Scoring Points: Pickens HC Grant Myers

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FYN Sports was able to sit down and catch up with new Pickens Dragons Head Coach Grant Myers.

Myers has been on the Pickens staff for the previous 2 years, serving as the Defensive Coordinator and Strength Coach.

We talked to him about what he would bring to the table as a young Head Coach, his background and family and much more.

As the Director of FYN Sports, I have had the opportunity to sit down with a ton of coaches over the years and listen to their philosophy about football and also about life, but no Coach has brought the energy like Grant Myers did. By the time BKP and myself left the Dragons field house, I was ready to go to war for Coach Myers.

Here are the three things that stuck out most to me when speaking with Coach Myers:

  1. He’s a football guy through and through

You can tell by just looking at Coach Myers that he’s a football guy. Just a real dude. The man looks like he eats, breathes, and bleeds football. I’m sure that if you asked his wife Jena, she would sigh and tell you that that’s not too far from the truth! Just jokes, I am actually under the impression that Mrs. Myers isn’t too far behind Coach when it comes to their love of the game.

2. He is passionate

Passion is not something that can be faked. You’re either passionate about something or you’re not, and Coach Myers is passionate about winning football games and turning boys into young men. He said multiple times that he understand the importance of the football program and how it relates to the fabric of the community as a whole. He is proud to wear the Pickens Diamond P on his chest, and wants to pass that on to future generations.

3. He is young and energetic

What some people may look at as a con, I see Coach Myers being a young coach as a very good thing. Being a young guy that his players can relate to will go a long way on the football field and in the classroom. He can have a presence in the hallways and in the community as well as online that an old coach will not be able to. Like it or not, the world is almost completely online now. If Coach Myers takes to social media and has the presence online that I know he can, I think you’ll have kids coming out in groves to play for the man.

Also, FYN Sports wants to congratulate Coach and Mrs. Myers on having baby girl number 2 on the way!

Scoring Points: Congrats to the Middle School Champs

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Team FYN Sports had a very busy week this past week. We covered the North Georgia Mountain League Middle School Boys Basketball Tournament from start to finish. We started with the first round on Tuesday, then finished up on Friday with the Championship games.

We were also live on site streaming the JV and Varsity games between Union County and Rabun County.

Back to the North Georgia Mountain League Championships; We saw our host school Clear Creek Middle School face off against Fannin County Middle School in the 7th grade Championship. The game went into overtime where Clear Creek came away with the W.

In the eighth grade championship, we saw White County VS Clear Creek and Clear Creek was able to win that one pretty handily.

What an accomplishment for one Middle School to win the seventh and eighth grade championships. Clear Creek was a great host, they were great to the FYN sports team and we want to thank them for their hospitality.

Stay tuned to FYNTV.com for more live streams of upcoming sporting events!

Scoring Points: Congrats to the MHS Volleyball Team

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Murphy High School’s volleyball team has been on a tear this season. So much so, that they’ve only lost one set the entire season. Not one match, one single set!

The Bulldogs found themselves in their final match of the season against Robbinsville this past week.

They won the first set 25-7, second set 25-12, and the final set 25-20 to sweep the Black Knights and secure their fourth straight SMC Conference title.

That means that Seniors like Grace Nelson, Sarah Pullium and Olivia Cook will graduate without knowing what its like to NOT win a conference title, which is pretty special.

Head Coach Nikol Watson has done an outstanding job with these ladies and has not let coaching in a pandemic detour her from coaching a winning team.

Its once in a blue moon when a senior class like this one comes through a school. Winning the conference championship in your respective sport every year that you are in high school is a heck of an accomplishment.

#TeamFYNsports and the Sunday edition wants to congratulate the Bulldogs on a heck of a season and a heck of a run over the last four years.

One thing I did want to bring up though, is the way that the North Carolina High School Athletic Association is doing the playoffs for sports this year. Your overall winning percentage and wins doesn’t matter, all you have to do is win your conference and you receive and automatic bid into the playoffs. From there they draw your name to see what seed you will receive. Its kind of bull that they do seeding that way if you ask me, but thats just the way things are in this day and age I suppose.

Scoring Points: Coaching Carousel

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Hello everyone!

I know that high school football is technically over here in Georgia, but is it ever really over?

This off-season has just begun and already we are seeing coaching jobs come open left and right.

