Six Lumpkin Co. seniors signed to play college sports

Lumpkin County High School, Team FYN Sports

Tucker Kirk signed to play football for Sewanee.

A record six members of the 2020 graduating class at Lumpkin Co. High signed to play sports at the next level Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the school. The six athletes are the most to sign at one time in the school’s history.

In football, the Indians had two players commit to play in college.

Tucker Kirk committed to play for Sewanee, The University of the South. Kirk, who stands 6-foot-3 and weighs 200 points, played quarterback and free safety for the Indians. Last season, Kirk was 72-of-132 passing for 755 yards and three touchdowns, while carrying the ball 74 times for 84 yards.

Aaron Hopkins committed to play for Davidson College. Hopkins, who stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 235 pounds, played tight end and defensive end for the Indians last season. He totaled three catches for 56 yards and had 31 total tackles and two sacks for the Indians during his senior campaign.


Nolan Wheeler signed to wrestle for Newberry College.

Nolan Wheeler committed to wrestle for Newberry College next year. Wheeler won the 2018 145-pound Class 3A state championship in 2018, and followed that by winning the 152-pound Class 3A state championship in 2019.

Hope Kenney signed on to play soccer for Truett-McConnell University next season. Kenney finished the 2019 season with 33 goals, eight assists, and 74 total points as a junior.


Brighton Harder signed to play softball for Emmanuel College.

Laken Ferrell signed to play tennis at Piedmont University in the fall. Ferrell was 12-4 as the No. 1 singles for the Indians as a junior during the 2019 season.

Brighton Harder committed to play softball for Emmanuel College next year. Harder helped lead the Lady Indians to a 20-14 overall record, while going 10-2 in Region 7-3A and making an appearance in the Class 3A state championship playoffs.

Lumpkin Co. football coach Caleb Sorrells summed up the day by speaking for all the coaches at the school.

“As proud as I am of what they did on the field, I’m more proud of what they will accomplish off the field,” Sorrells said.

Lumpkin Co. football Players of the Week recognized

Lumpkin Co. Football, Player of the Week, Team FYN Sports

The nine players named TeamFYNSports Player of the Week during Lumpkin Co.’s 2019 football season were recognized Monday Jan. 27, at the high school. Each player received a commemorative shirt and a gift certificate for a free meal.


Ethan Kline was named the TeamFYNSports Player of the Week for his performance in Week 3.

Week 1, Aaron Hopkins, senior: Against East Jackson on Aug. 23, Hopkins had 10 total tackles (seven solo, three assists) and two sacks.

Week 2, Jason Chamblee, junior: Chamblee had a standout performance and effort against White Co. on Aug. 30.

Week 3, Ethan Kline, senior: Kline was recognized for his all-around strong effort against Jackson Co. on Sept. 6.

Week 4, BoJack Dowdy, senior: Dowdy carried the ball 22 times for 175 yards in Lumpkin Co.’s only win of the season against Gilmer on Sept. 13.


Brian Cunane was named the TeamFYNSports Player of the Week for his performance in Week 5.

Week 5, Brian Cunane, junior: Cunane was recognized for his five total tackles (two solo, three assists) against Dawson Co. on Sept. 27.

Week 6, Tucker Kirk, senior: Kirk went 7-for-9 for 101 yards and a touchdown passing, while carrying the ball 12 times for 38 yards against Cherokee Bluff on Oct. 11.

Week 7, Jackson Root, senior: Against Greater Atlanta Christian on Oct. 18, Root threw a 29-yard touchdown pass, caught an eight-yard pass, and assisted on a tackle.

Week 8, Noah Adams, senior: Adams had a solo tackle, a sack, and assisted on a tackle against North Hall on Oct. 25.

Week 9, Drew Allison, junior: Allison had 76 yards on 12 carries against Fannin Co. on Nov. 1.

Week 10, Tucker Kirk, senior: Kirk went 13-for-21 for 142 yards and a touchdown passing, while carrying the ball 13 times for 84 yards against East Hall on Nov. 8.

