Category Archives: Sports

Chattahoochee Football’s Excellence

Brendan Huet

Staff Reporter

 

The Chattahoochee Varsity Football team finished the 2017 season with an impressive 7-4 record. It has been the best year the team has had since 2012 when they went 7-4 as well. In the eight region matchups, Chattahoochee went 6-2 and entered the state playoffs as the three seed but ended up losing in the first round to Winder Barrow High School. Chattahoochee found success through teamwork, forming a brotherhood that no one could destroy. However, even though football is a team sport, each team has individuals that lead them to their success, and these players are awarded for their skills at the end of the year through the selection of the All-Region Teams. There are three All-Region teams: first team, second team, and Honorable Mentions. In Chattahoochee’s case, the team had three players selected into each of the three teams.

To make First Team All-Region, you must dominate every game and make your presence known by each team. Chattahoochee’s players that were selected for first team are Joseph Sayles (SR), Max Webb (JR) and Jake Green (JR).

Joseph Sayles is a senior safety that has been a big part of Chattahoochee’s defense since his sophomore year. Sayles was the leader of the talented secondary, and it shows in his statistics. He tallied 40 solo tackles and 57 total tackles, averaging about 5.7 tackles per game. As far as his pass defense goes, Sayles had two interceptions and six passes deflected. This year he was also a huge special teams player, ending the season with two blocked punts.

The second Cougar to be selected for first team All-Region is junior running back Max Webb. Webb led Chattahoochee’s high-powered offense and also ended up leading the region in rushing yards with 1,344 yards. He finished the year with six 100+ Yard games and thirteen touchdowns. Only being a junior, Max plans on doing the same exact thing next year.

Lastly, junior offensive lineman Jake Green was selected for first team All-region. Green was the leader of Chattahoochee’s offensive line and every team in the region felt his 6-foot-four, 300 pound presence. Chattahoochee’s unstoppable running game was very dependent on Green and the other lineman making blocks. Although there aren’t stats for offensive lineman, Jacob Green deserves to be recognized for his play this year.

The Chattahoochee players that were selected for second team All-Region are Jack Corrigan (SR), Marcus Stephen (JR), and Ben Siegel (SR).

Starting off with quarterback Jack Corrigan, the leader of this 2017 Chattahoochee team, he guided this team to many wins this year. Corrigan always gave the Cougars a spark whether it was in the passing game or the running game. In total, he had over 1,120 passing yards and just about 700 rushing yards in his eight games as quarterback. If he did not suffer a season ending injury in the Pope game, then Corrigan would’ve been in the talk for first team.

Next is Marcus Stephen, the junior outside linebacker. Stephen was always flying around the field and humiliating the opposing offense every Friday. He finished the season with 38 solo tackles and 65 total tackles, averaging 5.9 tackles per game. Stephen was also a turnover machine throughout the 2017 season: three forced fumbles and an additional three fumble recoveries. But most importantly, he led the region with 8.5 sacks.

Lastly, senior lineman Ben Siegel was selected for second team All-Region. Siegel has been on the team since he was a freshman, and he has molded into a very good offensive and defensive lineman. Although not the biggest lineman out there, 6-foot and 240 pounds,  Ben Siegel made all the plays for Chattahoochee. Whether it was making a big block or sacking the quarterback, Siegel was always involved in the action. He finished the season with 18 solo tackles, 29 total tackles and 2 sacks.

Honorable Mention is for the players that were recognized by the coaches of every team but did not necessarily make the first or second team All-Region. This is still a huge honor and is a lot to be proud of. Chattahoochee had three players selected as Honorable Mentions: Andrew Thomas (SR), Brendan Huet (SR), and T. Lee (SO).

Senior, Andrew Thomas, was a huge part of Chattahoochee’s 2017 team. Thomas has started on offense for the Cougars since his sophomore year. This year he was asked to fill in on defense as well as offense, and he accepted the challenge. Thomas dominated on both sides of the ball, and his stats show it. Offensively, he racked up 377 passing yards, 178 rushing yards, and eight total touchdowns. Defensively, Thomas finished the season with 23 total tackles and two interceptions.