Gilmer Head Coach Kevin Saunders resigned a few weeks ago and just this past week we saw Pickens Head Coach Jeff Nelson step down. Nelson will remain with the team in some capacity, but the Head Coaching job is open.

If I were a betting man, I’d say that these aren’t the only local jobs that we will see come open.

Nelson did an outstanding job dealing with the pandemic and such a young group of kids that he had over in Pickens.

I am however excited to see what the right person can do with the Gilmer position. Those kids deserve better than finishing in the bottom half of their region every year. There’s enough talent over there to really compete.

I would also expect that some of the local assistants take a look at these jobs opening up in the surrounding area. There are a lot of comootent assistants on the Fannin and Union staff to name a few, and I think those guys will be getting a phone call.

Like I said though, I would bet that there are more jobs that open up this off season in this area. I think the coaching search for these local schools will be really fun to watch and to see what route the administration decided to take these programs.

Scoring Points: NCHSAA Playoffs Shakeup

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After a 2020 season that will present its own challenges and has already been moved to the spring, don’t expect things to get back to our expected norm in the years to come.

The Board of Directors voted for a complete overhaul of the state football playoffs. Beginning next year there will no longer be any subclassifications, meaning that there will no longer be any Big 1a and Little 1a, instead there will only be the 1a classification.

Previously, there have been 8 state champions crowned in North Carolina. Two in each classification. Now the NCHSAA will only be crowning 4 state champions, as the classifications will no longer be cut in half. This mean 128 less teams in the NCHSAA state playoffs.

The board also voted to reduce the number of regular season games from 11 to 10, including an endowment game.

The realignment rough draft has been released already and there are not a lot of changes in the 1a-2a regions. Swain and Murphy are teams that have teetered 1a-2a for a while, but they are both in 1a. East Surry has been 1a for the last few years, but they are now in 2a.

This whole getting rid of the sub classifications thing gives me mixed emotions. I feel bad for schools like Robbinsville, who were on the smaller side of Little 1a and are now going to be playing against schools way bigger than them. I believe that the 1a schools are from 200-600 students, and Robbinsville has around 300.

I would feel bad for schools like Murphy, Andrews and Hiwassee Dam too, if they were not going to be consolidated and moved to 2a in the next few years anyway.

I will say this, now when a school in North Carolina wins the state championship, there will be no doubt that they are the best school n their whole division.

Scoring Points: GHSA Football Playoffs are here

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The 2020 Georgia High School Association Playoffs are here!

That is a statement that I did not think that I would be able to say at the start of this season. We have seen games get cancelled, postponed, moved and rescheduled all year. But alas, we have made it!

Now is when the COVID concerns become really serious, as I will remind you that if a team is forced to miss a game in the playoffs due to COVID protocols, then they will be forced to forfeit and the other team will move on without having to play.

It is a terrible situation, but really the only thing that can be done. We cannot postpone the entire GHSA post season if one team is unable to play. We wish the best to all the teams that made it, and want to especially congratulate those in our coverage area on a great season!

The Fannin County Rebels won the Region 7AA championship and were able to host a home playoff game on Saturday.

The White County Warriors unfortunately fell to Rockmart in their first round playoff game on Friday night, 48-35.

The Union County Panthers traveled to Heard County on Saturday to play in their Region 7aa first round playoff game.

Dawson County was able to go on the road to Adairsville and beat the Tigers 45-31 and advance to the second round.

Number 1 seeded Cherokee Bluff was able to beat LaFayette and get their first ever playoff victory for their program.

#TeamFYNSports encourages everyone to show their support for their local student athletes and we hope you got out their this weekend and were cheering on your hometown team.

We also want to let you basketball fans know that we realize basketball season is right upon us and we will be switching our main coverage over to hoops after the football playoffs are over!

Scoring Points: Farewell to Copper Basin Seniors

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#TeamFYNsports wants to wish the Seniors from Copper Basin High School well as they find their way in life after football.

The Cougars unfortunately fell in the first round round of the Tennessee Secondary School Association State Playoffs to Clay County.

We want to take time to recognize all these seniors on the Copper Basin football team, as we have enjoyed covering them this year.

