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_DHS Swimming 6 mlh.jpg Todd leaving DHS swim after 16 years

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Carlile signing 3 mlh.jpg Carlile gets a chance to grind

    As Dylan Carlile saw more and more of his peers receiving offers from college wrestling programs, he became nervous.
    The Dalton High School grappler had nothing to worry about, because when the time came, he had his choice.

    May 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • daltongirls.JPG Dalton girls finish second in Class 4A

    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.
    “There is just one more place left to win,” Dalton coach Nancy Hallsworth said. “They have the time ahead of them to do it.”

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • dhs bass signing1.jpg Nelson keeps a tight line

    Multiple high school athletes from the area sign scholarships each year for baseball, basketball, football, softball, volleyball and many other sports.
    Bass fishing scholarships? There aren’t many of those.

    May 20, 2014 1 Photo