David Turner Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee
The school was created as a result of the consolidation of the four Fannin County high schools into two new schools, East Fannin and West Fannin, effective with the 1955-56 school year. It would be very interesting to know the rationale of the county education mavens who decided how to allocate students from the old schools (McCaysville, Epworth, Blue Ridge and Fannin County High in Morganton). Essentially, all students from McCaysville, Epworth and Blue Ridge were sent to West Fannin. East Fannin was simply a new, more modern environment for the students from Fannin County High School.For athletic purposes, East Fannin was classified as a Class C school, the smallest classification in Georgia. Class C schools had an enrollment of 200 or less. On the other hand, West Fannin had a much larger enrollment and was classified as a class AA school, schools with enrollments between 400 and 650. It is difficult to understand, looking back 50+ years later, why the two schools were not established on a more equal footing in terms of student enrollments.
In any event, the football teams at East Fannin were very small in number from the very beginning. There were no specialists; all players were required to play both offense and defense. In spite of this situation, however, the Wildcats had considerable success during the early years, particularly 1958 and 1959. Both of those teams would win Sub-Region 4C East Championships, the 1958 team with an overall record of 8-2 and the 1959 team with a final count of 5-3-2.
A huge reason for the success of these East Fannin teams was a 170 pound running back/defensive back from Mineral Bluff named David Turner. Turner was an all-around athlete and played for the East Fannin basketball and football squads beginning in his freshman year of 1956-57 through his senior campaign in 1959-60.
Turner really came into his own as a football player during the 1959 season. He was only one of four returning lettermen from the 8-2 team of 1958 and he quickly became a team leader as a senior. He was elected as one of the co-captains of the 1959 squad.
During the 1959 season, Turner accounted for more than 1300 yards in total offense. He scored 11 touchdowns during the season, including 3 in the game against Johnson High of Rome. In the game with Adairsville to decide the sub-region championship, Turner scored the only touchdown of the game on a 55-yard run from scrimmage. His most spectacular touchdown came against Dade County in the region championship game when he scampered 93-yards on a kickoff return for a touchdown.
In an interview with Charlie Roberts, sports reporter for the Atlanta Constitution, East Fannin coach Babe Howell was quoted as follows in speaking of Turner and his teammate Aldon Farmer: “both were fine leaders, played almost every minute and made our season a winning one during a rebuilding year. Turner, 6-0 and 170 lbs, is an all-around performer who is fast and loves to hit on defense. He also has a straight B average in school work”.
As a reward for his accomplishments, Turner was named to the Class C All-State first team by the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. Turner is one of only 4 athletes in the history of East Fannin and West Fannin High Schools to be so honored
After high school, Turner attended Young Harris College and received a degree in marketing from the University of Georgia. After a successful career in business, he retired a dozen years ago and moved to Tupelo, Mississippi, to be closer to his daughters who were in college at Ole Miss. He has also earned a real estate appraiser’s license and keeps busy in that field.
The Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame is proud to welcome David Turner of East Fannin High School as a member of the inaugural class of the hall of fame. He is certainly a worthy honoree.
FCSHOF-Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame 2013 Inductee David Turner