The Baylor soccer tournament is set for this Friday and Saturday at both the host school and Girls Preparatory School, and of the four local programs participating in the event, three will be in their first weekend with new head coaches.
Baylor's Curtis Blair, East Hamilton's Carrie Hill and GPS's Patrick Winecoff each assumed girls' coaching roles this offseason. Blair also is the boys' coach at Baylor, while Hill had a one-year stint as head coach at her alma mater, Arts & Sciences.
Winecoff headed the the Chattanooga Football Club team that went 5-4-2 in its first season in the Women's Premier Soccer League.
The other area program involved in the tournament is Notre Dame, led by Jim Schermerhorn, who is in his 13th season as head coach. The Lady Irish are coming off a 12-6-4 record and the Class A/AA state semifinals.
Out-of-town teams participating are Arlington, Briarcrest, Christ Presbyterian Academy and Cookeville.
Three area high school volleyball programs are hosting tournaments this weekend.
The Hixson Invitational will be held Saturday at Hixson High and Middle schools. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe is also hosting a Saturday tournament, and the Bradley Bash will take place Friday and Saturday at Bradley Central.
Hixson's tournament consists of 12 area teams, including 2013 Class AA state-tournament participants Red Bank and Signal Mountain. Pool play is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Based on pool records, teams will be seeded in Gold and Silver brackets for single-elimination play set to begin at 3 p.m. Finals are scheduled for 5.
"We think this is a great field," Hixson coach Janet Tate said. "We're really pleased with it. We could've had 16 teams, but then we would've had to play Friday and Saturday. People really like one-day tournaments. You're in and out."
The first big tournament weekend has come and gone, and the cream already is rising to the top in northwest Georgia softball.
Fifteen area teams were involved in a pair of tournaments, and two programs expected to challenge for state championships came through undefeated. Class AAAA power Heritage, ranked second to new classification member Buford in the first rankings, improved to 5-0 with four wins in the Dalton tournament.
Lauren Lawson was impressive in a 2-0 win over Class A champ Gordon Lee with a four-hitter and now has allowed one earned run in 21 innings. Brooklynn Frazier, Shelby Hammontree, Sydney Smith, Olivia Tamewitz and Lawson had strong showings at the plate, and Ashley Faulkenberry won a pair of games in her first prep action.
Calhoun, the 2013 Class AA champ now in Class AAA, went 4-0 in the Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe tournament at Warner Park. The Lady Yellow Jackets won one-run games over Harris County, Ridgeland and Woodstock, and shortstop Taylor Kelly had six hits and five RBIs in the wins over Ridgeland and Woodstock.
Also of note, Dalton earned the biggest win in Stacy Parker's two years as coach with a 4-3 defeat of Northwest Whitfield, and Gordon Lee, Ringgold, Sonoraville, Northwest and LaFayette won three games each.