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Senior Highlights: Dawson County Coaches thank senior athletes for the 2020 Spring Season
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The 2020 Spring sports season has ended prematurely for Dawson County athletes. But before things are over, local coaches have some kind words to share about their senior students. - photo by submitted

This week the Georgia High School Association announced that it would be terminating the remainder of the Spring 2020 high school athletic season due to COVID-19, a move that will prematurely end the sports season for hundreds of young local athletes. 

Sadly, for many Dawson County athletes, this move also spells an end to their high school athletic careers, as senior players graduate and move on to college, university and careers. 

But before senior athletes go, the Spring sports coaches at Dawson County High School have a few words of praise, congratulations and remembrance for what the 2020 class meant to their athletic programs. 

BASEBALL

Quotes by Head Coach Dwayne Sapp

Mauricio Hernandez

“Mauricio came into the program from Mexico and immediately showed he would be a benefit to our program. Every year he has gotten better and really was having an outstanding senior year. Mauricio's first time pitching in a varsity game he pitched a complete-game victory over Fannin County, a fantastic moment for him and his family.”

Hudson Sapp

“Hudson had an outstanding career. Offensively, he was a catalyst for the team as Hudson reached base via a walk or hit at over 70%. His 93 walks are currently 5th on the all-time state record according to the Georgia Dugout Club. Hudson was on pace with 1 walk a game to eventually being the all-time walks leader in Georgia. Hudson also pitched a no-hit perfect game this year against Coosa High School.”

Max Hodgson

“Max became a big leader in helping our younger players. He understood his benefits to the program and excelled at them.”

Gabe Gutierrez

“Gabe was mainly a relief pitcher and had some good innings his senior year. Gabe worked on his craft and was poised to have some big senior moments.”

Bo Lewis

“Bo possesses a very strong arm and threw out 80% of the runner that tried his arm. His bat really came around this year as Bo was hitting .541 this year when the season ended. He really became a weapon behind and at the plate.”

TJ Allen

“TJ was a very consistent and reliable player. TJ improved every year defensively and offensively. He worked hard at being a great teammate and leader. He took coaching well and was the quiet leader for this team. He led by example and was always the one I could count on for any task the team was given to get done.”

Kristian Kelley

“Kristian played outstanding defense for the team. Offensively, Kristian was a big weapon and had memorable games for the Tigers. He was having an outstanding senior season at the plate and on the mound when he suffered an injury on the bases. Kristian was part of the No-hitter and perfect game that was thrown at Cedar Shoals.”

Payton Goodwin

“Payton came to the program and helped out on the mound immediately. The bulk of his innings came in his junior year as he fought through arm injuries both years. He had his best outing against GAC when we played at North Georgia baseball stadium suffering a one-run lose in a complete-game effort.”


SOCCER

Quotes by Head Coaches Chess Hamby and Patrick Muenchen

Molly Kitchen

“Molly is such a strong defensive player. She always seems to be in the correct position on the field and is able to lead the people around her. She played Center Back for us this year and did a great job playing a position that isn’t her natural position.”

Maggie Wright

“Maggie is such a strong leader on and off the field. She is a very versatile player and has played multiple positions throughout her career. She has an extremely strong shot and can score from distance on the field.”

Piper Wright

“Pipe is a very strong leader and is like having a coach on the field. She is such a knowledgeable player and student of the game. She played Center Back for most of her career, but had been play forward this year.”

Katie Clouse

“Katie is extremely athletic with great speed and quickness. She has played all over the field for us and has been solid at each position. She is a balanced player that is as solid defensively as she is offensively.”

Liz Lessard

“Liz is an absolute workhorse. She has worked so hard to improve over the last few years and was giving us quality minutes defensively. She is very quiet and has always let her play on the field do the talking.”

Kiersten Moran

“Kiersten is a very coachable player. She is like a sponge and wants to learn as much as she can about the game. She is always asking questions and working hard in practice to improve her game. Most importantly, she is one of the most well-mannered players that I have every had the pleasure to coach.”

Chloe Harper 

“Chloe is our spark plug. She is such a high energy and hard-working player. She has come so far in her development has a soccer player and provided great speed for us up top.”

Michael Velazquez

“Michael is a very explosive player. Maybe the best I have ever coached. When he gets the ball, he can beat two or three opponents quickly. He is equally explosive as a teammate. He does not hesitate to get vocal and get the guys fired up.”

Pablo Hernandez

“Pablo is a very good player and a rock on our team. He provided great support in the midfield and on defense. He has a great set piece shot and found the corner on a beautiful opportunity.”

Scout Fisher

“I have had the pleasure of coaching Scout in middle school and high school. Scout is a cool guy on and off the field. He has a good sense of the game and is able to see and execute plays on the ball. He has nice footwork and can strike the ball with great control.”        

Alex Haddock

“Alex is pure heart and effort. He never played soccer before and I was hesitant about putting him on the team. He quickly worked his way into a starting spot being able to track players and break up plays effectively. He was a true force on our defense.”


TENNIS

Quotes by Head Coaches Logan Allen and Stefanie Gibbs 

Chandler Ingram 

“Chandler is always encouraging everyone and is the ultimate team player. Chandler played tennis all 4 seasons and has consistently been one of the top players and a huge part of Dawson County Tennis. He played #1 and #2 singles last season and was most likely going to play #1 Doubles and/or one of the singles positions this year. “

Bailey Jennings 

“Bailey is funny, upbeat, and usually likes to stand out with a headband and/or nice shoes. Bailey played all 4 seasons and has also been a huge part of the Dawson County Tennis team. Bailey and Brendan Swafford proved to be one of the best doubles teams in the region last season. Bailey played #1 Doubles last year and likely would have played #1 doubles this season.” 

