Since taking the reigns of the wrestling program at Fannin County High School, head coach David Henson has been working to create a winning culture. Each year he begins the season with a team meeting, where he discusses team and individual goals and expectations. While he expects his athletes to have fun, he also pushes them to toe-the-line, hoping to see them standing on the podium at the end of the season.
This year, three of Fannin’s varsity boys have fought their way to the big finale – the GHSA Traditional State Championships. The tournament will be held in Macon later this week.
To get to the state event, wrestlers first had to place within the top four of their class at Area competition. In doing so, they then qualified to compete at the Sectional tournament this past weekend at Greater Atlanta Christian School. The Area 6-AAA meet was held last weekend (Jan 17) at Morgan County High School in Madison. 113 lbs sophomore Landon Galloway (2nd Place), 126 lbs freshman McCay Turner (4th Place) and heavyweight senior Bradley Flowers each qualified to advance to the Sectional meet. Flowers was the Area Champion, going undefeated in the event.
“It felt great to win,” Flowers told TeamFYNSports after winning the Area tournament. “Coach Henson and Coach Hutsell have been telling me to keep working hard in practice and this is something I’ve trained hard for.”
At the Sectional meet, the top eight finishers qualify to advance to the state tournament in Macon. Flowers finished 3rd, Turner finished 4th and Galloway once again came away with a 2nd place finish to advance all three teammates to state.
At the state tournament, Flowers (31-6) will face Dalton senior Walter Richards (54-5) in his first match to kick off the bracket. Turner (41-10) will face senior Blake Rice (3-0 in the 126-lb class) of Hall County; and Galloway (30-7) will lock horns with Calhoun freshman Blake Bailey (27-10). Weigh-ins are at 10am on Thursday morning and TeamFYNSports will be on location, posting updates on twitter and facebook throughout the tournament.
Join us as TeamFYNSports, FYNTV, FetchYourNews proudly present the LIVE coverage of the entire Gilmer Parks & Recreation annual basketball tournament. Coverage begins Saturday morning and all games will be streamed LIVE on FYNTV.com and our YouTube Channel and we will be posting updates via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.
The Burnt Mountain Classic took place on Friday night and Saturday at Pickens Co. High School. The Classic comes with high expectations by the teams attending – and although inclement weather forced school cancellations throughout the week – the tournament still lived up to the bill.
Although the weather was rough all week, 15 of 19 Varsity teams that were scheduled came off the buses ready to strap on their head gear and hit the mat. Fannin County was one of 22 varsity teams scheduled to attend but like a handful of the teams who cancelled, they followed the school cancellation schedule due to potential hazardous road conditions.
The acclaimed Gilmer Bobcats varsity squad, who have been living up to their legacy of absolute domination all season long, was originally scheduled to attend as well. After speaking with head coach Josh Ghobadpor about his decision to give his varsity the weekend off, he stated that with the weather being what it was during the week, they hadn’t been able to practice. Rather than put his varsity in a high-pressure situation so close to area and sectionals, Ghobadpor focused instead on taking his junior varsity team to compete in the JV Scramble.
“We tried to get to the gym to train but with ice on the roads we didn’t want to take any chances. This weekend we decided to bring our JV and let them get the extra work in, though. After all the JV is the future of Bobcat wrestling,” Ghobadpor told TeamFYNSports.
As the wrestlers laced up and shook hands, match-by-match the competition began to heat up right away. Pickens, Lumpkin, Creekview, Etowah, Cherokee High, Calhoun, Alcoa, Milton, Sequoyah, Chestatee, Towns, SE Whitfield, Walker, West Hall and River Ridge all came in pursuit of conquest.
With each win or loss, the cream began to rise to the top. While all in attendance had much to be proud of, two standout teams battled for the heralded prize of tournament champions. As the dust (and sweat) settled, congratulations went to the Creekview High School Grizzlies for capturing the crown in the team scoring with 219 points. Narrowly taking the runner up award in the team points was the host: the Pickens County High School Dragons.
