Blue Ridge, Ga. – A call was made to cancel a very anticipated game last week between football rivals the Fannin County Rebels and the Gilmer County Bobcats.
The decision was made over an individual’s possible exposure to and contraction of Covid-19.
Questions arose among Rebel fans and some parents reached out to FYN not satisfied with the explanation they had been given. All wanted to know what the Fannin County School District’s protocol is to make this decision and who ultimately decides.
Documentation provided by the Fannin County School System confirms that an individual with ties to the football team had come in contact with at least 2 persons who recently tested positive for Covid-19. This documentation goes on to say that the individual in question is “symptomatic”.
Sources tell FYN that while the individual was tested for Covid-19, no confirmation was ever received as to whether the person had tested positive.
Fannin County Director of Applied & Integrated Instruction, Lucas Roof, explained that due to medical privacy laws students are not required to produce any documentation to the school system that they have been tested and received a positive result for Covid-19.
When direct documentation is unavailable, Roof explained that verification comes in one of two ways. Either contact from the school system is made to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) for confirmation on cases, or if DPH receives a case that they determine to be a possible student of Fannin County, they will contact the school system.
“It really is a two way street as far as communication,” Roof said of DPH and the school system’s relationship.
DPH also will treat cases as “considered positive” when indications lead to a strong likelihood of an individual having contracted the virus.
Due to medical privacy, the Fannin County School System could not confirm whether the individual relating to the football game had received a positive test result.
Assistant Superintendent of Personnel & Administration, Robert Ensley, explained that the school system, upon learning of the possibility of a positive case, contacted the local branch of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) to seek recommendations.
DPH and Roof discussed the situation facing the Fannin County Rebels and based on information received, DPH gave guidelines to the school district.
While Roof has been tasked with the Covid-19 coordination of the district, the cancellation of the game came down to a school level decision.
After receiving guidelines from DPH, Fannin County High School Principal, Assistant Principal, Athletic Director and Coach met to go over options and concluded that with DPH recommendations it was in the best interest to cancel.
Roof confirmed the DPH recommendations on Thursday, Sept. 10 after questions arose from parents concerning the decision.
Dr. Zachary Taylor, Director of the North Georgia Health District wrote an email to Roof stating:
“Lucas, this email is to let you know that we consider the young man who is symptomatic and is an epidemiological link to 2 cases to be a case of COVId-19 and that all of his contacts on the football team should be quarantined. Please contact me if you have any questions.”
The school system was also unable, due to privacy laws, to confirm with FYN if any players had to be quarantined after coming in contact with this particular case. Several parents of athletes, however, spoke with FYN and did confirm that their child had been sent home and would not be able to return to school until Thursday, Sept. 17.
Numbers on the school system’s website, updated every Friday morning, did show a significant rise in the number of students quarantined as of Sept. 11.
“These decisions are never made lightly,” Fannin County Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney stated and added, “Our team is making the best possible decisions based on the information we have and the recommendations we receive.”
Gwatney confirmed that the protocol that was followed concerning the Fannin-Gilmer game would be the same for any future school related events, not just limited to athletics. The school system will seek the advice of medical professionals and follow the recommendations given at the time.
Gwatney explained that guidelines given to the district are fluid as more becomes known about the virus, “Covid-19 is information ever evolving and we have to work with the latest details when situations arise. The well being of our students and our community as a whole is always a top priority.”
Featured Image : Fannin Rebels and Gilmer Bobcats face-off in 2019.
Before we dive into the game, I think it’s important to tell the recent history of this rivalry. Fannin County had not defeated Union County in Blairsville since 2007. In that game, Union held a 19-17 lead at half. Josh Postell, would intercept a pass on a fake punt that would give Fannin the lead and momentum. Fannin never looked back for a 45-19 victory.
2013 was the last year the Rebels defeated Union. To this day, it’s still been one of the best games in the new Rebel stadium. Fannin won the game 43-35. Trevor Stone would connect with current Fannin County Football Assistant Coach Noah ONeal down the sidelines to open up the game for touchdown. Noah also had a pick 6 late in the game to capture the win for Fannin in 2013.
Union County entered the game 10-2 in the last 12 meetings vs Fannin. Brian Allison ( Union Head Coach) does not receive enough credit for the job he has done during his tenure at Union County. As one of the best Coaches in our area, Allison, holds a 117-72 record as Head Coach at Union.
Class is over. Now let’s talk about Friday night.
Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium was the site for the 29th All Time Meeting on Friday between Fannin County and Union County. Union County at the time held a 15-13 record over Fannin. Those meetings do not include meetings with games from West Fannin High and East Fannin High.
