As the calendar flips from 2019 to 2020 and a whole new year begins, as strange as it may seem, it is time to take a look at the upcoming schedules and expectations of the spring sports programs at Dawson County High School.
Last year saw great success across the board as every team, with one exception, made an appearance in their respective regional playoffs, with two – the Lady Tigers soccer team and the boys’ Track and Field team winning the regional title.
Every team that appeared in a regional tournament went on to play in the GHSA state playoff for their sport with the Lady Tigers soccer club setting the high mark after being eliminated in the Sweet Sixteen.
All told, 2019 was an incredibly successful season for Dawson County and one that team’s hope to replicate as we take a look at the initial schedules for each group:
The DCHS tennis program is expected to hold try-outs Jan. 21-23.
Both teams are looking to build on better than expected results from last season as each group advanced into the opening round of the state tournament after upset wins in the regional tournament.
For the boys, it marked the first time the team had been to the tournament in recent history and coach Logan Allen will be looking to build on the experience of his returning athletes.
For the Lady Tigers, the tournament appearance marked the culmination of three careers and Head Coach Stefanie Gibbs faces the challenge of replacing that talent and leadership headed into the 2020 season.
“I lost three seniors last year,” Gibbs said. “In order to be competitive in our region schedule, it will take finding the right partnerships for my doubles teams and getting my singles players to be more aggressive on the court.”
DCHS soccer is and is expected to be a premier program in the region and both the Tigers and the Lady Tigers will be looking to continue the tradition of success that continued in 2019.
For both teams 2020 will be somewhat of a rebuilding year as the boys look to recover from the loss of 12 seniors, 7 of whom started, and the girls will be missing 5 starters including last year’s player of the year MacKenzie Kimbarl.
“Tryouts start on January 13,” boy’s Head Coach Patrick Muenchen said. “We have an excellent schedule this year with 11 varsity home games. We have a preseason match on Jan 31 vs White County and our season opener at Forsyth Central on Feb. 4.”
Track and Field
No spring teams had the success of the 2019 track and field teams under Head Coach Aaron Haynes.
The 2020 boys’ return as the reigning regional champions and sporting an amazing 22-0 regular season record having completed their second straight undefeated season.
The girls come into the year on the heels of their own undefeated season as the runners-up in region 7-AAA.
Unlike the other spring programs, track and field does not hold formal try-outs, relying more on an attrition system to finalize the roster. Currently, 53 boys and 50 girls from grades 8-12 have signed up for the team which Haynes anticipates will be narrowed down to between 75-85 kids at the beginning of the season.
“Undefeated will be tough, but even though we graduated some big points last year, we had a strong core group right behind them that were just waiting their turn,” Haynes said. “Having said that, both the girls and the boys could come close to the same success as last year, but it will be harder to come by this season until they mature as athletes.”
Looking to bounce back from a 2019 season that saw the Tigers miss the regional tournament by one game, the Dawson County baseball team will be relying on the experience of the returning players from last year.
With 22 players from all levels of the program expected to return in 2020, Head Coach Dwayne Sapp “hopes that will translate into a more mature team.”
“We gained experience, but we are still very young in key spots,” Sapp said. “Hopefully, some of the young pitchers and less experienced guys will use the playing time from last year to elevate their game. We need everyone to play up to their potential.”
The Tigers will be hosting tryouts for the 2020 season beginning the week of Jan. 13.