Rebels Run Rule Bobcats

FCHS Sports, Sports

Last night, the Gilmer Bobcats traveled to Fannin County to take on the Rebels for their first home game of the season. Everyone came out to support the Rebels who played an outstanding game.

Fannin took the field first while Gilmer stepped up to the plate. Rebel pitcher, Garrett Rogers, pitched a great game for Fannin, not allowing Gilmer to get a single run on the board. Rogers played all five innings where he struck out nine batters and walked only one.

In the first inning of play, Jack Gobble hit the ball in the gap between center and right field, bringing in one run. Gobble’s RBI put the Rebels in the lead, putting a score on the board for Fannin to add on to.

Fannin had a three up, three down second inning. Rogers struck the first two batters out while the third one hit a ground ball to second basemen, Tyler Norton, who threw him out to first basemen, Matthew Shirah.

Lead off batter for the Rebels, Chandler Kendall, stepped up to the plate ready to put the ball in to action in the third inning. Kendall hit a bomb deep left field that skimmed the outfielders glove then fell to the ground, resulting in his third double of the night. Not only was Kendall on fire on offense, but also defense. The Rebel had a great double play at shortstop, getting Fannin’s third out of the inning.

The fourth inning was like a case of deja vu. It was another quick inning where the first three batters got out the same exact way and order that they did in the second inning. As Fannin kept increasing their score, the Bobcats tried their best just to get one point on the board.

As Fannin took the field to start the fifth inning, they found themselves holding the Bobcats once again. The Rebels score was too high for the Bobcats to catch up to, resulting in the run rule to end the game with Fannin in the lead 11-0.

The following players put the ball into action and added onto Fannin’s score for the night; Chandler Kendall-2, Drew Foresman-2, Jack Gobble-1, Dylan Walton-2, Matthew Shirah-2, Blake Rogers-2.

The Rebels win puts their overall record at 2-2 while the Bobcats stand at 1-4. Catch Fannin’s next games tomorrow, February 24, at 12:00 and 2:30 as they travel to take on Flowery Branch High School!

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Rebels Hit off Season

FCHS Sports, Sports

With the weather getting warmer, it’s the perfect time to start spring sports. The Fannin Rebels baseball team started off their season this past weekend in Valdosta, Georgia. They played a total of three games where they won one game, and lost the other two. The FYN sports team met with head coach, Jon Ayres, and got the inside scoop of this upcoming baseball season.  

When asking Ayers what he is looking forward to this season, he replied, “Well I’m excited because we have some experienced players. Even though we may be young at some positions, We have a lot of experience. We have a lot of guys who were very successful in the JV program last year who won the JV Mountain League. They worked very hard in the off season. I also feel like we have some interchangeable spots. We have a lot of options in different positions, in different days, whenever one player is having a better day than another, we can switch them in and out. I think we have a really good group.”

The head coach then continued to go on and share the Rebels goals for this year. “Last year we took fourth in the region and made it to the state playoffs for the first time in about six or seven years, but we lost in the first round. Our goal this year is to try and finish higher in the region. Hopefully we can get ourselves in another position to be in the state playoffs and try to win some of those games.”

After a hot weekend in South Georgia, Ayres shared how the season is looking so far. “We had three games over the weekend in Valdosta, Georgia. We took a bus trip down there and while we were there we went to a Valdosta State baseball game which was a good experience for our guys. As far as our performance, we were able to play a number of players and give some experience to some players. We played two 7A schools while we were down there and even though we lost those games, we played really well. We schedule these hard games because we feel like we have to play good teams if we want to get better.”

When asking the head coach about their previous pitcher who recently signed to Georgia Tech, Will Shirah, he responded, “We are excited for Will. Obviously we miss him and it would be nice if we still had him, but we all hope great things for him. He is still part of our team from the standpoint that he is always thinking about us, rooting us on, and communicating with us. I just think we will have to have some younger pitchers step up because that one spot in our rotation  will be at Georgia Tech. We’ve got some young guys that threw some good innings in JV last year. We have Will’s brother, Matthew Shirah, We have Gabe Buchanan, Carson Beavers, and Blake Rogers. Of course we have our two seniors, Garrett Rogers and Grant Baker who both had a good year last year as well. All of these players have really stepped it up and we’re excited to see what happens for them.”