Next up is senior safety Brendan Huet. Huet has started as safety since his junior year and was part of Chattahoochee’s strong secondary. He finished his senior season with 23 solo tackles, 48 total tackles and three interceptions. Although Huet mainly played defense, he did help out the offense every once in awhile. Offensively, he had 57 yards on 4 catches, one being a 26-yard touchdown.

Lastly,for Chattahoochee’s Honorable Mentions, there is T. Lee. Lee is a sophomore athlete that has multiple D1 offers due to his ability to excel on the offensive and defensive side of the ball as well as on special teams. He played excellently on the offensive side, catching 33 passes for a total of 380 yards. Lee also scored four touchdowns for the Cougars this season. Defensively, he amounted to 28 solo tackles, 39 total tackles, one interception and seven pass breakups at cornerback. All-around a great athlete, Lee also ran back 207 yards as a kick returner.

These players deserve recognition for their great seasons not only as individuals, but also as a team. Great teams have great players, but the best teams have a bond that nothing can break and that is what won this Cougar team a spot in the playoffs.

           

Advertisements

Playoff Drought Ended

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

As the fall sports come to an end, it is time to take a look at one of the best seasons Cougar football has had in a while. After a depressing playoff drought, Chattahoochee finally made it into the state playoffs by finishing 7-4 overall and third in the region.

One of the main reasons that the team was so successful this year was because their offseason training completely changed. The squad focused more on strength and quickness by dedicating time for speed and agility drills as well as for weight lifting every practice. This helped them enter the season in excellent condition. The players were also sold on the mantra “Be Elite,” which was preached every practice as coaches wanted each kid to give their best effort and play for their entire team rather than only themselves. This let the unit make great leaps and take their game to the next level as a team.

Something notable is that the Cougars had to persevere and triumph to make the playoffs as their season did not start as planned. Chattahoochee was defeated by Pickens at home in the season opener 54-30 in what was a very one-sided game. Fans believed this would again be a disappointing season, but the team grinded and believed in themselves to succeed. Following the loss, the Cougars got red-hot as they went on a four game win streak with Jack Corrigan (SR) and Max Webb (JR) leading them. Webb, who had a high ceiling going into the year, broke out and had over 1,000 rushing yards in the season.

Though Chattahoochee would only take two more losses in the regular season following the Pickens game, the team’s true colors showed when they lost their star quarterback, Jack Corrigan, for the season with a gruesome injury. The team managed to win a crucial game against Northview with a backup sophomore quarterback, Damon Stewart, using a strong running game and resilient defense to punch their ticket into the playoffs. Though the squad was dominated in their first playoff game by Winder-Barrow, fans were proud with how the team overcame obstacles and still made the playoffs.

Looking forward, the Cougars are expecting great things next season from a team led by star running back Max Webb going into his senior year. Though the team will lose Jack Corrigan, the former-backup quarterback, Damon Stewart, has more experience and is looking to make great strides during the offseason. The team is confident in their ability and is looking to make the playoffs and possibly even more next season.

Bulldogs Championship Run Continues

MatthewKohn, News/Sports Editor

It’s officially that time of year again. With the holidays quickly approaching, that means that college football is drawing to a close. Yes, unfortunately football is almost over, but what’s left are easily the best and most exciting games of the year. This year, Georgia’s own UGA will be competing on the biggest stage of them all: The College Football Playoff.

To recap, in the SEC championship game, the Bulldogs put on a show in a convincing win over the then-second-ranked Auburn Tigers, the same team that they had lost to just three weeks prior. Throughout the game, the Georgia defense swallowed up Auburn running back Kerryon Johnson, limiting him to just 44 yards after being gashed by him for over 150 yards in the previous matchup. For the offense, freshman quarterback Jake Fromm continued avoiding mistakes while the running backs wore out the tough Auburn defense. For the first time since 2005, the Dawgs are the sole champions of the most competitive conference in football.

After winning the SEC, the question was no longer whether Georgia would get into the playoff, but who they would play in the semifinals. The committee decided to pencil in UGA as the number three team in the country, set off to face number two Oklahoma in the Rose Bowl. The teams will face off in Pasadena on the first day of the new year. If Georgia is able to slow down the high-powered Oklahoma offense, they have a great chance at reaching the finals back in Atlanta. In what essentially could be a home game, they would face either Alabama or Clemson for the title.

