Southeastern 7 on 7 Tournament, Presented by AstroTurf

For two days, some of the best high school football players in the country will put on a show at different locations in the Carpet Capital of the World.

Southeastern 7 on 7So sit back and enjoy.

The Daily Citizen’s Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship, sponsored by AstroTurf, begins Saturday at four locations in Dalton and concludes Sunday afternoon at Lakeshore Park. The fourth annual edition of the tournament will feature 32 high school football teams vying to be the best seven-on-seven squad.

“The Daily Citizen staff has been hard at work at all of the sites to ensure that we provide a fan-friendly experience as well as a great tournament for the participants,” said Gary Jones, The Daily Citizen’s advertising director. “We want everyone to leave Dalton with nothing but good things to say about our town, the event, the facilities and our hospitality.”

Seven-on-seven competition is a modified version of football in which only passing is allowed and there are no offensive or defensive lines. Because there’s no tackling — players wear helmets but no other pads — a play ends when a ball carrier is touched with at least one hand below the neck by an opposing player.

Saturday morning, the teams will split into four eight-team pools. The top four from each pool advance to Sunday’s double-elimination championship tournament, and the bottom four in each pool compete Sunday in a double-elimination consolation bracket.

A full schedule and list of teams is available on the tournament’s website,

Christian Heritage, Coahulla Creek, Dalton, Northwest Whitfield and Southeast Whitfield are the five local teams in the field. The rest come from as far south as Florida, as far west as Louisiana and Missouri, and as far north as Illinois.

“I’ve heard a lot of good things about it,” said Coahulla Creek coach Chad Barger, who was hired in January. “You get to see different talent levels and different kids. You get different philosophies and multiple looks.”

Admission is free for spectators at all locations — Christian Heritage School, Dalton High School, James Brown Sports Complex and Lakeshore Park — and concessions will be available, although options may vary depending on the location. “Turf Wars,” a publication with details on the tournament, will be available free at each location.

For those planning to come for an extended time, Jones said it will be wise to bring chairs and tents.

“There is a good bit of bleacher space,” he said, “but bleachers tend to be very hot this time of year.”

Jones also said there will be T-shirts, fans and other merchandise available for purchase at each location.

Dalton will play Saturday in the pool at its on-campus practice field — along with Coahulla Creek — while Christian Heritage will play Saturday on its field. Northwest plays Saturday at Lakeshore Park and Southeast plays at the James Brown Sports Complex. All fields use a synthetic turf surface. Lakeshore Park will host each bracket’s championship game Sunday afternoon.

Article Originally published by Devin Gold at The Dalton Daily Citizen.

Southeastern 7 on 7 Championships a Boost to Local Teams

Bryan Peeples, AstroTurf President, presents Colquitt County with the Championship Trophy

For the local high school football teams that competed in the Southeastern 7-on-7 Championship this past weekend in Whitfield County, the third installment of The Daily Citizen’s annual tournament was an unqualified success.

Despite a larger pool of competition at this year’s tournament — there were 40 teams, up from 32 a year ago and 20 in the inaugural event — four of the six schools from Murray or Whitfield counties that participated advanced from Saturday’s pool play to Sunday’s championship bracket. The top four finishers in each of the six seven-team pools advanced to the championship bracket, while the other three moved on to the consolation bracket.

This was the first year a local school had advanced to championship bracket play. Dalton finished as the consolation bracket champion in 2012 — only pool winners advanced to bracket play in 2011 — but this year the Catamounts, Christian Heritage, North Murray and Northwest Whitfield all played against the best competition the tournament had to offer during the second day.

And the number of local teams in the championship bracket might have been higher if Southeast Whitfield didn’t take a different approach to the tournament, electing to split its talent pool equally among its A and B squads.

Still, all of the local coaches were pleased with their team’s performances against top competition from a field that included schools from 10 states.

“We faced a very high level of competition against teams like Bowling Green (Ky.) and Cartersville and Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.),” Northwest coach Josh Robinson said. “We got a real good gauge of where we are at, and we are pleased with the way we competed with these teams. I am real pleased with where we are at.”

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Lakeshore Park Aims To Be Regional Sports Hub

Charles Oliver

From college soccer matches to regional football tournaments to a new track and field program, the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department has big plans for the renovated field at Lakeshore Park.

Bryan Peeples, left, AstroTurf president, and Dalton Parks and Recreation Director Steve Card talk about the new field at Lakeshore Park Thursday. (Matt Hamilton/The Daily Citizen)

“It will be our only full-size field. All of our other fields are 80 yards long,” said recreation department Director Steve Card, adding the new field replaces the existing soccer field. “Having a full-size field will allow us to host some larger football tournaments. It will obviously be the future home of the 7-on-7 (football) Championship. It’s also a regulation NCAA soccer field, so Dalton State College will be able to step on it on day one and play soccer.”

