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Tournament season underway for Tigers spring sports
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Bailey Jennings and Brendan Swafford prepare for a doubles match April 11 in the 7-AAA regional tournament at DCHS. - Photo by Bob Christian

The Dawson County High School springs sports program approached the end of the regular season across the board last week as the track and field teams completed an undefeated season, the golf team finished up their final events of the year in preparation for the upcoming Area tournament and both tennis teams traveled to Calhoun for round one of the GHSA state tennis tournament.


Track and Field


The Tigers hosted the Cherokee Bluff Bears and the Chestatee War Eagles April 18 for the final meet of the regular season and completed their dominance in regional competition with a sweeping victory in the boys’ and girls’ events to extend the final record of both teams to 11-0.


Led by a record setting performance from the 4x100 meter relay composed of Noah Brock, Ethan Cameron, Cooper Freeman and Shawn Thomas, who set the team’s fifth record of the season with a blistering pace of 44.12 seconds, the men’s varsity team captured 11 of the 16 events to handily defeat its opponents by a final score of 114 to Chestatee’s 45 and Cherokee Bluff’s 10 points on the day.


For the third time in three weeks, the women’s pole-vaulting record was tied, but this time not by current record holder Briana Ray, but by freshman Emma Pelfrey as she hit the eight-foot mark on her way to the first of the Lady Tigers’ eight gold medals.


After a team effort that saw seven different athletes atop the podium, with senior Frankie Muldoon taking home two first place finishes, the Dawson County girls’ put together a victory and put the lid on the undefeated season.


In between the field events and the final races of the evening, the team took time to recognize the 14 members of the senior class on the boys’ varsity team, as well as to say good-bye to long-time assistant coach Eddie Roberts who announced his retirement after over 40 years as a track and field coach.


“According to my wife, I have to travel with her for a while,” Roberts said. “But I suspect the kids will still see me around here every once in a while.”


With the conclusion of the regular season Dawson County prepared to host round one of the 2019 7-AAA regional track meet on April 24 as the individual athletes looked to not only win regional honors but to qualify for the upcoming state tournament. Results were unavailable as of press time.


Golf


Dawson County’s golf program headed into its most critical portion of the season this week as the girls’ varsity team hosted the 3-AAA Area Tournament at the Chestatee Country Club on April 23 while the boys’ team prepares to travel to Royston for their tournament next week.


Anchored by sophomore Kenzie Smith, who has posted the low round in every match this season, the Lady Tigers looked well prepared for the tournament as they also relied on previous tournament experience provided by returning golfer Cosette Huthwaite. 


Newcomers Maddie Anglin and Mariah Benson have bolstered the team’s scores all season, and Parker believes this year’s group has got what it takes to not only win the Area Tournament but to advance deep into the state level as well.


“Our girls have a shot at state, and we are looking forward to seeing how they respond,” Parker said. “With our team being so young, this will be a great opportunity to gain some tournament experience for the future.”


The girl’s 3-AAA area tournament featured 52 golfers from 13 north Georgia teams with the top six teams that scored under 330 advancing to the state tournament, and the top two golfers not already on a qualifying team making the cut in the individual category. Results were unavailable as of press time.


Sophomore Will Howard continued to lead the men’s team as the low scorer during the final weeks of the season, while Campbell Reed posted his best numbers of the year down the last stretch to put the Tigers in a good position as they prepared for their half of the 3-AAA Tournament on April 29.


Freshman Christian Roper rounded out the Tigers top-three scorers for the season based on team averages, but a slew of golfers, including Jalen Smith, Denton Bailey, Jared Posey and Ty Whitmire all found themselves as part of the team’s final scores during the season.


“We are counting on them to play well at Area, and we have some very capable guys that we know have the opportunity to post good scores,” Parker said. “We are looking forward to seeing them perform next Monday.”


Tennis


After qualifying for the AAA state tennis tournament for the first time in three years, the Dawson County Tigers varsity boys’ tennis team traveled to Calhoun on April 17 as the region 7-AAA No. 4 seed to face the 6-AAA No. 1 seed Yellowjackets.


Faced with serves upwards of 120mph the Tigers quickly fell by a final line of 0-5 and, just like that, the excitement of the first state run in years was brought to an end.


“The guys were excited to be there and played hard and competed well despite the fact that the competition level was extremely high,” Head Coach Logan Allen said. “A lot of our guys either just started playing last year or only have a couple of years of tennis experience. The guys showed great improvement over the last two seasons and I expect them to keep getting better.”


The Lady Tigers are no strangers to the 7-AAA tournament, having made the cut over the past several seasons. This year was no exception as they also entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed against the top-seeded team from Calhoun and, in similar fashion, the team was ousted from the tournament by a final score of 0-5.


Head Coach Stefanie Gibbs quickly compared this season to the team’s first round exit at the hands of Calhoun two years ago and immediately began looking forward to next season.


“This season compares to ours two years ago when we faced Calhoun. I am very proud of our season and our results,” Gibbs said. “I am losing three seniors this year, but I have some athletes who have put in their time as a doubles player and are ready for singles. They are strong leaders and I have no doubts they will keep our momentum going.”

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