Veterans from all five branches of the United States military were on hand as students, community members, family, and friends gathered for the annual Veterans Day Program at Fannin County High School last Wednesday.
With very few empty seats available, the school’s Performing Arts Center was full of those on-hand to honor the country’s service men and women.
Principal Erik Cioffi said the program was “an opportunity to give thanks” to the soldiers.
“We wouldn’t be were we are today without their sacrifice,” Cioffi said. “We are grateful for the service our guests have provided.”
The ceremony was highlighted by an address from Air Force Captain William A. Robinson.
Robinson is the longest-held prisoner of war in United States history, spending eight years as a captive in north Vietnam from 1965 to 1973.
For 2,703 days, Robinson was a prisoner, and he conveyed some his experiences during that time.
“Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and even years of boredom, punctuated by terror,” Robinson said. “The motto was simple: return with honor. … Never give up, never give in, roll with the punches, bounce back, get ready for the next round.”
He and his fellow captive soldiers were treated like “criminals.”
“Along with others, we were tortured,” Robinson said. “I only spent eight months in solitary – some guys spent years – in a 5 (foot) by 7 (foot) cell.”
But Robinson said he and his comrades “kept the faith – faith in each other, faith in our country that they would not abandon us.”
Despite it taking eight years for Robinson to finally be freed, he isn’t bitter or resentful.
“When you join … you signed a black check to the United State of America .. that you are willing to give your life,” Robinson said, adding that he counts himself fortunate because some French POWs were held in captivity from 1954 until 1979.
Robinson was awarded the Air Force Cross for his valor in the face of such adversity.
After Robinson’s address, the Fannin County High School Chorus sang moving renditions of “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” and “Light the Candle of Peace,” before Mr. Bill Stodghill offered a recognition of those who were prisoners of war or are still missing in action.
More than 81,000 Americans remain missing from from wars beginning with World War II to the present day.
The nearly 50 veterans in attendance at the ceremony were called on the stage for recognition near the end of the event and were met with a standing ovation from all those present.
The school’s symphonic band, which played throughout, ended with a rousing version of “God Bless America” but senior Matt Shirah took the podium to explain the history of “Taps.”
Thomas Bartholf then played “Taps”, before the North Georgia Honor Guard “retired the colors” and removed the various flags displayed for the ceremony.
BLUE RIDGE, GA – The possible formation of a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) club at Fannin County High School has led to online protests and a petition with nearly 1,000 signatures.
The petition is called “Don’t Let Homosexuality Be Pushed on Students in Fannin County” and is in direct response to the possible formation of the GSA.
The petition was posted earlier this week under the name Emily Deal, and the description states that two students were trying to begin the GSA club and the only way to stop it was “by having everyone stand up against it. Some students have even gone as far as saying they would drop out of school if this does go through. … They won’t let us bring religion into the schools, so why is it ok to bring this into schools?”
It also states that there are three steps to creating a club: “a teacher to sponsor and at least ten people who say they would join. The next step is to take it to the principal. Then the principal must approve it.”
The author of the petition has not yet been confirmed.
Principal Erik Cioffi released a letter dated Sept. 25 to “address the comments/petitions regarding the interest of a new club on the campus of FCHS.” He does not directly mention the possible GSA club.
Cioffi related that there are five criteria to become a club on campus. The club must be (1) student initiated, (2) have a certified teacher as a sponsor, (3) have goals and purpose, (4) have a minimum number of 10 participants, and (5) meet on school grounds and be supervised.
He went on to say that “not every club will appeal to every student. Participation in any club at FCHS has not ever been or will ever be pushed on any student. That is why they are all voluntary and not mandatory.”
Cioffi also wrote that “FCHS will not discriminate against any club that has followed the guidelines to form; otherwise, we would not be able to provide any clubs that so many of our students participate in and enjoy being a part of on a daily basis.”
FetchYourNews.com will continue to follow this story and bring you updates as they are available.
Last night the Fannin County Rebel Football team traveled to Chestatee High School to take on the War Eagles for their homecoming game. Fannin had come from a tough loss to Union County the Friday before and looked to redeem themselves.
Alex White kicked off for the Rebels as the War Eagles received the ball. Dalton Ross made a big play as he took down the quarterback behind the line of scrimmage.
Fannin fought to hold the War Eagles on defense as they kept them from scoring. Treylyn Owensby and Will Mosely were the go-to guys on offense as they were given handoffs and gained yards for Fannin.
