Monthly Archives: September 2017

Mandy Anderson

2018 Fannin County Sports Inductee Mandy Anderson scored more than 1,000 points during her basketball career at Fannin County High School between 1999 and her graduation in the spring of 2003. She then continued her basketball career at Reinhardt University in Waleska, Georgia where she scored 1,138 points in a four year career with the Lady Eagles making her the only basketball player in the history of Fannin County to score more than 1,000 points at both the high school and college level.
When Mandy began her basketball career at Fannin High in the autumn of 1999, the Lady Rebels were coming off a State Championship season. The 1998-99 State Champs were a senior-dominated team so Mandy entered the program at the beginning of a ‘rebuilding’ process. Mandy made the varsity squad as a freshman and went on to start for the Lady Rebels for her final three years at Blue Ridge. On a team level, her high school career crested in 2002 when her team reached the semi-finals of the Class AAA State Tournament.

At Fannin High, Mandy played softball and participated in track and field, in addition to her primary sport of basketball. She played third base and shortstop for the Lady Rebels softball team while starting all four years. Her teams won Region Softball Championships in 2002 and 2003. In track and field she found that she had a natural ability to throw the discus. With very little coaching, she learned the techniques for that event and won two Region Championships and was the runner up the other two years. She had a third and a fourth place finish in the discus in the state meet during her high school career.

Basketball, however was Mandy’s first love and primary sport. She was very, very good at the sport and decided fairly early on that basketball would likely be her ticket to earning a college degree. She worked hard and was rewarded by being named to the Atlanta Tip-Off Club Class AAA All-State second team as a junior and again as a senior. She was named as her team’s MVP as a senior. She never missed a day of school in 12 years and graduated with honors in the top 10% of the 2003 Fannin County High School graduating class.

Mandy was an undersized post player (inside player) in high school and the college recruiters did not beat a path to her door. Coach Johnny Farmer helped arrange a try-out at Reinhardt University and Mandy was offered a partial scholarship. Rookie Coach TJ Rosene brought in nine freshmen in the recruiting class of 2003 and dangled the carrot of a possible full scholarship to a select few ladies who could make the grade. He took the group along with a few other possible recruits to Hilton Head in the summer of 2003. The girls lived and practiced together for a week. Mandy knew that her college future depended upon her performance in this mini ‘boot camp’ and that she put forth the very best effort that she could manage during that week. She was rewarded when, at the end of the camp, Coach Rosene rewarded her with a full basketball scholarship.

Mandy played in 124 games at Reinhardt during her four year career. She saw a lot of playing time as a freshman and started her last three years. Her best season was in 2005-06 when she averaged 14.5 points per game for the Lady Eagles.

Mandy Anderson is an exceptionally bright young woman who has built a career from learning from every situation that has come her way in athletics. In high school, she says that she learned the meaning of intensity and will to win from mentor Johnny Farmer. She learned a great deal about the Xs and Os of the game from assistant Eddie Payne. She also credits Coach Payne for helping to instill much of her love for coaching. During her first two seasons at Reinhardt, she learned a great deal about advanced theories of the game including a working knowledge of the ‘Read and React’ Offense. After her second season at Reinhardt, however, she also learned that, basketball is a business. It was at that point that TJ Rosene, her coach, mentor and, in many respects, role model, moved from the women’s program to accept the position as head coach of the men’s team. For Resene, it was a sound move career-wise and he has gone on to great success as the head coach at NCAA Division 2 powerhouse Emmanuel College in Franklin Springs, Georgia. Losing her head coach was difficult for Mandy, but she understood his reasons and learned from the experience.

Upon graduation from Reinhardt, armed with a Magna Cum Laude degree in Health and Physical Education, she began her career in teaching and coaching. She was soon offered an assistant coach position at Reinhardt and remained there for three years. She moved on to River Ridge High School for two seasons and then to Sequoyah High in Cherokee County where she was an assistant girls basketball coach for five seasons.

Mandy found that she preferred coaching at the high school level because there a coach was required to work with the material provided through the natural progression through the school system — or as Mandy phrases it “you play the hand that you are dealt”. At the college level, a coach was required to recruit players that hopefully would fit into his/her philosophy of the game. At the high school level, a coach worked with the players that came up through the school system and adapted a style of play to the talents of the players on hand. She remembers that Eddie Payne had voiced this philosophy during her days at Fannin County but did not fully grasp its meaning until she faced the same situation as a coach.

After five years at Sequoyah, in the spring of 2017, Mandy Anderson found herself at a crossroads in her career. She was becoming increasingly involved in the sport of CrossFit, both as a participant and as an instructor, and found that the time requirements of that endeavor coupled with the time required to fulfill her coaching duties were almost too much to fit into a 24-hour day. Fortuitously, a contact from her Reinhardt days approached her with the opportunity to become a basketball official with the GHSA. She decided to pursue that course, resigned at Sequoyah and is presently working toward becoming a basketball official at the middle and high school level for the upcoming 2017-18 hoops season. It is a male-dominated profession, but Mandy has the knowledge, confidence and general aura of ‘don’t mess with me, I know what I’m doing’ to be a success at this new opportunity in her young life.

