Christian Heritage School Lions

November 8, 2013

Region title, state dreams

Act II of Dalton-Gilmer in Ellijay for championship

Over the past four seasons, Dalton High School and Gilmer have struck up a nice rivalry as tonight’s meeting between the two football teams will be the sixth in the last four seasons.

And even though Dalton has won four of those previous five meetings, Gilmer won the only game between the two with a playoff spot on the line, beating Dalton 15-13 in 2010 to deny the Catamounts a trip to the state playoffs.

Tonight, both teams are assured of making the state playoffs, but the Region 7-4A title and the opportunity to host through at least the first two rounds of the playoffs are at stake.

“This one is definitely the biggest game between us,” Gilmer coach Wesley Tankersley said. “Although we have only won one, it has been a big rivalry since we won four years ago. You know that it is always going to be a hard-hitting and well-played football game when these two teams meet."

In other games tonight, Northwest Whitfield travels to Pickens in a Region 7-4A play-in game with the winner advancing to the state playoffs, North Murray is at Gordon Central in a game with Class 3A state playoff implications and Christian Heritage travels to Roswell to take on Fellowship Christian in a game which will affect the final Class A private school power ratings. Also, Southeast Whitfield is at Cass, Coahulla Creek travels to Adairsville and Murray County is at Coosa.

Dalton (7-2) is playing for its first region title since 2007, and coach Matt Land said his team expects the game to be a true “championship” bout.

“I enjoy playing teams like Gilmer,” Land said. “They are a team that is going to do what they do. We have a lot of respect for Gilmer. It is a fun game, and you know that you are going to face someone like it is a prize fight, going toe-to-toe and fist-to-fist. Our kids like that style, and I am sure Gilmer likes that style. It fits both school’s blue-collar mentality.”

This is the second meeting between the two teams this season with Dalton taking a 31-0 win over the Bobcats (8-1) in the third game of the year. The contest marked the return of running back Kelvis Rhodes from injury and saw Gilmer quarterback Chris James leave the game early with an injury. Land said the previous meeting will have no bearing on tonight’s game.

“There is as little correlation from that game to today as comparing apples to bicycles,” Land said. “Both teams have matured since that game. Both teams have become more balanced. They have changed, and we have changed. This game will be a completely different game from the first game.”

Tankersley agreed.

“It has been a good progression for us from that game,” Tankersley said. “We will definitely find out (tonight) just how far we have come. We started out the year with a lot of unknowns, and even looking at Dalton at that time, we had a lot of unknowns. We have progressed a lot, but they have progressed as well. It will be a great game.”

Since his injury, James and Thaddeus Bowers have shared time under center for the Bobcats, but the driving force of the offense is fullback Tyler Bertolini.

On the other side of the ball, linebacker Austin Cole is the leading tackler.

Gilmer is coming off a 38-35 win over Cedartown, which decided the Sub-region 7A title. Dalton hasn’t been challenged since winning 31-28 over rival Northwest Whitfield on a game-ending field goal on Oct. 11. The Cats have given up three points and posted three shutouts in their last four games.

“Although there are some different things that we do, our styles are similar,” Tankersley said. “We have started to throw the ball more, but most of our passes — and the same for them — are based off of the run game and what the other team is going to give you. We both place a big emphasis on the defensive side of the ball.”

Text Only
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