Fannin County High School is all set to host the 2017 Thanksgiving Tip-Off Tournament this Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. This year there are only four teams participating in the tournament, with Gilmer, Pickens and Hiwassee Dam all set to enter the gym for round-robin play. The tournament schedule is listed below:
Sat: 3 p.m. Girls: Gilmer vs. Pickens (boys play at 4:30 p.m.)
6 p.m. Girls: Fannin vs. Hiwassee Dam (boys play at 7:30 p.m.)
Mon: 3 p.m. Girls: Pickens vs. Hiwassee Dam (boys play at 4:30 p.m.)
6 p.m. Girls: Fannin vs Gilmer (boys play at 7:30 p.m.)
Tues: 3 p.m. Girls: Gilmer vs. Hiwassee Dam (boys play at 4:30 p.m.)
6 p.m. Girls: Fannin vs. Pickens (boys play at 7:30 p.m.)
The #TeamFYNSports “Fetch Force” will be courtside throughout the event, tweeting updates on our @TeamFYNSports twitter and uploading photos, videos and brief interview clips onto our TeamFYNSports facebook page throughout the tournament. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for full coverage of the games.
The coaches at Fannin County High School have had the pleasure of coaching some talented individuals over the years. Some athletes shine on the field, others in the weight room, and many are just great students. That’s nothing new in a school that boasts some of the best teaching, coaching and administration the state has to offer.
What’s rare is finding an athlete that encompasses the “total package” – a great student, talented athlete, and a pristine example within the community. A coach can go his entire career hoping to mold and mentor such an athlete. Jon Ayers took over the baseball program at FCHS four years ago, and upon his arrival, he met Will Shirah; i.e. the total package. The credit not only goes to Ayers and the FCHS coaching staff for polishing Shirah’s performance on the baseball field and in the classroom; but also to his parents, Cliff and Julie Shirah, who have raised more than a great baseball player. They’ve raised a fine young man.
Academically speaking, Shirah’s awards nearly outweigh his baseball trophy case. Ranked #1 out of 204 students, the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Award Winner has already earned 25 college semester hours as a Dual Enrollment student with a perfect (4.0) grade point average. A member of the National Honor Society as a sophomore, a member of the FCHS Academic Team both his junior and senior years, and recognized with Student Athlete Community Service Network’s All Area Honors; it’s no surprise Shirah was Senior Superlative voted “Best All Around” student at Fannin County High School.
When Shirah isn’t throwing 90mph fastballs across the plate at the baseball diamond, he’s throwing mashed potatoes and dinner rolls on plates at the Feed Fannin Thanksgiving Dinner as a Charity Good Samaritan volunteer – much slower than the fastballs, thankfully.
Shirah also volunteers to help prepare bags of food, furniture and clothing for homeless and indigent families with his church group at the Copper Basin Crisis Center. He’s a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event leader and actively works with multiple Christian outreach programs such as Fields of Faith.
He is a member of the United Community Bank Junior Board, along with 11 other seniors, which gives back the community by participating in monthly events such as Relay for Life and more.
Shirah’s work as a volunteer with the Fannin County High School Baseball Camp will be missed when he leaves for college, but he will undoubtedly also be missed at First Baptist Church where he regularly helps in the nursery. His resume for community service serves as a role model and positive example for everyone around him, a trait his coaches and parents each shared with everyone in attendance at Shirah’s college commitment signing.
His grades are superior, his involvement in the community is respectable, and his attitude is humble; but his performance on the baseball field is phenomenal.
Shirah has lettered his freshman, sophomore and junior years at FCHS. He was also named All Region First team (7-AAA) all three of those years. He received the pitching award all three years, and he averaged 1.7 K’s per inning pitched with 190 K’s in 108 innings (Author’s note: In baseball scorekeeping, a swinging strikeout is recorded as a K). He received the batting award as a freshman and a junior.
Shirah was recently named to the Preseason All State Region 7-AAA team and he was selected to be on the cover of the 2018 Georgia Dugout Club Preview Magazine. He’s also been named to the Rawlings PG National Preseason Underclass All America Team for the third year in a row. In 2016 and 2017, he made the All-Tournament team in the 17u and 18u World Championships.
