Our Takeaways From Last Weeks 7 on 7

Sports, Team FYN Sports, TeamFYNSports

Last Thursday we hosted our inaugural FYN Sports x Fellowship of Christian Athletes 7 on 7 featuring Murphy, Hayesville, Andrews, Franklin, Copper Basin, and Union County.

We got a good look at all of the teams that were there, as each team played at least 3 games a piece.

Granted, teams were missing players and 7 on 7 is not the best measuring stick for real football, but we’re still going to over analyze it and read way too much into it simply because it’s the offseason and we have nothing else to talk about.



The Wildcats looked pretty decent in their first 7 on 7 of the year. If there was one word I could use to describe what I felt after watching the Wildcats all day, the word would be “excited”. Junior quarterback, #12 Donovan Bateman showed flashes of excellence for the red and black. He delivered some pretty good deep balls to his receivers, and looked great at times, but there were also points where he was a little shaky. We saw hime miss a few of his reads and hold onto the ball for a bit too long before making a bad decision and trying to fire it into double coverage. However, those are things that can be worked out with experience, and with Bateman only being a junior and already having the snaps he has under his belt, he is for sure one to watch this year and next year. He could be the top QB in the SMC in 2022.

Copper Basin

There probably isn’t a team that has been dealt a worse hand than the Cougars have over the past year. Many thought they could compete for a State Title last year, and they probably could’ve if their Senior QB Bryson Grabowski hadn’t torn his ACL halfway through the season. With Grabowski graduated, they will have to rely on Senior Joe Boggs to be their signal caller this year. During the 7 on 7, Boggs looked frazzled. And there is so much pressure on this kid that I can’t blame him for being frazzled. He’s a linebacker, not a QB. But with everything the Cougars lost to graduation and their low numbers as it is, Boggs is going to have to be the guy. He doesn’t have a cannon for an arm, but he did make a few throws that made you turn your head. The thing you can take away from this if you’re a Basin fan, is to remember you have Sebastian Baliles back in the backfield this year. Baliles made a few snags underneath and was the go-to guy when the Cougars were able to move the ball on Thursday.


Your 2021 FYN Sports 7v7 champs, the Franklin Panthers were really impressive last week. They defeated Union County in the championship game to complete an undefeated run. Senior QB Chris McGuire was named the MVP of the day, and he is definitely not the same quarterback we’ve seen the past 2 years. McGuires decision making was pretty impressive the rest of the day after struggling in the opening game against Murphy. He picked apart Union County in the championship, and was the most impressive QB we saw Thursday as a whole. This is not the same Franklin team we saw get killed by Murphy last year. Coach Brooks has a new squad ready to play ball this year if this 7 on 7 told us anything.


I mean you can’t say enough how much it means for Hayesville for Jake McTaggart to be back on that sideline. There were times where it looked like Junior QB Logan Caldwell just closed his eyes and threw it up, and yet McTaggart came down with it. I’m not dissing Caldwell either, he looks 10x better than he did last year. The young guy just needs to make better decisions. For example, in one of Hayesvilles games against Union, it was tied 18-18 or something like that and Hayesville had the ball with 5 seconds left. Instead of just dumping it underneath when he realized the play wasn’t going to develop, he threw it deep and the Panthers came down with a game winning interception. I know it’s just 7v7, but you want to see the kid make the decision to dump it and play for OT instead of losing the game on one throw. Nonetheless, the Jackets looked pretty good for a young team.


The Bulldogs came into this thing without starting QB Kellen Rumfelt and without backup QB Cole Laney. Rumfelt still hasn’t recovered from the injury he sustained during the state championship game, and Laney had to attend a wedding. That left Sophomore Andrew Barolet as the Dogs starter. The Dogs definitely did not get what they wanted out of their young QB, who never seemed to get comfortable under center. We won’t spend anymore time talking about what happened at QB for Murphy as I don’t expect we will see Barolet playing this year. McCracken, Allen, and Hunter Laney were the bright spots for the Dogs on the day. Payton McCracken made a few catches that were sportscenter worthy and Juan Allen was all over the field, yet Hunter Laney was who caught my eye the most. If new Head Coach Joseph Watson uses Laney correctly this season, he could be poised for a breakout year.

I don’t expect Murphys performance in this 7v7 to have any correlation to how their year will go, but hey ya never know. With all of the personnel Murphy lost this season, they definitely have a huge question mark on their head heading into this new year.


