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!
In the afternoon prior to Fannin County’s game against the Union County Panthers last Friday, the sun was shining if you looked to the northern end of the field you could see Old Glory gently waving behind a comfortable breeze. Fast-forward 45 minutes and winter had come, with fans bundled up so tight in their cold-weather gear it looked like a bunch of white-walkers from the tv series Game of Thrones were entering the stands.
It was cold.
You know what else was cold? Cole Wright, senior quarterback for the Union Panthers and college-commit for West Point. Ice cold.
The Fannin Rebels’ defense had no answer for Wright, as he picked the secondary apart with precision-passing and took advantage of soft coverage when it presented itself, by eating up yardage with his feet.
Friday night’s game was the first game since the opening minute-and-a-half against Greater Atlanta Christian where we actually saw him play at 100% health. A serious foot injury sidelined him for the remainder of that loss, then restricted him in losses against Dawson, East Hall and North Hall.
The Rebels found themselves down 10-0 early, as their offense struggled to run the football and by the time senior quarterback Chandler Smith was given an opportunity to pass, the Union defense was ready for it and covered up his receivers. The Fannin coaches began rotating running backs to maximize use of their depth, and senior defensive back Jonah Henry was the first Rebel to carry the ball to paydirt for Fannin. The PAT by Sarah Sosebee was good (as always), and Fannin trailed 10-7.
It took Cole Wright less than 2-minutes to march back down the field and he carried the ball across the goal line himself for the next touchdown, Union regaining their 10-point lead, 17-7.
Determined to run the football, Fannin employed a strategy we had not seen all season from the Rebels, putting two running backs in the backfield. Senior tailback Cody Jacobs took a couple of direct snaps and cut between the tackles, stunning the Panthers. Henry lined up in the tailback position and ran the ball as well. However, on a 4th-and-2 play in their own territory and only 3:44 remaining in the half, the defense keyed on the backs and tackled Jacobs behind the line of scrimmage for a turnover on downs.
Another two minutes passed, and another touchdown pass by Cole Wright put the Panthers up 24-7 with 1:22 remaining in the half. Unable to get down field with such a short period of time, Fannin would take the locker room trailing by 17.
The third quarter was a defensive battle, neither team willing to give ground to their opponents. On the first play of the 4th quarter, however, Wright hit Hemphill (#4) with a 60-yard pass to put the Panthers up 31-7.
The Rebels continued to play hard, despite trailing by 24 with less than 11 minutes remaining in the game, and eventually their hard work paid off with another touchdown for Fannin.
It appeared as though the final score would be 31-14, but with 38 seconds remaining senior Cole Dockery of the Union Panthers took the ball 62-yards for the final blow, resulting in the 37-14 final.
Union County travels to take on the Lumpkin Indians this week, while Fannin County prepares for senior night as they host East Hall. East Hall suffered a shocking loss last week against North Hall, dropping them to fourth in Region 7 (AAA).
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.
Stats were not yet available for this game.