The Dalton High School boys' soccer team completed an undefeated season by beating Gainesville 4-1 in the GHSA Class AAAAAA state final Saturday at McEachern High School in Powder Springs.
It's the fifth state championship for the Catamounts (23-0), who were No. 1 in USA Today's most recent national rankings for spring boys' soccer. Dalton shared the Class AAAA title with Heritage-Rockdale in 2003, when ties were permitted in the championship match, and won three straight titles from 2013 to 2015, with the first two in AAAA and the latter in AAAAA.
Matt Cheaves has been Dalton's coach each of the title seasons.
Dalton led 3-0 at halftime Saturday on goals from Tony Saldana in the 27th and 34th minutes after Yahir Perez first found the net halfway through the period. Manny Prieto added the Catamounts' final score in the 55th minute, and Divin Mabruki ended the shutout for the Red Elephants (18-3-1) with less than 13 minutes to play.
This marks the third straight season and sixth time in seven years a team from Whitfield County has won a state title in boys soccer. Southeast Whitfield won the AAAA title in 2017 and Northwest Whitfield won it in 2018.
Another Whitfield County program, Coahulla Creek, lost Friday's Class AAA final 4-0 to Westminster.