After Chestatee also played solid defense and earned their fourth down, it was the Rebels’ turn. Micah O’Neal broke the line as he sacked the quarterback and pushed Chestatee back a couple yards. When the War Eagles punted, it went to mid field and put Fannin at 1st & 10.
Luke Holloway was at the position of quarterback for Fannin where he ran the ball well for the night. As Fannin made their way down the field, Holloway threw an interception at the 26 yard line. Fannin’s defense was able to recover as they kept any touchdowns from being scored.
Caleb Postell was handed the ball for the Rebels where he pushed through the defense to gain yards. Treylyn Owensby got things started for the Rebels as he ran the ball for Fannin’s first touchdown of the night. Sara Sosebee took the field to kick for the extra point, but it was blocked by a War Eagle, putting Fannin ahead 6-0.
After White’s kick off, Chestatee received the ball at the 14 and ran it all the way to the 49 yard line. Chestatee quickly answered Fannin’s call as they had a long run up the sideline to to score. Their kick for an extra point was good, putting them ahead 7-6. After both teams scored, it was a back and forth game.
Holloway gained yards for Fannin and put them in good scoring position for him to throw a long pass to Cohutta Hyde for another Fannin touchdown. Instead of kicking for an extra point, Fannin went for a two point conversion where it was successful with a pass to Seth Reece.
The Rebels got their lead back with a score of 14-7 just for Chestatee to move up the field and make a pass to the corner of the end zone to tie up the game with a field goal. It took no time for Fannin to respond as Owensby had a long run for another Fannin touchdown. Sosebee’s kick for an extra point was good, giving Fannin a 21-14 lead.
White had a squib kick for the kickoff in hopes of a Fannin recovery. Jakob Tuggle had a big play on defense where he sacked the quarterback for a fourth down. As the clock ran out, Fannin was able to keep their 21-14 lead over the War Eagles to end the second quarter.
Chestatee seemed to tighten up their defense to start the second half. After several hand offs to Mosley to gain yards, there was a bad snap that pushed Fannin back to the 23 yard line and resulted in a Chestatee first down. The War Eagles were determined to catch back up to Fannin as they threw the ball in the end zone and kicked for an extra point to tie up the game 21-21.
Although the Rebels had great carries, the War Eagles were able to keep them away from their end zone. To end the third quarter, Chestatee threw the ball for another touchdown. However when they attempted for an extra point, it was no good, putting the War Eagles ahead 27-21.
Fannin found their fire to start off the fourth quarter. Holloway had QB sneaks to gain yards for the Rebels where he also handed off to Tuggle. As they got closer to the end zone, Holloway ran the ball in for a Fannin touchdown. Fannin failed at an attempt of an extra point due to a bad snap, tying up the game 27-27.
With 2:50 left in the last quarter, Holloway threw an interception. Fannin’s defense worked hard as Tuggle was able to earn another quarterback sack. Instead of trying to make it to their end zone, Chestatee kicked a field goal for an extra three points, giving them a 30-27 lead.
With 2:00 left in the game, Luke Holloway threw a long pass to Cohutta Hyde for him to outrun the defense and score a huge touchdown for Fannin, giving them a 34-30 lead. Fannin’s defense refused to give up while Chestatee’s offense worked hard to get in good scoring position. With one minute left, Chestatee threw a long pass to a War Eagle in the end zone for Andre Bivens to intercept it. As the fourth quarter came to a close, Fannin had possession of the ball and took a knee for the clock to wind down on their 34-30 victory.
Fannin’s big win puts their overall record at 3-1. Catch the Rebel’s next game on October 4th as they travel to take on Cherokee Bluff @ 7:30 p.m.!
Last night, the Union County Panthers Football Team traveled to Fannin County High School to take on the Rebels. Both teams were 2-0 and ready to fight for their third win.
Alex White kicked off for the Rebels where Union had a long carry on the receive, but was stopped by Junior, Cohutta Hyde. The Panthers threw the ball to gain yards and got closer to the end zone. With the ball thrown to the corner of the end zone, Union caught a pass for their first touchdown of the night. Their kick for the extra point was good, putting them ahead 7-0. Carson Beavers received the ball for the Rebels where he carried it to the 24 yard line. Treylyn Owensby was the go to guy of the night for hand offs to gain yards for Fannin. Overall, the Junior rushed for 121 yards. Despite Owensby’s carries, Unions defense was too much to over come as they took Fannin down on a fourth down. Andre Bivens had great defensive coverage for the Rebels as he deflected a long Panther pass to save Fannin from another Union touchdown. With the Panthers too far from the end zone, they attempted to kick a field goal for an extra three points, but failed at the attempt. With 8.1 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Fannin Quarterback Luke Holloway carried the ball for 30 yards for the clock to run out with Union ahead 7-0.
