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Lady Paladin Girls Basketball Team Downs Walker for Fifth Victory of Season

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team played its second game in as many nights on Jan. 5 and came up with a victory.

The Lady Paladins (4-3 in Region games) defeated The Walker School, 41-28, at Paladin Gym in a Region contest. Overall, FCS is now 5-7.

"It was a great bounce back game from the girls," head coach Troy Schulz said. "Friday night was very lackluster and we did not play with much energy. But 24 hours later the girls were focused and fired up. I am proud of their effort. I challenged Emma Jones to get a double double and she delivered."

Jones led the team with 14 points and Schulz is "confident she had 10-plus rebounds."

Freshman Savannah Schulz chipped in with 13 points, and was 6-for-8 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter. Freshman Cate Hardin scored seven points and handled their pressure well.

"Eliza Guthrie stepped in for her sister, who has a knee injury, and played extremely well," Schulz said. "She knocked down a great three-point shot and finished a layup to tally five points. Baylor Aycock played all but a few minutes of the game, and took two shots per quarter like I challenged her to do. Rachel Rippen played a solid game."

Paladin Varsity Boys Basketball Team Nets Season-High 88 Points in Loss

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball team scored a season-high 88 points, but it was not enough.

FCS fell at King's Ridge Christian School, 106-88, in a Region contest played on Jan. 4 in Alpharetta. Senior Noah Dryden led FCS with 30 points, while junior Braden Webb netted 23.

Eight different Paladins reached the score sheet, including eight apiece from junior Austin Marley and freshman Josh Cole.

"We're actually getting better," head coach Marvin Williams said. "It has just not shown up in the win column yet."

The Paladins netted 15 points in the first quarter, added 21 in the second, and finished with 26 in each of the final two quarters. King's Ridge had 52 points at halftime, and added 21 in the third and 33 in the fourth.

Varsity Paladin Boys Battle Hard in Road Loss to NCCS in Basketball Action

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball team took the lead after the first quarter on Dec. 21, but could not hold on for a Region victory.

At North Cobb Christian School, the Paladins opened up a 15-11 lead after the first quarter. But the Eagles grabbed a 37-33 halftime lead and took a 55-48 advantage after the third quarter on the way to a 78-65 win.

Senior Noah Dryden led the Paladins with 19 points. Sophomore Brady Niblock netted 13 points and junior Austin Marley added eight points.

"We had a really strong effort from all of our kids," head coach Marvin Williams said.

Lady Paladins Post Third Region Win of Season at NCCS in Girls Basketball Action

Freshman Cate Hardin shot the lights out to lead the Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team to a Region victory at North Cobb Christian School on Dec. 21.

The Lady Paladins downed the Lady Eagles, 56-40, as Hardin netted 25 points. She scored 21 in the first half. Freshman Savannah Schulz scored 18 points, all in the second half.

The win was the team's second consecutive victory.

"Eliza Guthrie played extremely well on both sides of the floor," head coach Troy Schulz said. "Gracie Ames gave us big minutes in the second quarter. I am extremely proud of these young ladies. They all played well and earned the victory. Offensively we were clicking and we controlled the glass on the defensive side very well."

Guthrie netted five points for FCS, now 3-2 in Region play and 4-6 overall.

World Cup Luge: Germaine Places 14th in Calgary for Best Season Finish

Former Fellowship Christian School student Raychel Germaine, a member of Team USA's Senior Luge squad, posted her best World Cup finish of the season earlier this month.

Germaine closed out the third World Cup race of the season on Dec. 8 with a time of 47.255 seconds, only 0.036 second off her first time, to finish 14th overall. On Dec. 8, Germaine opened the race in 15th place with a time of 47.219 seconds in her first heat.

On Dec. 6, Germaine qualified for the World Cup race Calgary, Alberta with a sixth-place finish in the Nations Cup qualifier with a time of 47.003 seconds.

The fourth race of the season – and last of 2018 – will be held this weekend (Dec. 21-23) in Lake Placid, N.Y.

World Cup race No. 2 was held in Whistler, British Columbia. On Dec. 1, Germaine opened the World Cup race second with a personal-best time of 38.930 seconds, which was just 0.029 second off the track record. At the end of the first run, she was 16th overall and second best among the Americans.