Right after Pre game warm ups, former Fannin Head Coach Ron Harbin, spoke with Current Fannin Head Coach Chad Cheatham before he entered the locker room to address his team one final time before they took the field.
Fannin was the visiting team and both the Union and Fannin stands were filled to the brim.
The atmosphere was electric and the scene was special. With so much uncertainty over the past few months just playing on Friday Night was considered a win.
Fannin entered the border war walking out led by Head Coach Chad Cheatham, Luke Holloway and Mason Bundy.
Union County won the toss and deferred to the 2nd half. Fannin would take the opening drive down the field and would score. Senior Quarterback Luke Holloway found Senior Wide Receiver Cohutta Hyde for an 18 yard Touchdown pass. Jack Catner’s extra point would be good and Fannin would lead 7-0 with 6:07 left in 1st.
Union County would go 3 and out with big stops on defense by Fannin’s Dalton Ross and Carson Collis.
Union Quarterback, Logan Helcher would have a great punt inside the 20 where Fannin would take over. Dalton Allen, recovered a fumble for a scoop and score as Union was on the board to make it 7-7 with 2:40 left in the 1st.
Fannin County on the following drive would get Jalen Ingram and Jake Sands involved as they both had nice catches through the air by Holloway. Luke Holloway would hit Cohutta Hyde down the sidelines for a 48 yard gain to end the 1st quarter.
First play of the 2nd half, Holloway, would sneak it in the end zone for another touchdown. Score would be 14-7 in favor of Fannin.
Union County would put together a nice drive engineered by Helcher. Jonah Daniel would have a 16 yard run to the Fannin 4 yard line. The Fannin defense came up just short of a goal line stand. Micah ONeal had the stop on 1st down and Cason Owensby and Logan Long would make the stop on 2nd down. Logan Helcher would find the end zone on 3rd & goal and the extra point by Mason McCombs was good to make it 14-14with 2:45 left in the 2nd.
The following drive, Caleb Postell put together some nice runs for Fannin and a nice reception by Andre Bivens were some highlights of the drive. Fannin would have 1st and goal from the 5 but we’re unable to score 6. Sophomore Kicker Jack Catner, however, would add a 21 yard field goal to make it Fannin 17 Union 14.
Union would take over and put together a drive into Rebel territory. Micah ONeal, Logan Long, Jalen Ingram, would make big stops on the drive but none bigger than Andrew Waldrep forcing a fumble on Helcher. Cohutta Hyde would recover.
Fannin would go 3 and out and Union would run 3 plays before the horn buzzed ending the 1st half. Fannin would lead 17-14 at halftime.
Union County’s Mason McCombs would attempt to tie the game but he would miss the field goal as Fannin would still lead 17-14 with 5:23 left in 3rd.
Fannin would give the ball back to Union and Helcher would complete a long pass down the home sidelines and Helcher would punch it in giving Union their 1st lead of the game, 20-17. Union would attempt a 2 pt conversion but Jake Sands would pick the pass off. Union would lead 20-17 with 1:03 left in the 3rd quarter.
Fannin would start the 4th quarter on their own 25 hitting Jalen Ingram for a 1st down. Ingram also added another catch on the drive. The Panthers would Force Fannin to give the ball back with 9:10 left in the 4th.
Carson Collis, nearly intercepted Helcher’s pass on 1st down and Jalen Ingram made the stop on 2nd down. Mccay Turner made the stop on 3rd down as Union would punt back to Fannin.
Fannin would get the ball back. 3rd down and 6 from the 25 yard line Luke Holloway found Andre Bivens for a touchdown to give Fannin the lead 24-20 with 5:49 left in 4th.
Union County would try to put together a game winning drive of their own. However, Fannin County’s Cason Owensby, had one of the biggest interceptions in recent memory for Fannin.
Fannin would take over and pick up a 1st down. Holloway would wake the final knee and a celebration for the ages took place on the Fannin County Sidelines. Head Coach Chad Cheatham would toss his visor into the stands and Fannin County Recreation Department employee Tim Wooten would come down with the reception. Wooten would give the visor to Coach Cheatham’s wife Katherine. No word yet if the post game visor throws will continue.
It was very special to see Seniors Micah ONeal and Mason Bundy and others from senior class celebrate with so much excitement and emotion.
Fannin County is now 1-0 on the season after 24-20 victory over Union. They will have another rivalry game this Friday night as they travel to Gilmer to play the Bobcats.
Gilmer County led by 2nd year Head Coach Kevin Saunders, will be coming into the rivalry game 0-1 after a 17-8 defeat by another one their rivals in Pickens County.
Kickoff will be Friday September 11th 730. Special pre game show will air at 7pm with Team Fyn Sports Director Jake West and Tim Towe.
Be sure to catch Rebel Wrap Up on Wednesday at 630 live on Team FYN Sports Facebook with Host Tim Towe. Head Coach Chad Cheatham and Rebel players will join the show.
Starting this year, #TeamFYNsports will be bringing you their top football games of the week for our local area football teams. This week, we have some rivalries on the horizon, with four local area teams going head to head.
Team FYN sports director Jake West and Fannin County Rec. Department Athletic Coordinator Tim Towe will also be giving you their picks to win these games of the week and we will be tracking their pick ’em record going forward.
- Fannin County Rebels @ Union County Panthers
If there was ever a year for Fannin County to be able to break their 6 year losing streak agains the Union County Panthers, it would be this year. Fannin is coming off an impressive 5-6 season last year, and with all the returning upper-classmen they have this year, this is the year that they have to make some moves. Even Coach Chad Cheatham said himself at media day, they are poised to make a run. Union County on the other hand is coming off of a 10-2 record last year, where it looked like they were going to go deep into the playoffs until losing a 7-14 game against Metter High School. Head Coach Brian Allison has turned Union County into a juggernaut over there in Blairsville, losing a combined four games in the past two years. However with the loss of their starting Quarterback Pierson Allison to graduation, we will if the newcomer behind center can handle the pressure of Friday Night Lights.
Jake’s Pick: Union County
Tim’s Pick: Fannin County
2. Gilmer County Bobcats @ Pickens Dragons
The Pickens Dragons finished 2019 with a 6-5 overall record and tied for third in their division. Their offense was crazy hot last year, putting up an average of 31.6 points. We will see if they have improved any on the defensive side of the ball however, where they managed to give up an average of 26.2 points per game in the previous season. When watching Pickens last year however, one of their more impressive games came against then region rival Gilmer, who they will be playing to kickoff this season. This season the anticipated Gilmer-Pickens game will not be a region game due to the realignment that took place in the offseason. Even though this is not going to be a region game this year, you can tell that it still means just as much to the players and coaches as it did when it counted against their region record. Gilmer is coming off of a 4-6 overall record last year in 2019. But, as rebuilds go it looks like Gilmer is on the backend of theirs and should start putting together some winning teams. Also, with Gilmer being bumped down a level, their opponents in their new region should play more to their level. I just think that the speed and power of the Pickens offense will be too much for the Bobcats to handle.
Jake’s Pick: Pickens County
Tim’s Pick: Gilmer County
The Georgia High School Association has released “strongly recommended” game-day operation guidelines in order for the high school football season to proceed as normal when it opens for good on September Fourth. These game-day guidelines and recommendations are given to spectators and parents in order to ensure that the football season will be able to continue and so that these student athletes are able to play a whole season. The whole list of guidelines can be found HERE.
Game Day Venue Restrictions
- Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments and health care professionals should determine what personnel (cheerleaders, band, mascots, dance team, etc.) should participate in events. It is strongly recommended to take into consideration the venue’s ability to safely allow for and enforce proper physical distancing.
- The media accommodations will be handled by host school personnel.
- GHSA member schools should follow the guidance of local, state, and federal recommendations as it pertains to spectator events and stadium capacity restrictions if such information becomes available.
- It is highly recommended that spectators have their temperature assessed prior to entering the competition venue and should be denied entry if higher than 100.4 degrees.
- It is highly recommended that spectators always wear a facemask/covering possible. □ Spectators should be restricted from direct competition areas and from visiting with student athletes and personnel before, during and after events.
- Spectators should always practice social distancing whenever possible. Household members are excluded.
- Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments, should determine whether “to-go” meals for their student-athletes in individualized, single packaged containers should be permitted.
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, they must follow state guidelines for “Restaurants, Bars, and Banquet & Catering Facilities/Services” as outlined in the current Governor’s Executive Order
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, concession workers should wear masks and gloves in accordance with state mandates.
- Any worker should be screened before they are permitted to perform work duties in the concession.
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, individuals in line for concessions should practice physical distancing.
- If sales at concession stands are permitted, precautions for social distancing should always be adhered to.
Following the weekly meeting with the Sports Medicine Advisory Council, Georgia High School Association Executive Director Robin Hines announced that the GHSA will be moving forward with the September fourth football start date for the opening of the 2020 season.
After the Sports Medicine Advisory Council meeting, director Hines spoke with the Athens Banner-Herald in regard to the number of COVID-19 cases across the state, but was confident that the season would return on the now delayed football start date of September fourth.
Hines told the Athens Banner-Herald, “While the numbers aren’t what we would prefer right now, they’re trending down, we feel good about that, and pending some spikes between now and then, my recommendation is going to be that we go ahead and play.”
The GHSA has previously reported that there will be around 70 Georgia football teams of 425 total that are unlikely to play the first week of the season because of coronavirus concerns dictated by their school district or private schools.
Included in the list of teams that will be sitting out for the week of September 4th are 19 DeKalb County teams, 16 Fulton County teams, 8 Savannah-Chatham teams, and 6 Bibb county teams. Several other teams across the state will also be sitting out until given the OK from their administrators and school board.
Tennessee will begin their High School football season tonight, and they have already released their guidelines for spectators and fines which can be found HERE. Viewing this should help give GHSA fans a little insight in what to expect come September fourth when Georgia returns to Friday night lights.
Georgia High School Association Executive Director Robin Hines said that during last weeks meeting with his sports medicine advisory council that football games will remain scheduled for September 4th, while also saying that those plans are fluid and subject to change. The GHSA will reevaluate every Wednesday.
Executive Director Robin Hines posted on the GHSA website: After today’s meeting with the SMAC, the GHSA is providing this information to our member schools to provide an idea of the possibilities that exist for GHSA sports/activities.
Our plan as of today is to move forward with the September 4 date for opening football season, as directed by the Board of Trustees.
However, it is possible that the start date of September 4 could change based on COVID-19 data.
As numbers dictate over the next two weeks, a decision will be forthcoming with regard to the football start date.
The GHSA staff has contingency plans to cover all start and restart scenarios.
Our goal continues to be to provide sports and activities for our students as soon as possible with safety being the top priority.
There is always a possibility of postponement based on the data and advice from our medical professionals.
Six GHSA schools have canceled their upcoming sports seasons, including Salem, Heritage, Rockdale County, Stewart County, Calhoun County and Twiggs County.
The Georgia High School Association has also released new and updated reported sports COVID numbers within the world of high school sports. These numbers are only the reported numbers of the players and coaches who have tested positive and keep in mind that the GHSA does not require member schools to report tests.
In the most recent release there have been 866 COVID-19 cases. The number of positive test is up by more than 200 since the first release which came out July 28th.
The 2020 Fannin County and Copper Basin Media Day gave us a glimpse of what to expect from the two teams that we would not have been able to get this year since scrimmages and 7 on 7’s were cancelled.
Both High School teams brought their coaches and some key players for the upcoming season along with them to answer some questions from Team FYN Sports and local area media.
The Fannin County Rebels were represented by Head Coach Chad Cheatham, Michah O’neal (LB), Luke Holloway (QB), Seth Reece (ATH), Cohutta Hyde (WR), and Mason Bundy (RT/DE).
The Copper Basin Cougars were represented by Assistant Coach Jeremy Locke, Timothy Fair (LB/WR), Eli Patterson (CB), Chance Rowllins (OL), Dawson Worthy (WR).
Coach Cheatham was asked about some of the challenges he faced this upcoming year with being placed in a new reason. Cheatham responded by saying “Obviously, you dont know as much about your opponents as you did before. Its harder to prepare and break those teams done, with all the turnover and change. Where as in the past couple of years, we’ve had at least four years of film on our opponents and so we were able to compile alot of things. Youre going into some unchartered territory as far as knowing schemes, knowing coaches. I mean we always knew what we were going to get with (teams we played over the past few years)… Obviously it helps us a little bit in moving down a classification, and getting away from some of the bigger schools that we had played in the past. On the flip side its a little bit tougher to gan that knowledge of your opponent…”
When asked about coming off of a great 6-5 season last year, Coach Locke of the Copper Basin Cougars said, “One of the most obvious things that stood out from last year was that for the first time in quite a while we beat Polk County, and I think that it was kind of an odd night ya know, becuase we had been looking forward to it the whole year and I think nerves kinda set in at the beginning and along with the nerves came a pretty good little rain shower. Whenever you know going into it that youre gonna throw the ball around 70 percent of the time that rain makes the quarterback nervous, so we had to change our game plan a little bit and we ended up running the ball a lot and it worked out for us…. My favorite memory of it is that I would be screaming “Five, Five, Five!!” and everybody in the stadium knew exactly what ‘five’ was… but there was no one who could do a thing about it…”
You can hear more from both of the coaches and also hear from players like Luke Holloway and Timothy Fair on the Fetch Your News Youtube page HERE, as we recorded the whole thing live.
