SEX TRAFFICKERS WILL TARGET ATLANTA
DURING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME WEEKEND
ATLANTA – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia, along with our law enforcement partners, are encouraging both citizens and visitors to be aware of the possibility of sex trafficking during the festivities happening in and around Atlanta this weekend and into next week. In short, if you believe it might be, tell someone.
“Sex traffickers are despicable people, and they use events like the National Championship game to ply their trade,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “These types of events draw large crowds of revelers, and sex traffickers often seek to exploit these types of opportunities. We need everyone’s help in identifying those being trafficked for sex, and in bringing the traffickers to justice.”
Many times those who are being trafficked are homeless, runaway, or abandoned children, but it is not limited to these groups. Traffickers also seek out at-risk individuals, i.e. those individuals suffering from sexual/physical abuse, or dependency, while also exploiting women and children from other countries – typically from impoverished nations.
There are some signs that people should be aware of which may indicate someone is being held against their will and trafficked for sex:
- They do not hold their own identity or travel documents;
- They appear to suffer from verbal or psychological abuse designed to intimidate, degrade and frighten the individual;
- They have a trafficker or pimp who controls all their money – the victim will have very little or no pocket money;
- They are extremely nervous, especially if the victim’s “translator” is their trafficker; and
- They are not allowed to move about by themselves and have little understanding of where they are.
Victims may also lack personal items, possessions, or luggage. They may not have a cell phone or calling card. Most may also lack private space – a trafficker or an enforcer is always present. They most likely will not possess financial records or identification documents, or have any knowledge about how to get around in a community.
The penalties for sex-trafficking are substantial, but can only be enforced with the help of aware citizens. If you wish to report a potential sex-trafficking incident please contact the FBI at (770) 216-3000.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the home page for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia Atlanta Division ishttp://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.
The coaches at Fannin County High School have had the pleasure of coaching some talented individuals over the years. Some athletes shine on the field, others in the weight room, and many are just great students. That’s nothing new in a school that boasts some of the best teaching, coaching and administration the state has to offer.
What’s rare is finding an athlete that encompasses the “total package” – a great student, talented athlete, and a pristine example within the community. A coach can go his entire career hoping to mold and mentor such an athlete. Jon Ayers took over the baseball program at FCHS four years ago, and upon his arrival, he met Will Shirah; i.e. the total package. The credit not only goes to Ayers and the FCHS coaching staff for polishing Shirah’s performance on the baseball field and in the classroom; but also to his parents, Cliff and Julie Shirah, who have raised more than a great baseball player. They’ve raised a fine young man.
Academically speaking, Shirah’s awards nearly outweigh his baseball trophy case. Ranked #1 out of 204 students, the Hugh O’Brien Leadership Award Winner has already earned 25 college semester hours as a Dual Enrollment student with a perfect (4.0) grade point average. A member of the National Honor Society as a sophomore, a member of the FCHS Academic Team both his junior and senior years, and recognized with Student Athlete Community Service Network’s All Area Honors; it’s no surprise Shirah was Senior Superlative voted “Best All Around” student at Fannin County High School.
When Shirah isn’t throwing 90mph fastballs across the plate at the baseball diamond, he’s throwing mashed potatoes and dinner rolls on plates at the Feed Fannin Thanksgiving Dinner as a Charity Good Samaritan volunteer – much slower than the fastballs, thankfully.
Shirah also volunteers to help prepare bags of food, furniture and clothing for homeless and indigent families with his church group at the Copper Basin Crisis Center. He’s a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event leader and actively works with multiple Christian outreach programs such as Fields of Faith.
He is a member of the United Community Bank Junior Board, along with 11 other seniors, which gives back the community by participating in monthly events such as Relay for Life and more.
Shirah’s work as a volunteer with the Fannin County High School Baseball Camp will be missed when he leaves for college, but he will undoubtedly also be missed at First Baptist Church where he regularly helps in the nursery. His resume for community service serves as a role model and positive example for everyone around him, a trait his coaches and parents each shared with everyone in attendance at Shirah’s college commitment signing.
His grades are superior, his involvement in the community is respectable, and his attitude is humble; but his performance on the baseball field is phenomenal.
Shirah has lettered his freshman, sophomore and junior years at FCHS. He was also named All Region First team (7-AAA) all three of those years. He received the pitching award all three years, and he averaged 1.7 K’s per inning pitched with 190 K’s in 108 innings (Author’s note: In baseball scorekeeping, a swinging strikeout is recorded as a K). He received the batting award as a freshman and a junior.
