Over the last week and a half BKP and I have been going from school to school interviewing head football coaches for our North Georgia Coaching Series. Now if any of y’all know BKP, you’ll know what I mean when I say that he’s been doing most of the talking and I’ve been doing most of the observing. But this doesn’t bother me, it gives me a chance to learn more about the programs I’ll be spending a lot of time with this fall.
With that being said, there’s one thing in particular I’ve been noticing in our interviews, and that’s how much these coaches truly care about their players and their programs.
Now me saying that might make some of y’all think, “Well, duh. That’s what they’re supposed to do.” Well, maybe. But I like to think I’m pretty good at picking up when someone is just putting on an act for appearances. And I can say with all sincerity that none of these coaches are doing that.
Obviously when BKP and I go into these interviews, he asks questions about what the teams have been doing during the summer and how they’re planning to prepare for the regular season. But he also asks the coaches if they can highlight a few players that have really stood out. This point in the interview, I believe, is where a coach who didn’t care would possibly just say a couple names and move on.
But these coaches not only name the players, they tell us about why they stand out. And it’s a sign of the hard work of these athletes, but there’s also a sense of pride from these coaches as they name them. A couple of coaches have mentioned that it’s hard to name just a few, because all of their players have worked hard. And it’s not that the rest of the team doesn’t matter or that they don’t care about them, but the ones that they mention they do so without hesitation because they’ve been there with them through the summer truly coaching them. There’s no so-so about the commitment these coaches make- they’re all in.
Another thing that has amazed me about these coaches, not just in the interviews but learning about them off the field, is how much they care about their community as well. A couple of them, such as Chad Cheatham at Fannin County and Chad McClure at Hayesville, are natives to their communities. It’s home to them, and they’re not going to be just halfway in their commitments to their programs.
When Coach Caleb Sorrells of the Lumpkin County Indians was first named as head coach, the school hosted a meet and greet for him. It was one of the first stories I covered in this position.
In his address to the parents, Sorrells promised to not only invest in the team as players and athletes, but as men who would one day be employees and fathers. I remember being caught off guard at first because I was expecting him to talk about plans for the future of the program, the summer schedule and what not. He did talk about these things, but I believe by telling the parents that he was going to invest in the players as men showed that it was going to be a priority.
Although I know more about the commitment that Sorrells has made because I’m positioned in Lumpkin County, he’s not the only one in the area who gets involved in the community and works to build up the athletes’ character.
Tim Cokely with the White County Warriors has an entire wall of his office decorated with signs of good character qualities to instill in the team. Chad Cheatham, who I mentioned earlier, referees basketball in the football off-season just because, and the community loves him for it. I’m sure that many of the other coaches in the area do similar things and I just don’t know about it yet.
These are commitments that we see played out by coaches in movies and don’t always think to look for in real life. And because I grew up in Gwinnett County, population one million, if there was this sort of commitment by coaches I didn’t always see it because there were so many people. I love living up here in North Georgia in a smaller community where an act of kindness, especially where sports are concerned, rarely goes unnoticed.
We think about football as a sport that instills a since of discipline, but why is that? Because there’s a coach that sets that standard and inspires the team to do the same. As a community we love football and we love our team, and we can thank a coach for that.
The Clay County Lions Club is hosting a Fundraiser on Saturday evening, September 22, 2018, from 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm in the beautifully renovated Fellowship Hall of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church located at 1433 US Hwy 64, Hayesville, NC.
The Fundraiser will be an evening of great music from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s with a live DJ, a spectacular dance, a fabulous dinner by Amazing Grace Caterers, dozens of door prizes, and an available cash bar.
Tickets are $60 per person and are available at the Historic Hayesville Centennial Exhibit, Clay County Chamber of Commerce, Tiger’s Department Store and Bella Boutique in Downtown Hayesville.
Tickets are also available from any Clay County Lions Club Member, and at the Towns County Chamber of Commerce and Monte Alban Restaurant in Hiawassee. A portion of each ticket may be tax deductible.
100% of the net proceeds will go to further the Lions Club’s charitable activities in Clay County, including the providing of free eye exams and eyeglasses to residents in need; donations to local charities such as Clay County Community for Students, Christmas Care of Clay County, the VFW and Shop with a Hero all to help children in need in Clay County; support of Historic Hayesville, Inc.; and recent work to rehab the covered Lions Pavilion at the Clay County Recreation Park that is used by so many residents and visitors to Clay County. For further information, contact Neil Kaplan at (703) 725-9819
The Lady Rebels were off to a rocky start at the beginning of their game against the Lady Yellow Jackets this past Friday in Hayesville, NC. Although their approach to the game started off rough, the Lady Rebels continued to persevere and ended up finishing the game strong with just two pesky points in their way of victory. The Lady Yellow Jackets win over the Lady Rebels put them at a winning streak of three games in a row while the Lady Rebels are still fighting for their sixth win.
During the first quarter, the Lady Rebels were struggling with defense and communication. The Lady Jackets took advantage of the Rebels miscommunication by driving the lane and scoring outside shots. With the Rebels finally getting the hang of how to put up a fight against the Yellow Jackets, Hayesville ended the first quarter with a lead of 14-6.
Something sparked in the Lady Rebels between the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the second. It looked like the Rebels were a new team when they took the court to begin the second quarter. The Lady Rebels started playing aggressive by driving the lane to score points and taking charges to prevent the Lady Jackets from expanding their lead. Lady Rebel post, Makenzie McClure, led Fannin in scoring with nineteen points. Another Rebel at the post position, Hope Franklin, was right behind McClure with eighteen points. However, the Lady Jackets did most of their damage from the outside. Yellow Jacket number 3, Savanna Annis, was on fire above the key and led her team in scoring with 23 points due to her ability to make three pointers. Annis made four three point shots throughout the night, this included a buzzer beater that she made at the end of the second quarter which put the score at 28-21 going into halftime with the Yellow Jackets still in the lead.
Although the Lady Yellow Jackets led in three point shots, the Lady Rebels also had their fair share of threes. Maleah Stepp drew the ball out above the key and saw the perfect opportunity to swoosh a three pointer and add onto Fannin’s score. Three of Hope Franklin’s eighteen points came from above the key as well. Out of the nine points that Maddie Johnson scored, six were from the three point shots she made. Freshman, Abby Ledford, also contributed to the trend by making a three point shot for the Lady Rebels.
As the third quarter carried on, the Lady Yellow Jackets lead grew farther from the Lady Rebels score. Although the Lady Rebels fell behind in points, that did not stop the team from battling to make a come back. Lady Rebel, Mackenzie Johnson, started drawing fouls and contributed one point from a made foul shot. Another Rebel, Savada Collins, was an asset to Fannin’s defense by getting steals throughout the game and contributing two points for her team. With the end of the third quarter ending, the Lady Yellow Jackets had a 41-32 lead over the Lady Rebels.
The Lady Rebels intensity came alive at the start of the fourth quarter. Fannin wanted to desperately make a come back and it showed through their hustle. The Lady Rebels started putting heavy defensive pressure on the Lady Yellow Jackets which resulted in more fouls called on both teams. As the Lady Rebels score got closer to the the Lady Yellow Jackets, fans from both teams started fighting every call that the referees made. Despite Fannin’s force at the very end of the game, they endured a loss to Hayesville with a score of 57-55.
The Lady Rebels loss to the Lady Yellow Jackets puts Fannin’s overall record at 5-6 while Hayesville stands 6-3. Fannin County High School will be hosting the Mountaintop Holiday Classic on December 28-30 where you can catch the Lady Rebels next basketball game.
It was a high action, yet low scoring game in the first quarter of the Fannin vs Hayesville basketball game this past Friday. The Fannin Rebels took on the undefeated Hayesville Yellow Jackets in North Carolina in hopes of getting their second win of the season.
It appeared to be an even game from the start. Both teams were refusing to let the other one score until Ryan Beavers drew a foul and scored the first point with just 3:32 left in the first quarter. Top scorer for the Yellow Jackets, Josh Cottrell, was the only Hayesville player to score in the first quarter with six of the nineteen points he scored overall. The Rebels started taking outside shots which resulted in Rebel, Payton Holt, contributing three points for Fannin out of his ten overall. The Hayesville Yellow Jackets took the lead at the end of the first quarter with a score of 6-4.
With the Rebels right behind the Yellow Jackets, Fannin picked up their intensity. Rebel, Chandler Kendall, led Fannin in scoring with twelve points due to his powerful ball handling skills. Another Rebel, Joe Satchell, had an endless hustle that contributed two more points for his team. At the end of the second quarter, Hayesville was leading 15-12 with Fannin behind by three points.
Everyone in the stands were on their feet for the third quarter. Both teams were giving it their all on the court. There were fouls after fouls, shots after shots, and steals after steals. The Rebels finally took the lead half way through the quarter just to get it taken away from them. The Fannin Rebels starting looking up the court for open teammates and found Cohutta Hyde. Hyde started driving the lane and put six points on the board for the Rebels. Fans were rioting at every blow of the whistle. The Yellow Jackets had the lead at the end of the third quarter with a score of 29-22.
You could cut the tension in the gym with a knife. Neither team was giving up. The Yellow Jackets kept fighting to keep their lead while the Rebels fought just as hard to take it away. When Hayesville would try to drive the lane, Fannin would start to take charges and draw fouls. This resulted in Hayesville’s outside shooting to come alive during the second half which allowed the Yellow Jackets to do most of their damage with three point shots. Even when the Yellow Jackets lead got larger, the Rebels still kept up their intensity. Even though the Rebels fought until the end, unfortunately it was not enough for them to walk away with a win. The Hayesville Yellow Jackets buzzed away with a win of 45-31 over the Fannin Rebels.
The Rebels loss to the Yellow Jackets puts Fannin’s overall record at 1-10 while the Yellow Jackets remain undefeated with a record of 9-0. Fannin County High School will be hosting the Mountaintop Holiday Classic on December 28-30 where you can catch the Rebels next basketball game.