Along with the High School teams, members of the 7, 8, 9 and 10u rec league teams from both Fannin County and Copper Basin were represented. All the kids from each league were also asked questions and were given the opportunity to answer in whatever way they saw fit, and there were definitely some answers that made everyone in the gym chuckle. You can also see the video of the rec league teams at the 2020 media day on the Fetch Your News Youtube Channel HERE.
The 2020 Middle School Teams of both Fannin and Copper Basin were also in attendance at media day 202o, and you can view the playback of that video on the Fetch Your News Youtube Channel also, at the link HERE.
The GHSA has reported that over 600 players and coaches have tested positive for COVID since voluntary workouts began on June 8th.
The Georgia High School Association sent out and email on Tuesday, where they confirmed that they have had a reported 655 positive tests, including over 1,000 screen outs. Screen outs are when a player or coach is held out of practice due to a high temperature check or health questionnaire.
Several local area teams have stopped and started workouts since the June 8th restart, due to complications with the virus.
These numbers that he GHSA has released are not entirely accurate, as the GHSA does not require positive tests to be reported to the association, however it is encouraged so that the data can be compiled and used in the decision making process.
“The data is aggregate and for decision-making purposes,” GHSA associate director Don Corr said in Tuesdays email. “It is our belief that this data is incomplete and varies due to individual infectious disease plans formulated by each member school.”
6 GHSA teams have reported to the GHSA that they are shutting down their practice’s this week. There could be more since the GHSA also does not require practice activity to be reported either. The teams that are not practicing currently are Morgan County, Putnam County, Greene County, Social Circle and Lincoln County in east and central Georgia and Lakeside in DeKalb County.
Each school district has their own protocol in dealing with the positive coronavirus cases, as the GHSA has decided to give the power to the schools instead of setting a governing body of rules.
The Georgia High School Association held a private meeting earlier today to discuss the upcoming fall football season start dates and schedules. The meeting was not broadcast publicly, but according to the GHSA’s meeting minutes, the competition date for football will be pushed back for two weeks, but the football conditioning and all other sports starting dates are unchanged.
The first football games will be held on labor day weekend, with scrimmages on August 21st and 28th.
There will be a full regular season and a full playoff schedule as of right now.
Practice will begin next Monday, with pads starting August 1st.
The start date for the rest of fall sports has not been altered and is as follows:
- Softball: August 6
- Cheerleading: August 8
- Cross Country: August 10
- Volleyball: August 10
This is a developing story, please stay tuned for updates as more details of the meeting are released.
Fannin Co. High school senior Miles Johnson signed his National Letter of Intent on Thurdsay, Feb. 5, to declare his intention to play football at the University of Georgia as a preferred walk-on.
Johnson, a four-year varsity offensive lineman for the Rebels, had offers from nearly 10 schools, but chose Georgia because he wanted to play in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
“This has been a wild ride, to be honest with y’all,” Johnson said during his signing. “I have to first thank god for everything. (I’ve) always had the dream (of) going somewhere (in) the SEC, and that’s to him it’s all possible now.”
Fannin Co. head football coach Chad Cheatham said, “A lot of hard work, many years of beign on the football field, baseball field, basketball (court) whatever it is, goes into to something like this. Long hours in the weight room. A lot of sweat, a lot of blood, a lot of tears.”
Cheatham addressed Johnson directly by saying, “Miles, we appreciate what you’ve done, son. You know we love you, this community loves you, and it’s just an honor to be able to share this with you.”
Johnson finished by thanking everyone in attendance, including his parents who were sitting with him for the signing.
Johnson said his parents, Earl Johnson and Leslie Jabaley-Mann, are “my biggest supporters. … I can’t thank them enough. If it wasn’t for them, I don’t think I’d be in the position I am today.”
He also thanked, “Coach Cheatham, all the coaches I’ve had throughout high school and all the way up to now. I gotta thank my teammates, their all here today. (They) have been my brothers all throughout high school and since we were little kids.”
Johnson finished by saying, “I appreciate all the support from this community.”
For more photos of the event, visit the TeamFYNSports Facebook page.
A video of Johnson’s signing can be found below.
Being able to fulfill a lifelong dream isn’t something most people get to do, but that’s just what happened to Fannin Co. High senior Miles Johnson earlier this week.
