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‘The Tiger Way’: How one football player found his place after transferring to Dawson County his senior year
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Tyler Lane, a senior transfer wide receiver from West Forsyth High School in Cumming, Georgia. Lane has played well during his short career at Dawson County with two receiving touchdowns in his first three games. - photo by Jacob Smith

The field for a football player can be an escape from the reality of life for a few hours, to work, strategize and focus on doing one’s best to win a game and overcome obstacles. 


Like many players, Dawson County senior and wide receiver Tyler Lane has had to deal with a lot of obstacles these last six months. COVID-19 has forced everyone to change, but for Lane and his mom Jennifer, the last few months have been especially difficult, with a big move happening right as the teen started his senior year of high school at a new school, all complicated by the pandemic. 


Lane had been going to West Forsyth High School in Cumming, and his family had been looking to move for quite a while, when they had finally found a place in Dawsonville that they would want to call home. But according to Lane, rather than being a negative, the pandemic has had a positive effect on his decision to transfer schools. 


“Football was partially stopped and the season was pushed back,” Lane said. “If I would’ve started the season at West Forsyth when it was supposed to have started, it might have been a little more challenging to transfer.”


Nerves are present for anyone going through a big life change and Lane said it was really hard to leave West Forsyth after working with his team to achieve milestones over the past few years.


But the Dawson County Tigers Football Team made Lane feel right at home from the very beginning, he said. 


“On the bright side, I came into this school and it was like I had known the guys on my team since I was like five,” Lane said. “They took me in and showed me around. It made the process ten times easier.”


Lane said that he was glad he could be part of the culture that head football coach Sid Maxwell has built in Dawson County. Prior to transferring, Lane said he had heard about how successful the football program was and how well it was coached. 


“I fit in perfectly with all the guys on the team,” Lane said. “The family aspect and sense of respect that Dawson has is something I crave in football.”


Lane’s performance on the field so far has been one to take notice of. Through the first three games of the season, Lane has two receiving touchdowns and has been a big red zone threat as one of the tallest receivers on the Tigers. 


Lane, who plays basketball as well as football, believes that Dawson County is a place that he will be able to call home long after he has graduated. 


Though he has only been here a short amount of time, he said that Dawsonville is a place of comfort and character, which is something he values. 


“I walk into a gas station and the person working the register acts like I’ve been coming in there for 10 years. My coaches and teammates are people that I feel I will know until I’m old and would still be asking advice for from then,” Lane said.