Catch the Fannin Rebels first home game of the season on Thursday, February 22, as they take on the Gilmer Bobcats at 5pm!

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Fannin Recreation Department announces tennis program

Sports

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – This program offers children a great beginning to the wonderful game of tennis. Classes are limited, so each child receives proper personal attention. Mark Miller will be the instructor and, in conjunction with the Fannin County Recreation Department, will be conducting the program. The schedule below lists the dates and times of lessons each week.

Lesson program includes:

Grip, set-up, form, stance, matches etiquette and rules.

Location:

City of Blue Ridge tennis courts
350 Gray Street BR
2018 spring schedule
(begins March 20)

Days: Tuesday and Thursday
Time: 3:45 to 5:15 p.m.

Registration fee: $35

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Lady Rebels Rally in Region Tournament

FCHS Sports, Sports

Last Wednesday, The Lady Rebels record led them to play in the first round of the region tournament. Fannin traveled to East Hall who was hosting the tournament, to take on North Hall. The Rebels played the Lady Trojans for their last home game, and ended up meeting again on Wednesday for Fannin’s last game of the season.

With the Lady Rebels scoring the majority of their points from downlow, the Trojans made theirs from outside shots. Lady Rebel, Hope Franklin, led her team in scoring with fourteen points due to her determination on the block. Lady Trojan, Maci Gillespie, also led her team in scoring with fourteen points. The first quarter ended with a tied score of 12-12.

You could tell by their performance on the court that both teams wanted to win and continue in the tournament. It was a back and forth game with the score being neck and neck for most of it. The Rebels started to make and take shots above the key to add onto their score. Lady Rebel, Maleah Stepp, added six points to Fannin’s score by making two three point shots. Morgan Holt followed the trend and added ten points to Fannin’s score, three of them being from a shot above the key. The Lady Rebels took the lead going into halftime with a score of 10-9.

The Lady Rebels had good looks up the court and found Maddie Johnson. Johnson contributed five points for the Lady Rebels with her speed. With the game being so close and each team trying to prevent the other from scoring, they both start to foul. Fannin had good looks inside to Makenzie McClure who contributed six points for her team, two being from foul shots. Another Rebel senior, Morgan Patton, added two points to Fannin’s score with foul shots. The game was neck and neck at the end of the third quarter with the Lady Rebels one point ahead of the Trojans 11-10.

The Lady Trojans found some extra spunk at the start of the fourth and final quarter. The Trojans started to draw fouls and add more points to their score. As the buzzer sounded to end the game, North Hall had a seven point lead over Fannin with a score of 50-43.

Fannin’s heartbreaking loss puts their overall record of the season at 9-16. The Lady Rebels had a great season full of heart. These girls always played with great intensity and determination which led them to their victories.

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Rebels Play in Region Tournament

FCHS Sports, Sports

Last Tuesday, the Fannin Rebels traveled to East Hall to take on the Vikings for the first round of the region tournament. The Rebels had played the Vikings the game prior to the matchup and were ready to redeem themselves from the tough loss they endured.

Even though the Vikings beat the Rebels just a few days before, that did not stop them from trying again and giving the game all they had. Rebel, Payton Holt, led his team in scoring with sixteen points by driving the lane. Viking, Luke Cooper, led his team in scoring with twelve points. The Vikings had the lead at the end the end of the first quarter with a score of 30-16.

The Rebels found that East Hall’s heavy defense had not let up any since their previous game, and found ways to get past it. Fannin had good looks up to the court to Chandler Kendall who added seven points to the score with his scrappy playing. Joe Satchell got after loose balls and contributed three points for the Rebels. The Vikings had a 54-31 lead over the Rebels going into halftime.

