Hardin, Paulson Lead Lady Paladins Past King's Academy

The offense for the varsity girls soccer team from Fellowship Christian School was pretty impressive on the turf field at Hobgood Park in Woodstock on Feb. 26.

The Lady Paladins had a pair of hat tricks in a 7-0 victory over King's Academy. Fellowship led 2-0 at halftime, but broke open a close game with five more tallies in the final 40 minutes of play.

Junior Cate Hardin made her soccer debut in 2021 with a four-goal game, including three goals in the second half.

Freshman Avery Paulson played in her first varsity match, and finished with three goals and one assist. Freshman Rachel Williamson assisted three goals, while sophomore Mary Jane Elliott recorded one assist.

The Lady Paladins (2-1 overall) notched their second consecutive shut out as Elliott and freshman Alden Hays (making her varsity debut) combined to keep a clean sheet.

FCS outshot King's Academy 24-1.

(Photo by Al Thompson)

Paladins Notch Second Victory of Season

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys soccer team had a victorious night, capping wins by both the girls and boys varsity soccer teams over King's Academy.

On Feb. 26, the Paladins notched a 4-1 win over the Knights on the turf field at Hobgood Park in Woodstock on Feb. 26.

Fellowship (2-1 overall) scored the only three goals of the second half to post the victory.

Senior Matt Rodgers' goal snapped a 1-1 halftime tie early in the second half. Sophomores Cole Connolly and Kevin Ghobrial tallies gave the Paladins a 3-1 lead.

Win No. 3: Paladins Down St. Pius X in Varsity Lacrosse Action

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys lacrosse team are undefeated so far this season at home.

The Paladins posted a 13-5 victory over 5A St. Pius X at Bob Lord Field on Feb. 26.

Fellowship improved to 3-1 overall, including a 3-0 mark at home, with the victory.

Senior Josh McLaughlin netted four goals, while junior Cole Keim and senior Michael Schenken scored three goals apiece to lead the Paladin attack.

Sophomore Will Jaroszewski scored two goals, freshman Billy Jackson tallied one goal, and senior Joey Archer posted three assists.

(Photo by Milo Falcon)

Lady Paladins Win Third Match of Season

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls lacrosse team have won three out of its first four games of the season.

The Lady Paladins posted a 17-1 victory over Trinity Christian School at Bob Lord Field.

The team improved to 3-1, bouncing back from a 20-6 loss at 7A Roswell High School on Feb. 22. Fellowship is 3-0 at Bob Lord Field this season.

The team led 11-1 at halftime on Feb. 25.

(Photo by Chip Cookston)

Bishop Belts Pair of HRs, Including GS, to Lead FCS varsity baseball team to 13-2 Victory

Senior David Bishop swung a red-hot bat on Feb. 25.

He led the Fellowship Christian School varsity boys baseball team to a 13-2 road win at 5A Cartersville High School with two home runs, including a second-inning grand slam, and six RBIs.

The Paladins scored one run in the first inning, 11 in the second and one more in the fifth to improve to 4-1.

Senior Matson Grose collected one hit, a double, and knocked in two runs. Sophomores Cooper Davidson and Jack Rickheim, and seniors Andrew Davdison, Garrett Hauenstein and Carson Phillips all collected one hit and one RBI.

"Our offense absolutely exploded tonight," head coach Shawn Oliver said. "It's like I preach to our boys, stay focused and keep the pressure on, and a 2-out error sparked an 11-run inning. We had 11 straight quality ABs and guys just doing their best and trusting their teammates. Carson and Will did a great job taking the lead and running with it, staying ahead of hitters, and forcing contact. Finn might've made the play of the game with no outs in the bottom of the first. They had runners on first and second with no outs, and their three hole absolutely crushed a ball that Finn played perfectly off the wall to keep the runner from scoring. Those are the little plays that make a team great. I love to coach these guys."

Philips started the game and went two innings to pick up the win in the five-inning game. He fanned two batters. Sophomore Will Phipps pitched the last three innings in relief, and struck out four.

(Photo by Larry M63)

No-Hitter: Sears and Chandler keep Northview Hitless in 16-0 Victory

Sophomores Max Sears and Charlie Chandler combined for a four-inning no-hitter as the Fellowship Christian School JV boys baseball team

Blanked 5A Northview High School at Winchester Field at Paladin Park.

Both pitchers threw two innings and struck out two batters in the non-Region game on Feb 24.

The Paladins (2-1 overall) pounded out 11 hits in the contest. Sophomore Evan Leccese led the Paladins with a home run, three hits and three RBIs.

Sears and junior Hayes Price both collected two hits and two RBIs. Sophomores Will Austin, Griffin Guinther, Luke Hughes and Darren Zhang had one hit apiece. Austin and Hughes batted in two runs each, while Zhang finished with one RBI.

Austin, Guinther, Hughes, Lecesse and Sears all belted a double.

Fellowship plated two runs in the first inning, seven in the second, three in the third and four in the fourth.

