Whitfield County is proving to be a hot bed for high school soccer

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Dalton, GA (WDEF-TV) – Whitfield County has quickly become a hot bed for the best high school soccer players – not just in the state of Georgia – but across the country. Whitfield County has two teams ranked number one in Georgia.

News 12’s Angela Moryan investigates this latest talent surge.

SE Whitfield player Carlos Gloria said, “Southeast, Dalton, Northwest, Coahulla, everything is big here.”

Angie: “What’s down here in the water to make all these great soccer players?”

Dalton head coach Matt Cheaves said, “There’s nothing in the water. I think it runs in the family. It’s in the community. These guys grow up with their fathers and their older brothers, their uncles and cousins, their close friends. It’s just a great, special football community here. “

Hector Holguin, SE Whitfield’s head coach, said: “They play against each other at the school level. They play together at club level. They go to the rec and play against each other. It’s just great. “

Dalton senior Damian Rodriguez said: “We all play together and we all seem to get better together.”

And together they have a national reputation. Dalton is number 2 in the country, with the smaller 4-A Southeast not far behind at number 10.

Gloria said, “You know right away. “Oh, Northwest Georgia soccer. You’re all pretty good up there. ‘ Really, really good competition. You know what we have. “

Rodriguez said, “We would put Dalton on the map versus other schools. They would say, ‘Oh, are you playing against Dalton?’ The other teams would be nervous enough. “

Cheaves said, “In a year they got off the bus like they were super tired, like they had just finished that four hour bus ride, but we already knew they had stayed at the hotel down the street the night before. So they tried to mess with us. “

Whitfield’s talent has also received professional attention. Earlier this month, Chattanooga Red Wolves signed former Dalton player Cristian Zaragoza to a professional deal.

Salvador Garcia, Sr. at SE Whitfield, said, “I think that just got everyone moving on to a new level, just like, ‘Okay, people are starting to notice that there is talent here. I have to pick it up. ‘”

Holguin said, “I hope it keeps growing. It starts at the Rec level, and this is where the Red Wolves come in. I think it’s such a great academy. I think the talent will grow and we’ll see a lot more Cristians out here. ”

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