Johnson, a four-year varsity football player for the Rebels, announced Tuesday, Jan. 28, on social media, that he was accepting an offer from the University of Georgia to continue his football career.
Johnson said that he received nearly 10 offers, but in the end, the choice came down to Georgia or the University of Memphis.
“It was an opportunity I couldn’t miss out on. I felt like it was the best choice for me,” Johnson said. “My dream, always, was to go play SEC (Southeastern Conference) ball somewhere and out of all places, Georgia is a top-notch school.”
Johnson, who is 6-foot-5 and weight in at nearly 300 pounds, is not just a football player. He played three years of baseball in high school and played basketball until his freshman year. After staying off the court for the majority of his high school career, Johnson joined the basketball team for his senior season.
“Being it was my senior year, I figured it would be good for footwork and keep me in shape. I’ve really enjoyed it,” Johnson said.
He’s not sure if he will play baseball in the spring yet, but hopes to let his teammates and coach know within the next week.
With spring practice at Georgia beginning in May, Johnson said he plans to get to Athens as soon as he can and participate in both spring practice and summer practice, which begins in June.
Johnson said he worked out for the Bulldogs coaching staff two years ago, but most of the coaches he spoke with are now at other schools.
“I met with coach (Kirby) Smart when I was in Athens,” Johnson said, adding that he’s been communicating with linebackers coach Glenn Shumann throughout the recruitment process.
Johnson said that after a phone call from Shumann, during which the offer was extended, it took about an hour-and-a-half before he decided to accept.
“I talked it over with my family and decided it was the best decision for me,” Johnson said.
As for playing football in the SEC, Johnson said “It’s an honor.”
“It’s unbelievable and an indescribable feeling right now. It didn’t sink in to me until I announced it online. It’s an incredible honor and I’m just ready to go and get to work,” Johnson said.
“I just want to thank God. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be able to be in the position I’m in. I want to thank my parents, my biggest supporters,” Johnson said. “I was to give a special shout to my grandmother … she’s like a second mom to me, always there for me. I want to thank my coaches for always pushing me to strive to get better, and my friends as well for always being there for me.”
The 10 players named TeamFYNSports Player of the Week during Fannin Co.’s 2019 football season were recognized Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the high school. Each player received a commemorative shirt and a gift certificate for a free meal.
The Rebels finished the season 6-5 overall and 3-3 in Region 7-AAA, which was strong enough to earn them a spot in the Class AAA state playoffs for the second-consecutive year.
The Players of the Week were:
Week 1: Luke Holloway. The junior quarterback was recognized for his performance in Fannin Co.’s 41-9 victory against Gilmer on Aug. 23 in Blue Ridge.
Week 2: Cohutta Hyde. The junior wide receiver was honored for his strong game in a 42-14 victory at Lafayette on Aug. 30.
Week 3: Jakob Tuggle. The senior defensive end and full back was recognized for his performance in a 33-14 loss to Union Co. on Sept. 13 in Blue Ridge.
Week 4: Treylyn Owensby. The senior running back was recognized for the first time during the season after his standout game in a 34-30 victory at Chestatee on Sept. 20.
Week 5: Jalen Ingram. The junior tight end was honored for his strong game in a 21-7 win at Cherokee Bluff on Oct. 4.
Week 6: Will Mosley. The senior linebacker and running back was recognized for his performance in a 49-26 win at East Hall on Oct. 11.
Week 7: Micah O’Neal. The junior linebacker was honored for his standout performance in a 38-0 loss to North Hall on Oct. 18 in Blue Ridge.
Week 8: Seth Reece. The sophomore was honored for his strong game in a 51-7 loss at Dawson Co. on Oct. 25.
Week 9: Treylyn Owensby. The senior running back was recognized a second time on the season for his standout game in a 35-14 win against Lumpkin Co. on Nov. 1 in Blue Ridge.
Week 10: Miles Johnson. The senior offensive lineman was honored for his great game in a 42-21 loss to Greater Atlanta Christian on Nov. 8 in Blue Ridge.
Week 11: Sawyer Moreland. The sophomore was recognized for his strong performance in the 36-7 loss at Cedar Grove in the first round of the state playoffs Nov. 16.
Congratulations to all of the TeamFYNSports Players of the Week from the 2019 Fannin Co. football season!
Editor’s note: TeamFYNSports would like to thank our sponsors for the 2019 Fannin Co. football season. Without their support, coverage of the Rebels would not have been possible. A big thank you to Circuit World, Graphic Expressions, Day’s Chevrolet, Nicholson Tire, Dairy Queen of Blue Ridge, Papa’s Pizza of Blue Ridge, Mountain Place Realty, North GA Metals, Judge Brenda Weaver, First Community Mortgage Group, and Mesquite Grill.
The 2019 All-State Football Teams as selected by the Atlanta-Journal Constitution were released Thursday and several area players were honored.
Two players were named to the Class AAA first team: North Murray senior Ladd McConkey was named the first team Athlete, while Fannin Co. junior Luke Holloway was named the first team Punter.
Dawson Co. placed two players on the Honorable Mention list: senior defensive back Riley Herndon and junior place kicker Caleb Bonesteel.
North Murray senior linebacker Dylan Flood was also named an Honorable Mention.
In Class AA, two players from Rabun Co. were named to the first team: sophomore quarterback Gunner Stockton and senior wide receiver Braxton Hicks.
Union Co. senior quarterback Pierson Allison was named an Honorable Mention in Class AA.
The Region 7-3A All-Region Team was announced Tuesday, Dec. 17, and multiple members of the Fannin Co. football team were honored.
The entire team is as follows:
Player of the year: JT Fair, North Hall, senior running back/defensive back
Offensive MVP: Jackson Hardy, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior quarterback
Defensive MVP: Riley Herndon, Dawson Co., senior defensive back
Special Teams MVP: Caleb Bonesteel, Dawson Co., junior place kicker
Athlete of the Year: Dakohta Sonnichsen, Dawson Co., junior wide receiver
Lineman of the Year: Myles Hinton, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior offense/defense
Academic Player of the Year: Tino Mukono, Cherokee Bluff, senior defensive back
QB – Zach Holtzclaw, Dawson Co., sophomore
RB – Treylynn Owensby, Fannin Co., senior
RB – Jayquan Smith, Cherokee Bluff, sophomore
RB – Montavious Taber, East Hall, junior
RB – Jacob Dickey, North Hall, junior
FB – Will Mosley, Fannin Co., senior
WR – Christian Thomas, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior
WR – Jaden Gibson, Dawson Co., freshman
WR – Drew Highfield, East Hall, senior
WR – Brooks Miller, Greater Atlanta Christian, junior
TE – Thomas Lawson, Greater Atlanta Christian, junior
OL – Addison Nichols, Greater Atlanta Christian, sophomore
OL – Austin Sullens, North Hall, senior
OL – Micah Holman, North Hall, senior
OL – Mason Bundy, Fannin Co., junior
OL – Miles Johnson, Fannin Co., senior
OL – Mateo Guevera, Cherokee Bluff, sophomore
ATH/RB/DB – Tyler Bride, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior
DL – Spencer Helms, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior
DL – Logan Hawthorne, North Hall, senior
DL – Nate Nixon, North Hall, senior
DL – Dakota Collins, Cherokee Bluff, junior
DL – Aaron Hopkins, Lumpkin Co., senior
DL – Jakob Tuggle, Fannin Co., senior
LB – Choe Bryant-Strother, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior
LB – DJ Mitchell, Dawson Co., senior
LB – Dalton Battle, North Hall, junior
LB – Jackson Weeks, Fannin Co., senior
LB – Micah O’Neal, Fannin Co., junior
DB – Luke Volle, North Hall, senior
DB – Brody Howell, Dawson Co., senior
DB – Evan Byrd, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior
DB – Joseph Rose, Greater Atlanta Christian, junior
DB – Breadon Hubbard, Dawson Co., sophomore
P – Luke Holloway, Fannin Co., junior
P – Jacob Carlson, Cherokee Bluff, senior
PK – Tyler Curland, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior
SPEC – Zac Mixon, Greater Atlanta Christian, senior
On Wednesday I stopped by one of the local rec departments to iron out some details for an upcoming event that Team FYN Sports plans to cover. As often happens in small towns where time seems to move a little slower, you can’t go into a place where people are as close as a rec department and just have your meeting and leave. You end up talking about something like, in this case sports, that leads into one topic after another. Add a couple more people into the mix that you haven’t seen in a while and soon enough you glance down at your watch and you’ve been there for two hours with no idea where the time went. Southerners especially know what I mean.
Anyway, naturally with this being SEC country we had to talk about college football. And even more so when one of the people in the conversation was a Tennessee fan (you know who you are!)
Eventually our conversation turned to memories of our first college football games. The memories spanned years and were entwined with heartfelt stories of family, friends and Sanford stadium. There were tales of witnessing games where records were set and broken, of firsts and lasts. A couple of us could even recall games with rivalries so bitter that a rowdy fan from the opposing team was either physically injured or injured with glares.
