Former FCS Student Raychel Germaine Kicks off 8th Luge Season
Raychel Germaine recently began her eighth luge season in Lillehammer, Norway, as a member of Team USA Senior Luge Team.
“She left on Oct. 1 with the U.S. team, and joined a number of other nations at this challenging 1994 Olympic track [in Lillehammer] to log some early ice time,” her father Bob Germaine said. “At the end of the training period, the countries competed in a World Cup style race. The race doesn’t count nationally or internationally, but nonetheless, it is still an international race against the best in the world in the sport of luge.”
And Germaine, who recently battled back from shoulder surgery, certainly left a mark on the luge world. She finished with a silver medal at the competition held on Oct. 15.
Germaine and her American teammates competed against a field of 14 women from the US, Austria, Italy, Poland, and Norway. Germaine set a personal record of 48.427 seconds in her first run, which left her in third place just 0.116 of a second behind teammate Erin Hamlin of Remsen, N.Y. and just 0.006 of a second behind USA senior A Team teammate Emily Sweeney.
The field goes in reverse order for the second and final run, and Germaine posted another strong run. She broke her personal record – AGAIN – with a time of 48.365.So she finished with a silver medal. She was 0.355 of a second behind Hamlin (gold) and was 0.629 ahead of Norway’s Vilde Tangnes (bronze).
"So Raychel finished Norway trip on a very successful note,” her proud father said. “Anytime you bring home hardware, achieve two personal records, and leave the track with more confidence than you came, it is considered successful. The team made it home safely and they are spending the week in Lake Placid working on physical training and start training.”
The trip is the normal start of the season for the USA’s Sr. A Team. Since she is a B Team athlete, she was invited to participate at her own expense.
The Lake Placid track opened Oct. 17. The USA’s Senior National Championship and Senior Seeding Races are next on the slate. The first seeding race and the senior National Championships will take place in Lake Placid Oct. 28-29. Seeding Race No. 2 will be at Whistler, Canada, on Nov. 5, followed by seeding Race No. 3 at Park City on Nov. 11. These races will be the main criteria for coaches to select the Fall Senior National World Cup Team.
Robert Germaine 12th at Skeleton Event
Raychel’s older brother Robert, a Fellowship Christian School graduate just began his third season in skeleton. He just finished the start championships in Calgary, Canada, where he finished 12thoverall.
Robert Germaine has been invited to compete in the National Championships which will take place in Lake Placid at the end of October and Park City, Utah.
“He has been working really hard this off season, and we are proud of his focus,” Bob Germaine said. “He continues to have to self-fund all activities (his sled, Calgary, Park City trip, etc.). We are proud of his efforts, which has been difficult during the season as he balances training, racing, work and school.”
FCS Graduate Emily Sonnett to Practice with U.S. National Team at Georgia Dome on Sept. 17
Fellowship Christian School graduate Emily Sonnett will participate in the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team’s open practice at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.
The practice is the night before the U.S. National club faces the Netherlands at the Georgia Dome on Sept. 18 at 7 p.m.
Kaleigh Carpenter Wraps Up Collegiate Tennis Career, Sets Sights on Masters Degree
Fellowship Christian School graduate Kaleigh Carpenter recently finished her collegiate tennis career at Division III Berry College, graduated and has now begun her post-graduate education to become a registered dietician.
Carpenter, who graduated from Fellowship in 2012, was a four-year starter for the Berry tennis team and earned her undergraduate degree in exercise science. She has headed to Ohio State University, where she is a student in the Medical Dietetics masters program.
Carpenter, who was undefeated as a No. 3 player at FCS as a sophomore, overcame a physical disability to become a star on the tennis court and frequently shares her faith and story. She was born with a left arm that extends from the shoulder but ends before where he elbow would begin.
That did not stop her from having a stellar high school career at Fellowship and going on to earn all-conference honors at Berry in 2013, 2014 and 2016. She posted an outstanding collegiate career record of 56-17 in singles and 58-17 in doubles.
An intern this summer in the Dominic Republic with Young Life, Carpenter recently discussed her tennis career.
Question: What are your career aspirations?
Answer: My career aspiration is to become a Registered Dietitian. My undergraduate degree was in exercise science, and now I am in a Medical Dietetics masters program at Ohio State. I am very interested in the relationship between diet and health. I want to help others improve their health through their diet and fitness.
Question: What were the highlights of your senior season?
Answer: The highlight of my senior season was really just enjoying my last tennis season. I had such an amazing experience playing for Berry and I wanted to soak it all in during my last season. Some highlights were our spring break tournament in Hilton Head, senior day, and placing third in conference.
Question: What was it like playing tennis at Berry?
Answer: I loved the experience of being a student-athlete at Berry. The tennis team gave me an immediate community and family on campus. Collegiate sports are a serious commitment, but it taught me to be more responsible and manage my time well. Playing a college sport really gives you an all around great college experience. It allowed me to compete in my favorite sport, be challenged academically and still manage to work and have a social life.
Question: What was your biggest challenge to play four years in College?
Answer: The biggest challenge was time management. Sometimes school was tough and work was demanding, but I had to stick to my commitment to the team and make things work. Being busy helped me academically as I had to manage my time well with less free time.
Question: What was your favorite memory at FCS?
Answer: My favorite memory at FCS was the fall retreat at Sharptop Cove. I loved the time I spent with the FCS community in such a beautiful place. There was always so much energy and spirit at those retreats.
