As many of you reading this probably already know, it’s not uncommon to see a female reporter on your TV screen for sports outlets like ESPN or Fox Sports. Women are branching out into the sports world unlike ever before, with just as much if not more knowledge than their male co-workers.
Unfortunately, despite the strides already made, I believe sexism still exists in the sports world. I think some men find it hard to believe that women are getting into sports because it isn’t “feminine” or a hobby that they should naturally enjoy. These men don’t realize that a woman’s enjoyment of sports often begins with spending time with a loved one. I always like to mention my Papa Skip, and the football knowledge I gained from being around him and spending Saturdays in Athens.
But whatever reason people have for why a woman shouldn’t work in sports, this post is dedicated to those women who haven’t been listening.
I’ve always been a fan of Erin Andrews, mainly because the girl knows her stuff. Although she’s primarily spotted on the sidelines of NFL games, Andrews has covered everything from College GameDay on ESPN to the World Series. Outside of sports she’s had the opportunity to contribute news to Good Morning America and currently co-hosts on Dancing with the Stars. Side note: she also spent some time in nearby Atlanta covering the Braves, Thrashers and Hawks for Turner South. Whenever people think of successful women in the sports arena, Andrews is usually one of the first ones that comes to mind.
Unfortunately her fame from her work as a sportscaster has not made her immune to those who want to tear her down. In 2008 a man filmed her completely nude through a hotel door peep hole and posted the video online. The video went viral, and Andrews sued the man along with the hotel company and several others. Although Andrews eventually won her case, the time period from when the video was filmed until the suit ended lasted eight years. I can only imagine the embarrassment and anxiety that she endured during that time. I admire her strength and perseverance.
As a die-hard Braves fan, another reporter I’ve watched a lot of and enjoy seeing is Kelsey Wingert. I love Wingert’s delivery on camera because it comes across as so natural. While she does typically have a notebook on hand, she does not use a teleprompter to read a script. In other words, she also knows her stuff.
I follow Wingert on social media, and another thing I like about her is her constant interaction with fans. There have been numerous times I’ve scrolled through my Twitter feed and seen her respond to a fan asking for a chance to meet her during a game. It’s always met with a yes, as soon as the Braves are finished batting.
I could talk all day about female athletes who have also made waves in sports. On Tuesday, the United States women’s national soccer team defeated Thailand 13-0 in the first game of the world cup. Of course we all know the controversy in recent years about the players receiving less pay than their male counterparts.
A fellow reporter told me a story the other day about a young female athlete he once covered who wanted to play baseball in Louisiana. The locals were not having it, and despite all of her hard work throughout the season, she missed out on being able to play one of the biggest games of that year. However, as is the theme for this entire post, she didn’t let that stop her from continuing to work hard. I haven’t mentioned yet that she was also a phenomenal basketball player, and she is Kim Mulkey, head coach of the Baylor women’s basketball team.
The point I’m trying to make here is that there’s no point in trying to hold women back from sports, when we’ve proved time and time again that we know what we’re doing and we can do it really well. I’m sure if you asked each of these women I’ve mentioned if they agree, they would.
I’m thankful for the people along the way, most of them men, that have helped me to see I can do whatever I set my mind to. I’m afraid that sometimes as a society we still judge people based on how they look before we look to see what they can do. Fortunately for me, I have these women who I have already mentioned, and many more who have blazed the trail for me. I believe it’s partially my job to make sure that path continues to stay lit for those after me.
About five years ago I told my dad, who is one of my biggest fans but also one of the most blunt people you’ll ever meet, that I wanted to be the first female head coach in the NFL.
“You can’t do that, Lauren,” he said.
“Why?” I argued.
I was expecting some drawn-out response about how I didn’t know enough about football.
“Because you can’t go in the men’s locker room,” he said flatly.
Ah, I hadn’t thought of that.
That was my senior year of high school, and never did I think I would be where I am now.
I grew up an UGA fan; my grandad attended college there in the ’60s and the red and black passed down into my veins. I learned to spell Georgia by chanting the fight song in my head (I still do subconsciously whenever I have to write it out!) I had an UGA cheerleader outfit and one of my baby pictures has me holding a stuffed bulldog. One of my nana’s fondest memories is of dancing around the living room with me as an infant when Georgia scored a big touchdown against Georgia Tech. I’ve never considered myself athletic, but I believe I owe a lot of my passion for sports to Papa Skip and Nana.
