Southeast High School Raiders

November 1, 2013

Prep football: Playoff possibilities aplenty

Raiders still have a shot at postseason

Thanks to a little help last week, Southeast Whitfield can still take a straightforward path to the high school football state playoffs.

But to travel that road, the Raiders first must move a Big Red bulldozer out of the way.

Southeast takes on Dalton tonight at Harmon Field in a Sub-region 7B-4A matchup that won’t affect the host Catamounts (6-2, 4-0) in the postseason picture but will have plenty of implications for the Raiders (4-4, 2-2).

The Cats clinched the sub-region title last week, assuring themselves of a spot in next week’s Region 7-4A title game as well as the right to host in the opening round of the state playoffs. With a win tonight, Southeast will finish as the sub-region’s No. 3 seed and earn a spot in next week’s region crossover games that will determine the region’s final two berths for the state playoffs.

The No. 2 team from each of 7-4A’s sub-regions will play the No. 3 team from the other next week, with the winners advancing to state and the losers done for the season.

In other games tonight involving teams in Murray and Whitfield counties, Christian Heritage travels to Trion in Sub-region 6A-A play, Murray County hosts Pepperell in Region 7-2A competition, Coahulla Creek visits North Murray in a Region 5-3A contest and Northwest Whitfield welcomes LaFayette in another Sub-region 7B-4A clash.

Southeast is alone in third place in the sub-region standings despite last week’s 45-28 loss to Northwest. The reason why is because previously winless LaFayette beat Ridgeland 32-29.

“Oh man, what a nice surprise that was,” Raiders coach Sean Gray said. “It’s about time we got some help down here at Southeast.”

It might not be the end of Gray and the Raiders hoping for breaks. If they lose tonight, they can still finish as the sub-region’s No. 3 team and have the chance to earn a spot in the postseason for the first time since 1986.

To make that happen with a loss to the Cats, the Raiders need Heritage-Catoosa to beat Ridgeland — which beat Southeast this year — tonight. Southeast and Heritage both would have 2-3 records, but the Raiders would clinch third because of their victory against Heritage earlier this season. The same would be true if LaFayette also finishes 2-3 in sub-region play.

“I don’t know how long it has been since Southeast has had this opportunity,” Dalton safety Nathan Bryant said, “but they will be extra fired up for this game.”

Bryant is part of a defense that has three shutouts in its past six games. The Cats will try to stop Southeast’s two-quarterback offense, with senior Rhett Harper in power-run formations and sophomore Will Swantic manning the shotgun spread. The latter threw two touchdowns and ran for another against the Bruins last week.

“I think things are starting to go in Southeast’s favor,” Raiders offensive lineman Matt Cloer said.

The Cats may not have postseason worries on their mind, but they are playing for a seven-game winning streak entering the region championship — they’ll face the winner of tonight’s Gilmer-Cedartown game next Friday — and looking to stretch a 31-1 series lead over a neighboring school.

Dalton coach Matt Land said he plans to use his starters against Southeast like any other game.

“Are we cautious with how we play certain people? Absolutely,” Land said. “As the game goes on, you realize the ebb and flow. ... When a game gets sloppy, that’s when you have to be careful.”

Junior running back Kelvis Rhodes has 726 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on 91 carries. Eder Mora leads Dalton from his safety/linebacker hybrid spot in tackles (112), forced fumbles (3) and recovered fumbles (2). He also has three interceptions, punts and sees the occasional snap at fullback.

“Mora is an outstanding athlete,” Gray said. “They move him around so you never know where he’s going to be.”

Text Only
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