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Board Approves new turf for football field

Community, Education

WHITE COUNTY, Ga. – The Board of Education voted to approve the new turf for the football field and the timeline for work to begin at their meeting on Oct. 28.

The Board also approved the ESPLOST request for October, the dispositions for all schools and the August and September financial reports.

Rod Nix from Charles Black construction gave the board two possible timelines for the new turf for the football field at their work session on Tuesday, Oct. 26. To view what both plans were as well as the other construction plans to come in the future visit

The board went with option 1 for the project. The demolition of the current field will begin on Feb. 28. The new turf will begin to go in on April 25, with projected completion on May 13. The price for the new turf field is $950,000.

It will last about 10 to 12 years before it needs replacement. When that time comes, the system will not have to pay the full cost due to the infrastructure already being in place. There are also possible revenues options that can be pursued at that time for the used turf. It will also save on the cost of yearly maintenance of the field.

“Everyone coming to the county is paying for the bill instead of the property owners, basically we are saving the property tax owners money by putting this in,” explained Boardmember John Solmon.

The board also approved the ESPLOST request for October. The request was for $295,890.00. This is broken down between the WCHS Theater Department, the Athletics Department, the Technology Department and Student Services.

Another item that the board approved was the dispositions from each school. Jack P. Nix Elementary school is getting rid of IPads from 2012, Apple Computers from 2008 and Printers from 2013. Mossy Creek Elementary is losing some MACs they’ve had since 2008.

Mt. Yonah Elementary is also disposing of old IPads. Tesentee Gap Elementary has some computers they’ve had since 2011 that need to be disposed of.

The High school and Middle school are both disposing of Chromebooks. All items have been replaced or are currently being replaced in the schools.

Julie Dorsey, the Finance Director, presented the August and September financial reports. The board then approved both reports unanimously.

The August General Fund Report.

The revenue for August is $895,989.16 and the expenditures are $1,805,334.93. The September revenue is $3,086,747,18 and the expenditures are $5,521,837.83. These are the year-to-date numbers.

The September General Fund Report.

” The chart is a little skewed in August and as we get to September you’ll see it start to rotate a little more to the norm, it’s because of the payroll accruals for salary and benefits were still in play in the month of August,” Dorsey elaborated.

Superintendent Dr. Laurie Burkett also recognized Stephanie Hill of White County News for her work with the board. Hill is departing from White County News and there will be a new representative that covers the news at the Board of Education.

Stephanie Hill (left) and Dr. Laurie Burkett (right) when Hill was being recognized.

FYN Sports Top 5 Football Stadiums in Our Viewing Area

Team FYN Sports

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

Photo taken by Mark Muir

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.

Photo taken by MHS Athletics on Facebook

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

Photo from Chris Mathis

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.

Photo from Chris Mathis

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

Photo from North Cobb Electrical Services


What can there be said about Dragon Stadium? The crowd, the atmosphere, the view? It starts when you pull into Pickens High School with Sharptop Mountain in the background. The sun coming down behind the trees. The Dragons walking down the hill as they make their entrance. The thing about being in a small, mountain community, when the Dragons take the field, it’s the main attraction on Friday nights. There is no doubt, that Dragon Stadium has one of the more picturesque backgrounds in the state of Georgia.

White Co. shuts out West Hall in homecoming game

Sports, Team FYN Sports, White Co. Football

The White Co. Warriors (5-2, 1-2 Region 7-3A) defeated the West Hall Spartans (2-5, 0-3 Region 7-3A) 35-0 in their homecoming game on Friday night. Junior Silas Mulligan ran for three touchdowns, and sophomore Darius Cannon had two interceptions to help the team dominate both sides of the ball.

Junior Zion McMullen celebrating the first White Co. touchdown of the night, which came on his 3-yard run.

The Spartans received the ball to start the game, but neither team scored on their first possession. Junior Zion McMullen opened the scoring with a big run that set up his 3-yard rushing touchdown to give White Co. a 7-0 lead. After getting the ball back from West Hall, the Warriors lost a fumble on a high snap that gave the Spartans excellent field position. Despite that, junior Bryson Cronic made a huge interception and returned it to the West Hall 30-yard line. This set up Mulligan’s first touchdown of the night, which came from 12 yards out.

