November 11, 2013

A Look Ahead: Tryout time: Are you ready to Rampage?


— For a second year, the Georgia Rampage will scour the football talent pool in Dalton for potential players.

Dalton’s professional indoor football team will hold tryouts for its 2014 season — the first in the newly formed X-League — at 11 a.m. Sunday at the Athletic Edge facility, which is located at 537 Bonofacious Road in Tunnel Hill.

Last season was the Rampage’s first calling Dalton their home and playing home games inside the trade center. Last fall, the organization held a tryout in Dalton and found multiple players that helped contribute to last season’s team, which competed in the Ultimate Indoor Football League. Among those who came to last year’s tryout was wide receiver Dallas Walker, who signed during the summer with the San Diego Chargers, and quarterback Joel Statham, a 2000 Murray County graduate.

“There were a couple guys who came out to that tryout last year,” owner Kacee Smith said, “and we kept their information and they’ve been working out with us for a year.

“We want to find as many local people as possible. Sometimes you only find a couple.”

Smith said he expects less of a turnout this season because some of the busts were weeded out in the first year.

“The second tryout in a new market has less of a turnout,” Smith said. “In that first year, you get a lot more people off the couch who think they can play and they get out there and see what it’s all about. So the second tryout usually has less people, but that’s fine. We do a lot of tryouts in Atlanta and bigger cities. We’ll always do at least one every year in Dalton, though.”

• Dalton State College’s men’s basketball team just finished a busy week of four games in five days and will pick right up with three games in a four-day stretch this week.

Luckily for the Roadrunners, all three are at home in the trade center.

Dalton State, which is 5-1 after a win on the road Saturday at Bryan College, hosts Carver College at 7 p.m. Wednesday and then will play two games this weekend in the Roadrunner Basketball Club invitational. The Roadrunners play at 8 p.m. Friday against Morris College and 4 p.m. Saturday versus Voorhees College.

• While the high school fast-pitch softball season is finished, the sport isn’t completely off the schedule. North Georgia ASA Softball will host girls tournaments Saturday and Nov. 23 at the Twin Creeks Softball Complex in Woodstock. To learn more, visit northgeorgiasoftball.com/fall2013.html or contact Garry Headrick at (706) 483-1346 or garry_headrick2001@yahoo.com.

• The Daily Citizen is compiling a master schedule for local schools’ winter sports seasons so fans can follow their favorite teams and know who, where and when they will play. This includes boys and girls basketball, boys and girls swimming and boys wrestling. The Daily Citizen asks all coaches to send schedules as soon as possible to sports editor Marty Kirkland at martykirkland@daltoncitizen.com or sports@daltoncitizen.com.