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FOOTBALL: Eighteen Tigers earn All-Region honors, three tabbed as positional POY
The DCHS football team celebrates after defeating Lumpkin County 38-10 to win the Region 7-3A championship. Cade Adams (73) and Kade Moledor (33) were among 18 Tigers who earned postseason honors. - photo by Rio White

Following the Dawson County varsity football team’s region championship season, 18 players were recognized with Region 7-3A postseason honors.

Three Tigers earned top honors by being selected as the region’s Player of the Year in their respective positions.

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Senior linebacker Kade Moledor was chosen as Defensive Player of the Year after posting 90 tackles and five sacks. Moledor was also an important contributor on offense, often chosen as the primary running back. He put up 532 yards on 101 carries with five touchdowns. 

Fellow senior Cade Adams was named Lineman of the Year after leading the team with 14 sacks, 12 hurries and 19 tackles for loss.

Moledor and Adams helped spearhead Dawson’s vaunted rush defense that shut out two teams during the season. 

Junior Dom LeBlanc earned the Special Teams Player of the Year after establishing himself as the team’s go-to field goal kicker. Two of his most notable kicks came against Wesleyan and Lumpkin. 

LeBlanc was also the team’s leading receiver, catching 31 passes for 618 yards and six touchdowns. 

Heading up Dawson’s All-Region First Team contingent were the many important defensive pieces alongside Moledor and Adams.

The Tigers defense held their region foes to a combined 48 points across six games. 

Senior Kevin Haymond paired well with Adams all season on the defensive line, contributing 43 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. 

Others on the defensive First Team included defensive backs Matt Bennett and Christian Webb and linebackers Kenny Nelson and Alex Stewart. With 67 tackles, Stewart was second on the team in that category. 

On the offensive side, junior linemen Briggs Weaver and Simeon Welch were chosen for the First Team. 

The All-Region Second Team included linebacker Ian Costley, defensive back Tucker Caine, defensive end Will Kurtz and running back Elijah Smith.

Kurtz made 40 tackles and 9.5 sacks, finishing the season as another important defensive asset.

Elijah Smith was the team’s leader in rushing yards, using his elusiveness to gain 816 yards on 134 carries with five touchdowns. He had four games of at least 100 yards. 

Dawson’s regional honors were capped by four players who earned honorable mentions.

Those players were defensive lineman Colton Schuette, defensive back Cruz Matheson, offensive lineman Anthony Garcia and wide receiver Sawyer Bearden.