Shirah was recently named to the Preseason All State Region 7-AAA team and he was selected to be on the cover of the 2018 Georgia Dugout Club Preview Magazine. He’s also been named to the Rawlings PG National Preseason Underclass All America Team for the third year in a row. In 2016 and 2017, he made the All-Tournament team in the 17u and 18u World Championships.
Shirah was named to the Top Prospect Team at PG Jr Nationals and Nationals (an invitation only event held in Ft Myers, FL for the nation’s top rising high school junior and senior baseball players).
Truth be told, there are too many accomplishments in Shirah’s high school baseball career to list them all. His ability to play the game has garnered national attention – including baseball recruitment (and/or offers) from Stanford, Notre Dame, Virginia, North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Penn State, Harvard, Coastal Carolina, College of Charleston, and last but not least: Georgia Tech.
On Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 3:45pm, Will Shirah thanked his coaches, parents, friends and teammates. He gave credit to his faith and everyone who supports him as he put pen to paper and signed his commitment to play baseball for the Georgia Tech Yellowjackets. We look forward to following his continued success in the future.
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.
With a slight breeze on a relatively cool October Friday night, it finally felt like football season. The Fannin County Rebels ventured to Dawsonville with aspirations of upsetting the AAA Region 7 stat leaders, only to quickly find out what the hype surrounding Dawson County was very real.
The Fannin County High School Rebels recently garnered national attention for carrying a roster full of flags onto the field prior to kickoff, and once again, the team elected to carry Old Glory onto the field, a reminder to the crowd – and to the country – that these young men believe in honoring our nation and the historic tradition of American football.
The Tigers won the toss and elected to defer, giving the Rebels the opportunity to receive the ball first. After the kickoff, things started out pretty well for Fannin County. Senior quarterback Chandler Smith handed the ball to starting senior running back Cody Jacobs and he took the ball upfield for a first down. A quick snap and another run led to a six yard gain for the Rebels. Energy levels were high on the Fannin sidelines and you could almost see the hair standing up on the back of the offensive line’s necks as Smith took the next snap, stepped back, turned to his left, and threw the ball… directly into the jersey of a defensive back for Dawson County.
In Smith’s defense, the energy in the stadium was out of this world and his adrenaline had to have been turned up to 11; but nonetheless the Tigers seized the opportunity to turn the turnover into points and take an early seven-point lead over the Rebels. Eight minutes later, the Tigers held a 22-0 lead and the Rebels were reeling on their heels trying to stop the bleeding. Each time the Rebels got a drive rolling, something happened to stop them in their tracks: A pass on first down – intercepted. A solid run between the tackles – holding penalty. A qb sweep to the strong side – fumble (recovered by senior lineman Bradley Flowers). It felt like it was Friday the 13th – wait – it was.
The Rebels wouldn’t put points on the board until head coach Jim Pavao elected to take a shot at a 40-yard field goal. Senior kicker Alex White lined up and put the ball through the goal post with room to spare, but at this point the Tigers had put 36 on the board; another touchdown by the Tigers put the game out of reach, 43-3.
Dawson finished the game with 446 yards of total offense, 161 through the air and 285 on the ground. Fannin managed 227 yards of total offense, 105 passing and 122 rushing.
Fannin converted only 5-of-15 third downs, while Dawson converted only 7-of-12 in this game. The Rebels turned the ball over twice, both by way of interceptions, while the Tigers coughed the ball up on a fumble for their only turnover of the night.
Fannin County (2-5, 0-3) hosts Lumpkin County(0-7, 0-3) this week for homecoming, both teams fighting for their first win in region play.
Current AAA Region 7 Standings:
Full stats for the game were not available at the time of publication.
This week’s #TeamFYNSports sportswriter player of the week was an obvious choice: senior Bradley Flowers. Flowers has been the heart of the offensive line all season. In fact, he’s played so well that the Fannin coaching staff recently decided to start using the 260-lb juggernaut on the defensive side of the football in short-yardage goal line situations. Flowers’ most memorable moment offensively Friday night at Dawson County was his offensive fumble recovery that prevented a turnover on the second drive for the Rebels. Later in the game he made a huge hit on defense, preventing what was nearly a touchdown inside the 5-yard line. Catch Bradley Flowers and the rest of the big linemen back in action this week as Fannin hosts Lumpkin County for homecoming.