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, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team hosted the LaFayette Ramblers at PJHS for a doubleheader to close out the regular season. Pickens, defeated the Ramblers on Tuesday at LaFayette, 2-0, behind a complete game shutout by Colby James, & looked to win the series, & to finish 3rd in the region heading into the state tournament. It was also Senior Night as the Seniors were recognized in between games.
Senior & College of Charleston signee Caswell Smith started game 1 (game 2 overall of the series) & he pitched a masterpiece.
In the bottom of the 1st, the Dragons struck first with 2 runs to take a 2-0 lead. Pickens added to that lead in the bottom of the 2nd, as two more runs would come home, making it 4-0 Dragons. One more run would score in the bottom of the 4th as Pickens extended it’s lead to 5-0 over LaFayette.
With the way Smith pitched, the Dragons only needed 1 run as Smith tossed a complete game, no-hit shutout as the Dragons took the first game of the doubleheader, 5-0.
The 2nd game was started by another senior, & another college signee. Will Lawrence, who is signed with Wallace State to continue his baseball career, took the mound for the final game of the series. Lawrence got off to a good start, striking out the side in the top of the 1st. In the bottom of the 1st, Brady Moore, led off with a walk, stole 2nd, stole 3rd, & scored after the ball got passed the 3rd baseman. Dragons led, 1-0.
Pickens, held that 1-0 lead over the Ramblers until the top of the 4th, when LaFayette plated 2 runs to take a 2-1 lead. Their first lead of the game & of the series. The Dragons, retook the lead in the bottom of the 5th with 2 runs of their own to make it 3-2. LaFayette answered right back with a run in the top of the 6th, to tie things up at 3 a piece.
With 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th, catcher Tyler Vreeland got on base with a single. Jarod Whitmore would then be brought in to courtesy run for Vreeland. Whitmore, would steal 2nd, then make his way to 3rd after the ball got passed the infield & into the outfield. Whitmore, would then come home to score the game winning run on a wild pitch. Pickens, finishes the regular season in exciting fashion winning 4-3.
Pickens, finishes the regular season at 19-11, & 12-6 in region play. The 19 wins are the most in a season for any PHS Baseball team. The Dragons, will represent 6-AAAA as the 3rd seed & take on the 2 seed out of region 7, the Marist War Eagles, in the first round of the 4A State Baseball Tournament. First pitch is set for Wednesday at 5:30.
It was a hot one yesterday afternoon as the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team traveled up to take on the Bruins of Northwest Whitfield for the 2nd straight day. On Tuesday, the Dragons fell 3-0. Yesterday’s game, was originally scheduled for Friday, but with storms on the way, they bumped it up to Wednesday. In any event, Pickens came into the game looking to even up the series.
Pickens, got off to a good start in the top of the 1st, as Caswell Smith, tied a PHS record for home runs in a season with his 10th. Going to the bottom of the inning, the Dragons held a 1-0 lead. Smith, got off to a good start on the mound as well, striking out 1 on 16 pitches to send us to the 2nd,, Dragons up, 1-0.
In the top of the 2nd, Austin Chester led off with a double & it looked like the Dragons were poised to add to their lead. The Bruins however, got a double play, & then a strikeout to end any scoring chance in the 2nd for Pickens. Northwest Whitfield, scored a run in the bottom of the frame to even things up at 1, going to the 3rd.
In the top of the 3rd, the Dragons again had another scoring chance with runners on 2nd & 3rd with 1 out, & then runners on 1st & 3rd with 2 outs. Somehow, the Bruins were able to escape those dcoring threats & the game remained tied at 1. In the bottom of the inning, Northwest Whitfield scored 4 runs to make it 5-1, going to the 4th.
There would be no scoring till the 6th inning as Hunter White knocked in Chad Pacas in the top of the frame to make it 5-2. The Bruins, were able to counter with 3 runs in the bottom of the 6th, to make it 8-2. Northwest Whitfield, would take this one by a final of 8-2.
Game 3 of the series will be this afternoon at PJHS. It is also the annual pink out game as the Dragons are raising awareness in the fight against breast cancer. Come out to the ballpark, wear pink, & cheer on the Dragons as they look to get a big home win. First pitch is set for 5:30.