Soccer Experience of a Lifetime

BrendanHuet

Staff Reporter

Cecily Mohammed (SR) is an accomplished student-athlete at Chattahoochee High School. Currently, Cecily is committed to play soccer at the University of Georgia. This Thanksgiving Break, she was invited to play with the U-20 Trinidad National Team. They played the Jamaican Women’s U-20 team and beat them twice with a score of 1-0. Cecily was there to train with the team for ten days, and she has been invited to go back in December to train for the Women’s U-20 CONCACAF Cup. Here, Cecily shares some of her thoughts and experiences about having this unique opportunity.

  1.    How did you even begin to get in contact with the team?

A scout was watching me play during my club season and contacted my mom.

  1.    What did you like and not like about your experience?

I like having the chance to play for my family and for Trinidad. Over the ten days, I did get homesick, but it was an opportunity I could not pass up.

  1.    Did you make new friends, and do you plan on keeping contact with them?

No one there was from Georgia, so I made lots of friends. We all talk every day, and we will all meet up again after Christmas.

  1.    What is one thing you will take away from this experience?

If you would’ve told me a month ago that I would be playing for the Trinidad National Team, I wouldn’t believe you. This just shows me that hard work pays off.

  1.    Are you excited about this upcoming tournament, and what will you use from the last experience for this one?

I’m very excited to play in our upcoming tournament. I was very nervous to play on the team originally, but now that I’ve gotten to know them, I’m definitely more excited than nervous.

Hooch Athletes Take the Next Step

BrettGreenberg

Staff Reporter

Chattahoochee High School is home to hundreds of gifted athletes who play a wide range of sports. After four years of dedication and hard work, numerous seniors have gone on to sign their national letters of intent (NLI) to continue their education and athletics at prestigious universities all around the country.
Jackson Corrigan (SR) is committed to Lenoir-Rhyne University to play soccer.

Q: Why did you choose Lenoir-Rhyne University?

A: I chose Lenoir Rhyne because it’s a very good soccer school. They were ranked fourth in the nation at one point during the season, and my brother went there, so I knew I liked the campus, and it just felt like the right fit for me.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish and learn during your athletic career in college?

A: I hope to start by either my freshman or sophomore year and go on to win a conference championship and even a national championship.

Q: What major do you plan on pursuing?

A: I plan on double majoring in environmental science and policy or forestry.

Elina Moon (SR) is committed to Northwestern University to fence.
Q: Why did you choose Northwestern University?

A: I first visited during a national tournament. Though competitive, the athletes’ demeanor and overall morale was warm and welcoming, as I watched them genuinely cheering for one another. Ever since then, I have dreamed of being part of Northwestern. When I visited for the first time the following autumn, no words could describe how mesmerized I felt when I saw the luminescent horizon over Lake Michigan
Q: What do you hope to accomplish and learn during your athletic career in college?

A: I hope to excel both in the NCAA Division 1 program as an athlete and in my education as a student. Due to heavy school workload and busy practices for athletes, many people often quit their sport, but I hope to be able to balance both aspects and become a successful student athlete.

Q: What major do you plan on pursuing?

A: I plan on majoring in chemistry.
Samantha Richards (SR) is committed to Valdosta State University to play softball.

Q: Why did you choose Valdosta State University?

A: My mom went there, and they have a good softball program down there, and it was a perfect fit.

Q: What do you hope to accomplish and learn during your athletic career in college?

A: I hope to learn about teamwork and get a college degree and obviously win a lot of games and championships.

Q: What major do you plan on pursuing?

A: I plan on majoring in exercise physiology.
These are just a few of the several high school athletes that will be soon taking the next step in their athletic and academic careers. We wish these all these athletes the very best and hope they go on to do great things.

 

Will The Dirty Birds Rise Up Or Fall Short?

BrettGreenberg 

Staff Reporter

After the Atlanta Falcons 2016 season, all the National Football League (NFL) experts, analysts and fans labeled the 2017 Atlanta squad as a lock for the playoffs and the National Football Conference (NFC) favorite to reach the Super Bowl. The team returned all 22 starters and gained experience both for the veterans and young players. The NFC South division was not predicted to be a challenge for this young and fast team full of freakish athleticism.

The team got off to a hot start winning their first three games, but not convincingly enough for the beloved fans of the Falcons. The team edged out a win over the Lions and the Bears on two blown calls. The team went on to defend their brand new stadium and look like their 2016 selves in a 34-23 win over Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.

