Varsity Basketball Teams Play for Championships at Hiwassee Dam HighCommunity, Hiwassee Dam Basketball, Hiwassee Dam High School, Press Release February 22, 2021
Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-For love of the gameSports May 30, 2019
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.
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.
MHS Wrestling: Farmer caps off senior season with state titleTeam FYN Sports February 18, 2018
Murphy High School is known for having quality academics and talented athletes. With a decorated history of state champions in literally every sport but hockey, this past weekend another Murphy athlete brought yet another state championship back to the Dawg House. And if you’re scratching your head – no, Murphy doesn’t have a hockey team – but if they did, the Bulldogs would probably find a way to win at that, too.
TeamFYNSports has the pleasure of tracking and covering athletic performances throughout nine North Georgia counties and Cherokee Co, NC. While we interact with coaches, athletes, and college scouts on a daily basis, the best part of our job lies in the opportunity to highlight young athletes in a positive way. Thankfully there’s a 195-lb senior at MHS that made our job a whole lot easier this week.
Cory Farmer could be seen making big hits on the football field earlier in the school year. The veteran middle linebacker was the heart of what many would argue was one of the very best defenses in the state of North Carolina. When his high school football career ended, he transitioned from knocking people down at the line of scrimmage to throwing them and pinning them on the wrestling mats.
A natural athlete, Farmer is no stranger to hard work. He put in countless hours of training with MHS head coach Daniel Ledford, his father Josh Farmer, and his teammates; learning and working within one of the most decorated high school wrestling programs in all of Western North Carolina (not to mention North Georgia and Eastern Tennessee).
Last year, Farmer was the state runner-up. Just two weeks ago, he finished third at the regional tournament. Winning state was never a guarantee.
At the 1A NCHSAA state wrestling tournament, Farmer’s resume was as impressive as his humble – yet hungry attitude. He came in with 24 wins and only two losses this season, and opened Day One with a big win over Dylan Jones (32-11), who nearly finished 3rd overall. Jones, a senior at Uwharrie Charter, lost the battle for 3rd place by a 2-0 decision from Farmer’s next victim (Edwards, EASU).
After defeating Jones in just two minutes and 39 seconds, Farmer locked up with top-seeded junior Mitchell Edwards of East Surry. Edwards also had only two losses coming into state, and had 28 wins to his merit. Farmer won a 3-2 decision in one of the most exciting matches of the entire event, advancing to the championship final.
Farmer went on to defeat senior Jonathan Zafra of Manteo with a 12-3 majority decision to claim the state championship crown.
“It feels real good and it’s a relief after being runner up last year,” Farmer told TeamFYNSports Sunday afternoon.
We asked if he was considering wrestling at the college level next year. “I’m not sure yet, but I have a few offers,” Farmer replied. With his skillset and his work ethic, we look forward to reporting in the future on Farmer’s final decision after high school.
All photos courtesy of Murphy High School Wrestling and Brandy Farmer, contributing photographer.
Murphy Lady Bulldogs break Cherokee’s 30-game streakMurphy Bulldogs, Team FYN Sports January 28, 2018
The Murphy Lady Bulldogs have been nothing short of legendary this season, but that’s nothing new for them. Last year the varsity girls went 26-2, falling by only one point in the Elite 8 to the eventual state champions.
“I couldn’t ask for a better team. They work extremely hard and do everything asked of them,” Murphy head coach Ray Gutierrez told TeamFYNSports last week. This week was no exception.
The Lady Bulldogs (18-1, 7-0) kicked last week off with a 52-32 win on the road at Hayesville, followed by a 74-26 road win over Andrews.
Sydni Addison, the ball hawk of the night, had seven steals on defense, scored six points and pulled in seven rebounds.
How do you beat two great wins on the road? You turn around and win two big games back-to-back at home.
How do you beat a 19-90 road win over Nantahala (Topton, NC)? You hold them under 10 points of offense.
On Friday, Nantahala took a rough road trip down to Murphy only to leave with their lowest offensive performance of the season. The Lady Bulldogs (wo)man-handled the Lady Hawks, coming away with a 77-8 home win, their 17th team victory of the season. They knew Saturday night’s game would be a true test.
Following the huge win over Nantahala, the Braves of Cherokee High (then 10-4, 7-0), came to Murphy for the matchup the entire state of North Carolina has been waiting to see.
“Cherokee had won 30 straight regular season conference games,” coach Gutierrez said of their opponent. “The gym was packed and both teams played their guts out. It was a great atmosphere for a basketball game.”
The first quarter was a close one – much closer than many of the games Murphy has played this season – with the Lady Bulldogs holding only a 4-point margin over the Braves, 18-14. The Lady Bulldogs, who average more than 60-points per game, were hitting their usual offensive numbers; but the Braves’ offense was up to the task early-on, making this game a true challenge for Murphy.
By halftime, Murphy had extended their lead by only one point. Trailing by five (43-38), the Braves were still in a dangerous position and neither team was a sure victor. Sharpshooters Clapsaddle and Pickens refused to leave the game in anyone’s hands other than their own. The two combined for 8-of-11 3-point attempts, combining for 31% of the total points for the Lady Bulldogs.
In the end, the Lady Bulldogs held on to defeat the Cherokee Braves 77-74, giving the Braves their first conference loss of the season (breaking a 30-game streak).
Clapsaddle scored 30 points, while Pickens had 14. Beckner scored 12 points in the game while Thompson scored nine points, Bri Moore had six, Martin scored four points and Addison scored a basket for two. Addison led the team with rebounds (8), while Beckner also pulled in eight boards, three offensively and five on defense.
Maroon Devils outlast Bulldogs, 29-27Murphy Bulldogs, Murphy High October 22, 2017
By Tiffany Santos, TeamFYNSports Reporter:
The crisp October air set the tone for the friday night football game between the Murphy Bulldogs (7-2, 3-1) and Swain County Maroon Devils (5-4, 4-1). The last time Murphy went up against this rival, the Bulldogs handed the Maroon Devils a harrowing loss (35-3). October 20th’s game between the rivalry schools was a different story. The Bulldogs put up a great effort but fell short by a 2-pt loss with a final score of 29-27; Swain taking home the win and the bragging rights.
In the 1st Quarter, senior #12 Brodie Bowman from Swain County scored the first touchdown with a 9-yard blast to paydirt. However, #11 Tanner Wiggins’ PAT was no good. With the missed kick, Swain started the game with a lead of 6-0.
Murphy answered with a touchdown by senior quarterback (#1) Joey Curry, who threw a pass complete to senior receiver (#4) DeAndre Jackson for 58 yards. The PAT was spot on by senior kicker and female football superstar (#3) Katelyn Jones. With this touchdown Murphy led Swain 7-6 as the 1st quarter came to a close.
The 2nd quarter exploded with two touchdowns for Murphy, and two for Swain. It seemed like each team was coming in strong without backing down. With 0:51 seconds left in the 1st half, Murphy quarterback (#1) Joey Curry threw a 17-yard pass complete to (#2) Micah Nelson. Jones once again showed how she earned her jersey, making good on her PAT kick. The TD and PAT tied the score up 20-all going into halftime.
By the end of the 3rd, Murphy was leading Swain with a score of 27-26, but a 24-yard field goal was successfully attempted by Swain County #11 Tanner Wiggins, bringing the lead to Swain County with a 29-27 score. It’s safe to conclude that penalties and mental mistakes may have cost Murphy the game, as the Bulldogs were penalized a total of 14 times for 131 yards on the night.
Nearing the end of the 4th Quarter, a player for the Bulldogs made a mistake that put Murphy in a 4th and 72 play. The player recovered the ball that was fumbled by his own team, but mistakenly ran the wrong way. Thankfully a teammate was able to stop him from running any further.
“I ain’t blaming this on anybody, I blame this on everybody. Not just one side,” Murphy Bulldogs Coach Gentry told TeamFYNSports. “Everybody that stepped on this field tonight didn’t do their job. It’s that simple. It’s not what tonight is, it’s how you react to it, and how big you come back!”
All-in-all, the Bulldogs and Maroon Devils put up a good fight, but in the end the Maroon Devils were the ones to taste victory. Sportswriter’s note: They say those that never win, never learn from loss. From hearing Murphy’s head coach speak about this defeat, I believe the Bulldogs will be able to learn from this game and make any changes necessary to continue on the road to the State Championships.
