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January 6, 2014

A Look Ahead: Dalton-NW rivalry hits basketball court

It’s about time we get Dalton and Northwest Whitfield against one another again.

Sure, the two have faced in swimming meets and wrestling contests, but nothing has seemed quite as energetic or passionate as last October’s football classic in Tunnel Hill.

On Friday, Northwest’s basketball teams travel to Dalton for a 7 p.m. start to the girls game and boys happening right after. Both boys teams are 1-0 in Sub-region 7B-4A while the Northwest girls won their first league game and Dalton’s girls lost their first one to Heritage-Catoosa.

Last season, the boys teams from Dalton and Northwest played three times. The Bruins won all three, including the last one for the Region 7-4A championship. On the football field, Dalton handed Northwest its first defeat of the year in a 31-28 thriller. Can Northwest continue its reign of supremacy on the basketball court? The Bruins have won the last four meetings and the series is tied 10-10 since the 2004-2005 season, the furthest back the Ga.PrepCountry.com website goes.

On the girls side, the teams split last season. However, the Lady Bruins own a 12-7 series lead since 2004-05.

So, who wins on Friday? Will both schools sweep on Tuesday, weather permitting when Dalton hosts Ridgeland and Northwest hosts Heritage? And in addition, can Southeast Whitfield’s two teams beat LaFayette on Tuesday and Heritage on Friday to keep pace?

For the entire prep schedule this week, take a look at “What’s On Deck” on page 2B.

• The Georgia Rampage, Dalton’s indoor professional football team, is planning a flag football league for local adults.

Forming a team sounds like something The Daily Citizen’s staff should do.

Here’s a quick trip down memory lane. Not so long ago — 2008 and 2009, to be exact — yours truly quarterbacked a flag football team in college made up of misfits, castoffs and out-of-shape slowpokes to the playoffs. We weren’t good — myself included — but I was the ultimate game manager. I made A.J. McCarron look like a gun-slinger.

I haven’t returned to the field since our disappointing exit my senior year, but I’m considering ending my retirement and making a run to the championship with another group of unathletic teammates.

Regardless whether I made an appearance on the field, anyone who attends Rampage games and wants to play on a turf field should look into this opportunity. Team owner Kacee Smith said the games will take place in the trade center before Rampage home games this spring. Each player receives a season ticket and a T-shirt. Sign-ups cost $50 for an individual and $500 for the team.

For more information, visit GaRampage.com or email Smith at Kacee.Rampage@gmail.com.

• The Rampage also has a league for the young fans around Dalton.

The team has partnered with the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department to form the Rampage 4 Kids indoor football league for ages 9-10. League games will be played on the field at the trade center in Dalton before Rampage contests during the 2014 season from February through April. The cost is $85 per player and includes the use of a helmet, shoulder pads and pants, along with a jersey each player can keep, as well as a season ticket to Rampage home games. Registration is available at garampage.com.

• Who ... (Wait for it) ... Who D ... (Not quite) ... Who Dat Say... (Almost there) ... WHO DAT SAY ‘DEY ‘GONNA BEAT ‘DEM SAINTS?!

There we go.

Oh yeah, Dalton. It’s about time you brought a Popeyes here. #bringthechicken

Devin Golden is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen, and he will be wearing his Aaron Brooks New Orleans Saints jersey all week. Contact him at devingolden@daltoncitizen.com

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