Fannin County High Schools Head Coach Chad Cheatham, born and raised in Fannin County, Ga. takes the floor at a recent Board of Education meeting. A new edition to Fannin County High Schools staff, Coach Cheatham was able to explain in detail his mission for Fannin’s youth.
Coach Cheatham gave a motivating speech as he laid out the foundation of Fannin Rebels mantra: 1) Faith, 2) Family, 3) Academics, and lastly, 4) Football. Is it strange to hear a Head Coach say that football needs to come last on a player’s priority list? Maybe, but Coach Cheatham has his reasons and his reasons are for the overall success of Fannin’s youth.
Coach Cheatham states there’s 4 things student athletes need to pursue excellence in:
“1) Faith: in our Creator, in our team, in our community, in our parents, and in our school system. Faith in believing in the process. And the sacrifice to get there may be hard, but you got to keep the faith.”
“2) Family: A lot of my players don’t go home to mom and dad. They go home to grandma or grandpa, or they go home to foster care. That’s just the state of reality that we are in right now. We focus on family and brotherhood and selfless play for one another. We’re teaching selflessness.”
“3) Academics: Education is the key to every door. 99% of our football players will never play football again but what they’re going to do is go into the workforce. They’re going to enter college, or technical school, or the military and they’re going to be great. And education and academics is the key to their future and we got to make our football players believe that.”
“4) Football: Why is the last thing football? I’ll tell you why. It’s because if you don’t have faith, if you don’t have family, and you don’t have your academics in order you might as well forget football because it isn’t going to happen.”
Coach Cheatham continues, “In order to be successful, you have to take care of the first three: Faith, Family, and Academics. We’re pushing self-discipline with our kids. Are we winning? We’re not winning on the scoreboard [the last two games] but are we winning in the field house and are we winning in their hearts? I think we are.”
It is apparent that Coach Cheatham takes an interest in the well-being of Fannin’s youth. His coaching style seems to motivate and uplift his players to be better people and aspire for greatness and excellence in all that they do. Let’s see what comes of this years football season, but most importantly, let’s what comes of the Rebels football players’ attitudes.
High school athletics are a huge part of character development for our young men and women, teaching them how to overcome adversity, work together, balance studies with extracurricular activities, and last but not least: It is their first legitimate introduction to health and fitness.
You may have heard of the “Five Parts of Physical Fitness” before – but there are actually 11 components of what a coach evaluates when assessing the physical fitness of an athlete.
3. Body Composition
4. Cardiovascular Endurance
7. Muscular Endurance
8. Muscular Strength
10. Reaction Time
We use these components of physical fitness in our everyday lives, but the first true test of each of these measures typically comes by way of high school sports. Strength coaches help their athletes with endurance, strength, power and balance. Conditioning coaches help their athletes with cardiovascular endurance, reaction time, coordination and agility. All coaches typically impact an athletes body composition, flexibility and speed.
The one coach who assists the athletes with all of the above, however, is the athletic trainer. Day or night, when there is a ball game, a wrestling tournament, a track meet, or even at power puff flag football; the athletic trainer stands ready to help the athletes prevent accidents, stay hydrated, and in worst-case scenarios; diagnose and treat injuries as they occur. Oftentimes their hard work is overshadowed by the gameplay itself, but when a player goes down these coaches show their true value by coming to the immediate aide of all involved. Humbly waiting in the shadows of the sidelines, the athletic trainer answers the call that no one else would ever want to.
Fannin County High School’s head athletic trainer is Jeremy Keith King, a 2007 FCHS graduate who went on to study Sports Medicine with an emphasis in Athletic Training at Valdosta State University. Coach King graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in 2011 and after completing his internship at Northeast Medical Center/The Rehabilitation Institute in Gainesville, Ga, he began his career at Fannin County High School.
In 2013, he was hired as the Head Athletic Trainer for FCHS, and he was offered a full time teaching position in Healthcare Science.
When asked about his experience, King shared that he’s worked closely with multiple doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and EMT’s; as well as many other sports medicine professionals. “To come home to my high school and serve as the head athletic trainer and instructor of the Sports Medicine program is a dream come true for me,” King told TeamFYNSports.
