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Season will start Saturday against Elbert County
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The Dawson County High School varsity baseball team will open the season with a game at Elbert County on Saturday.

The Tigers are coming off a 15-11 season under second year head coach Thad Burgess.

Burgess also serves as the head varsity boys basketball coach.

Burgess brings a wealth of experience into the Tiger program.

In Alabama, Burgess posted an impressive 205-70 record as a baseball coach.

The veteran coach must replace two key players from last year's squad. Gone are pitcher Logan Burt and four-year catcher Colton Chester. Burt was an all-region selection last season.

The Tigers will, however, bring a wealth of talent into the 2015 season.

A group of skilled seniors will lead this year's team. Returning for their last high school season are shortstop Levi Whitmire, pitcher/first baseman J.T. Eggert, right fielder Zach Buchan, second baseman Austin Martin and Keaton Coates, and new catcher Logan Crumley.

Battling for the first base spot will be Dylan Heller and Cooper Kicklighter. This year's designated hitter will be Luke Martin.

Junior Brody Chester will take up shop at the hot corner and sophomore Luke Martin will occupy left field.

"We have competition at a couple of spots," Burgess said. "Like all teams, pitching is never enough. Not sure if all teams have the pitching to make it through an 18 game season.

We have some really good young arms that are not quite there yet physically, but they will have to play some key roles for us. Our older arms must step up. We are so far ahead of last year, as we were just learning each other and it gave me some time to evaluate our baseball program."

This year's region shouldn't be as demanding as in years past. Gone are North Hall, White County and perennial power Buford.

The teams that Dawson County will compete against in Region 7-AAA this season are Banks County, East Hall, West Hall, Fannin County, Franklin County and Lumpkin County

"Our region should be wide open," Burgess said. "Our kids and coaches are excited and have played a lot of baseball during the offseason and they have spent many hours in the cage and throwing. It should be an exciting season."

Saturday's game is set to begin at 2 p.m.