripe.
Also returning for Dawson County are juniors Jonathan Sanderson, Lucas Pain, Terrell Dawson and Jackson Putnam.
Rounding out this year's varsity team will be sophomore Jackson Morgan.
The Tigers will compete in a tough region.
Dawson will enter Region 7-AAA; which boasts the likes of top 10 teams: Buford, North Hall and East Hall.
Rounding out the region will be West Hall and White County along with familiar opponents Fannin and Banks counties.
"It appears this will be a senior laden region, filled with great teams and a group of coaches that I have a great deal of respect for them and their programs," Burgess said.
Burgess said that his teams' work ethic and camaraderie should play a role in this year's success.
"I really like our team. The guys have great character, attitude and work ethic. We will try to gain that same level of chemistry and confidence from last year. I strongly realize it will be a major challenge to compete in this region and will be a war every game. It should be a great year for high school basketball in this part of the state," he said.
Burgess enters his 10th season at Dawson County High School.