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!
High school athlete, Hope Franklin, signed a letter of intent yesterday to play basketball at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. Franklin has been an athlete at Fannin County High School for four years where she has played basketball for all four years and volleyball for three. For basketball, she was on varsity all four years while she made varsity for volleyball two years out of her three of playing.
“We are all very proud of Hope as a coaching staff. She is the third Lady Rebel in eleven years to decide to become a Lady Lion. I am very proud of Hope because she is going to play at the same place that I did and the coaches she is going to be playing for were actually some of my teammates. It’s very special to know that she is going to be there. We are very proud of Hope and we know that she is going to represent us very well,” Lady Rebel basketball head coach, Suzianne Pass shared at the signing.
Franklin has proved to be an asset to the Lady Rebels basketball team the past four years with her hard work and determination. The past two years she has received the All Region Player award, proving that she makes an impact in the game. Good luck to Hope as she moves on to this new exciting chapter in her life!
This past Wednesday, Fannin County High School seniors Austin Brown and Cody Jacobs signed letters of intent to play college football.
Austin Brown signed to Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, to fill their spot for wide receiver. Cody Jacobs signed to Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio, to fill their void for a tight end
When asking head coach for the Rebels, James Pavao, about Brown, he responded, “Austin has done a great job for us as defensive back and a little bit of wide receiver, but he is going to get the opportunity to play full time wide receiver there at Cornell College. He is excited about that and so are we. It’s a high academic school which is great. Anytime we send a guy to college is great but when it is a really high academic school, it makes you really proud. He is going to get to play football and get a top notch education which is the main idea.”
“Cody has really grown as an individual and we are really proud of him. He is the third athlete we have had sign to Mount St. Joseph because we have really developed a good relationship with them and he is helping it to grow. Last year, it was Cooper Earls, then it was his brother Cole Earls who signed about a month ago, and now it’s Cody. We are really excited for him and very proud,” Pavao added about athlete, Cody Jacobs.
”We are proud of both guys as well as all of our seniors. These two are exceptional young men who have the opportunity to go play football in college and they will make the most of this moment,” Pavao added about his seniors.
When asking the head coach to describe his time at Fannin County High School since this was his last week, he stated, “I’ve enjoyed all four years here. It was a good challenge but now the next challenge is ahead. I am excited and looking forward to that. I want to thank Mr.Cioffi and coach Ramsey for hiring me and putting up with me. I want to thank Ms. Dillard for keeping me straight and helping me out any time I needed it as far as my teaching responsibilities go and Mr. Danner for all the things he has done for us and the administration. I will miss those guys and I am very grateful for the opportunity that I have had here.”
This past Wednesday, a Fannin County High School football player decided to take a step to further his future by signing a letter of intent to play college football. Rebel Senior, Cole Earls, signed to Mount St. Joseph University in Cincinnati, Ohio to be their next tight end.
Wednesday was not only to congratulate Cole, but also Luke Cowart. Cowart had signed to Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee a week prior to be their next wide receiver. All of Earl’s and Cowart’s friends and family came to support and congratulate them as they took this exciting step into their future.
“Cole played for us all four years and he was a big part of our team. Luke played with us for three years although I wish he would have played all four. I was excited when he came out to play sophomore year and he did a great job at receiver for us. I am excited for both of them to go on to college and to be able to play football. It is a great opportunity for them and one of the goals we have as a coaching staff is to expose them to opportunities like this. We didn’t have the record we wanted this year but we really saw the effort that these two put in for us. We tried to win all of the games we could and these guys put all the effort they could into these games but unfortunately we could not pull some of theses games off. The ultimate goal is to help them further their future. Football drew me to college and it forced me to do good and I know both of them would have probably gone to college without football, but the sport has opened doors to more colleges and opportunities like these and I know they will be successful. These are two very strong academic schools and they are going to get a great education. I am excited for them because I think this will really open up their future. There will be some hard days but they will battle through it, play all four years, and graduate from that school. They will have a wide open future and I’m really excited for them,” head football coach for the Rebels, James Pavao, shared about the two Rebels.
“We also have Keenan Putnam who signed with the military and we are excited to see what happens for him. I want to give him recognition because what he is doing is very important. He is putting God and our country above himself and that shows what great character he has and we couldn’t be more proud of him,” Pavao shared with the FYN sports team.
Congratulations to all three of these seniors and good luck in your future endeavors!
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal visited Fire House 1 in Gilmer County Thursday to officially sign House Bill 146 known as the “Firefigher’s Cancer Insurance Bill.”
Joined by several officials including Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Senator Steve Gooch, author of the bill Micah Gravley, District 67 Representative, opened the ceremony by speaking about the two year effort to bring the bill to this point. Gravley related his interactions with two firefighters, Frank Martinez and Brian Scutter, who he said were the honor of the Bill as they fought for and spoke with legislators to get the bill passed, as well as the appropriateness to have the signing in Scutter’s home station in Gilmer County. Scutter was also mentioned by Speaker Ralston who said he had made a promise to Brian that he would give all that was in him to bring this day about. Turning to face Scutter, Ralston said, “I kept my promise.”
Governor Nathan Deal, who originally vetoed last year’s Bill 216 called the new House Bill 146 an “innovative and great solution to the situation.” Deal said the Bill provides relief for firefighters by providing a different method for compensation and money for treatment and care for firefighters who contract cancers during their work. Gravley thanked the Governor for his support of, as he called it, a “better bill.”
The sentiment was echoed by Speaker Ralston who said, “We have arrived at a better solution. By requiring a local government to provide insurance to our firefighters for certain types of cancer, the firefighter can skip the process of litigating a worker’s comp claim. This will allow the firefighter to focus on getting better and recovery rather than having to worry about legal bills and depositions and hearings.”
FYN caught up with Speaker Ralston and Governor Deal to ask them to elaborate on why the bill is better, comparative to last years Bill 216. The Speaker replied saying, “This uses a Health Insurance Model as opposed to a Workman’s Comp model which means instead of having to make a claim and perhaps go through a court type process to get benefits and income, Firefighters in this case will file a claim just like health insurance.”
Governor Deal also spoke on the insurance versus workman’s comp comparison saying it was an awkward and “adversarial way of deciding whether or not compensation is owed.” Deal went on to say the newer Bill is a much better solution “to provide insurance coverage that will define benefits and give some flexibility as to deciding the compensation that will be given to firefighters.”
More than Senators and Congressman came to see Deal sign the Bill, though. Several representatives from neighboring and local emergency services attended the event including Gilmer’s own Director of Public Safety Tony Pritchett who said the Bill “gives you a sense of protection… You can lay your head down and sleep better at night knowing that if you contract cancer because of the job, there’s some protection that will take care of you and your family.”
For more on the Signing of House Bill 146 watch the full ceremony below or find more Photos in our Album: