Dalton High School Catamounts

May 30, 2013

Southeast hires one coach; another expected soon

Southeast Whitfield High School could have its new boys basketball coach by next week, and the expected hire is someone who has plenty of experience watching the Raiders play.

Also, the Southeast volleyball program — one of the school’s most successful teams in recent history — will be led by someone who knows the Lady Raiders well.

Southeast athletic director Mark Lentych said the school will ask the Whitfield County Board of Education to approve longtime Dalton High School assistant Jim Case for a teaching job at Southeast. If he is approved as a teacher, he will be named coach, as recommended by Southeast Principal Karey Williams and Lentych. Also, Lentych said Bethany Kenemer is the new Lady Raiders volleyball coach after spending seven seasons as an assistant in the program.

Both positions opened last month when Jake Dickey resigned to take a job as the West Forsyth High School volleyball coach.

Lentych said the decision to make Kenemer the coach happened a couple weeks ago but the school has been trying to find a teaching position at Southeast. She has been teaching at Eastbrook Middle School, part of Southeast’s feeder system.

Since Case is an employee in a different school system, he must first be approved as a teacher before being named a coach. Southeast did not need to seek any board approval before naming Kenemer the head volleyball coach, because she already is a Whitfield County School system employee and would have been named volleyball coach even if she remained at Eastbrook.

“She was highly recommended by Jake,” Lentych said of Kenemer. “You can tell she already has that bond with the kids. There were a lot of things that made that decision very easy.”

Kenemer didn’t have any volleyball coaching experience when she joined the Southeast volleyball program seven years ago at the same time Dickey took over as coach after serving one season as an assistant. In those seven seasons, the Lady Raiders emerged as a top program in Northwest Georgia. They reached the second round of the state tournament four times, won the first area titles in program history in 2011 and 2012, won at least 25 matches each season and at least 30 matches twice.

This past season, Southeast reached the Class 4A state semifinals, the deepest run in program history. The team lost three players to graduation — McKayla Burse; Hannah Graham, The Daily Citizen’s 2012 All-Area Volleyball Player of the Year; and Megan Collins, who earned the same honor as Graham in 2011.

Kenemer said she told the team about the news this week.

“They were definitely very excited,” she said. “They were worried someone would come in who didn’t know them and didn’t know Southeast. So I think it was a relief for them that I was taking over the program and we’d continue in that same direction.”

Volleyball programs at public high schools in Whitfield County face an uphill battle in that their feeder schools don’t have programs and players often start without much experience. Kenemer said she and Dickey had a strategy to combat this.

“Coach Dickey and I in the spring do middle school workouts twice a week,” Kenemer said. “We let any Valley Point or Eastbrook middle schooler come to Southeast for workouts.

“We’ve got to get girls exposure so they start playing as early as possible.”

While Kenemer becomes the leader of a program accustomed to success, the new boys basketball coach has a lot of history to reverse. Southeast finished 7-70 in three years under Dickey, including 4-22 this past season. The team was without standout three-sport athlete Rhett Harper for all of the season due to an anterior cruciate ligament tear suffered toward the end of the football season. Chaz Payne, a sophomore, led the Raiders in points (11) and rebounds (11) per game.

Case has been an assistant at Dalton for the past 11 seasons, working for girls coach Jeff McKinney for the first four and boys coach Mike Duffie for the past seven. Dalton’s boys finished 19-8 and were the Region 7-4A runners-up this past season. Case also was an assistant for Dalton’s tennis program.

“He’s the name we’re recommending to the board,” said Lentych, who did not want to speak further about Case before he is approved by the board.

Dalton won all seven of its meetings with Southeast over the past three seasons.

“I’m not totally familiar with all of the features of the (Southeast) program,” Case said. “I am familiar with how we played and scouted them.”

Aside from the Whitfield County board approving the hire, Dalton Public Schools also must release Case from his contract with the school system before he can move to another, Lentych. Dalton’s board meets June 10.

Case said the opportunity “came out of the blue.”

“My wife was looking at things on the website and saw there was a head basketball coach position,” he said. “She asked, ‘What do you think?’ ... My wife and I are believers that God opens up doors for us and we took it.”

Case’s experience before Dalton includes assisting at Cleveland (Tenn.) High School and one year as head coach at West Coast Christian College in Fresno, Calif., where he graduated. He said a change from Dalton to Southeast would be “an 11-year habit” he must get rid of.

“It’s a great group of people,” Case said of Dalton. “I met some fantastic people, coaches, teachers and administrators. They know a lot of people at Southeast and were very complimentative of one another.”

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