Her second run started even better than her first. Germaine shattered her personal best start by 0.027 of a second, was solid all the way down again and ended with yet another personal best time of 38.820 seconds. She was able to move up one position to finish in 15th place. On Nov. 29, she was 15th in the qualifier by a mere 0.104 of a second.

The first World Cup race was held in Igls, Austria, the week of Nov 19.

On Nov. 21 in the qualification field, 32 women competed for the 16 available World Cup slots. Germaine's time of 40.560 seconds helped her place 11th.

In the final round, Germaine ended up in 13th place, with a finish time of 40.051 in the first World Cup run in Igls. Her time was a personal best and was less than 0.2 seconds behind a podium finish. Her second run's time was 40.144 seconds to place her 16th overall.

(Photos submitted by Bob Germaine)

Battle of the Lady Paladins: FCS Posts Third Victory of Season

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team notched its third victory of the season on Dec. 15.

The Lady Paladins beat Pinecrest Academy, 37-35, in a Region contest played at Paladin Gym.

Freshman Cate Hardin netted 13 points for Fellowship. Freshman Savannah Schulz scored 10 points and junior Cary Guthrie finished with seven points, including a pair of 3-point baskets in the first quarter.

"We won every quarter but the fourth," head coach Troy Schulz said. "I am proud of the girls and their effort. They battled hard and their perseverance paid off."

(Photo by Laurie Carey)

First Victory: JV Boys Notch Win over Pinecrest Academy

The Fellowship Christian School JV boys basketball team posted a 43-33 victory over Pinecrest Academy at Paladin Gym on Dec. 15. It was a Region game.

"We played tough defense and moved the ball very well," head coach Isaac Taylor said.

The team improved to 1-4 in Region matches.

(Photo by Jenny Hudson)

Gill Named 6-A (Division B) Football Player of Year; Morrell Selected as Coach of Year and Reeves Picked as Co-Offensive Player of the Year

Senior Cameron Gill has been selected as Player of the Year for 6-A (Division B) for the 2018 Class A football season. League coaches voted on the players and coaches who were selected for all post-season awards and also picked the All Region Team.

Fellowship Christian School varsity football coach Al Morrell was named Coach of the Year for Division B. Morrell led the Paladins to a 10-2 record (the third 10-win season in varsity football history at FCS), and its third straight trip to the GHSA Class A Private School Championships.

Sophomore Murphy Reeves earned co-offensive player of the year honors for Division B.

FCS also had 13 other players honored, including:

First-team offense: Sophomore Brady Niblock (tight end).

First-team defense: Senior Reed Bott (defensive line), senior Cam Cochran (defensive back) and sophomore Caleb McClung (linebacker).

Second-team offense: Sophomore Jordan Brewer (wide receiver), sophomore Charlie Patterson (offensive line) and senior Jack Powers (offensive line).

Second-team defense: Sophomore Lawson Haigler (linebacker), senior William Kreikemeier (defensive line) and sophomore Nathan Nardone (linebacker).

Honorable mention: Senior Parker Addison (defensive back), senior Brooks Bryant (quarterback) and senior Cody Tapley (linebacker).

Gill, a two-way player at free safety and split end, ranked second on the Fellowship squad with 815 yards rushing on 88 attempts and was second with 12 rushing TDs. He also caught 19 passes for 488 yards to rank second on the squad in both categories, and grabbed six touchdown passes to share the team lead. He also made 48 tackles on defense (20 solo stops, 28 assisted tackles).

Reeves topped all FCS rushers with 176 carries, 1,710 yards and 18 touchdowns. Niblock, Patterson and Powers anchored the Paladins run-blocking unit that led the team to 3,874 rushing yards.

McClung topped the Paladin defense with 102 tackles, 40 solo stops, nine tackles for loss and three fumble recoveries. Bott was third with 76 tackles and second with 31 solo stops, while Cochran made 49 tackles (18 solo, 31 assists) and led the squad with nine interceptions.

Nardone finished second on the team with 91 tackles and led the way with 65 assisted stops, while Kreikemeier was fourth with 72 tackles and third with 55 assists. Haigler ranked fifth with 57 tackles (18 solo, 39 assists).