We asked one of his students/trainers about her experience learning from the head athletic trainer and participating in the Sports Medicine program at FCHS. Trudy Cobb is a senior, and could be seen carrying water bottles to players, coaches and even GHSA officials at each home and away football game this year.
“It’s a great experience to get to learn things that people my age don’t usually know,” Cobb told TeamFYNSports. “Coach King is a great teacher inside the classroom working with all high school grade levels, but in OUR program we learn SO MUCH MORE.” Cobb shared that she has been introduced to many healthcare professionals by King, and she felt that has helped her understand and develop a genuine interest in sports medicine as a potential career.
“I truly think that the key to knowing if you want to be in that career, you should immerse yourself into those type of situations,” Cobb explained, “but through [King’s] program, I have learned the hands-on of taping an ankle and working on rehabilitating athletes. You have to know the ins-and-outs of each and every sport because not only are you watching – and hopefully enjoying – the games; you must also know the essential motions of movements that the particular athletes you are working with use. It’s an experience that I am very blessed to have been a part of through my years in high school.”
Although his position at FCHS is a demanding one, King still makes time for his family and his other passions.
“I am happily married to Christa [King] and we have two daughters, Evie and Lyla,” said King. “They attend Fannin County schools.” He added that he and his wife recently welcomed their son, Thaddeus, to “Rebel Nation” this year.
King is also a member of the Blue Ridge Rugby Club and he is a proud member of the Phi Sigma Kappa National Fraternity. “I currently still serve as a mentor and advisor for new members [of Phi Sigma Kappa] and I serve on the Alumni Board of Executives,” King explained.
TeamFYNSports had an opportunity to catch up with Coach King, and since this is the time of year so many people tend to look at their new year resolutions, we thought we’d ask him if he had any advice for anyone getting out to the gym to try and shed a few pounds after a relatively sedentary holiday break. Here’s what he had to say:
“From an injury prevention measure, know your limitations. Don’t feel like you have to show out, your body can not just pick up right where it left off. Slowly ease yourself back into a workout program and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Gyms have personal trainers there to give you feedback and help you – if they don’t – consider a different gym. Also, don’t forget about the diet and stretching parts of a workout program. If you are wanting to get stronger or healthy, the diet is an important part of it. Our body needs “good” fuel to run on, especially if we are asking more from it. Stretching is important before and after a workout. Get a good dynamic (moving) 10-minute warm-up in before your start and a good cool down period before you stop. Static stretching (holding a stretch) is best after you are done with you entire workout. Remember it is all a process and results do not happen overnight, so stick with it even when you feel like giving up.”
We also asked King what was the most common cause for injuries in high school sports. His answer came as no surprise:
“#1 is accidents, stepping on another players foot, a plant and twist of the knee, getting hit. They are all freak accidents that you can’t control. That is where most injuries occur, but there are preventable injuries that happen too. The number one cause of “preventable” injuries in high school sports in my opinion is not stretching enough or not stretching adequately. Whether it is a dynamic warm up or static stretching after practice, kids just don’t do it enough. Our coaches do a great job having warm ups and giving kids time to stretch but if the kids don’t actually put the effort into it then it doesn’t do much good.”
If you’re a parent of a student athlete at FCHS, you may have already known who Coach King was; do us a favor the next time you see him and shake his hand. This is one coach who has put his whole life into his education, then turned around and brought his skills back to Fannin County to apply them in our community.
We are fortunate to have Coach King as the FCHS Head Athletic Trainer.
It was a fast-paced, but slow-scoring game early when the Fannin County Rebels varsity boys took the court at White County High School. Fannin (1-8, 0-4) came into the game ready to lay it all on the line, chasing their second win of the season. The Warriors (7-3, 1-0) were coming off a devastating one-point loss to rival Dawson County (55-54), ready to tip the scales of the win-loss column back in their favor.
A couple of baskets by Ryan Beavers (Fannin #35) and a free throw made by Nathaniel Garrison (Fannin #3) would be all the points the Rebels could put on the board in the first quarter, while White County’s Austin Rowland (#15) managed two baskets for four points; followed by a 2-pt shot by Austin Harris (#5), a 2-pt score by Jimmy King (#12), and 1-of-4 free throws made by Cooper Turner (#23).
After one quarter of action, White County led Fannin County 9-5.
