Christian Heritage School Lions

September 6, 2013

No easy path to victory

Cats hit road for Calhoun, and Southeast, Coahulla look for 2-0 starts

The last time Dalton High School’s football team started a season with two losses was 1975.

But Catamounts coach Matt Land finds such trivia trivial — especially this early in the season.

“It’s the first time I’ve heard that, so it’s not in our mind,” said Land, a Dalton graduate who was a longtime assistant before taking over as head coach in 2010.

Still, starting with an 0-2 record is a real possibility for Dalton, which heads south to state-level power Calhoun tonight for a cross-classification matchup with the Yellow Jackets at Phil Reeve Stadium. The Cats were off last week after opening the season with a 33-27 triple-overtime loss to Ringgold on Aug. 23.

In tonight’s other games involving area programs, Christian Heri-tage is at Murray County, Coahulla Creek is at Gordon Lee, North Murray hosts Dade County and Southeast Whitfield welcomes Gordon Central.

All kickoffs are at 7:30 p.m.

Calhoun has reached the Class 2A state title game each of the past five seasons — the Yellow Jackets’ lone win during that stretch was in 2011 — and is a unanimous No. 1 in the Georgia Sports Writers Association’s Class 2A poll this week.

On top of that, the Yellow Jackets (1-0) have won four consecutive meetings with Dalton, a Class 4A program.

But just as Land’s not paying much attention to history concerning this year’s Dalton team, neither is Calhoun coach Hal Lamb when it comes to his Yellow Jackets, who kicked off their 2013 schedule last week with a 37-0 thrashing of Ridgeland — which advanced to last year’s Class 4A state championship game.

“First of all, it really doesn’t matter what the records are when these two teams play,” said Lamb, who is in his 15th season at the program and has a record of 158-29 in that time. “It’s a rivalry that goes back a lot longer before I got here.”

That rivalry was long heavily tilted in Dalton’s favor, though. According to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website (ghsfha.org), Dalton leads the all-time series 34-7-1, with Calhoun making up ground by winning five of seven meetings since the rivalry resumed in 2006 after a 17-year layoff.

All of that means little to Dalton and Land, who is ultimately looking toward league play and the goal of a region title. Dalton’s Sub-region 7B-4A schedule begins Oct. 4 at home versus Ridgeland.

“We want to win every game we play, but the reality is our true season — the one that establishes our goal — technically doesn’t start until we play Ridgeland,” Land said.

That doesn’t mean Dalton is happy with losing two weeks ago to Ringgold, the first time that had happened in 30 years.

“The whole team is hungry, especially after a loss to Ringgold,” senior free safety Nathan Bryant said.

Last season, Calhoun won a 55-41 shootout in which Dalton fumbled the opening kickoff to set up an early Yellow Jackets field goal and lead. That loss gave last year’s senior class the dubious distinction of being the first in program history to lose four times to Calhoun. This year’s senior group faces the same potential outcome.

“We don’t want to be another (class) to lose each time to them,” senior cornerback Chris Childs said. “We hurt ourselves with mistakes on special teams.”

Special teams were costly against Ringgold, too. Two blocked extra-point attempts and a blocked punt are part of the reason for that bad taste. Land said the team works on special teams 15-25 minutes each practice. He also said that the time wasn’t increased during the past two weeks’ practices.

Kelvis Rhodes, Dalton’s junior running back who gained more than 1,500 yards as a sophomore, didn’t dress out against Ringgold because of a lingering injury from the offseason. Land classified him as a “game-time decision” for the second straight game and did not make him available for comment. Wide receiver Tyler Britton, a junior, has a broken growth plate and also is questionable.

In Rhodes’ absence, sophomore Tyler Noland started at tailback and rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries

“I don’t know the status on the kid but we’re going to plan for him to be there,” Lamb said of Rhodes, who scored six touchdowns in last year’s game. “Their offense is not going to change.”

Text Only
Christian Heritage School Lions
  • 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

  • Prep Baseball Roundup: Raiders out of hunt for the playoffs

    Needing a win to keep Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball season meaningful, Raiders coach Brad Lofton turned to a pair of senior pitchers on Friday at Heritage-Catoosa.
    The seniors didn’t disappoint, but it was the offense and the defense that couldn’t come through.

    April 12, 2014

  • Prep Roundup: Dalton golf teams in form at Fields Ferry

    Even in wet and muddy conditions, both the Dalton High School boys and girls golf teams are sharpening their games at the right time.
    With the Region 7-4A tournament scheduled in two weeks, both the Catamounts and the Lady Cats finished second during play at the Fields Ferry Invitational in Calhoun on Monday. Despite the soggy conditions, Dalton’s Jacob Brown tied for medalist honors with a 2-over par 74 to lead the Cats to a 313 combined score in the six-play, four-score format. Dalton finished three strokes behind tournament winner LaFayette.

    April 8, 2014

  • Prep Roundup: Behr finds his stroke in Vidalia

    Dalton High School golfer Allen Behr shot a 3-under-par 69 during the second day of the Indian Invitational in Vidalia to lead the Catamounts to a top-10 finish in the event Saturday.

    April 6, 2014

  • chs v mount pisgah baseball2.jpg What they’re looking for

    The problems that have been plaguing Christian Heritage School’s baseball team finally plagued the other team.
    The Lions took advantage of three crucial Mount Pisgah Christian errors, and the visiting Patriots couldn’t get the timely hit when they needed it as the Lions took a much-needed 5-3 win Monday night.

    March 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup: SE offense keeps foot on throttle

    As long as Southeast Whitfield High School’s baseball team continues to hit the ball and score runs the way it has so far this season, it really won’t matter what the defense does.
    Coach Brad Lofton still likes how the Raiders’ fielding is improving.

    March 11, 2014

  • NM at DHS baseball   1  mlh.jpg Prep Roundup: A little bit of momentum

    Neither Dalton High School baseball coach Shane Ramsey nor North Murray coach David Redmond has had much reason to complain about their offensive production this season.
    Defense is another matter.

    March 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Colts sweep Warriors

    Martin Garcia had a goal and two assists to help lead Coahulla Creek’s boys soccer team to a 7-1 victory in Region 5-3A play Thursday night at Gordon Central.

    February 20, 2014

  • Weather still shuffling schedules

    The Region 7-4A high school basketball tournaments were pushed back to a Friday start on Tuesday.
    Region 7-2A followed suit Wednesday, but Region 5-3A is still up in the air for playing games today.

    February 13, 2014

  • Region tourney basketball games called off for Monday

    The Region 6-A, 7-2A and Region 7-4A high school basketball tournament games have been called off today due to the threat of bad weather and dangerous travel conditions. Games scheduled for today in regions 7-2A and 7-4A will be played Tuesday, weather permitting.
    Region 6-A takes a whole different look.

    February 10, 2014