FCS Graduate Dariean Ward Posts Stellar Sophomore Campaign at Lander University
Fellowship Christian School graduate Dariean Ward had to overcome some adversity to finish her sophomore softball season at Lander University with some very strong statistics.
Ward, who graduated from Fellowship in 2014, showed perseverance to build back her confidence at the plate during her second collegiate season of Division II softball after being hit by a line drive above her eye in practice.
“It was not hard, but it just scared me,” Ward said in a recent interview. “My coach [Glen Crawford] really helped me build my confidence back. He really pushed me to do my best, and not be afraid at the plate.”
The Marietta native finished fifth on the Lady Bearcats with a .317 batting average in 2015. She played in all 47 games, one of only two Lander players to accomplish that, and made 46 starts. She also led the team with 145 at-bats, 46 hits and 16 doubles, was third with 25 runs scored. She shared third on the squad with two home runs and 21 RBIs. Ward’s .469 slugging percentage ranked third on the Lander squad. Ward set career highs in basically every offensive category.
As a freshman, Ward played in 40 games for the Greenwood, S.C. school, which has an enrollment of more than 3,000 students. She hit .230 with one homer, six doubles, 13 RBIs and 15 runs. For more information on Ward’s college career, click here.
Ward recently discussed her softball career, and her FCS experience.
Question: What was the highlight of your sophomore season?
Answer: We had a new coach, so the year was an adjustment. But I had a really good year hitting and also in the field. My coach really put confidence in me, and drilled me to be my best. I feel like I am really prepared for my junior season.
Question: What had your collegiate experience been like?
Answer: It has been pretty good. I enjoy being at Lander. I have been part of some good teams there. We finished 26-21 last year. It’s a good team. We have 27 girls on the roster, so we have good talent and depth. Our expectations are high. We hope we’ll make it all the way this year and be the best team in the Peach Belt Conference.
Question: What advice do you have for Fellowship graduates heading into their first year of collegiate athletics?
Answer: It’s hard to do. So you have to stay on top of everything – practices, games, studying and classes. You have to just stick through that first year, and work hard. I stuck through it, and I am very glad I did. You’ll get more plying time as your career continues, and you have to work hard in practices.
Question: What was your toughest adjustment to college softball?
Answer: I think the time commitment. Basically your sport in college is your life. That’s where you spend your time outside of studying and classes. You are always going to practice or games. You travel to a lot of road games too, so the schedule can be tough. You have to manage your study hall schedule and your classwork as well, because you don’t want to get behind. But it’s all worth it when you do well on the field.
Question: What is your favorite sports memory at Fellowship?
Answer: I would say being part of the successful soccer program at FCS. It was so much fun to go to the tournaments and all that my junior and senior years. I played soccer for two years at Fellowship, and really had so much fun doing that.
Sonnett Named as Alternate for U.S. Women’s Olympic Soccer Team
Fellowship Christian School graduate Emily Sonnett fell a little short of her goal to be included on the roster of the United States Women’s Soccer Team that will compete in the Olympics.
But Sonnett will have the opportunity to travel with the Team USA to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the Olympics being held Aug. 5-21. Sonnett, Ashlyn Harris, Samantha Mewis and Heather O’Reilly were all selected as the four alternates for the team, and will have an opportunity to travel with their squad to the Games. They could see action in the Games if there are injuries or personnel moves are made by the coaching staff.
For the past several months, the Marietta native has been participating in exhibition matches with the U.S. National Team.
Earlier this year, the Portland Thorns made Sonnett the top overall selection of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft. She is the first FCS graduate to be selected first overall in any professional sports league draft. A total of 40 players were selected in the draft.
She has helped the Thorns post a 7-1-5 record through July 11.
Long Enters Fourth Year with GCSU Volleyball Squad
Fellowship Christian School graduate Caroline Long has helped build the Georgia College & State University’s volleyball program from the ground up.
“We have a good outlook this year,” said Long, a senior. “We are hoping for a conference title. Every year we have gotten better. It has been so rewarding to be part of this program since the beginning.”
Long, a 2013 graduate of FCS, was among a group of athletes who came to the Milledgeville school to help start a varsity volleyball program in the fall of 2013.
Last season, Long helped the Lady Bobcats finish with a 12-15 overall, including a 7-12 mark in conference games. She ranked second on the squad with 195 kills and 68 blocks, and was third with 236 digs. Long played in a career-high 27 matches, including a career-best 26 starts, and was fourth on the team with 87 sets played last fall.
As a sophomore, Long played in 26 matches, made 121 kills for an average 1.46 per set and was second on the team with 53 blocks. In 2014, she also recorded 148.5 points to rank fourth on the Lady Bobcats. During the GCSU inaugural season, the freshman from FCS finished with 206.5 points, averaged 1.8 kills and saw action in 101 sets.
Long recently talked about her volleyball career at GSCU and life at Fellowship.
Question: What has been your career highlight at Georgia College?
Answer: Being part of the inaugural game here in 2013. We had a packed gym of about 2,500 people, and it was loud. I was fortunate enough to assist the first point in school history. It has been wonderful to be part of this program since the beginning. It has been challenging, but a lot of fun too.
Question: What are your personal goals for this season?
Answer: I have been blessed to be voted captain for three out of four seasons. So naturally I want to be a strong leader both on the volleyball court and in other areas as well. I would also like to be one of most accurate hitters percentage wise. I want to be that go-to leader the coaches can count on. Volleyball is really a mission field, so I want to share my faith and help lead others to Christ and be a great example for the younger players.Question: What is your team’s outlook this year?
Answer: We are hoping for a great season. Since our first year we have gotten better. We keep building. All of our starters are returning, so we are expecting a great season.
Question: What are some of your favorite sports memories at Fellowship?
Answer: I was lucky to have had the opportunity to play volleyball for two years at Fellowship during my junior and senior years. During my junior year, we played former Braves pitcher John Smoltz’ daughters’ team [King’s Ridge] at home, and I’ll never forget it. It was the loudest I have ever heard the gym at Fellowship. Our whole football team came out to watch us play, and cheered us on. I don’t think we won the match, but we took them to three sets and fought very hard. They were the best team in the Area at the time, and it really showed how far our program had come to compete with such a top program. My senior year was very memorable too. Our team had a great season that year and won a lot of matches. We really grew as a team.
Question: What advice do you have for Fellowship graduates heading into college sports?
Answer: Your freshman year can be a struggle, but you have to stick with it. The demands are high with practices and games, all of course while you are adjusting to life away from home in a new city and the college classroom. But practice hard, listen to your coaches and stick with it, and also enjoy your teammates, coaches and your school. It may be tough when you are heading to practices and your friends are doing something fun, but your hard work and practice time will pay off. Being a college athlete is very rewarding, so you have to enjoy the ride.
Kierpa Eyes Starting Pitcher Role on Covenant College Baseball Team
As his freshman season progressed, freshman pitcher Grant Kierpa saw more and more time on the mound for the Covenant College baseball team.
“The season went pretty well,” Kierpa said in a recent interview. “I had no expectations going into the season. We had some really good senior pitchers on the team, so I knew I’d have to work hard for an opportunity.”
Well, the Fellowship Christian School graduate did just that.
Kierpa posted a 2-0 record and one save in seven games, including five starts as a freshman for the Scots. The club finished 23-17 overall, including a 9-8 conference mark. Kierpa struck out 11, walked seven and allowed 18 hits in 28.1 innings.
Kierpa reflected back on his freshman campaign and his career at Fellowship recently.
Question: Overall, how would you rate your freshman season?
Answer: Coach [Doug Simons] said before the season started that “we could use your help in the bullpen.” I was prepared to contribute. As the year went along I saw more and more time. After fall practices I tweaked my motion a little bit and felt good going into the spring games with varsity. I knew I would have an opportunity.
Question: How did you earn more time?
Answer: The coaches liked my motion, so I started as a long reliever. After the first few weeks, one of our starters got hurt. I made a spot start [against Berry College] and I felt like it was one of my most solid performances of the season. It was awesome because the coaches gave me four more starts the rest of the season. I had a great time pitching as a freshman.
Question: What are your expectations heading into the season?
Answer: Coach [Simons] talked to me before the end of the year. He said I would be in a fight to become a weekend games starter this spring. I head into fall practice, which includes about 45 players, with the expectation that I will earn a starting spot. Obviously I want to be among the 30 or so players who make the roster for the spring season. Only 25-27 travel to the away games, and I want to be in the group too.
Question: How did your experience at Fellowship help you adjust to life in college?
Answer: Being a Fellowship graduate really helped me at Covenant. At FCS I took Bible classes, so I was ahead of the freshmen from public schools who had not. It was kind of nice to have that advantage. Just like at FCS, the Covenant teachers take care of you. I learned that quickly. They helped me get comfortable in college. I found their teaching styles were similar to what I experienced in high school. I felt I could talk to my professors if I did not understand a concept.
Question: What advice do you have for FCS graduates heading to college athletics?
Answer: You have to stay committed. I know I sound like a parent, but it’s so easy to get wrapped up in practices and games. It’s a busy year as a freshman athlete. You have to stay on top of your homework and studying.
Question: What was your favorite sports memory at FCS?
Answer: It comes down to a couple. The first one was during my freshman year. We had Kyle Royalty, Anthony Annello and some other great seniors. We had a great playoff run that year. And while I did not play a lot, being part of playoff baseball was very cool. As a senior I got to pitch a lot, including a couple of wins against Mount Pisgah. We beat them both times, which was very nice from a baseball perspective.
Linneen Ready for Senior Season at Centre College, Eyes Starting Position
Conor Linneen has been patiently waiting for an opportunity to become a starter at Centre College. Hopefully his time has come.
The 5-9, 170-pound Fellowship Christian School graduate heads into summer practice at Centre eying a starting role in the defensive backfield.
“I am excited about the season,” Linneen said. “Our team is ready to go. We feel like we have unfinished business.”
The Colonels posted a 30-23 victory at Berry College in Rome, Ga., on Nov. 14 to end the season on a five-game win streak and wrap up an 8-2 campaign. But Centre narrowly missed the postseason, even though the club knocked Berry from the playoffs with the victory. Both teams finished 6-2 to share second place of the Southern Athletic Association.
“When I started at Centre the starters at safety were sophomores,” Linneen said. “I kind of realized it would be my senior year before I started. I would have to beat someone else out before then became my mindset. It was kind of tough at first, but I go into camp this year and finally have my chance to solidify a starting position. Early in my career I was able to play in a lot of JV games on Mondays which was a lot of fun.”
Linneen recently talked about his career at Centre, located in Danville, Ky., and FCS.
Question: Overall, how has your career gone at Centre?
Answer: The change was nice for me. We kind of struggled my last year at Fellowship, and I came here and we went 7-3. For me that was awesome. Even though I was not playing on Saturdays, it was fun to win football games. I was glad to give up playing time for winning. My coaches challenged me after my freshman year to step up. I worked hard that offseason and had the opportunity to play specials teams and travel as sophomore. It feel to get better on the field and contribute.
Question: What has been the biggest highlight during your Colonel career?
Answer: I got so much better as a sophomore, and we finished the regular season 10-0 and won the conference championship. My favorite win that year was at Birmingham-Southern College and my old teammate Jacob Miller was on their team. We earned some bragging rights. We lost in the playoffs to a very good team, but overall it was an awesome experience.
Question: How did your junior year go?Answer: I knew I had made a lot of progress, and could build on that. Last year I played the most I had ever played at Centre. I was one of the special teams leaders and also got to play quite a bit in nickel package situations on defense. We beat Berry to end the season. We missed the playoffs, but it makes us hungry this year. We’re all motivated and the seniors want to go out with a championship.
Question: What are your personal goals this year?
Answer: I definitely want to start. I want to solidify that spot in camp. I want the coaches and my teammates to all be confident in me. I want to take care of my position and be a leader. I want to do a much better job of getting to know the freshmen and help them feel part of the team. My ultimate goal would be to become an all-conference player.
Question: What’s your advice for this year’s FCS graduates heading into college football?
Answer: Buy into the program and accept the team philosophy with a vengeance. Show the coaches what you can do, and learn from the older players. They can sometimes be better learning tools than the coaches. They have all been where you are.Question: What was your favorite athletic memory at Fellowship?
Answer: As great as it is playing football on Saturdays in college, there’s nothing like playing on Friday nights at FCS. It was so much fun to step on the field at night. Even today in college, night games really pump us up more. But at Fellowship I fondly remember the atmosphere building up to the Friday night game. It was really cool when we played the first game under the lights at [Bob Lord Field].
Kent Jumps into Leadership Role at Covenant College
Marshall Kent has not wasted any time moving into a leadership role with the Covenant College golf team.
The 2015 Fellowship Christian School graduate was among the team’s top golfers and wound up being a leader even as a freshman at the Lookout Mountain, Ga., school. He is quick to admit he wants to become even more vocal leader this year.
“It was a lot fun,” Kent said about his freshman season. “I was really placed in a leadership role last year with a couple of seniors. With a coaching change, we kind of had some turmoil last year, but I know our new coaches expect me to be an even more involved leader this year.”
Kent recently talked about his freshman year, FCS golf coach Mike Kinsey and his Fellowship career during an interview.
Question: Overall how was your freshman year at Covenant?
Answer: It had a lot of ups and downs on the course, but overall it was a great experience. I made the all-tournament team in my first college tournament, but I also had my fair share of ups and downs on the course. I shot a 73 at Berry, which finished in the top 30 out of 100 golfers. That was really a season highlight. Nothing really happened in the second semester because our coach left.
Question: Are you excited about your leadership opportunity this fall?
Answer: I am really looking forward to the challenge. I am excited about building relationships with the incoming freshmen, and am glad all of our recruits are still going to attend Covenant who were recruited by the previous coach. I want to provide spiritual and mental support for my team, and encourage them. I understand who I am in Christ, and I want to share that. I am prepared mentally for that role. [Jack Belote] left at the end of our spring season, but tensions arose throughout the spring because he had a feeling he was on his way out. Tom Schreiner has stepped in to take Belote's place.
Question: what are your strengths as a golfer right now?
Answer: My short game and putting has gotten me where I am today. When I was a kid I would practice my short game at my country club for hours. It has really given me confidence. I know I always have a chance to par every hole even if I am 115 yards out after my second shot.
Question: What was your favorite memory as a golfer at FCS?
Answer: When I won the Saint Francis Knight Invitational at the Trophy Club as a senior. I shot a 73 and beat players who are Division I golfers now. That was easily my favorite memory. It really boosted my season.
Question: How much has coach Mike Kinsey helped your game?
Answer: Coach Kinsey taught me so much about golf. His lessons about the mental part of golf and course management were so valuable. He would come up to me after a bad shot and say “what are you going to do now?” Coach Kinsey would challenge us to be the best we could be. He gave me a ton of freedom to become a team leader. He encouraged me to be intentional in leadership. It was great to be a part of a program that has been so successful.
Question: How did Fellowship prepare you for college?
Answer: Academically, Fellowship and its teachers really taught me to take my work seriously. You have to be prepared for college, and I was. I learned to be very intentional in my schoolwork and studying. Golf wise I was also ready for Covenant with all the help I received from Coach Kinsey.
FCS Graduate Hunter Bryant Patiently Waits His Turn at Alabama
Hunter Bryant still has to pinch himself to believe it sometimes.
The 2014 graduate of Fellowship Christian School enters his third season as a preferred walk-on for the University of Alabama’s football team this fall. This is the same Crimson Tide squad that is coming off the school’s 16th national championship.
Following a stellar career at FCS that ended with the Roswell resident holding many of the Paladin all-time passing records, Bryant headed to Tuscaloosa knowing that it would be very tough to earn playing time at the storied program. He chose that option rather than go to a FCS, Division II or III school where he may be a starter.
“It has been amazing,” Bryant said. “I still catch myself not believing I am here. But it’s real. It has been great to go to all the places I have gone and to learn how to push myself more and more to get better.”
The 6-foot-5, 226-pound tight end works all year long to attain his goal of stepping onto the field during a game for the Crimson Tide one day. He recently chatted about his time in Tuscaloosa and at Fellowship.
Question: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in college?
Answer: Switching to tight end. It has been quite the change from quarterback. It has been a huge learning experience over the last 1½ years. But I definitely enjoy it. I feel like being a tight end has put me in a position to play someday. That’s why I came here – the challenge of getting on the field here.
Question: Do you ever think that you should have picked a smaller school?
Answer: There are definitely times when you wonder what it would be like to play every day at a smaller school. But then you think about it, I could wonder would have happened if I hadn’t come here? Would I think I wish I had given Division I football a try? Maybe. But I have to admit it is tough to sit Saturday after Saturday and not get on the field. You put in the work, and want to play. That’s natural. But this is what I signed up for. I really am glad that I am here. In the long run this will pay off for me. It has helped me learn adversity, grow up faster and learn patience.
Question: What advice do you have for fellow Division I walk-ons?Answer: You can’t be overwhelmed. You are a Division I player period. That’s the top of the line. No one is going to believe in you. You have to prove it to the coaches, and you have to find your slot. You have to earn your opportunity and playing time.
Question: What was your favorite sports memory at Fellowship?
Answer: I think beating King’s Ridge and Whitefield my senior year. Those were total team wins and they showed us how far our program had come. We had 10 seniors that year, and we all loved what Al Morrell brought to the program. That man totally changed my life. He is a great football coach and leader.
Question: What has made him such a successful coach?
Answer: He is a great teacher. I think we all really learned a lot from him. He is a quiet leader. He leads by example. He was also able to excite kids about playing football at Fellowship.
Miller Closes out Career at Birmingham-Southern College; Ready for Business Career
Fellowship Christian School graduate Jacob Miller ended his career at Birmingham-Southern College on a good note.
Miller, who played in the last 20 games of his career as a starter after being a reserve for two seasons, helped anchor an offensive line that help Panthers post a 5-5 season record as a member of the Southern Athletic Association.
“Record wise we were mediocre,” Miller said. “But the season felt a lot better than the year before. We won games we didn’t think we would, and ended up beating the two best teams we played. Personally I thought I played pretty well.”
For his career, Miller played in 29 games. He helped the Panthers finish 7-3 as a freshman, the team’s best record during his four-year career.
Miller recently talked about his career plans and his time at BSC and FCS.
Question: Now that you have graduated with a degree in business administration, what are your career goals?
Answer: I am interviewing for jobs right now. My five-year plan is a career in sales. Due to the competitive nature, I feel like I am a natural fit for sales. I’d love to own my own business someday. I am not 100 percent sure what it would be, but I think maybe it would be in the outdoor world. But in the short term I’d like to work in sales to learn more about the business world.
Question: What advice do you have for the recent Fellowship graduates heading into college football?
Answer: This is a great a question! I have actually given that a lot of thought lately. I would tell the guys not to get too frustrated early. You won’t get a lot of playing time early in your career, so you have to stay positive. You played every down in high school, but the competition level in college is 10 times better. You can’t quit mentally.
Question: How did you personally overcome that early in your career?
Answer: The people on scholarship are there to do the same thing as you. By consistently working hard I was able to show the coaches I deserved a chance to play. I had to make the extra sacrifices to go that extra mile in practice. Coaches don’t trust you if you don’t put in the effort.
Question: What was your biggest challenge?
Answer: I would say time management. You are busy with classes, study halls, practices and travel for games. It can all be demanding. You just have to go to classes, work hard and the grades take care of themselves.
Question: What was your most memorable moment at FCS?
Answer: My senior year we went 5-5. It doesn’t seem like a lot of wins, but it was a fun season. It wasn’t one win, but the fact we were competitive and won some games. I do remember one loss though. We lost 14-7 at Wesleyan, a Double A powerhouse, but we really played well and wanted to win and came close. The previous three years before that we seemed to get used to losing games and loses did not bother us as much as that season. I’d say the atmosphere changed a lot that year. People changed. Attitudes changed.
Hurley Wraps up Scholastic Career with 8th Place Finish in Seattle
Fellowship Christian School graduate Emma Grace Hurley closed her high school career with an eighth-place finish in the 2016 Brooks PR Invitational 2-mile race with a time of 10:28 on June 18 in Seattle, Wash.
Hurley, who graduated from Fellowship this month, has been crowned a GHSA state champion three times during her FCS career.
Hurley captured the 3,200-meter race during the second day of the three-day GHSA State Girls Track & Field Championships on May 6 at Hugh Mills Stadium in Albany, Ga., in a state-record time of 10:33 to notch the second GHSA track & field state championship of her stellar career and best her record set in the previous year’s championship race. She won the 3,200 race in 10:38.01 (a state record at the time) on May 7, 2015, to win her second state championship just months after she became the first FCS athlete to capture a state championship with a first-place finish at the 2014 GHSA Single A Cross Country Championships.
She is also the first two- and three-time state champion in Fellowship history.
Getting his Kicks: Berryman Coming Off Strong Freshman Season at Western Carolina
Fellowship Christian School graduate Ian Berryman posted a very strong season in his first year of NCAA Division FCS football as a redshirt freshman at Western Carolina University.
Berryman, who graduated from FCS in 2014, saw action in all of the Catamounts’ 11 games as a punter. He made 58 punts and collected 2,534 yards for an average of 43.7 yards per kick. It was the second-highest average in the Southern Conference and eighth in FCS nationally. A total of 14 of his kicks topped 50 yards, including a career-best 65-yard boot against Samford University on Oct. 24, 2015. He landed 22 of his punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard-line.
“It went pretty well,” Berryman said. “I really enjoyed the season. I felt very good on the field.”
Following the 2015 campaign, Berryman was named first team All-Southern Conference, as selected by the league’s coaches.
The media voted Berryman to the second team All-SoCon. He was also selected as a national finalist for the STATS FCS Freshman of the Year Award, was named second team All-America by College Sports Madness and was selected for the College Sporting News “fabulous Fifty All-America squad.
After entering the Catamounts program as a walk-on in 2014, Berryman earned a scholarship in April of 2015. He enters his third year at the Cullowhee, N.C., school in August. Berryman recently discussed his WCU season.
Question: What are your goals for 2016?
Answer: I want to continue to develop my consistency. Last year was a good building experience for me. I really want to help the team do well.
Question: What was the biggest surprise of college football?Answer:The speed of everything. It’s very different from high school to college football. The speed of the rushers on punt teams is amazing. Those players are usually starters on defense too, not just the younger kids getting time in the game like high school. College football has so many fast players. You only have about 1.2 seconds to get the ball in the air. I had to really learn how to place the ball directionally in college than high school too. Overall the skill level is the biggest difference.
Question: What has your college experience at Western Carolina been like?
Answer: I love it. It’s a small school with a great community feeling. I have made so many friends here. It’s nice because you get to play the big schools in football and have the benefit of attending a smaller school with smaller classes. I love the class sizes here and this campus.
Question: What advice would you give to Fellowship athletes as they transition to college football?
Answer: I would say make sure to do everything the coaches tell you to do. And be willing to take on new roles. Special teams is the way to get on the bus. Coming in as a walk on I understand the importance of making a name for yourself. You can’t get complacent. You have to advocate for yourself in a good way. You can’t demand playing time, but you can ask for more reps in practice. You have to build the coaches’ confidence in you.
Royalty Helps Samford to Historic Season as Freshman
Fellowship Christian School graduate Kelsey Royalty made an impact on the Samford University softball team as a freshman.
A 2015 graduate of FCS, Royalty finished seventh on the Lady Bulldogs squad with a .287 batting average and helped the team post a 40-20 record. She played in 57 of the team’s 60 games, including 49 starts.
Royalty, who played mostly in right field, collected three home runs, nine RBIs and 37 hits.
As a Lady Paladin, Royalty played four years of varsity basketball and 2-3 years of varsity softball in addition to 5-7 years of travel softball.
She recently discussed her freshman year at Samford and her FCS career during a recent interview.
Question: What was your first year in college like?
Answer: I loved my first year at Samford. I was a little worried making the transition to college from a small high school, but I chose Samford because it was so small. It was a great academic and athletic environment to begin my career. FCS really helped me be prepared for college. I took a lot of AP classes at Fellowship that helped me reduce my course load a little as a freshman. That was very helpful for me.
Question: What was the highlight of your freshman season on the field?Answer: It was amazing. It was the first time in school history that we won a conference title. We won 14 games four years ago, so it was great for our seniors to go out with 40 wins. We went 0-2 in NCAA Regionals at the University of Alabama, which was tough, but it was the school’s first trip to NCAA Regionals so o overall it was a great season. There was so much excitement on selection Sunday! It was great to be involved in that atmosphere. It’s a very good program. We have a great coaching staff, and a great team.
Question: What was your biggest challenge about becoming a college athlete?
Answer: I’d say time management. We were required to have eight hours of study hall time a week. That is a lot of time with all the practices, games and classes. After posting at least a 3.5 GPA in the first semester, I moved to five hours a week [of study hall] in the second semester. I love school, and love the academics of college, but it’s hard to fit in all the hours sometimes. We practice every day, including 3-4 hours a day in the spring.
Question: What goals do you have for your sophomore year?
Answer: It was a learning experience as a freshman. I must have messed up like a 1,000 times. I played right field this year, but I would really love to play some in center field next year, and also raise my GPA to a 4.0 in both semesters. I played 2-3 sports a year at Fellowship, but I was always a student before being an athlete. It’s no different for me at Samford. Coach [Clay] Price preached that to us at Fellowship. I have that philosophy in college too.
Question: What was your favorite sports memory at FCS?
Answer: I had a lot of great memories at Fellowship. I played two or three years of varsity softball and four years of varsity basketball under coach Price. He was an amazing coach and mentor. I would have to say my greatest highlight was senior night for basketball. Abigail Freemyer and I were both honored at center court with our parents. We both played four years for coach Price, and I also played a fifth year for him at JV. Since we had been in the program for such a long time, he was gleaming at center court when they talked about us. He didn’t have kids, so we were like his kids and he was like a second father to all of us. I never have felt so proud to make someone so proud of me.
Sonnett Closes Out UGA Soccer Career; Graduates and Enters Animal Healthcare Field
Fellowship Christian School graduate Emma Sonnett, one half of the famous Lady Paladin soccer twins, closed out her four-year NCAA Division I soccer career with a leadership role at the University of Georgia.
Sonnett, who graduated this spring with a degree in animal science with emphasis in production management, was a captain of the Lady Bulldogs team this season. She played in all 18 games, including 12 starts, and finished eight among field players with 1,004 minutes.
A defender, Sonnett received the Most Inspirational and Coaches Award this spring, and was named to the All-SEC Community Service Team.
During her career, the Marietta native played in 66 games at UGA. She suited up for a career-high 20 contests as a junior, and was second on the team among field players with 1,541 minutes.
She recently discussed her soccer career, new career plans and her future in soccer during a recent interview.
Question: What was the highlight of your senior season?
Answer: Being able to have a leadership role and serve as captain was a highlight. We had a new head coach [Billy Lesesne] and coaching staff, so it was a new system. But it was great to close out my career there as a leader and spend my fourth year with four teammates who had been there with me from the beginning.
Question: Do you have any plans to play more soccer?
Answer: Well I just started my first job with Merial U.S., in Duluth [a global animal healthcare company]. I am a customer care representative, and I am very excited about the role. But I would like to keep playing soccer. I am still trying to find a [semi-pro] team in the Atlanta area to join. I would have to make the soccer schedule work around my work schedule, but I am still very interested in playing soccer.
Question: You helped build a successful program at FCS. What was it like to see the girls’ team win the first state championship for a Fellowship team?
Answer: It was great news to see where the program has come. It was nice to see the team win. I will always be a Paladin, so it was exciting to see! I am very happy for the girls and the coaches.
Question: What advice do you have for girls looking to make the jump from high school to college athletics?
Answer: Be sure it is a place where you’ll be happy. I knew how great the UGA animal program was, so it’s somewhere where I wanted to go. But it was a great place to go to and play soccer too. You also have to be prepared for the practice and game schedule. It’s demanding. We averaged 17-18 games every fall and another seven or so games in the spring. Plus you have many hours of training time over the summers. That makes it pretty much a year-round commitment.
Question: What was it like to see your twin sister become the first overall selection of the National Women’s Soccer League following her career at the University of Virginia?
Answer: I am really proud of her. It is awesome to be able to brag on her a little bit and tell people bout my sister and her accomplishments. Emily has reached her ultimate goal.
Kyle Royalty Wraps Up Career on Diamond at Birmingham-Southern College, Heads for Medical School
Fellowship Christian School graduate Kyle Royalty recently ended one career and has his sights set on another one.
Royalty recently wrapped up his four-year career as a pitcher at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama. He’s headed back to Georgia to enter medical school at the Medical College of Georgia's Athens campus this fall.
“It is something that has always been a career aspiration,” Royalty said about his plan to become a doctor. “I have always wanted to use my God-given abilities to help others.”
Royalty, who shadowed surgeons at a local hospital during his sophomore year at BSC, has not selected an area of medicine he’d like to practice yet. He graduated this spring with a degree in chemistry.
“I am thinking about primary care medicine or internal,” he said, noting that he looks forward to building strong relationships with his patients.
A left-handed pitcher, Royalty recently reflected on his baseball careers at BSC and FCS.
Question: What was the highlight of your senior year?
Answer: I definitely ended the year in a good place. Our team did too. We had our most successful season during my four years there in wins and losses, depth and team chemistry. It was the best year there. It kind of really mirrored my senior year at Fellowship. We had the best team chemistry at FCS that season too.
Question: What was it like being part of this year’s team?
Answer: Personally it was a great year for me. I pitched every weekend, and enjoyed this group of athletes. We had a great freshman class and good younger players. As a senior, I had the opportunity to serve as a mentor to the younger guys on the field and off of it too. Several of the other seniors and I really connected with the younger guys, hosted Bible studies and helped them grow spiritually and athletically.
Question: What was your highlight as a Paladin?
Answer: That’s a tough question. I really enjoyed high school. That senior spring was one of my favorites years of my life. We set school records for wins and reached the second round of the state playoffs [in baseball]. We also hung out more that year away from baseball. I built long lasting friendships that year. It was a great group of guys.
Question: What advice do you have for Fellowship athletes heading into college sports?
Answer: For starters, make sure you love it. It’s not a job, but you really put a lot of time into being a collegiate athlete. You have to be committed. I think a huge thing is to visit a school, spent the night there and talk to the players on the team. You need to get a feel for the campus and the team. Since I spent most of my time on the baseball field, I had to believe in my coaches and teammates. I recommend talking to the kids who are playing on the team, and those who aren’t playing much yet. You need to find out all you can about the coaching staff. I learned a lot from asking questions during my visits to Birmingham Southern and other schools. People make the team and the campus experience worthwhile. I had a great experience at BSC.FCS Graduate Kyle Royalty among Birmingham-Southern Athletes Honored at Annual Honors Day Celebration
Former FCS Student Raychel Germaine Named to USA Luge’s Senior B Team
Former Fellowship Christian School student Raychel Germaine has been named the Team USA Luge’s Senior B team for next season.
As a member of the senior team this winter, Germaine finished her 2015-16 World Cup season with 183 World Cup points, and was ranked 19th in the world.
“Raychel expected they would place her on the team as a graduating junior for the second year in a row, but she was pleasantly surprised when they actually named her to the Senior B team,” said her father, Bob Germaine. “This was a step above last year, and the only three ladies ahead of her all medaled in World Cup races last year.”
The younger Germaine, who recently had shoulder surgery, is currently the fourth-ranked woman on the squad.
Germaine has big opportunities ahead as next year is the start of the 2018 Olympic Team selection process. No current or past FCS athlete has represented USA in the Olympics in any sport, although Emily Sonnett could have that opportunity in women’s soccer.