Everything was going as planned, but the next three weeks of the season proved to be Matt Ryan and the rest of the team’s first challenge as they dropped the next three games and fell to a  3-3 record for the season. The prolific offense of 2016 was just not there, with arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Julio Jones, not having much success on the field and especially not in the endzone with zero touchdowns. This team was written off as a bust and believed to have 2016 labeled as a fluke season. Then came the month of November, where the Falcons won three out of their four matchups and all was well. Julio Jones was getting back to his freak self, Matt Ryan was playing great and the young and rather inexperienced defense was growing with each game.

Throughout week twelve of the season, the Falcons nursed a 7-5 record. In any other division in the NFL, the Falcons would likely be a lock for the playoffs, but unpredictably, the NFC South is perhaps the strongest division in the league with the 9-3 New Orleans Saints winning nine out of their last ten and the Carolina Panthers who are 8-4. The Saints are on fire and do not seem to have any plans to hit the brakes and hope to finish out the season as the winner of the NFC South and get a home playoff game. The Carolina Panthers are looking for a Wild Card berth.

Although the Falcons are one game back from the division leader and currently hold a spot in the wild card game, they control their own destiny and have an opportunity to win the division or throw away the season. The Falcons have three games remaining on the schedule, all of which are against division foes. The team plays the division leader, the New Orleans Saints one time, the Carolina Panthers one time and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers one time.

The Falcons control their own destiny. So if the coaching staff can put the players in positions to succeed, and if the players can do even half of what they did back in 2016, this 2017 team has zero reason to not be in the playoffs and even go back to the Super Bowl. This team has an abundance of young talent while also being fortunate enough to have seasoned veterans.

Protesting on NFL Sideline Wrong?

RithikDoddla, Staff Reporter

In response to President Donald Trump’s tweet which said that NFL players who do not stand for the national anthem should be fired, all 32 NFL teams have had their own unique responses in the season’s third week. Some teams kneeled and locked arms before the national anthem while other teams showed these signs of protest while the national anthem was playing. There were even teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers who remained in the locker room for the singing of the national anthem. With each team protesting in its own way, fans were left to either support them or oppose them.

NFL fans had a wide range of responses to the protests. They ranged from cheering in support in the stands to insulting with expletives on social media. A remarkable reaction occurred during the Dallas Cowboys versus Arizona Cardinals game where the crowd loudly booed the Cowboys, as they kneeled and locked arms. Ratings for week three games on NBC, CBS and Fox decreased by four percent.

The latest ESPN polls embodies that American citizens are divided over this issue. Overall, 39 percent of people agreed with the movement with 24 percent strongly approving. Fifty-one percent of the respondents, however, disagreed with the movement with 38 percent showing strong disapproval. ESPN also recorded the race of the people surveyed and found that 54 percent of African Americans strongly agreed and 48 percent of Caucasians strongly disagreed. These protests may be receiving more support from African Americans because, after all, the players are kneeling to voice opposition for police brutality against African Americans.

ESPN also took another poll on viewers’ interest in watching the games after the protests. Fourteen percent of the people say they are more interested because of the protests, 40 percent say they are less interested and 43 percent say it has had no impact on their interest of the game. People who are less interested most likely feel that way because they may be bothered by the kneeling as they believe kneeling does not show respect to the national anthem. Among the avid NFL fans surveyed, 48 percent believe protests have had no impact on their interest and 31 percent believe is has made them less interested. This is significant because that means about a third of the hardcore NFL fans who watch football every Sunday are greatly disturbed by the “take a knee” movement.

Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner, held a meeting recently with NFL teams’ owners on instigating a rule requiring all players to stand for the national anthem. This has angered many players because the players feel they are exercising their right to protest and are using their platform to make a statement. Arizona Cardinals safety Antoine Bethea has expressed his displeasure to the NFL Network, claiming that it has become a national issue just because President Donald Trump tweeted against it. Bethea explained how the movement started last year with Colin Kaepernick and the NFL and its fans had no issues with it, respecting players’ opinions. The NFL has yet to make a statement on whether or not they plan on requiring players to stand. It will be interesting to see how players and fans respond if the league does decide to permit kneeling.