Sports Columns

September 9, 2013

A Look Ahead: Softball showdown may be region title clash preview

In the northwest Georgia high school softball scene, Heritage-Catoosa and Northwest Whitfield have developed quite a rivalry at the top of Region 7-4A, with Northwest topping Heritage for last year’s league title.

Some even held the reasonable expectation that the rivalry would continue at the state level last year, with the Lady Generals and Lady Bruins seemingly on a path toward a clash in Columbus, where the top eight teams in each classification compete for their respective state titles.

Northwest held up its end of the deal and advanced to Columbus — the Lady Bruins, in fact, won state — but their postseason didn’t include any state tournament victories against Heritage. The Lady Generals lost in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs to Madison County, the team Northwest ended up beating for the title.

But this year both teams are still at the top of the region, and league play should get interesting with the first meeting of the year between the two at 5:55 p.m. Tuesday in Ringgold.

The Lady Bruins and Lady Generals both enter the matchup with 4-0 records in Sub-region 7B-4A, which proved to be the region’s dominant half last year by claiming three of 7-4A’s four state berths. Both look like contenders for a region title again this season.

Northwest is 15-1 overall, while Heritage is 17-3, and judging by what was said by some fans at last year’s region tournament at Heritage Point, there isn’t a lot of love between the two teams.

The Lady Bruins are also coming off of their first loss of the season, having fallen in a 7-0 mercy-rule game on Saturday against Cherokee.

While the Lady Bruins bounced back from that loss with a pair of wins on Saturday, it will be interesting to see if any of their confidence has been shaken heading on the road against a very tough Heritage team.

Here’s a look ahead at what else is going on in the area:

• Another intriguing softball storyline for this week comes from Coahulla Creek.

Coach Josh Swiney’s team has proven to be one of the surprise success stories this season, and this week should go a long way toward seeing exactly where the Lady Colts stand.

On Tuesday, Coahulla Creek (14-4, 5-1 Region 5-3A) hosts Cartersville, and on Thursday the Lady Colts head to Ringgold — the only team in the region to deal them a loss this season. Ringgold, which is 11-3 overall, is 7-0 in league play and the only undefeated team in the region standings.

For this week’s complete local prep schedule, please see the Scoreboard section on page 3B.

• Dalton State College’s women’s volleyball won’t hold its first “home” match until Sept. 19, when the Roadrunners host Reinhardt University at Dalton High School, but they’ll make a very short trip for their next match.

On Friday they head to Lookout Mountain for a 7 p.m. match with Covenant College. The Roadrunners are in the hunt for their second victory this season and would no doubt be glad to have some fans in blue and white in the stands.

• Golfers have plenty of options when it comes to charity tournaments over the next several weeks, and you can find out more about those competitions by going online to daltonnow.com/events to view our Local Sports Calendar. There’s also information there about how to let others know about your local sports happening.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Have something you think he should highlight in “A Look Ahead”? Write to him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

1
Text Only
Sports Columns
  • 7on7 day 2 '14 17 mlh.jpg Devin Golden: Friday signals gridiron days’ official start

    Seven-on-seven football was a good placeholder, but it’s time to begin talking about the real thing.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Loran Smith: Golf now in era of McIlroy after Open

    Royal & Ancient officials, under whose auspices the Open championship is conducted each year, were blessed with a sun-kissed start of the final round of the 143rd playing of this historic event.

    July 21, 2014

  • Loran Smith: McIlroy at his peak at Hoylake

    HOYLAKE, England — It’s the setting which enraptures those who appreciate the things that accompany a championship, The British refuse to let a downpour or two, intermittent and inconvenient, to make them fret.

    July 20, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Change is needed for major titles

    HOYLAKE, England — This is a good time to be Bubba Watson — long off the tee which brings golf aficionados through the gates, two Masters titles which puts him in the pantheon of the greats at Augusta, deal-makers hovering about, more perks than a palace prince, exempt status to the end of the decade and a cash flow that resembles a raging river.

    July 19, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Harman is living his childhood golf dream

    HOYLAKE, England — One thing about golf that has remained constant since Young Tom Morris won his fourth Open in a row in 1872 — when Ulysses Grant was president of the United States and Brigham Young was arrested for bigamy (he had 25 wives) — is that a little man can play the game.
    Football players are becoming bigger — often illegally — and basketball players are growing taller, but a golfer can excel at any dimension if he hones his skills enough to get the ball in the hole in the fewest strokes. Golf is not a behemoth sport; there are no concussions, no strikeouts and no fistfights. Let the game prosper.

    July 18, 2014

  • Loran Smith: Brits know how to hold classy affairs

    HOYLAKE, England — Summertime is a royal time for the British, who have more sporting options in a six-week period than some societies have in a lifetime.
    If you think the U.S. is keen on sport — with the NBA finals lasting into June and baseball and golf dominating the scene — consider what takes place in the land of our forebears. Wimbledon gets underway the last week in June for a fortnight of resonating excitement. Wimbledon is like Augusta National or Churchill Downs — a memorable experience regardless of who walks away with first prize.

    July 15, 2014

  • A Look Ahead: State golf coming to Nob North

    My history as a golfer can be summed up with some well-known words from 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes — “nasty, brutish and short.”

    July 14, 2014

  • CharlesTodd.jpg Devin Golden: Todd leaving a legacy of success

    To many, Charles Todd is known as “coach Todd.” Some of the divers, swimmers and water polo players who have been on his teams in the Dalton area over the years shorten that to simply “coach.”

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Larry Case: Take a shot at improving your aim before you hunt

    Do you consider yourself an accomplished marksman with a shotgun? Are you satisfied with your shooting in the bird field or on the clay target range?

    July 11, 2014

  • Jamie Jones: What does Sting's number mean?

    Here are the notes and news items from the week in pro wrestling: Sting has left TNA. But will he resurface in WWE?

    July 11, 2014