On Saturday, the action heated up with the JV Scramble. The young freshmen and sophomore athletes showed up and showed out on the mats with Calhoun Yellow Jackets taking the JV trophy. Individual award winners from Pickens County included: Zach Meadows(113 lbs) 2nd Place, C.J. Murphy(120 lbs) 2nd Place, Joseph Ferguson(152 lbs) 2nd Place Michael Burrell(160 lbs) 1st Place, Tyler Vreeland(170 lbs), Kellie Dover(182 lbs) 3rd Place and Dalton Bruhner(195 lbs) 4th Place.
Other results were not available at the event. Congratulations to all athletes and best of luck in Area Competition and State!
The game was close from the beginning to the end. Both teams were coming from a loss prior to the matchup and were determined to get a win. The Lumpkin County Lady Indians traveled to Fannin County this past Saturday to take on the Lady Rebels.
The Lady Rebels started off with the ball from tip-off. Rebel, Savada Collins, led Fannin in scoring with eleven points due to her drive to win. Lady Indians, Maddie Self and Mackenzie Pulley, led Lumpkin in scoring by each putting seven points on the board. The Lady Indians played in a zone defense which put the Rebels relying on passes to get open shots. Lumpkin double teamed Fannin and trapped them in the corner to keep them from scoring which proved to be effective in the first quarter. At the end of the first, the Lady Indians had a 6-2 lead over the Rebels.
With the second quarter starting, the Lady Rebels began to come up with ways to get to the basket past the Indians defense. Fannin started to drive the lane through the defense and draw fouls. The Rebels also started to run plays up top made for a zone defense. The plays moved the defense around with the ball and left Rebel posts wide open. Lady Rebel, Hope Franklin, had a good game from the block where she contributed seven points for Fannin. Makenzie McClure had grit down low which allowed her to put four more points on the board for the Rebels. Another Rebel post, Bailey Whitener, had rebounds that resulted in her scoring two more points for her team. The Rebels went into halftime only one point behind the Indians with a score of 17-16.
The intensity came alive at the beginning of the third quarter. With Lumpkin finding new ways to score, so did Fannin. The Lady Indians saw that the Rebels had a weak offside defense and took advantage of it. Lumpkin would draw Fannin to one side, leaving an open backdoor where the Lady Indians would come in and make wide open layups. With the Lady Indians adding onto their score, the Rebels did the same. Fannin started to take and make outside shots. Lady Rebel, Maleah Stepp, contributed five points for her team with her hustle and ability to make outside shots. Morgan Patton also added five points to Fannin’s score with her ankle-breaking moves. Out of Patton’s five points, three of them were from the three point shot that put Fannin in the lead for the first time in the game. Fannin finally took the lead at the end of the third with a score of 25-23.
Both teams fought until the end. Lumpkin would have the ball one second and then Fannin would have it the next. Each team wanted to win and you could tell by their performance on the court. Despite Lumpkin’s attempt to take their lead back, Fannin kept it and had a 34-31 victory over the Lady Indians.
The Lady Rebels win puts their overall record at 8-8 while the Lady Indians stand at 6-8. Catch the Lady Rebels next game on January 9 as they take on East Hall at home starting at 6!
The Lumpkin County Indians traveled to Fannin County High School this past Saturday to take on the Rebels. Both teams were coming from losses and hungry for a win.
It started off as a low scoring quarter. Rebel, Chandler Kendall, led Fannin in scoring with sixteen points by driving the lane. Indian, Chandler Pulley, led Lumpkin in scoring with ten points by making outside shots. With Lumpkin’s full court press, it made it difficult for Fannin to get to the basket in the first quarter. The Indians finished the first quarter with a 11-4 lead over the Rebels.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Fannin began to find ways to get past the press and score more points. The Rebels started to look up the court and find open teammates. Rebel, Jack Gobble, had a great game above the key and contributed four points for his team. Payton Holt got after it with his hustle and put thirteen points on the board for Fannin. The Rebels kept fighting for the lead at the end of the second quarter with the Indians still ahead 27-18.