To open the 2nd quarter, Cannon ended the Spartans’ possession early with an interception. Unfortunately, that drive was cut short by another fumble from White Co. After another interception by Cannon a few possessions later, neither team was able to move the ball well until late in the first half. After a 36- yard pass from senior Riley Stancil to fellow senior Cooper Turner, Mulligan ran in the touchdown to give the Warriors a 21-0 lead at halftime.

Junior Bryson Cronic returning his interception to the West Hall 30-yard line.

White Co. received the ball to open the second half. They weren’t able to score on the opening possession, but they put together two scoring drives on the following possessions. Mulligan’s 3rd touchdown of the night came on a 38-yard run halfway through the 3rd quarter. After forcing another 3 and out, Stancil had two big runs that set up his 5-yard touchdown run that increased their lead to 35-0. After getting another stop, the Warriors were able to run out the clock and seal the win.

The next White Co. game will be in two weeks when they host the Lumpkin Co. Indians on November 6th.

White Co. falls to Dawson Co. to open region play

Team FYN Sports, White Co. Football

The Dawson Co. Tigers (2-3, 1-0 Region 7-3A) defeated the White Co. Warriors (4-1, 0-1 Region 7-3A) 42-35 on Friday night in Dawsonville. Despite the constant rain throughout the game, neither team struggled to make big plays.

Senior J Ben Haynes scrambling out of the pocket.

Backup quarterback Riley Stancil came into in the game in the middle of the third quarter and ran for two touchdowns for the Warriors. Sophomore Darius Cannon also made a number of big plays for White Co., including a 64-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Both teams got off to slow starts to the game. Dawson Co. received the first possession, but the teams traded a pair of 3 and outs before a bad punt by White Co. gave the Tigers excellent starting field position. They capitalized on it quickly as Holtzclaw found Lane for a 34-yard touchdown to give Dawson Co. the first points of the game late in the first quarter. The teams traded 3 and outs again before senior J Ben Haynes found his receiver for a huge 48-yard gain. However, the Warriors couldn’t move the ball into the endzone and faked a field goal attempt that gave the ball back to Dawson Co.

The Tigers reversed the field quickly on a 74-yard run by Isaiah Grindle. Shortly after, Holtzclaw found junior Conley Dyer for a 21-yard touchdown to extend their lead early in the second quarter. White Co. found life on an 80-yard kick return by Cannon to start the drive in the redzone. However, the Warriors again couldn’t finish the drive with a touchdown as junior Braedon Hubbard intercepted a 4th down pass to get the ball back for the Tigers. Junior Riley Turner got the ball right back for the Warriors by intercepting a pass on the next drive. Cannon used the interception to score a 64-yard touchdown to get the Warriors on the board late in the first half. Dawson Co. was able to strike back quickly on a 63-yard touchdown to Sonnichsen less than a minute later. White Co. finally found life in their offense and continued that momentum. Cannon had another big play on a 32-yard reception that set up a 1-yard touchdown run by Haynes that made the halftime score 21-14 in favor of the Tigers.

White Co. picked up right where they left off to start the second half. Senior Cooper Turner had a 38-yard reception that set up a 33-yard touchdown run by junior Silas Mulligan. The Warrior defense built off the touchdown as senior Jesse Moose intercepted a pass to get White Co. the ball back. With Haynes going down on the ensuing drive, Stancil stepped in and delivered the Warriors their first lead of the game on a 12-yard touchdown run. Dawson Co. fought back on the next drive, as Holtzclaw got the ball to his playmakers before eventually finding Lane for his second touchdown of the game. The Tigers’ defense stepped up this time as they set their offense up with great field position after a fake punt by White Co. Holtzclaw found Sonnichsen quickly for a 42-yard touchdown to get Dawson Co. the lead back late in the 3rd quarter.

Sophomore Darius Cannon after making a big play for the Warriors.

Mulligan started off the next Warriors’ drive with a 28-yard run to swing the momentum back to the Warriors. Stancil built off of the big play with a 19-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 35 early in the fourth quarter. Grindle returned the kickoff to midfield, but the Tigers couldn’t capitalize on the field position. They attempted a fake punt of their own, but a fumble gave White Co. excellent field position for their next drive. Mulligan powered his way through the Tigers’ defense to get his team down to the goal line. However, Dawson Co. was able to recover a fumble on the 3-yard line to swing the momentum back in their favor. The Tigers struggled to move the ball to begin the drive. Holtzclaw made two huge throws on third down. The first was a 17-yard pass to Sonnichsen to get his team some breathing room. The next was a pass to sophomore Jaden Gibson that turned into a 77-yard touchdown for the Tigers to give them the 42-35 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the game. White Co. reached deep into their back of tricks on the next drive. A double reverse set up a long run by Cannon to get White Co. past midfield. The Tiger defense stepped up one last time. After a sack on third down, Gibson sealed the game with an interception to get Dawson Co. possession of the ball and the victory.

