This past Friday night, the Pickens Dragons varsity football team welcomed the Denmark Danes to Dragon Stadium for a scrimmage game one week before the 2019 season officially kicks off. Pickens, coming off of a historic 11-1 season, a region championship, & their first ever playoff victory. Coming into the 2019 season, the Dragons are looking to replace several key players from last season, & look for some of the younger kids to step up & fill some important roles.
There was no official score kept on Friday night, their was plenty of scoring going on during this scrimmage game. The Danes got the scoring started by getting only points in the 1st quarter with a 40-yd field goal. Going to the 2nd quarter, Denmark led things, 3-0. Early on in the 2nd quarter, the Danes extended their lead with a 15-yd rushing touchdown to make it unofficially, 10-0 with 11:46 left in the first half. Pickens, found the end zone for the first time on the night after a nice 31-yd touchdown pass from returning 6-AAAA Player of the Year CJ Streicher to Jarod Whitmore cut the Dane lead to 10-6 with 3:46 left in the first half. Kickoffs, punts, field goals, & PAT’s were not live during this game so after the Danes took over after the Dragon touchdown, they wasted little time getting those points back. An 80-yd touchdown pass gave Denmark a 17-6 advantage over Pickens. Denmark was looking to add to their lead late in the first half as they were down near the Dragon goal line with seconds to go. The Dragon defense buckled down and made the stand as Tucker Lowe intercepted the pass on 4th down in the end zone to send us to the half, Danes up, 17-6.
The 2nd half saw the younger groups get in and get some valuable playing time for later on down the road. The Danes opened the 2nd half scoring with their 2nd rushing touchdown of the game to extend their lead to 23-6 over the Dragons with 6:48 to go in the 3rd. Pickens came right back and scored on a beautiful 23-yd touchdown pass from TC Jarrett to Connor Browning to make it 23-13 Denmark, going to the 4th and final quarter. Denmark, stretched their lead out at the 11:42 mark of the 4th with their 3rd rushing touchdown of the game. This time, a 48-yd run. The Danes added a field goal in the final minute, to make it an unofficial 33-13 final.
All in all, some good things happened on the field Friday night for the Dragons. There was also some teachable moments for the coaches which is what these scrimmages games are for. Once this offense got to clicking, it was fun to watch. The defense made some really nice plays & held Denmark on several goal line stands & forced several Dane turnovers.
Looking ahead to next Friday, the Dragons will take a 10 game regular season win streak into Friday night as they host the Stone Mountain Pirates to kick off the 2019 season. The Pirates, are out of the 3-A classification and went 2-8 last season. As coaches & players will tell you though, last season was last season & 2019 brings on a whole new year & every team is different. You can catch the Dragons taking on the Pirates next Friday at Dragon Stadium at 7:30.
It was a hot one last night in Dawsonville as the PHS Dragons football team made the short trip over to Dawson County to take on the Tigers in the finale of spring practice. The last several years these two teams have played against each other in the spring game. Both teams are coming off of playoff appearances in the 2018 season, and looked to build momentum heading into the 2019 season.
The story for the first half, which was played by the varsity squads & the takeaway from the first half was defense. Neither offense could get anything going as the defense for both squads were very impressive for having been together for just two weeks. In the Dragons case, they were led by new defensive coordinator Grant Myers. Coach Myers came to PHS from Splading High School. The defensive line is still intact from last year, but other than that, there are many new faces in the linebacker & DB groups. Speaking of the DB group, a familiar face has been tasked to lead them as PHS Athletics Hall of Fame inductee Jordan Shaw, has returned to PHS to coach the DB’s. Another new defensive coach that is set to join the Dragons staff is new LB coach, Seth Deering, who will come to PHS from Denmark High School.
The varsity portion of this spring scrimmage ended in a 0-0 deadlock. The good thing about these spring games is, both teams have something to look at and improve on heading into the summer workouts & into the start of the new season.
The 2nd half saw the younger kids get into the action, & that’s where the scoring really picked up. Dawson, got the scoring going in the 3rd with a 1-yd TD run. The extra point was converted & the Tigers led the Dragons 7-0. The next offensive play for Pickens, QB Jarod Whitmore found a streaking Devin Hand who snuck behind the Tiger defense & scored a 65-yd TD connection. Sophomore kicker Jose Sanchez drilled the extra point through the uprights to tie things up at 7. Just before the 3rd quarter ended, the Tigers attempted a 46-yd uncontested field goal, & converted it, giving Dawson a 10-7 lead going to the 4th.
The game featured a running clock throughout the contest. The last minute or so saw the final scoring by the two teams, Dawson, added to their lead with a 10-yd TD pass, making it 16-7 with 1:11 left. Pickens, drove down the field, & got in field goal range so Sanchez could attempt his lone field goal of the night. Sanchez would knock the 34-yd field goal attempt through, giving us a final of 16-10, Dawson.
