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Coahulla Creek High School Colts

July 7, 2013

The War on the Turf

Top teams to battle for 2013 crown

High school football teams from several states will converge on Dalton next weekend for the third edition of The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, presented by AstroTurf, with one final goal in mind.

A title.

For one team, that goal will be realized soon by winning this year’s tournament and following in the footsteps of previous champions Bob Jones of Madison, Ala., (2011) and Cartersville (2012).

For the rest of the squads in this weekend’s competition against schools from near and far, their hope is that this tournament is just one step on their journey to a title of their own — of the region, district or even state variety.

The action begins on Saturday with six pools of play taking place at four different locations. Harmon Field, Christian Heritage and the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department’s James Brown Park and Mack Gaston Community Center. Sunday will feature consolation and championship brackets.

Every team at the Southeastern is looking to take its own steps. For some, it’s about looking for that perfect leader to take the rest of his team to a higher level.

For others it will be about solidifying the parts of a receiving corps to make an offense operate at peak performance. And for some it may be about finding that lockdown corner who is the final piece of a championship puzzle.

“We will have a battle at free safety, and we have about four kids competing for one linebacker spot,” Griffin coach Steve Devoursney said. “It will be a good time to see how they work in passing situations and get a gauge of where we stand heading into the fall.”

They all have a journey, whether it is the beginning or the middle or the end. The journey is ongoing.  

Some teams are at the Southeastern for the first time. Others are veterans of the competition.

Fletcher coach Josh Corey has brought his team back again — the Senators made the trip from Neptune Beach, Fla. — for the competition and the bonding experience it provides.

“We had a great experience when we came up to Dalton last year for the first time,” Corey said. “It was a first-class event all the way. I’m just really impressed with their organization. The people are very friendly. ... We throw with some of the schools around here. However, the tournaments are not organized. Dalton will be our only organized tournament of the summer.”

Chad Frazier has taken over during the offseason at Villa Rica, and in his first season as coach, he sees this year’s Southeastern as a test for his new charges.

“I thought going to the Southeastern would be perfect for us,” he said. “We are doing some things early where I feel like we are playing some folks who we match up with well and are competitive with. We wanted to do that early because when we get to Dalton it will be game on. Knowing the quality of competition that is going to be there was a big draw for us.”

Competition is a key word for all of the coaches in this year’s event, which starts with pool play on Saturday before moving to brackets on Sunday. Whether their team is stacked with returning starters or players within the team are competing for starting positions, the competition is the key.

“Seven-on-seven is very helpful,” said Lee Carter, who’s entering his second season as coach at Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Ala. “It allows you to see which kids are going to compete. When you’re doing seven-on-sevens, you’re playing games back to back. I’ve done some where we’ve played 12 games in a day. It gives you an early view of who is coachable.”

And it gives a view of who can rise to the competition.

“The caliber of competition our guys will see up there is what I’m looking for,” said Shane Boggs, coach of Brookwood School in Thomasville. “We want to put our kids in summer situations where there is very little margin for error. I’m excited about it.”

That excitement has drawn teams from all across the Southeast and beyond. One of those is Faith Academy, which will travel 420 miles from Mobile, Ala., to the Carpet Capital of the World.

“We punched in some dates and checked things out on the Internet,” Mason said. “The Southeastern came up and we looked into it for teams we might know of. We thought it would be an awesome experience to go against some good opponents and see some really good talent.”

— Compiled by Chris Whitfield, Devin Golden, Larry Fleming, Doug Hawley and Lindsey Derrick

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Coahulla Creek High School Colts
  • 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

  • s-CCHS softball 8.jpg On a mission

    The local girls who visited the Dominican Republic last week on a mission trip through Score International tell a matching story.
    Toward the end of a visit to Pasitos de Jesus, a girls orphanage in Boca Chica, the children began singing the Gospel song “Mighty to Save” to their visitors.
    “It sent chills down your spine,” said Kala Franks, a rising senior at Coahulla Creek High School. “I felt they were ministering to me rather than us ministering to them.”

    June 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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

  • s-Foxx file 1 mlh.jpg Creek’s Champ

    Before there were any attempts in the high jump finals Thursday at the Class 3A boys track and field state high school meet at Jefferson High School’s Memorial Stadium, there was some trash talking.
    Coahulla Creek assistant coach Eric Bishop said one of the competitors approached top-seeded Josh Foxx, a Coahulla Creek junior, and told Foxx he was about to run into a wolf.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Good day sends Dalton boys to state golf tourney

    With a spot in the Class 4A state tournament on the line, Dalton High School’s golf team put together one of its best rounds this season on a course coach Hunter Johnston said was as demanding as any the Catamounts had played this year.

    May 6, 2014

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    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

  • Hopkins sisters 2 mlh.jpg Sectionals for sisters

    TUNNEL HILL — When you consider all of the hours of practice, all of the years of gymnastics training and the physical demands of being a cheerleader, the last word you would expect to hear an athlete use to describe herself is “lazy.”

    April 26, 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