With East Hall double teaming the Rebels on defense, Fannin started to pass the ball around to create open shots. Rebel, Jack Gobble, contributed nine points for his team with outside shots. Cohutta Hyde followed the trend and added four points to the Rebels score. Even with the Vikings unstoppable outside shots, the Rebels played with spunk. East Hall extended their lead over the Rebels at the end of the third quarter with a score of 66-39.

Even though the Vikings had steal after steal, the Rebels started to rebound which resulted in more points. Rebel post, Ryan Beavers, added five points to Fannin’s score with his aggression down low. Nathaniel Garrison and Joel Kinser both scored four points each for the Rebels from the block. East Hall finishes the night with a 78-52 victory over the Rebels, wrapping up Fannin’s season.

The Rebels loss puts their overall record of the season at 4-21. Fannin might not have have gotten all the wins they wanted to, but this is a team that has worked hard and improved so much since the start of the season. They have never given up and they put their all into every single game.

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Administration addresses athletics at Board of Education meeting

Community, Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – After hearing concerns expressed at the Jan. 11 Board of Education (BOE) meeting, Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney, as well as other members of the board, added a new agenda item covering extracurricular activities within the school system.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Rebels, Georgia High School Association, GHSA

Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi discussed athletics at the Feeb. BOE meeting.

At the Feb. 8 BOE meeting the board unveiled this new item. Dr. Gwatney explained that updates of Fannin County extracirruclar activities will be a recurring item.

While these updates will encompass all of Fannin County’s extracurriculars, the focus of the Feb. updates centered around the state of the Fannin County Athletics Department.

Fannin County High School Principal Erik Cioffi presented this information to the public.

“There were some questions about accountability,” Cioffi spoke of concerns presented at the previous BOE meeting. “You don’t have to look any further than right here. I am the one who has hired people and put them in positions. So if there is a concern it should come to my department.”

Cioffi spoke of the staff of Fannin County School System and added that the pool of educators in which coaches can be pulled from is currently 59 certified teachers.

“They are teachers first and they have responsibilities that make up a bulk of their time,” Cioffi added.

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey clarified that there are 62 coaching positions that have to be covered, and for this reason coaches have to work or coach in multiple departments. Ramsey backed up Cioffi stating that a coach’s first priority is to be an educator.

“As they should be,” Ramsey stated. “Because that is the ultimate thing, they (students) leave with a high school diploma.”

Cioffi discussed the current Georgia High School Association (GHSA) policy and why Fannin County continues to be placed a AAA region school. In the past GHSA reevaluated schools on a two year cycle. Recent changes, however, has left evaluations happening every four years.

“We have no control over the region we’re placed,” Cioffi explained.

A meeting is scheduled on Feb. 21 where representatives from Fannin County Athletics along with representative from other AAA schools will meet with GHSA officials to examine the new policy.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Rebels, Georgia High School Association, GHSA

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey was also present to talk with parents.

“It’s ridiculous. If they (GHSA) get it wrong, that’s impacted a child’s entire four years,” Cioffi told the crowd about plans to hopefully bring about change on the state level when it comes to athletics.

The possibility of dropping to AA classification could pose a different set of difficulties for the student athletes of Fannin County, as travel is cited to be a large consideration in the possibility of changing regions.

A new AA classification could mean that students would have to travel as far as three hours away to play other AA teams.

Cioffi also proposed what all parties (parents, coaches and administration) want a “Winning Culture”, and explained how to take steps in this direction: “Before we even get to a winning culture, we need a positive culture. That’s going to take everyone in this room and everyone outside this room to get there.”

“Stay positive. Our kids see when there’s negativity going around,” Cioffi spoke of the recent discussions taking place via social media. “One thing I can promise you is that coaches aren’t posting things on social media about kids and parents.”

“Communicate with each other and figure out how can we best meet the needs of all the programs,” Cioffi went on,”Ultimately we want all programs to be successful.”

The parents coming forward was a big step in addressing the issues that Fannin County Athletics faces, and administration wants to keep lines of communication open and figure out how to “get over the hump and move forward.”