For each of us that was sitting in the room we had a look of wonder in our eye. We were recalling memories that were so precious to us that we wouldn’t trade them for all the University of Florida defeats in the world. Especially the ones were loved ones were involved. Those are always the most precious.
Hearing those glorious tales took me back to my own first University of Georgia game. I couldn’t tell you who they were playing, but I remember watching the team run out with the big Georgia flag and feeling a since of pride I hadn’t felt before. I was with my mom and my grandparents. I had never seen my Nana get so rowdy. And my Papa Skip was especially proud to have the three most important women in his life with him and dressed in red and black. And a new love was born for me.
As a side note, my brother would later commit the ultimate sin in that side of the family and declare himself to be a Florida fan. I’m sure it broke Papa’s heart at the time, but he soon got over it when he had someone to accompany him to the Georgia/Florida game besides my Nana. Such is the seriousness of rivalries in the Southeastern Conference.
I know I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I firmly believe that nothing besides religion brings people together like a football game. Which is probably why it’s so common to refer to football as a religion in the South. You may hate someone during the week, but come Saturday morning if you’re both wearing red and black you’re going to at least be cordial.
I know that it may be more intense in other college towns, but in Athens people will arrive a full day early to claim their tailgating spots. Red and black tents flood the streets of downtown on every plot of grass that grows. Women (including myself) will go to get their nails and hair done ahead of time, and dress to the nine in ninety degree weather. There is no telling how many hundreds of thousands of dollars get spent on food and drinks for one weekend of tailgating alone.
I was recently watching an old episode of the show Designing Women. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, it’s about four women running an interior design firm in Atlanta. In one scene Julia Sugarbaker, who is the sharp-tongued primary owner of the firm, is leaving for a football game with one of her co-workers. Sadly, she was going to a Georgia Tech game, but we’ll overlook that part for now.
As the two characters are heading out the door, Julia says that she and her husband used to plan their weekends around the Georgia Tech games. She quips, “In the East, football is a cultural exercise. In the Midwest, it’s cannibalism. In the West, it’s a tourist attraction. But in the South, it’s a religion!”
According to a Fannin County Football tweet, the Rebels played the Copper Basin Cougars for the first time last night since 1997. After waiting for twenty-two years, the rival teams finally went head to head in a scrimmage once again. The stadium was packed and the energy was high. Fans from all over came out to see how the game would unfold.
Fannin came out ready to play and it showed from their performance. For Fannin’s first offensive play of the game, junior quarterback Luke Holloway threw a long pass to wide receiver Cohutta Hyde for a touchdown straight out of the gate. Sara Sosebee and Alex White were on fire with their 100% made field goals. It didn’t take long for the Rebels defense to take down the Cougars offense. Fannin gained a lot of yards by having a good passing game throughout the night. The Rebels scored their second touchdown of the night by a pass to senior running back, Treylyn Owensby. As Basin had the ball on offense, it wasn’t far up the field before Rebel, Seth Reece, intercepted the ball to end the first quarter with Fannin ahead 14-0.
Owensby was the go to guy for Holloway to hand off to and gain yards. As the Rebels got closer to the end zone, Luke made a pass to Hyde in the corner for another touchdown! On a Copper Basin first down, there was a long throw up the field to Cougar, Tim Jabley, for Basin’s first touchdown. When it came time for the field goal attempt, it was no good, putting the score at 21-6. That is until Fannin decided to follow the trend with a pass to Cohutta Hyde for another Rebel touchdown, closing out the second quarter with a score of 35-6.
The Cougars played a short amount of offense before Fannin was able to get the ball back. Once the Rebels had possession, Holloway made a pass to Hyde for him to score his fourth and final touchdown of the night. During Basin’s first offensive play, Carson Beavers got an interception and ran it all the way back for a touchdown. After Basin faced Fannin’s unstoppable defense, Caleb Postell was handed the ball and ran it to the end zone for another Rebel touchdown. Instead of kicking a field goal, Fannin went for a two point conversion, but failed at the attempt. The Rebels went into the fourth quarter with a 55-6 lead.
To start off the fourth quarter, freshman David Mashburn went in for Holloway as quarterback. Fannin mostly ran the ball during the fourth quarter and played a solid defense. Both teams held the other and stopped them from scoring more touchdowns. As the buzzer sounded, Fannin walked away with a 55-6 victory over Copper Basin!
Catch Fannin’s next scrimmage, Friday at Hayesville, starting at 7:30!