Union County 

Boy was it weird to look over and see Thomas Nelson in purple instead of Black and Gold. Nonetheless, you could tell Nelson has had an immediate impact on the Panthers. Their defense was definitely a tighter unit than in previous years, and new Head Coach Michael Perry had the offense clicking at times also. Up until the championship, Panthers QB Logan Helcher looked like a well oiled machine. He was using nearly every target he had, finding Eli Peugh, Caleb John and Keyton Chitwood for multiple TDs. If you’re a Union County fan, you’ve gotta be excited about your leading reciever returning in Keyton Chitwood. If Helcher can stay healthy, I think the Panthers will be pretty potent through the air this year. The Panthers goal for this year is to get over .500, and with Thomas Nelson’s defense and Michael Perry’s new offense, I don’t think that goal is out of reach.


5.1 magnitude earthquake rocks North Carolina

5.1 magnitude earthquake

MURPHY, NC – At 8:07 a.m. on August 9, 2020, many North Carolinians were rattled by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, originating two miles outside of Sparta, NC.

According to the National Weather Service, this quake is the strongest to hit NC since 1916. It was 5.2. magnitude earthquake in Buncombe county and it toppled chimneys and people ran into the streets

At this time, no injuries or major damage have been reported. If you felt it, report it to the USGS. 

Residents from Murphy and Hayesville have reported experiencing tremors at the time of the earthquake. Additionally, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee felt the effects of the morning quake. Georgia reports include Dahlonega and as far as Fayetteville.

Sparta is 272 miles from Murphy, NC, 264 miles from Hayesville, and 165 miles from Asheville. The city sits close to the NC/Tenn. line.

Another smaller 2.6 magnitude earthquake occurred in the same area at 1:57 a.m.

National Weather Service out of Raleigh has also reported three other possible quakes in Guilford, Randolph, and Moore counties.

If you felt the earthquake this morning or experienced any damage, please let us know!

The most recent earthquake in the Triangle was in 2011 in Virginia. Its magnitude was 5.8.

Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter- Thank a coach!


Over the last week and a half BKP and I have been going from school to school interviewing head football coaches for our North Georgia Coaching Series. Now if any of y’all know BKP, you’ll know what I mean when I say that he’s been doing most of the talking and I’ve been doing most of the observing. But this doesn’t bother me, it gives me a chance to learn more about the programs I’ll be spending a lot of time with this fall.

With that being said, there’s one thing in particular I’ve been noticing in our interviews, and that’s how much these coaches truly care about their players and their programs.

Now me saying that might make some of y’all think, “Well, duh. That’s what they’re supposed to do.” Well, maybe. But I like to think I’m pretty good at picking up when someone is just putting on an act for appearances. And I can say with all sincerity that none of these coaches are doing that.

Obviously when BKP and I go into these interviews, he asks questions about what the teams have been doing during the summer and how they’re planning to prepare for the regular season. But he also asks the coaches if they can highlight a few players that have really stood out. This point in the interview, I believe, is where a coach who didn’t care would possibly just say a couple names and move on.

But these coaches not only name the players, they tell us about why they stand out. And it’s a sign of the hard work of these athletes, but there’s also a sense of pride from these coaches as they name them. A couple of coaches have mentioned that it’s hard to name just a few, because all of their players have worked hard. And it’s not that the rest of the team doesn’t matter or that they don’t care about them, but the ones that they mention they do so without hesitation because they’ve been there with them through the summer truly coaching them. There’s no so-so about the commitment these coaches make- they’re all in.

Another thing that has amazed me about these coaches, not just in the interviews but learning about them off the field, is how much they care about their community as well. A couple of them, such as Chad Cheatham at Fannin County and Chad McClure at Hayesville, are natives to their communities. It’s home to them, and they’re not going to be just halfway in their commitments to their programs.

When Coach Caleb Sorrells of the Lumpkin County Indians was first named as head coach, the school hosted a meet and greet for him. It was one of the first stories I covered in this position.

In his address to the parents, Sorrells promised to not only invest in the team as players and athletes, but as men who would one day be employees and fathers. I remember being caught off guard at first because I was expecting him to talk about plans for the future of the program, the summer schedule and what not. He did talk about these things, but I believe by telling the parents that he was going to invest in the players as men showed that it was going to be a priority.

Although I know more about the commitment that Sorrells has made because I’m positioned in Lumpkin County, he’s not the only one in the area who gets involved in the community and works to build up the athletes’ character.