Brewer led the Paladins 40 receptions, 626 yards and shared first with six TD catches.

Bryant was limited to six games due to a knee injury, but led the Paladins with 726 passing yards, 40 completions (on 64 attempts) and nine TD passes.

Addison recorded 43 tackles (15 solo, 28 assists) in 12 contests, and Tapley (limited to six games due to a knee injury) posted 25 tackles (eight solo, 17 assists).

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Lady Paladin Varsity Basketball Team Downs Whitefield Academy in Region Opener

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team posted a 40-35 victory over Whitefield Academy at Paladin Gym on Dec. 1 in the Region opener for the squad.

Freshman Savannah Schulz netted 14 points and freshman Cate Hardin netted 13 to lead the way in scoring for the Lady Paladins, 2-3 overall. Junior Rachel Rippen added seven points.

"The girls played well last night," head coach Troy Schulz said. "We were missing Emma Jones [brother's wedding], but we persevered and got the win. We were 6-for-7 from the free-throw line, which was a huge improvement. I am proud of their effort as each girl contributed in their own way."

The Lady Paladins play on Dec. 4, but the contest doesn't count in the team's record as Mt. Bethel only has a JV team.

(Photo by Laurie Carey)

FCS Boys Basketball Team Downs Whitefield Academy on Last-Second Shot

Junior Braden Webb's bucket with seven seconds left led the Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball team to a 67-65 victory over Whitefield Academy at Paladin Gym on Dec. 1.

It was the team's first victory of the season, and it came in the club's Region opener. FCS is now 1-4 overall.

"It was nice to win," head coach Marvin Williams said. "It was big for us. There were several lead changes, but we prevailed. Our kids played really hard the entire game."

The game was tied 33-33 at halftime as FCS railed from a 19-10 deficit after the first quarter. FCS went on a 17-13 run to lead 50-46 after the third quarter, and hung on for the victory.

Senior Noah Dryden led Fellowship with 23 points. Senior Dawson Carey and sophomore Brady Niblock netted 12 points apiece, while Webb had 11.

(Photo by Laurie Carey)

Aycock Named Second Team All Region

Fellowship Christian School junior pitcher Baylor Aycock has been named to the All Region Second Softball Team.

Aycock started 16 out of the Lady Paladins' 17 games. She won four games, struck out 127 batters and had a 1.82 earned run average. Her walks to innings pitched number was 1.103.

She allowed 66 hits in 84 1/3 innings pitched, and walked only 27 batters. Of her 117 runs allowed, only 22 were earned runs.

Elite Eight Recap: Paladins Suffer Tough Loss at Savannah Christian in State Elite Eight Matchup

POOLER, Ga., – Despite a strong second-half effort, the varsity football season has ended for the Fellowship Christian School Paladins.

Fellowship fell behind 35-7 at halftime and could not recover as the No. 7 Paladins fell 35-14 to No. 2 Savannah Christian Preparatory School on the road in a GHSA Class A Private School Championships Elite Eight game on Nov. 23 at Pooler Stadium in Pooler.

"We got off to a very bad start," head coach Al Morrell said. "It was a flurry of crucial turnovers. We knew we had to play a perfect football game to beat them, but we didn't."

The Raiders scored on the opening drive, and then took advantage of three interceptions – including two that were returned for touchdowns – for three scores and a 28-7 lead in the second quarter and a four-touchdown halftime lead.

But the Paladins fought hard in the second half.

In the second half, the FCS defense forced three Savannah Christian punts and hurried a field goal attempt that was wide right.

The Paladins scored the half's only touchdown on a highlight reel touchdown run by Cameron Gill with 4:40 left in the third quarter. The senior took the pitch broke a tackle near the line of scrimmage and amazed the Paladin faithful with some nifty moves to bounce outside and sprint 73 yards for the score. Sophomore Will Peterson kicked the second of his two extra points.

"We played much better in the second half both offensively and defensively," Morrell said. "The kids never quit. I could not be more proud of the effort. We finished the game a lot better than we started it. We were flat in the first half."

Despite the loss, the Paladins finished with 10 wins – 10-2 overall – for the third time in school history. The club won the sub Region championship, had a nine-game win streak and made the GHSA playoffs for the third straight year.