Congratulations to:

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back- Austin Collins

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back- Tim Jabaley

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back- Dawson Worthy

Quarterback- Bryson Grabowski

Defensive Back- Eli Patterson

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back-Jordan Johnson

Wide Receiver/Defensive Back- Tim Fair

Offensive Line/Linebacker- Larry Dye

Offensive Line/Defensive Line- Joseph Johnson

Offensive Line/Defensive Line- Blake Picklesimer

Center/Defensive Line- Chance Rollins

Offensive Line/Defensive Line- Hunter Perry

We expect to see a lot of these kids playing ball at the next level, including Bryson Grabowski who had his season ended early due to a torn ACL. He is currently 2-3 weeks ahead of schedule in his recovery and we at #TeamFYNsports cannot wait to see him come back better than ever after this injury.

Chance Rollins is another one that we look forward to seeing play on Saturdays in the future. Chance is a big time player on the offensive line and will make an impact on any college team that he plays on.

We also want to congratulate Head Coach Chad Grabowski. He led this team to a historic undefeated start and led the Cougars to be able to host a home playoff game.

Its been awesome to see the community rally around this team and we wish it could have ended better. Its hard to see a team as riddled with injuries as the Cougars were. We like to think it would have been a different outcome if the Cougars were able to stay healthy.

 

Scoring Points: Old rivalries renewed

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This year, we will be seeing local area teams play head to head for the first time in a long time.

This coming week, we will see Copper Basin host the Fannin County Rebels. The Rebels are riding an undefeated streak after their win Friday night against the Pepperell Dragons. This one was a turning point for the Rebels. Not just in this season, but for the whole program that some thought of as a program that could never win the “big” game. Copper Basin is also riding a pretty historic season thus far, with their only loss coming against McMinn Central tral two weeks ago. They were able to hold off the North Georgia Falcons Friday night in a tough battle.

We will see these two teams clash this coming Friday for the first time since I was born. Over twenty years ago. The atmosphere for this game will be akin to a playoff game. I expect a big turnout and an electric vibe running through the entire stadium as these two teams go battle it out.

Another game that we haven’t seen in a while will be Union hosting Gilmer county later on in the season. I need to do some more research and find out the last time these two have played, but I do know its been a while. The Panthers and Brian Allison are starting to get their season back on track after a stumbling start to the year, but they’re looking pretty good with QB Logan Helcher settling into his own. Gilmer has also turned the corner it seems, as they hung 60 on Lumpkin County last week and are looking toward their first winning season for the first time in a while. Kevin Saunders seems to have the Bobcats moving in the right direction after a few years of rebuilding. This game will also be the game of the week when these two titans of local area football finally clash again. I expect Union County stadium to be filled to the brim with people screaming for their teams.

 

Scoring Points: Playoffs?

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The Georgia High School Association has announced a few changes for the 2020 state playoffs in different sports.

Monday, Executive Director Robin Hines stated that the coronavirus would impact a number of sports when they enter postseason play when it came to attendance numbers.

The State football championship will be at full capacity in Georgia State’s Football Stadium so it will not be affected.

Basketball will see a huge change, as the state semifinals and finals games are usually played at surrounding colleges, but will not be this year. This year they will be played at high school gyms. The GHSA cited that many colleges simply are not allowing their arenas to open at all.

Hines said that the softball championships which take place in Columbus, will not have stands for fans. Attending fans will be required to bring their own chairs and seating and be required to socially distance.

This is going to be a weird change up for softball and basketball fans. I think that it will be especially weird for basketball fans and the athletes of the sport, as they won’t be able to have the experience of playing in a college arena and using the college facilities. I understand why they are not playing in college arenas, but what I do not understand is why the GHSA did not tell us who would be hosting these games and if they would be at neutral sites or anything like that. I suppose this information will come later.

Yet another changeup from the coronavirus that Georgia High School sports athletes and fans will be expected to take in stride. After all the changes we have experienced already this year though, these seem so minuscule that I doubt anyone will even bat an eye at them. But hey, that what local sports reporters are here for, to moan and groan about everything for you.

 

Scoring Points: Corona Transfers

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About a month or so ago, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association released their 2020-2021 sports schedule. This new schedule moved football to February and limited sports such as basketball to a 14 game season. It also opened up the door for transfers.

This new season put local athletes college futures at risk, as it has a serious impact on recruiting since North Carolina schools will only be playing conference schedules.

Andrews High School has already seen two of its top athletes transfer away to Georgia schools.

Murphy and Hayesville High School have also seen a few of there athletes transfer away to neighboring Georgia schools.

This transfer stuff is a real problem for North Carolina and its not just at the High School level.