Athletic Director Dr. Scott Ramsey concluded the presentation: “We’re working together, because we don’t ever want to be an us versus you mentality. There never needs to be adversary. We all need to be working for the good of the kids.”

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Parents question the finances of Fannin County Athletics

News, Rebel's Corner

BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – The Feb. 8 Fannin County Board of Education (BOE) meeting was packed, with many left at standing room only, as parents and supporters of Fannin County Athletics gathered once again to voice concerns over the direction of the program.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

The Board of Education listens as public commentary focuses on athletics.

Fannin County School Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney addressed the crowd before the meeting got underway saying, “Safety is always the top priority. With that in mind, ladies and gentlemen, we have received a maximum number that’s allowed in this room from the state fire marshal, and we must adhere to that number.”

School principals were present to help usher the crowd and school resource officers were stationed at all emergency exits.

“Our room is at capacity,” Gwatney continued. Gwatney announced that the BOE had set up accommodations in expectations of the large turnout. The meeting would be streaming online and alternate locations had been set up at the high school as an overflow where supporters could watch the live-stream.

Ten community members signed up prior to the meeting to ensure that their voices would be heard during public commentary.

Donnie Kendall, who spoke at the January BOE meeting, led the way again and spoke first during the public’s allotted time.

“The last four weeks the administration has not only been helpful, but they have also made theirselves available in hearing all of my concerns, ” Kendall began. “The problem is our administration is reactive instead of proactive.”

Kendall voiced that the same accountability that is placed on educators in the school system should also be placed on coaches, citing the boys basketball team finishing with just three wins and 21 losses.

In comparing this with an academic classroom where only three students were passing with 21 failing, Kendall stated that that educators job would come into question, and the likelihood of their position being renewed would be slim.

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

Donnie Kendall addresses the board first during public commentary at the BOE meeting.

“If you choose coaching as career path, you will ultimately be judged by your wins and losses,” Kendall added.

A point of concern among many of the public commentators and mentioned first by Kendall is a need for the BOE to produce total financial transparency of the athletic departments. Kendall, like many others, would like to know what formulas are in place for the funding and who is responsible for the financial decisions.

Speaking of the numerous booster clubs throughout the different athletic departments, who are responsible for raising tens of thousands of dollars every year, Kendall stated, “What we can do and what we are prepared to do is refuse to support that program financially.”

Another commentator, Cliff Shirah spoke from experience on the financial transparency that is desired by parents. Shirah has been treasurer of the Dugout Club for four years.

In those four years, Shirah cited that approximately $192,000 had been raised by the community for this club and the money directly supports Fannin County Athletics.

“We want to know how programs are funded and from what budget, and what is the process or guidelines that those decisions are made?” Shirah questioned the BOE.

Shirah pointed out that the Dugout Club had spent $34,000 in field maintenance and asked, “Why are parents forced to pay for these facilities and field expenses?”

Fannin County, Blue Ridge, Georgia, Fannin County Athletics, Board of Education, Superintendent, Dr. Michael Gwatney, Bobby Bearden, Lewis DeWeese, Terry Bramlett, Chad Galloway, Steve Stanley, East Fannin Elementary School, West Fannin Elementary School, Blue Ridge Elementary School, Fannin County Middle School, Fannin County High School, Athletic Director, Dr. Scott Ramsey, Fannin County School System, Donnie Kendall, ryan Walton, Cliff Shirah, Brian Johnson, Rebels

Brian Johnson counters reasons given by administration about the state of Fannin County Athletics.

Brian Johnson, former president of the Basketball Booster Club, also touched on finances, stating the Tip Off Club had raised upwards of $200,000 in four years, and asked the board, “What will the school board’s actions be if financial support is taken away from these programs?”

Johnson also addressed what many parents felt were excuses being given by administration for the current state of Fannin County Athletics: “excuses have been given from, ‘we don’t have talent’ to ‘we’re rural and secluded’ to ‘other teams should be playing in higher classifications.'”