It could have easily been a rebuilding year, but it was not.

"We had a very good season," Morrell said. "We graduated many key players, and could have had a rebuilding year. We had nine sophomore starters, and we are a young team. But our seniors, juniors and young players stepped up and we won 10 games."

With the Raiders leading 21-0, the Paladins were stopped on a 4th-and-5 play from the Raider 9-yard-line to open the second quarter.

On the next series, senior Reed Bott blocked a Raider punt on a 4th-and-16 play from the Savannah Christian 30-yard-line. Gill, who led the Paladins with 173 yards on 14 carries, scored on a 12-yard run with 9:53 left in the second quarter on the next play from scrimmage. That cut the lead to 21-7.

However, Fellowship could not get any closer. The defense forced Savannah Christian to punt three plays from scrimmage later, including freshman Josh Cole's sack on third down, but another interception led to the Raiders' fourth score on a 17-yard pass play with 7:27 left in the half.

The teams traded punts before Savannah Christian returned an interception for a score with 43.1 seconds left in the half.

Sophomores Caleb McClung (five solo) and Nathan Nardone (seven assists) led the FCS defense with 10 tackles apiece.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Paladins Visit Savannah Christian on Friday in GHSA Class A Private School Playoff Contest

The next football playoff stop for the Paladins is Savannah.

Following a 35-28 second-round victory over Riverside Military Academy on Friday, the No. 7 Fellowship Christian School varsity football team will face No. 2 Savannah Christian Preparatory School on the road in a GHSA Class A Private School Championships Elite Eight game on Nov. 23. The Raiders downed No. 8 Hebron Christian Academy at home on Nov. 16, 14-7, to advance.

Kickoff at Pooler Stadium (200 Preston Stokes in Pooler, Ga., 31322) is slated for 7:30 p.m.

"It should be a great game," head coach Al Morrell said. "We are all excited about the opportunity to play Savannah Christian. We're ready to go. They are a very well-coached team. They are very talented, and have a big offensive line. Everybody you play at this time of year has a good offense. They have a similar scheme to us, and play Wing T football."

Senior Cameron Gill had three fourth-quarter touchdowns and senior Cam Cochran created a pair of huge turnovers with an interception and a fumble recovery in the last quarter to lead FCS past RMA and reach the Elite Eight for the second time since 2016.

The Paladins (10-1 overall this season) are now 7-3 all-time in the GHSA football playoffs (2-1 in 2007, 3-1 in 2016, 1-1 in 2017 and 1-0 in 2018). The team has reached the state playoffs for three straight years.

The Raiders (10-1) overall enter Friday's game on a 10-game win streak following a 20-7 loss at Athens Academy to kick off the season.

"They run a totally different scheme [than RMA's pass-oriented offense]," Morrell said. "They are similar to Mount Zion, and more of a ball control team than Riverside. They have similar athletes to Mount Zion too. Savannah Christian really has great offensive balance too. They run the ball well, but their quarterback can throw."

FCS' lone loss this season came at the hands of Mount Zion in Carrollton in the Region Championship game on Nov. 2.

To win in Savannah, Fellowship will have to play sound fundamental football, execute well, eliminate penalties and mistakes, and force the Raiders to earn any scores with long drives, according to Morrell.

The Paladins enter Friday's contest with an 82-81 all-time varsity football record, including a 44-24 mark under the direction of Morrell.

This season, the Paladins have outgained their opponents, 4,973 to 3,278 yards, including a 3,579 to 1,341 advantage on the ground.

Sophomore Murphy Reeves leads the Fellowship ground game with 176 carries, 1,710 yards and 18 touchdowns. Gill ranks second with 642 rushing yards and 10 TDs on 74 attempts. Sophomore Lawson Haigler has picked up 583 yards on 94 carries, including five scores.

Sophomore quarterback Joey Archer, who threw for a career-high 297 yards against Riverside Military, has gone 28-for-66 for 631 yards and seven touchdowns since replacing the injured Brooks Bryant earlier this season. Overall, three FCS quarterbacks have combined for 1,394 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Sophomore Jordan Brewer is the team's top receiver with 39 catches and 621 yards. Brewer and Gill share the team lead with six receiving touchdowns. Gill has hauled in 16 passes for 442 yards, and Cochran has made 12 catches for 251 yards.

Sophomore Caleb McClung leads the Paladins with 86 total tackles, 35 solo stops and three fumble recoveries. He also has recorded three sacks and five tackles for a loss. Sophomore Nathan Nardone tops the squad with 56 assisted tackles, is second with 79 tackles overall and has five tackles for a loss.

Senior Reed Bott leads the Paladins with 10 tackles for a loss, ranks second on the Paladins with 28 solo stops and is third with 69 total tackles. Senior William Kreikemeier ranks fourth on the team with 66 tackles and is third with 50 assisted stops. Bott and Kreikemeier share the team lead with five sacks apiece. Cochran's nine interceptions lead the Paladins.

(Photo by Chip Cookston)

Elite Eight Bound: Paladins Fight Back to Beat Riverside Military Academy in Second Round GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships Contest

A pair of seniors really had a big impact on Friday night.

Cameron Gill had three fourth-quarter touchdowns and Cam Cochran created a pair of huge turnovers with an interception and a fumble recovery to help the Fellowship Christian School football team battle back to beat Riverside Military Academy, 35-28, in the second round of the GHSA Class A Private School Championships held at Bob Lord Field on Nov. 16. The Paladins scored twice in the final 3:48 and three times in the final 7:55 to advance to the Elite Eight for the second time since 2016.

The Paladins (10-1 overall) are now 7-3 all-time in the GHSA football playoffs (2-1 in 2007, 3-1 in 2016, 1-1 in 2017 and 1-0 in 2018). The team has reached the state playoffs three straight years.

FCS is the seventh seed among 24 teams that make up the private school playoff bracket, and the Eagles came into the game 23rd. The Paladins now face No. 2 Savannah Christian School on the road on Nov. 23 (time of game TBD), in the Elite Eight. The Raiders downed No. 8 Hebron Christian Academy at home on Nov. 16, 14-7.

Friday's game at Bob Lord Field had plenty of excitement.

"What a wild game," head coach Al Morrell said. "We lost Murphy Reeves [to a leg injury] on the second play of the game, but Lawson Haigler stepped up. Our seniors were outstanding, especially Cam Gill and Cam Cochran. Really the whole team played an outstanding football game. We are very excited, but we give all the glory to God."

Following a scoreless third quarter, the Paladins scored three touchdowns in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory and erase a 21-14 halftime deficit and a 28-21 fourth-quarter lead.

With the Eagles leading by a touchdown, FCS forced an Eagle punt on the first play of the fourth quarter. In 4:05 minutes, Gill capped a 60-yard drive with a 12-yard rushing score. Sophomore Will Peterson kicked the third of five straight extra points to tie the game at 21-21.

But the tie didn't last long as Riverside answered with a 54-yard pass play for a score at 4:51. They Eagles led 28-21, but Fellowship would score twice over the final 3:48 to pull out the win.

On a 3rd-and-18 play from the FCS 14-yard-line Gill caught a pass over the middle from sophomore Joey Archer and sped through several defenders down the field 86 yards for a score. That tied the game at 28-28 with 3:48 left.

Less than a minute later, Cochran scooped up a loose football and FCS took over again.

Five plays from scrimmage later, Archer connected with Gill on a 54-yard pass play to give FCS the lead for good on a 3rd-and-22 play.

Cochran's interception with 18.9 seconds left on a 4th-and-21 yard play from the RMA 25-yard-line sealed the victory.

"After a couple of bad games, Joey really had a great game," Morrell said. "There is a strong spirit of unity on this football team. We don't quit."

The sophomore completed 10-of-19 pass attempts for a career-high 297 yards. Gill grabbed five for 176 yards, while sophomore Jordan Brewer made four catches for 78 yards. Sophomore Brady Niblock hauled in one pass for 43 yards.

Haigler (25 carries for 177 yards) and Gill (11 attempts for 111) led the Paladin rushing attack. FCS outgained the Eagles, 532-341, including 297 to 181 in the air and 235-160 on the ground.