Tim Cokely with the White County Warriors has an entire wall of his office decorated with signs of good character qualities to instill in the team. Chad Cheatham, who I mentioned earlier, referees basketball in the football off-season just because, and the community loves him for it. I’m sure that many of the other coaches in the area do similar things and I just don’t know about it yet.

These are commitments that we see played out by coaches in movies and don’t always think to look for in real life. And because I grew up in Gwinnett County, population one million, if there was this sort of commitment by coaches I didn’t always see it because there were so many people. I love living up here in North Georgia in a smaller community where an act of kindness, especially where sports are concerned, rarely goes unnoticed.

We think about football as a sport that instills a since of discipline, but why is that? Because there’s a coach that sets that standard and inspires the team to do the same. As a community we love football and we love our team, and we can thank a coach for that.

Flash Flood Warning until 12:30 p.m. today


Cherokee County North Carolina is facing up to 2 more inches of rain which may cause flash flooding.

The National Weather Service in Morristown has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Cherokee County in southwestern North Carolina and Clay County in southwestern North Carolina until 12:30 p.m. EDT.

At 9:29 a.m. EDT, Doppler radar indicated 1 to 3 inches of rain has already fallen across Cherokee and Clay counties over the last three hours. An additional inch or two will be possible over the next few hours as well, especially over northern Clay and Cherokee county border areas. As a result, flash flooding is expected to begin shortly.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Andrews, Murphy, Hayesville, Nantahala Lake, Shooting Creek, Tusquitee, Topton, Marble, Brasstown, and Culberson.

Severe – Significant threat to life or property

Immediate – Responsive action SHOULD be taken immediately


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Denise Elaine Holiway: Obituary


Denise Elaine Holiway, 53 years young, passed away Friday, October 12, 2018 at her home in Jacksonville, FL.

Denise was born December 31, 1964 in Lemasa, California to Shirley Holiway and the late Kenneth Holiway. She was the youngest of four children. Denise graduated high school at Hernando High School in Brooksville, FL.

Denise loved praising the Lord and singing in the choir. She loved to read her bible, and mark the verses.

Denise loved spending time with family, laughing and always wearing a smile. She was loving and caring person giving hugs to everyone. “To know her was to love her.”

Denise, surviving in addition to her mother, Shirley Holiway; sisters, Sheila Cenizal and Pamela Holiway; brother, David Holiway; brother-in-law, Roger Cenizal; sister-in-law, Gina Holiway; four nieces, five nephews, and 20 great-nieces and nephews in addition to cousins and friends.

Denise’s hobbies were bowling, swimming, playing go fish, working in her activity books and crayons.

Funeral Services will be held at 2:30 pm, Sunday, October 21, 2018 at the Harris Chapel Church of God.

The family will receive friends from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, Sunday, October 21, 2018 at the Harris Chapel Church of God.

Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

George J. Menasian: Obituary


George J. Menasian

12/09/1931 – 10/18/2018

George J. Menasian, age 86, of Murphy, NC passed away Thursday, October 18, 2018 at the Murphy Rehab and Nursing.

He was a native of Wayne County, Detroit and the son of the late George Ead Menasian and Pearl Amanda Truett Menasian. George spent his summers in North Carolina with his grandmother, Amanda Truett. He was a member of the Cherokee Masonic Lodge # 146 and a member of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Murphy, NC.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, George Edward Menasian; his daughter, Lois Ann McGarry of Bethlehem, PA; his brother, Edward Menasian; his sisters, Mary Menasian of Murphy, NC, Yvonne Toft of Howell Michigan, and Trudy Cusick of Royal Oak, Michigan.

He is survived by his wife, Lois Allison Menasian; his daughters, Linda Marie Cook of Michigan and Laura Jean Miller of Puyallup, Washington; his sisters, Glenna Barcyz of Warren, Michigan, and Sandra Kersey of Williamsburg, Kentucky; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends from 12:00pm to 2:00pm on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at the Townson-Rose Funeral Home Chapel in Murphy, NC. The funeral service will follow at 2:00pm. Rev. Gerald Derreberry will officiate. Pallbearers will be Dustin Whitener, Ed Menasian, Marc Menasian, Jason Savugot, Michael Savugot, and Kevin Bailey. Burial will be in the Shady Grove Baptist Church Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Oxford Home for Children, 600 College Street, Oxford, NC 27565 and the Shady Grove Cemetery Fund, 6 Deweese Street, Murphy, NC.

Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

Mary Lou Stiles: Obituary


Mary Lou Stiles

11/06/1922 – 10/20/2018

Mary Lou Stiles, age 95 of Murphy, NC passed away Saturday October 20, 2018 at Murphy Rehab & Nursing.

