Softball players at Dawson County High School didn't have much of an off-season this year.
From the time school got out, the teams have been practicing three days a week-and that does not include fundraising, camp and scrimmages.
According to Coach Jimmy Pruett, they will need to be ready as they face a tough region schedule.
"Our region will be difficult this year, with the addition of North Hall and GAC and Union County," he said. "I think it will be one of the toughest regions in the state."
The program lost five players to graduation including Tabitha Morrison, who signed with Brenau University, and Katelynn Simpson who signed to play at Andrew College.
They will also have to fill the shoes of Heather Brady, Brandy Torres and Brittany Griggs.
"The year before last we finished fifth in the state, so last year we were a fairly young team," he said.
The Lady Tigers do return five starters in Natalie Glass, Sydney McGinnis, Kaila Billingsley, Skyler Caine and Maggie Schendara.
"Natalie and Maggie, and Kaylan Richards all pitched last season and will return this year," he said.
Despite the difficult schedule, Pruett has high expectations.
"As always we expect to make it to the state playoffs. We have made state five out of the last six years, but it will be a challenge."
The team has not only spent a lot of hours on the field in the heat, they have done a good amount of fundraising in preparation for the upcoming year.
The team raised funds for the new windscreen for the softball field and hosted a car wash.
The team is also hosting a camp this week for school age softball players throughout the community.
Their next big event will be an inter squad scrimmage at 6 p.m. on July 28 at the high school.
"The whole goal this year, we want the community to back these girls," said Sandy Jenkins, vice president of the softball booster club.
Players and the booster club are pre-selling tickets for barbeque plates for the night of the event. The plates will include a meat, two sides and a dessert for $8 each.
The Dawsonville Tavern is donating all of the food for the event so that all proceeds will go directly to the team.
During the game extra plates will also be available for purchase as supplies allow. The concession stand will also be open.
To purchase tickets for the event, please contact Sandy Jenkins at (770) 519-2868.