According to a proclamation from the city of Dalton, May 19, 2021, was known as "Soccertown, USA Day" in the city.
Dalton Mayor David Pennington read the proclamation in front of a cheering crowd at Burr Performing Arts Park in downtown Dalton that gathered Wednesday night to celebrate the three high school state championship teams hailing from "Soccertown."
The boys soccer teams from Coahulla Creek, Dalton and Southeast Whitfield high schools were on hand Wednesday after all three won state championships in their respective divisions last week. A cavalcade of fans, family and supporters joined them.
Also greeting them, by way of an announcement from the master of ceremonies for the event -- Dalton business owner and state representative Kasey Carpenter -- that each member of the three championship teams would receive his state championship ring free of charge, thanks to a long list of donators and sponsors that raised more than $27,000 to pay for the rings.
"There's nothing worse than winning a state championship and having to spend $200 or $250 on a state championship ring," Carpenter declared to the crowd, drawing one of the loudest cheers of the evening.
The city is no stranger to celebrating state soccer championships. Eight of the past nine seasons had a state soccer champion among Whitfield County schools. 2021 is the first year that multiple schools have brought home the championship though, prompting the celebration.
Combined, the three state champions finished the year with a record of 55-2-7. Dalton and Southeast went undefeated, while the two losses, which were Coahulla Creek's, came against Southeast and Dalton.
"To me, it's so amazing to get the community out here just to support soccer," Southeast head coach Hector Holguin said. "It's amazing to share the stage with these guys. Combined we have two losses together but three state championships. I'm so proud to be a small part of the success that we're having."
Dalton head coach Matt Cheaves said the area soccer success will continue.
"It's still growing. This is just the beginning of soccer here," Cheaves said. "I've watched it grow over years. If you guys think this is big, just wait till you see what the future holds in 10 years. It's going to continue to get bigger and better in Dalton, Georgia."