Matthew Wood

“This is Matthew's first year. He is a great athlete and a top-class swimmer. Matthew chose to play tennis this year and showed great potential in winning his only match of the season. I was looking forward to seeing him continue to improve.”

Turner Mitchell

“Turner played as a freshman and we are glad that he decided to play again this year. He showed great potential in his work ethic in practice. I was looking forward to seeing him have his opportunity to play this season.”

Sammie Hafermalz 

"Sammi is the type of player any coach would want. She is willing to play whatever position is asked of her. She is passionate about the game and leads the team with enthusiasm and positivity. She waited patiently as a doubles player for 3 years to play singles this year. She is an intelligent student and has maintained an excellent GPA throughout her four years at DCHS."

Ashlynn Anglin

"Ashlynn excels on the court and the classroom. She loves playing doubles and being a beast at the net. She is always willing to play where she is needed and encourages her team and her partner. Ashlynn is committed to her academics as well.  She has maintained perfect attendance for 13 years. That in itself should tell you how amazing she is."

Kaylee Hamilton 

"Kaylee stepped on to the tennis courts from the softball field with determination and enthusiasm. She is the epitome of a team player and loves to battle back when she is down. Her attitude on and off the court is positive and she leads with quiet confidence."

TRACK

Quotes by Head Coach Arron Haynes

Kaitlyn Bennett

“Kaitlyn has been our lead leg on the 4x100 team for four years for a reason. She knows how to attack. She not just runs her hardest, she attacks the first curve with power and a purpose, usually giving our girls the advantage early in the race.”

Shelby Bryant

“Shelby came to us literally about a week and a half before school was shut down from the cheerleading team. Though I had not had much time to get to know her, it was obvious she is an encourager and loves to cheer her teammates on. She always brought a positive and bright attitude to practice.”

Sophia d’Oliveira

“Sophia was a new addition to the track team this year, but she has already made her mark at practice. She was looking to push several of our school records this year. She is truly a student of whichever sport she is playing at the time.”

Jenna Lecours

“Jenna has helped to lead both our CC and track distance programs longer than any other senior. With a passion for running Jenna has helped to build our distance program into one of the top ones in Georgia.”

Kaselyn Martin

“Kaselyn was approaching the school record this year with a great chance to set it over the course of the season and make a strong run in the state meet. She is a true competitor on the track, fighting for every second.”

Briana Ray 

“While Bri specializes in the PV, she is willing to do anything that I ask to make the team better. She is also a team mom, always watching out for the young members and helping me to coach up her events. We call her Coach Bri because she is always willing to help.”

Evion Reinhardt

“Though Evion is mostly distance, she really is mostly middle distance. She is such a great young lady that always looks for the positive in everything and helping to encourage others to work harder at practice and competition.”

Avery Young

“Avery is mostly a 400/200 runner but is the anchor on both relays. She is the anchor for a reason. A tough and gritty competitor, Avery won’t be bested for lack of effort in a race.”

Hunter Barron

“Hunter was always one of the leaders on the team and always willing to help coaches and other runners no matter what. This was his year to push the High Jump record. New to the Hurdles, I also believe he had a shot at those records as well.”

Bryson Broadway

“Bryson was new to the program and fresh out from basketball. He always came to practice with a great attitude and an eagerness to learn.”

Daniel Brock

“Daniel grew up last season at the State sectionals when he went from being an alternate to being called up to start in one of the biggest races of the year. From that moment on, he was determined to own this season and make a mark on the program.”

Bailey Fitts

“Bailey was new to the program this year. He was an incredibly hard worker that just wanted to get better. Bailey felt like he had been around for years rather than weeks.”

Collin Kilgore

“We were fortunate enough to have Collin transfer-in last year and fit in at that final piece of the puzzle in our quest for a region title. Collin has been a multi-year state placer in several events including top 3. Collin was chasing an individual state championship this year in addition to rewriting the record books at Dawson County.”

Austin Lawson

“Austin was new to us this year. As a distance runner, it already takes commitment, but he brought more that you would expect to have not been on the team before. Even when practice would be canceled, I still would see him out running the roads.”

Ben McGinnis 

“Ben, one of our leaders in the distance program, helped make distance running at Dawson County, not just something cool to do, but something for other programs to fear. Ben was chasing a top 3 placement this year.”

Reece Odom 

“Reece has been with us several years and after biding his time, this was finally his year. Reece is a genuinely good teammate that value’s the team’s success. His hard work over the years was finally ready to pay off.”

Kobe Rea

“Though Kobe threw the shot put as well, his specialty was the discus. He had been working hard to battle back from an injury with an eye on winning the region title and setting a new school record.”

Shawn Thomas

“Shawn has been one of the silent leaders for our team. Quietly showing up for every meet and contending in every race. Last year he was the young one amongst a great group of senior sprinters that helped to make our relays championship material. This was his year to lead and be one of the standard-bearers.”

Joey Toal

“Joey came to us last year and helped to solidify our Region champion team. A selfless athlete, Joey knew his role last season and knew this season was different. He had worked hard and was pushing both the long and triple jump records this year. Joey is one of the best team players you will find.”

Cameron Wallace

“Cameron is a hard worker that was shaving time off of his races. We were really excited to see just how far he could go this year as the season progressed.”


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