Shirah was named to the Top Prospect Team at PG Jr Nationals and Nationals (an invitation only event held in Ft Myers, FL for the nation’s top rising high school junior and senior baseball players).
Truth be told, there are too many accomplishments in Shirah’s high school baseball career to list them all. His ability to play the game has garnered national attention – including baseball recruitment (and/or offers) from Stanford, Notre Dame, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Harvard, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, and last but not least: Georgia Tech.
On Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 3:45pm, Will Shirah thanked his coaches, parents, friends and teammates. He gave credit to his faith and everyone who supports him as he put pen to paper and signed his commitment to play baseball for the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets. We look forward to following his continued success in the future.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – An evacuation of students at Blue Ridge Elementary School occurred Thursday, Nov. 9, after the City of Blue Ridge notified the school of a gas line leak, according to a statement released by Fannin County Schools.
The statement reported that no students were in immediate danger but, as a precaution, were transported to Fannin County High School. No other schools within the system were affected by the gas leak, and students at those schools are safe.
A Veteran’s Day program that was scheduled for Thursday at 1 p.m. at BRES has been cancelled.
No decision has been made as to when BRES will reopen, and students will remain at FCHS until clearance to return to BRES is given.
Continue to follow FetchYourNews.com for further developments in this story.
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This week’s #TeamFYNSport Sportswriter Player of the Week for Fannin County High School is senior runningback Cody Jacobs. Jacobs has carried the workload of the offense for the Rebels all season long, taking a majority of the carries in the Rebels’ running game and this week was no different as Fannin found success moving the sticks with a committed running attack. He racked up a “bunch” of yards against the Panthers, but we really don’t have any idea how many yards he actually recorded because we typically don’t get offensive stats from Fannin until 10-12 days after the games are played. Jacobs also took several snaps in the second quarter, as the Rebels moved personnel around and took advantage of direct-snap opportunities to throw the defense off-guard in some gutsy and entertaining play-calling. Great job Cody Jacobs, and best wishes this Friday as Fannin hosts East Hall for senior night and the final football game of the season for the Rebels.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sports Writer Player Of The Week is kicker Sarah Sosebee. The sophomore had an impressive opening game last Friday against rival Gilmer, making 100% of her PAT’s (6) and becoming the first female athlete to score in a Fannin County High School football game in FCHS history. You can catch Sosebee and the rest of the Rebels on the road on September 1st, when they travel to Ringgold to take down the Tigers of Region 6-AAA.
8/18/2017 – (Blue Ridge, GA)
The mania and excitement for the 2017 Solar Eclipse has taken Fannin County by storm, with tourists and locals flocking to grocery stores for their milk and bread as they prepared for the rare historic event. On Friday night, however, the Fannin County Rebels hosted the Gilmer Bobcats and made a little history of their own. In fact, while the offense steadily marched up and down the field, seemingly to the tempo of the FCHS band percussion beats; the defense completely shut the Cats out — a performance only to be eclipsed by the six PAT’s by Rebel kicker Sarah Sosebee. With each swing of her leg, Sosebee made history; she was the first and only female to ever score a point in a Fannin County football game.
The Rebels struck first, scoring on a 19-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Norton (#1) to Luke Cowart (#85) as Cowart cut through the heart of the secondary and darted into the end zone. A packed stadium held it’s breath and then shook the dust off the bleachers with cheers as Sarah Sosebee (#86) booted her first PAT of the night. “I was really nervous [and] didn’t want to let my team down,” Sosebee told TeamFYNSports after the game. “After I kicked and it was good I realized my hands were shaking but I was super excited at the same time.” Sosebee, whose kicking experience prior to this season was primarily as a soccer player, tore her ACL two years ago while playing on a boys’ travel team. Doctors told her she’d never play competitive soccer again. “My parents encouraged me to try something new. I always loved going to the soccer field and shooting for hours – that gave us the idea of kicking a football,” Sosebee said as she shared the details of her journey from the soccer field to the football field. “My dad asked Coach Pavao if I could try out for a kicker position. I worked out with the team and Coach Pavao let me join the team. I thank God for answering my prayers in a surprising way, and I’m really thankful to be part of a great team and a community who has given me an amazing amount of support and encouragement!”
