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December 10, 2012

What's Going On: Bragging rights on the line

In the last two years, area fans have been able to delight in new rivalries with the opening of Coahulla Creek last year and the entrance of Christian Heritage into the ranks of the Georgia High School Association this year.

The Colts have been experiencing the growing pains of building a program from scratch and have found success on the athletic fields, courts and diamonds a challenge, especially when it comes to the hardwood. Still, the success of the baseball team last spring shows that the school isn’t far off from becoming a real player on the local athletic scene.

For Christian Heritage, the challenge is bigger schools and a definite increase in the level of competition. But those things, as well as financial considerations in relation to travel, were the biggest reasons for the school to make the move away from the Georgia Independent Schools Association. The Lions have already seen some success on the football field, and the boys basketball team made its presence known with a win over county rival Southeast on Friday.

Rivalries are the best part of sports, and local bragging rights will be up from grabs in a variety of ways this week. With the addition of the Colts and the Lions, those rivalries will continue to grow and develop and evolve over the next few years, and that is a win-win for all of the area’s sports fans.

Here is a look at what is going on this week:

• Wrestling takes center stage on Thursday this week with all of the area’s teams competing at Murray County at 5:30 p.m. in the Conasauga Cup.

Dalton, Coahulla Creek, North Murray, Northwest and Southeast will all be the guests of the Indians as they all vie for the trophy which symbolizes the area’s own local championship. Interesting battles between some very successful programs always make this a worthwhile event, and the interesting matchups between local wrestlers who may not have another opportunity to face each other gives the Cup another level of interest — because there is nothing better than to be able to strut through the mall after you dominate your competition to help your team capture the Cup.

• On the basketball court, Christian Heritage will learn on Friday the lessons of the movie “Jaws.”

“We’re gonna need a bigger gym.”

The Lions will play host to their first local rival Friday night when Southeast comes to visit the Lions Den. While the facility has served the school well in recent years playing against teams from north metro Atlanta and beyond, Christian Heritage’s gym will be pushed to the breaking point this season as it is likely the school will see more fans than they have ever seen.

The game is also a rematch of Friday night’s nine-point victory for the Christian Heritage boys in the season opener. Southeast rebounded with a win over Coahulla Creek on Saturday night, while the Lions made a trip to LaFayette but had to go home before the game even began.

During warmups on Saturday, one of the backboards at the LaFayette gym shattered when a shot hit the rim especially hard.

• This past weekend saw the publication of The Daily Citizen’s All-Area Team for cross country, and earlier in November the volleyball team was announced.

The awards season will continue for fall athletics with the coming publication of the softball and football teams. The softball team will be published on Sunday, while the football team will be in the Dec. 24 edition of The Daily Citizen.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen, and he is convinced that Devin Golden is the reason the sports staff lost the three-legged race to cross country Runners of the Year Bekah Houston and Isaac Pacheco. Got something you think should be in What’s Going On? Contact him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.

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