Southeast High School Raiders

August 30, 2013

Chris Whitfield: Mystique is a powerful part of prep game

I’ll be the first to admit I never really understood this whole Dalton High School “mystique” when it comes to football.

I’ve been covering prep football in Georgia for more than two decades and have a grasp of what the sport is like in most parts of the state. I know — and have covered — true dynasties over those years.

Buford has won state five of the past six years and eight times since 2001. Thomas County Central won five of six titles from 1992 to 1997. West Rome captured four straight from 1982 to 1985. Valdosta hasn’t won state since 1998, but the Wildcats are still at the top of the list for Georgia High School Association titles with 21 — that’s seven more than second-place Lincoln County, which has nine championships since 1985.

Camden County, Charlton County, Lowndes, Northside-Warner Robins, Parkview, Washington County — those are teams I think of as the best of the best in Georgia prep football.

Dalton? Well, the view from outside northwest Georgia is that Dalton is a good program with a winning tradition that will occasionally make a splash on the statewide stage.

That isn’t a slam against the Catamounts, but when looking at Dalton from outside of the region, the school’s football reputation takes a hit because of its surroundings. Besides Calhoun and Ridgeland as of late, the rest of northwest Georgia football just isn’t that good.

But after seeing the way the Ringgold Tigers and their fans celebrated so jubilantly last Friday night at Harmon Field following their 33-27 triple-overtime win against the Cats, I understand it a little bit more. The win by the Tigers wasn’t just a win over the 2013 edition of the Cats, it was a win over all the other Dalton teams that had beaten Ringgold 43 times in 44 meetings — often decisively — going into last week’s matchup. It was like those teams that beat Alabama during the time between Gene Stallings and Nick Saban, because in their minds they were not only beating the current Crimson Tide teams but gaining a win over the “mystique” of Bear Bryant.

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Southeast High School Raiders
  • 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

  • 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

  • State soccer: Raiders come up a goal short

    GAINESVILLE — Southeast Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team needed at least one break to go its way against Johnson-Gainesville in Tuesday’s Class 4A state semifinals.
    Even when the Raiders believed they had earned a break, they didn’t receive the credit.

    May 14, 2014

  • Lumpkin at SE soccer 1 mlh.jpg Prep boys soccer: Different routes for Dalton, SE

    The boys soccer teams at Dalton and Southeast Whitfield high schools are eyeing a return to the Class 4A state title game.
    But while they share a common ambition, the routes the Catamounts and Raiders must take to reach the championship on May 17 at Kennesaw State University are taking a different turn tonight.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • SE signing 1 CW.jpg Prep volleyball: SE libero Paloblanco to Temple

    In volleyball, the libero position is limited to playing on the back row and specializes in defensive contributions.
    Southeast Whitfield High School senior Yasmeen Paloblanco wasn’t limited in what she meant to the Lady Raiders, though, and her ability to excel as a libero is helping her remain on the court as she heads to college.

    May 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • harper signing1.jpg Challenges met

    Since he was very young, Southeast Whitfield High School senior Rhett Harper has often had a ball in his hand, with another game to play or a practice somewhere on his calendar.

    April 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hopkins sisters 2 mlh.jpg Sectionals for sisters

    TUNNEL HILL — When you consider all of the hours of practice, all of the years of gymnastics training and the physical demands of being a cheerleader, the last word you would expect to hear an athlete use to describe herself is “lazy.”

    April 26, 2014 1 Photo