With the school year just around the corner, the Dawson County High School Tigers softball team has one goal in mind: make it to the state tournament.
The team missed last year after falling to Greater Atlanta Christian in a best-of-three series in the first round of the region tournament.
“We were young and learned a lot about our players,” Tigers Head Softball Coach Jimmy Pruett said. “All-in-all. it was a successful season.”
There are a few differences from this season compared to last. This year the region has changed shape, with former GHSA 4-A schools West Hall, Gilmer County and White County joining the region. Pruett said that he believes all four teams will be strong competition.
COVID-19 precautions also have affected the way that the team has approached summer practices. Pruett said that the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) sent a list of do’s and don’ts, along with the requirement that each athlete and coach get tested at the beginning of each day.
“Ever since we’ve been allowed to use equipment again, we’ve been getting a lot done,” Pruett said.
The Tigers have several returning seniors that will look to be leaders for the group of underclassmen, whom Pruett said were solid and already battling for playing time in this upcoming season.
Here is a list of the seven returning Tigers softball team starters:
Senior Bella Henson
Senior Brea Crane
Junior Olivia Martinez
Junior Annslee Kirby
Junior Rylie Erickson
Sophomore Reece Moore
Sophomore Lauren Kurtz
Pruett said he believes that the team has a great chance to reach their goal of being in the state tournament this year. With another year of experience and motivation from an early exit last year, the team is hungry to prove themselves and be competitive once again.
“I think a lot of people are eager to compete and looking forward to seeing the growth in the upcoming season,” Pruett said. “Just looking for maybe a little normalcy back.”