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Athletes excel
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The school year was a great one for sports teams from both Riverview and Dawson County middle schools.

The year began with the Dawson County Middle football team losing a hard fought 12-0 championship game at Clear Creek.

Coach Thomy Edwards' team had just lost to the Bobcats 6-0 the week before in double overtime in Dawsonville.

"Our boys played hard and never gave up," Edwards said. "I thought we gave it our best shot. I'm really proud of this football team."

The Tigers ended the season with a 5-2 record.

At Riverview, the Eagles welcomed a new coach in Benjy Edwards. Edwards had been an assistant coach under Mark Thomason for four years before taking the head position last spring.

The Eagles picked up a 20-14 win to finish the season against Jasper Middle for their lone win this season. The Eagles finished the season with a 1-5 record.

• • •

The softball teams faced off against each other in September with the Lady Eagles coming out on top 10-0.

Two weeks later Dawson County Middle gained its revenge and came away with a 2-0 win, to pick up its first victory of the season.

Riverview Middle Coach Jeff Compton and Dawson County Middle's Jessi Crane were proud of their teams' efforts this season.

• • •

The Dawson County Middle School wrestling program has a bright future according to Head Coach Thomy Edwards. The Tigers wrestled in meets during November and December.

The Tigers only wrestled three eighth graders last season. They were Christian Williams, Cameron Hudson and Michael Dudley.

"This year was a growing and learning year," Edwards said. "Next year I feel that the wrestlers coming back have a great chance of being number one in their weight classes.

"We got better as a team from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. We had a lot of first year wrestlers that improved greatly," he added.

The Riverview wrestling team was coached by Benjy Edwards.

"We wrestled well all season, but injuries kept a lot of wrestlers out," Edwards added.

• • •

The Riverview Middle Lady Eagles basketball teams progressed each game, according to coach Rhonda Sillesky.

The seventh graders were led by Gabby Buchan, Zoe Grindstaff, Kati Brady, Ashley Stanfill and Brittany Saylor. The eighth grade struggled during the season, but still fought to the end.

Isabel Queen, Ava Walker, Mackenzie Callas, Emma French and Bethany Gastley led the team.

On the boys' side, the Riverview Middle eighth graders suffered through a rough year. The boys seemed to be close in several games, but just seemed to make that one shot to put them over the top.

Leaders on the team were: Barry Thurmond, Evan Jennings and Jake Gloeckner.

The seventh grade boys carried a perfect 12-0 record into the league tournament at the end of the year before losing.

Coach Mark Thomason's team was bolstered by the play of Connor Bearden, Cullen Reed and Ryan Gallenkamp.

• • •

Across the county at Dawson County Middle, the seventh-grade girls basketball team captured the North Georgia Mountain League championship in January with a 24-18 win over Fannin County.

Emma Brown was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. She led all scorers with 13 points.

Marley Hamby scored six points, Carley Burt added four points and Calli Watson had one point in the victory.

Hamby was named the Academic Award recipient and placed on the All-Tournament Team for head coach Nichole Green's squad.

The Dawson County Middle eighth grade boys basketball team also had a winning season under the leadership of coach Jonathan Tinsley. Members of the team were: Kolton Brumbelow, Parker Cantrell, Colin Glover, Joseph Cronan, Austin Young, Jacob Branson and Corey Hammond.

• • •

In soccer, the girls' championship game took place between two teams that knew each other well.

The middle schools squared off in a classic battle with Dawson County Middle coming out on top 2-0 to take the championship trophy.

Both teams split during the regular season and an inevitable rematch decided the champion.

Coach John Lundy's Lady Eagles and Coach Jessi Crane's Lady Tigers fought hard during the first half, but the score stood at 0-0 at halftime.

Dawson County finally broke the dry spell with 15:32 left in the game off the foot of Brooke Cagle.

Three minutes later, Lady Tiger Lydia Blythe scored Dawson's second goal to give them a 2-0 advantage.

"The championship game was an awesome game between two great teams. Riverview fought hard. My girls worked hard all season and they deserve this victory," Crane said.

Lundy said he was also proud of the way his team played.

"The girls played as hard as they have all season, but sometimes you face a better opponent. Dawson is a great team and deserved to win that game," Lundy said.

The Riverview Eagles boys went into the championship game with a 10-1 record, but fell short to Clear Creek by a 2-0 score.

"We were outplayed during the game. They were beating us to the ball. We had a few opportunities, but didn't capitalize. We had some injuries and illnesses and had to readjust our formation. The boys weren't comfortable on the field and it showed by how timid they were," Johnston said.

At Dawson County Middle, Coach Frank Brown did a masterful job with his Tiger team.

"I'm proud of our guys and the way we have played the second half of the season. They have something to build on, our guys believe they can play with any team out there," he said.