The local North Carolina Smokey Mountain Conference Rec Leagues has been cancelled and neighboring Tennessee and Georgia leagues have seen an influx in their participants due to the North Carolina kids moving over to their area to play.

One man’s loss is another man’s gain however, as Towns County High School has been the benefit of a lot of these transfers. I would venture to guess that the Towns County basketball team will be ranked 1st in the state in their division or at lease very close to the top after the transfers they’ve received in the last month.

North Carolina is going to be in trouble if they don’t open back up soon, as they won’t have any athletes left and our local High School sports teams are left in shambles. If I were to guess, this will directly impact the governors race in November, if people were not fed up with this stuff already, they will be when they’re sitting in the stands watching their kids play on lack luster football teams in February because their best teammates already left.

Scoring Points: Football is all the way back

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Football is all the way back.

We have had several weeks of some Georgia High School Association teams playing, but this week we had a full slate, including Rabun Gap playing against a private North Carolina school in Christ School out of Asheville.

We also FINALLY got to see a full slate of college football games on Saturday, with the SEC being back to play. The BIG10 and the PAC12 are now set to begin their seasons too, so now we have no major power five conference’s sitting out for the season.

This is something that I never thought we would even come close to seeing in 2020, but boy am I glad we are seeing it. We have seen some bumps in the road at the high school and college level. Fannin and Union County have both been effected by COVID and had to cancel games. Appalachian State, my alama mater, was effected this past Saturday and had 13 players and coaches out due to contact tracing.

The Nation Football League is also in full swing now, as they are heading into their third week of games and so far they have not had any officials, players, or coaches and staff test positive.

As Major League Baseball’s season is coming to an end, we can look back at theirs and see that while some teams missed some games and there were some things that they had to deal with, it is possible for full long seasons to be played.

I did not really have a certain point in mind when I started writing this article, and I do not really have a point to make now. I think I just wanted to rejoice and say that football is all the way back. It feels like things are finally crawling back to normal.

Scoring Points: COVID in the playoffs

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Here in our Fetch Your News coverage area, we’ve already seen a few teams have to cancel games due to covid-19 stipulations. Copper Basin had their game cancelled last week and Fannin and Gilmer had to cancel their game also.

A question that everyone asks when you talk about cancelled games is if they will be making that game up. So far, the answer has been no.

When discussing these cancellations with some of my friends, I started to wonder what would happen if a local area team had covid complications during the postseason. After doing some research and thanks to a press release from the Georgia High School Association last week, we finally have the answers.

Once the playoffs begin, canceled games will be season-ending to teams that can’t play, Georgia High School Association executive director Robin Hines said Thursday. Hines said that they would have no choice but to advance the team that could play and passed all their protocols.

“We’d have to press on at that time; that’s when a forfeit would kick in,” Hines said. “The team they’re supposed to play would pick up the win and move on.”

In the regular season when games have been cancelled because of the covid protocols, depending on if it is a region or conference game, it would either go down as a forfeit or a no contest. Most of the time the teams agree upon a no contest if it is out of their region.

It really sucks to think that your favorite high school football team could be days away from playing in their first regional championship game, and have to forfeit because someone around the team or on the team had a positive cocid result or did not pass the covid protocols. That’s just the world we are living in now I guess.

Scoring Points: Basin and Fannin back to their old ways

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Fannin County High School has had one heck of a week.

They were originally scheduled to play the Gilmer County Bobcats this past week on September eleventh. That is until COVID-19 came into play.

Due to complications with COVID-19, the Fannin County High School Rebels were forced to cancel their game.

Across the state line in Tennessee, things went as planned for the Copper Basin Cougars. Copper Basin lined up against the Tellico Plains Bears in a matchup of two undefeated teams.

Coming into the game, Tellico had not allowed one single point all year long, but that woud change quickly as they found themselves looking up at a scoreboard at the end of the game that said: Basin: 56 Tellico: 14.

Copper Basin fans were rejoicing as they kept their undefeated season alive. However, Friday nights win was not the only reason they were rejoicing, as they got the news just before kickoff against Tellico that they had scheduled a game on October 23rd against Fannin County at home in Tennessee.

This is the first scheduled game for Fannin and Copper Basin since I was born in 1997. These two schools are not arch nemesis to say the least. Players from Basin and Fannin usually attend each others games when one of the two has a bye week, but I can bet that you can throw all of the friendliness out the window come October 23rd. I would venture to guess that more people will show up than the Copper Basin stadium can hold, and that the Copper Basin High School administration will have to come up with a way to add more bleachers and seating area into the stadium.