Brady Moore: 1-3 with a single & a walk
Caswell Smith: 1-3 with a home run, a walk, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Chad Pacas: 1 run scored
Austin Chester: 2-2 with 2 doubles & 1 walk
Hunter White: 1 RBI
Jarod Whitmore: 1 walk, 1 stolen base
Jacob Kirchoff: 1-3 with a single
Yesterday, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team hosted the Dalton Catamounts at Dragons Field in non-region action. Dalton, is out of the 6-A classification. On Thursday, these two teams met in Dalton, & Pickens came away with a 7-3 win. The Dragons came in, looking for a home & home sweep.
Starter Will Lawrence, got off to a great start in the top of the 1st, striking out two Catamounts. Pickens, got off to an even better start offensively as Brady Moore led off the bottom half of the inning with a home run, & Tyler Vreeland knocked in Caswell Smith with an RBI double. Going to the 2nd, the Dragons held a 2-0 lead over Dalton.
In the 2nd, Lawrence added to his strikeout total, collecting two more, but Dalton was able to cut the Dragon lead in half, 2-1. Pickens, had a potential 2-out threat emerging, but the Catamounts were able to end the inning & send us to the 3rd.
The 3rd inning saw back and forth action. In the top of the frame, Dalton took their first lead of the game by scoring two runs, making it 3-2. The Dragons, were able to counter back, with 4 runs. Smith with a 2-run home run (his 9th), & getting an RBI from Lawrence & Chad Pacas to make it 6-3 Pickens, going to the 4th.
The 5th inning, saw ten total runs scored between the two teams. In the top of the inning, the Catamounts scored 5 times to retake the lead from the Dragons, 8-6. In the bottom half of the inning, it was the Dragons turn to score 5 runs led by Moore with an RBI single, & Smith with a 2-RBI double. Going to the 6th, Pickens led Dalton, 11-8.
In the bottom of the 6th, the Dragons added an insurance run when Lawrence, drove in Jarod Whitmore to make it 12-8. Pacas came in for the top of the 7th, & shut the Catamounts down to give Pickens the 12-8 win.
Next week, the Dragons will begin their biggest series of the season as they take on the Northwest Whitfield Bruins in a 3-game set. Pickens: 16-7 (9-3) & Northwest Whitfield: 15-5 (9-3) are tied atop the 6-AAAA standings & the winner of the series will be in the drivers seat as far as the region championship is concerned. Game one of the 3-game set will be in Tunnel Hill at Northwest Whitfield. First pitch set for 5:30.
Brady Moore: 3-4 with a home run, 2 singles, 1 RBI, & 3 runs scored
Caswell Smith: 2-2 with a home run, a double, 2 walks, 4 RBI, & 2 runs scored
Tyler Vreeland: 3-4 with a double, 2 singles, & 1 RBI
Colby James: 2-4 with 2 singles & 2 runs scored
Will Lawrence: 2-4 with 2 singles, 2 RBI, & 1 run scored
Austin Chester: 1 walk
Chad Pacas: 2-3 with 2 singles, a walk, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Hunter White: 1-4 with a single
Jacob Kirchoff: 1-2 with a single, a walk, & 1 run scored
Jarod Whitmore: 2 runs scored
It was game three of three yesterday as the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team made the short trip up 515 to Ellijay to take on the Gilmer Bobcats. Pickens, won the series on Thursday in walk off fashion, & looked to complete the sweep to remain in 2nd place in region play.
The Dragons, got off to a big start in the top of the 1st. Brady Moore led off with a double, Colby James would bring him in, then Austin Chester would bring in Jarod Whitmore & James to make it 3-0 Pickens, going to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the frame, Gilmer got a run off one hit to make it 3-1 Dragons going to the 2nd.
In the top of the 2nd, the Dragons added 3 more runs. Moore hit a solo home run, Caswell Smith came in on a passed ball, & starting pitcher Will Lawrence helped himself out with an RBI single bringing in Colby James, to make it 6-1. Lawrence sat the Bobcats down in order in the bottom of the frame, sending us to the 3rd, Dragons up, 6-1.
In the top of the 3rd, Pickens stretched it’s lead out even more by scoring 6 runs in the frame. The Dragons, got an RBI from Tyler Vreeland, James, Lawrence, & 2 RBI from Hunter White. Going to the bottom of the 3rd, Pickens led Gilmer, 12-1. The Bobcats, got a run on two hits in the bottom of the inning, to make it 12-2 Dragons, going to the 4th.
In the 4th, the Bobcats again plated a run, to make it 12-3. The action didn’t pick back up until the 7th. The Dragons got three straight hits, & a run scored by Whitmore, to make it 13-3 Pickens. Gilmer, with their final three outs, made a furious rally. The Bobcats, scored 8 runs on 6 hits, to cut it to 13-11, with 2 outs. Caswell Smith, came in for the save for Pickens as he struck out his only batter, touching 94 on the radar gun, to preserve the 13-11 win & the sweep for the Dragons:
Pickens, now 12-6 (7-2), will begin a series with the Ridgeland Panthers on Tuesday at Dragons Field. First pitch set for 5:30. Both Pickens & Ridgeland are tied for 2nd in 6-AAAA at 7-2.
Brady Moore: 3-4 with a double, a home run, a single, a walk, 1 RBI, & 3 runs scored
Caswell Smith: 1-3 with a single, 2 walks, & 2 runs scored
Tyler Vreeland: 1-4 with a single, a walk, & 1 RBI
Colby James: 2-4 with 2 singles, 2 RBI, & 3 runs scored
Jarod Whitmore: 1-1 with a single, & 3 runs scored
Will Lawrence: 1-3 with 1 single, 1 walk, & 2 RBI & 6 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 1 HBP, 5 K, on 84 pitches
Seth Densmore: 1-1 with a single
Austin Chester: 2-2 with 2 singles, 2 walks, 2 RBI, & 1 run scored
Christian Chumley: 1-1 with a single
Chad Pacas: 2-4 with a single, a double, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Hunter White: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 2 RBI
It was a sunny, yet cool afternoon in Ellijay on Tuesday as the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team took on the Gilmer Bobcats in the 1st game of a three game region series. Pickens, came into this series having won their first two series over Southeast Whitfield & Heritage, While Gilmer was off from region play last week.
In the top of the 1st, Caswell Smith drew a 1-out walk, but he would be left stranded at 1st to end the top of the inning. Starting pitcher for Pickens, Colby James, sat the Bobcats down in order on 6 pitches, to send us to the 2nd, still scoreless. In the bottom of the 2nd, Gilmer had runners on 1st & 2nd, but James was able to get out of it to send it to the 3rd, still 0-0.
In the top of the 3rd, the Dragons broke the tie after plating three runs behind RBI from Tyler Vreeland, & James, & Jarod Whitmore scoring on a passed ball. In the bottom of the frame, the Bobcats again threatened with 2 on, but James & the Dragons again got out of the jam, sending us to the 4th, Pickens ahead, 3-0.
The bottom of the 4th saw Gilmer threatening for the 3rd time in the last three innings with runners on 2nd & 3rd, looking to cut into the Dragons lead. Pickens, again escaped the danger, maintaining their 3-0 lead, going to the 5th. In the top of the 5th, the Dragons scored 5 times getting an RBI from Vreeland, James, & 2 RBI from Will Lawrence. Austin Chester scored on a passed ball. Gilmer would go down in order in the bottom of the inning, sending us to the 6th, Pickens up 8-0.
The Bobcats, got on the board in the bottom of the 6th, plating a run to make it 8-1 going to the 7th. Seth Densmore came in to shut things down in the bottom of the 7th, to seal the win for the Dragons, 8-1.
Game 2 between these two teams will be tomorrow at 5:30 at Pickens Junior High School.
Brady Moore: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 1 run scored
Caswell Smith: 1-2 with a single, a walk, 1 hit by pitch, & 2 runs scored
Tyler Vreeland: 1-4 with a single, & 2 RBI
Colby James: 1-4 with a double & 2 RBI & 6 IP, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 1 H, 1 R on 74 pitches
Will Lawrence: 1 walk, 2 RBI & 1 run scored
Austin Chester: 1 walk & 1 run scored
Chad Pacas: 2-4 with a double & a single
Hunter White: 2 walks & 1 run scored
Jacob Kirchoff: hit by pitch
Jarod Whitmore: 2 runs scored
On a sunny Friday afternoon, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team welcomed the Heritage Generals to Dragons Field for the rubber match of the 3-game set. On Wednesday, the Generals took game 2, 9-3, so the winner of this one would not only take the series, but would also claim 2nd place in the region standings by themselves.
College of Charleston signee Caswell Smith started this game for the Dragons & he had a terrific outing. Smith needed 11 pitches, & collected his 1st strikeout in the top of the 1st. In the bottom of the inning, Colby James brought in Jarod Whitmore, to make it 1-0 Pickens, going to the 2nd. Smith added two strikeouts to his total in the top of the 2nd, keeping it 1-0 Dragons. Brady Moore & Smith both got 2-out hits, but were left stranded as we’d head to the 3rd.
Smith, continued his nice start to the game by striking out two more Generals to keep Heritage off the board in the top of the 3rd. Pickens, would go down in order in the bottom of the frame, & we would go to the 4th, Pickens still ahead, 1-0. Smith again would add two strikeouts to his total in the top of the 4th, still holding Heritage scoreless. Pickens broke through in the bottom of the 4th after Chad Pacas hit a solo home run, Smith doubled in Moore, & Whitemore scored on a passed ball, to make it 4-0 Pickens going to the 5th.
Smith’s performance on the mound yesterday was one to remember. Allowing the only two hits against him to come in the top of the 7th. Pickens held on to get a big win 4-0, taking the series from Heritage, 2-1.
Pickens, will continue region play next week, as they square off against the Gilmer Bobcats in a three game series. Game one, will be in Ellijay on Tuesday at 5:30.
Brady Moore: 2-3 with 2 singles & 1 run scored
Caswell Smith: 3-3 with 2 singles, 1 double, & 1 RBI & 7IP, 0R, 2H, 1BB, 14K on 104 pitches
Tyler Vreeland: 1-3 with a single
Colby James: 1 RBI
Austin Chester: 1 walk
Chad Pacas: 1-3 with a home run, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored
Jarod Whitmore: 2 runs scored
Yesterday, the PHS Dragons varsity baseball team headed back to Dalton to take on the Southeast Whitfield Raiders for the 3rd and final game of the series. Pickens, won the first two games by a score of 6-3 & 7-2, getting the series win. They went into Southeast Whitfield looking to complete the sweep.
The Dragons, had an early threat in the top of the first, with 2 hits, but left 2 stranded with nothing doing. Dragon starter & Wallace State signee Will Lawrence got the start & pitched really well. The Senior needed only 13 pitches to get out of the bottom of the first. During that frame, Lawrence collected two strike outs. In the top of the 2nd, catcher Austin Chester led off with a single, & Hunter White brought in Jarod Whitmore, who was courtesy running for Chester, to give the Dragons a 1-0 lead. Lawrence got into a bit of a jam in the bottom of the 2nd, but the Raiders were held scoreless, & Pickens took a 1-0 lead into the 3rd.
Lawrence, did a good job of getting out of a major jam in the bottom of the 3rd. The Raiders had the bases loaded, but only scored 1 run to tie things up, going to the 4th. The Raiders took the in the bottom of the 4th, scoring two runs to make it 3-1. Southeast Whitfield extended their lead in the bottom of the 5th with another run, making it 4-1 Raiders.
In the top of the 6th, Pickens had a major threat going as they looked to get back into the game in the later innings. The Dragons did plate a run as a Hunter White walk brought in Colby James. That’s all the Dragons would get however as they left the bases loaded, now trailing, 4-2.
In the top of the 7th, Brady Moore led off with a double, stole 3rd, & came in to score after an overthrow by the Raiders catcher on a pickoff attempt. Southeast Whitfield was able to recover & hold on to get the win, 4-3.
Brady Moore: 2-4 with 1 single, 1 double, & 1 run scored
Caswell Smith: 1 walk & 1 hit by pitch
Tyler Vreeland: 1-4 with a single
Colby James: 2-4 with 2 singles & 1 run scored
Will Lawrence: 1-3 with a single & 6 IP, 6 K, 4 H, 3 walks, 0 ER on 105 pitches
Austin Chester: 2-3 with 2 singles
Chad Pacas: 2 hit by pitches
Hunter White: 2 RBI
Jarod Whitmore: 1 run scored
Pickens, is now 2nd in 6-AAAA after the first week of region play at 2-1. Next week, they will host the team they are tied in 2nd with, the Heritage Generals. Game one of the three game series will begin on Tuesday at Dragons Field. First Pitch is scheduled for 5:30.