Following the kickoff, Fannin answered any questions Gilmer may have had about the Rebels’ defense. Three quick snaps later the Bobcats’ punter was on the field, only to have the long-snapped ball sail over his head toward the end zone. The punter scooped the ball up before being tackled inside the 1-yard line, a turnover on downs. Norton took the snap and put the ball in running back Cody Jacob’s (#15) breadbasket, bouncing to the outside and across the goal line for a 13-0 lead. Sosebee once again split the uprights, Fannin leading 14-0 with 2:07 remaining in the first quarter.
Following the Rebel kickoff, the Gilmer Cats once again found themselves overwhelmed by the speed and aggressiveness of the Fannin Rebel defensive front. Rebel linebackers Brett Galloway (#9) and Mason Rhodes (#44) and defensive lineman Keenan Putnam (#52) closed in on the Cats’ quarterback and as the pressure built, he sent the ball into the turf, resulting in an intentional grounding penalty. A failed screen pass snuffed out by the Rebel defensive backs forced Gilmer to once again punt the football.
The following possession for the Rebels offense kicked off the second quarter and they wasted no time confusing the Bobcats with a variety of ground and air attacks. Fatigue began to show in the Gilmer defensive front and the Rebels took advantage of it, handing the ball to Jacobs to pound it at the heart of the defense, then quickly resetting and sending the ball through the air to a versatile receiving core. From their own 48-yard-line, Norton took the snap from center Bradley Flowers (#66) and threw a swing pass to Jacobs. Jacobs took the pass to the house, a 52-yard completion, but a penalty brought the ball back to the Gilmer 30. After another brilliant run by Jacobs up the gut, Norton found Dawson King (#30) in the end zone for the third unanswered score of the game. Following the PAT, Fannin extended the lead to 21-0 (6:02 remaining in the 2nd quarter) and never looked back. Luke Cowart (#85) hauled in a beautiful spiral thrown by Norton for a 46-yard touchdown with less than five minutes remaining in the half.
Late in the third quarter, the Rebels were once again marching down the field and controlling the tempo of the game, with an outstanding performance running the football. Jacobs cut through the defense, bouncing off defenders and racing toward the pylon in a valiant attempt to extend the Rebel lead. Despite a holding penalty that overturned a touchdown, the Rebels went back to Jacobs on the following play and he carried the pigskin through the end zone. After three quarters of football, Fannin led Gilmer 35-0. With 8:54 remaining in the game, Matt Postell (#41) carried the ball across the goal line for the final touchdown of the game.
Statistically, this was an absolute nightmare for the Gilmer Bobcats, and the Fannin Rebels literally controlled every aspect of the game from start to finish. The Rebel offense racked up 359 yards, while the defense held the Cats to only 33 yards of total offense (all 33 yards coming by way of running the football). Fannin’s balanced attack gave way to 163 yards through the air and 196 yards on the ground; many of which came by way of Rebel running back Cody Jacobs (#15). Jacobs led the Rebels offensively with 21 carries for 91 yards and 2 touchdowns in the game. He averaged 4.3 yards each time he touched the football.
Rebel receivers Dawson King (#30) and Luke Cowart (#85) also played a vital role in the Rebels’ ability to reach paydirt. King caught 3 passes for 41 yards and a touchdown while Cowart hauled in 3 receptions for 76 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Perhaps even more impressive that the offense, was the dominance of field position by the Fannin Rebel defense. The Gilmer quarterback struggled under relentless pressure and the Fannin defense penetrated the backfield seemingly at-will. Although the pressure did not lead to any turnovers, it forced seven 3-and-outs for the Cats as Gilmer was unable to convert a single third down in the game. Fannin, however, converted 8-of-10 third downs and was only forced to punt the football twice.
Fannin has a bye this week before returning to action Friday, September 1 at Ringgold. The Tigers (0-1)lost their game at Northwest Whitfield High School (1-0) last week, 48-29; they face rival Heritage (1-0) this week. Heritage won on the road last week as they rolled over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe (0-1) 39-7 (all 39 points coming in the first half of play). For more photos from the game and live updates throughout the season visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fetchyournews