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Three Tigers sign to play football
S-Football signings
Principal Richard Crumley and Dawson County football coaching staff joined Andrew Goley, from left, Hunter Mitchell and A.J. Maner as they signed to play football at the collegiate level last week. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

Dawson County High School had three of its Tiger football players sign to continue play at the next level during a joint event last week.

"This is historic for us, to have three quality athletes going to three quality schools," said Athletic Director Grady Turner.

Seniors Andrew Goley, A.J. Maner and Hunter Mitchell all made commitments during the April 15 ceremony.

"They are a great bunch of young men. To be able to adapt in one year to a new system, a new coaching staff, and then to have the success they had, it just tells you the type of young men they are," said Dawson County High School Head Football Coach Sid Maxwell.

Goley signed to play football at Union College in Kentucky.

"They always say big-time players make big-time plays. I had the fortune of watching Andrew grow into the player that he is...he got better each game and he is one of the main reasons we continued into the Elite Eight," Maxwell said.

Goley has played football for 12 years.

"It means a lot because I didn't think I was going to go to college and play football," he said.

Goley's mom April, brother Austin and sister Alana were on hand to support him.

"He's went through a lot losing his dad," Goley's mom said. "He has really stepped up and been the man of the house. I'm really proud of him."

"I watched him the all-star game against the best from Fulton County and Forsyth schools and he was a star on the field," Maxwell said.

A.J. Maner will be attending The Apprentice School in Newport News, Va. It is a vocational school where Maner will learn the ins and outs of shipbuilding while he plays football.

"I was first trying to decide if I would get on a ship that he built," said Principal Richard Crumley while congratulating Maner on his accomplishments.

"This opportunity presented itself and it's unbelievable. There is nowhere you can go in this country and get a college education and come out with no debt as well as be paid to go to school and be paid to play something you love to play," said Maner's mom, Chris.

"It's more work, school, then football. My goal is to go in there and exceed in all three aspects," Maner said.

Chris Maner says it will be difficult to have A.J. so far away but plans on maybe getting an apartment nearby where she can see him as much as possible.

"Everything starts up front," Maxwell said about Maner. "We would not have gotten as far as we have gotten without AJ's leadership."

Senior Hunter Mitchell signed to play for Huntingdon College in Alabama.

The running back racked up 1,300 yards his senior season despite not being a starter until the third game in.

"As we journeyed through the season and we had some injuries go down at running back. I wish I had the foresight to put him in there earlier, but we didn't. Luck went our way and we put him in I think he started game three," Maxwell said about the prolific runner. "He has great vision."

Mitchell's mom Christy was emotional as she waited for her opportunity to speak about Hunter.

"I just watched God do some really amazing things this year and how you pushed through a tragic event that happened to our family. I watched God just pour his blessings on you. I believe God has really big plans for you and I believe he's going to use you at this school," she said.

Mitchell said he wished he'd been able to play longer under Maxwell's guidance.

"Maybe it's not the biggest college, but it's where I am supposed to be," he said.