Sports Columns

October 22, 2012

What's Going On: X-country runners at ‘Big Harry’ on Tuesday

At this point, you know all about the four local volleyball teams playing in the second round of the state playoffs on Tuesday, right?

You know about Northwest Whitfield softball heading to Columbus and starting the Class 4A state tournament on Thursday, right?

Even if that was an oh-so-subtle reminder, we can’t forget about the cross country runners as the fall winds down.

Coahulla Creek, Dalton, Morris Innovative and Northwest Whitfield are the four local teams competing Tuesday at the “Big Harry” Cross Country Race. The meet, taking place at Dalton’s Lakeshore Park, will begin at 5 p.m. for the boys and 5:40 p.m. for the girls. It is the second-annual version of the race.

“There’s about five (teams) right now, and there’s probably going to be more,” said Karen Galyon, coach of both the Dalton boys and girls squads. Dalton is the host school for the event.

Last year, there were four schools and the event was held later in the fall. The GHSA extended the regular season for cross country by one week, Galyon said, which provides some time to fit a meet in before region meets next week.

“With them extending the region schedule one more week, we were trying to do a low-key kind of meet,” she said.

The other two schools scheduled to attend are Gordon Lee and Dade County. JV runners will compete with varsity in one race for each gender.

“With the times and getting dark earlier, we wanted to have it over and done with,” Galyon said.

The race will be ran on the “Big Harry” course which links Lakeshore and Al Rollins Parks through a 3.1 mile trail named in honor of “Big Harry” Renz. Renz was one of the Rotarians who helped get Dalton High’s Annual Rotary Invitational track and field meet off the ground decades ago and was a longtime supporter of area schools. A scholarship fund in his name has raised more than $10,000 to help college-bound students from the area.

• Even if you already knew about the volleyball teams’ games on Tuesday, here’s one last reminder.

In volleyball, Southeast Whitfield hosts Jonesboro and Dalton travels to Woodland-Henry — both matches start at 5:30 p.m. Northwest Whitfield travels to Columbus for a 5 p.m. start, and the digging, setting and spiking Lady Bruins can keep things warm for the pitching, hitting and fielding ones who will begin their quest for a state title on the softball fields at the South Commons Softball Complex on Thursday.

Also in volleyball, North Murray travels to play Woodward Academy, but a time is not known.

For a complete list of this week’s action at both the high school and middle school level, see the Prep Schedule on page 3B and always online at

• At least one area team is still competing in each fall sport, but winter is coming. Athletic directors and coaches at all local middle schools and high school are reminded that we need your winter sports (basketball, wrestling and swimming and diving) schedules and rosters as soon as they're finalized so we can begin putting together the area prep schedule for our readers.

Information should be sent to, and any questions should be directed to Marty Kirkland, sports editor, at or (706) 272-7742.

• Last week, retired NBA star and Auburn grad Charles Barkley did an interview with a Birmingham radio station, WJOX, to talk about all things Auburn football related.

When asked about Saturday’s Vanderbilt game, numerous Websites reported Barkley saying, “Trust me, we’re playing the smart kids this week. If you can’t beat the smart kids, you’re in for a long year.”

Smart kids 17, Auburn 13.

Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen, and North Murray’s loss Friday to Ringgold was the first time this season he went to a game where a local team did not win. Write to him at

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