Unless a team wins a state title, the end of the high school sports calendar comes with a crash. As much build up and anticipation that accompanies the return of prep athletic competitions in the August when football, volleyball, softball and cross country return, the total opposite is true when it all comes to an end in May.
That abrupt conclusion was punctuated this past week. The state golf tournaments were played a week ago today, the boys state track meet concluded on Saturday, the soccer playoffs ended with a four-team collision as North Murray, Dalton, Southeast Whitfield and Northwest Whitfield all lost on Friday in the state quarterfinals, and Christian Heritage saw one bad inning on Saturday ring the bell on the final acts of interscholastic competition.
The Lions were 12 outs away from advancing to the GISA state semifinals when walks, errors (both physical and mental) and quite a few Brookwood hits conspired to rob Christian Heritage of one final hoorah in the GISA. Up 4-0 in the deciding game of a best-of-three series in Thomasville, the Lions gave up 13 runs in the bottom of the fourth en route to a 14-4 loss.
Area schools will conclude spring football drills later this week — Murray County wrapped up with its Green-White game this past Friday — but for all intents and purposes, the high school sports year is over.
It was an academic year with triumphs and tragedies, controversies and victories. But the celebration of accomplishments continue, and the memories generated this past season will last a lifetime for the athletes who made them and made this community beam with pride.
In coming weeks, we will honor the All-Area teams for baseball and boys soccer as well as the All-Area Spring Teams which encompasses all of the spring events outside of boys soccer and baseball.
So, now that prep sports are out of the way, what can you look forward to between now and the start of football practice at the beginning of August?
While high schools will be out for the summer, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a lot going on this summer.
July will see the return of the Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship. High school football teams from across the country will converge on Dalton for the second installment of the tournament presented by The Daily Citizen. The event will also feature a camp for linemen and a free combine with upwards of 1,000 athletes expected to participate.
We will also have plenty of coverage of the area sports scene with Mitchell Boggs and the St. Louis Cardinals coming to Atlanta on Memorial Day. Boggs’ return to his home state always has plenty of people from the area making the trek down I-75 to Turner Field to catch up with an old friend.
Another hallmark of the summer are camps. Lots of them. From camps sponsored by the local high schools for elementary and middle schools students to elite camps throughout the Southeast, there will be plenty for your youngster to do during the summer break. Be sure to keep an eye on our Local Sports Calendar so that you don’t miss out on the fun. The calendar always runs in the Monday edition of the paper and can be found online at daltonnow.com/events.
Chris Whitfield is a sports writer for The Daily Citizen. Got something you think should be in What’s Going On? You can write to him at email@example.com.