Towns County Rec Director Youngblood talks decline in football interest

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Matt Youngblood

HIAWASSEE, Ga. – Towns County Recreation Director Matt Youngblood attended July’s county commissioner’s meeting to inform the community about the county’s sports facility, including the reason he believes an interest in youth football has decreased.

“One thing that has been a concern for us at the rec department is the interest level in football. I know a lot of people are wanting to know what happened with football in our area,” Youngblood said, explaining that parents have raised concerns about head injuries – specifically concussions – that could result from tackles, and that only two children had enrolled to participate. The recreation director reported that the center began offering flag football as a milder alternative, although only five children signed up for the added sport.

Toiwns County Recreation Center

Towns County Recreation Center basketball courts

Enthusiasm for other physical activities is different story, however, with 67 athletes participating in the center’s basketball camp, Youngblood said. Towns County Recreation Center offers the annual basketball camp in association with Young Harris College Division II Basketball. The program began in 2017 with the help of YHC Assisant Men’s Basketball Coach and former player, Steve Viterbo. With the vision of giving youth an opportunity to learn fundamentals from Division II athletes while they impart knowledge, show offensive and defensive drills, and create an energetic atmosphere where youth can prosper.

The sport center offers two high school regualtion size basketball courts with a drop down divide to separate the dual courts, and multi-purpose flooring with a 2 millimeter cushion to help prevent injury. Soccer was added to the roster this past year, drawing approximately 90 players of both genders, Youngblood said.

Towns County Rec Center

Towns County Recreation Center fitness facility

Two ball fields were constructed at the Young Harris facility that can be used for both baseball and softball. Located separately, within the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, are three ball fields that will soon receive updated scoreboards. The area consists of one 14u baseball field, and two fields that serve as multi-purpose for 12u, 10u, coach pitch, and T-ball. An outdoor pickleball complex, located near the fairgrounds, boasts 14 courts, and an indoor pickleball court is available at the former recreation center, just west Hiawassee city limits on State Route 76.

Towns County Recreation Center features a one-tenth mile indoor walking track, along with a fitness center, provided free of charge for all Towns County residents. Fitness equipment ranges from treadmills, ellipticals, recumbant bikes, bench press, and a line-up of Cybex body equipment.

The state-of-the-art facility is located at 150 Foster Park in Young Harris. Additional information on Towns County Recreation Center is available by clicking this link.

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Robin H. Webb

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5 Star Basketball Camp at Towns County Recreation Department

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5 Star Basketball Camp with Director: Ray Porredon and Assistant Coach Lowell Hamilton.  July 22nd, 23rd, and 24th at Towns County Recreation Department!  $75 for the camp.   9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Bring your own lunch and concessions will be sold at the recreation department.  Tentative, Tri-State All-Star Game July 24th 6 p.m.   Please contact Ray at 706-304-8402 to register and more information.

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Panthers take down Rebels

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Friday Jan 12, the Lady Panthers faced off against the Fannin County Lady Rebels in a 7-AAA matchup. The Lady Panthers tipped off at 7pm.

The Lady Panthers got off to a hot start leading 11-7 at the end of Q1. The Lady Panthers were led by sophomore forward Andelin Hill who had 5 Other scorers were Kait Mccarter(4), Bailey Daniel(2).

The Lady Panthers wrapped up an intense 2nd quarter with a 26-19 lead over the Lady Rebels. Kait Mccarter had a huge quarter scoring 11. Sophomores Brooke Dockrey and Andelin Jill also had 2 points, respectively.

Going into the third quarter, the Lady Panthers got off to a hot start as they pulled an 11-0 run to extend the lead to 37-24. UC was led by Bailey Daniel(5), Kait Mccarter(4), Brook Dockrey(2). Kait Mccarter scored a career high 25 points in a Lady Panther domination of the Lady Rebels by a score of 45-29.

Bailey Daniel and Brooke Dockrey also scored (7) each. The Lady Panthers improve to 12-5 and 4-2 in Region 7-AAA. The Lady Panthers play GAC on Saturday, Jan 13th. The Lady Spartans are ranked #1 in the state in AAA.

