Sports talk Thursday with Lauren Hunter-This one’s for the girls

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As many of you reading this probably already know, it’s not uncommon to see a female reporter on your TV screen for sports outlets like ESPN or Fox Sports. Women are branching out into the sports world unlike ever before, with just as much if not more knowledge than their male co-workers.

Unfortunately, despite the strides already made, I believe sexism still exists in the sports world. I think some men find it hard to believe that women are getting into sports because it isn’t “feminine” or a hobby that they should naturally enjoy. These men don’t realize that a woman’s enjoyment of sports often begins with spending time with a loved one. I always like to mention my Papa Skip, and the football knowledge I gained from being around him and spending Saturdays in Athens.

But whatever reason people have for why a woman shouldn’t work in sports, this post is dedicated to those women who haven’t been listening.

Erin Andrews is one of my all-time favorite sports reporters because she knows her stuff!

I’ve always been a fan of Erin Andrews, mainly because the girl knows her stuff. Although she’s primarily spotted on the sidelines of NFL games, Andrews has covered everything from College GameDay on ESPN to the World Series. Outside of sports she’s had the opportunity to contribute news to Good Morning America and currently co-hosts on Dancing with the Stars. Side note: she also spent some time in nearby Atlanta covering the Braves, Thrashers and Hawks for Turner South. Whenever people think of successful women in the sports arena, Andrews is usually one of the first ones that comes to mind.

Unfortunately her fame from her work as a sportscaster has not made her immune to those who want to tear her down. In 2008 a man filmed her completely nude through a hotel door peep hole and posted the video online. The video went viral, and Andrews sued the man along with the hotel company and several others. Although Andrews eventually won her case, the time period from when the video was filmed until the suit ended lasted eight years. I can only imagine the embarrassment and anxiety that she endured during that time. I admire her strength and perseverance.

As a die-hard Braves fan, another reporter I’ve watched a lot of and enjoy seeing is Kelsey Wingert. I love Wingert’s delivery on camera because it comes across as so natural. While she does typically have a notebook on hand, she does not use a teleprompter to read a script. In other words, she also knows her stuff.

Kelsey Wingert is another admirable reporter because of her on-air delivery and relationship with fans.

I follow Wingert on social media, and another thing I like about her is her constant interaction with fans. There have been numerous times I’ve scrolled through my Twitter feed and seen her respond to a fan asking for a chance to meet her during a game. It’s always met with a yes, as soon as the Braves are finished batting.

I could talk all day about female athletes who have also made waves in sports. On Tuesday, the United States women’s national soccer team defeated Thailand 13-0 in the first game of the world cup. Of course we all know the controversy in recent years about the players receiving less pay than their male counterparts.

A fellow reporter told me a story the other day about a young female athlete he once covered who wanted to play baseball in Louisiana. The locals were not having it, and despite all of her hard work throughout the season, she missed out on being able to play one of the biggest games of that year. However, as is the theme for this entire post, she didn’t let that stop her from continuing to work hard. I haven’t mentioned yet that she was also a phenomenal basketball player, and she is Kim Mulkey, head coach of the Baylor women’s basketball team.

The point I’m trying to make here is that there’s no point in trying to hold women back from sports, when we’ve proved time and time again that we know what we’re doing and we can do it really well. I’m sure if you asked each of these women I’ve mentioned if they agree, they would.

I’m thankful for the people along the way, most of them men, that have helped me to see I can do whatever I set my mind to. I’m afraid that sometimes as a society we still judge people based on how they look before we look to see what they can do. Fortunately for me, I have these women who I have already mentioned, and many more who have blazed the trail for me. I believe it’s partially my job to make sure that path continues to stay lit for those after me.

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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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Player Of The Week-Kyle Morlock

Player of the Week

Union is coming of a great wing against rival Towns County.  A few guys could of received the award this week, but we went with Junior Wide Receiver, Kyle Morlock. Kyle finished the game with 6 catches for 132 yards and 1 touchdown. He also did a great job blocking the whole night. Congrats Kyle and the Union County Panthers.