FCS scored on the game's first drive on Haigler's four-yard run to end a long drive. Riverside answered on a 69-yard TD pass play at 6:25 of the first quarter. That tied the game at 7-7.

On a 4th-and-13 play from the RMA 15-yard-line, the Paladins fumbled on a reverse play with 2:53 left in the opening quarter.

Following a RMA punt, the Paladins were stopped on fourth down again. This time Gill's half-back option pass to Brewer fell incomplete on 4th-and-5 from the RMA 14-yard-line with 10:42 left in the second quarter.

The Eagles took a 14-7 led on a seven-yard QB sneak with 4:46 left in the half.

The Paladins scored on the next possession. Haigler's second TD run came from six yards out with 1:28 left in the half to tie it again at 14-14.

Riverside answered quickly on a one-yard TD run with 20.4 seconds left in the half to take a 21-14 advantage.

But the Paladin defense held the Eagles to just one second-half touchdown to pull out the win.

Sophomore Caleb McClung led the FCS defense with 10 tackles (eight assists), while sophomore Nathan Nardone recorded eight total stops (three solo, five assists) and made one sack.

Senior William Kreikemeier recorded six tackles, including five assisted tackles.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Paladins to Host Riverside Military Academy in GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships Game

The Fellowship Christian School football team will host Riverside Military Academy in the second round of the GHSA Class A Private School Championships on Nov. 16.

Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at Bob Lord Field.

The Paladins (7-1 in Region games and 9-1 overall) are the seventh seed, while the Eagles are the 23rd seed. FCS, which fell to Mount Zion High School of Carrollton, 20-7, in the 6-A Region Championship game played on Nov. 2, earned a first-round bye.

That road loss snapped the Paladins' nine-game win streak.

On Nov. 9, the 6-5 Eagles upset No. 10 George Walton Academy, 24-14, to earn the trip to Roswell from Gainesville for the second-round contest.

FCS, which entered the regular-season finale No. 5 in the power rankings, has notched a 1-3 all-time record in varsity football against RMA. Both schools are among the 24 teams selected for the private school playoffs.

"After watching film of their game [vs. George Walton], I know the best team won," head coach Al Morrell said. "They are peaking at the right time. Their record is deceiving. They lost to the No. 2 team in the state, Prince Avenue, twice this year. They are a very good football team. They have amazing athletes at quarterback, running back and wide receiver. They have three or four of the best skilled players we have faced."

The keys for Friday's game are pretty similar to the goals for almost every other recent game for the Paladins.

"We have a good game plan," Morrell said. "We need to control their weapons. Watch their speed guys and sustain our own drives. As we have done all year, we depend on ball control and execution on offense."

Eliminating mistakes will help FCS as well.

"We can't turn the football over like we did [at Mount Zion]," the coach said. "We can't have penalties, mistakes or turnovers. We see Friday as an opportunity to bounce back. We are excited about the playoffs."

The Paladins have out gained opponents, 4,467 yards to 2,993, this season. That includes a 3,370 to 1,175 advantage on the ground.

Sophomore Murphy Reeves tops Fellowship with 174 carries, 1,702 yards and 18 rushing scores. Senior Cameron Gill has picked up 531 yards and nine rushing TDs on 63 carries. Sophomore Lawson Haigler has earned 492 yards on 74 attempts.

Sophomore quarterback Joey Archer has passed for 334 yards (18-for-49). As a team, Paladin quarterbacks have thrown for 1,097 yards, 14 TDs and nine interceptions.

Sophomore Jordan Brewer leads the squad with 35 catches for 543 yards and six scores. Gill (11 catches for 266 yards) and senior Cam Cochran (12 catches for 251 yards) both have hauled in four touchdown passes.

Sophomores Caleb McClung and Nathan Nardone are the team's top tacklers in defense with 79 and 70 stops, respectively. McClung's 33 solo stops and three fumble recoveries are first on the team, and Nardone's 49 assisted tackles top the team.

Senior Reed Bott is third on FCS with 64 tackles (27 solo), and leads the way with 10 tackles for loss. Bott and senior William Kreikemeier both have five sacks to share the team lead. Cochran's eight interceptions lead the team, followed by Gill with five.

(Photo by Chip Cookston, from Mount Zion game)