Dalton State College Athletics Director Derek Waugh said the school hopes to have its soccer program in place soon and Lakeshore Park will be its home field.

“We submitted a proposal to the Board of Regents to start hiring a soccer coach this year with play to begin in fall of 2014,” Waugh said. “While this was not immediately approved, I am confident we will have soccer up and running as soon as we receive approval. I cannot think of anything more logical than giving our abundant local soccer talent an option to continue their careers and education at the college level.”

The field will have the logos for both DSC and the Dalton Parks and Recreation Department.

Dalton City Council members voted Monday to approve a $254,675.89 contract with AstroTurf for a new artificial turf surface for the park’s soccer field. The council also voted 3-0 to approve the $64,900 purchase of a lighting system from Musco Sports Lighting of Oskaloosa, Iowa, and a $40,370 contract with Dalton’s Lawson Electric to install the lighting system.

“This will be a complete project. The main renovation, obviously, will be the turf. But we are also going to resurface the track. We are going to put college-spec lighting. We’ll have bleachers for up to 300. We’ll have a decorative fence,” said Card.

Dalton Public Works crews have already torn up the old field.

“We are three to four weeks away from finishing the basework and turning it over to AstroTurf,” said Card. “Our goal is to have this up and running by the first of September in time for our fall football and soccer programs.”

Card said that, because of the size of the field, two and possibly up to three youth games can be played on it at one time by playing crossways on the field.

“We also hope to use it to have a full track season. AstroTurf will be installing a long jump pit, and we have the track. We can use the field itself for the softball throw,” he said.

Card said that the track will also be lighted at night and open to the public for walking and running.

“The field that was here was approximately 12 years old and needed to be replaced. We had to address that. But when we started talking about replacing the field, we started talking to the college because we knew they were looking to start a soccer program,” Card said. “When we started to design this project and bid it out, we wanted to meet our needs. But we also wanted go ahead and see what the needs of Dalton State. It will meet our needs for soccer and football, and it will meet their needs.”

AstroTurf President Bryan Peeples said the turf will be one of the company’s latest products, which uses soybean oils to replace some of the petroleum typically used in the manufacture of synthetic turf.

“It’s an environmentally friendly product that was pioneered and is manufactured right here in Dalton,” he said.

In addition to soccer, Lakeshore Park will also host DSC’s tennis program starting next spring. Card said the recreation department is also expanding and renovating its cross country trail so DSC can hold meets there, too. But Waugh said plans call for the college’s team to compete solely on the road for its first season.

Article Courtesy of Dalton Daily Citizen at


(DALTON, Georgia) — The Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans squared off in a preseason scrimmage on Monday in the hometown of AstroTurf®.

The teams visited Coahulla Creek High School in Varnell, near Dalton, on Monday and drew nearly 8,500 fans for the event.

Photo of Coahulla Creek Athletic Field

From a marketing standpoint, both teams draw fans from the area, which is within easy driving distance of where the teams play their home games in Atlanta and Nashville. The event also served as a fundraiser for the athletic departments of the three high schools in Whitfield County, which are Coahulla Creek, Northwest Whitfield, and Southeast Whitfield.

“The people in this community have rolled out the red carpet for us,” said Mike Smith, Head Coach of the Falcons. “In terms of the facilities, it’s just beautiful. I certainly hope we’ll have the opportunity to come back again.”

Coahulla Creek is a new school and plays on natural grass on a field Titans’ QB Matt Hasselbeck compared to a college field.

While the school does not yet have artificial turf, AstroTurf® was able to provide the school with new team boxes, the area on the sideline between the 25-yard-lines. The team boxes feature a large AstroTurf® logo, as a show of support for the program. AstroTurf® installed the sideline panels in time for the scrimmage to help protect and showcase the field and the panels will remain in place permanently for the school.

“Ultimately, our mission is to bring communities together through sports, so we were proud to be a small part of this event,” said Bryan Peeples, President of AstroTurf®. “Coahulla Creek has a first-class facility and this was a large and important event for the community and for the future of the athletic departments in the Whitfield County school system.”

The first-time event is one both teams plan to host on an annual basis in and around the Chattanooga area.

Attached is a sampling of media links about the event. The first is the Atlanta Falcons home page, which features several stories and videos from the event. The second is a photo gallery from the Tennessee Titans with nearly 350 photos from the event. The final link is a news story from Chattanooga television station WRCB.