- As mentioned earlier, the score in these games isn’t the important thing. It’s seeing where the players & the team is at heading into the summer & getting a feel for what needs to be worked on. Pickens, will break for a couple of weeks, & comeback in early June to continue preparation for the 2019 campaign. The Dragons, will host the Denmark Danes at Dragons Stadium for their 2nd scrimmage on August 16th, & open up the 2019 season at home against Stone Mountain the following week.
Yesterday afternoon, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team was right back at it at home hosting the Denmark Danes in what was the final game before the start of region play. Pickens, came into the game at 5-3 & looking to avenge one of those losses by splitting with the Danes.
Junior Colby James got the call to start for the Dragons. In the top of the 1st, James sat down the Danes in order on 13 pitches. In the bottom of the inning, recent Coastal Carolina commit led the frame off with a double, & would come into score after a sacrifice fly by James to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead going to the 2nd.
The Danes, were able to tie things up in the top of the 2nd after plating their first run. The Dragons, answered with more runs of their own after a 2-run single by Tyler Vreeland brought in Hunter White & Jacob Kirchoff. Going to the 3rd, Pickens led Denmark, 3-1.
Denmark, took the lead in the top of the 3rd with 5 runs, & added to it in the top of the 4th with 7 runs scored to make it 13-3. Caswell Smith hit a solo homerun for the Dragons in the bottom of the 4th to make it 13-4. The Danes, plated a run in the top of the 5th to make it 14-4. Denmark was able to come away with this one, 14-4.
Brady Moore: 1-3 with a double & 1 run scored
Caswell Smith: 1-2 with a homerun, 1 walk, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Tyler Vreeland: 1-2 with a single, 1 walk, & 2 RBI
Colby James: 1 RBI
Will Lawrence: 2 walks
Hunter White: 1-2 with a single & 1 run scored
Jacob Kirchoff: 1 walk & 1 run scored
Pickens, will start region play next week as they’ll begin a 3-game series with the Southeast Whitfield Raiders. Game 1, will be at Southeast Whitfield on Tuesday with a first pitch time of 5:30.
Yesterday, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team once again welcomed the Murray County Indians to Dragons Field for a non-region contest. This game, was originally scheduled to be played at Murray County, but due to the excessive rain north Georgia received, Murray County’s field was in no shape to be used, so they moved the game to Pickens. The Dragons, were coming off of a great showing in south Georgia at Baseball at the Beach, where they defeated Brunswick 3-0, & barely fell to South Effingham 8-7.
Senior Will Lawrence got the call to start for the Dragons against the Indians. Lawrence pitched well in the top of the 1st, striking out two batters, & only needing 13 pitches to retire the side. Pickens, got off to a good start offensively as well in the bottom of the 1st, scoring 3 times, & getting an RBI from Lawrence & Austin Chester. Going to the 2nd, the Dragons led the Indians, 3-0. The top of the 2nd saw Murray score 8 times to take a 8-3 lead. Pickens, got some runs back with a 2-run double by Tyler Vreeland to make it 8-5 going to the 3rd.
Murray County got those two runs back in the top of the 3rd, to extend their lead to 10-5. The Dragons would leave Lawrence stranded at 2nd, as we’d head to the 4th, Indians up, 10-5. In the bottom of the 4th, Pickens got back into it getting an RBI from Colby James & Chad Pacas. The Dragons scored 3 runs in that frame to make it 10-8 Indians.
Murray County again answered with a run of their own in the top of the 5th, to make it 11-8. In the bottom of the inning, the Dragons tied things up scoring three times, & getting an RBI from Brady Moore & Chester. We went to the 6th, with things all square at 11. It would remain tied until the bottom of the 7th, when Seth Densmore came up to pitch hit for Chester. After a couple of bunt attempts, Densmore lined a single into the outfield, & bringing home the winning run. Dragons win a wild one, 12-11.
Brady Moore: 2-5 with a single, a double, 1 RBI, & 2 runs scored
Caswell Smith: 3-4 with a single, double, triple, 1 walk, & 3 runs scored
Tyler Vreeland: 1 double, & 2 RBI
Colby James: 2-4 with 2 singles, 1 RBI, & 2 runs scored
Will Lawrence: 3-3 with 1 double, 2 singles, 2 walks, & 1 RBI
Austin Chester: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 2 RBI
Seth Densmore: 1-1 with a single & 1 RBI
Chad Pacas: 2 walks, & 1 RBI
Hunter White: 1 walk & 2 runs scored
Jacob Kirchoff: 1-2 with a single, 1 hit by pitch, & 3 runs scored
Pickens, will be back on the diamond this afternoon as they host the Denmark Danes at Dragons Field. Original start time was 5:55. It has now been moved up to 4.
It was a cold, cloudy, sometimes foggy day at the ball park yesterday as the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team welcomed three teams to Dragons Field for an all day baseballathon. There were four games played yesterday featuring Pickens, Lumpkin, Northgate, & McIntosh. The 1st game, saw the Pickens Dragons take on the Northgate Vikings out of the 6A classification at 11 am.