Editor’s note: TeamFYNSports would like to thank our sponsors for the 2019 Lumpkin Co. football season. Without their support, coverage of the Indians would not have been possible. A big thank you to Circuit World, Graphic Expressions, Day’s Chevrolet, Flash Media Group, Ingles, Pepsi, Walden & Co. Realty, Trammell Tire Pros, and Chic-Fil-A.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Tucker Kirk, No. 7

Player of the Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports

Congratulations to QB1 of the Lumpkin County Indians- Tucker Kirk! He is the Player of the Week for the last game of the 2019 season!

Tucker completed passes to gain yards all throughout the game against East Hall. Many of these passes were also for first downs. He proved his ability to run the ball as well with carries to gain yards.

Tucker was also responsible for several of the scores during the game with one passing touchdown and two rushing. After the scores he completed passes for two point conversions.

Congratulations again to Tucker!


Lumpkin County Indians “continue to fight” in final game

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Head coach Caleb Sorrells of the Lumpkin County Indians may have summarized the game against East Hall and the 2019 season as a whole with a few simple words during the post-game huddle. He said, “it’s okay to fight even when you don’t feel like it.”

Without a doubt, this season has been a tough one for the Indians. They started off with an entirely new coaching staff to adjust to, and a stacked region schedule. There were moments where it might have been tempting for the team to stop caring- but they never did.

Instead, even though the final score read 40-31 Friday night, the season ended with perhaps one of the best games Lumpkin County has played all season.

The Vikings started out with an early lead after a score during their first possession, but the Indians went to work putting drives together that paid off. Indians quarterback Tucker Kirk hit Trey Wilkes with one of many completed passes for a touchdown early in the second quarter. The two-point conversion was successful, and the Indians had the lead at 8-6.


Quarterback Tucker Kirk drops back for the Indians’ first TD of the game.

The speed and athleticism of East Hall proved to be a struggle for Lumpkin County as they worked to stop the running game and block the passing. Both teams were also hit with numerous penalties throughout the game that would cost them necessary yards.

East Hall scored again with about half of the second quarter remaining to regain the lead 14-8. A two-point conversion was successful, and these attempts would continue to be important to both teams throughout the night.

Lumpkin County answered with just over a minute remaining in the half. Tavion Lawrence returned a kick nearly to the endzone, and Kirk drove it in for a 9 yard carry to close in on the Vikings 20-15. East Hall scored once more before the half to maintain their lead 26-15.

The second half of the game got off to a slow start with each team holding the other to three and out. Lumpkin County made the first conversion when Drew Allison carried for a first down and Kirk carried for another.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the Vikings were up 40-15 after two more touchdown passes. But they wouldn’t score for the rest of the game, and the Indians offense was ready to take over.


Drew Allison with a carry for the Indians.

For their next possession the Indians put together a drive that started off with a 10 yard pass from Kirk to Allison for a first down. Kirk then gave a hand off to Trey Wilkes, who pitched it to Allison to convert on fourth down. It was all the distance Kirk needed to punch the ball in for a touchdown on the next play.

From that point on it was all Indians offense as the clock wound down. Kirk continued to complete passes to Allison, Wilkes and Caleb Norrell to gain yards. All of those passes moved Lumpkin County closer to the goal line, and it was BoJack Dowdy that ran in the final touchdown of the night for the Indians.

To finish things off, the Indians recovered an onside kick to stay on offense the remainder of the game.

Coach Sorrells gave his thoughts on the season by saying, “These kids right here continue to fight, they continue to show up, they continue to try and learn what it means to give best effort and best focus. I hope that [they learned] how to push through and how to try hard no matter what the conditions may be.”

Congratulations to the Lumpkin County Indians football team on their 2019 season!

Indians battle cold and Rebels; fall short 35-14

Sports, Team FYN Sports

The Lumpkin County Indians football team faced a battle with several factors working against them on Friday night. First of all, the temperature dropped to a bitter cold. Second, the game was located a hour north in Blue Ridge. Finally, the opponent in Blue Ridge was the Fannin County Rebels football team, who had a playoff shot and several other records on the line.