The war of attrition continued into the second quarter, as Fannin was only able to score six points via Beavers (4-pts) and Joe Satchell (#5) who was held to only two points in the first half. White County scored another nine points, extending their lead (18-11), with Rowland continuing to make his presence felt on the court. He scored two baskets and went 2-for-2 on free throw attempts in the second quarter, giving him 10 points of total offense in the half. He’d finish the night with 20 points altogether, the leading overall scorer on the night.
In the third, the Warriors came alive offensively. Rowland and Harris came alive with a couple of 3-pointers, and the team spread the ball around with four different players putting the rock through the hoop on their way to a 15-6 run, keeping the Rebels restricted to another tough quarter offensively.
The lead would prove too much for Fannin to overcome in the fourth, as White County won by a final score of 42-23, improving to 8-3 overall.
The Rebels scoring was led by Beavers with seven points, followed by Satchell with five, Chase Culpepper with three, Cohutta Hyde with two. Nathaniel Garrison and Payton Holt each scored a free throw in the contest.
White County now looks to enjoy some time off for the holidays before facing Adairsville, Ga on Dec 28th in the Blue Ridge Holiday Tournament. Fannin County continues their pursuit of victory this Friday when they travel to Hayesville, NC.
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Moments of greatness: If one were to summarize the Fannin Rebels’ 2017 football season, the highlight reel would be short – but spectacular. The Rebels, who finished last in Region 7 (AAA) this season, played hard and if we could shut the lights of the scoreboard off; we would see a team of resilient young men who wore their jerseys with pride and refused to quit.
Unfortunately, the scoreboard acts as a report card, and with the exception of two blowout victories; the Rebels were unable to pull it all together and produce the dominant victories for which the program is remembered.
Friday night’s home game would be the last for the senior class of 2018 – many of whom leave some large cleats to fill for the underclassmen. Rather than give you the typical play-by-play rundown, here is a basic summary of the play of the seniors in Friday night’s matchup:
Senior Cody Jacobs carried the ball like a juggernaut, determined to get the running game going for the first time in weeks.
Senior linemen Bradley Flowers and Keenan Putnam took turns shoving Viking facemasks to the turf. When the play was over, they helped them to their feet so they could do it again.
Austin Brown hit ’em high, Cole Earls hit ’em low, and Brett Galloway just hit ’em as hard as he could… like he has throughout his entire football career. Dawson King hauled in the impossible catches, Chandler Smith threw the impossible passes, and Jonah Henry just did everything he could to get his hands on the football to help.
Ethan Smith continued to fight a nagging leg injury, while Sam Mercer and Ben Collins kept the team focused on the game and what they all came to do. Clay Holloway made sure the Vikings remembered his number.
Bailey White tried to cover his number so the offense would actually throw the ball in his direction. Luke Cowart covered his number, too, with his arms wrapped around the football. Jacob Hood showed his versatility, and the Fannin County coaches showed patience and resolve.
It takes a special athlete to take a beating and keep coming at your opponent. It also takes a special coach to take the responsibility of basically turning our boys into men, building their character from the early morning hours through the hot-humid afternoons of summer workouts, and handling criticism with the same poise and professionalism they’ve instilled in the very athletes they train.
East Hall defeated Fannin County by a final score of 47-27 Friday night, but the lesson trumps the loss. If the Rebels live their lives with the same ambition, attitude and persistence they gave on the field this season; we can expect they will be champions at life.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports Sportswriter Player of the Week for Fannin County is #36 Jonah Henry. Henry recorded 6 tackles in the Rebels’ Homecoming game against Lumpkin. He assisted on 4 additional tackles, he had one tackle for a loss and he had one pass broken up. Henry has been a consistent part of the defensive secondary this season, as well as an asset on special teams and occasionally from the tailback position when the offensive personnel needed a break. The Rebels travel to Union County this week for the Panthers’ senior night, kickoff scheduled for 7:30pm.
What’s better than winning a shutout victory in high school football? Winning TWO shutout victories on your home turf.
The Fannin County High School varsity Rebels’ wins this season have something in common: both games were the result of lights-out performances by the defense. Grab a flashlight and an extra set of batteries as we take a moment to shed a little light on the subject.
