Christian Heritage School Lions

October 4, 2013

Chris Whitfield: Catamounts will pounce on Panthers

During my career, I have stood on a lot of sidelines and seen a lot of injuries. Those sports fans who are like me and have a little age on them can remember the way Joe Theismann’s leg folded up on him when Lawrence Taylor hit him. We’ve all seen the replays of the Louisville men’s basketball player who snapped his leg in last year’s NCAA tournament.

I’ve seen players get knocked out, watched arms bend in unnatural ways and viewed plays where as you were watching them you told yourself, “This isn’t going to end well.” I’ve even been standing beside a photographer in a state championship game and heard the snap when his leg was broken as he was blindsided on a kickoff return.

Seeing the video replay of Dalton High School quarterback Jase Chastain’s injury at Cass made my joints ache. God bless you, Jase, and all of the other players out there who put their bodies through such pain in the name of a game as valiant representatives of our community.

On to the picks.

Last week, your Guru of Gridiron Guessing was 6-1, taking my season record to 20-8. By tonight, every team in the area will be into either its region or sub-region schedule, so it is time to get serious.

Game of the Week — Ridgeland at Dalton: This isn’t last year’s Ridgeland team or the year before or even the year before that. This is a Ridgeland team that needs to make some sort of statement because right now the Panthers’ statement is that they have lost three of their first four games.

Now, like Dalton, some of Ridgeland’s defeats can be chalked up as “quality” losses, but neither Catamounts coach Matt Land nor Ridgeland coach Mark Mariakis will agree with that. For them, a loss is a loss, and they both expect more from their programs. They don’t believe in moral victories.

For both teams, this could be a defining week. People are wondering which Dalton team is the true Dalton team. Is it the team that did exactly what it was supposed to do against Gilmer and Cass, or is it the team that lost to Ringgold?

Either way, Dalton is a much better team than three weeks ago, and the improvements are showing each Friday. As long as teams can’t stop Kelvis Rhodes, the offense will be just fine.

I’m not ready to raise the “Go Big Red” flag at the top of the region championship pole, but Ridgeland will be taking its flag down this year.

Whit’s Pick: Dalton 35, Ridgeland 14

Northwest Whitfield at Heritage-Catoosa: The other two Sub-region 7B-4A games aren’t very intriguing and should be yawners for their respective fan bases.

Keep chanting my name, Bruins fans! But remember this: a loss this week takes a lot of the swagger out of next week’s game with the Cats.

Whit’s Picks: Northwest 52, Heritage 13

Southeast Whitfield at LaFayette: Taking that long ride to see the Ramblers should be about the only thing that the Raiders have to worry about this week.

If the Raiders can get some consistency on offense and if their defense has shaken its Nick Chubb hangover, Southeast is a viable threat in this sub-region race.

Whit’s Pick: Southeast 34, LaFayette 7

Christian Heritage at Gordon Lee: Two weeks ago, this looked like an intriguing game that perhaps would be a big test for the Lions, and we all know what a bad test-taker Preston Poag was in high school. (How did he ever get into N.C. State?)

But after Gordon Lee’s loss to Whitefield Academy (they spell the name right, by the way), the test has gone from being multiple choice with five essay questions to nothing but true-or-false answers.

Whit’s Pick: Christian Heritage 38, Gordon Lee 13

Gordon Central at Coahulla Creek: It’s time to get win No. 2, Colts, and in Gordon Central you have the perfect guest.

Why wasn’t this the homecoming game?

Whit’s Pick: Coahulla Creek 28, Gordon Central 7

North Murray at Adairsville: North Murray’s chances at making the playoffs took a huge hit with last week’s loss to Sonoraville.

Unfortunately, Mountaineers fans, it doesn’t get much easier as the season plays out.