Mandy lives in Woodstock, Georgia but visits her parents and two younger sisters in Fannin County often. Her mother was her first coach when Mandy was 7 years old and her sisters, Tasha and Stephanie, followed in her footsteps as outstanding basketball players at Fannin County High School. In fact the two younger ‘Anderson sisters’ both were good enough to play college basketball, Tasha at Brenau in Gainesville and Stephanie at Cleveland State. Tasha is currently the girls basketball coach at Fannin County Middle School.

Barely past 30 years of age, Mandy Anderson has already experienced quite a journey in athletics. In many ways, however, her journey has just begun.

Keith Dockery

In recognition of his outstanding football career at East Fannin High School from 1968-1972, Keith Dockery has been elected to the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame.
A native of Morganton, Keith and his family moved to the Tampa, Florida area after he finished the 4th grade. They moved back to Fannin County just in time for Keith to graduate from Morganton Elementary School. He had not participated in any type of competitive athletics until he entered East Fannin High School in the fall of 1968. Keith had developed physically into a strong, fast and generally athletic young man who decided to add football and basketball competition to his resume of activities. He made the starting football team as a lineman as a sophomore and also was a member of the JV basketball team that year. With a wink and a grin, Keith remembers that, following his sophomore season, his coaches “decided it would be better if I concentrated my efforts of football”.

Organized, competitive high school football had been introduced to the athletic programs of Fannin County schools after the county-wide school consolidation program of 1955. Prior to that time, the high schools in the county, Fannin County High in Morganton, Epworth High School, Blue Ridge High School and McCaysville High School, were deemed too small to compete in sanctioned football, plus the expenses associated with football programs were considered excessive. In the fall of 1955, these four high schools were consolidated into two new schools called East Fannin and West Fannin High Schools. A funny thing happened on the way to consolidation, however, when local decision makers decided to send the students who formerly attended Epworth, Blue Ridge and McCaysville High Schools to the new West Fannin High School. The new East Fannin High School simply provided a more modern building and physical plant to serve students who had formerly attended Fannin County High in Morganton. From the start, the enrollment figures at East Fannin hovered in the range of 200-275 students. In athletics, the obvious offshoot is that there were not a lot of able-bodied young men available to field a competitive football team.

When Keith Dockery took the field to begin football contests during the 1969, 1970 and 1971 seasons, he knew that it was highly unlikely that he would leave the field of battle before the final whistle. The East Fannin teams of those years generally had anywhere from 13 to possibly 19 players at any one time. Despite the numbers, however, Keith Dockery and a few teammates, including Randall and Ronnie Beavers, soon established a reputation for their gridiron skills. Keith generally played in the offensive line when the Wildcats were in possession of the football and linebacker when the opposing team had the ball. During his senior season, he had grown into an athletic body at 6’1”, 210 pounds. He excelled as both and blocker and as a defender.

For his performance during the 1970 season, his junior season, Keith Dockery was recognized by the Atlanta Journal/Constitution when the sportswriters named him to the Class C All-State Honorable Mention team. The next season, 1971, he was named as a first team selection on the All-State team. This accomplishment placed Keith in some rarefied company since only 4 football players during the entire existence of East and West Fannin High Schools, 1955 through 1976, were so honored. Keith Dockery joined Aldon Farmer and David Turner of East Fannin and Carlton Guthrie of West Fannin as first team selections during that period.

Keith also earned several team honors during his football career at East Fannin. He was a team co-captain as a junior in 1970 and was named as the team’s Most Valuable Lineman. As a senior in 1971, he was elected as team captain and as the Best Defensive Player on the team. His classmates recognized his abilities by named him as the Most Athletic Senior Boy in the 1971-72 class. He was also a student leader and was a member of the Key Club and Big E Club at East Fannin.
In June, 1972, shortly after his graduation from East Fannin High School, Keith Dockery signed on with the United States Army. He was as proficient at soldiering as he had been at pancaking a defensive end and he remained in the Army for sixteen years. He was a honor graduate from his Advanced Individual Training at Ft. Knox in November, 1972 and received a promotion from Private (E-2 rank) to Private First Class (E-3 rank) in recognition of that achievement. In 1978 he was named as the Soldier of the Year at Ft. Polk, Louisiana.

In June of 1979, Dockery applied to and was accepted to Rotary Wing Flight School at Ft. Rucker, Alabama. It was a decision that would shape his career for the remainder of his working life. He received his Aviator Wings in May, 1980, the day after completing the flight school program. He would devote the remainder of his time in the military to flying helicopters and teaching others as an Instructor Pilot.

After leaving the military in 1988, Keith spent some time travelling and reconnected with his high school sweetheart at East Fannin, Louise Gibbs. Louise, Homecoming Queen at East Fannin in 1971, and Keith were married in March, 1989.

The love of flying proved a strong lure for Keith Dockery and he accepted a position with Air Logistics in January of 1989. He remained with them as a Helicopter Pilot, Lead Pilot and finally as a Base Manager before retiring in 2013. He was named as the firm’s overall Employee of the Year in 1999.

Keith and Louise currently make their home in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Keith Dockery has led a life filled with accomplishments in athletics and in service to his country. The Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame is proud to welcome him as a member.