July 8, 2013

A Look Ahead: Tourney continues to thrive

— After months of preparation, more than three dozens stories written on the participating teams and summer workouts by those players, the Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship presented by AstroTurf returns to Dalton for the third installment of the tournament organized by The Daily Citizen.

More than 40 teams representing 39 different schools will be in Dalton for play in the tournament which begins on Saturday morning with pool play at four different locations. Six pools of seven teams will compete in seven games on Saturday to determine the championship and consolation brackets on Sunday. The top four teams from each pool will move onto the championship bracket, and once in bracketed play, teams face a double-elimination draw. The tournament title will be decided late Sunday afternoon.

This is the third year of the tournament which began with just 20 teams in 2011 as Bob Jones High School of Alabama won the event. Cartersville won the tournament in 2012 with 31 other teams vying for the title. This year, 42 teams will be here for the weekend.

All of the play at Harmon Field, Christian Heritage and the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department’s James Brown Park and Mack Gaston Community Center is free and open to the public.

Here is a look ahead at what else is on tap for the local sports scene.

• The Dalton Dolphins, winners of the Chattanooga Area Swim League’s regular-season title if they beat Stuart Heights on Tuesday, will have their biggest competition of the year starting on Friday with the CASL-wide City Meet at Chattanooga’s Baylor School.

Dalton won the City Meet last year for the first time since 2006 to complete a title sweep, but Todd said his team has never won the City Meet two straight years.

“Winning the regular-season title is good, but our biggest goal and expectation is to win the championship again,” swimmer Raul Valdez said after last week’s win over Signal Mountain.

Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Got an event you think should be in A Look Ahead? Contact him at chriswhitfield@daltoncitizen.com.