But despite the uphill battle, the Indians ran onto the field Friday night with the same determined look they wear each Friday night. And although the scoreboard read 35-14 Fannin at the end, the Indians still had plenty of reasons to celebrate.

It took a bit for the Indians offense to warm up, but the momentum shifted when Drew Allison crossed the line for a first down. Tucker Kirk completed a pair of passes to Caleb Norrell and Ryan Burkhardt to inch closer to the goal line. Then came the trick play, the “Philly Special”, that has become common for the Indians. Except for this time, different people were responsible.

BoJack Dowdy (No. 35) hands off to Trey Wilkes (No. 15) for the “Philly Special” play.

The three players were BoJack Dowdy, Trey Wilkes and Tucker Kirk. Dowdy handed off to Wilkes, who passed to Kirk in the endzone. Before anyone really knew what happened, the Indians had shortened the Rebels’ lead 14-7.

As the Rebels regained possession and drove down the field, the Indians worked hard to make stops. Ethan Kline and Luke Mundy did just that, before a chop block call on the Indians led into another Rebel touchdown.

Lumpkin County came out of the half firing on all cylinders. Between Dowdy’s rushing and the Kirk to Norrell connection, the Indians were picking up first downs left and right. Unfortunately it ended with a fumble recovered by the Rebels.

Trey Wilkes (No. 15) receives a pass from Tucker Kirk for the second Lumpkin County touchdown.

The Indians struggled against a high-powered Rebel offense and defense, but continued to battle nonetheless. For one of their last possessions, Drew Allison carried and picked up yards for first downs. Kirk threw to Wilkes for a first down, then again for one more touchdown. The game ended shortly after, and the Indians had gotten the last word.

For their final game of the regular season, Lumpkin County will battle East Hall. The two teams have the same overall record of 1-8, and 0-5 in the region. East Hall is coming off of a loss to North Hall. Game time is 7:30 p.m. on November 8th.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Drew Allison, No. 17

Player of the Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports

Drew Allison came off of an injury ready to play Friday night against Fannin County. He was responsible for the majority of the carries for the Indians, and picked up yards and first downs.

Drew has also played on both sides of the ball throughout the season. He started out on defense as a safety, but transitioned into a more of a running back role. This change proves he is willing to step up and go where needed.

Congratulations to Drew Allison, this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for Lumpkin County!


Lumpkin County football proves determined against North Hall

Sports, Team FYN Sports

The scoreboard said North Hall 59 Lumpkin County 0 at the end of the game. What it didn’t reflect was the gritty determination on the face of each player for Lumpkin County as they ran from the sideline back onto the field.

This determination was apparent at the very beginning of the game. Running back BoJack Dowdy carried for a third down conversion, and the Indians defense held North Hall to a field goal for their first possession.


Jared Hoch (#14) and Cameron Stringer (#25) bring down a North Hall carrier.

From there the Lumpkin County defense had their work cut out for them to stop the Trojans’ running game. They were assisted by numerous penalties on the North Hall offense throughout the game, but still struggled to get make a play on their Gainesville-based opponents. Part of this struggle was due to the loss of key starters because of injuries, including starting tight end/defensive end Aaron Hopkins.

Although the Trojans were able to put together drives to gain yards, there were plenty of Indian stops. Indian Noah Adams got a sack for a loss of five yards just before the half. Adams, Ethan Kline and Andrew Adams tied for the most solo tackles during the game with three each.

Lumpkin County also had some great moments on offense to prove they weren’t completely out of the game. Along with the usual carries for gain by Dowdy and Trey Wilkes, some younger players stepped up to fill in for injured starters. One of those players was Caleb Norrell, who played in the wide receiver role for most of the night.


Caleb Norrell gets ready for a play.

Norrell was on the receiving end for the play that gained the Indians the most yards of the night- an incredible 30 yard pass from quarterback Tucker Kirk. Immediately after, the Lumpkin County switched it up a bit with a handoff from Kirk to Dowdy, who then completed a pass for nine yards to Kline.

