#TeamFYNsports games of the week

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Starting this year, #TeamFYNsports will be bringing you their top football games of the week for our local area football teams. This week, we have some rivalries on the horizon, with four local area teams going head to head.

Team FYN sports director Jake West and Fannin County Rec. Department Athletic Coordinator Tim Towe will also be giving you their picks to win these games of the week and we will be tracking their pick ’em record going forward.

  1. Fannin County Rebels @ Union County Panthers

FCHs

If there was ever a year for Fannin County to be able to break their 6 year losing streak agains the Union County Panthers, it would be this year. Fannin is coming off an impressive 5-6 season last year, and with all the returning upper-classmen they have this year, this is the year that they have to make some moves. Even Coach Chad Cheatham said himself at media day, they are poised to make a run. Union County on the other hand is coming off of a 10-2 record last year, where it looked like they were going to go deep into the playoffs until losing a 7-14 game against Metter High School. Head Coach Brian Allison has turned Union County into a juggernaut over there in Blairsville, losing a combined four games in the past two years. However with the loss of their starting Quarterback Pierson Allison to graduation, we will if the newcomer behind center can handle the pressure of Friday Night Lights.

Jake’s Pick: Union County

Tim’s Pick: Fannin County

2. Gilmer County Bobcats @ Pickens Dragons 

The Pickens Dragons finished 2019 with a 6-5 overall record and tied for third in their division. Their offense was crazy hot last year, putting up an average of 31.6 points. We will see if they have improved any on the defensive side of the ball however, where they managed to give up an average of 26.2 points per Pickensgame in the previous season. When watching Pickens last year however, one of their more impressive games came against then region rival Gilmer, who they will be playing to kickoff this season. This season the anticipated Gilmer-Pickens game will not be a region game due to the realignment that took place in the offseason. Even though this is not going to be a region game this year, you can tell that it still means just as much to the players and coaches as it did when it counted against their region record. Gilmer is coming off of a 4-6 overall record last year in 2019. But, as rebuilds go it looks like Gilmer is on the backend of theirs and should start putting together some winning teams. Also, with Gilmer being bumped down a level, their opponents in their new region should play more to their level. I just think that the speed and power of the Pickens offense will be too much for the Bobcats to handle.

Jake’s Pick: Pickens County 

Tim’s Pick: Gilmer County

 

 

 

GHSA confirms September 4th football start date

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Following the weekly meeting with the Sports Medicine Advisory Council, Georgia High School Association Executive Director Robin Hines announced that the GHSA will be moving forward with the September fourth football start date for the opening of the 2020 season.

After the Sports Medicine Advisory Council meeting, director Hines spoke with the Athens Banner-Herald in regard to the number of COVID-19 cases across the state, but was confident that the season would return on the now delayed football start date of September fourth.

Hines told the Athens Banner-Herald, “While the numbers aren’t what we would prefer right now, they’re trending down, we feel good about that, and pending some spikes between now and then, my recommendation is going to be that we go ahead and play.”

The GHSA has previously reported that there will be around 70 Georgia football teams of 425 total that are unlikely to play the first week of the season because of coronavirus concerns dictated by their school district or private schools.

Included in the list of teams that will be sitting out for the week of September 4th are 19 DeKalb County teams, 16 Fulton County teams, 8 Savannah-Chatham teams, and 6 Bibb county teams. Several other teams across the state will also be sitting out until given the OK from their administrators and school board.

Tennessee will begin their High School football season tonight, and they have already released their guidelines for spectators and fines which can be found HERE. Viewing this should help give GHSA fans a little insight in what to expect come September fourth when Georgia returns to Friday night lights.

 

GHSA confirms September 4th football start date

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Following the weekly meeting with the Sports Medicine Advisory Council, Georgia High School Association Executive Director Robin Hines announced that the GHSA will be moving forward with the September fourth football start date for the opening of the 2020 season.

After the Sports Medicine Advisory Council meeting, director Hines spoke with the Athens Banner-Herald in regard to the number of COVID-19 cases across the state, but was confident that the season would return on the now delayed football start date of September fourth.

Hines told the Athens Banner-Herald, “While the numbers aren’t what we would prefer right now, they’re trending down, we feel good about that, and pending some spikes between now and then, my recommendation is going to be that we go ahead and play.”

The GHSA has previously reported that there will be around 70 Georgia football teams of 425 total that are unlikely to play the first week of the season because of coronavirus concerns dictated by their school district or private schools.

Included in the list of teams that will be sitting out for the week of September 4th are 19 DeKalb County teams, 16 Fulton County teams, 8 Savannah-Chatham teams, and 6 Bibb county teams. Several other teams across the state will also be sitting out until given the OK from their administrators and school board.

Tennessee will begin their High School football season tonight, and they have already released their guidelines for spectators and fines which can be found HERE. Viewing this should help give GHSA fans a little insight in what to expect come September fourth when Georgia returns to Friday night lights.

 

What fans can expect when High School football comes back

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ghsa

The Georgia High School Association has released “strongly recommended” game-day operation guidelines in order for the high school football season to proceed as normal when it opens for good on September Fourth. These game-day guidelines and recommendations are given to spectators and parents in order to ensure that the football season will be able to continue and so that these student athletes are able to play a whole season. The whole list of guidelines can be found HERE.

 

Game Day Venue Restrictions

  • Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments and health care professionals should determine what personnel (cheerleaders, band, mascots, dance team, etc.) should participate in events. It is strongly recommended to take into consideration the venue’s ability to safely allow for and enforce proper physical distancing.
  • The media accommodations will be handled by host school personnel.

Spectators

  • GHSA member schools should follow the guidance of local, state, and federal recommendations as it pertains to spectator events and stadium capacity restrictions if such information becomes available.
  • It is highly recommended that spectators have their temperature assessed prior to entering the competition venue and should be denied entry if higher than 100.4 degrees.
  • It is highly recommended that spectators always wear a facemask/covering possible. □ Spectators should be restricted from direct competition areas and from visiting with student athletes and personnel before, during and after events.
  • Spectators should always practice social distancing whenever possible. Household members are excluded.
  • Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments, should determine whether “to-go” meals for their student-athletes in individualized, single packaged containers should be permitted.

Concessions

  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, they must follow state guidelines for “Restaurants, Bars, and Banquet & Catering Facilities/Services” as outlined in the current Governor’s Executive Order
  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, concession workers should wear masks and gloves in accordance with state mandates.
  • Any worker should be screened before they are permitted to perform work duties in the concession.
  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, individuals in line for concessions should practice physical distancing.
  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, precautions for social distancing should always be adhered to.

What fans can expect when High School football comes back

Sports, Team FYN Sports
ghsa

The Georgia High School Association has released “strongly recommended” game-day operation guidelines in order for the high school football season to proceed as normal when it opens for good on September Fourth. These game-day guidelines and recommendations are given to spectators and parents in order to ensure that the football season will be able to continue and so that these student athletes are able to play a whole season. The whole list of guidelines can be found HERE.

 

Game Day Venue Restrictions

  • Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments and health care professionals should determine what personnel (cheerleaders, band, mascots, dance team, etc.) should participate in events. It is strongly recommended to take into consideration the venue’s ability to safely allow for and enforce proper physical distancing.
  • The media accommodations will be handled by host school personnel.

Spectators

  • GHSA member schools should follow the guidance of local, state, and federal recommendations as it pertains to spectator events and stadium capacity restrictions if such information becomes available.
  • It is highly recommended that spectators have their temperature assessed prior to entering the competition venue and should be denied entry if higher than 100.4 degrees.
  • It is highly recommended that spectators always wear a facemask/covering possible. □ Spectators should be restricted from direct competition areas and from visiting with student athletes and personnel before, during and after events.
  • Spectators should always practice social distancing whenever possible. Household members are excluded.
  • Local school administrators, in consultation with local health departments, should determine whether “to-go” meals for their student-athletes in individualized, single packaged containers should be permitted.

Concessions

  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, they must follow state guidelines for “Restaurants, Bars, and Banquet & Catering Facilities/Services” as outlined in the current Governor’s Executive Order
  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, concession workers should wear masks and gloves in accordance with state mandates.
  • Any worker should be screened before they are permitted to perform work duties in the concession.
  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, individuals in line for concessions should practice physical distancing.
  • If sales at concession stands are permitted, precautions for social distancing should always be adhered to.

NCHSAA Sports Calendar Amended, Football Moved To February

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tucker

The NCHSAA Board of Directors met last night via zoom and were able to come up with an amended calendar for the 2020-2021 season.

The decision to amend the 2020-2021 sports calendar was not one that was taken lightly, as the NCHSAA was guided by the NFHS and others in order to make a properly informed decision.

All sports schedules for the year have been changed in some way or another. In the graphic below, you can find the 1st practice dates, 1st competition dates, final contest dates, season contest limit, and weekly contest limit for all NCHSAA sports for the 2020-2021 school year. schedule

The first practice date for football has been pushed back all the way to February 8th, with the first game coming February 26th. Another big change to the football season is that all NCHSAA teams will only play 7 games this season, with the final contest date set for April 9th.

The first practice date for Basketball will be December 7th, and the first game will be January 4th. Basketball will only play 14 games this season.

You can view the attached graphic for the updated schedule for all of the changes made to the other NCHSAA sports in the upcoming year.

The NCHSAA commissioner Que Tucker said in her video release earlier today that if you have any question please do no hesitate to contact them, and that they would be happy to field any questions or concerns that the general public had about the upcoming seasons after they hold their media press conference at 3:30. You can contact the NCHSAA by visiting NCHSAA.org.

The NCHSAA is holding a virtual press conference at 3:30 today for members of the media to ask questions about the new amended calendar, so stay tuned to the Team FYN Sports page for the latest updates on this developing situation.

 

Over 600 players and coaches in Georgia test positive for COVID

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The GHSA has reported that over 600 players and coaches have tested positive for COVID since voluntary workouts began on June 8th.

The Georgia High School Association sent out and email on Tuesday, where they confirmed that they have had a reported 655 positive tests, including over 1,000 screen outs. Screen outs are when a player or coach is held out of practice due to a high temperature check or health questionnaire.

Several local area teams have stopped and started workouts since the June 8th restart, due to complications with the virus.

These numbers that he GHSA has released are not entirely accurate, as the GHSA does not require positive COVID tests to be reported to the association, however it is encouraged so that the data can be compiled and used in the decision making process.

“The data is aggregate and for decision-making purposes,” GHSA associate director Don Corr said in Tuesdays email. “It is our belief that this data is incomplete and varies due to individual infectious disease plans formulated by each member school.”

6 GHSA teams have reported to the GHSA that they are shutting down their practice’s this week. There could be more since the GHSA also does not require practice activity to be reported either. The teams that are not practicing currently are Morgan County, Putnam County, Greene County, Social Circle and Lincoln County in east and central Georgia and Lakeside in DeKalb County.

Each school district has their own protocol in dealing with the positive coronavirus cases, as the GHSA has decided to give the power to the schools instead of setting a governing body of rules.

 

GHSA to push start of football back 2 weeks

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ghsa football

The Georgia High School Association held a private meeting earlier today to discuss the upcoming fall football season start dates and schedules. The meeting was not broadcast publicly, but according to the GHSA’s meeting minutes, the competition date for football will be pushed back for two weeks, but the football conditioning and all other sports starting dates are unchanged.

The first football games will be held on labor day weekend, with scrimmages on August 21st and 28th.

There will be a full regular season and a full playoff schedule as of right now.

Practice will begin next Monday, with pads starting August 1st.

The start date for the rest of fall sports has not been altered and is as follows:

  • Softball: August 6
  • Cheerleading: August 8
  • Cross Country: August 10
  • Volleyball: August 10

This is a developing story, please stay tuned for updates as more details of the meeting are released.

Rabun County rolls past Toombs County 34-14, advances to quarterfinals

Sports, Team FYN Sports

In the state playoffs, big time players make big time plays.

That held true tonight as #14 Gunner Stockton and #4 Braxton Hicks lead Rabun County to the win over Toombs.

Braxton Hicks lines up for the play.

The Wildcats started the game with the ball, and the first play was a 53-yard pass from Stockton to Hicks. This play really helped set the tone for the game and gave Rabun the start they were looking for. A few plays later, Stockton hit #5 Hogan Woodard for the 13-yard touchdown and give his team a 7-0 lead.

It took them some time, but Toombs responded. After multiple 3rd down conversions, the Bulldogs tied the game on a 27-yard touchdown run with 4 minutes remaining in the first.

Rabun’s offense couldn’t move the ball far when they got it back. After getting one first down, they failed to get another and had to punt. Toombs returned the punt from midfield to the endzone, giving them a 14-7 lead with less than a minute in the quarter.

The Wildcats started the second quarter like it was a new game. A game that they completely dominated. Stockton quickly found Hicks, #15 Sam Adams, and Hicks again, all for first downs. Stockton then kept the ball for a 20-yard gain on the ground. He followed that run up with another, this time for a 4-yard touchdown to tie the game.

The Rabun County defense got back on track on the next drive. They forced the Bulldogs into a 3rd down situation, where Hicks proved he could be just as effective on defense. He intercepted the pass, giving his team great field position to start their drive.

Will Turpin sets up before the play.

Stockton picked up where he left off the previous drive, rushing for 2 quick first downs. He continued to show his mobility by rolling out left, avoiding the sack, moving back to the right, and eventually found Adams for a touchdown, giving them the lead back with 2 minutes to go.

The defense of the Wildcats stepped up again, forcing a quick 3 and out. After a fair catch, the Rabun offense had 1:02 left in the half to score from their own 38. Stockton went right back to Hicks for back-to-back first downs. Stockton then found #34 Tate Ramey for a 25-yard gain, setting up a 29-yard field goal from #82 Edwin Diaz. Time expired as the kick went through the uprights, and the Wildcats took a 24-14 lead into the half.

After Toombs got a quick first down to open the half, the Wildcat defense forced a punt. #42 Cory Keller opened the drive with a quick first down run. Stockton then found Adams and Hicks for 2 more firsts. Keller finished the drive off with a 5-yard touchdown to extend his team’s lead to 31-14 halfway through the 3rd.

Rabun’s defense stepped up again and forced another 3 and out. After a first down run by Keller, and a first down reception from Hicks, the Wildcats had to punt. This was their first punt since the 1st quarter.

The Bulldogs were able to get a first down on their next drive after an unnecessary roughness call. #3 AJ Wheeler erased the momentum by intercepting the ball and taking it to the house. However, the touchdown was erased by a flag. Still, Wheeler set his team up with great field position, as they started from the opposite 35-yard line.

After a quick first down run by Stockton, the offense was stopped short and settled for a field goal. Diaz drilled it from 26 yards out, giving his team the 34-14 lead early in the 4th.

Gunner Stockton runs for a first down in the third quarter.

The Wildcats attempted to get the ball back with an onside kick, but it was recovered by Toombs. They started their drive from the Rabun 38-yard line. After a first down, and a few pass interference calls, the Wildcats got the stop on 4th down, giving them the ball back.

Stockton sealed any chance of a comeback with a 33-yard run on first down to get the ball away from the goal line. The offense wasted time, but couldn’t get the first down and had to punt.

The Bulldogs got a first down quickly, but Hicks essentially ended the game with a late interception, his second of the game.

Rabun ran out the clock and won the game 34-14.

They will travel to play at Thomasville next Friday in the quarterfinals.

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-First United Church of the Southeastern Conference

Sports

On Wednesday I stopped by one of the local rec departments to iron out some details for an upcoming event that Team FYN Sports plans to cover. As often happens in small towns where time seems to move a little slower, you can’t go into a place where people are as close as a rec department and just have your meeting and leave. You end up talking about something like, in this case sports, that leads into one topic after another. Add a couple more people into the mix that you haven’t seen in a while and soon enough you glance down at your watch and you’ve been there for two hours with no idea where the time went. Southerners especially know what I mean.

Anyway, naturally with this being SEC country we had to talk about college football. And even more so when one of the people in the conversation was a Tennessee fan (you know who you are!)

Eventually our conversation turned to memories of our first college football games. The memories spanned years and were entwined with heartfelt stories of family, friends and Sanford stadium. There were tales of witnessing games where records were set and broken, of firsts and lasts. A couple of us could even recall games with rivalries so bitter that a rowdy fan from the opposing team was either physically injured or injured with glares.

Ah the glorious Sanford Stadium! And during a Georgia/Tennessee game, too!

For each of us that was sitting in the room we had a look of wonder in our eye. We were recalling memories that were so precious to us that we wouldn’t trade them for all the University of Florida defeats in the world. Especially the ones were loved ones were involved. Those are always the most precious.

Hearing those glorious tales took me back to my own first University of Georgia game. I couldn’t tell you who they were playing, but I remember watching the team run out with the big Georgia flag and feeling a since of pride I hadn’t felt before. I was with my mom and my grandparents. I had never seen my Nana get so rowdy. And my Papa Skip was especially proud to have the three most important women in his life with him and dressed in red and black. And a new love was born for me.

As a side note, my brother would later commit the ultimate sin in that side of the family and declare himself to be a Florida fan. I’m sure it broke Papa’s heart at the time, but he soon got over it when he had someone to accompany him to the Georgia/Florida game besides my Nana. Such is the seriousness of rivalries in the Southeastern Conference.

Here is a gem of a picture featuring my brother Devin, wearing a Florida shirt, and I with Governor Brian Kemp, who is a UGA alum. Even the governor gave Devin a hard time for being a Florida fan!

I know I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I firmly believe that nothing besides religion brings people together like a football game. Which is probably why it’s so common to refer to football as a religion in the South. You may hate someone during the week, but come Saturday morning if you’re both wearing red and black you’re going to at least be cordial.

I know that it may be more intense in other college towns, but in Athens people will arrive a full day early to claim their tailgating spots. Red and black tents flood the streets of downtown on every plot of grass that grows. Women (including myself) will go to get their nails and hair done ahead of time, and dress to the nine in ninety degree weather. There is no telling how many hundreds of thousands of dollars get spent on food and drinks for one weekend of tailgating alone.

I was recently watching an old episode of the show Designing Women. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the show, it’s about four women running an interior design firm in Atlanta. In one scene Julia Sugarbaker, who is the sharp-tongued primary owner of the firm, is leaving for a football game with one of her co-workers. Sadly, she was going to a Georgia Tech game, but we’ll overlook that part for now.

As the two characters are heading out the door, Julia says that she and her husband used to plan their weekends around the Georgia Tech games. She quips, “In the East, football is a cultural exercise. In the Midwest, it’s cannibalism. In the West, it’s a tourist attraction. But in the South, it’s a religion!”

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-Back in season

Sports

If any of you are under the age of 18 and reading this article, then I imagine this week was probably a tough week for you. I say that because the majority of schools in the state of Georgia started back this week.

I can remember being in high school and having a knot of dread in my stomach the night before the first day of school. I’ve never been a morning person, so having to get up early was my first problem. Add in all of the homework and having to spend my days in one building…it was easy to tell I wasn’t a school person.

The good news is there was always one bright spot in all of this gloom, and that was football season. I know I’ve said it before on our sports show, Instant Replay, and probably in this column as well, but in high school I lived for football season. I never missed a game, home or away. Granted I was in the colorguard with the marching band, so most of the time I HAD to go. But I can still remember a handful of games where we weren’t required to go, and some of my friends got together and still went anyway.

Those were good times, but I dare to say that these are even better. I’m thankful to have a job that pays me to follow a sport that I love. But on the other hand, it’s a job that’s helping me to get an inside look on other sports that are sometimes forgotten, especially in the South where football is a religion.

I covered my first softball game on Tuesday. I have watched and worked softball games in the past, so in my defense I knew what to expect, but it was my first time reporting on a game. It was the Lumpkin County Lady Indians against the Pickens Dragonettes in the Lady Indians home opener. One thing I loved about this game was that it wasn’t just smooth sailing, if you will. Just to give a brief recap, the Nettes put three runs on the board first. By the fifth inning, it was looking as though the Lady Indians might lose their home opener. But as with all great teams, the Lady Indians weren’t going down without a fight and ended up coming back to win 4-3. Ironically, I went to the next game where they played each other tonight and the Nettes ended up winning 9-4.

Softball is just one of several high school sports that is played in the fall. There’s also volleyball and cross country. While I haven’t gotten the chance to go cover either of these events yet, I know that I probably will be in the near future.

I’ve never personally played volleyball competitively, but I know several people who have. And from what I do know about it, there’s more technique to setting and hitting the ball than there seems. Whenever I play for fun at the beach I just feel lucky to get it over the net. But there are certain ways to prepare before you serve the ball and where to place your feet when you’re in an official match. I don’t see how players keep up with everything, other than that they practice. I know it’s got to feel great whenever you take all of your frustration out by smacking the ball.

Now I enjoy running, but I could never run cross country. I’ve seen the joke that says “my sport is your sport’s punishment” and to be honest, that’s how I feel because I don’t know how they do it. I can remember talking to cross country runners in high school, and them telling me that they would get up at 6 a.m. to run. And for some of them, the distances they would run blew my mind. But the other incredible thing to me about cross country is how much of  a mental sport it is. Not only do runners have to be trained physically to maintain a certain time, they also have to be trained physically to encourage themselves to keep going.

The point I’m trying to make is that even though I’m still learning about other sports, I respect them because I do know how hard they work. I see the social media posts, I know people that play, and I see the teams out practicing well before their season starts. And even though the summer is ending and we’re back to school, the exciting thing is we’re past the days of camps and well on our way to the actual competition. I can’t wait to see what all of these young athletes accomplish.

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter- Thank a coach!

Sports

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.

Join the team…#TeamFYNSports!!! Become a Sports Reporter

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When it comes to sports coverage if it is happening in North Ga, Team FYN Sports is #AllOverIt

 

Join the team…#TeamFYNSports!!!

Join us on the sidelines for Friday Night Lights as a member of our sports crew!

 

GREAT opportunities for:

  • Internship in either high school or college 
  • Part-time and/or full-time work
  • Experience in sports reporting at the local level!

 

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Post sports schedule(s) to our site.
  • Commit to an entire season of that sport.
  • Be prepared to cover all home and away games. Transportation is not provided.
  • If there is a game you cannot make it to for scheduling reasons you must let management know it 36 hours in advance. Arrive at the sporting event/game a minimum of 30 min before it begins.
  • Postgame updates before, during and after the game on Twitter and Facebook.
  • Create a “hype” video clip of the team warming up, running out. starting kick off, etc (Using Magisto or Quick Story). Post this to social media.
  • Take notes and pics during the sporting event/game.
  • Write an article and post it on our website in the correct county under TeamFYNSports.
  • Share the link and all pictures taken from the event on our TeamFYNSports Facebook.
  • Pick a player of the week (Football ((different player each week)) & Basketball ((one boy and one girl player each week))
  • When possible:
  • Coaches Interviews
  • Player Interviews
  • College signings
  • Follow up story once student-athlete is attending college and playing sport there.
  • Coaching staff changes

About Team FYN Sports:

Team FYN Sports is the fastest-growing sports network in North Georgia and western North Carolina. Team FYN Sports is the sports division of media outlet Fetch Your News (FetchYourNews.com). FYN covers a dozen counties total, ten in North Georgia and two in North Carolina. 

If interested in this opportunity, please contact Lauren:

Email: [email protected]

Phone number: 706.276.NEWs (6397)

 

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

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.

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter

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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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