May 6, 2013

A Look Ahead: Postseason shifts up to higher gear


— One year later, and the names remain the same for the area’s four teams still alive on the pitch in the state playoffs.

Last season’s high school boys soccer state tournaments saw a quartet of local teams making a run through the first round. This season, those four are singing the same song and dancing the same dance.

Dalton, North Murray, Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield all play their second-round matches Wednesday, with two at home and two on the road, just like last season.

In the Class 4A bracket, the Region 7-4A champion Catamounts host Johnson-Gainesville at 6:30 p.m., Northwest travels to Chestatee for a 6:30 p.m. start time and Southeast visits Carrollton for a time still to be determined.

Class 3A’s North Murray will host Blessed Trinity, with the time to be determined as well.

Last season, these were the only four teams in the Georgia High School Association postseason. This year, Coahulla Creek and Murray County joined. However, the Colts lost 4-1 in the Class 3A first round to Oconee County and the Class 2A Indians lost 3-0 to Lovett.

So it’s the same four still alive, and the area has 12.5 percent of the remaining teams in Class 3A and 4A.

All four teams won in the second round last season and reached the quarterfinals. Could the group go to the quarterfinals as a whole once again?

• Other than soccer this week, we have today’s (and possibly Wednesday’s) state baseball, state sectional golf and girls state track and field. While it is a light schedule this week, all of the events hold a lot of importance.

Northwest’s baseball team plays the deciding third game in its Class 4A first-round playoff series today against Grady. The Bruins and Grey Knights start at 5:30 p.m. If Northwest wins, it will have a short turnaround before facing Stephens County in the second round, which is scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Also today, the Northwest and Southeast girls golf teams will play the Class 4A Sectional event at Applewood Golf Course in Keysville. There are 14 teams competing at the event and those in the top 11 reach the state event on May 20 at Nob North Golf Course in Cohutta. Dalton’s girls already are playing in the event after winning the Region 7-4A event, while the Lady Bruins and Lady Raiders each finished in the top four of and had a team score under the sectional qualifying mark of 320.

The girls track and field meets, for all classes, begin Thursday at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany. The competitions will conclude on Saturday. The boys meets took place this past week.

• On the college scene, Dalton State College will hold tryouts at 4 p.m. Tuesday for its men’s and women’s tennis teams. The tryouts are for both currently enrolled students at the institution and high school seniors interested in joining the Roadrunners.

They’ll take place at Lakeshore Park in Dalton. To learn more, contact Roadrunners coach Zack Rogers at zrogers@daltonstate.edu.



Devin Golden is a sports writer with The Daily Citizen. Got something you think should be in A Look Ahead? Contact him at devingolden@daltoncitizen.com.