The Murphy Bulldogs (7-2, 3-1) have a home conference game vs Rosman (2-7, 1-3) this Friday, October 27th, 2017 @ 7:30pm.
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Battle of the States: 1st Round RecapTeam FYN Sports December 28, 2017
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)
Shooting at Dalton High SchoolNews February 28, 2018
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. Those reports 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.
Murphy Lady Bulldogs await first round resultsTeam FYN Sports February 18, 2018
After winning the Smoky Mountain Conference and defeating Cherokee for the Region Championship Friday night at Murphy High School, the Lady Bulldogs are victims of a “hurry up and wait” situation. They’ve tip-toed the sideline of perfection this season, suffering only one loss in conference play to the Braves, whom they beat 2-out-of-3 meetings this year.
The Lady Dawgs only other loss came all the way back on November 25, 2017 when they fell by 10 to the Cougars of Mountain Heritage (Burnsville, NC) in the Coaches vs Cancer tournament. If you’re wondering where Mountain Heritage is, shift your focus to how good they are; 23-1, 11-0 at the time of this article and ranked 203rd in the United States (8th overall in the state of North Carolina regardless of classification). They’re alright. I mean, if you’re into teams that win and all that.
Which brings us to present-day basketball, where the Lady Dawgs are stuck behind the fictional chain-link fence like a kennel of Blue Ticks waiting for a full moon.
The Lady Bulldogs are one of eight teams who have earned a first-round bye as the NCHSAA State Basketball Playoffs begin on Tuesday. Pine Lake Prep (14) will host East Surry (16) for Tuesday’s first round games, with Murphy taking on the winner in round two Thursday afternoon.
Pine Lake Preparatory School of Mooresville, NC has had an impressive season thus far, boasting a 10-2 conference record while going 18-8 overall. Competing in the PAC-7 1A conference, their two conference losses came by the hands of Union Academy (23-2, 13-0) of Monroe; and both games were decided by fewer than 10 points.
East Surry (13-12, 7-3) looks to be the underdog in the first round, barely breaking .500 on the season. The Cardinals out of Pilot Mountain finished 3rd in the 1A Northwest Conference, behind Mount Airy (22-2, 10-0) and Bishop McGuinness (15-11, 7-3).
The 2018 NCHSAA State Basketball Playoffs are set to kick off and TeamFYNSports will be following the Murphy Lady Bulldogs all the way to the championship. Be sure to follow us on facebook, instagram and twitter for updates as the post-season progresses!
1st round (Feb. 20):
1-Pamlico County vs BYE / 16-Perquimans vs 17-Northside (Pinetown)
8-East Columbus vs BYE / 9-Riverside (Williamston) vs 24-Ocracoke
4-Cape Hatteras vs BYE / 13-Creswell vs 20-Raleigh Charter
5-Roxboro Community vs BYE / 12-Vance Charter vs 21-Rocky Mount Prep
3-Northampton County vs BYE / 14-Lakewood vs 19-Southside
6-East Carteret vs BYE / 11-Manteo vs 22-Voyager Academy
2-Plymouth vs BYE / 15-Gates County vs 18-Edenton Holmes
7-Neuse Charter vs BYE / 10-Weldon vs 23-Princeton
2nd round (Feb. 22):
3rd round (Feb. 24):
4th round (Feb. 27):
East final (March 3):
State championship (March 10):
1st round (Feb. 20):
1-Mount Airy vs BYE / 16-South Davidson vs 17-Alleghany County
8-Lincoln Charter vs BYE / 9-Highlands vs 24-Blue Ridge
4-East Wilkes vs BYE / 13-Albemarle vs 20-Hayesville
5-Chatham Central vs BYE / 12-River Mill Academy vs 21-Piedmont Community
3-Murphy vs BYE / 14-Pine Lake Prep vs 19-East Surry
6-Union Academy vs BYE / 11-Bishop McGuinness vs 22-CSD
2-Mitchell County vs BYE / 15-Highland Tech vs 18-Robbinsville
7-Gray Stone Day vs BYE / 10-Cherokee vs 23-Hiwassee Dam
2nd round (Feb. 22):
3rd round (Feb. 24):
4th round (Feb. 27):
East final (March 3):
State championship (March 10):
Union Girls top Darlington, Boys force ‘Mercy Rule’ against PeidmontTeam FYN Sports December 31, 2017
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.