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Tigers Cross Country ready to sprint past competition after missing region title last year
Cross country boys pic 1, 11.1
The Dawson County varsity cross country team starts after the gun shot at Unicoi State Park on Oct. 26. - photo by Amy French

As the Dawson County Tigers cross country season quickly approaches, the team’s main goal is to win the region title they barely missed out on last season. 

North Hall beat the Tigers by only four points last season to win the region title. The Tigers and Trojans have built a rivalry over the past four seasons, with the Tigers winning two of the last four region titles and the Trojans finishing in second. 

Dawson County Head Coach Charles Beusse said that his team is already in very good shape this season. 

“They have a really good shot to do well this year,” Beusse said. “They’re a team that if everyone can stay healthy, they should win region. I think they’re a top three or four team in the state.”

Beusse said that it has been fairly easy for the team to adjust to the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) guidelines on how to properly social distance due to COVID-19 concerns. The team has averaged twenty students per summer workout and running groups have been shortened to two or three runners per group.  

“We’re lucky in cross country,” Beusse said. “It’s easy for us to social distance and we’re already outside.”

Aside from missing out on the region title last year, Beusse said students are motivated after the last track season was cut short. Now, they are ready to get out on the track and race competitively again. 

The boys team has five returning seniors that raced with the varsity team last year.. 

Beusse said that senior Sam Hulsey has improved greatly in only his second season of cross county and will be a vital part of the team’s success this season. 

The girls team will be a young group led by the only current senior on the team, Celine Sapp. Beusse said he would not be surprised if this varsity team was composed of freshmen and if they did better than the team last year. 

“Overall, our goal from year to year is constant improvement,” Beusse said. 

The cross country season will begin Saturday, Aug. 15 with a meet in Pickens County.