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FALL PREVIEW: New QB? No problem. Tigers ready to roar on to state playoffs again
Sophomore quarterback Davis Glass prepares to throw a pass during a summer practice. He is set to be the starting QB this season. - photo by Rio White

Dawson County Tigers Football

Head Coach: Sid Maxwell, eighth season

Last season’s record: 7-5, Region 7-3A runner-up, Sweet 16 state playoff appearance

Key Returners: Cade Adams (Sr. DL/OL), Kade Moledor (Sr. LB/RB), Doug Pagel (Sr. WR/DB), Kevin Haymond (Sr. OL/DL)

Key games: 8/19 vs. Jackson County (Home opener), 9/2 @ North Hall (rivalry), 10/7 vs. Pickens (new region member)

Season Outlook:

For the first time in three years, the Dawson County football team will have a new man under center, with sophomore Davis Glass set to help lead the Tigers in their quest for an eighth straight state playoff appearance.

While the offense will be evolving as the season progresses, Glass will have some experienced players around to help him adjust to the competition, with senior wide receivers Doug Pagel and Matt Bennett likely to be two of his key targets.

For head coach Sid Maxwell, this season’s offensive outlook has been aided by the help of players willing to be part of a ‘committee’ of running backs.

“We have a whole nucleus of running backs…who as far as that being their primary position, it hasn’t been,” Maxwell said. “Coach LeBlanc does a great job with his staff in getting them ready.”

The defense will have four returning members from last season’s first team All-Region group, including senior defensive back Kenny Nelson, who will be tasked with leading the team’s pass defense.

Defensive lineman Cade Adams is also one of those All-Region returners and will be aiming this season to help keep opposing offenses off the board and give Glass a foundation to build confidence.

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

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The offensive and defensive line square off during a summer practice. Multiple players will be playing from both sides this season. - photo by Rio White

Both sides, now

A trio of seniors will be playing significant time on both sides of the ball, emphasizing their roles in helping shore up help around Glass.

One of those players is Kade Moledor, a linebacker by trade who could be a major impact player as a running back. He has seen action in that role during the team’s spring game earlier this year as well as the practices this summer. 

Two others who will be critical pieces in pass protection are Adams and fellow lineman Kevin Haymond. 

Along with Moledor and Adams, Haymond is a defending first-team All-Region selection on defense who will be asked to help contribute his skills to create opportunities for the offense. 

“We’ve been working mostly on helping our run game, [which] will give the quarterback more time and hopefully open up the passes,” Haymond said. “We’ve got to make sure all five guys are on the same page. If you’re not, you’re going to open a hole up.”

Something old, something new

The past summer has seen some major reclassifications in high school athletics, including old rival North Hall moving up to 4A.

Despite that, the Tigers and Trojans will once again meet this season to continue their annual tussle. That game will be hosted by North Hall on Friday, Sept. 2.

Two teams joining Dawson’s region this year are Pickens County and Wesleyan, the latter arriving from a private school classification. 

The Tigers scrimmaged Pickens last season but the neighboring counties have not faced each other in the regular season since 2011.

Wesleyan, located in Norcross, is coming off an 8-4 season where they made the second round of the state playoffs. 

One game to watch for is the away game at Lambert on Aug. 26, which will see Maxwell face the previous school he coached before Dawson.