January 29, 2013

Atlanta fans pack Academy

Kimbrel is becoming a big favorite with fans

While the 2013 Braves Country Caravan brought players, a coach and General Manager Frank Wren to Dalton, it also brought plenty of fans from around the Southeast to Academy Sports and Outdoors.

Fans from as far away as Knoxville, Tenn., and Phoenix City, Ala., joined Whitfield County and Murray County fans in welcoming the caravan to town, standing in a line that snaked its way throughout the spacious athletic warehouse retailer off of Shugart Road and filling the parking lot all the way to Kohl’s on the other side of the shopping center.

The reception given to the players Craig Kimbrel, Jordan Schafer, Gus Schlosser, third base coach Brian Snitker and Wren is the reason for the Caravan, which makes stops across the Southeast and features a variety of current and former players, coaches, front-office staff and radio and television personalities. Kimbrel said it is the fan interaction that he enjoys.

“It is cool to get out on things like this and see how many fans you have,” said Kimbrel, the Major League leader in saves last season and the unanimous 2011 Rookie of the Year. “Not everyone has a chance to come down to Atlanta and see us play, and this gives us a chance to interact with your fanbase and say hello.”

The fans were more than happy to take advantage of it.

“I don’t like standing in the line, but it is worth it,” said Dalton Middle sixth-grader Justin Ketchem, who is a pitcher and plays for Team Rawlings travel baseball. “Kimbrel is my favorite, and I can’t wait to meet him.”

Most of the fans sporting Braves gear — from hats and t-shirts to full outfits for the toddlers — were there to see Kimbrel, who was the headline attraction at the autograph table.

“He’s such a great player, and it is exciting to get to see him in person rather than on the television,” said Chatsworth mother Jeri Davis, who had her children Wally, 10, and Shyanne, 11, with her to see Kimbrel. “To actually have an autograph from him is a big thrill. We are hoping to go to Atlanta this year, but this is definitely worth the long line to get the chance to meet them.”

Morgan Crow of Ringgold said getting a chance to see Kimbrel was something she wasn’t going to miss.

“I have been pretty excited since the first time I heard about this,” she said. “I came because of Kimbrel, and we just hoped the line wouldn’t be too long.”

Text Only
  • DHS at Heritage 1 mlh.jpg Generally disappointed

    Dalton High School’s baseball team started the fifth inning of Friday’s crucial Sub-region 7B-4A game against Heritage-Catoosa with four consecutive hits.
    The only problem for the Catamounts was that was where their good hitting started and stopped.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prep roundup: Upset puts N. Murray in baseball playoffs

    Over the past few seasons, a late-season game with Sonoraville has been the deciding factor in whether the North Murray High School baseball team advanced to the state playoffs.

    April 18, 2014

  • Miller, Mariners off to NAIA title tournament

    Former Dalton High School golf standout Chase Miller is finishing his senior year at College of Coastal Georgia on a high note.

    April 18, 2014

  • NW at SE soccer   5  mlh.jpg On to the title match

    With around 15 minutes left in Thursday’s Region 7-4A semifinals match, Northwest Whitfield High School’s boys soccer team increased pressure on Southeast Whitfield with hopes of a tying goal.
    But the host Raiders were the ones getting the late goal.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • DHS tennis day 2 2 mlh.jpg Prep tennis: Perfect Colts claim title in Region 5-3A

    Coahulla Creek High School’s boys tennis team only needed three years to win its first region championship.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Heritage at DHS baseball 3 mlh.jpg Prep baseball: Cats must win today to clinch No. 2 seed

    Dalton High School’s baseball team led 6-5 against visiting Heritage-Catoosa as late as the fifth inning with a chance to clinch second place in Sub-region 7B-4A.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Region track and field: Richardson paces Murray Co. girls

    Katlyn Richardson has had an impressive junior season for Murray County High School’s girls track and field team.

    April 17, 2014

  • Colts boys have shot at 3A golf state sectional

    Coahulla Creek High School’s boys golf team finished second in the Region 5-3A tournament at Calhoun’s Fields Ferry Golf Course on Thursday, but now the Colts will have to wait to see if they will advance to the Class 2A state sectional tournament.

    April 17, 2014

  • CHS Lowe_Bartley 3 mlh.jpg Let’s keep playing

    Academic offerings played a big part in which college football program nabbed Christian Heritage School’s Nich Bartley, one of the area’s top players in 2013.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup: Coahulla Creek hurts N. Murray’s playoff hopes

    One play in the fifth inning, during which the sun got in pitcher Braiden Jacobs’ eyes, seemed to encapsulate the entire season for Coahulla Creek High School’s baseball team.
    But it could be one rule misinterpretation that defines the season for North Murray.

    April 17, 2014