Although it’s a “slow” time for the local sports scene with high schools out for the summer, there’s still plenty going on. In fact, for some local prep athletes, this is their busy time.
With year-round sports, you have many of the best from the area on the diamonds with travel baseball and softball teams, hitting the hardwood with AAU and other club basketball teams, and sweating up a storm on football fields as skill players are going through seven-on-seven tournaments and linemen are in camps around the Southeast.
So much for the “slow” time.
And for many, the high school golf season is just a tuneup for the junior circuit. Summer means constant play, and while the heat may not make every round pleasant, it’s best to remember the old adage that a bad day on the golf course is better than a good day at work.
Six of the area’s top junior golfers will compete in the Georgia State Golf Association’s 47th Annual Georgia Junior Championship starting today at Albany’s Doublegate Country Club.
Rocky Face’s Ethan Hayes and Tucker Snipes, Chatsworth’s Christoph Kazmeirski and Colby Hipp, Dalton’s Patrick Sims and Cohutta’s Silas Ledford will attack the 7,024-yard, par-72 course in southwest Georgia. The junior state tournament is a 54-hole, stroke-play event, with the field cut to the low 70 and ties after the second round on Tuesday.
Results will be posted after each round at gsga.org and we will also keep you updated in these pages as play progresses.
And here’s a look at what else is going on:
• The annual Stump on Sports Tennessee-Georgia All-Star Classic competitions wrap up this week with baseball on Tuesday and softball on Wednesday.
Tennessee’s Ooltewah High will play host to the nine-inning baseball game — first pitch is at 6 p.m. — with Dalton’s Bobby Brotherton coaching the Georgia team of recent high school seniors. Brotherton led Georgia to a 3-2 win over Tennessee in the 2009 version of the game for the Peach State’s lone victory in the series.
Former Dalton standout and Tennessee Temple signee Carter Gillean will represent the area on the Georgia roster. Baseball was originally scheduled for last Monday, but rain forced the postponement of the annual affair.
The softball doubleheader will begin at 6 p.m. at Chattanooga’s Frost Stadium. The Georgia team will be coached by Dana Reed Mull from Class 2A state champion Gordon Lee. Dalton’s Chandler McKinney is the lone representative from the area.
• If you are a NASCAR fan who just loves a day relaxing by the pool, the combination of speed and swimming will be on display as the Dalton Dolphins play host to rival Signal Mountain (Tenn.) at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Dalton Recreation Center pool on Civic Drive.
In local swimming circles, Dalton vs. Signal Mountain — nicknamed the Green Giants — is comparable to Duke-North Carolina in basketball, Georgia-Florida in football and Braves-Phillies in baseball.
The Chattanooga Area Swim League’s short-yardage dual meets put an emphasis on sprints, so they are always fast-paced and exciting. Plus, when it’s Dalton and Signal Mountain — regularly the top teams in the league’s top-level Blue Division — the pool is also filled with some of the CASL’s best talent.
• In case you just moved to the area, soccer is a pretty big deal here, and local fans will get a special treat on July 7.
Club America will take on Pachuca FC at Chattanooga’s Finley Stadium in a battle of professional teams from the Mexican premier league. But the bonus attraction is the coach of Pachuca FC — Mexican soccer legend Hugo Sanchez.
Known for his somersaults after scoring goals and his acrobatic abilities to make spectacular scoring appear effortless, Sanchez enjoyed a 20-year professional career, including his best years with Real Madrid.
If you are too young to remember Sanchez or you weren’t into soccer during his heyday, do a Google search or catch some of his videos on YouTube. Then you will realize while soccer fans around the world have attached the word legend to his name.
First touch at Finley will be at 8 p.m. and tickets, which are available through Ticketmaster, range from $35 to $45.
Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Got something you think he should highlight in “What’s Going On?” Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.