Fannin County Football Preview- Cheatham & His Rebels All In To Start 2022 Season

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Fannin County Football has become one of the best football programs in North Georgia. It certainly didn’t happen overnight. Head Coach Chad Cheatham has won 30 games in 4 years which puts him just 17 wins shy of breaking the All-Time Career wins mark set by Clark Drennan with 46.

 

The 2x Defending Region Champion Fannin County Rebels return senior leaders on both sides of the Football. They return 10 Seniors who were All Region 1st Team, 2nd Team and Honorable Mention recipients from last year’s team. They are hungry to lead the Rebels into another deep playoff run.

 

Senior Leadership

Fannin returns three 1st Team All Region Players from last season.  Logan Long, a 6’2, 295lb Defensive Tackle and Offensive Lineman was 1st Team last year on Defense. Long is without a doubt one of the leaders on this football team on the field and off the field. Linebacker Andrew Waldrep who has 190 Career total Tackles was 1st Team All Region last season. Jack Kanter was 1st team All Region as a Kicker and Punter this year is going to be a serious weapon this season for Fannin. Jack has the leg for a 50-yard field goal and easily kicks it into the endzone on kickoffs. Cade Sands was 2nd Team All Region last season and is going to have a huge season for the Rebels. Sands had 103 Tackles last season and is another proven leader on this football team. Corbin Davenport who will play Corner and multiple positions on offense was 2nd Team All Defense last season as a corner. Davenport provides a spark in the return game also.

Senior Logan Long against Union County last season

Other Seniors who will help lead this team are WR/DB Carson Collis, Center Taylor Collis, OL/DL Jeremey Tammen, ATH and DB Bryson Holloway, and OL/DL Nate Maloof. These guys were All Region Honorable Mention last season. All 5 have had great off seasons in the weight room and practice field. The Collis Twins are also great wrestlers and will both have big senior seasons in Football and Wrestling. Expect all 5 of these kids to be on All Region Teams again.  Senior lineman Joseph Annis and Running Back Khole Green will also play a role in the offense.  Other seniors that will contribute are Nate Smith, Walker Ballew, Clay Heaton, Bohn Postell, Jesse Davenport, and Slade Epperson

Carson Collis gets ready for pass coverage last season

 

This senior class has a chance to go out as the winningest class in Fannin County Football history with another good year. With veteran leadership from All Region Players like Logan Long, Carson Collis, Taylor Collis, Cade Sands, Andrew Waldrep, Bryson Holloway, Nate Maloof, Jeremy Tammen, Corbin Davenport and Bryson Holloway along with the other members of the senior class the bar will be set high this season.

Cade Sands #49 and Andrew Waldrep #1 after a game last season.

 

Junior Class

The Rebels have only 5 Juniors. Expect returning Juniors Brody Paskill and Bryson Fink to play a part in the Rebels Success this season.

 

 

Sophomore and Freshmen Class

Sophomores Case Holloway and Jacob Dye will provide depth to an already experienced and well coached offensive line. Holloway, who also plays on the defensive line played in the Georgia Elite Classic game last season on the freshmen team. Carson Callihan is another dynamic athlete in the sophomore class who will make an impact on both sides of the ball this season.  Sophomore Elijah Weaver is a kid who has really impressed in camp. Weaver has a good arm, quick feet, and great hands. Copper Born is another young sophomore who could potentially start at Linebacker. Brayden Taylor, a sophomore will see plenty of snaps on defense. Taylor holds the Mountain Football League Record with 4 Interceptions in 1 game during his 5th Grade Season.  The unknown is the availability of Sophomore Lawson Sullivan. Sullivan is another talented Sophomore who could see time at QB as well as the secondary. Sullivan suffered an injury in the summer. So many other talented sophomores that aren’t mentioned that will help the Rebels during the 2022 season.

 

The Freshmen class will provide needed depth. This class had a great 8th grade season last year as they came up just 5 yards short of the 8th Grade Mountain League Championship losing to Pickens County in the final seconds.

 

 

 

Coaching Staff

The Coaching Staff for Fannin County is one of the best in the state. The Rebels are also returning all their coaches except for 1 from last season.

 

The Head Coach, Chad Cheatham, begins his 5th Season with the team at 30-15. Had it not been for a few covid cancellations the last few seasons Cheatham’s win total would probably be at 33. Cheatham was born to Coach. He’s put Fannin County Football on the map and under his leadership they won’t be going away anytime soon.

Cheatham calls out signals during a scrimmage at Copper Basin 3 Years Ago

 

Offensive Coordinator Chris Thigpen returns. Thigpen is one of the best offensive coordinators in the state. Don’t believe me? Just go look at the numbers the Rebels have put up the last few years. Thigpen has excelled with the Rebels, especially the last 2 seasons with both his Quarterbacks signing to play at the D1 Level in Luke Holloway (Eastern Kentucky who has since transferred to Cumberland) and Seth Reece who is now at Army.

Coach Thigpen shares a word with Former Fannin QB Luke Holloway

 

 

Offensive Line Coach Alan Collis returns. Collis is a former All American at Carson Newman as an Offensive lineman. Collis always has one of the best coached and most fundamentally sound offensive lines in the state of Georgia. Collis played a big role in developing Offensive Lineman who are at the next level in Mason Bundy (Liberty) and Miles Johnson).Coach Noah Oneal is back once again coaching Wide Receivers and RB’s. Oneal was a 2-sport star at Fannin County High School (Baseball and Football) and is one of the great young minds in all of Georgia. Oneal was recently named to the All-Decade Football Team at Fannin County High School as a Wide Receiver.

 

Defensive Coordinator Adam Turner returns. Turner is one of the best defensive coordinators in the state. Don’t believe me? Just go look at the points per game his defense has allowed last 2 seasons. Turner is an excellent Linebackers Coach also. Notable players the last 2 seasons off his team includes Micah ONeal who had 276 total tackles and Cason Owensby had 267 total tackles.

Coach Adam Turner walks into Dragon Stadium in Lindale with Former Fannin Rebel ATH Seth Reece. The Rebels would dominate Pepperell over the last 2 seasons.

Jacob Reece begins his 2nd year as a Coach for the Rebels. Reece a former player for Fannin County went onto play college football at Carson Newman. He will the defensive line. Reece was recently named to the All-Decade Football Team at Fannin County High School as a Tight End.  Chris Hyde joins the staff this season as an assistant coach but Hyde’s presence around the football program has been welcomed for years. Hyde has been with the team Friday nights for years as an assistant and has been the Defensive Coordinator at Fannin County Middle School for the last several years. Hyde will Coach Outside Linebackers.

 

Assistant Head Coach, Special Teams and DB/Secondary Coach is Jeff Kuna. Kuna is a high energy guy, and you can usually hear his voice clear as day at Pete’s Place Restaurant at practice. His experience and leadership bring so much to this football team.

Ryan Holloway is the Director of Football Operations and goes above and beyond for Fannin County Football. Ryan has also served as a Head Coach at the Fannin Recreation Department where he was the Head Coach of the 6th Grade Fannin Football Team that captured the Mountain Football League Super Bowl last season going undefeated.

 

 

Region Preview

Model and Gordon Central return to region 7AA along with Fannin. Pepperell, Chattooga, and Coosa go down to Single A. Region 7AA Adds 2 Defending Region Champs from last year. Fannin County Head Coach Chad Cheatham has been quoted as saying “Region 7AA is the sec of AA” And he would be correct. This is going to be one of the toughest regions in the state.

 

Region Additions

Rockmart – Rockmart comes down to AA after a brief stint in region 6 AAA. Rockmart won Region 6AAA last season and went 9-2 overall before losing to Stephens County last season in 1st round of playoffs 27-13.

 

Haralson- Haralson is no stranger to AA Football. Haralson, who’s mascot is also the rebels, was in AA Region 5 last year and won a tough region. They finished last season at 10-2 with a loss to Northeast Macon in 2nd round of playoffs last season.

 

North Murray- North Murray comes down to AA Football after being in region 6 AAA last season with Rockmart. The Mountaineers return several offensive weapons this season and love to throw the ball in their spread, air-raid attack. North Murray finished season last year 7-4 with a loss to Monroe Area in the 1st round of the playoffs.

 

2022 Schedule

Scrimmage Aug 12th

Vs Stephens County-

All Time Series Record – Teams have never played.

Game Notes– 2 of the most successful and respected coaches in North Georgia will meet in Blue Ridge Friday August 12th. Fannin County’s Chad Cheatham will welcome Stephens Head Coach Wesley Tankersley back to town. “Tank” was at Gilmer for 7 seasons 2008-2014 and was 41-34. He had a brief stint at Ridgeland where he won 2 region championships and is entering his 5th season at Stephens.