White Co. plays next Friday as they host North Hall high school at 7:30 p.m.

#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


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

Sports, Team FYN Sports
ghsa positive

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

Sports, Team FYN Sports

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.

Over 600 players and coaches in Georgia test positive for COVID

ghsa positive

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.


White Co. football Players of the Week recognized

Player of the Week, Team FYN Sports, White Co. Football
White Co. Players of the Week

The six players named TeamFYNSports Player of the Week during White Co.’s 2019 football season were recognized Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the high school. Each player received a commemorative shirt and a gift certificate for a free meal.

The Players of the Week were:

Week 1: Zion McMullen. The sophomore running back scored three touchdowns in a win against Lumpkin Co. on Aug. 30 at home.

White Co. Players of the Week

Junior J. Ben Haynes was named the TeamFYNSports Player of the Week three times during the past football season.

Week 2: J. Ben Haynes. The junior quarterback accounted for two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in a loss at Habersham Central on Sept. 6.

Week 3: Jesse Moose. The junior defensive player had an 80-yard fumble returned in a win against Pickens on Sept. 13 at home.

Week 4: J. Ben Haynes. The quarterback threw a 45-yard touchdown pass to go along with three rushing touchdowns in a win at North Hall on Sept. 20.

Week 5: Jesse Moose. The junior had multiple sacks and tackles for loss to go along with a fumble recovery in a loss at Marist on Sept. 27.

Week 6: Will Sampson. The senior wide receiver had multiple catches and a receiving touchdown in a loss at Flowery Branch on Oct. 4.

Week 7: J. Ben Haynes. The quarterback accounted for five touchdowns (three rushing and two passing) in a win against West Hall at home Oct. 18.

Week 8: Cooper Turner. The junior caught two touchdown passes in a loss to Denmark at home Oct. 25.

Week 9: Riley Stancil. The junior running back scored a rushing touchdown and caught a touchdown in a win at Chestatee on Nov. 11.

Week 10: Cooper Turner. The junior had more than 100 yards receiving in a loss to Blessed Trinity at home Nov. 8.


Editor’s note: TeamFYNSports would like to thank our sponsors for the 2019 White Co. football season. Without their support, coverage of the Warriors would not have been possible. A big thank you to Circuit World, Graphic Expressions, Day’s Chevrolet, Flash Media Group, Ingles, Pepsi, and Chick-fil-A.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week – Jesse Moose #24

Player of the Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports

For the second time this season, Team FYN Sports is excited to announce Jesse Moose as the player of the week.

Jesse was an unstoppable force on defense tonight, and was a bright spot in an otherwise forgettable game. He had multiple sacks and tackles for loss throughout the game. Even when the Warriors were down as high as 28, he kept on making big plays. He also recovered another fumble, reminiscent of his heroics from earlier in the season.

Congrats to Jesse for once again being named Team FYN Sports’ Player of the Week for the White County Warriors.


Team FYN Sports Player of the Week – Will Sampson #27

Player of the Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports

The wide receiver had an impressive outing against Flowery Branch, earning him Player of the Week honors.

Tonight, Will Sampson had a return to form, finding a chance to showcase his talents throughout the night.

It’s been an up and down year for Sampson so far. He’s dealt with a couple on injuries so far, which has prevented him from getting the same playing time that he had last season. But tonight, he was a key player. He scored the first TD of the game for White County, finding himself wide open in the endzone on a 5 yard receiving TD. He was also making key receptions throughout the night, giving the Warriors chances to continue drives.

Congratulations to Will Sampson for being named Team FYN Sports Player of the Week.

Warriors Struggle in Scrimmage Loss to Stephens County

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Football is back in White County! Unfortunately, the season did not start off on the right track.

