Dalton High School Catamounts

March 7, 2014

Prep football: Cats will kick off in Alabama

Faced with a scheduling quandary after going through three different rounds of region realignment by the Georgia High School Association, Dalton High School football coach Matt Land relied on his Auburn University ties.

Land said the Catamounts will kick off the 2014 football season taking on a team coached by a former teammate of his with the Tigers.

Former Auburn quarterback and Georgia Tech and University of Miami offensive coordinator Patrick Nix is now the head coach at Scottsboro (Ala.) High School, and the Cats will travel there on Aug. 22 for the season opener.

The GHSA gave approval to the out-of-state game earlier this week. It is the first time that Dalton has played an out-of-state opponent since beating Chattanooga’s McCallie School 21-7 in 1988, according to the Georgia High School Football Historians Association website (ghsfha.org). Georgia and Tennessee high schools go through reclassification and scheduling every two years and are not in sync with those cycles. Alabama and Georgia high schools both go through reclassification in odd-numbered years.

“Both teams were sort of in the same boat with some uncertainty in our scheduling,” Land said. “They weren’t sure exactly where they were going to be reclassified. Alabama went to seven classifications, but when everything got settled, it was a great opportunity for both programs, I think.”

The teams will play a home-and-home series over the next two seasons with the possibility of more games in the future. This year’s game will kick off at 7 p.m. Central time.

In the latest round of reclassification, Dalton was moved into Class 5A and will lose many of its games against nearby schools, including Southeast Whitfield, Ridgeland and Ringgold. However, the Cats have managed to keep two of their biggest rivals on the schedule in some fashion.

Dalton will scrimmage North-west Whitfield in Tunnel Hill on Aug. 9 — a Saturday — and the Cats’ first home game of the season will be Aug. 29 against Calhoun at Harmon Field, giving Dalton what should be at least one big home gate going into a new Region 7-5A that stretches from Dalton down to north Atlanta.

After the Calhoun game, Dalton will have an open week followed by two home games — a region crossover game against North Atlanta (Sept. 12) and a Sub-region 7A-5A opener with Cass (Sept. 19). The remainder of the schedule is made up of sub-region contests — at Sequoyah (Sept. 26), versus Creekview (Oct. 3), at Rome (Oct. 10), versus River Ridge (Oct. 17) and at Woodland-Bartow (Oct. 24). Dalton will have an open date on Oct. 31 and will play in the region crossover games that determine final region standings (and seedings for state playoffs) in the final game of the regular season on the road on Nov. 7.

In the season opener, the Catamounts will face a Scottsboro team that rebounded in Nix’s first season as head coach. The Wildcats were 7-4 in 2013 after going 2-8 the previous year.

“At the end of the day, it is a great opportunity to gauge where we are as a team,” Land said. “It gives us a great goal in the offseason to work towards that isn’t just an everyday game. I think that it will be fun for both communities. We are so similar as far as football towns with a lot of tradition in each place.”

Like Dalton, Scottsboro won its one state championship in the 1960s, and both have historic programs with Scottsboro celebrating its 100th year of football this season.

Nix was a quarterback at Auburn under coach Terry Bowden from 1992-95 and is the son of former Northside-Warner Robins head coach Conrad Nix, who has a 260-65 record in 27 seasons as a head coach in Georgia. Conrad Nix won state titles at Northside in 2006 and 2007 and is an assistant coach for his son at Scottsboro

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