The Panthers tipped off at 8:30pm, following the Lady Panthers. The Panthers trailed 10-9 at the end of Q1 led by RJ Banton (4), Pierson Allison (3), and Crawford Colwell (2).
UC trailed 20-17 as FC hits a 3 to put them on top going into the half. The Panthers were led by RJ Banton, Britt Waller, Patrick Baggett, Crawford Colwell all scored 2 points.
The Panthers got off to a slow start out of the half to trail 38-25 as FC went on a 18-5 run to end Q3. UC was led by Crawford Colwell (4), Candler Colwell, and RJ Banton both scored (2). Pierson Allison had (17) and Crawford Colwell (12), while accounting for every UC FG over the final 15 minutes.
Other UC scorers were RJ Banton (8), Britt Waller, and Patrick Bagget scored (4) and Candler Colwell (2). The Panthers fall to 13-4 and 3-3 in region play. The Panthers hosted the GAC Spartans on Saturday, Jan 13th. GAC Is ranked #5 in the state in AAA.  Follow us on facebook and twitter for up-t0-the-minute coverage and breaking sports news, as well as score updates throughout the games.  Full story on the GAC matchup to follow.

Union County takes 3rd in Battle of the States

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Friday Dec. 29, the panthers looked to finish off day 3 of the Battle of the States tournament. Both teams were 1-1 and were playing for 3rd place. Both were playing towns. The lady panthers dominated all assets of the game.

The lady Indians were missing star freshman forward Kennedi Henson and the lady panthers capitalized early and often as the panthers out rebounded the lady Indians 16-6 in the first half. The score was 13-8 at the end of Q1.

The lead grew of the course of Q2 at the half the score was 24-13 as sophomore guard Brooke Dockrey led the team with 8 points. At the end of Q3 38-22. Union ended the game with a final score of 52-33 at sophomore guard Brooke Dockrey had 16 and senior guard Bailey Daniel had 14.

Union out rebounded the lady Indians 28-12 as The lady panthers finished 3 and had one all tournament selection which was Bailey Daniel. The lady panthers are currently ranked 11th in AAA and host the #14 lady Vikings Jan. 2nd @ 6.

The panthers also faced towns county both teams 1-1 and playing for 3rd place. Towns was out star center Logan Cowart and Union capitalized off of the low post weakness.
Union got off to a hot start and never let down.
UC led 23-12 at the end of Q1 as senior Patrick Bagget hit a buzzer beating 3 to extend the lead. Union was hot from beyond the arc in the first half as union had 11 3 pointers in the first half. Led by sophomore guard Pierson Allison.
Pierson went 5-5 in the first half from beyond the Arc. Senior Cole Davis also hit a 3 at the buzzer to extend the halftime lead 54-25. Union also led 68-42 at the end of Q3. The final score was 82-59 as UC improves to 11-1.
Union hosts the #12 in AAA East Hall on Jan. 2nd. @7:30.

Union Girls top Darlington, Boys force ‘Mercy Rule’ against Peidmont

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By Isaiah Garrett, TeamFYNSports reporter

Wednesday Dec. 27, Union County played in the 24th annual Battle of the States tournament. The lady panthers tipped off at 4pm playing against Darlington School.

The lady panthers got off to a slow start falling behind 16-14  at the end of the first. However, Senior Bailey Daniel led a lady panther 3 point parade by shooting 3-4 from downtown in the 2nd quarter.

Union led 31-26 at the half. Both teams were plagued with turnovers in the 3rd quarter, a combined 14 turnovers led to a score of 38-33 at the end of the 3rd. However, Darlington battled back to tie the game at 52 with only 57 seconds left in regulation.

Junior forward Adeline Dockrey made an incredible fade-away hook shot with 17 seconds left to grab the lead, a shot so impressive you had to see it to believe it. A Darlington 3-pointer at the buzzer fell inches short as it bounced off the rim.  Union takes the win, 54-52.

Bailey Daniel led the panthers with 22. The lady panthers advanced to the semi-finals to play Murphy, NC at 4pm on Dec 28th. Full story to follow.

Panthers force ‘mercy rule’ in dominant 69-27 victory
The panthers tipped off at 5:30 against Piedmont AL. Piedmont was ranked the #2 team in class AAA in the preseason.
Union got off to a hot start leading 13-8 as Union had 4 steals in the first quarter. Union took a 18-5 run to extend the lead going into the half, leading 31-13.
Sophomore Pierson Allison led the panthers with 11 points in the first half. Union continued the hot start in the second half and at the end of Q3 led 54-24.
Due to the mercy rule, the 4th quarter was shortened from 8 to 6 minutes. Union finished the game with a score of 69-27. Sophomores Pierson allison (14) and Sawyer Drake (13) led a very balanced panther attack into the semi-finals. Union advanced to play Murphy at 5:30pm on Thursday.  Full story to follow.

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