She was the daughter of Robert Taylor Kelly and Rosetta Leatherwood. She was a homemaker and although she did not have any children of her own, she helped raise dozens of children in the Bear Paw Community.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Claude Stiles and several brothers and sisters.

She is survived by her brother, William T. Kelly and wife Lorine and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held at 2pm, Tuesday October 23, 2018 at Bear Paw Baptist Church. Rev. Steve Ware and Rev. Tommy Hayes and Rev. Eddie Hardin will officiate. Burial will follow in Bear Paw Baptist Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends from 1-2pm, Tuesday October 23, 2018 at Bear Paw Baptist Church prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to help family with expenses to Gail Kelly at Entegra Bank in Murphy, NC.

Townson-Rose Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.

Clay Co. Lion’s Club Dancing Through The Decades Fundraiser


The Clay County Lions Club is hosting a Fundraiser on Saturday evening, September 22, 2018, from 6:30 pm – 10:00 pm in the beautifully renovated Fellowship Hall of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church located at 1433 US Hwy 64, Hayesville, NC.

The Fundraiser will be an evening of great music from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s with a live DJ, a spectacular dance, a fabulous dinner by Amazing Grace Caterers, dozens of door prizes, and an available cash bar.

Tickets are $60 per person and are available at the Historic Hayesville Centennial Exhibit, Clay County Chamber of Commerce, Tiger’s Department Store and Bella Boutique in Downtown Hayesville.

Tickets are also available from any Clay County Lions Club Member, and at the Towns County Chamber of Commerce and Monte Alban Restaurant in Hiawassee. A portion of each ticket may be tax deductible.

100% of the net proceeds will go to further the Lions Club’s charitable activities in Clay County, including the providing of free eye exams and eyeglasses to residents in need; donations to local charities such as Clay County Community for Students, Christmas Care of Clay County, the VFW and Shop with a Hero all to help children in need in Clay County; support of Historic Hayesville, Inc.; and recent work to rehab the covered Lions Pavilion at the Clay County Recreation Park that is used by so many residents and visitors to Clay County. For further information, contact Neil Kaplan at (703) 725-9819

Denise Tunnell: Obituary


Denise Tunnell

06/23/1959 – 10/18/2018

Denise Tunnell, age 59 of Murphy, NC passed away Thursday, October 18, 2018 at her residence.

She was born in Wilkesbury, PA to the late Raymond and Ann Mangan McVey. Denise was a homemaker. She enjoyed sewing, loved animals especially training dogs. Her family was her life.

She is survived by her husband, Robert Tunnell; two sons, Cody Tunnell and wife Seanna of Chesapeake Beach, MD and Donald Tunnell and wife Ashley of Blairsville, GA; three brothers, Dennis, Ray and Terrance; three sisters, Colleen, Kathleen and Dawn; two grandchildren, Kyra Tunnell and Robert Tunnell; and close friend, Paula Judd.

The family will have a private service at a later date.

Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

Jeanette “Grace” Cutshaw: Obituary


Jeanette “Grace” Cutshaw

09/16/1939 – 10/16/2018

Jeanette “Grace” Cutshaw, age 79 of Andrews, NC passed away Tuesday, October 16, 2018 at the Valley View Care Center in Andrews, NC.

She was a native and lifelong resident of Cherokee County, NC and the daughter to the late Grady and Mary McClelland Stiles. Jeanette worked at Owenby’s and Lee’s as a seamstress. She loved going to church. Jeanette was a member of McClelland Cove Baptist Church.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three brothers, John, Bill and Ray Stiles.

She is survived by three sons, Robert Fulford of Andrews, Hal Fulford Jr. of Elk Hart, IN and Roger Fulford and wife Teresa of Orange Grove Park, FL; one daughter, Melissa Adams and husband Jeff of Salisbury, NC; four sisters, Kay Cantrell of Gastonia, NC, June Beaver of Clover, SC, Shelby Jean Parker and husband Jimmy of Clermont, GA and Dorcas Phillips and husband Steve of Marble, NC; nine grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral Services will be held at 4 pm, Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Townson-Rose Chapel in Andrews, NC. Rev. Steve West will officiate. Burial will be in the Valleytown Cemetery. Pallbearers will be grandsons.

The family will receive friends from 3-4 pm, Friday, October 19, 2018 at the Townson-Rose Chapel in Andrews.

Townson-Rose Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

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