Sports Columns

February 4, 2013

What's Going On: Lacrosse to take a huge step forward

Mike Sanderson has been a man on a mission for the past two years, and his dreams of Dalton becoming a hub of lacrosse activity is taking another leap forward.

A native of Alabama, Sanderson fell in love with the sport when he was in college, and he has had a passion for lacrosse ever since. Now a marketing manager for Shaw Inc., Sanderson has wanted to share that passion, and soon the city will have a competitive team for boys ages 11 to 13.

Registration is continuing through the week with the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department (myDPRD.com), and Sanderson, who will serve as the coach of the team, will conduct a parent’s meeting on Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m. at John Davis Recreation Center. Because of an equipment grant and donation from US LaCrosse, the inaugural season will not cost participants.

“My objective is to have a committed group of young men wanting to learn how to play lacrosse and compete against other programs,” Sanderson said in an email earlier this week.

The season will begin March 9 and will run through the beginning of April and practices will be held on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays with games on Saturdays. For more information, contact Sanderson at (706) 313-2077 or through email at mike.sanderson@shawinc.com.

Here is a look at what else is going on around the sporting landscape this week.

• For the winter high school sports, boys and girls basketball regular seasons will wind down this week, while swimming marks its state competition and area wrestlers head to traditional West sectional tournaments.

Area swimmers who have qualified for state will travel to Atlanta on Friday for the start of the Class A-5A state swimming and diving meet at Georgia Tech’s aquatic center with the finals scheduled for Saturday afternoon. Last year, Dalton’s boys were the top performing public school in their classification with Taylor Dale winning two individual state championships and also combining with his teammates for a relay title as well. Dale, who will swim collegiately at Georgia, returns to Tech for the final swimming competition of his high school career.

Northwest Whitfield will send its female swimmers to the state competition for the first time in school history. The girls 200 freestyle relay team will mark a first, as will Matthew Pipkin, who is the first male swimmer from the school to qualify in an individual event.

Look forward to stories later this week on both schools as they prepare to travel south for state.

• While the number of area title winners may not have been as many as coaches would have wanted, many area wrestlers earned their shots at the rest of state and will compete at sectionals this weekend.

All of the area wrestling programs will be represented at sectionals, which will be held at Lamar County (Class 2A), Ringgold (Class 3A) and Pickens High (Class 4A). Wrestling begins on Friday with qualifying spots for the state tournament in Macon to be wrapped up on Saturday.

• The Dalton High School cheerleaders hold a pancake breakfast fundraiser Saturday at Longhorn Steakhouse from 7 to 9:30 a.m. Cost is $7. There will be no take-outs. Cheerleaders will sell tickets until Wednesday and will also serve breakfast during the fundraiser.

• Single game tickets for the 2013 Atlanta Braves season will go on sale today at 10 a.m. for select games via braves.com/tickets. The online-only process for this first on sale date will feature 55 of the possible 81 home games.

The remaining “Marquee” and “Premier” tiered games will be available for purchase on Feb. 25 at 10 a.m. through www.braves.com/tickets, the Turner Field ticket office, the Braves Clubhouse Store at CNN Center, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer with The Daily Citizen. Got something that needs to be in What’s Going On? Contact him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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