 

 

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After losing only three seniors, Union baseball is loaded

UCHS Baseball

The Panthers look to improve after striking out on a 10-15 2017 season, and with a dugout full of experience returning this season, they’re chances are looking pretty good.

“The Panthers graduated only 3 players after the 2017 season,” third year head coach Robby Roxbury said in a recent interview with your TeamFYNSports reporter.  He added, “This team has a lot of potential and we’re looking on building momentum early in the season and riding on it throughout the season.”

This 2018 Panthers roster returns many starters and carries a deep bullpen into this season. Region 7-AAA is one of the more difficult regions in the state as North Hall won the state championship during the 2017 season and GAC advanced into the quarterfinals.

Coach Roxbury when asked about how this region stacks up replied, “You look at this region and say wow! This is easily one of the most talented and most difficult regions in the state. Just to show how talented this region is, North Hall placed 3rd in the region last year and went on to win the state championship.”

The Panthers look to lean on the senior leadership from this team as they will have 7 seniors. All 5 of the 7 seniors have played all 4 years at Union County.

When asking senior infielder Patrick Baggett on what he thought about the upcoming season: ‘“This has been the quickest 3 years of my life I can’t believe we’re already seniors I’ve played with these guys since t-ball. I think we will improve a lot in contrast to last year, I’m not going to lie it was a difficult year for all of us we hate losing.”

Baggett along with the rest of the players, coaches, and fans hope to see this team make a deep run in the playoffs.

Union falls to Dawson County

Union County High School

The Lady Panthers tipped off at 4:30 Feb 7. The Lady Panthers looked to face a Dawson County Lady Tigers team that they had fell to twice already this season. A win for the Lady Panthers would secure the 4th spot in the region and a playoff berth, a loss would end the season.

The Lady Panthers got off to a sluggish and slow start as the Lady Tigers got off to a 10-0 run to start the game. The Lady Panthers found rhythm and followed that run up with a 9-0 run of their own. The Lady Panthers trialed 17-9 at the end of Q1 led by Daniel with 3.

The Lady Panthers continued with their Q1 rhythm as they grabbed a lead right before the half going on a 12-2 run as they led 21-19. Senior guard Daniel led the Lady Panthers with 11 in the first half.

The halftime break got the best of the Lady Panthers as they lost all rhythm and scored only 1 point during the first 5:20 of Q3, the Lady Panthers had 7 turnovers in that span of time. UC trailed 41-27 going into Q4.

The deficit seemed too much to overcome as the Lady Panthers trialed by as many as 18. The Lady Panthers season came to an end as they lost 41-53. Daniel led the Lady Panthers with 15 in her final game, Mccarter followed up with 12.

The Lady Panthers finished the season 15-10 under first year head coach Corey Garrett.

Daniel finished her high school career with over 1000 points and 2 all region selections. Mccarter was the only other Lady Panther to make the all region team. Hill was selected as an honorable mention.

Panthers battle Indians for Region placements

UCHS Football

Tuesday Jan 30th played against the Lumpkin County Lady Indians. The Lady Panthers looked to complete the season sweep over the Lady Indians who sat in 5th place in the region. A win would secure a playoff spot. A win would put the Lady Panthers in place for a 3 way tie.

The Lady Panthers got off to a quick start against the Lady Indians. The Lady Panthers led 10-2 at the end of Q1. Mccarter led all scorers with 8 points.

A slow Q2 by the Lady Panthers put them ahead 19-16 at the half. The Lady Indians opened the quarter on a 8-0 run. The Lady Panthers were led by Mccarter who had 4.

Bailey Daniel led the Lady Panthers with 4 points in Q3. To extend the UC lead 28-27 over the Lady Indians.

