The first official week of spring saw beautiful skies and calm breezes every day of the week for the first time this year. It was perfect weather for a variety of outdoor activities, but especially good for track and field, golf and tennis, with the Dawson County programs taking full advantage of the opportunity.
With the addition of a make-up game to their schedule the varsity tennis teams led the action with four matches over five days, but every team saw time on the field as the golf team hit the links on March 20, and the Tigers hosted the Trojans and Dragons for a 16-event track meet March 19.
Moved from last week, the match with 7-AAA powerhouse Greater Atlanta Christian School March 18 foreshadowed a tough week of play as both the Tigers and Lady Tigers found themselves cleanly swept by the Spartans in a pair of 5-0 losses.
March 19 marked Senior Day for the program, and the teams took a few minutes before the match with regional rival Lumpkin County to honor Abbey Haymond, Tyler Perry and Isabella Brown of the Lady Tigers and Elijah Stanfield, Christian Nygaard and Will Clark of the Tigers.
Unfortunately for the Tigers the match did not go as well as the ceremony as both teams fell to Lumpkin County with the boys being swept for the second match in a row, and the girls managing only a single win in their match.
The streak of bad luck continued March 21 as the teams traveled to North Hall for the third regional match of the week and, once again, found themselves on the wrong side of the net as the Lady Tigers faced their second shutout of the week and the Tigers picked up one win on the day.
Lady Tigers mustered a 3-2 victory over Pickens County in their final match of the week and the boys’ team found similarly good results as they emerged with a 4-1 victory and regained the momentum for the final stretch of the regular season.
“While the final scores are not wins we got games on the board and many matches went to deuce repeatedly,” varsity girls Head Coach Stefanie Gibbs said. “We squeezed in a match with Pickens on Friday and won 3-2.”
The teams were on the road for the last two games of the season, with the first game scheduled March 25 versus West Hall High School. Results were unavailable as of press time.
The latest round of action took place March 20 at the Chestatee Golf Club as the Tigers teed off against East Jackson and Cherokee Bluff High Schools over nine holes.
The boys’ teams each fielded six golfers with the top four scores counted towards the total, while the girls’ teams played four and counted three.
At the end of the day the Tigers tallied a respectable total of 174, led for the second week in a row by sophomore Will Howard’s low round of 41, only to fall one short of Cherokee Bluff and finished the tri-meet in second place, dropping their season record to 4-1.
The Lady Tigers also saw stiff competition as only 22 strokes separated the three teams at the end of the round, but the girls’ 151, bolstered with low round of 45 from Kenzie Smith, was enough to capture the victory and the team remained undefeated at 5-0.
The teams were back in action at the Chestatee Golf Club March 26 when they hosted Fannin County and Johnson High School for a nine-hole tournament. Results were unavailable as of press time.
Track and Field
Led by record setting performances, the boys’ and girls’ varsity track and field teams handily defeated their regional opponents from North Hall High School and Pickens County in a 16-event home meet March 19.
On a day that saw the Tigers capture 11 first-place podiums, 17 gold-medals and a margin of victory of 35 points over their closest competitor it was hard for senior pole-vaulter Cooper Freeman to find a way to stand out.
He did so by flinging himself 13 feet and two inches into the air to become the sole owner of the DCHS pole-vaulting record.
Originally set by TJ Byrd in 2008, the record stood uncontested until Luke Parks tied it in 2011 and Cory Jenkins hit the mark in 2013. Freeman tied the record last season and indicated early this season that breaking it was on his mind.
“Since I tied it, I’ve thought about it,” Freeman said. “It’s definitely a goal of mine this year.”
The Lady Tigers claimed seven podiums on the day on their way to an overwhelming 29-point victory.
Senior Anna Lowe led the way as she engineered a clean sweep of both the discus and the shot-put events by Dawson County.
Lowe bested her own DCHS shot-put record of 36-11 set in 2017 with an impressive throw of 39-10.5 to reset the record establish her self firmly in the record books. She immediately followed that performance with an incredible 102-9 discus toss that fell just short of the school record but secured Lowe’s second gold medal of the day.
The Dawson County track and field team went back in action March 28 as they hosted Gilmer County and East Hall High School. Results were unavailable as of press time.