Junior Colby James got the call to start for the Dragons in the 1st game & his stuff was electric on this cold day. James, needed just 12 pitches to get out of the top of the 1st. The Vikings got the Dragons to go down in order, & we headed to the 2nd, still 0-0. Northgate had a mini threat in the top of the 2nd, but James was able to keep it scoreless. After a hit batter & a couple of walks, Chad Pacas came into score to give Pickens a 1-0 lead going to the 3rd.
James needed 13 pitches in the top of the 3rd, & collected his first strikeout in the process. The Dragons scored 2 runs in the bottom of the frame after a leadoff double from Brady Moore, a single from Caswell Smith, came home to score, giving Pickens a 3-0 lead going to the 4th. The Vikings cut into the lead in the top of the 4th as they got a run in on two hits. The Dragons still held the lead, 3-1. In the bottom of the inning, Pickens broke it open after scoring 4 runs, & getting RBI from Jacob Kirchoff, Tyler Vreeland, & James himself. Going to the 5th, the Dragons led Northgate 7-1.
James was able to shut down the Vikings the rest of the way, pitching a complete game as Pickens took the win in thier first game, 7-1.
Brady Moore: 2-3, 2 doubles, & 2 runs scored
Caswell Smith: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 2 runs scored
Tyler Vreeland: 2-3 with 2 singles, 2 RBI, 1 sac bunt
Chad Pacas: 1-2 with a single, a walk, a HBP, & 1 run scored
Colby James: CG, 5 strikeouts, 1 R, 101 pitches, & a double & 1 RBI
Austin Chester: 2 walks
Hunter White: 1 walk
Will Lawrence: 1-3 with a single & 1 run scored
Jacob Kirchoff: 1-2 with a single, 1 RBI, 1 run scored & 1 HBP
In their 2nd game of the day, Pickens took on the McIntosh Chiefs out of the 5A classification. Prior to this game, McIntosh fell to Lumpkin 10-8. Pickens, was looking to go 2-0 on the day, & get a 2nd straight win over a higher classification.
Chad Pacas got the start for the Dragons & despite getting into early trouble, pitched well in his first start of the 2019 season. McIntosh plated two runs in the top of the 1st, & while the Dragons drew a walk in the bottom of the frame, they couldn’t bring them around & the Chiefs took a 2-0 lead to the 2nd. Pacas settled down in the top of the 2nd collecting his 2nd & 3rd strikeouts of the game. Pickens went in order in the bottom of the 2nd, & McIntosh took it’s 2-0 lead into the 3rd.
The Dragons got a 2 out walk in the bottom of the 3rd, looking to cut into the McIntosh lead. The runner would be stranded at 3rd however & we’d go to the 4th, Chiefs still ahead, 2-0. In the top of the 4th, McIntosh plated 9 runs to extend their lead to 11-0. The Chiefs scored twice more in the top of the 5th to make it 13-0. Pickens scored twice themselves in the bottom of the 5th, but it would be McIntosh to come away with the win, 13-2.
Pickens, will be on the road on Monday as they’ll take on the Denmark Danes on Monday in a make up game that was scheduled for last Friday. The game will be played at LakePoint, & the first pitch is scheduled for 2:30.
After picking up a season opening win over the Murray County Indians the day before, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team, was right back on the diamond yesterday afternoon to host the Lumpkin County Indians, in another non-region ball game.
Dragon Senior & College of Charleston signee Caswell Smith took the mound for Pickens and was very effective. Smith, collected a strikeout, & needed only 10 pitches to get out of the top of the 1st. Pickens, got on the board first in the bottom of the inning after Brady Moore came around to score after leading off the frame with a double.
In the bottom of the third, Smith helped himself out with a solo opposite field homerun, to give the Dragons a 2-0 lead over the Indians. Lumpkin, got their first run of the ball game in the top of the 4th, & Pickens went in order in the bottom of the inning to send us to the 5th, Dragons up, 2-1.
After another leadoff hit by Moore to begin the bottom of the 5th, Tyler Vreeland would bring Moore in and give the Dragons a 3-1 lead. Lumpkin County however wouldn’t go away quietly as they would answer back with a run of their own in the top of the 6th, to once again make it a 1 run game, 3-2, going to the 7th.
In the 7th, the Indians would load the bases & things looked like we would be heading to the bottom of the inning tied. Smith, who was still in the game pitching, was able to get two strikeouts, & the final batter to fly out to center to preserve the win for the Dragons, 3-2.
Caswell Smith: 7 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K on 95 pitches & 1-3 with a homerun, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Brady Moore: 2-4 with 2 runs scored
Tyler Vreeland: 1-3 with a single & 1 RBI
Colby James: 1-3 with a single
Austin Chester: 1 walk
Will Lawrence: 1-2 with a single & a walk
Jacob Kirchoff: 1 walk
Pickens, will again be at home this afternoon as they welcome the Denmark Danes to Dragons Field. First pitch is set for 5:55.