Flash forward a few years and the first time I stepped foot on a sideline was as a cheerleader for the 8th grade Mill Creek rec football league. Cheerleading was not for me, and within a year I traded in pom poms for a six-foot flag pole as a member of the Mill Creek High School Colorguard.
In high school I lived for Friday night lights, and I have many fond memories of screaming myself hoarse for the Hawks while in the stands with the marching band. It was a well-known fact that I was the most spirited person in the band when it came to football, and while my coach would be yelling at me to pay attention during our warm-ups I’d be busy trying to figure out how much yardage we’d gotten from the last pass.
I guess my fellow classmates took note of my love for the game as well, because they voted me their Homecoming Queen my senior year. That is still one of my all-time favorite memories from high school- hearing my name called while standing on the 50 surrounded by family and friends.
I graduated from Mill Creek in 2015 but I had a hard time staying away from Markham Field. The University of North Georgia doesn’t have a football team, and Mill Creek decided to get really good the year after I left (this was the fall of 2015, the year they got knocked out by Colquitt County one round before the state championship.)
In the spring of 2016 I heard of an opportunity to work for the Gwinnett Braves, Triple-A minor league affiliate for the Atlanta Braves. Needing a summer job but hoping to avoid retail, I took it. I spent the next two summers as a Guest Relations Representative scanning tickets and welcoming fans. In addition to my already-sound knowledge of football, I learned all I could about America’s favorite pastime and a new love was born.
I spent one more summer at Coolray Field before graduating college, and this time it was as a member of the Promotional Team. That may be the most fun I ever had at work. Our team set up the on-field promotional games, signed up contestants, sold 50/50 raffle tickets and overall worked to make sure people had a good time. I certainly did- the memories I made with my team that year will forever be some of my favorites.
For a while I told people that I wasn’t interested in sports journalism, but the Lord as he fortunately often does had other plans. I got the opportunity to intern with the UNG Athletic Department my senior year of college, and I left Gwinnett County to plant some roots in the North Georgia mountains.
Two months ago I still wasn’t certain that I’d ever work in sports again, but when baseball started back up I knew I couldn’t live without it. I was fortunate enough to find an opportunity to apply with FetchYourNews.com, and even more fortunate to get an offer. And here we are.
I don’t tell you all this to brag on my accomplishments or give you some long-winded biography. I want to be just as much a part of your community as you all are now a part of my daily life. When I come to your sideline I want to know each of you and each of you know me. Part of being a great sports reporter is establishing a relationship with your team and community. Part of that relationship includes establishing trust, and how can you can trust someone if you don’t even know them?
One of the biggest reasons I keep working in sports is because of the the communities they create and the people I get to meet. There’s something about having a team to rally around that gets inside of you and never leaves. The people I have met so far and the connections I have made are priceless and will forever be a part of who I am and a big reason for why I do what I do.
So here’s to the journey ahead, and here’s to memories that are yet to be made and the relationships yet to be formed. I can’t wait North Georgia!
The U.S. Women’s National Team has been making headlines recently for victories as a team, and as individuals for political statements.
Last week, the team won their second back-to-back World Cup. Shortly after the game, player Allie Long was seen dropping an American flag during the post-game celebration. Her teammate Kelley O’Hara recognized the significance of a flag being dropped on the ground, and immediately scooped it up.
One report from The Daily Wire explained that Long dropped the flag to participate in a celebratory dance with teammate Megan Rapinoe. But the video quickly went viral and comments poured in criticizing Long for her carelessness and thanking O’Hara for stepping in.
It’s very possible that Long meant no disrespect, but just got caught up in the moment and didn’t know that an American flag is NEVER supposed to touch the ground. Nonetheless, millions of viewers were not happy.
If you watch the video, it doesn’t appear that Long is trying to make any sort of political statement by dropping the flag. However teammate Megan Rapinoe has CERTAINLY been making headlines recently for her statements.
Although Rapinoe is mainly known for being a phenomenal soccer player (she won both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot awards this year), her progressive ideals have, let’s just say…raised eyebrows. Rapinoe is very outspoken about her homosexuality and dislike of President Donald Trump. She has followed the example of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick by refusing to sing or put her hand over her heart during the National Anthem. The pose she makes after scoring a goal of standing with her arms outstretched is supposed to be a symbol of fighting for equal pay, race relations and issues at the United States/Mexican border.