It all started when the Rebels hosted the Gilmer Bobcats for their home opener on Friday, August 18 at Fannin County High School. The Rebels stunned the Cats as they rolled to a 42-0 blowout victory over their longtime rivals. After an extra week of preparation, Fannin took the show on the road only to find the price for minimal margin of error in a 31-0 loss to the Tigers, a score that certainly didn’t reflect the effort of the Rebels offense.
Another week on the road brought the Rebels to Chestatee High School to take on the War Eagles, a team well-known for their speed on the edges and a healthy ground attack at the hands (or legs) of their senior tailback (#4) Nick Lyles, who racked up 133 yards on 20 carries against the Rebels. Fannin moved the ball effectively, but was unable to score until running back Cody Jacobs (#15) covered the ball with two hands and barreled into the endzone behind his senior center Bradley Flowers. The defense gave up 31 in this game, but only a touchdown in each quarter and a fieldgoal in the fourth. As for the Rebels running attack, Jacobs actually out-performed Lyles in total yardage, amassing 160 yards on 28 carries (5.7 yards-per-carry), 34 yards receiving and a touchdown.
With two tough losses on the road, the Rebels finally came home to Blue Ridge, eagerly awaiting kickoff for their second home game of the season. You could literally feel the energy on the sidelines as the Fannin Blue Crew joined the student section, all decked out in black, following their planned “Black Out” theme for the game.
As the FCHS band entered the stadium, marching to the beat of the Rebel drumline and percussion; the Fannin team captains stepped out of the fieldhouse and met at the end of the building for a moment of silence – and prayer – before meeting the Andrews captains and GHSA officials at midfield. The head referee explained the coin toss to the teams, allowed Andrews to call it in the air, and after winning the toss they elected to defer possession until the second half. The Rebels chose to receive the ball first and as quickly as the team burst through the Fannin Rebels banner to take the field; this game was underway.
The Rebels offensive game plan worked pretty well. “We want to establish the run game and then pass the ball when we want to pass it – not when we need to, but when we want to,” FCHS Offensive Coordinator Travis Earls told TeamFYNSports during the Rebel Wrap-Up show on FYNTV.com (Wednesday @ 7:00pm).
The offensive line for the Rebels handled the dirty work up front, creating lanes for Jacobs (#15), Trenton Pickering (#4) and Smith (#6) to follow on each carry. When Earls and Pavao saw an opportunity in the secondary, Smith was able to sit in the pocket and toss strikes out to his receivers at will. Fannin struggled a bit in the red zone early on, but Dawson King (#30) was able to kick field goals to put points on the board. As the Rebels began to reach paydirt, it was the crowd favorite Sarah Sosebee (#86) who split the uprights for the PATs.
Defensively, everyone but the mascot got involved. Mason Rhodes had another busy night, recording 17 tackles and a sack. Brett Galloway also had a sack, along with seven tackles in the game. Cole Earls was yet another Rebel to sack the Andrews quarterback, and he also had seven tackles. Will Mosley, the ever-impressive freshman, tallied 13 tackles. He recorded one qb hurry, and his caused a fumble. Mosley was also selected this week as the TeamFYNSports Sportswriter Player of the Week for Fannin County. Bailey White, Jonah Henry, Ethan Smith and the big defensive lineman Clay Holloway each recorded five tackles, and Holloway also had two big sacks in the game. Jackson Weeks had six tackles, one for a loss. Austin Brown had four tackles and he ripped the ball out of the air for the only interception in the game. Jakob Tuggle rounded out the stat sheet for the Rebels with one tackle in the game.
The Rebels return to the road this week, opening region play at North Hall on Friday, September 22. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm. North Hall (0-4) hasn’t won a game yet this season, but they’ve played well against some tough opponenets. They lost to Chestatee (42-12), who also defeated the Rebels (31-7). They were also shut out by Flowery Branch (38-0) before narrowly falling to Pickens (42-35) in one of the most exciting games of the year. Last week they came up short against White County (28-18). Fannin will look to hand the Trojans their fifth loss of the year, first in AAA Region 7.