This new addition to the teams schedules will be very beneficial to both teams. It will give Fannin County the opportunity to make up for their lost game against Gilmer County, and it will give the Copper Basin Cougars a chance to really see what they are made of when playing a highly ranked team from the state of Georgia.

Scoring Points: First Football Weekend

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The Georgia High School Association kicked off their football season this past week, with teams around the area playing face to face on Friday night.

There were some health precautions and restrictions put in place to ensure a safe outing such as these listed below from Union County High School:

  • There will be designated seating areas for students and the band. This will be approximately half of the stadium which will reduce spectator seating capacity.
  • Social distancing and mask wearing is encouraged. Signs will be posted and announcements will be made periodically throughout the contest to encourage safe health practices.
  • We are working to keep both of our communities safe from the threat of COVID-19. Spectators are encouraged to self screen before arrival to the event. If you have a fever over 100.0 or have any symptoms we ask that you please stay home.

Some schools also had limits on total capacity and ticket sales while others did not.

My point is that all of this went on without a hitch. There were no problems that came to light from the Fannin vs Union game that I attended, although it was weird to see all the plexiglass around the ticket booths and such. Even from looking on twitter and seeing what my other colleagues and friends have had to say, it seems like people every where were simply compliant with the rules set forth by the teams and really wanted to help in any way that they could.

I saw masks being worn by different people and I saw people social distancing without masks. All in all I think they this proves that as adults we can start getting back to normal, as long as we have the same kind of respect for each other as southerners do for high school football.

Scoring Points: Following Guidelines

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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 guidelines include but are not limited to: Spectators are recommended to 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 if possible. Spectators should be restricted from direct competition areas and from visiting with student athletes and personnel before, during and after events. You can also probably expect a change in concessions, if your school is even offering concessions.

I know that this is not what a lot of us wanted to hear at all. If you are anything like me then you absolutely hate wearing a mask. And to be honest I do not really understand why I should wear a mask when I am outside watching a football game anyway.

But guess what?

Im going to do it.

Not for me, not for you, not for the governor or anyone else. I am going to do it for the kids. They can give me whatever stupid guideline they want and I am still going to follow it to help ensure that these kids are able to play a full season. I would hate to look back and know that just because I refused to follow guidelines, I was one of the reasons that a senior student-athlete didn’t get to play in his final home game.

I encourage all of our readers to put their pride aside for the sake of the kids and just follow the guidelines. All any of us want is for football to be back anyway, so now that its finally back lets keep it that way.

Scoring Points: Fake Fans and Artificial Crowd Noise: A New Staple?

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Luckily, for all of us die hard fans, professional sports are starting to return in some shape or form. Yet, with this return has come the emergence of fake fans and artificial crowd noise.

What I mean by this if you have not been able to watch any games since the restart of the major sports seasons is that, MLB teams are pumping in fake crowd noise through their speakers and into the empty stadium. In some of those stadiums there are cardboard cutouts placed in the seats behind home plate and such of real fans of the team, to combat the effect of seeing an empty stadium on TV.

In the NBA, teams are pumping in fake crowd noise and banter just as the MLB. However, they are using artificial fans through the use of the video board and AI technology to show live video of fans from home and cool things like that.

Personally, I think that the fake fans and artificial crowd noise is working out really well for some teams and really bad for others.

For instance, the cardboard cutouts are kind of a cool thing to see and, if you want one for yourself, you can go online and apply and upload a picture of yourself and pay to see yourself as a cardboard cutout on TV.

The fake crowd noise actually works pretty well for all teams, just because it helps keep any dullness from coming up on the broadcast. It is definitely a little weird because you can for sure tell that it is fake noise coming through the speakers, but I have watched games with and without it and I can tell you that you definitely want to watch a game with fake crowd noise over one with no noise.

Where it gets really weird for me is the way the NBA digitally puts fans in seats. When I first saw it, it reminded me of an old NBA2K video game made in the 1990s where everything was pixelated and you could not make out any faces. I guess at the end of the day it’s better than looking at an empty stadium, but in my opinion the NBA could take a few notes from the MLB.

 

 

Check out more of Jake West’s Scoring Points by reading last week’s article: With football pushed back, what happens to basketball?. Also remember, in sports, points are scored by both sides, so send in your opinions on sports to [email protected] and see them in our next Sunday Edition.

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