 

Week 1 Aug 19th

@ Union County

All Time Series Record – All tied at 15

Last Meeting – Fannin won last season 34-7

Game Notes– This will be the 31st meeting between the 2 schools. The winner will take advantage in the series.

 

Week 2 Aug 26th

@ Gilmer County

 All Time Series Record – Gilmer leads 25-17-2

Last Meeting – 2019 Fannin won 41-9

Game Notes– While the 2 teams did scrimmage last season, Fannin and Gilmer haven’t met in regular season since 2019. Chad Cheatham’s Fannin County Rebels dominated Kevin Saunders Gilmer Bobcats that night in 2019 41-9. Fannin has won the last 4 in the series dating back to 2016. This will be a great game this season with Paul Standard at the helm for Gilmer in his 2nd season. Coach Standard is doing a great job and turning Gilmer County around.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 3 Sept 2nd  

Home Pickens County

All Time Series Record – Pickens leads 17-10.

Last Meeting – 2011 Fannin won 29-28

Game Notes– Hard to believe this Highway 515 rivalry game hasn’t been played since 2011. Pickens County drops down to region 7AAA this season and is projected to be a playoff team. This will be a great matchup with very little empty seats inside Rebel Stadium for the 1st home game of the 2022 Regular Season.

 

 

Week 4 Sept 16th  

Home vs Murphy

All Time Series Record – Murphy leads 3-1

Last Meeting –2013 Murphy won 65-35

Game Notes- This one may be another standing room only crowd in Blue Ridge as Murphy comes to town for our only out of state matchup this season. School separated by just 29 miles meet for just the 5th time. Murphy is led by Head Coach Joseph Watson in his 2nd season after taking over for legendary Murphy Head Coach David Gentry.

 

Week 5 Sept 23rd  

@ Gordon Central Region Game

 All Time Series Record – Fannin leads 2-0

Last Meeting – 2021 Fannin won 57-6

Game Notes- Fannin opens region play with Gordon Central. Fannin travels to Gordon Central this season and they also played at Gordon Central last season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 6 Oct 7th

@ Model Region Game

All Time Series Record – Fannin leads 2-0

Last Meeting – 2021 Fannin won 35-7. Fannin will play its 1st 2 Region Games on the road. Fannin also played at Model last season.

Game Notes– Fannin will play its 1st 2 Region Games on the road. Fannin also played at Model last season.

 

 

 

Week 7 Oct 14th

Home vs North Murray Region Game

All Time Series Record – 1st Meeting

Last Meeting – Teams will meet for 1st time on October 14th

Game Notes- This game will have a ton of playoff implications on the line. A huge regular season home game for Fannin. The last 3 home games of the season for the Rebels will all be a playoff type atmosphere.

 

Week 8 Oct 21st

@ Murray County Region Game

 All Time Series Record – Murray County leads the series 5-3

Last Meeting – 2015 Fannin won 22-10

Game Notes- Murray County has hired a new Head Coach. Kurt Napier takes over the program. Kurt is the brother of Billy Napier who is the Head Football Coach at the University Of Florida.

Fannin has won the last 3 meetings that date back to 1981. Former Head Coach Jim Pavo went 2-0 against Murray County in 2014 and 2015. In 2014 Fannin beat Murray 55-7. 1981 Head Coach Doug Davenport and his Rebel team defeated Murray on the road 6-0.

 

 

 

 

Week 9 Oct 28th

Home vs Rockmart Region Game

 All Time Series Record – 1st Meeting

Last Meeting – Teams will meet for the 1st time on October 28th

Game Notes- Rockmart is being projected to win the region by almost all media outlets. This will be a showdown in Blue Ridge and a possible 1 seed will be on the line the Friday before Halloween in Blue Ridge.

 

Week 10 Nov 4th

Home vs Haralson Region Game

 All Time Series Record – 1st Meeting

Last Meeting – Teams will meet for the 1st time on October 28th

Game Notes– Haralson is projected to be one of the 4 playoff teams in region 7 AA. Just this week in the Georgia High School Daly, Maxwells projections had Haralson as the 2 seed and Fannin as the 3 seed. This matchup could also have a home playoff game on the line.

 

A very fun schedule this year for Fannin County.

 

 

Fannin opens with a scrimmage this Friday night in Blue Ridge against Stephens. Kickoff is 7:30pm. We hope everyone enjoys this football season. If you are able, please get out and support all these athletes

 

 

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