Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-This one’s for the girls

All of TeamFYNSports, Featured Stories, Sports

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.

Erin Andrews is one of my all-time favorite sports reporters because she knows her stuff!

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.

Kelsey Wingert is another admirable reporter because of her on-air delivery and relationship with fans.

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.

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Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-For love of the game

All of TeamFYNSports, Sports

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.

Why else would my friend Erin and I bundle up in the freezing cold for playoffs? Because we love football!

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.

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Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter

All of TeamFYNSports, Featured Stories, Sports

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.

Papa Skip, Nana, my momma and I at the Georgia v. Florida game in 2017

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.

My senior year of high school I was elected Homecoming Queen. This was the moment after my name was called. Look at my dad’s face!

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.

I worked for the Gwinnett Braves (now Gwinnett Stripers) for three seasons. Here I’m in my third season as a member of the Promo Team.

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!

Lauren Hunter

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Four UNG students named Critical Language Scholarship finalists

Community, News

DAHLONEGA, GA

When University of North Georgia (UNG) freshman Daniel Shearer first learned he was a semifinalist for the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS), he was reluctant to celebrate. The member of UNG’s Corps of Cadets was excited, but he wasn’t a finalist — until now. “I feel very fortunate to have won,” he said. “I honestly didn’t have high expectations, but I am glad.”

Shearer and three other UNG students were glad to learn March 1 that they were selected as CLS finalists. The scholarship program is a fully-funded overseas language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. Its goal is to broaden the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and building relationships between the people of the United States and other countries.

Out of UNG’s eight semifinalists announced in January, the four finalists are:

  • Shearer, who is pursuing a degree in East Asian studies with a concentration in Japanese studies and a minor in leadership, will be in Japan.
  • Josh Shepherd, who is pursuing a degree in Chinese and a minor in Spanish, will be in China.
  • Donnie “Jamar” Shumaker, who is pursuing a degree in East Asian studies with a concentration in Chinese and a minor in Chinese language and culture, will be in China.
  • Rachel Wilson, who is pursuing a degree in finance and a minor in Chinese, will be in China.

Of the remaining semifinalists, all four were named alternates. They are:

  • Daniel Barker, who is pursuing a degree in mathematics and a minor in Russian.
  • Hannah Chisholm, who is pursuing a degree in communications with a concentration in multimedia journalism and a minor in Korean.
  • Leah James, a member of the Corps of Cadets who is pursuing a degree in nursing and a minor in Arabic.
  • Julia “Rhiannon” Smith, who is pursuing degrees in psychology and modern languages with a concentration in Russian.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, CLS is highly competitive, with acceptance rates of 10 percent, said Dr. Victoria Hightower, UNG’s assistant director of Nationally Competitive Scholarships. This makes UNG’s accomplishment of four finalists and four alternates significant.

“UNG’s four finalists and four alternates reflect our commitment to cultivating academically talented global leaders,” Dr. Anastasia Lin, assistant vice president for research and engagement at UNG. “This also indicates UNG’s prowess in teaching critical languages.”

Hightower, associate professor of history, agreed.

“In addition to our students’ qualities of determination, perseverance, and persistence, this success also reflects the encouragement they receive from their mentors throughout the university,” she said.

The four finalists and four alternates also mark an increase in UNG students selected. Last year, three were selected as finalists, and two were alternates. UNG had one finalist and one semifinalist for both 2016-17 and 2015-16 academic years.

Lin said more students are encouraged to apply to scholarships such as CLS after hearing of previous winners.

“I predict we will see more applications and winners in the future because of a growing commitment to scholarships on both the part of our students, faculty and staff,” she said.

Shearer, a freshman from Suwanee, Georgia, plans to use the study abroad experience as a springboard for his future.

“I intend to commission through UNG, and as I am pursuing a degree in East Asian studies, I would love to have a duty station over there,” he said, adding the CLS program will give him an advantage. “Through this scholarship, I will have a greater fluency in Japanese through immersion in the culture that comes through living and working there.”

Students interested in learning more about nationally competitive scholarships should contact [email protected] for more information. Students wanting to learn about funding and programs to study abroad may visit the Center for Global Engagement website.

 

UNG men’s tennis team claims Peach Belt win

Sports

DAHLONEGA, GA

According to the University of North Georgia Athletics Department, the UNG men’s tennis team claimed a big Peach Belt Conference win Thursday, as they took out No. 13 Georgia College. The Conference was held at the UNG Tennis Complex, located at Yahoola Creek. The win bumped UNG 7-1 on the season, and 2-0 in league play.

During the doubles tournaments, the Nighthawks won the No. 3 and No. 2 spots. Singles was more challenging, as the Bobcats came out fighting, resulting in a 2-1 loss for UNG. The Nighthawks will travel to Orlando for a four-game road trip.

 

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Live Coverage: Gilmer Parks & Rec Basketball

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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.

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Rec Football Postseason Brackets Set

Parks and Recreation

Saturday (Oct 15) marked the final week of regular season football for the Mountain Football League.  The MFL consists of Chestatee, Dawson, East Hall, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union and West Hall; and age divisions begin with 6u (under 6-years-old) and go up to 7th-grade.  Parents and coaches of youth athletes are encouraged to please send your photos, stats and game stories to [email protected] so that we can highlight the youth players throughout the post-season!

6u Playoff Bracket

7u Playoff Bracket

8u Playoff Bracket

9u Playoff Bracket

10u Playoff Bracket

7th Grade Playoff Bracket

 

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Fetch Your News Names Television Head

News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FetchYourNews.com has announced the hiring of Richard “Richie” Stone Jr. as head of their television division, FYNTV.com.

Originally from Snellville, GA, Stone brings an array of media experience and personal network of connections to newsmakers throughout the state.

Stone’s media experience dates back to the early 2000s as a sportswriter for Scout.com. As a student he worked in both local television and radio broadcasting. He then spent five years on the Valdosta State University football staff, including three years as Video Coordinator. His area of study focused on American History and Creative Writing.

After attending film school at the University of North Georgia, Stone spent two years with the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. He then co-founded the production company Southern Side Co. He has served as a media and messaging advisor to multiple winning campaigns in Georgia. His most recent work has been in the music industry, as Executive Producer and Director of the Wonderdog Live web series.

FYNTV plans to develop a midday broadcast around Stone. He will also be charged with expanding content and the FYNTV footprint across various formats. He will serve as Producer of “Good Morning from the Office” every weekday morning from 8:00am-10:00am.

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Pickens Power Half-Hour, Dragon Talk – Watch Now

All of TeamFYNSports

 


Show airs live every Thursday during season 7:00 – 7:30 pm on @TeamFYNSports Facebook page

10/19/17

Coach Parker sits down with BKP and RJ to discuss last week’s game and the upcoming game against Ridgeland.

10/12/17

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 Coach Parker sits down with BKP and a few players to discuss this past weeks WIN over Southeast Whitfield and the upcoming home game against Northeast Whitfield.

9/21/17

9/14/17

Pickens Head Football Coach Chris Parker joins us to discuss the North Hall game and look ahead to the North Forsyth game!

9/07/2017


Coach Chris Parker breaks down the Pepperell game and looks ahead to the North Hall game.

8/24/2017

 

This week BKP met with Coach Chris Parker and star players of the Pickens County High School Dragons to discuss the beginning of this year’s season!

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