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

All of TeamFYNSports, Sports

Recently I’ve started watching the show Friday Night Lights again. Let me just say- this is partially important because I’m not a big TV show person. I don’t have the patience to sit through an hour-long episode nor do I usually have the time to keep up with a series. But I figure with pre-season football kicking in and the fall season quickly approaching, revisiting a show that revolves around high school football is one of the best ways to get me hyped up for what’s to come.

Watching this series has also made me think about a couple of things. For one, why do we as a society rally so much around a sport that’s played by boys no older than 18-years-old? Second, do we put too much pressure on athletes who play the game? And finally, is the hype and the pressure truly worth it?

I think the answer can be summed up pretty easily- yes. And why? For love of the game.

But the love of the game is different for each of us. We’re not all going to attend every single football game or spend thousands of dollars to sit in Sanford every Saturday. We all have our limits, and in my opinion that’s perfectly okay.

Why else would my friend Erin and I bundle up in the freezing cold for playoffs? Because we love football!

I like to say that there’s something about having a team that you love that will get inside of you and never leave. I find it fascinating that there are towns across America like Dillon, Texas that will show up in the thousands to support their Panthers. Coaches and players are local celebrities, and you get your butt in the stands every Friday night just as religiously as a pew on Sunday morning. I came from a high school of nearly 4,000 students and a county of almost one million people, but the same spirit that rallies much smaller towns across the country still pulses through mine.

Yes, oftentimes I’m afraid that means we put too much pressure on the athletes who play the game. In my own personal experience, at the high school level we had so many students that it was nearly impossible to know the daily goings-on at the field house. But it was that age-old cycle of that when we would win, the coaches and players would be praised. One loss and the attitude switched faster than the direction of a twister.

But one of the many great things about this country is we have the freedom of choice in many of our decisions. Even though the athletes and coaches who play these games catch a lot of grief, they still have the choice to walk away. Some do. But for those who don’t? I’d venture to say it’s for love of the game.

When it comes to putting pressure on athletes, especially young ones, I believe the relationship is a two-way street. They should know what they’re doing, but despite all the love we have for the game, we need to understand when enough is enough. I’ve heard the term “daddy ball” thrown around a lot before, and it makes me sad to think that there are parents out there who try to live through their children. It’s important to love and support them, but even more important to let them develop their own love for their game.

Finally, like I mentioned earlier, everyone’s love for the game is different. My Papa Skip, who I probably talk to the most about sports, has a different appreciation for them than I do. I’ll use UGA football as an example. He attended classes at UGA- I never have. He still goes every year to the UGA/Florida game in Jacksonville- I’ve only gone once. He pays each year to have season tickets for the home games- I CERTAINLY don’t do that, although when he doesn’t want them I get first dibs (thanks Papa!)

The point I’m trying to make is while we all may say we love sports, we each love them differently. We each have a certain line we’re willing to cross. But at the same time, come Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday or playoffs, we rally behind our team. And we each get our butts in the stands. Why? For love of the game.

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Shooting at Dalton High School

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DALTON, Ga. – The Dalton Police Department is on scene at Dalton High School where shots have been fired.

Dalton Police report that no student was injured by the shooting and all students are out of harm’s way. They also report the subject, a teacher, has been taken into custody.

The subject had barricaded themselves into a classroom earlier today before firing a weapon. Local police and Georgia State Patrol responded to the initial call. Concerning those reports that have come about a student injured during the evacuation, the Dalton Police were adamant that no student was injured by the shooting.

Police are also asking parents to NOT go to Dalton High School as they say, “The area inside the school has been evacuated and there are no students believed to be in the school at this time.”

The evacuated students have been taken to the Northwest Georgia Trade Center where police report parents should go for their children.

 

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

Sports, TeamFYNSports

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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Towns varsity teams dominate tourney openers

Sports, TeamFYNSports, Towns County High School

By Isaiah Garrett, FYN Sportswriter

Wednesday, Dec 27, Towns county hosted the 24th annual Battle of the States tournament. The Indians played rival Hayesville yellow jackets in both the girls and boys games.