The Indians will be looking for some plays to gain yards when they head to Blue Ridge next week to face the Fannin County Rebels. Defense will play an important factor as well against a Rebel offense that can pass, run and block. Fannin County lost to region 7 opponent Dawson County on Friday night, and fell to 5-3 overall and 2-2 in the region.

After tonight’s loss, Lumpkin County fell to 1-7 overall, and 0-4 in the region.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. next Friday, November 1.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Jackson Root, no. 5

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Jackson Root earned this week’s nomination for Player of the Week for stepping up in a big game against the Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans. He played a key role in the play that scored the lone touchdown for the Indians.

After a handoff from quarterback Tucker Kirk, Jackson dropped back and completed a pass to Brian Cunane, who then ran it into the endzone. A celebration ensued as the Indians, players and fans alike, were thrilled over scoring against one of the toughest teams in the region.

Congratulations to Jackson Root, this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Lumpkin County Indians!



Lumpkin County “defined by effort” in game against Spartans

Sports, Team FYN Sports

The Lumpkin County Indians football team proved on Friday night that it’s not always about what the scoreboard says.

Although the Indians lost to Greater Atlanta Christian by a final score of 49-6, numerous great moments displayed the improvements the team has made over the course of the season- and all against one of the toughest teams in the region.

“We’ve been talking all season, but really just in the last couple of weeks about how we need to be defined by our effort,” said head coach Caleb Sorrells. “We had a lot of fun, we competed and that’s what you’re supposed to do!”

With starting players Aaron Hopkins, Drew Allison and Ryan Burkhart out with injuries the Indians were forced to switch around in positions to make do. But instead of shrinking away, those in different positions stepped up to make great plays.


Joseph Allison with a stop for the Indians.

Lumpkin County’s defense started off on a strong note by holding the Spartans to three and out for their first possession.

The Indians defense provided great coverage of the Spartans receivers throughout the night. Jared Hoch broke up several passes to prevent first downs, and Joseph Allison broke through the line for a sack early into the game. Ethan Kline made several tackles, and even BoJack Dowdy, playing on the other side of the ball, stopped receivers with solid tackles in the second half.

The Lumpkin County offense struggled to convert a first down against the GAC starting defense, but came to life in the second quarter. A nine yard rush by Dowdy set up a play to get a first down, and then a pass from Tucker Kirk to Brian Cunane converted another.


The Lumpkin County offense prepares for a play.

Lumpkin County was able to convert another first down during their next possession, when Cunane carried on a fake punt. The play payed off- as the highlight of the night for the Indians came shortly after.

On second down, Kirk started the play with a handoff to Jackson Root, who then dropped back to complete a pass to Cunane for a touchdown.

The Indians offense would go on to convert several more first downs throughout the second half of the game.

Quarterback Tucker Kirk finished the night going 8 for 20 with 71 yards. BoJack Dowdy finished the night with 21 yards rushing over 12 carries. Tanner Barber also rushed for 21 yards later in the game over four carries.

On the receiving end, Cunane was Kirk’s go-to guy for several pass completions, but Ethan Kline also had a couple long catches for 37 yards.

Looking ahead, Lumpkin County will be back at home Friday night, October 25th, for their next region game against the North Hall Trojans. The Trojans are 4-3 overall in the season and 2-1 in the region.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Tucker Kirk, No. 7

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Tucker Kirk is the starting quarterback for the Lumpkin County Indians, and he displayed his abilities in this role during the game against Cherokee Bluff.

Indians fans got to see more of the passing game they’d heard about- Kirk completed eight passes out of 11 attempts. One of those was an early 13 yard touchdown to Brian Cunane. Kirk also showed his rushing skills, keeping numerous times throughout the night for a total of 64 yards.

Undoubtedly Kirk is also a leader on the field, as he can be spotted communicating plays with coaches on the sidelines before doing the same for his teammates on the field.

Congratulations to Tucker Kirk, this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for Lumpkin County!


Indians football continues region play with loss to Cherokee Bluff

Sports, Team FYN Sports

Despite hard effort and an early touchdown, the Lumpkin County Indians football team was unable to get past region opponent Cherokee Bluff and lost 45-14.