Johnson countered these arguments by stating, “What in your minds makes us more secluded than Union County, Murphy, North Carolina, Hayesville, Towns County, or Hiawassee, Georgia? We have struggled against these very schools that are as small or much, much smaller than we are.”

Ryan Walton, who also spoke alongside Donnie Kendall at the January BOE meeting, did not agree with the explanations that the administration has offered. “All I’ve heard is excuses on why we don’t compete. I haven’t heard any answers,” Walton said.

Walton added, “I will say that the coaches at Fannin County right now are doing a great job of teaching our kids that life is not fair and that the best person does not always get the job, but the athletic director and board are doing a terrible job by showing these kids that you can be terrible at your job and not get fired.”

Other parents were present giving testimonials on how success in athletics directly correlates with success in a child’s personal life and their academics. These parents expressed concern over what they saw as the coaches’ lack of involvement with or enthusiasm displayed for their athletes.

Ultimately, the parents and supporters united under a common theme of change. They wish to see a winning culture come back to Fannin County and want the full chain of command, from the BOE down to the coaches, to take responsibility for this turn around.

Follow FetchYourNews as we look into obtaining full financial transparency for the Fannin County Athletics Department.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that attracts more than 300,000 page views and 3.5 million impressions per month in Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. FYNTV attracts approximately 15,000 viewers per week and reaches between 15,000 to 60,000 per week on our Facebook page. For the most effective, least expensive local advertising, call 706-276-6397 or email us at advertise@FetchYourNews.com

Vikings Defeat Rebels 91-65

FCHS Sports, Sports

The Friday before last, The Rebels traveled to East Hall to take on their last regular season game. Even though it was the Vikings senior night, Fannin planned to show no mercy.

While East Hall made the majority of their points from outside shots, the Rebels made theirs form downlow. Viking, Luke Holtzclaw, led East Hall in scoring with seventeen points, fifteen of them being from three point shots. Rebel, Ryan Beavers, led his team in scoring with fifteen points. Beavers was not only on fire under the basket, but also with his outside shots. Chandler Kendall contributed five points for the Rebels, three of them being from a buzzer beater half court shot to end the first quarter with a score of 24-12 with East Hall in the lead.

The Vikings applied heavy defensive pressure throughout the whole game. They would full court press and double team the Rebels which would result in Fannin making turnovers and more points for East Hall. Even though the Rebels were having trouble breaking the Vikings defense, they never gave up. Rebel, Payton Holt, added eleven points to Fannin’s score with his endless hustle. Cohutta Hyde put two more points on the board for the Rebels with his speed. Another Rebel guard, Joe Satchell, contributed six points to his teams score with his ball handling skills. East Hall kept the lead at the end of the second quarter with a score of 42-31.

Fannin started to get the hang of taking and making three point shots in the second half of the game. Brady Martin came into the game with his determination and swooshed a three point shot. Gabe Buchanan for the Rebels did the same thing and added four point on the board with his scrappy playing. Rebel, Chase Culpepper, contributed five points to the rebels score with his willingness to shoot the ball. As the third quarter was coming to an end, something big happened for the Vikings. East Hall senior, Luke Cooper, scored the one-thousandth point of his high school basketball career. With the Vikings on a high from all the excitement, they ended the third quarter with a 72-45 lead over the Rebels.

With East Hall continuing to drive the lane and take outside shots, Fannin had to find a way to score more points. The Rebels started to look downlow to their posts for shots. Rebel, Joel Kinser, had grit on the block and added six points to his teams score. Nathaniel Garrison followed the trend and added four points onto Fannin’s score. Jalen Ingram got to come in for the Rebels and add four points to the score with his aggressive playing. Although the Rebel posts had a great game, unfortunately it was not enough to catch up to the Vikings. East Hall walked away with a 91-65 victory over the Fannin Rebels.

The Rebels loss put their record at 4-20, leaving them to return back to East Hall to play them once again in the first round of the region tournament.

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