Revamped Dawson County Focusing On Small Details Amid Strong Start [VIDEO]
Last season, the Lady Tigers won a grand total of 5 games. Just 4 days into the season, that total was matched. A few days later, and the girls were 6-0 to start the season.
“Everybody always likes to start out undefeated, it’s always a great feeling,” says coach Tanya Porter. “Last year was a really hard year – I wish that we could have done better with the talent that we had, but this year we’ve had some people that have stepped up. Just a hot first start to the season, and I just hope we can continue and build on the success we’ve had so far.”
The team has dominated so far – winning 5 of its 6 matches in straight-set fashion. There’s more to it than meets the eye, as this build-up has been a long time coming.
“We’ve been building this program..this is our sixth year,” states Porter. “Volleyball has gotten more popular in our community over the last several years. Girls are starting to play more…we’re finally starting to feel some of the effects of that.”
Despite the team losing such talents as Olivia Walls and Hayley Selzer from last year’s bunch, newcomers like Abby Felkai (Canada) and Cameron Hipps are pivotal additions that have this team ready to make a run in 2021.
“We really focused on some goals this year,” says Porter. “Not just overall goals, but then breaking it down into specific game goals. Trying to not get overwhelmed by what we want to accomplish over time…just the small details per game that I think is going to lead to some overall success.”
Overall goals include making a run at a region title, something Dawson has not accomplished yet, and also getting back to the Elite 8, which they did as recently as 2019.
“Just one game at a time,” adds Porter. “Putting ourselves in opportunities where we are playing tough competition and coming up short are going to be good for us in the long run. That Elite 8 run we had…we played a lot of good competition over the course the year, and that prepared us for postseason play. That’s kind of where we are at now. We have some tough games coming up in our schedule, but that’s going to help us on down the road to be prepared.”
Among those tough games are the Region 7-AAA standouts, which includes Lumpkin (defending region champs), North Hall, White County, and Dawson among others.
“We will try to exploit their weaknesses,” states Porter. We will try to make sure that we are on our game and flex our muscles where we are strong, and hopefully we will come out on top more than we don’t.”
The girls are currently 6-1 overall on the season heading into Thursday’s match against Union County.