Parents angered over current state of Fannin County Athletics

News, Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – Parents of Fannin County school children gathered at the Jan. 11 Board of Education meeting to express their concern and anger over the current state of the Fannin County Athletics Department.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Fannin County Football, Fannin County Basketball, Fannin County Baseball, Fannin County Volleyball, Fannin County Softball, Fannin County Wrestling, Board of Education, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, salary, Donnie Kendall, Ryan Walden

Donnie Kendall addresses the Board of Education about Fannin County Athletics.

Accusations of student favoritism, parent interference, and overall lack of accountability among administration were discussed as parents addressed the board.

First to speak during the public commentary portion of the meeting was parent Donnie Kendall.

“We have a culture here at this school that has been accepted and embraced. That’s a losing culture, and it’s considered the norm,” Kendall spoke of Fannin County Athletics. “If we continue to accept mediocrity as being good enough, then your endeavors will always be mediocre.”

Kendall cited that parents and residents are told that Fannin County is small and rural, and therefore not able to attract or produce the athletes like areas with a larger population.

“This is simply not true,” Kendall stated of the athletes in our area. He pointed to Union County as an example. This county according to Kendall is smaller and just as rural, but manages to play in the same AAA region with much better results.

Kendall spoke directly of assistant principal and athletic director Dr. Scott Ramsey: “We have an athletic director who makes $93,000 to run these programs, whose job undoubtedly ends at 4:30 so he can go to his second job while different administrators are asked to cover for him at our sporting events on a regular basis.”

Coaches in Fannin County are paid a premium salary according to Kendall and “all finish dead last respectively in their regions almost every year.”

Kendall did praise the community of Fannin County for their enthusiasm and support of the school system’s athletics and commented that the booster programs consistently raise $30,000 to $50,000 a year.

“I think it may be time for the community to match the effort of our administration and our coaches and suspend some of our fundraising,” Kendall remarked about actions to take until significant change happens within the program.

Ryan Walton, another parent with children who participate in numerous sports, also spoke during public commentary.

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Ryan Walton wants to see change in Fannin County Athletics program.

Walton began, “My problem with the athletics here, and I don’t speak just for myself, when you get coaches here that will play to win instead of letting parents influence who plays sports, who starts, you’ll have a little bit better result.”

Walton spoke of parent influence over coaches, “It’s obvious that it goes on,” and spoke of his own son, “He should play because he’s good enough not for what I do for that team.”

Other issues mentioned at the meeting were athletes being asked to pick a sport that would be their primary sport and the coaches lack of flexibility for students who participate in multiple activities. The practice of Fannin County’s basketball coach starting with a team in middle school and then moving up with that team to high school was also brought up.

“It’s not moral, it’s not ethical, it’s not right,” Walton said on the issue of coaches moving up with teams.

Walton stated, “I could stand up here for 24 hours and not repeat myself about all the stuff,” and concluded, “Something needs to change. I’m tired of losing. Our kids deserve better. I know mine do. We’re paying people a lot of money not to do their job.”

Other parents were scheduled to speak but expressed that their concerns had been addressed by both Kendall and Walton. Ultimately, the group wanted answers for who is accountable for the Fannin County Athletics Program and for that person or persons to make significant changes soon.

Stay with FetchYourNews as we follow up with the Fannin County School Board and Fannin County Athletic Administrators on issues discussed at the Board of Education meeting.


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Natalie Kissel


  1. Rob hill January 18, 2018 at 11:20 am

    These parents do not understand the competition steps up at ever level. The skill set level differentiation is more apparent for Fannin at higher levels. The team from GAC is a great example of this diffentiation. GAC had a handful of division 1 athletes and another handful of division 2 athletes. Fannin has none. Available talent in the area can only be “Coached up” so much. The greatest attribute for athletics is team building, friendships, practice is the only way to get better, and the fact that somebody has got to loose. Everything in life is not always handed out and everyone doesn’t always get a trophy. Please Leave the Coaches alone and let them do their job. I’m guessing there is another story for why the AD is not present and on duty.

    • Lora Eisenhart January 20, 2018 at 10:58 am

      Mr. Hill, Do you have a child in the athletic program?

  2. Pete Lundford January 19, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    Come on news outlets, lets get the whole story out there!
    Interesting numbers:
    (compiled from GOSA and GHSA websites)
    In Region 7 AAA
    Region 7 (7)
    Dawson County Enrollment %of Average Males grades 9-12
    Dawson County 1076 106.8308181
    East Hall () 1130 112.192216 553.7
    Fannin County 894 88.76092137 422.4
    Greater Atlanta Christian [736] 73.07386815
    Lumpkin County 1114 110.6036537 568.14
    North Hall 1073 106.5329627 525.77
    Union County () 825 81.91024623 445.5
    Average Enrollment 1007.2

    Throw out GAC altogether (this aids in normalizing as well as I believe we all agree they should not be in the Region)…East Hall is the largest and is actually playing down in class.
    Union is the smallest and playing up. (They are moving back down in 2018 2-4 in Region Football Play ending 2017 3-4 in Region Basketball play (boys) to date).
    As a % of average enrollment Fannin and Union are way below everyone else who are actually above average. (With Union out Fannin becomes the smallest 3A public school in Georgia.)
    Look further at the demographics for Males in each school (GAC is private so this info is not public..perhaps another reason private schools should not play in public sports?), Fannin has the lowest enrollment (even lower than Union). Also, looking at comparative 2A regions and there are a few teams that have 3A numbers but are playing down (Banks (908) [5-6], Rockmart (898) [9-3], and Gordon Central (902) [2-8]) all of which have numbers greater than Fannin.
    Looking at the numbers do tell a compelling story. It is hard to believe that Fannin’s athletic trouble over the last 7 years is solely caused by coaches and administration. (Especially, since the conversation is including multiple sports, it cannot compute that every coach in every affected sport is deficient. The tale of the numbers have an important meaning. Looking at classifications becomes a very meaningful path. Perhaps the focus should be on how to get Fannin back into 2A?

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