Whit’s Pick: Adairsville 38, North Murray 21

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen and is sorry he couldn’t agitate Northwest fans more this week. Maybe next week. You can write to him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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Christian Heritage School Lions
  • 7on7 day 2 '14 4 mlh.jpg Top Lion on the court

    Christian Heritage athletic director Preston Poag and headmaster Gerald Porter didn’t need to look far for new baseball and girls basketball coaches.
    All they did was look at one another.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 7on7 championship game6.jpg Bringing in the best

    When high school football coaches look for events to take their teams to during the summer, they are looking for three things — top competition, organization and hospitality.
    For The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, the Dalton community and local business leaders take care of the latter. The tournament officials work tirelessly to provide the organization. And the two combined assure the top competition will show up.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • NW softball state championship file 1 mlh.jpg In the lineup again

    When Northwest Whitfield repeated as the Georgia High School Association Class 4A softball state champion last fall, that appeared to be the last time the majority of the Lady Bruins’ senior class would be teammates on the diamond.
    Now, thanks to the Stump on Sports All-Star Softball Classic, five of those six seniors will reunite to play together one more time.

    June 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Junior golf: Hicks able to hang for final round

    Despite giving up a few strokes from Monday’s opening round of 4-over-par 76, Dalton’s Landon Hicks was the only local competitor to advance to the third round of the Georgia Junior Championships.

    June 18, 2014

  • Isabel Salinas 5 mlh.jpg All-Area Spring Female Team: Salinas hoping things keep getting better and better with age

    Isabel Salinas’ freshman season for Southeast Whitfield High School’s track and field team wasn’t up to her standards, and she really isn’t sure why it ended up that way in 2013. It could have been her injuries. It could have been not being in proper shape.
    One thing Salinas, nicknamed “Izzy” by friends and coaches, does know is that her sophomore year went a lot better.

    June 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • poty seth.jpg All-Area Baseball Team and Player of the Year

    As a freshman at Northwest Whitfield High School, Seth Pierce came out of nowhere and was as dominant a pitcher as the area had. Finishing his “rookie” season with the Bruins, the left-handed Pierce led the area with nine victories — he also had one save — and showed overpowering dominance with a 9-3 record and 89 strikeouts in 73 1/3 innings. He finished his first season on the hill in Tunnel Hill with a 1.71 ERA while allowing 61 hits and 23 walks. Those numbers were also recorded against competition in a higher classification as the Bruins were playing Class 4A ball when the state had just five classifications. His performance earned him honors as 2012 The Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year.

    May 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • s-CHS kid 1 .jpg Dindoffer mentally focused on basketball

    All Sam Dindoffer wanted was to be a kid and play basketball. But sometimes your body doesn’t cooperate.
    For the past four years, Sam and his family have faced one challenge after another since he first experienced a brain seizure at the age of 11. Since then, he has undergone four brain surgeries, a full-range of drug treatment options, many nights filled with wonder and fear, and trips back and forth to doctors’ offices from Dalton to Atlanta.

    May 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • cchs v st pius boys tennis3.jpg Can’t win ’em all: Colts fall to St. Pius X

    VARNELL — Just as in other matches this season, there were handshakes and hugs awaiting the members of Coahulla Creek High School’s boys tennis team as they walked off the court Monday.
    Unfortunately for the Colts, this time they were of the comforting rather than the congratulating variety.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creek girls fall short at Oconee Co.

    In 2013, Coahulla Creek’s girls high school tennis team saw their season end on the road at Oconee County in the first round of the Class 3A state tournament.
    Friday in the second round of this year’s tournament, the Lady Warriors again were the team to end the Coahulla Creek season, taking a 3-0 win in Watkinsville. But coach Matt Facey hopes the second-round loss means the Lady Colts will advance at least to the state quarterfinals next season.

    April 26, 2014

  • DHS at SE soccer 7 mlh.jpg Prep Roundup: Unbeaten streak rolls on for Cats

    Replicating the start of last year’s Class 4A state title match, Dalton High School’s boys soccer team needed just four minutes to score its first goal at Southeast Whitfield on Friday.
    The Catamounts scored five more — and again defended their crown of dominance in the sport.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo