Dalton High School Catamounts

February 8, 2014

Area of domination

Teams look to match 2013’s stellar campaigns

(Continued)

North Murray

The Mountaineers helped solidify the area’s soccer reputation last season as they won the Region 5-3A title — a year after winning the Region 7-2A crown — and advanced to the second round of the Class 3A state tournament.

But it only left the team wanting more after feeling like they squandered what they felt should have been a deeper run.

It was the third year in a row the Mountaineers had advanced to the second round or beyond at state, and there is a bigger hunger for more this season after a 15-3 record in 2013.

“I think we are poised to make another run at region champs again, and the boys are excited to hopefully try for a deep run at state,” North Murray coach Matt Chambers said.

The Mountaineers are led by do-everything midfielder Ismael Cruz, but they return the area’s best goalie from last season — junior Manuel Gonzalez. An all-area selection in 2013, Gonzalez finished the year with 84 saves and helped the team in 10 shutouts.

Gonzalez isn’t alone, either — the team will have 14 seniors, with any of the front seven capable of scoring multiple goals on any given night.

For the girls, 2013 was definitely a rebuilding year with an underclassmen-dominated team that included three freshmen starters. It showed as well with a 1-14 record, but by the end of the season, the Lady Mountaineers were a much more competitive team.

This season, coach Justin Frazier expect those difficult times from last year to pay off.

“At the beginning of the 2013 season, we were losing in blowouts, but by the halfway point we were losing close games to top teams in the region,” he said. “Continuing on that momentum, we expect to move past the competitive status reached by the end of the last season to now be a formidable challenger.”

The team will still be young with only two seniors, led by Jennifer Sanchez, who started as a defensive back last year. The large junior class will feature wing Jessica Rangel, midfielders Victoria Jacobo and Leigha Taylor, defender Leslie Rangel, utility player Megan Pittman and keeper Amber Bandy.

“With a nearly full starting lineup returning to the field, along with great new talent added at various grade levels, the team has depth and experience which were sorely lacking last year,” Frazier said. “Going from a team of newbies to a team of veterans should make a big difference this season.”

North Murray’s season opens its season Feb. 25 against visiting Ringgold.

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Dalton High School Catamounts
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    Throughout his 17 years with the Carpet Capital Aquatic Club and his 16 years with the Dalton High and Dalton Middle School swim programs, Charles Todd has received looks and offers from other areas.
    But with his youngest child Chase still in school and his wife playing a major role in the Whitfield County Division of Family and Children Services, Todd wasn’t looking to make a move.

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Wil Cushman 3 mlh.jpg Cushman’s gamble is paying off

    Wil Cushman never had to worry about establishing his high school’s swimming and diving program. Dalton already had a full roster and championship history.
    His first two years at Birmingham Southern University, though, have been all about making sure the beginning wasn’t the end.

    June 28, 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

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    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

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    As Dylan Carlile saw more and more of his peers receiving offers from college wrestling programs, he became nervous.
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    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

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    In the Class 4A girls state golf tournament last year, the Dalton High School team finished third at Nob North Golf Course. Monday, playing in the state championship at Waynesboro Country Club, the Lady Catamounts finished second by just two strokes.
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    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

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    Multiple high school athletes from the area sign scholarships each year for baseball, basketball, football, softball, volleyball and many other sports.
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    May 20, 2014 1 Photo