Throughout the night, Holloway completed 13-for-22 passes for 142 yards. As Fannin had possession of the ball, Union’s defense broke through the line and sacked the Quarterback twice. Will Mosley and Jakob Tuggle fought hard on defense for Fannin as they kept Union from advancing up the field. Despite their grit on defense, the Panthers were able to score on a pass up the field, but the extra point was no good due to a bad snap. Although Fannin fought hard to run through Union’s defense, they were unable to score. With the Panther’s in possession of the ball, there was a bad snap that went over the Quarterback’s head for Tuggle to recover for Fannin. To close out the first half, Alex White attempted a 42 yard field goal to put Fannin on the board, but failed at the attempt which put Union ahead 13-0.
Fannin gained most of their yards from passes up the field. After they kept earning first downs, Holloway threw an interception to give Union possession of the ball. It didn’t take long for the Panthers to make their way up the field and throw for another touchdown. Their attempt at an extra point was good, extending their lead 20-0. Cohutta Hyde showed off his speed as he broke through the defense and had a long carry for Fannin. Despite their hustle, Fannin was unable to score, putting Union ahead 20-0.
Fannin found their fire to start off the fourth quarter. Not only did Will Mosely have a great night on defense, but also offense where he had 57 rushing yards. As Fannin got closer to the end zone and into scoring position, Holloway ran the ball in for Fannin’s first touchdown. Sara Sosebee’s kick for an extra point was good, putting the score at 20-7. Micah O’Neal also had a good night on defense where he made big stops for the Rebels. Fannin took over at the 22 yard line to push the ball up the field. Holloway showed off his arm as he completed a 45 yard pass to Cohutta Hyde who had 100 yards receiving. Treylyn Owensby was the next to have the ball as he carried it into the end zone for another Rebel touchdown. Sosebee earned the extra point for Fannin and put the score at 20-14. White had a squib kick in hopes that Fannin could get the ball back, but found the Panthers in scoring position. Union answered the Rebel’s call, and threw for their third touchdown of the night. Instead of kicking for the extra point, the Panthers went for a two point conversion but failed at the attempt. After Fannin earned first downs and got closer to the end zone, Holloway threw an interception for Union to run it all the way back for a touchdown. After the extra point was good, the Panthers found themselves with a 33-14 lead over Fannin. Although Fannin fought hard to get to their end zone before the clock ran out, they were unable to score any more points, leaving Union with their third victory.
The Rebels loss put their overall record at 2-1. Catch Fannin’s next game at 7:30, next Friday as they travel to Chestatee!
Tonight, the Greater Atlanta Christain Softball team traveled to take on the Fannin County Lady Rebels for their pink out game. The Rebels had just come from a 18-0 victory over Johnson the day before and hoped to continue the trend.
Freshman, Josilyn Newton, started off the game pitching for the Rebels where she struck out two batters overall. The Lady Spartans had no problem putting the ball into action as they got on base and put four runs on the board before Fannin could earn their third out. GAC kept up the energy on defense where they had a perfect three up and three down outs, closing the first inning with a 4-0 lead.
As the Spartans kept hitting the ball in all of the right places, Fannin began to make errors. After GAC scored one more run, Newton was able to get the Rebels out of the inning as she caught a pop fly for the third out. Eryn Mealer got things started on offense for Fannin as she hit a ground ball up the middle and found herself safe on first. Mealer was aggressive on the bases as she stole second, just for GAC to earn their third out to end the inning with a 5-0 lead.
Rebel third basemen, Kayleigh Russell, was quick on defense where she charged the ball on a bunt and threw the runner out at first base. Riley Davis followed the trend at shortstop where she threw a runner out at first base with a runner on second. After a run was scored, Kaelyn Hensley came from second base to pitch the rest of the game. Senior, Emily Waldrep, earned the third out of the inning with the score at 6-0 as she ran towards the fence to catch a ball deep center field. The Spartans continued to hold Fannin as the pitcher earned three strikeouts in a row.
Fannin began to tighten up their defense to start off the fourth inning. Both teams managed to hold the other and kept the score 6-0 for two more innings. Waldrep had great catches in center field as she hunted down balls and tracked them into her glove for outs. Davis had quick hands at shortstop where she read the ball well and threw runners out at first.