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The North Hall Trojans finally finished a game with a win, but the Fannin Rebels didn’t make it easy for them. Friday night’s game in Gainesville was anything but a walk in the park for either team, as both defenses fought to the final whistle. A relatively low-scoring affair, the scoreboard read 13-0 as the Rebels met the Trojans midfield to shake hands before hustling to the end zone for their post-game meeting with Fannin County High School head coach Jim Pavao.
“I’m proud of the effort,” Pavao told the team, who were clearly discouraged with the final score. “We have some things to work on, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’ve gotta move on. We win as a team and we lose as a team; but what matters most is we stick together.”
North Hall entered the contest with a winless record of 0-4, but everyone familiar with their schedule knew they were much better than their record showed. They had arguably the toughest non-region schedule in the state. With losses to 4A Chestatee and 5A Flowery Branch – not to mention very close games against 4A schools Pickens and White – the Trojans were due a victory.
The Rebels were coming off a shutout win over Andrews, and hoped to win their region-opener on the road; but the Rebels have struggled to reach the end zone outside of Fannin County.
Despite the loss, Fannin came away with some much needed answers to some questions they may have had going into the game.
- They can run with just about anyone defensively. North Hall has a dual-threat backfield with a very skilled quarterback and a tough-as-nails tailback, but for the most part the Rebels defense kept them contained for 60 minutes of play.
- Chandler Smith at quarterback is a good decision. We still don’t have offensive stats for him and it’s Wednesday morning, but he played a great game under center. He managed the offense, protected the football, and completed some accurate passes throughout the game. He just wasn’t able to get the ball into the end zone so the scoreboard could reflect his effort.
- Miles Johnson is a beast. Fannin County’s special teams came up with a big blocked field goal in the first half when the game was still scoreless, thanks to big Miles Johnson getting a paw on the football and slapping it to the turf. Keenan Putnam also had a blocked kick in the game.
The defense is wrapping up and building confidence as they become more aggressive. Ethan Smith (21 tackles), Mason Rhodes (18 tackles, 2 sacks), Will Mosely (19 tackles), Bailey White (10 tackles), and Brett Galloway (9 tackles) all played a huge part in holding the Trojans to only 13 points offensively.
- The Rebels have depth when they need it. Keenan Putnam suffered a very painful collarbone injury (sources say it may be broken – unconfirmed), so fans got to see center Bradley Flowers fill in on the defensive line. With 22 starters on the team, few Rebels have had to play both sides of the ball this year; but Friday night’s game showed that if the linemen are conditioned enough to play both sides of the ball, Fannin may have other weapons available (should they need or choose to use them in the future).
North Hall travels to Dawson County this week to play the Tigers, who are 2-2 for the season. Both of Dawson’s losses were heartbreakers as they fell to AAAA-Region 7 schools West Hall (13-10) and White County (45-42).
Fannin County hosts Greater Atlanta Christian, whose only loss this year came at the hands of Valor Christian, the top-ranked football program in the state of Colorado. Last week the Spartans absolutely man-handled the Union County Panters in a 47-7 shellacking that left many of their starters on crutches.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.
The Fannin County Rebels have had a rough couple of weeks. The season kicked off better than anyone could’ve hoped, as they completely dominated the rival Bobcats of Gilmer County in a complete shutout at Fannin County High School. After a week off, the Rebels returned to action on the road, facing the formidable Ringgold Tigers, where a few small mistakes resulted in their first loss of the season. Looking to rebound from the loss, the Fannin County coaches knew they’d need to address the speed of Chestatee’s runningback, as well as their ability to attack the edges of the field. Though the Rebels showed great heart throughout the game, and displayed moments of great athleticism and possibiity; the Chestatee War Eagles relied upon the speed of their tailback, and the ability of the quarterback to swing the ball sideline-to-sideline, as they handed Fannin County their second loss of the season.
As the team stepped onto the field to begin warming up, the fans filed into the massive concrete bleachers lining the northeast side of the football field. Unique to most gameplay environments, Chestatee’s stadium has only one set of bleachers, as the other side of the field slopes downhill and gives way to the school’s baseball park. The Fannin County Band filled the bleachers on the far end, along with the notorious “Blue Crew” student section. Fannin traveled well, filling another section with parents and FCHS alumni, nearly matching the turnout of the Chestatee fan and student sections.
