Monthly Archives: May 2013

Aldon Farmer

Aldon Farmer Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Aldson Farmer

FCSHOF Inductee Aldon Farmer

High schools in Fannin County have been fielding football teams since West Fannin High sent its first gridiron warriors into battle in the fall of 1955. Counting 2012, that means that a total of 78 football teams have taken the field to represent local high schools (21 at West Fannin from 1955 through 1975, 20 at East Fannin from 1956 through 1975, and 37 at Fannin County High from 1976 to the present). From all of those teams, only one player has ever earned the distinction of being named to an official all-state team in two separate seasons. That player is Aldon Farmer of East Fannin High School who was selected as a member of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Class C all-state squads in 1958 and 1959. Continue reading

Fannin County High School Girls Team of 1945-46

Fannin County High School Girls Team 1945-46 Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Team Inductees

1945-46 Girls Team“A massive inexorable force or object that crushes whatever is in its path.” This is the definition that famed lexicographer Noah Webster gives to the word ‘juggernaut’.

They are also appropriate words to describe the 1945-46 Fannin County High School (Morganton) girls basketball team, which was selected to the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame.

This great team ran roughshod over 28 consecutive opponents before finally losing to Colquitt High of Miller County in the championship game of the Georgia State Tournament in Macon. Continue reading

TJ Thompson

TJ Thompson Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

TJ ThompsonTJ Thompson was one of the greatest basketball players in the history of Fannin County and the Copper Basin area. His hardwood wizardry has earned him a place in the 2013 inaugural class of inductees into the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame.

T.J. Thompson was something of a basketball and baseball prodigy growing up in McCaysville, Georgia. He entered West Fannin High School as a freshman in the fall of 1957. When he arrived, he found a basketball program suffering from growing pains. Continue reading

Johnny Farmer

Johnny Farmer Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Johnny Farmer (29)When he took on the challenge of coaching the high school girls basketball team in the remote North Georgia town of Blue Ridge, Johnny Farmer said he wanted to “put Fannin County on the map.”

Nearly 600 victories and two state championships later, one can safely say, “mission accomplished.”

The route Farmer mapped out with his stellar playing and coaching career has taken him to a prime destination — the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame as an inaugural member of the class of 2013. Continue reading

Brian Satterfield

Brian Satterfield Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Brian Satterfield

Brian Satterfield

Brian Satterfield’s record-setting career provided Fannin County football fans with lots to be proud of, and that pride has been channeled into his selection as an inaugural member of the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame class of 2013.

The Epworth native and current Blue Ridge resident graduated from Fannin County

High School in 1989, where his prowess as a running back helped the Rebels achieve their first two winning seasons since the school opened in 1976

Satterfield set the single season school rushing record in the 1987 season with 2,028 yards on 292 carries and scored 14 rushing touchdowns. Continue reading

Raymond Montgomery

Raymond Montgomery Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Raymond MontgomeryRaymond Montgomery is a native of the one time mining town of Ducktown, Tennessee. He was a popular student at Ducktown High School where he played basketball and was a starting guard on the 1943 and 1944 football teams. He was captain of the 1944 Ducktown football team.

After graduation from high school, Montgomery served in the navy and then attended Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. He played center for the 1949 and 1950 Tusculum football teams. Continue reading

Bernadine Heaton Ralston

Bernadine Heaton Ralston Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Bernadine Heaton RalstonViola Bernadine Heaton Ralston was a very, very good basketball player at Mineral Bluff School, Epworth High School and Fannin County High School in Morganton during the mid 1940s. In fact, she was so good that the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame has selected her as a charter member of the class of 2013.

Bernadine was the fourth of seven children born to S.V. and Jessie Nichols Heaton of Mineral Bluff, Georgia. Her three older siblings, Kell, Doug and Pauline all played basketball at Mineral Bluff so Bernadine was introduced to the game early in life. She and her siblings played a lot of basketball in the yard, but they did not always have a real basketball to use. Bernadine remembers one occasion when her older brothers took the bladder of a hog recently slaughtered, blew it up, stitched the seams and used it for a basketball. The Heaton kids took their hoops seriously. Continue reading

Bunzie Johnson Ross

Bunzie Johnson Ross Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Bunzie Johnson RossBunzie Doradell Johnson Ross has been selected for induction into the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2013 in recognition of her considerable basketball accomplishments at Fannin County High School in Morganton during the mid-1940s.

Bunzie was born on March 8, 1929. She was the fourth of six children sired by Harley Johnson. She grew up in the family home on Highway 60 between Copperhill, Tennessee and Mineral Bluff, Georgia, a road that the locals refer to as the ‘Mineral Bluff Highway‘. Continue reading

Michael Hartness

Michael Hartness Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Michael HartnessThe 1960-61 West Fannin basketball team had a 21-9 record, finished as runners-up in the Region 3AA tournament and advanced to the State Tournament in Atlanta. It was the first West Fannin team to qualify for the State Tournament. The team was very experienced and had four seniors in the starting lineup, so only one starter from the team would be back to compete during the 1961-62 season. When the 1961-62 team opened the season with a 60-30 loss at Ringgold, the other opponents on the Jacket schedule must have been licking their chops for their chance to tear into the inexperienced West Fannin 5.

What the West Fannin opponents did not realize, however, was that the 61-62 model had a not so secret Continue reading

Carlton Guthrie

Carlton Guthrie Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Carlton GuthrieOn the night of September 11, 1959 the West Fannin football eleven was engaged in an epic, rockem-sockem defensive struggle with the arch-rival Gilmer County Bobcats on the Gilmer field in Ellijay, Georgia. The game was nearing the end and neither team had posted any points on the scoreboard. The Yellow Jackets had threatened a few times but were never able to cash in. Given one last chance, the Jackets marched down the field but appeared to be stymied once again as they faced a fourth down and 15 yards to go situation at the Gilmer County 25-yardline. At that point, the great West Fannin quarterback, Carlton Guthrie, took the snap from center turned to his left, made a 180-degree turn and swept  toward the right sideline behind a phalanx of blockers. In a flash he turned the corner and sped down the sideline and into the end zone 25 yards away. The Jackets won 6-0. Continue reading

Joe Tipton

Joe Tipton Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Joe TiptonJoe Tipton was born on February 18, 1922 in a house that was practically on the Tennessee-Georgia border. His birth was in Copperhill, Tennessee. When Joe was a very small boy his family moved a few miles south into a Georgia community that the locals refer to as Vellenorthtown, just outside of McCaysville. Joe would grow up there and make his home in that hamlet until his retirement from professional baseball over 30 years later.

Joe was the youngest of 5 boys in the Tipton household (two daughters would Continue reading

Tom Foster

Tom Foster Biography – 2013 FCSHOF Inductee

Tom FosterHis players affectionately called him Coach Tom. To everyone else, from 1960 through 1974, he was known as Coach Tom Foster, leader of the North Georgia powerhouse boys basketball teams from West Fannin High School.

During his 14 years as the head coach of the West Fannin boys basketball teams, Tom Foster’s teams won 256 games and lost only 111, a winning percentage of 70%. In recognition of this outstanding record, and his other athletic achievements, Tom Foster has been elected as a member of the 2013 inaugural class of the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame. Continue reading