The Spartans were able to find their fire again to start off the sixth inning as they were able to get the ball down and find themselves on base. On a big lead, Mealer caught the runner off guard and threw to first base to tag the Spartan out in a run down. Junior, Jaylin Ray, caught a pop fly in right field to make the third out with GAC ahead 7-0. The Rebels finally make their mark on the board as Mealer stepped up to the plate. With Russell on first base from a hit up the middle, Eryn hit a bomb to deep center field, bringing Kayleigh home and putting Mealer on second base. With Fannin in scoring position, they were unable to bring any more runs home before the Spartans earned their third out, closing out the inning with a score of 7-1.
With runners on first and second base, Zoe Putnam got the first two outs of the inning with a caught pop fly and a short throw to first base. GAC rallied with two outs and managed to score three more runs before Hensley could catch a line drive for the third out. The pitcher was the first up to bat on offense where she put the ball into action with a hit over the shortstop’s head, finding herself safe on first. After the Spartans walked two batters, the bases were loaded with one out. GAC refused to let Fannin score by earning their last two outs with a strike out and a throw to first base. As the Spartans earned their third out, they found themselves with a 10-1 victory over the Rebels.
Fannin’s loss puts their overall record at 2-14 while their region record stands at 0-7. Catch the Lady Rebels next game this Saturday as they travel to Chestatee for a double header at 10 & 12!
Today, Dawson County traveled to Fannin County to take on the Lady Rebels softball team. The Rebels had just come from a loss the day before and hoped to get a region win.
Rebel senior, Kaelyn Hensley, pitched for Fannin throughout the night where she struck out five batters overall. The Lady Tigers came out ready to play as they had no problem putting the ball into action. Before Emma Mitchell could earn the last out at third base, Dawson was able to bring in four runs. The Tigers had a perfect three up and three down outs to hold the Rebels and kept their 4-0 lead to close the first inning.
As Dawson continued to put runs on the board, Emily Waldrep followed Hensley’s strikeout with a caught pop fly in center field to earn the second out. Fannin errors continued to allow the Tigers to score runs before Hensley could earn the third out by striking out the last batter. Once on offense, Fannin finally started to put the ball into action. Josilynn Newton put the ball into play as she had a hit right down the third base line, making its way to left field for her to advance a runner and find herself on first base. Junior, Jaylin Ray, had earned a hit where she was thrown out at first, but advanced runners to second and third. Fannin was in perfect scoring position when the next ball hit was caught in the air for the third out, leaving Dawson ahead 7-0.
Hensley had a perfect inning on defense where she earned all three outs. The senior struck out the first batter, and fielded the ball to throw out the runner at first base for the last two. Waldrep got things started on offense where she laid down a perfect bunt to find herself standing on first base. Kayleigh Russell stepped up to the plate and hit a bomb to right field where she earned a double and brought Waldrep home to earn the first run of the game. Mitchell continued the trend with a hit to the second basemen, finding herself safe at first base and sending Russell home for another Fannin point. With runners on first and second base, the Tigers were able to earn their third out and close out the third inning with a 7-2 lead.
Dawson continued their great hitting for the night to start off the fourth inning. With a runner on base, a Lady Tiger hit an out of the park homerun. The Rebels started to get in their heads and make more errors as they allowed Dawson to score. Newton was the one to get Fannin out of the inning as she caught a pop fly for the third out. While Fannin may have been able to get on base, they were unable to find their way to home plate before the Tigers could earn their third out, putting Dawson ahead 11-2.
As the innings went on, the trend continued of Dawson hitting in the gaps and scoring more points. Rusell was able to get Fannin out of a rut in the fifth inning as she showed of her arm and threw a girl out at third from behind the plate. The Lady Rebel’s hitting finally came alive at the bottom of the fifth. With bases loaded, Jaylin Ray was walked to first base, bringing a runner home. Sophomore, Jaylen Green was next up to bat as she laid down a perfect bunt to find herself safe at first and to bring home a run. Freshman, Zoe Putnam, continued the trend as she hit the ball to left field, bringing in another Rebel run. After Fannin successfully put four runs on the board, the Tigers were able to earn their third out and close out the fifth inning with a score of 13-6.
The Rebels hoped to hold Dawson on defense and have an inning like the last in hopes of making a comeback. As it started to look promising with two outs and no runs scored, the Tigers began to put the ball into action in all of the right places. They were able to score one more run before Hensley could strikeout a batter for the third out. As Fannin approached the plate in hopes of earning more runs, the Tigers had a perfect three up and three down outs. With Dawson ahead 14-6, the game ended in a run rule at the end of the sixth inning.
