Sapp records 500th win

Posted 2/25/2021

Dawson County baseball coach Dwayne Sapp recorded his 500th career coaching victory Wednesday night, a 12-11 extra-inning victory over Mount Pisgah Christian. (Special Photo: Jacob Smith/Dawson County News)

 

Sapp records 500th career coaching victory

Dawson County High School baseball coach Dwayne Sapp will remember Wednesday night's thrilling 12-11 extra-inning victory over Mount Pisgah Christian in more ways than one.

Sapp's Tigers scored six runs in the bottom of the eighth. Nick Mullinax was hit by a pitch, forcing home Colton Rucker for the game-winning run. Dawson overcame a five-run deficit to earn the win as well as notch the 500th career victory for their head coach.

The players had no idea Wednesday night's win would be such a special one.

"We were down five in the bottom of the eighth ... the team we were playing was began to struggle with pitching, so after a couple of walks and a couple of runs you could sense we might have a chance," Sapp said. "The inning continued with two outs and the bases loaded. The next batter was hit by a pitch, so the winning run scored for the victory. I had not talked about it with the players so they had no idea.

"The coaches put together a celebration to present me with a bat and a banner. My wife and one son arrived after his college practice with the other son face-timing me after his college game also. It did not look good for a victory last night, but sometimes good things can happen if you just remain positive. So, no Gatorade showers but a great night."

Sapp is the 33rd prep coach in Georgia to notch 500 or more career coaching victories. He has coached at Washington-Wilkes, Washington County and North Oconee before taking over at Dawson County before the 2016 season.

He entered the 2020 season with 488 career wins. However, when the coronavirus pandemic shut down the season in early March, it left Sapp needing just three wins to reach the 500 mark.

While the milestone was special, he said it would have been nice to hit the plateau when his sons Palmer and Hudson played together under him. Palmer graduated in 2018, while Hudson graduated last year. They are both playing collegiately. Palmer is at Georgia Highlands, while Hudson is at Mississippi.

"(Hudson) really wanted to do it last year for me," Sapp said. "I hated that for him. It was tough for him to not be here, but I never thought of this type of accomplishment. I never planned on staying in coaching to get wins anyway. Lots of coaches have taken time for me as I was growing up and they meant more to me than they will know. I just enjoy the competition and watching kids develop and get better. Wins are a by product of good kids, assistant coaches and stake holders who have helped along the way."

The Dawson County coach, however, tried his best not to grab all of the attention Wednesday night. 

"I was telling someone I can remember the first win like it was last year," he said. "The first one and the 500th were big come-from-behind wins late in the game. I am just appreciative to have a supportive family and wife that has allowed me to be a part of so many kids' lives. As you get older you reflect on what this job really means. The wins and losses will be forgotten, but the relationships last forever."