The Warriors were unsuccessful in their scrimmage against the Stephens County Indians, losing 25-48. Early on, things looked bright for the Warriors, as senior DB Nix Burkett had an interception on their first defensive possession. Immediately afterwards, QB J. Ben Haynes found Jesse Thomas in the end zone for an early touchdown. However, this would be the only time all game that the Warriors held the lead.

The Indians scored two touchdowns to take a 13-6 lead to end the first quarter. The Warriors suffered a major blow in the first quarter, one which will affect their offense for the regular season. Junior wide receiver Jimmy King left the game midway through the first quarter with what turned out to be a dislocated left shoulder. Just like last season, King will likely miss the majority, if not all, of the 2019 football season.

As the first half progressed, things only got worse for the Warriors. They were unable gain any traction on offense until the end of the quarter, as Thomas caught another TD pass from Haynes. Meanwhile, Stephens County kept the foot on the throttle, scoring two more touchdowns to end the first half with a 27-13 lead.

Entering the third quarter, the Warriors were hoping to put six points on the board to give themselves momentum. On one hand, they put six points on the board. On the other hand, it was for Stephens County, as J. Ben Haynes threw a pick-6 to extend the lead for the Indians.

As the game progressed, both teams put in their second and third string players into the game. The younger Warriors played very well, as sophomore Silas Mulligan and junior Riley Stancil both scored touchdowns in the 4th quarter. However, their efforts were not enough to give the Warriors the preseason win.

Third year coach Tim Cokely will have a tough task leading this team to the playoffs. They have two state championship threats in their division in Marist and Blessed Trinity. Also, they have to deal with the always great Flowery Branch, and the up and coming Denmark. As for now, they will have two weeks to address their issues from today’s scrimmage before their season opener on August 30th vs. Lumpkin County.


Warriors suffer a tough loss to the Marist War Eagles.

Sports, Team FYN Sports

In what was the expected result coming into the game, the Marist War Eagles were able to defeat the White County Warriors 35-19. 

The beginning portion of the game was controlled by Marist.

The War Eagles were on the hunt early. After a White County 3 & out to start the game, Marist QB Connor Cigelske scored a 58 yard rushing touchdown on one of their first offensive plays to almost immediately gain the lead. They would soon score again after another rushing touchdown midway through the first quarter, making the score 15-0 after a two point conversion. 

The Warriors would have multiple ups and downs throughout the game.

Seth Stonecypher before his TD.

Meanwhile, it was a rough start for the Warriors. It was in the 2nd quarter after four offensive drives to finally gain a first down after a fourth down conversion. Later on during that same drive, J. Ben Haynes would find Cooper Turner for a deep ball, and Turner would be stopped at the 1 yard line. Junior running back Seth Stonecypher would score his first career rushing touchdown on the next play, making the score 15-7.

The Warriors had another golden opportunity to score shortly afterwards. Marist would fumble the ensuing kick return and Jesse Moose would recover the fumble at the Marist 3 yard line. However, Marist would make an impressive goal line stand, stopping the Warriors from scoring on all four downs. On the War Eagles first play back on offense. Fullback Lincoln Parker scored a 98 yard rushing touchdown, killing all of White County’s momentum in a matter of seconds. To further deplete themselves, J, Ben Haynes would throw his first of two interceptions in the game. Marist would score another touchdown and a field goal in the remaining minutes of the half to go into halftime with a 32-7 lead.

Jaquez Williams after his fumble recovery.

To begin the 2nd half, Marist kicked another field goal to give themselves a 35-7 lead. After this, it was clear that they took their foot off the throttle, as they would put in their second unit on both offense and defense. Early on in this stint, the Warriors had trouble. After Jaquez Willimas recovered a fumble on defense, Haynes would throw his second interception to immediately give the ball back. 

The Warriors slowly began to crawl towards a comeback as the game progressed.

J. Ben Haynes after his 2nd interception

Things started to lookup for the Warriors afterwards. White County kept their first string units in for the game, and they began to look good. They forced Marist to punt on their next two defensive drives. Meanwhile, the Warrior offense began to gain momentum. Haynes was firing the ball downfield as Jesse Thomas and Cooper Turner were his leading targets. However, it was Reece Dockery that would catch a 17 yard receiving touchdown to bring the deficit to 22. On the Warriors next offensive drive, Haynes would rush in for an 8 yard TD, making the score 19-35 with less than six minutes remaining. . Both of these touchdowns were on fourth down. All game long, the Warriors were converting fourth downs, as they only punted the ball 4 times, all in the first half.

