Dalton High School Catamounts

May 15, 2013

State soccer semifinals: Undefeated Dalton welcomes Spalding

One blemish is all that keeps Dalton High School’s boys soccer team’s semifinals opponent from having an undefeated mark like the one sported by the Catamounts.

And one blemish is all that’s needed to ruin a perfect season.

Dalton (20-0) hosts Griffin’s Spalding (18-1) in the Class 4A state semifinals at 6:30 tonight at Harmon Field. Southeast Whitfield (12-4-1) is at Northwest Whitfield (16-5) in the other semifinal at 7 p.m. The winners will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday for the state championship at Kennesaw State University.

Ranked 10th in eurosportscoreboard.com’s Class 4A poll, Spalding finished 10-0 in league play and won the Region 4-4A title. The Jaguars’ only loss was 2-1 on March 9 to Mary Persons, which lost 5-1 to Northwest this past Friday in the quarterfinals. Since the defeat, the Jaguars have won 15 straight games and outscored opponents 46-10. They’ve allowed 12 goals this season while scoring 52.

“They haven’t allowed a lot of goals and have won many games late,” Cats coach Matt Cheaves said.

Dalton, by comparison, has allowed eight goals and scored 122. The Cats hold the No. 1 ranking in Class 4A and the top ranking in maxpreps.com’s national poll. They won the Region 7-4A championship and have beaten the other two semifinalists three times each. In some games, Dalton has taken the air out of opponents by scoring in the opening five minutes of the first or second halves.

Cheaves is certain that won’t have the same effect on the Jaguars.

“I think this team is a fighter,” he said. “I expect them to be the kind of team that is really persistent.”

The Cats, who haven’t trailed in any game this season, won 10-0 and saw the game ended short of regulation time by the mercy rule in the quarterfinals against Jonesboro, a team Spalding beat 1-0 earlier this season. It was Dalton’s sixth mercy-rule win and second of the state tournament — the first came in the first round against Stone Mountain.

Spalding’s state tournament wins are 5-0 versus Westover, 3-2 against Perry and 2-1 over Alexander. The Jaguars have won nine games by one goal, while the Cats’ lone one-goal win came in the second round against Johnson-Gainesville, which trailed 2-0 but scored in the second half and gave Dalton its closest call.

“In soccer, a two-goal lead is a dangerous thing to have,” Cheaves said. “You can have too much confidence and cushion, and momentum is a big thing with teenagers. The momentum from scoring when behind is big. And in seconds, a team can score and the whole nature of a game can change.”

Cheaves wouldn’t give an edge to either side based on the competitiveness of each’s last match.

“That always varies,” he said. “I think it could work for you either way. Sometimes the confidence (of an easy win) can be false, and sometimes you can have an emotional letdown after winning a close game. But every game is different, so we need to do the things we know.

“I think we just need to work hard, execute well and not go into it with the mindset that this will be a mercy rule game. I’m certain they’re a team that won’t give anything away.”

In last year’s Class 3A state tournament, Spalding lost 4-0 in the second round to Carrollton, which then beat Dalton 2-1 in the quarterfinals. In 2011, the Jaguars didn’t reach the playoffs. In 2010, they lost 4-0 in the first round to Cairo.

“(Spalding coach) Scott Henderson has been around the soccer community his entire life, so I expect them to be a very well-coached team,” Cheaves said.

1
Text Only
Dalton High School Catamounts
  • NW at DHS baseball (g3) 1 mlh.jpg Whatever it takes

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team has been successful this season. But at the same time, no one said success would be easy.
    Several times this year, the Bruins have fallen behind early in the first few innings before answering with a rally to ensure the wins keep coming. On Friday, that formula delivered a Sub-region 7B-4A championship for the second year in a row.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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 Roundup: Bruins power past Cats for key victory at home

    TUNNEL HILL — Similar to Wednesday’s Sub-region 7B-4A baseball series opener at Dalton High School, Northwest Whitfield fell behind early Thursday versus the Catamounts.

    April 11, 2014

  • NW at SE baseball 7   mlh.jpg Prep Baseball: Looking for a leader

    Dalton High School baseball coach Shane Ramsey only needed one word to sum up what he expects from this week’s three-game series with Sub-region 7B-4A foe and intracounty rival Northwest Whitfield.
    “Intensity,” he said. “If you can’t get up for this series, then why are you playing?”

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • Wrestler of the year 2014 2 mlh.jpg All-Area Wrestling Team and Wrestler of the Year: Winning another title was the only goal for Wheeler

    When Dalton High School wrestler Sidney Wheeler won a state title for the first time two years ago as a sophomore, he admitted he became a little complacent about what it would take to replicate the feat — perhaps not noticeably so to most observers, but enough to take success for granted. Wheeler believed it a matter of course that he would win state again, and he thought the second title would simply be the middle child in a high school three-peat.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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

  • dhs v lafayette baseball1.jpg Out of control victory

    Dalton and LaFayette high schools are on spring break this week, and on Monday their baseball teams’ pitching took a vacation when it came to throwing strikes.
    The teams combined for 14 walks and four hit batters in a Sub-region 7B-4A game at Dalton, although most of the damage belonged to the host Catamounts, who won 5-4 despite their control problems.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • dhs baseball signing sane1.jpg Prep Baseball: Sane taking his drive to Chattanooga State

    Grant Sane isn’t a player who is concerned with his stats or his individual accomplishments. He is more interested in doing whatever he can do for his Dalton High School baseball team to be successful.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ridgeland at DHS baseball 3 mlh.jpg Sharp enough to win

    Dalton High School freshman pitcher Sam Stepp found himself in a jam a lot during Wednesday’s home game against Ridgeland.
    He always found a way out.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo