The Blue Ridge Rodeo: It’s All About the Children

Community, Outdoors


The 22nd annual Rodeo was hosted by Blue Ridge Kiwanis Club in Blue Ridge, GA Friday and Saturday night at the Blue Ride Fairgrounds.

Friday and Saturday night brought in a swarm of locals and tourists alike totaling at 2400+ attendees.

The Rodeo brings out the family fun for everyone as they provide booths for people to walk around and visit, donkey rides for children, mechanical bull riding for those that wish to feel like a cowboy and great rodeo food.

Tammy McFarland, Kiwanis Club host explained, “This is really all for and all about the kids. All proceeds we make go back to our children. Each booth and table that is here during the rodeo is sponsored apart from children-centered organizations like the Boy and Girls Club, 4-H club, and Girl Scouts. A lot of funds come through sponsorships and we get to put that right back into our community.”

Between each rodeo event like bareback riding, cattle roping (men), cattle roping (wom en), barrel racing and bull riding there were community-centered activities like the calf scramble.

The children in the audience were invited to play in the calf scramble by two groups between the ages of 7-12. The goal of the game was to bring the tag from the tail of the calf to the rodeo entertainer for the night, Porkchop, also known as Garrett.

There was even a calf scrambling contest for the ladies in the audience but with a more interesting challenge. The winner of women’s calf-scrambling challenge would be the person who brought flag back to Porkchop, not the woman who caught the flag off the calf.

This made for an entertaining game as a ‘flag fight’ broke out in the middle of the arena and resulted in a woman-pile as they each fought for the flag. Eventually, after much laughter from the audience, Porkchop broke up the girl-fight and the ladies walked about to their seats in the audience.


In the end, fun was had by all, as teens walked the field with their friends laughing and eating, children pulled on their parents’ hands as they stared wide-eyed at the mechanical bull begging to ride.

All the while, the proceeds from this event go right back into the Fannin community through groups like Fannin County Literacy Action Group, the 4-H Club, Fannin County High School Marching Band, and many, many others.

TeamFYNSports Player of the Week

Player Of The Week

Fannin County Rebels number 55, Mason Rhodes, brought a great game of defense Friday night against Gilmer County’s Bobcats. Rhodes, along with the rest of the Rebels defense, shut down any chance of Bobcats scoring leaving the final score of the game 28-0. Rhodes seemed to have brought a strong mental toughness and ‘hit ‘em and hit ‘em hard’ attitude as Rhodes had 10 tackles, 4 assists and 1 tackle for loss—a total of 14 tackles. Rhodes set the tone for defense and kept the Bobcats from scoring the entire game. We hope to see more defense in like this in Rebels future.

Rebels get a Season Opening win against Bobcats 28-0

Fannin County High, FCHS Football


For the first football game of the season, one of the oldest high school rivalries squared off Friday night at the Huff-Mosely Stadium in Ellijay, Georgia. Fannin County Rebels versus the Gilmer County Bobcats. The Rebels beat the Bobcats 28-0.

Rebels elected to receive the ball first, Cohutta Hyde, ran the ball down field into Bobcat territory and got 1st down at the 30-yard line. Unfortunately, though, due to errors, turnovers, and fumbles, neither the Rebels or the Bobcats had a great first quarter and the score ended 0-0.

Once the second quarter started, it was apparent that the Rebels had settled in and shaken off some ‘first-game of the season’ jitters.

At 8:38 in the second quarter, Rebels lit up the scoreboard and gained their first touchdown of the game. Quarterback, Luke Holloway, had a nice hand-off to running back, Treylyn Owensby, and he got a rushing touchdown. Afterwards, the play was flagged for un-sportsman-like conduct due to Fannin’s early celebration. Kicker, Sara Sosebee, with the extra point gave the Rebels the full 7 points to Bobcats 0.

Late in the second quarter, Rebels defense forced the Bobcats to punt. Rebels, defensive back, Hyde, caught the ball and had what was hopefully a 60-yard return by getting the ball into Bobcat territory, but there were two blocks in the back, so the Rebels were forced back to the 40-yard line, which decimated a strong return.

The first half ended with the Rebels up by 7, but it was obvious that both teams needed huddles with their coaches; Coach Cheatham and Coach Wingard, to make changes and help improve plays.

After half-time, it was clear to see the Rebels made some adjustments. The Rebels had a much better performance with their hand-offs and executing their passes. Rebels brought in some more touchdowns and points after with Sosebee.

With 7 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, Rebels quarterback, Holloway, rushed for a touchdown and Sosebee brought in the extra point.

Gilmer’s Bobcats fumbled in third quarter, Owensby picked up the fumble and ran it to the Bobcats territory on the 34-yard line before getting tackled.

Early in the fourth quarter, Rebels defense played harder than ever as they continued to keep the Bobcats from scoring.

While Bobcats had possession, Rebels defensive linemen, Pierson Archer, got the fumble at the 3-yard line.

Rebels quarterback, Holloway, rushed the ball but got tackled at the 41-yard line.

Rebels running back, Owensby, ran in for a touchdown, but the play was flagged for holding on Fannin.

With 3:08 left in the game, Rebels’ Jalen Ingram, scored a touchdown. After kicking her third extra point of the night the night, Sosebee gave the Rebels 21.

Rebels defense in the fourth quarter stood strong as defensive back, Tate Heaton, took out a Bobcat at the 33-yard line.

Another great play by, Mason Rhodes, as he tackled a Bobcat at the 27-yard line.

With less than 3 minutes in the game, defensive back, Hyde, intercepts the ball from a Bobcat, and hauled it down field before getting tackled by a Bobcat at the 14-yard line.

Holloway passed off to Owensby and he ran for the touchdown gaining another 6 points for the Rebels. Sosebee, four and four for the night, gained the point and left the Rebels with 28 to Bobcats 0!

The takeaway from Friday night’s game is that the Rebels have a good football team. Coach Cheatham won his first high school football game as a head coach here at Fannin County High and as Rebel alum.

Come out to support the Fannin Rebels at their home game Friday, August 24th, against Lafayette High School at 7:30pm!

Lady Rebels Feel Talons of Eagles

FCHS Sports, Sports

Last Thursday, the Lady Rebels softball team traveled to Gainesville, Georgia, to take on the Chestatee War Eagles. Both teams were looking to redeem themselves from the tough losses they endured their games prior to the matchup.

Fannin hit the field first where the War Eagles got an early lead. They started hitting the ball in all of the right places and getting runs on the board. After Chestatee scored two runs, the Rebels got their third out and started swinging the bats. Fannin had a hard time putting the ball into play on offense until the third inning where they put two runs on the board and tied the game.

The Lady War Eagles continued the trend at the bottom of the fourth inning by adding two more runs to the score where the Lady Rebels were unable to do the same. Fannin started to make errors on defense, leading Chestatee to continue to add runs to the board. The War Eagles continued to advance their lead while the Rebels were struggling to score more runs. Fannin was having a hard time putting the ball into play and when they did, it went right to the defense.

Chestatee outhit Fannin 6-4 while the Lady Rebels made 5 errors throughout the game on defense while the Lady War Eagles made two. Although Fannin struggled with their fielding and hitting, they pitched a good game from the mound. Lady Rebel senior, Amelia Sneed, pitched six innings and struck out seven batters. The War Eagles finished the game with a 5-2 victory over the Rebels, putting Fannin’s overall record at 0-4.


Warriors Defeat Rebels

FCHS Sports, Sports

This past Tuesday, the Lady Rebels softball team traveled to Gordon Central to take on the Warriors. The Rebels were looking to redeem themselves from their one point loss the weekend before.

The Rebels started off hot on offense when Maleah Stepp stepped up to bat and hit an out of the park homerun. Stepp has been an asset to the team on offense so far in the season by leading the team in hits and runs batted in. Right after Stepp touched home, Kayleigh Russell stepped up to the plate for Fannin and hit another out of the park homerun. Russell has been right behind Stepp on the leaders board for hits and runs batted in the last few games. Each of them had three hits for the night where Stepp had four runs batted in and Russell had three.

After the second inning, the Rebels had an 8-2 lead over the Warriors. Fannin got too confident in their early lead and started to slip up on defense. Although the Rebels out hit the Warriors 14 to 10, they had 12 errors on defense while Gordon had 5. The Warriors came back after the fifth inning where they pulled ahead 11-9.

Fannin found their fire again and started to make a comeback in the sixth inning where they scored three runs. The Rebels managed to tie the game 12-12 going into the seventh inning. Gordon was able to hold Fannin on defense at the top of the seventh inning, not allowing any runs to score. When Fannin hit the field, they hoped to have three consecutive outs in hopes of putting the game into an extra inning where they could make a comeback. With a runner on base, Gordon Central hits a ball deep center field, sending the runner home. After putting up a good fight, the Rebels endured a heartbreaking 13-12 loss to the Gordon Central Warriors.


Lady Rebels Run into Double Trouble

FCHS Sports, Sports

Over the weekend, the Lady Rebels officially kicked off their softball season with a double header. The team competed against Gordon Central and Pace Academy where they showed great promise, however could not walk away with a win.

The Lady Rebels took the field first to take on Gordon Central to start off the day. The Rebels started off hot on defense with a double play. With a runner on first, Amelia Sneed threw her third strike from the mound as the girl on first base was stealing second and Eryn Mealer threw her out from behind the plate to get the second out. Sneed had a great game from the circle where she pitched all seven innings and struck out four batters. Each team was holding the other on defense until the sixth inning when Gordon Central put their first run on the board. The Rebels had a great game defensively from the start, however it took Fannin until about the sixth inning to get the bats hot. First baseman for the Lady Rebels, Kayleigh Russell, started things off for Fannin at the bottom of the sixth when she hit the ball deep center field and advanced to second base. Unfortunately, the third out was called before Russell could make it home, leaving Gordon in the lead. Fannin allowed one more run on defense and rallied when it came their turn to hit. Mealer was the lead off batter in the bottom of the seventh inning to get things going for Fannin. The Lady Rebel hit a bomb to left field, advancing to third base. Lady Rebel Senior, Alicia Jones, approached the plate next and hit Mealer home to put their first run on the board. The sudden burst of hitting created a chain reaction which led to Fannin loading the bases. With two outs, Gordon Central threw the perfect pitch that was hit in just the right place to be caught and get their third out. Despite Fannin out-hitting Gordon seven to four, the Warriors walked out on top with a score of 2-1.

After Fannin had a break and Gordon took on Pace Academy, it was the Rebels turn to play Pace. In the game before, Pace Academy had won 7-3 against Gordon Central with their dominant hitting.

Fannin was off to a slow start while Pace was just getting warmed up after their victory over Gordon Central. Pace wasted no time getting runs on the board when they scored two in the first inning from Fannin’s defensive errors. Amelia Sneed started off on the mound and pitched for one inning before junior, Kaelyn Hensley, came in and pitched the rest. Even when the Rebels were down by five runs in the second inning, they fought and made their comeback in the sixth. Senior, Maleah Stepp, led the Rebels in hits at the plate where she went 3-for-4. With the Rebels being only two runs behind Pace, they hit the field with the resilience they had been missing the whole game. The Rebels were able to hold Pace on defense and tried their best to make a comeback with their last at bat. Fannin put one more run on the board and was ready to score the tying run when Pace got their third out. Although the Lady Rebels had an amazing comeback and outhit Pace 13 to 9, they let one run get in their way of victory.


Lady Rebels Get the Ball Rolling

FCHS Sports, Sports

As school is approaching, so is the Lady Rebels softball season. As many of Fannin’s sports teams are having to do, the softball team spent the summer adjusting to the coaching staff changes that were thrown their way.

Alan Collis was a previous assistant coach for the Lady Rebels three years ago, but has returned this season as the head coach of the softball team. When asking coach Collis about his thoughts on the upcoming season, he said, “We are so excited for this season. We are excited to take off and get started to see how much we improve each week. Our girls are working hard each practice to help the team improve. We want to be in the playoffs. We want to be one of the final four teams and I believe we can do that if we improve each week. In order to achieve this, we cannot take any steps back. We have to keep striving everyday to raise the bar and to get better than the day before. If we do that, we are going to be sitting exactly where this coaching staff wants to be as one of the top four teams in the end to make it to the state playoffs.”

The Lady Rebels practiced through the hot months of June and July so that the team can reach this goal at the end of the season. The coaches not only taught the players the fundamentals of the game, but also the importance of becoming and playing like a team. When they weren’t on the field practicing, the Rebels really focused on team bonding. Whether it was putting on team devotionals or hiking Amicalola Falls to receive their uniforms, the Rebels spent as much time as they could growing closer together.

Travis Stone has been a coach at Fannin County High School for years now. Just like the players, Stone has also had to adjust to the coaching changes that have come his way. The past few years, Stone has been an assistant coach for baseball. This year however, he has been changed to the head coach for baseball, and an assistant coach for softball. “I’m looking forward to watching the girls improve and work hard each day. We have to get one percent better everyday. If we get one percent better each day, we will be right where we need to be to reach our goal. Infield and outfield have been improving over the summer. We are working hard on making better throws, transferring the ball well, getting an idea of where we go with the ball, pitching, and backing up the pitcher. If we can continue to get better at these small aspects each day, we will be a great team,” coach Stone shared with the FYN sports team.

The Lady Rebels officially kick off their season on Saturday, August 4. They will play a double header at home where they will take on Gordon Central at 11am and Pace Academy at 3pm. Come out and support your Lady Rebels!


Rebels Further Golfing Career

FCHS Sports, Sports

Today, three Fannin County High School athletes signed a letter of intent to play golf at the same college. Seniors, Austin Panter, Bailey Whitener, and Peyton Holt, all committed to Truett McConnell University in Cleveland, Georgia.

“In all of the years I have been coaching, I have never had this happen. I have never signed three kids from the same high school. I am not signing them collectively, I am signing them each as an individual because each one of them has something to bring to the program. First and foremost, I look for someone with high character, and all three of these young people have it,” head Truett golf coach, Steve Patton shared.

Bailey Whitener has been a part of FCHS’ golfing program for all four years, as well as the Lady Rebels basketball team. Peyton Holt had the same interests by being part of the program for two years, and playing basketball for the high school for four. Austin Panter was the opposite from Holt where he was part of the basketball program for two years, and part of golf for all four. All three athletes prove to have academic excellence and the golfing skills to take them to the next level.

“It is exciting for us today to be able to recognize these three athletes and this achievement. We wish them well and we know all three of them will represent Fannin County High School well at Truett McConnell,” head Rebel golf coach, David Dyer stated about the athletes.

“I am very proud of all three of them. I have been around Bailey and Austin for four years. They were here as freshmen and they put a lot of time in. Peyton picked up the game a little late, but he has really picked it up and done a good job. In most sports I have coached, I have never seen athletes put as much time into a sport that these three did on the course. They are always out there hitting balls and working at their game. They have bright futures ahead of them and we are very proud of them,” assistant Rebel golf coach, Scott Eggleston shared at the signing.

“Last year our men’s team came within one stroke of going to the National Championship. My girls team last year finished fourth in the conference out of twelve teams. That is the highest finish we have ever had. We are building something very, very special over at Cleveland and to be able to add some quality people makes it even more special. We are a christian school and my goal is to disciple them and help them grow in their relationship with the lord, help them to be successful in the classroom, and serve others in the community. I can tell that all three of them have the desire to improve their golf game, so we are going to see and hear a lot of great things from Bailey, Peyton, and Austin. I am just very excited to be their coach,” coach Patton shared, closing out the evening.

Congratulations to all three of these athletes for this big achievement and we wish them the best of luck in this exciting chapter of their lives!

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