April 7, 2014

Marty Kirkland: High-stakes series this week for rivals

There are plenty of reasons why Dalton and Northwest Whitfield have developed a rivalry that brings a bit of intrigue to most athletic contests between the two high schools.

Proximity figures largely, of course. The years — decades now — that have gone into making “next time” an anticipated occasion matter, too.

One factor that shouldn’t be overlooked, though, is the matter that there is often something beyond those highly coveted bragging rights at stake when the Catamounts and Bruins find themselves in the same arena.

That’s the case this week as the two tangle in a three-game Sub-region 7B-4A baseball series. Dalton (13-3) hosts at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Friday, while the Bruins (12-4) are home at the same time Thursday.

Both teams are 8-1 in sub-region play and tied atop the 7B-4A standings, ahead of Heritage (6-3), Southeast Whitfield (4-5), Ridgeland (1-8) and LaFayette (0-9). Dalton’s lone league loss came to Ridgeland, while Northwest’s was to Southeast. After this week, Dalton will have played everyone in the sub-region save Heritage; Northwest’s only remaining series will be against LaFayette.

After that, it’s time for the Region 7-4A playoffs — and just what’s on the line then will depend largely on what happens this week.

The winner of each sub-region will face the other in a three-game series with a spot in state already guaranteed but the region title and a No. 1 seed the prize. The No. 2 finisher in each sub-region faces the No. 3 seed from the other in a three-game series with the winners advancing to state and the losers done for the season.

Obviously, being No. 1 has its perks. So does beating a rival in the big games.

• Speaking of rivalries, the area’s best when it comes to boys soccer will be renewed again Friday as Southeast hosts Dalton.

While this meeting won’t figure into the Sub-region 7B-4A standings — the Cats beat the Raiders 2-0 when they played on March 7 at Harmon Field with league implications on the line — it will be a good final test for each team before the Region 7-4A playoffs begin next week.

The soccer is almost always top-notch when these two programs take the field, but the matchup could have some added weight if the Cats beat Allatoona on Tuesday to extend their unbeaten streak to 35 matches.

• I generally leave the hardcore golf reporting to Chris Whitfield — who would rather be on the links than anywhere else most of the time — and his Fairways and Greens column. But like a lot of Georgians, for at least one week each year I pay a little more attention to the game.

Thoughts of the Masters inevitably bring me back to the realization that while we may not be in Augusta, this area certainly loves its golf, too. For evidence, just check out our Local Sports Calendar at and the abundance of options when it comes to charity golf tournaments in the coming weeks. Now and early fall are your best bets if you’re looking to get together with a buddy (or three) and test yourself on the greens while raising green for a good cause.

If you’re hosting a charity golf tournament (or other local sports event you’d like to see in our calendar), please let us know the details by sending a note to

• Just as area golfers should consider themselves spoiled — or at least their good walks spoiled, thanks to the quality of local courses — the same is true of baseball fans here.

In addition to the Atlanta Braves being less than two hours away, the Rome Braves and Chattanooga Lookouts (a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate) offer the opportunity to see budding superstars almost in your backyard.

Rome host its home opener at 7 p.m. Thursday, starting a four-game series against the Savannah Sand Gnats. The Lookouts close out a season-opening homestand at 7:15 tonight against the Jackson (Tenn.) Generals; they won’t be back until a week from today.

For information on tickets and the teams, visit or

Marty Kirkland is sports editor of The Daily Citizen. In his lone visit to the Masters for a Tuesday practice round, he failed in his mission to try every sandwich on the menu. Have something you think he should highlight in “A Look Ahead”? Write to him at

Text Only
  • Todd roasted 1 mlh.jpg One last 'Goodbye' for coach Todd

    Charles Todd talks to parents and coaches before his going-away party Tuesday in the Dalton High School commons area.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fishing Lures3cw.jpg Turner lured into love of learning fishing business

    Fishing and tall tales go hand in hand, and after nearly three decades in a business supplying local anglers, Phil Turner has heard just about all of them.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • U.S. Amateur dreams over for local golfers

    Dalton golfers Chase Miller and Will Morrow traveled to Cincinnati on Tuesday in an attempt to earn a spot in the U.S. Amateur Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, but neither earned one of the three qualifying spots at the 6,588-yard, par-70 course at Camargo Club.

    July 23, 2014

  • Report: Boggs now with Giants

    Dalton’s Mitchell Boggs has signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants, according to Contract information, along with which minor league affiliate Boggs, a pitcher, will start with, was not available in the report, and Boggs was not listed on any of the online rosters for any of the Giants’ minor league affiliates.

    July 21, 2014

  • SE wrestling practice 5 mlh.jpg Herndon leaving Raiders to coach at Calhoun; new coach named at SE Whitfield

    Michael Herndon’s successful three-year run as Southeast Whitfield High School’s wrestling coach has come to an end.

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hipp makes cut at qualifying tourney

    Chatsworth golfer Colby Hipp earned the chance to play on today in a U.S. Amateur qualifying tournament at Reynolds Plantation-Great Waters in Eatonton.

    July 21, 2014

  • 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

  • CCAC-B&W.jpg CCAC has strong showing at 14-and-under state meet

    The Carpet Capital Aquatics Club had 16 club records broken in a 12th-place finish at the 2014 Georgia 14-and-under Long Course State Championship meet Saturday at Georgia Tech’s swimming facility.

    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

  • Motocross kid 6 mlh.jpg Dirt, gas and guts

    Lucas Amos is like a lot of other 6-year-olds who will be going into first grade at Tunnel Hill Elementary this school year.
    He likes to play the video game sensation Minecraft, building different structures and fending off zombies when the sun goes down. He likes to spend time with his grandparents, traveling around the Southeast with them most every weekend.
    And he likes to play in the dirt.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo