The 2021 high school football season was so successful in Dalton and surrounding areas that it prompted the creation of Celebration – and a new nickname for the area known as the “Carpet Capital of the World”.
“Soccertown, USA,” as Dalton is sometimes called, was no stranger to soccer success. Dalton High School, Southeast Whitfield and Northwest Whitfield have all won state championships in recent years, but have won no more than one in the same season.
Last year, there were three.
2022 didn’t quite match last season’s state championships — Whitfield County settled on just two state champions — but Sugartown has been as dominant as ever on the field this season.
Dalton Academy didn’t exist this time last year, but Puma’s boys’ soccer program went down in history in its first season by winning the state Class A general championship.
Southeast Whitfield came into the season looking for a repeat of the Class 4A state championship, and the Raiders earned it.
There may only be two state champions from the county this season, but four teams have played for a title on the state’s biggest stage.
Dalton High School played their third consecutive state championship and sixth in 10 years, but the Catamounts came within short distance of the achievement by falling to Lasseter in a state championship game.
Northwest Whitfield was there as well, leading to the all-Whitfield State Final in 4A. They fell into the Southeast competition with the state championship on the line.
The girls of Northwest Whitfield almost joined the boys in the state finals. The Lady Bruins succeeded in last year’s match with the Final Four by appearing again in the state semifinals.
A total of eight domestic football programs reached Elite 8. The boys from Coahulla Creek and North Murray reached the quarterfinals, while the girls of the Southeast made their first-ever appearance at Elite 8.
All eight boys’ soccer programs in Whitfield County or Murray County submitted the state playoffs in 2022—Christian Heritage and Murray County joined other teams with a deeper playoff. There were also five of the eight girl groups. Coahulla Creek and Dalton made the return trips, while the North Murray Girls made their first-ever appearances.
The local football scene caught the attention of the New York Times this year. An article published this spring detailed the rise of sport in Dalton, culminating in the current streak of success in the region.
There will only be two 2022 state champions in remembering the region.
But Sugartown has never been stronger across the board.
This is worth celebrating.
Daniel Mays is the sports editor at Dalton Daily Citizen. Write to him at email@example.com