Not a whole lot has changed in a year.
Southeast Whitfield High School’s volleyball team is still racking up wins against Dalton and Northwest Whitfield, and the Lady Raiders once again enter next week’s Area 7-4A tournament riding high.
Southeast swept a pair of matches Tuesday at home, beating Northwest 25-10, 25-21 and topping Dalton 25-21, 25-20. The Lady Bruins beat the Lady Catamounts 25-23, 25-18 in the other match as all three squads finished their area schedules and await other match results from Tuesday to determine seeding for the tournament, which will be held at Heritage-Catoosa.
Southeast (24-10, 5-2) won the Area 7-3A title in 2011 and the Area 7-4A crown last season before making a run to the Class 4A state semifinals, the deepest postseason push ever for any program in Murray or Whitfield counties.
By winning their final two area matches this season, the Lady Raiders assured themselves of at least a No. 3 seed entering the area tournament — losses to Heritage and Ridgeland mean they might not be seeded any better than that — and gave Southeast a boost of confidence as the postseason comes near.
“We have people who are stepping up if someone is struggling,” said Lady Raiders coach Bethany Kenemer, who’s in her first season leading the team. “I told them, ‘Imagine if we’re all playing up at the same time.’”
Dalton (6-24) went 3-4 in area play, while Northwest (20-16) went 4-3. The top four finishers in the area tournament will earn a spot in the Class 4A state tournament.
Southeast led most of the way during its first set versus Dalton and finished it with a kill from Wendy Perez. The second game took a bit longer to complete because Lady Cats coach Joey Wills and some of the players complained about Southeast fans calling out their names and numbers.
“It’s great to have a loud atmosphere, but you can’t call out opposing players by name,” Wills said.
After a meeting with the head official, Kenemer asked the fans to continue cheering without those calls.
“I think they listened to me, because I didn’t hear anything from then on,” Kenemer said.
With the second set tied at 20, Southeast began playing better and scored five straight points. Angie Purkey assisted Serena Ramsey for four kills, including the match winner, and Tania Lopez had an ace during the run.
Playing in loud atmospheres — and playing competitive matches like the ones Tuesday — only will benefit the Lady Raiders, Ramsey said.
“I think the more experience we get playing good teams, the more we’ll grow and get better,” she said.
Not a whole lot has changed in a year.
- Christian Heritage School Lions
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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