“The actual selections will not occur until the following year, but the team will travel to the Olympic track in Korea for a World Cup race in February, said the elder Germaine, who is a former wrestling coach at FCS. “A successful 2016-17 season would be a great preparation for the upcoming 2018 Olympic selection process. She has an uphill battle to make the 2018 Olympic team, but we’ve been blessed to experience some amazing things over her past seven years in luge.”
Emily Sonnett Update
FCS Graduate Hunter Bryant, Alabama Teammates Visit White House to Celebrate National Championship
Sophomore Hunter Bryant, a 2014 graduate of Fellowship Christian School, and his University of Alabama football teammates visited the White House and President Obama on Wednesday, March 2.
The Crimson Tide players and coaching staff were honored at the White House for capturing the 2015 National Championship.
Several of Bryant’s teammates were making their second trip to the White House. The Crimson Tide claimed the 2012 National Championship.
For more information on the visit, please click here.
Fellowship Christian School graduate Emily Sonnett was among four Portland Thorns players selected on Jan. 26 to join the 20-player roster for the U.S. Women’s National Team that will compete in the 2016 CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying Championship being held Feb. 10-21.
For more information on the Portland players selected for the team, click here!
The Thorns made Sonnett the top overall selection of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) draft held on Jan. 15. She is the first FCS graduate to be selected first overall in any professional sports league draft. A total of 40 players were selected in the draft.
Last month, the University of Virginia senior defender was named as one of 15 initial female semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s MAC Hermann Trophy awarded as Division I’s top player. Sonnett collected 3,384 votes (16 percent) to rank third behind Texas Tech’s Janine Becker with 6,548 votes (30 percent) and Penn State’s Raquel Rodriguez with 3,781 (17%) in a public vote in December 2015 that helped her become one of the three final semifinalists for the award won by Rodriguez.Helpful links:
Watch Sonnett become the No. 1 Pick! (Courtesy of Laura Tribble)
Washington Post Draft-Day Coverage
UVA Website Coverage
NWSL Web Site
Portland Draft Recap Video
Portland Thorns Videos
Dec. 10-11, 2015
Former FCS Student Raychel Germaine Claims 9th Place at World Cup Race; Wins Nations Cup Qualifier
Former Fellowship Christian School student Raychel Germaine placed ninth at the Viessmann World Cup Luge Race held on Dec. 11 in Park City Utah. On the previous day, Germaine, a member of the senior United State Luge Team, captured the World Cup Qualifying Race.
Germaine bested her personal-best time by 0.2 seconds with a finish time of 44.066 seconds in the World Cup race on Dec. 11 to post a ninth-place finish.
On Dec. 10, she opened the qualifying race with a run of 44. 579 seconds, which placed her first.
Currently Germaine ranks 10th in the standings with 105 points.
Click here to read more about the World Cup race.
Voting Results: FCS Graduate Emily Sonnett Named Semifinalist for MAC Hermann Trophy; Finishes Third in Public Vote
Fellowship Christian School graduate Emily Sonnett, a senior defender on the University of Virginia’s women’s soccer team, has been named as one of 30 semifinalists for the Missouri Athletic Club’s MAC Hermann Trophy. There were 15 male and 15 female semifinalists.
NCAA Division I coaches who are current NSCAA College Services members voted for their top choices between Dec. 1-10. To help it pare the 15 down to three, the NCAA will also tabulate the total number of votes each player receives in public voting that also ended on Dec. 10. Sonnett collected 3,384 votes (16 percent) to rank third behind Texas Tech’s Janine Becker with 6,548 votes (30 percent) and Penn State’s Raquel Rodriguez with 3,781 (17%).
Click here to see public voting results.
On par with college football’s Heisman Trophy, the MAC Hermann Trophy is the highest individual intercollegiate award administered by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, and will be presented at the Missouri Athletic Club in St. Louis on Jan. 8.
Germaine Posts 7th Place Finish at World Cup Luge Event in Lake Placid
Former Fellowship Christian School student Raychel Germaine notched a seventh-place finish at the second World Cup Luge Race of the season held on Dec. 5, 2015, at Lake Placid, N.Y., site of the 1980 Olympics.
The former Roswell and Marietta resident opened the day with a personal start record of 6.476 in the first run and posted a personal record finish time of 44.232 seconds, which was approximately 0.3 ahead of her closest competitor.
After Germaine’s first run, 12 of the next 13 sliders were seeded senior athletes, including Italy’s Sandra Robatscher, who edged Germaine for the silver in the Nation’s Cup race on Dec. 3. Remsen N.Y.’s Erin Hamlin, a veteran and Olympic medalist, broke her own Lake Placid Track World Record with a time of 43.912 seconds later in that heat.
On Dec. 3, Germaine’s run of 44.789 earned her a third-place finish (just 0.021 seconds out of second) at the Nation’s Cup race held in Lake Placid, N.Y. The top twelve advanced to the World Cup race. (Photo taken by Cynthea Hausman)
Former FCS Student Raychel Germaine Makes Senior World Cup Luge Debut
Former Fellowship Christian School student Raychel Germaine competed in her first-ever senior World Cup Luge race held in Igls, Austria, on Nov. 27-28, 2015.
Germaine finished with the 12th fastest time of the second heat with a personal-record of 40.282 on Nov. 28. She wound up 21st overall. She posted a time of 40.776 that left her 23rd after the first run on the second day of the competition.
On Nov. 27, Germaine played seventh with a previous personal-best time of 40.551 among 29 racers on the opening day of the two-day Igls event. Germaine’s finish in the top 12 qualified her for the following day’s senior cup race.