The third quarter was filled with fouls from both teams. Rebel Post, Joel Kinser, contributed one point for his team from a foul shot. Jalen Ingram got aggressive down low and added two more points to Fannin’s score from the foul line. Cohutta Hyde drew fouls by driving inside and put one more point on the board for Fannin. With Fannin getting more aggressive on offense, their score got closer and closer to Lumpkin’s. At the end of the third, the Indians were still in the lead with a score of 36-30 over the Rebels.
The Rebels started to make a comeback during the fourth quarter. Fannin started to have good looks and passes inside which allowed Nathaniel Garrison to put six more points on the board. Joe Satchell played hard and got snatches on defense which resulted in him scoring seven points overall for Fannin. Two of Satchell’s seven points were made from a rebound on defense that he ran back for a layup, putting Fannin only two points behind the Indians. With the Rebels having a chance of winning the ball game, they applied heavy defensive pressure to the Indians. With the tension being high, the Rebels began to foul. As the Rebels kept fouling, the Indians score increased. Fannin hustled down the court and managed to once again be two points behind the Indians as time on the clock ran out. The Fannin Rebels endured a tough 52-50 loss to the Lumpkin Indians.
The Rebels loss puts their overall record at 2-12 while the Indians also stand at 2-12. Catch the Rebels next game on January 9 at 7:30 as they take on East Hall at home!
This past Friday at the Mountaintop Holiday Classic, the White County Warriors and the Pickens County Dragons traveled to Fannin County for their match up on day two of the tournament. Both teams were coming off of a loss from the first day of the tournament and ready to walk away with a win.
It was a high action and fast paced game from the start. The Dragons made the majority of their points from down low while the Warriors did most of their damage from driving the lane. Dragon post, Seth Bishop, led Pickens in scoring from the block with twenty-one points. Warrior guard, Austin Harris, led his team in scoring with twenty-four points due to his hustle. Warrior post, Austin Rowland, had the hustle on defense to make steals and contribute twelve points for his team. With the Warriors in the lead near the end of the third quarter, Pickens makes a buzzer beater shot to tie the game 17-17.
The hopes were high at the beginning of the second quarter. Both teams had the same chances of winning and were not giving up. The lead went from team to team and it became unpredictable on who would have it next. Warrior, Chandler Harris’s outside shooting came alive which put eleven points on the board for White County. Warriors, Reece Dockery and J. Ben Haynes, also had a good game above the key by each adding five points to White County’s score. The Warriors took a seven point lead over the Dragons at the end of the second quarter by making the score 29-22.
With Pickens down more than they had been the entire game, they were determined to make a come back. Both teams applied heavy defensive pressure on the other by putting a full court press into action. The press resulted in both teams getting steals and adding onto their score. At the end of the third quarter, White County doubled their lead over Pickens with a score of 47-33.
Pickens picked up the pace at the start of the fourth quarter. The Warriors start to put even more defensive pressure on the Dragons and draw fouls. Warrior, Jay Lepkoske, contributed one of his five points from the free throw line. The Warriors also started to have good looks inside which resulted in Kaleb Crane’s overall four points. Warriors, Daniel Rowland and Cooper Turner, followed the trend and each added four points onto White County’s score. However, the Warriors were not the only ones adding onto their score. The Dragons came back at the end of the fourth quarter with a score of 53-53, putting the game into overtime.
The intensity came alive at the beginning of the quarter. Both teams had four minutes to win the game. Pickens finally took the lead that they had been working for the whole game just to have the score tied once again at 63-63, putting the game into double overtime.
Four more minutes were put on the clock as both teams gave the game their all. The quarter was filled with hustle after loose balls, fouls from attempting to keep the other team from scoring, and heart. The back and forth of the game had everyone on their feet as they watched with anticipation. Although both teams played to the best of their ability, the White County Warriors had a 74-67 victory over the Pickens County Dragons.
The White County Warriors win puts their overall record at 9-4 while the Pickens County Dragons stand at 4-9. Catch the Warriors next game on January 2 at 5:45 as they travel to take on North Cobb Christian!
This past Friday on day two of the Mountaintop Holiday Classic, the Lady Bobcats traveled to take on the Lady Rebels. The Lady Bobcats were coming from a win on day one of the tournament while the Lady Rebels were well rested from the bye game that was scheduled on the first day. Both teams came ready to play and were hungry for another win.
It appeared to be an even matchup from the start. Gilmer had the hustle on defense while Fannin had the determination on offense. The Lady Rebels seemed to score the majority of their points off plays. Lady Rebel, Maleah Stepp, led Fannin in scoring with thirteen points with her will to win. The Lady Bobcats made most of their points from driving the lane and playing in the moment. Lady Bobcat, Mallory Kiser, led her team in scoring with nine points due to her grit. Lady Rebel post, Mackenzie McClure, was on fire with her outside shots which put her right behind Stepp in scoring with ten points. Lady Bobcat guard, Taylor Boling, was behind Kiser in scoring with seven points overall. With the first quarter coming to an end, the Lady Rebels were just one point ahead of the Lady Bobcats with a score of 13-12.
The second quarter was back and forth. Neither team could keep a consistent lead for the eight minutes on the clock. The Lady Rebels started to play scrappy on defense and began rebounding. Lady Rebel, Bailey Whitener, got aggressive down low and contributed three points for her team. Another Lady Rebel, Maddie Johnson, got after it and scored five points after getting steals on defense. Gilmer started looking up the court to find Lady Bobcat, Marylee Callihan, who also put five points on the board for her team. Number twenty-four for the Lady Bobcats, Emma Callihan, put her all into the game and contributed four points for Gilmer. With Fannin in the lead halfway through the quarter, Lady cat Michaela Staley drew a foul and made two of her foul shots. Staley’s two points tied up the game. Gilmer continued to score and further their lead until the end of the second quarter. It was the Lady Rebels ball as the clock was winding down and Reagan Henderson happened to be wide open. Henderson received a beautiful pass down low which resulted in her making a buzzer beater shot and contributing two of her overall three points to tie the game 23-23.
With both teams having the same chances of winning, Fannin found their spunk. The Lady Rebels started to draw fouls from driving the lane. Lady Rebel, Hope Franklin, drew two fouls from the block and contributed two of her four points from the foul line. However, Fannin was not the only team to draw fouls. Lady Bobcat, Katie Kiker, drew a foul and put one point on the board for Gilmer. As Fannin’s lead extended, Gilmer came alive on the block. Lady Bobcat, Faith Ralston, scored two of her three points from down low. Another post for Gilmer, Jasmine Staley, contributed two points for the Lady Bobcats from under the basket. Gilmer’s lead strayed farther from Fannin’s which resulted in the score being 31-25 at the end of the third quarter.
With Gilmer down by only six points, they were determined to make a come back. Both teams wanted to win and it showed through their hustle and intensity. With Gilmer trying their best to catch up to Fannin, the Lady Rebels tried just as hard to keep their lead. Although both teams had the heart to win the game, one had to lose. The Lady Bobcats played an amazing game, but were five points away from victory. The Lady Rebels 38-33 win over the Lady Bobcats put Fannin in the championship game to be played the next day against the Lady Dragons.
The Lady Rebels win puts their overall record at 7-6 while the Lady Bobcats record also stands at 7-6. Catch the Lady Rebels next region game at Fannin County High School on January 5 against GAC starting at 7:00! Or catch the Lady Bobcats next region game on the same day and at the same time as they travel to take on Northwest Whitfield!
