Football season is less than a month away and new head coach Sid Maxwell is preparing the Tigers for the upcoming campaign.
Maxwell brings a wealth of experience to Dawsonville. The veteran coach has been a head coach for 21 years. He coached at Sequoyah High School for 15 years and Lambert High for 5 years before coming to Dawson County.
Maxwell said that the fact that the county only has one high school was a plus in joining the program.
"There are only a few places in Georgia that the community has only one high school. The opportunity to build a total program from the youth, middle school and high is a coach's dream. One heart, one beat, one team. My family and I are personally looking forward to being part of the Tiger family," he said.
The Tigers have been working out all summer in preparation for the upcoming season.
"The workout attendance has been great," Maxwell said.
Aug. 1 marked the first day that teams were allowed to practice in full pads in Georgia.
The Tigers practiced on Saturday with 87 players taking part in drills.
"The players are learning and working hard to master the program specifics that focus on explosive speed and maximizing power. The training program is individually designed to help each athlete reach his full potential for any sport," Maxwell said.
The coach said organization is a key he feels is needed to make sure all players are prepared for the upcoming season.
"Organization is the key to prepare our players for the upcoming season. We have a race horse practice tempo emphasizing maximum reps and player participation in a two-hour practice format. Our goal is to teach and build the system throughout the season. It will be a process over time," he said.
This year's squad will be led by 18 seniors.
"I'm impressed with the effort of all our players. The players are attempting to learn the new system and until that happens we are not looking at individuals standing out, but putting our focus on the team working as a unit," he said. "Toughness and the ability to want to learn out system are vital. It's too early to tell exactly what fundamentals team strengths are going to be until we line up against some competition."
In order to be successful the veteran coach said: "We must focus on us by preparing and taking care of our player's individual needs."
This year's coaching staff will feature a blend of new and old faces to the DCHS program.
Returning are Jed Lacey (defensive backs), Derek Waters (offensive line), John Kenney (linebackers), Chess Hamby (defensive line) and Gary Wilson (receivers).
New to the staff are Andy LeBlanc (offensive coordinator), Brent Cox (defensive coordinator), Blayne Gilmer (running backs), Josh Watson (outside linebackers) and David Matthews (receivers).
"I am truly blessed to have the opportunity to work with such a great staff. The transition with the existing and new staff has been a very smooth process with everyone working together and implementing our system to maximize the needs of our players," Maxwell said.
The Tigers will play two scrimmage games this preseason before opening the regular season on Aug. 28 against Forsyth Central at home.
Dawson County will play both of its preseason scrimmages away against Westminster on Aug. 14 and North Hall on Aug. 21.All games will begin at 7:30 p.m.