Marist was feeling the pressure of a Warrior comeback, and put in their first string offense maintain the lead and to seal the victory. They would run the clock out, and end the game with a 35-19 victory. 

What’s next for the Warriors?

Ultimately, the Warriors were always going to have a tough time tonight. Marist came into the game undefeated and are widely regarded as one of the top teams in the entire state of Georgia, and they proved why they are ranked so high tonight. Meanwhile, the Warriors have another tough road game next week as they travel to Flowery Branch to take on the Falcons before a bye week. To keep up with more White County Warrior news, follow Team FYN Sports on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

White County Heads into Bye Week 3-3 after Loss to Flowery Branch

Sports, Team FYN Sports

For the second consecutive week, the White County Warriors suffer a road defeat to a regional opponent. This time out, the Flowery Branch Falcons defeated them 45-20.

The game was under the control of Flowery Branch from the very start.

Their rushing attack was unstoppable throughout the entirety of the game, starting out with their team rushing down the field and scoring on their first drive, with RB Chase Dial-Watson scoring his first of 2 rushing touchdowns. On their next offensive drive, it would be RB Jaizen Ellingham scoring his first of 3 TDs, which gave the Falcons a 14-0 lead to end the first quarter. 

An unwelcome sight for the White County Warriors

Meanwhile, the Warriors struggled. Their defense was almost nonexistent in the first half, especially against the run. On offense, the Warriors couldn’t buy a first down in the first quarter. They finally got to move the chains during the 2nd quarter after faking a punt and passing for a first down. However, it could be argued that the biggest adversary for the Warriors tonight was not wearing pads and dressed in black. Instead, their biggest adversary was a yellow piece of dirty laundry that constantly found its way onto the field. Yes, the penalty flag was constantly setting the Warriors back and killing their momentum all throughout the night. In the first half, the Warriors were called for 4 false start calls, along with being called for holding multiple times.

Eventually, the Warriors gained some steam.

Will Sampson catching the TD pass.

After the Falcons scored another TD and converted a 32 yard field goal, the Warriors finally had a good drive going. J. Ben Haynes led his team downfield with key passes to Will Sampson and Cooper Turner. He would eventually find Will Sampson wide open in the endzone, and the Warriors would go into the half losing 6-24.

The Warriors went into the 2nd half without a key defensive player. Two time player of the week Jesse Moose would not return to the game in the 2nd half as he left with an undisclosed injury. But they started the 2nd half on offense, and Haynes was once again driving the ball downfield, including a 42 yard pass to Jesse Thomas. Eventually, the ball was at the 5 yard line, and on the next play, Haynes would throw an interception, adding on to his unimpressive tally of INTs throughout the season.

J. Ben Haynes moment after his second turnover.

Things would go from bad to worse for J. Ben. After White County forced a 3 and out on defense, he would fumble the ball on the next offensive drive, bringing the morale of the Warriors to an all time low. 

Meanwhile, the Falcons continued to play well on offense. Jaizen Ellingham would score his 2nd TD after the fumble, giving the Falcons a 31-6 lead to end the 3rd quarter.

The Warriors would not lose without a fight.

The Falcons would bring on their 2nd unit on defense, which in return, gave the Warriors a chance to fire on offense. Haynes began to play like the man we had seen earlier in the season. Haynes would score on an 18 yard rushing TD after leading his offense on an impressive and uplifting the drive. Flowery Branch and Ellingham would once again score on the next drive to bring the lead back to 25. 

The next offensive drive for the Warriors was a flashback to the Lumpkin County vs. White County matchup. Zion McMullen absolutely flew past the Falcon defenders, rushing for over 70 yards on the drive, ending the drive on a 3 yard TD. But this effort was too late in the game, as Flowery Branch would drive down the field and kill the clock, before scoring another TD with less than a minute remaining, sealing their victory with the final score of 45-20.

Up next, a much needed break for the Warriors.

For the Warriors, they are now 0-2 in region play this season. On the plus side, they have an off week next week, and now have time to get healthy and recuperate. When they return in two weeks, it will be their homecoming game against West Hall. It is a must win game for the Warriors if they want any chance of making the playoffs. For more updates on the White County Warriors, follow Team FYN Sports on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-Back in season


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.

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