You can’t beat Friday night football in North Georgia on Friday night. You can try, but it’s tough to beat. The atmosphere is amazing, with bleachers filled from end zone to end zone. The temperature is perfect, cooling as the sun sets shortly after the National Anthem and coin toss. The attitude of the players is unique, as the eyes of each individual athlete tell a different story from his… or even HER… point of view on the field. There’s only one thing better than playing a football game on Friday night:
Winning a football game on Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Fannin County Rebels, they have been unable to do so since region play began. They beat Andrews, NC 26-0 on September 15th,
but then lost to North Hall (13-0), Greater Atlanta Christian (55-7), Dawson County (43-3) and now Lumpkin County (10-0) this past Friday night.
Make no mistake, they’ve tried. Head Coach Jim Pavao has given his team credit at the end of each game for giving a solid effort in each loss. The players have taken the field each week with a do-or-die mentality, and every coach has actively worked with their skill positions before, during and after the game.
Friday night’s loss against Lumpkin came as a shock to many, but Fannin County defensive coordinator Adam Turner warned BKP on last week’s #Rebel Wrap-up broadcast that the Indians were no push-over. Lumpkin hadn’t won a game all season, but their losses haven’t exactly been blow-outs. In fact, they put up 32 points of offense against Chestatee, a 4A school that runs a very similar offense to the Indians. Chestatee went on to win by 8-points, but that game alone was proof throughout the season that Lumpkin could play the game.
So what happened Friday night at Fannin County High School?
The answer: ridiculously efficient clock-management by the Indians in one of the slowest football games of the year. Early in the first quarter, FCHS head coach Pavao could be heard yelling at his defense from the sidelines: “Huddle up! If they’re going to huddle every play, we’ll huddle, too!”
Most of the AAA Region 7 schools run a fast-paced offense, lining up and looking to the sidelines for their offensive plays so that they can get as many opportunities under center as possible throughout the game.
Lumpkin apparently didn’t get the memo.
The Indians casually strolled to their huddle formation, checked their stocks and banking portfolios on their I-phones, sipped a cup of coffee, caught up on the weather; then strolled back into position for the next play. I think I even saw a trainer using ammonia smelling salts to wake up a left guard from a mid-huddle-nap but I might’ve just been seeing things.
Sportswriter’s note: That last part may or may not be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. They wanted to use every second of clock possible, keeping the Rebels’ on the field.
The game plan of the Indians? Keep the defense on the field. When the offense took the field: contain the running game.
Each time Cody Jacobs took the hand-off from FCHS senior qb Chandler Smith, he was met by a relatively large, aggressive and hungry defensive front.
Every time the Indians’ qb took a snap, three different people seemed to be carrying the football at the same time and one of them was moving the chains.
As the war-of-attrition unfolded in the first quarter of play, it became clear that this game was going to be a grinder. Fortunately for Lumpkin – their kicker has a leg – and he showed just how well he kicks the football as he split the uprights from 40-yards out to take a 3-0 lead near the end of the quarter.
No one scored again until 4 minutes remaining in the game, when Fannin’s defense finally wore down. It wasn’t an easy touchdown, though. Senior linebacker Austin Brown went up in one-on-one coverage downfield and batted away a would-be touchdown play at the goalline in what was one of the most exciting defensive plays we’ve seen by the Rebels this season. The defense also had a beautiful blocked kick that prevented another score by the Indians.
At the end of the night, however, Fannin fell 10-0 and it was Lumpkin who celebrated midfield.
This Friday, the Rebels travel to Blairsville in the battle of the two winless teams in AAA Region 7: Fannin vs Union. Union has had an extra week to prepare. The Panthers are hosting in their house. It’s senior night. Coach Brian Allison and his staff have undoubtedly spent the extra time memorizing the offensive scheme of the Rebels and his young defense will hope to pull off the win.
Don’t count the Rebels out just yet, though. With the playoff picture eliminiated, they have nothing to lose. It should be a great game. Come out and support your Fannin Rebels as they face Rival Union County Friday night; kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.