If you enjoyed the idea of football in the spring last year — or haven’t yet tried the fast-paced game out — circle the dates on your 2014 calendar.
The Georgia Rampage’s 2014 schedule is set with one preseason game Feb. 15 and eight regular season games starting in March and lasting through May. Dalton’s indoor professional football team will play five home games — including the team’s lone preseason game — at the trade center. Season and single-game tickets are available at the team’s website, GARampage.com.
The Rampage are in the five-team X-League, a new affiliation this season with Rampage owner Kacee Smith serving as the league’s president.
“It’s a good thing to get (the schedule) out there,” Smith said. “All offseason we’ve been getting blown up with emails asking, ‘Will you be playing on Mondays again?’ We knew our dates but didn’t know who we’d be playing.”
Last season, the Rampage played all of their games on Monday nights. Smith believes that hurt attendance and revenue in the team’s first season in Dalton. This year, only two home games will take place on Monday. The Rampage have two on Saturday and one on Thursday.
Attack owner Andrew Haines previously told The Daily Citizen that Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays are the best nights for games, while Mondays and Tuesdays are the worst.
“Usually, Thursday and Saturday numbers are pretty similar,” Smith said. “Sundays is hit or miss. I know some do really well with Sundays and others it’s a death night.”
Following the preseason game and the team’s preseason camp in February, the Rampage begin March 3 at home versus the Alabama Outlawz in a game that also will be the first for the X-League. On March 30, the team travels to face the St. Louis Attack and returns home April 3 versus the Florida Marine Raiders and April 19 against the Attack. On April 25, the Rampage travel to face the Pennsylvania Steam and then host the Steam May 12. The Rampage finish with two road games, May 17 against the Raiders and May 23 versus the Outlawz.
The Rampage competed in the Ultimate Indoor Football League through last season. They finished 3-5. Making the jump from the UIFL to the X-League with the Rampage is the Attack, formerly the Missouri Monsters, and the Raiders.
• On the high school scene, local wrestling squads — save North Murray — are preparing for area duals, which start Friday and end Saturday for all teams.
With the top two teams from each area advancing to the state duals, local squads will try to put all their assets together and complete a memorable run. Last season, Southeast Whitfield finished second in Area 7-4A and advanced to the state event. This year, the Raiders join Dalton and Northwest Whitfield at Gilmer. Murray County and Area 7-2A will be at Pepperell, and Coahulla Creek joins most of Area 5-3A at Adairsville. Not competing against the Colts will be the Mountaineers, who won’t go to area duals due to an incomplete lineup.
• The local basketball teams in regions 7-2A and 5-3A already have started league play. The sub-divided regions 7-4A and 6-A will follow suit this week.
Dalton travels to Heritage-Catoosa Friday for a Sub-region 7B tilt with the girls starting at 7 p.m. Southeast hosts Ridgeland at the same time. On Saturday, Northwest hosts LaFayette for a 6 p.m. start.
Christian Heritage’s teams welcome Sub-region 6A foe Trion on Friday for a 6 p.m. start to the girls game, and they play again Saturday on the road at 3 p.m. against Mount Zion-Carroll.
Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Have something you think should be in “A Look Ahead?” Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.