August 21, 2013

Southern States Athletic Conference won't be home for Roadrunners

Dalton State College must revert to “Plan B” in its search for a conference home for its relaunched athletics program.

Derek Waugh, the school’s athletic director, used that phrase when talking about the next course of action for Dalton State, a National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) member. The school was denied membership to the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) on Tuesday.

The Roadrunners are participating as a non-conference member of the NAIA this year but hope to have a conference home for 2014-15. The school is taking part in varsity intercollegiate athletics for the first time in three decades, having previously had men’s basketball, golf and tennis when the school was known as Dalton Junior College.

“We have a couple options from here,” Waugh said. “We can seek a new league. Another option is to stay independent like Georgia Gwinnett College and join some independent postseason championships.”

One reason the SSAC was the school’s first choice is that it includes several schools in reasonable proximity to Dalton State, such as Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn., and Brenau University in Gainesville.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed, but we’ll continue to look at other options,” Waugh said. “We thought we would get in, but the SSAC is content with its membership.”

One conference Waugh mentioned as an option in prior interviews is the Appalachian Athletic Conference. That conference also includes schools that could be natural geographic rivals for the Roadrunners, such as Bryan College in Dayton, Tenn., and Reinhardt University in Waleska.

“We’re looking at two or three options as far as a league to join,” Waugh said.

Last week, Dalton State received approval to apply for SSAC membership from the Georgia Board of Regents, which oversees all colleges within the University System of Georgia. But the SSAC’s member schools’ presidents voted down the Roadrunners. Waugh did not know the vote tally.

“The SSAC absorbed what was left of the Transouth Athletic Conference, which gave them four new members,” Waugh said. “They also had two of their members not get approval to join the NCAA Division II, so they aren’t leaving the conference. Basically, they couldn’t expand anymore.”

One of the schools denied NCAA membership was Southern Wesleyan University, which hosted Dalton State’s women’s volleyball team on Tuesday. It was the first competition in DSC’s new era for sports.

In addition to volleyball, Dalton State will participate in men’s basketball, co-ed competition cheerleading, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s tennis this school year. Other sports are expected to be added over the next few years.

Text Only
  • Northwest baseball standout Pierce now at Ringgold

    Seth Pierce, a former Northwest Whitfield High School athlete and two-time Daily Citizen All-Area Baseball Player of the Year, transferred to Ringgold High School this summer, Ringgold athletic director and football coach Robert Akins confirmed Monday.

    July 28, 2014

  • SE fball conditioning 1 mlh.jpg Prep football: Raiders enter preseason hoping for breakthrough

    Entering his third year as Southeast Whitfield High School’s football coach, Sean Gray believes the last obstacle is belief.
    He believes this group of Raiders has that quality.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Devin Golden: Other sports start practice this week

    Football isn’t the only high school sport during the fall — and the others are joining in this week.

    July 28, 2014

  • Three locals on NW team in state golf event

    Three local golfers — Hardin Chambless, Tori Owens and Landon Painter — played Sunday in round one of the Junior Sectional Challenge Match.

    July 28, 2014

  • DHS fball condition#1C0E6F8.jpg Prep football: Dalton enters camp well ahead of learning curve

    The joke came quick to the lips of Dalton High School football coach Matt Land when asked how the opening day of conditioning for the Catamounts went on Friday.
    “We can quit and go home,” Land said. “They have it all figured out.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan.jpg Making a trip into town

    Frank Thomas was always driven to excel, and that sure served him well.
    “I was never that blue-chip prospect,” he said. “I had to outwork my opponents.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hall of Fame Baseball_Chan2.jpg Chris Whitfield: Memories stay with us, and go with them

    I still remember the pandemonium that broke out in the dorm at Middle Georgia College in tiny Cochran, Ga., the night of “The Slide” in the 1992 National League Championship Series. It was a fire drill, wall street-buying frenzy and a Roman toga party all in one.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deshawn Ruffin Sign#1C0E79A.jpg Dalton State College signs PG from Florida

    Dalton State College announced signing a Jacksonville, Fla., prep basketball standout to its men’s basketball team.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS vs RHS fball xtra 7 mlh.jpg Totally focused on fútbol

    In order to chase his soccer dream and continue to mature and improve in the sport that he loves so much, Dalton High School athlete Eder Mora has decided to make a sacrifice — giving up football.

    July 26, 2014 2 Photos

  • Whitfield, Chris.JPG Chris Whitfield: Football fans may lose, but Mora will win with decision

    Throughout my career, I have been lucky enough to see some of the finest athletes this state has ever produced. From professional athletes who went on to the NFL, MLB and the NBA to college washouts who still rank as the finest high school athletes I have ever seen, I have been blessed.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo