FYN Sports Top 5 Football Stadiums in Our Viewing AreaTeam FYN Sports July 5, 2021
Just here to spark a little bit of fun debate during the off-season! Our writers blind voted on their favorite stadiums in our viewing area, and these were the results. I’m sure everyone will have their own opinion, so let us hear your opinions and what we got wrong!
Each stadium write up is written by a member of the schools community.
1. Fannin County High School
Fannin County High School Football Stadium comes in at #1 on our FYN Sports Top Football Stadium in our Coverage Area.
Although the stadium has no nickname, it is often been referred to in the past as “The Battlefield”
Fannin County may have the best entrance in all of Georgia. The Rebels walk out of their locker-room directly to a gigantic blow up Fannin County Football Helmet. Coach Cheatham usually is the 1st one to break open the facemask on the helmet and the Fannin County Football team walks onto the field with arms locked. The cannon fires, the smoke rises, music blares, lights go out and then flash from pole to pole. It is a striking entrance and one that every High School Football fan needs to see.
Yes, we mentioned a Cannon. And yes, it does fire. Every time Fannin County enters the stadium and scores a Touchdown the Cannon is shot and is heard throughout the town of Blue Ridge. Yes, we mentioned Lights cutting off and flashing. Every time a Touchdown is scored Fannin County’s LED Light system will flash from pole to pole igniting the roar of the Fannin County 12th man.
Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” is played and PA Announcer Tim Towe famous “ITS 3rd DOWN” sparks the Rebel Nation to make noise on 3rd Down.
I think if you witnessed a game here during Fannin County’s magical season last season you would agree with our choice.
The Stadium is a true 12th man Atmosphere. Powered by everything we have mentioned and the award winning Fannin County High School Marching band, the cheerleaders and “The Blue Crew” ( Student Section) Fannin County is our choice for Top Stadium in our coverage area.
2. Murphy High School
David Gentry Field at Bob Hedrix memorial stadium is nothing short of picturesque. The location of the stadium is one of it’s best qualities, being right off the road and allowing passers by to honk their car horns and cheer on the Dogs, whether that be on Friday night or Tuesday afternoon at practice. Watching the team walk down the hill at 7:27 on Friday night just before kickoff is electric. The sun setting behind the visiting bleachers on a crisp fall evening is really something to behold. Dont even get me started on the sheer history of what’s been accomplished on that field. 10 state championship teams have played under those lights, and for the past 40 years, perhaps the greatest High School football coach of all time has coached on that sideline. Add to that JR Carrol shouting “1st and 10 Bulldogs” over the speakers, you’ve got a recipe for one of the greatest high school football atmospheres in the country.
They don’t call it “BULLDOG COUNTRY” for nothin’.
Former Dogs Head Coach & Hall of Famer David Gentry said, “There’s no better high than the one you get on Friday nights in Murphy between the hours of 7:30 & 9:30. That feeling you get for those two hours, it’s unattainable anywhere else.”
3. Robbinsville High School
Robbinsville’s Big Oaks Stadium is a rethink-your-ranking kind of stadium. A truly historical field, it has hosted the home games of over 50 years of Black Knight football teams without ever being moved to a new location. The stadium is also directly adjacent to the original “old rock” schoolhouse of the 1900s.
The field is not the only piece of historical significance—the players themselves, often generational descendants of fellow state champions, give the Friday Night aesthetic of a Robbinsville Black Knights’ football game the aura of dominance. These boys know the magnitude of what they are playing for.
With 14 State Titles earned on its grass, the Big Oaks guarantees you a night of knock-down and drag-out, old-fashioned football, complete with rows of aged-oak trees, and a sunset view over its Smoky Mountain backdrop. Being the true embodiment of the AC/DC rock hit—Back In Black—the Big Oaks Stadium is THE must see stop of any stadium tour.
4. Union County High School
We look to Union County’s Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium a.k.a “The Mike.” There are many great high school football venues; not many, however, pack a 1-2 punch with a beautiful view and electric atmosphere like this one.
This venue offers a beautiful turf field and an even more astounding view of the crisp Blue Ridge Mountains. Mike Colwell Memorial Stadium is one that you’ll never forget, one that provides a bit of everything you could ever want on a Friday night underneath the lights!
5. Pickens County High School
#TeamFYNsports games of the weekSports, Team FYN Sports September 2, 2020
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.
- Fannin County Rebels @ Union County Panthers
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 game 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 dateSports, Team FYN Sports August 25, 2020
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 backSports, Team FYN Sports August 25, 2020
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.
- 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.
- 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.
GHSA reports increase in COVID cases, now up to 866 casesSports, Team FYN Sports August 17, 2020
As the set September 4th start date of football for the Georgia High School Association approaches, the GHSA has released that the number of positive COVID cases among high school athletes and coaches is up to 866.
The recent update was provided to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The case numbers are up by over 200, as the previous update we received on July 28th was that there was 655 reported cases.
The GHSA has been tacking the number of positive cases since the high school teams have returned to conditioning on June 8th.
This increase in numbers does not bode well for the return of football season, seeing as how last week the GHSA said the the September 4th return date was “fluid and subject to change due to the updates on the Coronavirus situation”.
According to GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines, schools are not required by the GHSA to submit their results to the organization but are encouraged to do so. The GHSA does not document how many schools have reported.
Over 600 players and coaches in Georgia test positive for COVIDUncategorized July 31, 2020
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 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 Football Championship SchedulesUncategorized July 8, 2020
The Georgia High School Football Championships are slated to be played over three consecutive days this year.
December 10th through December 12th all classes of GHSA football will play their championship games at Georgia State Stadium. The reasoning for changing to a three day schedule instead of the usual two, is to allow for no morning kickoffs, and to showcase the new Flag football championships, since flag football just became a Varsity sport in the GHSA this past year.
On the December 10th opening Thursday, the two class A final games will be played followed by the flag football championships. Three finals will be played December 11th as well as December 12th, with all 10 games taking place at Georgia State Stadium.
The move to Georgia State Stadium was a financial decision more than anything, with the Georgia State Stadium rent being significantly cheaper than that of Mercedes Benz Stadium, where the 2018 and 2019 finals were played.
The full schedule for the football championships is listed below:
Thursday, Dec. 10
Noon – Flag football, Area 1
2 p.m. – Flag football, Area 2
5 p.m. – Class A-Private
8 p.m. – Class A Public
Friday, Dec. 11
Noon – Class AA
3:30 p.m. – Class AAAA
7 p.m. – Class AAAAAA
Saturday, Dec. 12
Noon – Class AAA
3:30 p.m. – Class AAAAA
7 p.m. – Class AAAAAAA
TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Ashton White, No. 24Player Of The Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports October 13, 2019
The Gilmer County Bobcats got their first region win of the 2019 season. Ashton White was a huge help in getting that victory.
Ashton White had 20 carries for 79 yards and one touchdown. He scored the only touchdown for the Bobcats.
Gilmer went into the half down 7-6 but came back to win 17-14. Congratulations to Ashton White- this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for Gilmer!
Bobcats get a region win over Raiders 17-14Sports, Team FYN Sports October 12, 2019
Welcome back FYNSports fans to another great Friday night under the lights. Lets start off with the Gilmer Bobcats (2-3/1-1) travelling to Southeast Whitfield Raiders (0-6/0-3) for region play.
The Bobcats would answer back again with yet another short yardage FG decreasing the Raiders lead to just one.
Rebels Rough On BobcatsGHS Football, Team FYN Sports August 24, 2019
The scoring was early and often for the Fannin Rebels in the first half of the season opener against the visiting rivals from Gilmer. For the new look Gilmer Bobcats, the first game under Head Coach Kevin Saunders unfolded much like the others during their current 31 game losing streak. Fannin moved the ball up and down the field with ease, capitalized on turnovers deep in Gilmer territory, and even caught some lucky breaks that only seem to happen to Gilmer.
Gilmer answered Fannin’s opening touchdown with a field goal in the first quarter to make it 7-3. From there, it was all Rebels. Two quick touchdowns on the ground late in the first and early in the second made it 21-3. The following Gilmer drive started with promise, as Ashton White broke through the defense on a carry of nearly 30 yards. It would be short lived. Gilmer would be stripped of the ball, only to force a second fumble of the Fannin defender. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Fannin Safety Cohutta Hyde picked up the second loose ball at midfield and returned it all the way for another Fannin touchdown. The failed two point conversion attempt left the score at 27-3.
From there, the Rebels combined stifling defense with a mix of running and passing on offense to tack on two more touchdowns before the conclusion of the first half — highlighted by a long pass from QB Luke Holloway to TE Jalen Ingram.
A running clock in the second half sped up the inevitable result. The Gilmer defense seemed to settle in a bit more, allowing zero second half points. The lone touchdown for Gilmer happened in the waning moments of the game when Kobe Stonecipher punched it in from the 4 yard line. Final score: Fannin 41 Gilmer 9.
The Bobcats look to rebound next week in their home opener against Towns County. Towns lost their opener to Hayesville 35-0.
Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-First United Church of the Southeastern ConferenceSports August 16, 2019
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.
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.
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 seasonSports August 9, 2019
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.
Join the team…#TeamFYNSports!!! Become a Sports ReporterAnnouncements, Featured July 11, 2019
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)
Gilmer alumus joins Reinhardt programBobcat's Corner, Gilmer High School July 21, 2019
An alumnus of both Gilmer High School and its football program, Tyler Bertolini has been hired on to Reinhardt’s Strength and Conditioning program.
According to Cherokee County news sources, Bertolini will take the Coordinator position replacing Ellis Spratlin, the two-year veteran coordinator.
Many of Gilmer’s citizens will recall Bertolini running up numbers in September of 2012 when he won FYN’s Player of the Week award for 132 yards rushing with an average of 7.8 yards per carry and scoring a touchdown.
That award came almost one year after being injured during an October game in 2011.
Bertolini has also previously worked in strength and conditioning for Kennesaw State and LSU, but returns to the North Georgia area to continue his career with Reinhardt University.
Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-For love of the gameSports May 30, 2019
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.
Pre-season football interview with new Bobcats head coachGHS Football, Gilmer High School, Team FYN Sports July 3, 2019
With the start of a new football season comes a new head coach for the Gilmer Bobcats, and Kevin Saunders has a vision for the program.
“I have a vision, we’re gonna do it. It’s gonna be hard, you can’t miss, you have to make a commitment to the program.”
For Saunders, all focus is on the future.
“This team’s not 0-30, this team has never lost a game, never won a game. What they’ve done in the past is the past, this is a completely different team.”
Watch the rest of the interview below with BKP, only on Team FYN Sports.