Although she brushes off credit for creating the Dawson County High School Volleyball program, stating “there were a lot of people involved” from the school district down to the parents and the girls themselves, Head Coach Tanya Porter has been the program’s driving force during these early years.
“We kind of did it backwards,” Porter said about starting with a varsity level team in 2016. “I’m glad that we did because I think it generated the interest we needed to build on during the year.”
Despite a disappointing opening season, interest was indeed generated, and a junior varsity team was fielded for the 2017 season. This addition brought Dawson County into full competition in the northeast Georgia region as the last county to participate at both levels in high school volleyball.
“Now that it’s here it really drives itself,” Porter said about the growth of the program. “There was a strong community interest. We are just really excited to offer the girls an opportunity for something new. We’ve never had a [volleyball] program before.”
The expansion of the program has shown no signs of slowing down as Porter recently announced the formation of a third team, the C team. Incorporating middle school students into the program for the first time the C team is designed to introduce the sport of volleyball and its fundamentals to the students and new players.
“This allows us to continue to grow the program and keep the interest alive,” Porter said. “It’s a chance for them to develop skills, a chance to decide (if it’s for them).”
The teams will see action soon enough as the DCHS Lady Tigers varsity team starts their season Friday, Aug. 10 with a match-up at Fannin County High School. The junior varsity team will see their first action on Aug. 14 against Gilmer High, and the C team will make their debut on Aug. 15 against West Hall High School.