In its six-season history, the nascent boys lacrosse program at Dalton High School had never won on the night it celebrated its seniors.

With a 14-3 victory over Bremen Tuesday night, that finally changed.

"It's an incredible reward for four years of dedication for those guys," said Jeff Hutchinson, who took over as head coach of the program for this season after serving as an assistant.

Dalton's girls program, which is a year younger than the boys', got a blowout senior night win on Tuesday, too. Their 18-1 victory against Bremen was the fourth win of the year for the Lady Catamounts (4-9).

The boys' (3-8) win was their third of the year, tying a school record for the Catamount program. They'll try to set a new school record with Thursday's game at Allatoona.

The programs are still in the building process, even a few years in, as pipelines from youth teams are established. For both programs, seasons, and progress, came screeching to a halt last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The boys' season ended just six games in when the Georgia High School Association shut down sports last March.

Those missed games were important for development, especially in the Catamounts' younger players.

"The first few games this season, it almost felt like our sophomores were still freshmen," said Hutchinson. "They've just been improving as the year goes on."

Case in point, Dalton won just 8-7 in the matchup with Bremen earlier this season. Tuesday night's result was much more one-sided.

After four straight Dalton goals to begin the game, Bremen answered with two late in the first quarter. That would be the only goals the visitors scored until a late one made it 14-3 as the running clock ticked down in the fourth quarter.

The girls didn't allow a goal from Bremen until 15 were already on the home side of the scoreboard at the high school's on-campus turf field. The dominant win came one night after a milestone victory for the Lady Catamounts and head coach Jamie Penney.

With a 9-8 win in overtime against North Cobb, Dalton's girls earned their first ever region victory on a game-winner from Chloe Rockholt.

"We kept getting closer and closer, so it was a great win for the program to finally break through," said Penney.

Penney took over the program in its second season and is in the midst of his fourth at the helm for the Lady Cats.

"These seniors were freshmen when I came in," Penney said of the four Dalton seniors that were honored and announced before the crowd on Tuesday. "They've been through a lot with us as we keep growing."

Liam Davies, a senior and four-year player on the boys team, said he's proud of the program's growth in his time.

"It really shows a lot about our testament to the sport and how much we have a passion for it," Davies said.

Davies credits fan support with helping to kick-start the Dalton program. A raucous crowd packed a portion of the stands Tuesday, with jeers hurled by the student section at the opponents.

"Our community really is starting to have a love for the sport," Davies said. "We'll play nationally-ranked teams that don't have the crowd support we do.

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