Nearing sunset, the Fannin team captains met their opponents’ captains midfield for the coin toss. Chestatee won the toss and elected to kick to the Rebels. Fannin chose to defend the south-western end zone, as wind was not a factor but the sun would be at their backs for the first quarter. Moments later, the ball was sailing through the air toward Chestatee’s kickoff return team and the game was officially underway.
The War Eagles set out to spread the field and their quarterback worked to swing the ball out toward the sidelines, attacking the edges of the defense through the air. The Rebels defensive backs swarmed to the ball carrier with each pass, forcing the receivers out of bounds for minimal gains. When the Rebels seemingly anticipated the plays to the outside, the quarterback then spun and handed the ball to their star runningback, who darted between the guard and center, penetrating the heart of the defense. With each play, the Rebels fought to hold their ground, and they played with great poise.
As the ball was tossed to the outside, Fannin’s Austin Brown, Brett Galloway and Will Mosely punished the offense, racing to the ball and dragging the War Eagle player to the turf. When the backs tried to punch the ball up the middle, the defensive line closed the gaps that the War Eagles worked to create. The first seven minutes were truly a war of attrition, with the War Eagles eventually finding their way into the endzone with 7:15 remaining in the quarter. The tenacity shown by the Rebels left spectators feeling as though this game was far from over.
Following the PAT, the Rebels received the kickoff and struggled to get going offensively. After three downs and less than a minute of time run off the clock, the Rebels were forced to punt the ball from their own 23 yard line. The defense stood tall and held Chestatee to a 3-and-out and regained possession with just under four minutes remaining in the quarter. Determined to get something going, they kept the ball ont he ground with runs by Cody Jacobs (#15) and quarterback Tyler Norton (#1). The Chestatee defense keyed on the backfield and limited the Rebels ability to move the ball downfield.
With 1:48 remaining in the first quarter, the Rebels were forced to punt the ball once again, this time on a 4th-and-5 from their 34-yard line, taken by the War Eagles at their own 16. On the ensuing drive, sophomore linebacker Will Mosely (#35) attacked the gap the tailback was attempting to run through and with a thunderous hit the ball came loose and was
scooped up by senior defensive back Jonah Henry (#36), who took off sprinting toward paydirt. As he was tackled 20 yards behind the line of scrimmage, officials whistled the play dead and ruled the runner’s knee was down before the ball came out, eliminating the take-away by the defense.
The aggressiveness of the defense prompted Chestatee to attempt a screen pass across the middle to the tight end, who slipped in behind the Rebels as they blitzed and showed pressure at the line of scrimmage. The TE sprinted 60-yards upfield toward the end zone, but Austin Brown (#82) refused to quit on the play; tackling the receiver inside then 10-yard line and forcing a fumble on the play. The Rebels recovered and set out to move the other direction, but a slippery defensive back spied Norton’s pass and pulled in a costly interception.
The War Eagles pitched the ball to their tailback on a sweep to the right and with a stiff-arm and a spin-move he trotted into the endzone for six; 13-0. The PAT was good and with 2:38 remaining in the half the Rebels were down by two touchdowns and began showing frustration.
“It’s okay, keep your heads up,” FCHS head coach James Pavao shouted at his team as they came off the field.
Content on going to the locker room to regroup, the Rebels kept the ball on the ground and ran the clock.
The second half saw a change at the quarterback position, with similar struggles both offensively and defensively. Chestatee once again found the endzone in the third quarter, but only led 21-0 going into the fourth. Fannin finally caught a couple of breaks offensively, with a couple of huge runs by Cody Jacobs and a beautiful catch in the open field by Luke Cowart (#85). The Rebels offensive line, led by center Bradley Flowers (#66), pushed the War Eagles back into their end zone and from one yard out senior quarterback Chandler Smith (#6) barelled across the goalline for the first touchdown of the game for Fannin. It would prove to be their only score of the game, but it was well-deserved as they had come so close and moved the ball so well throughout the night.
From there, the War Eagles controlled the clock and put 10 more points on the board through a touchdown, PAT and field goal; defeating the Rebels by a final score of 31-7.
This week Fannin hosts Andrews, NC and looks to improve their record to 2-2 before opening Region 7-AAA play at North Hall next week. The Trojans narrowly lost to Pickens County last week.