The Indians defense kicked in early on, holding Cherokee Bluff to a field goal during their first drive. A turnover during the Indians first possession lead into a touchdown for the Bears, but Lumpkin County wasn’t backing down.

A combination of completed passes from quarterback Tucker Kirk and scampers from running back BoJack Dowdy led the Indians next drive. It was capped off by an 18 yard touchdown pass from Kirk to Brian Cunane, and the Indians closed the gap on the Bears 10-7.


Brian Cunane catches Tucker Kirk’s pass for the first Lumpkin County touchdown!

Kirk finished the night off with an increased passing game- eight completions for 11 attempts. One of those was the first touchdown pass to Cunane, and several others accounted for first downs. Kirk also showed his skills off on the ground with a total of 64 yards rushing.

Dowdy accounted for 87 of the Indians’ rushing yards over 18 carries.

Cherokee Bluff was able to answer Lumpkin County’s touchdown with one of their own and extend their lead 17-7 going into the second quarter. The Bears running game was led by sophomore running back Jayquan Smith, who racked up yards and touchdowns.

Lumpkin County’s defense struggled to keep up with Smith, but had their fair share of stops. Tanner Barber and Ethan Kline led the way with three solo tackles. Tate Reinhardt, Ryan Burkhart and Aaron Hopkins added to the total with two each.

The two teams went into the half with Cherokee Bluff ahead 31-7. The Bears would score twice more in the second half- but the Indians would have the last word for their homecoming.


Several Lumpkin County defenders pile on a Cherokee Bluff carrier.

The Indians spent their last possession driving down the field and winding down the clock. Kirk completed a 13 yard pass to Burkhart for a first down. Dowdy scampered down the field into Bears territory, and with a mere three minutes left punched it in for an eight yard touchdown. Final score Cherokee Bluff 45, Lumpkin County 14.

As is a new tradition for Lumpkin County this year, the football team took a moment after the game to thank the band and cheerleaders for their support. Undoubtedly the same support will follow the football team as they travel to Greater Atlanta Christian next Friday night.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Brian Cunane, no. 23

Player of the Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports

Brian Cunane is this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Lumpkin County Indians! Although Brian typically plays in a receiver/safety role, this week he played a key part as the punter.

Many of Brian’s punt returns forced Dawson County to start their next drive from deep in their own territory. This position gave the Indians more opportunity to put a stop to the Tigers’ drives.

Even though Dawson County ended up winning, Brian’s role as the punter helped his fellow teammates on defense. Brian even made two solo tackles. Congratulations to Brian Cunane- this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week!


Indians fall to Tigers in region opener 45-0

Sports, Team FYN Sports

The Lumpkin County Indians got off to a rough start in region play Friday night. Despite all their best efforts, the Indians fell to the Dawson County Tigers 45-0.


Quarterback Tucker Kirk hands off to running back BoJack Dowdy.

The Indians held the Tigers to a field goal during their first possession. Then Dawson County scored after picking up a live ball from a punt and running it in for a touchdown. The Tigers would go on to score five more touchdowns- three passing and two rushing.

Despite going into the half behind 38-0, the Indians continued to play hard.

BoJack Dowdy led the rushing game for the Indians with 44 yards over 12 carries. Dowdy also had one catch for 15 yards. Quarterback Tucker Kirk added 11 yards over five carries and two completions- one a 6 yard pass to Roy Bennett and another for 15 yards to Dowdy.


Jarod Hoch during an assisted tackle with teammate Trey Wilkes.

On defense, the Indians Tanner Kirk made four tackles over the course of the game. Ethan Kline, Jarod Hoch and Aaron Hopkins followed shortly behind with three tackles each.

Even though opening week in region play was hard for Lumpkin County, they are going into another bye week. That means they will have two weeks to prepare before hosting Cherokee Bluff in their second region matchup.

The Indians won the game against the Bears last year in Flowery Branch by a final score of 42-19. It was Cherokee Bluff’s first year as a team. Kickoff is scheduled for this year at 7:30 p.m.


TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- BoJack Dowdy, no. 35

Player of the Week, Sports, Team FYN Sports

Congratulations to week 4 TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week for the Lumpkin County Indians– runningback BoJack Dowdy!

BoJack played a huge role in the Indians first season win on Friday night. He ran for 166 yards over 22 carries and scored three of the four touchdowns for the Indians. After the game he was all smiles as he celebrated with his teammates and family.

Congratulations to BoJack for being named this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week!



Lumpkin County Indians get first season win

Sports, Team FYN Sports

The Lumpkin County Indians football had plenty to celebrate Friday night. Following their first season win over the Gilmer Bobcats, the Indians ran from midfield to the sideline to thank the band, and their fans, for their unending support.

It has been a hard fight for the team to get here. The Indians suffered three straight losses to begin their season to East Jackson, White County and Jackson County. But being back on their home turf, the Indians were hungry for a win, and ready to fight for one.

This victory was also the first for Coach Caleb Sorrells in his role as the new head coach. Sorrells was named head coach earlier in the summer, and it his first time in a head coach’s position.

When asked how he was feeling after the game, Sorrells smiled and said, “I’m really, really proud of our kids. I’m proud of them for how they played tonight, but I’m most proud of them for how they prepared to play tonight.”

The Lumpkin offense played an incredible game. Runningback Drew Allison carried five times for 35 yards and scored one touchdown. Runningback BoJack Dowdy ran for 166 yards over 22 carries and scored three of the four Indians touchdowns. Quarterback Tucker Kirk threw seven completions over a total of nine attempts.

Runningback Drew Allison after scoring the Indians first touchdown of the night.

Lumpkin County scored first during their first possession after a ten yard touchdown carry from Allison. The Indians defense held the Bobcats to a quick four and out, then regained possession at the Bobcats 49 yard line.

The first half of the game was riddled with penalties, and the Indians experienced that during their next drive. The offense drove down to the 24 yard line before they were hit with two penalties, one a personal foul and one for delay of game, to push them back to where they nearly started. Kirk punted from the Bobcat 43 yard line, and the Bobcats took over on their 21 yard line.

Gilmer went on a long drive that resulted in a touchdown to tie the game, and the Indians offense went back to work. Dowdy broke through the line with a huge 54 yard touchdown carry to bring the Indians ahead 13-7 with 4:37 left in the half. Lumpkin County got in field goal range during their next drive, and a 22 yard kick by Will Ramirez was good. The Indians held a lead of 16-7 going into the half.

Coming out of the half the Bobcats fumbled and Tanner Kirk recovered for the Indians. Lumpkin County was held to four and out by the Bobcat defense and was forced to punt. The Bobcats scored during their next possession to shorten the Indians lead 16-14. Lumpkin answered during their next possession with another touchdown carry, this one for three yards, by Dowdy.

The Indians celebrate another touchdown by BoJack Dowdy.


Gilmer went for an onside kick and got it, and scored again with a quarterback keeper. The Indians were still ahead 23-21, but weren’t giving in quite yet. Dowdy scored one more time for the Indians after a two yard carry to make the score 29-21. From there it was a matter of letting the clock run down so the Indians could begin their celebration.

Lumpkin County is going into a bye week this week before they kick off region play against the Dawson County Tigers. They will host the Tigers at Cottrell Stadium on the 27th.

TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week- Ethan Kline no. 16

Player of the Week, Team FYN Sports

Congratulations go out to Ethan Kline, no. 16 for the Lumpkin County Indians, for being named this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week!

Ethan played a key role in the Indians’ game against Jackson County on Friday night. He made multiple great tackles throughout the second half that prevented the Panthers from being able to score any more points. Ethan was one of the top few on the team for most tackles throughout the night.

Congratulations again to Ethan Kline, no. 16 for the Lumpkin County Indians, for being named this week’s TeamFYNSports Writer’s Player of the Week! - Dedicated to serve the needs of the community. Provide a source of real news-Dependable Information-Central to the growth and success of our Communities. Strive to encourage, uplift, warn, entertain, & enlighten our readers/viewers- Honest-Reliable-Informative.

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