For years athletes have used the attention given them for their athletic success as a means to shed light on their social platforms. There’s nothing wrong with that if they’re promoting awareness for a disease or a foundation that supports children with special needs. But should we as a society draw a line when it comes to political issues?
Some would say there’s no problem- depending on what they do to make the statement. Certainly being a famous athlete gives one more media attention than the average person. Like I mentioned in my last column post, there’s no difference in an athlete and an actor or actress, and they supply their endorsement all the time!
When Colin Kaepernick first kneeled during the National Anthem in 2016, many Americans were outraged. Not necessarily because of his protest of police brutality, but because he chose to do so in a way that many Americans found disrespectful to those who have served in the military. I was, and still am, one of those people. In my opinion Kaepernick and now Rapinoe are missing the mark. Kneeling or not showing respect during the National Anthem is to turn a blind eye to those who have sacrificed everything to give you the freedom to play your sport. It doesn’t have anything to do with first responders.
Nowadays there’s a gray area between sports segments and political talk shows. The two intersect on a daily basis. Just the other day on our live sports show, Instant Replay, my co-host Dave Garner and I had an entire segment dedicated to Nike’s decision to pull the sneakers with a design of the American flag sewn by Betsy Ross on the back. This decision was made after Kaepernick insisted that the flag had a racial history.
I suppose the whole reason this gray area exists is because of the technological advancements of the media. Celebrities who want use their status as a means to promote a certain viewpoint can do so more quickly because of how easy it is to post to Twitter. And in a society that demands news at every moment, something has to take up time in a sports show!
So back to the original question- should there be a line, and if so, where?
Here’s my opinion- sports is sports and politics is politics. Part of the reason I watch a football game or a baseball game is because I want to watch a football game or a baseball game. We are living in a time where politics are more divisive than ever before. One reasons sports are as big as they are today is because of the communities they create. Why should we mix something that causes so many problems to interfere with something that is supposed to help solve them?
When I turn on ESPN, I don’t want to listen to people debate over what is considered disrespectful to the National Anthem. And the next time I watch Fox News, I DARN sure don’t want to hear the name Colin Kaepernick.
Recently I’ve started watching the show Friday Night Lights again. Let me just say- this is partially important because I’m not a big TV show person. I don’t have the patience to sit through an hour-long episode nor do I usually have the time to keep up with a series. But I figure with pre-season football kicking in and the fall season quickly approaching, revisiting a show that revolves around high school football is one of the best ways to get me hyped up for what’s to come.
Watching this series has also made me think about a couple of things. For one, why do we as a society rally so much around a sport that’s played by boys no older than 18-years-old? Second, do we put too much pressure on athletes who play the game? And finally, is the hype and the pressure truly worth it?
I think the answer can be summed up pretty easily- yes. And why? For love of the game.
But the love of the game is different for each of us. We’re not all going to attend every single football game or spend thousands of dollars to sit in Sanford every Saturday. We all have our limits, and in my opinion that’s perfectly okay.
I like to say that there’s something about having a team that you love that will get inside of you and never leave. I find it fascinating that there are towns across America like Dillon, Texas that will show up in the thousands to support their Panthers. Coaches and players are local celebrities, and you get your butt in the stands every Friday night just as religiously as a pew on Sunday morning. I came from a high school of nearly 4,000 students and a county of almost one million people, but the same spirit that rallies much smaller towns across the country still pulses through mine.
Yes, oftentimes I’m afraid that means we put too much pressure on the athletes who play the game. In my own personal experience, at the high school level we had so many students that it was nearly impossible to know the daily goings-on at the field house. But it was that age-old cycle of that when we would win, the coaches and players would be praised. One loss and the attitude switched faster than the direction of a twister.
But one of the many great things about this country is we have the freedom of choice in many of our decisions. Even though the athletes and coaches who play these games catch a lot of grief, they still have the choice to walk away. Some do. But for those who don’t? I’d venture to say it’s for love of the game.
When it comes to putting pressure on athletes, especially young ones, I believe the relationship is a two-way street. They should know what they’re doing, but despite all the love we have for the game, we need to understand when enough is enough. I’ve heard the term “daddy ball” thrown around a lot before, and it makes me sad to think that there are parents out there who try to live through their children. It’s important to love and support them, but even more important to let them develop their own love for their game.
Finally, like I mentioned earlier, everyone’s love for the game is different. My Papa Skip, who I probably talk to the most about sports, has a different appreciation for them than I do. I’ll use UGA football as an example. He attended classes at UGA- I never have. He still goes every year to the UGA/Florida game in Jacksonville- I’ve only gone once. He pays each year to have season tickets for the home games- I CERTAINLY don’t do that, although when he doesn’t want them I get first dibs (thanks Papa!)
The point I’m trying to make is while we all may say we love sports, we each love them differently. We each have a certain line we’re willing to cross. But at the same time, come Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday or playoffs, we rally behind our team. And we each get our butts in the stands. Why? For love of the game.
TeamFetchYourNews Sports Reporter’s Player of the Week goes out to 88 Jalen Ingram. Jalen Ingram is a Sophomore at Fannin County High School. Ingram plays Tight End and Defensive Line for the Fannin Rebels. Ingram played a good game Friday night, scoring a 24-yard touchdown for the Rebels. Ingram gained a combined total of 75+ yards in kickoff returns for the Rebels. In the third quarter of the game on Friday, Holloway made a 30-yard connection with Ingram getting the Rebels closer to Trojans red zone.
After the coin toss, Fannin County High School Rebels received the kick off. The Union County Panthers defense shut the Fannin Rebels offense down immediately and seemed to set the tone for the rest of the game. Rebels didn’t cross the 50-yard line into Panther territory before having to give possession back to the Panthers.
In the Panthers first possession, they made quick work of crossing the 50-yard line into Rebel territory. The Panthers were able to move the ball for a new first down. It didn’t take long for the Panthers to be up 14-0 over the Rebels in the first quarter.
Panthers defense was determined to hold their lead by not allowing the Rebels offense into Panther territory. No matter what moves the Rebels made, the Panthers defense was there to shut it down.
With only seconds remaining in the first half, the Rebels had possession deep in Panther territory. The Rebels had the Panthers end zone in sight. #12 Luke Holloway’s pass was intercepted and ran all the way back for a Panther touchdown, smashing whatever hopes the Rebels had of getting a touchdown.
At the end of the first half, the Panthers had found themselves in the Rebels paint, lighting up the scoreboard and leaving Rebels in the dust 35-0. The Rebels may have felt a little stunned by Panthers fast-paced offense and shut-down defense.
The Panthers opened on offense in the second half, nothing had changed as Panthers lit up the scoreboard when a Panther ran downfield into Rebels end zone as they lit up the scoreboard once again. Panther’s increased their lead 42-0.
Unfortunately, Rebels #47 Tate Heaton, was ejected from the game due to a personal foul for what seemed to be shoving a Panther’s player after the touchdown. According to GHSA rules, a player ejected from a game is not allowed to play the following game. So, it’s possible that Heaton will not be playing in Fridays game against Chestatee High School.
With a 42-0 lead in the third quarter, this gave Coach Allison a perfect opportunity to rotate players in the game. After the Panthers made substitutions, the Rebels offense was able to move the ball into Panther territory.
With each possession, the Rebels seemed to get closer to Panthers end zone. It was in the last few seconds of the 3rd quarter, that the Rebels set themselves up for a potential touchdown. The Rebels ended the 3rd quarter on Panthers 1-yard line.
The first play of the 4th quarter, the Rebels finally found the Panthers end zone and on the scoreboard with the extra point, changing the score 42-7. The Panthers answered the Rebels with a touchdown and the extra point making it 49-7.
A Rebel highlight, late in the game, Rebels #15, Chandler Kendall, got an interception and about a 15-yard gain, which gave the Rebels the ball. In the last 4 minutes of the game, both Panthers and Rebels opted to run a ground game. The game ended with the Panthers winning 49-7 on their home turf.
The Fannin Rebels will pick up next weeks game at 7:30 at home against Chestatee High School. Come out to support our Rebels as they play their 4th game of the season. Let’s go Rebels!
The Fannin County High School Rebels took on the North Hall High School Trojans Friday night for their third game in the regional conference. The Trojans came out of the locker room ready to rumble and executed offensive plays to gain the win over the Rebels, 62-13.
In the first quarter, the Rebels received the kickoff and started on their own 20-yard line. The Rebels attempted to find holes in Trojan’s defense but was limited. 12 Luke Holloway made a 24-yard connection to 88 Jalen Ingram for the first touchdown of the game. Shortly after, Holloway gained a 10-yard touchdown rush, 86 Sarah Sosebee with the extra point put 13 on the scoreboard for the last time of the night. The Rebels had a combined total of 137-yards compared to Trojans 248-yards, and a score of 27-13 Trojans.
The second quarter was even more difficult for the Rebels as they tried to get down field but between incomplete passes, flags for ‘false starts’ and ‘offsides’, the Rebels just didn’t have luck on their side. The Rebels gained 15-yards compared to Trojans’ 144-yards, 41-13 Trojans.
Coming out of halftime, the Rebels pulled together more yards than the previous quarter, a combined total of 85-yards, but the glimmer of hope the Rebels felt when the Trojan’s end zone was in sight, was snuffed out by an interception. The Trojans gained 142-yards adding to their lead, 55-13.
The Fannin Rebels suffered a great loss during the third quarter when 15 Chandler Kendall, a senior at FCHS, was seriously injured after colliding with a Trojan. Kendall played his very first season of high school football this year and since has had some great plays on the field. Kendall was also featured as last week’s Player of the Week for TeamFYNSports.
Kendall’s father shared, “Update on Chandler… Broken collarbone but not displaced 4 to 6 weeks. He said he was thankful for the life long memories made over the last 8 weeks. He would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Had a blast AWESOME EXPERIENCE.”
In the fourth quarter, the Trojans opted to run the clock out after their 80-yard touchdown, with the extra point, the Trojans had a decimating lead of 62-13. While in possession, the Rebels broke even on yards after a tackle for a loss of 5-yards kept them behind the 40-yard line before the turnover. The Trojans were in possession once more before the final buzzer.
With a game total of 660+ yards, the Trojans brought home the W. It was their back-to-back touchdowns in the first half that set them apart from the Rebels. The Trojans came out onto the field seeing scoring opportunities and answering efficiently with 4 touchdowns in the first quarter and 2 more in the second quarter.
The Rebels play their 4th regional game at home against Dawson County High School at 7:30pm. Dawson Tigers are coming off a bye week after losing to Greater Atlanta Christian, 23-20. The Tigers are 6-1 overall, and 2-1 in the Region. Come out to support the Rebels this Friday as they take on the Tigers.
High school athletics are a huge part of character development for our young men and women, teaching them how to overcome adversity, work together, balance studies with extracurricular activities, and last but not least: It is their first legitimate introduction to health and fitness.
You may have heard of the “Five Parts of Physical Fitness” before – but there are actually 11 components of what a coach evaluates when assessing the physical fitness of an athlete.
3. Body Composition
4. Cardiovascular Endurance
7. Muscular Endurance
8. Muscular Strength
10. Reaction Time
We use these components of physical fitness in our everyday lives, but the first true test of each of these measures typically comes by way of high school sports. Strength coaches help their athletes with endurance, strength, power and balance. Conditioning coaches help their athletes with cardiovascular endurance, reaction time, coordination and agility. All coaches typically impact an athletes body composition, flexibility and speed.
The one coach who assists the athletes with all of the above, however, is the athletic trainer. Day or night, when there is a ball game, a wrestling tournament, a track meet, or even at power puff flag football; the athletic trainer stands ready to help the athletes prevent accidents, stay hydrated, and in worst-case scenarios; diagnose and treat injuries as they occur. Oftentimes their hard work is overshadowed by the gameplay itself, but when a player goes down these coaches show their true value by coming to the immediate aide of all involved. Humbly waiting in the shadows of the sidelines, the athletic trainer answers the call that no one else would ever want to.
Fannin County High School’s head athletic trainer is Jeremy Keith King, a 2007 FCHS graduate who went on to study Sports Medicine with an emphasis in Athletic Training at Valdosta State University. Coach King graduated with his Bachelor of Science degree in 2011 and after completing his internship at Northeast Medical Center/The Rehabilitation Institute in Gainesville, Ga, he began his career at Fannin County High School.
In 2013, he was hired as the Head Athletic Trainer for FCHS, and he was offered a full time teaching position in Healthcare Science.
When asked about his experience, King shared that he’s worked closely with multiple doctors, chiropractors, physical therapists and EMT’s; as well as many other sports medicine professionals. “To come home to my high school and serve as the head athletic trainer and instructor of the Sports Medicine program is a dream come true for me,” King told TeamFYNSports.
We asked one of his students/trainers about her experience learning from the head athletic trainer and participating in the Sports Medicine program at FCHS. Trudy Cobb is a senior, and could be seen carrying water bottles to players, coaches and even GHSA officials at each home and away football game this year.
“It’s a great experience to get to learn things that people my age don’t usually know,” Cobb told TeamFYNSports. “Coach King is a great teacher inside the classroom working with all high school grade levels, but in OUR program we learn SO MUCH MORE.” Cobb shared that she has been introduced to many healthcare professionals by King, and she felt that has helped her understand and develop a genuine interest in sports medicine as a potential career.
“I truly think that the key to knowing if you want to be in that career, you should immerse yourself into those type of situations,” Cobb explained, “but through [King’s] program, I have learned the hands-on of taping an ankle and working on rehabilitating athletes. You have to know the ins-and-outs of each and every sport because not only are you watching – and hopefully enjoying – the games; you must also know the essential motions of movements that the particular athletes you are working with use. It’s an experience that I am very blessed to have been a part of through my years in high school.”
Although his position at FCHS is a demanding one, King still makes time for his family and his other passions.
“I am happily married to Christa [King] and we have two daughters, Evie and Lyla,” said King. “They attend Fannin County schools.” He added that he and his wife recently welcomed their son, Thaddeus, to “Rebel Nation” this year.
King is also a member of the Blue Ridge Rugby Club and he is a proud member of the Phi Sigma Kappa National Fraternity. “I currently still serve as a mentor and advisor for new members [of Phi Sigma Kappa] and I serve on the Alumni Board of Executives,” King explained.
TeamFYNSports had an opportunity to catch up with Coach King, and since this is the time of year so many people tend to look at their new year resolutions, we thought we’d ask him if he had any advice for anyone getting out to the gym to try and shed a few pounds after a relatively sedentary holiday break. Here’s what he had to say:
“From an injury prevention measure, know your limitations. Don’t feel like you have to show out, your body can not just pick up right where it left off. Slowly ease yourself back into a workout program and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Gyms have personal trainers there to give you feedback and help you – if they don’t – consider a different gym. Also, don’t forget about the diet and stretching parts of a workout program. If you are wanting to get stronger or healthy, the diet is an important part of it. Our body needs “good” fuel to run on, especially if we are asking more from it. Stretching is important before and after a workout. Get a good dynamic (moving) 10-minute warm-up in before your start and a good cool down period before you stop. Static stretching (holding a stretch) is best after you are done with you entire workout. Remember it is all a process and results do not happen overnight, so stick with it even when you feel like giving up.”
We also asked King what was the most common cause for injuries in high school sports. His answer came as no surprise:
“#1 is accidents, stepping on another players foot, a plant and twist of the knee, getting hit. They are all freak accidents that you can’t control. That is where most injuries occur, but there are preventable injuries that happen too. The number one cause of “preventable” injuries in high school sports in my opinion is not stretching enough or not stretching adequately. Whether it is a dynamic warm up or static stretching after practice, kids just don’t do it enough. Our coaches do a great job having warm ups and giving kids time to stretch but if the kids don’t actually put the effort into it then it doesn’t do much good.”
If you’re a parent of a student athlete at FCHS, you may have already known who Coach King was; do us a favor the next time you see him and shake his hand. This is one coach who has put his whole life into his education, then turned around and brought his skills back to Fannin County to apply them in our community.
We are fortunate to have Coach King as the FCHS Head Athletic Trainer.
On Friday, Dec 15, The Fannin County Lady Rebels hosted the Towns County Indians and looking to bounce back after a tough loss the night prior at Dawson County. They also suffered a similar loss on the road earlier in the week at North Hall (Gainesville).
“The snow days definitely affected our girls’ conditioning and focus,” said Fannin Lady Rebels’ head coach Suzianne Pass when asked about the 53-27 North Hall loss. “We didn’t play our best and when you’re playing a team like [North Hall] you have to be at your very best.”
Just one week before falling to North Hall, the Lady Rebels opened region play against rival Union County. The Lady Panthers were able to escape Fannin County High School with a 2-point victory, giving Fannin their first loss in region play. After falling to North Hall and then Dawson County, the season that started so well has begun to take a turn in the wrong direction.
“Dawson County was probably the best team we’ve faced all year,” Suzianne Pass answered when asked about their tough schedule. “Pickens (who was undefeated at the time of our interview) was really good, too, though; and so was North Hall.”
Pickens, North Hall, Dawson County and Union have a combined record of 20-6, with two of those losses coming from favorites to win the state championship in their respective classes.
As the Lady Rebels prepared to regroup this week, coach Pass shed light on some of the positives coming out of their strength of schedule.
“Our girls have come a long way this season,” Pass shared. “They’re beginning to understand the role they each play on the court. I’ve had some heart-to-heart conversations and they know what they have to do. They want to do it.”
As far as the depth chart goes, there was optimism in that area as well.
“We just got one of our experienced players back from injury, and we’ve been waiting on one of our girls who hurt herself early in the year. She should be back soon, hopefully the first of the year.”
When Towns County came to Fannin, the Lady Rebels were motivated and hungry for a win. Towns County showed great tenacity and played hard, but the Rebels would not be denied.
The Lady Rebels led 25-12 at halftime, 44-24 at the end of the third. They would maintain the 20 point lead they held over the Lady Indians as they went on to score a huge victory 53-33.
Hope Franklin led the Lady Rebels offense with 15 points in the game, due mostly to her ability to get in the paint and pull rebounds out of the air at will. Franklin was an unstoppable force under the bucket.
If Franklin was Batman, Makenzie McClure would have to be Robin.
McClure shared Franklin’s desire for rebounds and the two worked better together than peanut butter and jelly. All jokes aside, McClure had a great game, scoring 9 points in the win and earning some big praise from the head coach.
“Makenzie is playing better and better, game after game this year,” Pass told TeamFYNSports. “Maleah Stepp played really well, too, and she hit a big 3 [point basket] in the first quarter when Towns was playing us pretty close.
Stepp finished with 9 points in the win as well.
Maddie Johnson, who could be seen streaking from one end of the floor to the other, was the key ball handler for the Lady Rebels. She took the point and set up the offense and pushed the ball up and down the floor at an urgent, but controlled pace throughout the game. She scored only 3 points offensively, but her performance outweighs the scorebook 10-to-1.
The Lady Rebels (5-4, 0-3) head to White County (7-4, 0-1) and then return to the road Friday afternoon to play Hayesville (NC) before breaking for the Christmas holiday.
“I looked at the schedule this week and thought, why did I schedule us two away games right before Christmas?” Pass said with a chuckle. She went on to explain the fear of her girls’ conditioning and the upcoming Holiday tournament.
“They’re in great shape this time of year but if they were to take this whole week off they would have a tough time playing a three day tournament next week.”
TeamFYNSports looks forward to continuing to cover the Fannin County Lady Rebels as their season progresses. Follow us on twitter @TeamFYNSports and on facebook at www.facebook.com/teamfynsports for all of your local North Georgia sports coverage.
Fannin County Recreation Department is now taking registrations for Spring 2018-Baseball, Softball and Volleyball.
Registration for Baseball includes ages 3-14, Softball includes ages 7-14 and Volleyball includes grades 2-8.
Please call the Rec Department at 706-946-1130 or visit us online at fannincountyrecdept.org for further information.
Join us as TeamFYNSports, FYNTV, FetchYourNews proudly present the LIVE coverage of the entire Gilmer Parks & Recreation annual basketball tournament. Coverage begins Saturday morning and all games will be streamed LIVE on FYNTV.com and our YouTube Channel and we will be posting updates via our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.
Fannin County High School is all set to host the 2017 Thanksgiving Tip-Off Tournament this Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. This year there are only four teams participating in the tournament, with Gilmer, Pickens and Hiwassee Dam all set to enter the gym for round-robin play. The tournament schedule is listed below:
Sat: 3 p.m. Girls: Gilmer vs. Pickens (boys play at 4:30 p.m.)
6 p.m. Girls: Fannin vs. Hiwassee Dam (boys play at 7:30 p.m.)
Mon: 3 p.m. Girls: Pickens vs. Hiwassee Dam (boys play at 4:30 p.m.)
6 p.m. Girls: Fannin vs Gilmer (boys play at 7:30 p.m.)
Tues: 3 p.m. Girls: Gilmer vs. Hiwassee Dam (boys play at 4:30 p.m.)
6 p.m. Girls: Fannin vs. Pickens (boys play at 7:30 p.m.)
The #TeamFYNSports “Fetch Force” will be courtside throughout the event, tweeting updates on our @TeamFYNSports twitter and uploading photos, videos and brief interview clips onto our TeamFYNSports facebook page throughout the tournament. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for full coverage of the games.
BLUE RIDGE, Ga. – This program offers children a great beginning to the wonderful game of tennis. Classes are limited, so each child receives proper personal attention. Mark Miller will be the instructor and, in conjunction with the Fannin County Recreation Department, will be conducting the program. The schedule below lists the dates and times of lessons each week.
Lesson program includes:
Grip, set-up, form, stance, matches etiquette and rules.
City of Blue Ridge tennis courts
350 Gray Street BR
2018 spring schedule
(begins March 20)
Days: Tuesday and Thursday
Time: 3:45 to 5:15 p.m.
Registration fee: $35
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.
You can’t beat Friday night football in North Georgia on Friday night. You can try, but it’s tough to beat. The atmosphere is amazing, with bleachers filled from end zone to end zone. The temperature is perfect, cooling as the sun sets shortly after the National Anthem and coin toss. The attitude of the players is unique, as the eyes of each individual athlete tell a different story from his… or even HER… point of view on the field. There’s only one thing better than playing a football game on Friday night:
Winning a football game on Friday night.
Unfortunately for the Fannin County Rebels, they have been unable to do so since region play began. They beat Andrews, NC 26-0 on September 15th,
but then lost to North Hall (13-0), Greater Atlanta Christian (55-7), Dawson County (43-3) and now Lumpkin County (10-0) this past Friday night.
Make no mistake, they’ve tried. Head Coach Jim Pavao has given his team credit at the end of each game for giving a solid effort in each loss. The players have taken the field each week with a do-or-die mentality, and every coach has actively worked with their skill positions before, during and after the game.
Friday night’s loss against Lumpkin came as a shock to many, but Fannin County defensive coordinator Adam Turner warned BKP on last week’s #Rebel Wrap-up broadcast that the Indians were no push-over. Lumpkin hadn’t won a game all season, but their losses haven’t exactly been blow-outs. In fact, they put up 32 points of offense against Chestatee, a 4A school that runs a very similar offense to the Indians. Chestatee went on to win by 8-points, but that game alone was proof throughout the season that Lumpkin could play the game.
So what happened Friday night at Fannin County High School?
The answer: ridiculously efficient clock-management by the Indians in one of the slowest football games of the year. Early in the first quarter, FCHS head coach Pavao could be heard yelling at his defense from the sidelines: “Huddle up! If they’re going to huddle every play, we’ll huddle, too!”
Most of the AAA Region 7 schools run a fast-paced offense, lining up and looking to the sidelines for their offensive plays so that they can get as many opportunities under center as possible throughout the game.
Lumpkin apparently didn’t get the memo.
The Indians casually strolled to their huddle formation, checked their stocks and banking portfolios on their I-phones, sipped a cup of coffee, caught up on the weather; then strolled back into position for the next play. I think I even saw a trainer using ammonia smelling salts to wake up a left guard from a mid-huddle-nap but I might’ve just been seeing things.
Sportswriter’s note: That last part may or may not be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point. They wanted to use every second of clock possible, keeping the Rebels’ on the field.
The game plan of the Indians? Keep the defense on the field. When the offense took the field: contain the running game.
Each time Cody Jacobs took the hand-off from FCHS senior qb Chandler Smith, he was met by a relatively large, aggressive and hungry defensive front.
Every time the Indians’ qb took a snap, three different people seemed to be carrying the football at the same time and one of them was moving the chains.
As the war-of-attrition unfolded in the first quarter of play, it became clear that this game was going to be a grinder. Fortunately for Lumpkin – their kicker has a leg – and he showed just how well he kicks the football as he split the uprights from 40-yards out to take a 3-0 lead near the end of the quarter.
No one scored again until 4 minutes remaining in the game, when Fannin’s defense finally wore down. It wasn’t an easy touchdown, though. Senior linebacker Austin Brown went up in one-on-one coverage downfield and batted away a would-be touchdown play at the goalline in what was one of the most exciting defensive plays we’ve seen by the Rebels this season. The defense also had a beautiful blocked kick that prevented another score by the Indians.
At the end of the night, however, Fannin fell 10-0 and it was Lumpkin who celebrated midfield.
This Friday, the Rebels travel to Blairsville in the battle of the two winless teams in AAA Region 7: Fannin vs Union. Union has had an extra week to prepare. The Panthers are hosting in their house. It’s senior night. Coach Brian Allison and his staff have undoubtedly spent the extra time memorizing the offensive scheme of the Rebels and his young defense will hope to pull off the win.
Don’t count the Rebels out just yet, though. With the playoff picture eliminiated, they have nothing to lose. It should be a great game. Come out and support your Fannin Rebels as they face Rival Union County Friday night; kickoff is scheduled for 7:30pm.