The Lady Panthers would go on to win a tough fought game 36-33. Daniel made 2 free throws to seal the game. The Lady Panthers were led by Mccarter’s 14 and Daniel’s poured in 11.

The Lady Panthers are now in a 3 way tie for 2nd place with East Hall and Dawson. The Lady Panthers will play Dawson County Fri, Feb 2 for Senior Night (beginning at 6pm).

The Panthers followed, tipping off at 7:30pm. The Panthers got off to a hot scoring start as they led 14-11 at the end of Q1. The Panthers were led by Allison who scored 7 in the first.

The Panthers separated themselves over the course of Q2 as they led 38-26 at the half. Baggett led UC scorers in the second with 9 points.

Cra. Colwell went down with an injury with :02 left to play in the half as he got pushed down on the Indians inbound. He is believed to have a grade 2 LCL sprain. His status is uncertain for the next game.

Can. Colwell opened Q3 with 6 straight points himself to lead UC with 8 points in the quarter as The Panthers led 52-42 at the end of Q3.

Drake and Bagget led Panther scorers with 4 each in Q4. Drake fouled out with just under 3:00 left to play. The Panthers went on to win 66-58.

The Panthers were led by Allison 16 and Drake 13. The Panthers improve to 16-7 and 5-6 in region play. The Panthers next game will be against Dawson County Fri, Feb 2. It will be senior night as well. Senior night starts at 6pm.

Lady Panthers complete sweep, Panthers fall to East Hall

TeamFYNSports, Union County High School

Courtside coverage provided by Isaiah Garrett, TeamFYNSports:

Friday Jan 26th played East Hall and off in a 7-AAA matchup. The Lady Panthers looked to sweep the Lady Vikings in the regular season.

The Lady Panthers trailed 7-6 at the end of the first. UC was led by junior forward Jordan Rogers and center Kait Mccarter as they scored 2 each.

The Lady Panthers used a strong 2nd quarter as teams went back to back. There were 6 lead changes as the Lady Panthers led by as many as 9 to gain the lead 26-21. The Lady Panthers were led by Daniel who scored 9 in the first half.

Mccarter led the Lady Panthers with 8 points in Q3 and a 2 at the buzzer to give UC the lead 43-41. The Lady Vikings were led by Winters, she scored 12 points in Q3.

Hill led all Lady Panther scorers with 4 in the 4th as A. Dockrey fouls out with 4:32 left to play. The Lady Panthers won 61-53.

Senior Bailey Daniel led all Lady Panther scorers with 20 points. Hill and B. Dockrey followed with 8 points.

The Lady Panthers complete the season sweet over East Hall. They also improve to 14-8 and 5-5 in region 7-AAA.

The Lady Panthers next game will be Tues. Jan 30th @ Lumpkin County to play the Indians in a region 7-AAA matchup.

The Panthers followed by tipping off at 8:30. The Panthers looked to even the season series after falling the first time 77-61.

The Panthers got off to one of the coldest and most difficult first quarters they’d seen all season as they trailed 17-3 at the end of Q1.

UC faced a tough task but battled through to score 7 unanswered points going into the half trailing 30-20. The Panthers were led by Allison who had 5 points in Q2.

The Panthers opened the half on a 10-2 run to cut the m deficit 32-30. The Panthers rallied behind Allison’s 8 points to grab the lead late in Q3 43-39.

The Panthers took advantage of a couple fouls and a technical to score 6 straight free throw attempts to open Q4. The Vikings rallied back to tie it up at 47 with 3:29 left in regulation. East Hall capitalized on UC’s mistakes in the last few minutes of play as the Panthers were called for 2 charges and 2 travels in the final 3:00. The Vikings grabbed the lead 51-49 with ::47 left.

The Vikings would go on to win 55-49 as they complete the season sweep over the Panthers.  UC falls ro 15-7 and 4-6 in region 7-AAA.

The Panthers next game will be Tues. Jan 30th @ Lumpkin County to play the Indians in a region 7-AAA matchup.

 

 

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