HALL COUNTY, Ga. - This week’s HIGH 5 Sports Game of the Week is Dawson County at West Hall at Spartan Field.
The Spartans opened the season with a loss to Gainesville, but have won three straight.
Dawson County had a bye last week, coming into the game 1-0. They’re looking to make a splash.
“You guys doing this type of stuff, it's huge for our a lot of our schools and all of our schools and the communities that our schools are in. it helps schools rally, get community members involved in the school,” said Spartans Head Coach Tony Lotti, a proud member of the HIGH 5 Nation. “I know there was a lot of buzz here about, about ‘hey, did you vote?’ I heard kids talking in the hallway. It's such a good thing. High school football is so important I believe.”
It is Childhood Cancer Awareness night in Oakwood. The West Hall Spartans have painted the hand this week gold in honor of that.
“Well, it's just a great atmosphere. First of all, thank you guys for being here. Childhood cancer is so near and dear to our hearts. I think everybody who is watching has had someone touched with some sort of cancer. We just want to say, make everyone aware of it. And have the opportunity to say 'thank you' and try to raise awareness, raise some money tonight for that,” said West Hall Principal Scott Justus.
One of the former Spartans who graduated last year is battling Leukemia. He will be part of the coin toss along with a Junior Spartan who was also hit with the terrible disease.
“We do have a former who graduated last year and we have a Junior Spartan who are both hit with that terrible disease and are fighting hard, and we want to tell them 'keep up the fight and keep pushing,” said Justus.
For West Hall, community is everything.
“We for several years have had a great, great atmosphere. It's my tenth here at West Hall High School, fourth as the principal. Our community just loves Friday nights and love West Hall, and everything about it, our elementary schools, our middle schools. I'm glad you guys are here to witness a bit of it,” said Justus. “all County, born and bred and it's a great place to be and a great place to live.”
For the Spartans, team pride is their identity.
“Hot Gates is just a little of the telling of the Spartan 300 when Coach Lotti came on board , we wanted to embrace what it is to be a Spartan. And we had no real identity to our field, it was just the West Hall football field and he embraced that and brought in a little bit of the Spartan feel and gave the Hot Gates and we will go to work and put a ‘W’ up tonight,” said Justus.
Coach Lotti has a lot of look for his senior quarterback.
“He's a big kid. Jacob Satterfield. He's a little over 6'4", 200 pounds. So, he is actually having a good year for us. He started for us since he was a sophomore so I was looking for him to take the reins and manage the team and he is doing a good job so far,” said Lotti.
Dawson County Head Coach Sid Maxwell has had a strange season. He has only one game in the books, half game that was called and he’s up against a team that is five games into the season already. It is something which may hurt his team.
“Definitely doesn't help us, but again you can't control your schedule. And we just got to go out and play and again the good thing about it we will get more of a routine going out because we play eight in a row,” said Coach Maxwell.
“It took us about 35 minutes to get here. It was a nice trip,” said Coach Maxwell. “They probably played against each other in the youth programs I think perhaps.”
The one to look out for on Coach Maxwell’s roster is Number 34. He has some serious Div. 1 possibility and just visited LSU this past weekend.
“Luke Martin is the leader of our football team. He is a great man, great character. And what you want as a coach to lead your football team,” said Maxwell.
Maxwell said he will have some chances to play as the season progresses.
It’s hard to believe but after tonight west hall the Spartans will be halfway through their regular season.
The Spartans are 4-3 against the Tigers in the last seven matchups dating back all the way to 1989.
Join HIGH 5 Sports during FOX 5 News at 5 and 6 for a preview of the big game. Then on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat at @HIGH5Sports as well as at Facebook.com/HIGH5Sports throughout Friday night. Then just the 10PM Pre-Game Show exclusively on Facebook and the Big Show on FOX 5 Atlanta at 11.