Fannin’s loss puts their overall record at 1-10 and their region record at 0-3. Catch the Lady Rebel’s next game this Thursday as they travel to take on the Lumpkin County Lady Indians @ 5:55pm!
Last night, the Cherokee Bluff Bears traveled to Fannin County to take on the Lady Rebels for their second region softball game of the season. Fannin had just come from a tough 12-4 loss to Greater Atlanta Christain and hoped to earn their first region win.
The Rebels defense was solid to start off the game. Kaelyn Hensely started off the game on the mound where eighteen of her first pitches thrown were strikes. Sophomore, Riley Davis, had quick hands at shortstop where she made a lot of big plays throughout the night. Emily Waldrep had a busy night as the Bears favorite spot seemed to be center field. To earn the third out of the first inning, Waldrep ran forward to catch a pop fly and held the Bears. The senior showed off her speed as the leadoff batter when she was walked and snuck her way to second base when no one was covering. After Emily stole another base, Kayleigh Russell put down a sacrifice bunt to bring her home and earn the first run of the game, putting Fannin ahead 1-0.
Cherokee Bluff didn’t allow Fannin to keep their lead for long. They were able to put the ball in the perfect places to where the Rebels couldn’t catch them, putting them in perfect scoring position. On a Fannin error, they allowed a run to score, tying the game 1-1. The Bear’s pitcher had a perfect inning as she struck out all three of Fannin’s batters to end the second inning.
Although the Rebel’s were not able to make anything happen on offense, they were determined on defense to not let any runs score. Freshman, Zoe Putnam, had hustle at second base where she dove to stop the ball from going into the gap and held the runner at first base. Right after the great play, Kayleigh Russell had one of her own. The senior was hit a hard grounder where she tagged third base for a force out, then threw to first base for a double play. When it was Fannin’s turn to bat again, the Bears had another three in a row strikeouts to close the third inning with the score remaining 1-1.
Cherokee Bluff’s offense came alive at the start of the fourth inning. They were hitting the ball in all of the right places to where Fannin couldn’t make a play. Freshman, Josilyn Newton, came in to relieve Hensley from the mound following the 3.2 innings she pitched. Newton finished out the game from the mound, striking out one batter. After the Bears were able to put three more runs on the board, Fannin finally earned their third out from a strikeout, putting Cherokee Bluff in the lead with a score of 4-1. Although the Rebels started to put the ball into play on offense, the Bear’s defense was all over it and earned another perfect three outs in a row.
As the Bears continued to put runners on base and score, they found themselves with an 8-1 lead over Fannin to end the fourth inning. As the next three innings passed by, Fannin was able to hold Cherokee Bluff, but the trend continued. The Bears would continue to hit and get on base while they had perfect innings on defense with no runners on. The Bears were on fire in every aspect of the game. For five innings in a row, they had a perfect three up and three down outs. While Fannin had impressive plays on defense in the seventh inning with Newton catching a hard line drive and Eryn Mealer showing off her arm behind the plate to throw out a girl on a steal, it was not enough to make a comeback. As Cherokee Bluff made their third out in the seventh, they found themselves with a 8-1 victory over Fannin.
The Lady Rebels loss puts their overall record at 1-8 while their region record stands at 0-2. Catch Fannin’s next softball game as they travel to North Hall this Thursday to take on the Trojans at 6:30pm!
Yesterday, Tyler Norton’s friends and family gathered into the Fannin County High School cafeteria to watch him make a big step towards his baseball career. Norton is a recent graduate from FCHS who committed to Tennessee Wesleyan to play baseball in the Spring!
Norton is the second Rebel to sign to Tennessee Wesleyan, Chandler Kendall being the first. The two have been sharing the field since they were little and are excited to be playing together for another season. Out of the five seniors on the 2019 baseball team, Tyler is the third to take on the sport at the collegiate level.
During his time in high school, Tyler was a dual athlete in football and baseball for four years. In football, his main position was quarterback while he mostly played second base in baseball. While he excelled at both, his true passion lied in baseball. Even in the off season, Norton would put in countless hours practicing and playing with his travel baseball team, The Hobgood Braves.
“This is a big day for Tyler. He is going to play ball and attend school at Tennessee Wesleyan, which is an amazing opportunity. I have no doubt that our seniors will go on to be successful. They are all hard workers and were great examples to the team. Their examples will help the younger ones carry on our tradition into this upcoming season. They set the bar, now it’s everyone else’s job to raise it. We are going to keep up with our seniors as they take on this exciting journey and we wish them the best,” head Rebel Baseball coach, Travis Stone, shared at the signing.