The lady Indians led at the end of Q1 by a score of 12-6 led by junior guard #22 Kristen Byers who has 7 points. A game where bench players contributed to just as much playing time as the started due to fouls, there were a combined 21 fouls in the first half.

Hayesville kept battling as the score was 21-19 at the half. The lady Indians got off to a slow start coming out of hen half but finished Q3 on an 11-0  run to extend the lead 40-30 at the break. Towns held on to win the game by a final score of 52-42.

The Lady Indians hosted the 2X defending Battle of the States champion Hokes Bluff, AL at 7pm on Thursday, full story to follow.

Towns County 54, Hayesville NC 47
The boys tipped off at 8pm. A fast paced first quarter ended at a score of 16-11. Towns County’s lead grew larger over the course of the second quarter as the Indians led 28-17 at the half.
Towns was led by a balanced attack through the first three quarters as 4 players had 5-or-more points. Towns closed out the 3rd quarter with a a lead of 42-36.
Towns County finished the game with a final of 54-47. Towns was without star center senior Logan Cowart as he was inactive with a foot injury which occurred in the FCA Allstar Football game Saturday Dec. 16. His timetable of being out is still uncertain. The Indians moved on to host Murphy at 8:30pm on Thursday.  Full story to follow.

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Battle of the States: 1st Round Recap

Sports, TeamFYNSports, Towns County High School

The 24th Annual Battle of the States Christmas Tournament kicked off in Hiawassee, Georgia on Wednesday, Dec 27. The tournament consists of eight boys and eight girls teams, who represent GA, NC, TN, and AL.  There will be eight games a day for all three days of the tournament.

Here are the the first day results from the girls’ side of the bracket:

In the 10am game, Murphy NC beat Lumpkin County Girls by a score of 76-55. Post, Jessica Beckner led the Lady Bulldogs with 24 pts. Lumpkin was led in scoring by Makenzie Pulley, who had 19 pts.

In the 1pm game, Hokes Bluff, Alabama defeated Polk County, TN by a score of 32 – 23. Amanda Noah led Hokes Bluff with 21 pts. Nikki Ball led Polk County with 11 pts.

In the 4pm game, Union County defeated Darlington Academy in a close fought contest.  Union pulled out a 54-52 victory as Darlington missed a game-tying field goal as time expired. Adeline Mockery paced the Lady Panthers with 22 pts. Caroline Dingler led Darlington with 21 pts.

In the 7pm tilt, the Towns County Lady Indians defeated rival, Hayesville, NC by a score of 52-42. Towns County kept the lead the whole first half, taking a 22-19 lead into intermission. The two teams were tied at 26 before Towns County’s press stretched the lead to 43-30 at the end of the third. Towns closed the game with a 10pt victory. Freshman, Kennedi Henson led Towns with 16. Junior, Taylor Cornett gave 9 pts, with a trifecta of long distance shots. Senior Madison McClure had 8 pts, hitting four crucial free throws in the game’s final minutes. Hayesville was led in scoring by Junior, Savanna Annis with 18 pts. Hailea Rickett finished with 17 pts.

Day Two of the Battle of States tournament will feature 4 girls and 4 boys games through the whole day of Thursday, December 28th. The tournament will conclude on Friday, December 29th with 8 more games to determine Battle of the States’ Champions, as well as 2nd through 5th place for Boys and Girls.

Day 2 Schedule (Thursday, Dec. 28)

10 am – Lumpkin County vs Darlington Academy (Girls)

11:30- Piedmont, AL vs Lumpkin County (Boys)

1:00 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Girls)

2:30 – Polk County, TN vs Hayesville, NC (Boys)

4:00 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Girls)

5:30 – Union County vs Murphy, NC (Boys)

7:00 – Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Girls)

8:30 –  Towns County vs Hokes Bluff, AL (Boys)

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