Shutout win: Gilley, Bourne Combine for 2-hitter vs. Northview in Varsity Baseball Victory

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys baseball team notched its third victory of the season on Feb. 24.

The Paladins, winners of three out of four regular-season games to begin the season, posted a 4-0 shutout win at 5A Northview High School in Johns Creek. Juniors Jason Gilley and Thomas Bourne held the Titans to two hits in the win. Gilley fanned seven and allowed just two hits over five innings, while Bourne struck out four in two relief innings.

"Jason Gilley was absolutely dominant tonight, just attacking hitters and mixing pitches well," head coach Shawn Oliver said. "He was very efficient and gave our offense a chance to score some runs for him. Thomas Bourne picked up right where Jason left off and returned to the same dude he was last season. Offensively we let some stuff that was completely out of our control dictate our At-bats, so we've just have to do a better job focusing on our energy, effort, and enthusiasm into what we can control. It's always a good night when you get a win."

The Paladins (3-1 overall) finished with six hits, led by sophomore Cooper Davidson with two hits and a double. He also knocked in one run.

Senior David Bishop belted a triple and drove in two runs, while sophomore Jack Rickheim collected one hit and one RBI.

Seniors Carson Phillips and Garrett Hauenstein both had one hit. Phillips' hit was a double.

Fellowship scored once in the top of the second inning, twice in the fourth and once in the fifth.

(Pictures by Larry M63)

2-0 Lax Start: Lady Paladins Down 5A Woodward Academy at Home

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls lacrosse team have opened the regular season on a two-match win streak.

On Feb. 20 at Bob Lord Field, the Lady Paladins cruised to an 18-0 victory over 5A Woodward Academy.

Fellowship (2-0 overall) opened up a 14-0 halftime lead.

"There weren't any standouts even in a game like this," said Tracy Morgan, FCS director of girls lacrosse. "It was a solid win against Woodward who is well coached, and just coming off quarantine. We've had a few more playing opportunities than they have, and we were grateful to get this game in. We played well collectively and looking forward to seeing Roswell on Monday."

Fellowship Varsity Baseball Team Wins Pair in Emerson Over Weekend

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys baseball team split a pair of games to wrap up the two-day GDC Tournament played at LakePoint Sports Complex in Emerson.

On Feb. 20, the Paladins beat 5A North Springs Charter High School, 9-8, in the first game, but fell 7-6 to 7A Cambridge High in the second game of the night, 7-6. The Paladins (2-1 overall) beat AA Banks County High School, 10-0, in Emerson to open the tournament and the regular season on Feb. 19.

Tough Loss: Paladins Fall 7-6 to 7A Cambridge High School

In the second game of the day of the GDC Tournament played at LakePoint Sports Complex in Emerson, the Paladins were edged by 7A Cambridge High School, 7-6, in a seven inning contest.

The Bears scored three runs in each of the top half of the fifth and sixth innings to pull ahead 7-6. FCS jumped out to a 6-0 after two innings with four runs in the bottom of the first and two in the second. Cambridge added a single run in the top of the fourth.

Senior Andrew Davidson led the FCS offense with two hits, a double and three RBIs. Sophomore Jack Rickheim collected one hit and two RBIs, while senior Matson Grose had one hit and drove in one run.

Senior David Bishop and junior Wilson Long each had one hit, and senior Garrett Hauenstein scored two runs.

Sophomore Cooper Davidson started the game and fanned six batters and allowed just one earned in four innings. Grose pitched one inning and took the loss. Senior Luke Schmidt threw the last two innings and did not allow a run.

"It was a tough end to the night but the boys accomplished the goal of winning the week," head coach Shawn Oliver said. "The boys battled to the last out in each game and the pitchers were giving everything we had. Our situational hitting was spotty and we missed some key opportunities. What I love about not having power rankings is that we are able to play teams that are going to find and exploit any weaknesses we have. That's only going to make us stronger and we grow and improve. I am proud of these young men and thankful for another day I get to be their skipper."

Paladins rally to beat NSCHS

Fellowship scored two runs in the bottom on the seventh inning to edge North Springs Charter High School, a 5A school, 9-8, in the first game of the day. FCS scored one run in the bottom of the first, four in the second and two in the fifth. North Springs scored one run in each of the first, second and third, and trailed the Paladins 5-3 through three.

The Spartans tied the game 5-5 with two runs in the fifth. But the Paladins jumped back ahead 7-5 with two runs in the fifth, before North Springs took the lead back (8-7) with three runs in the sixth.

Cooper Davidson smacked two home runs and finished with four RBIs. Grose collected two hits and drove home one run, while sophomore Will Phipps had two hits.

As a team, Fellowship finished with eight hits. Andrew Davidson and Hauenstein both had one hit and one RBI, while Long knocked in one run. Both Hauenstein and Phipps belted a double.

Sophomore Daniel Powell pitched the last inning and earned the win. Long started and struck out three innings in two innings. Junior Kyle Carey and Phipps both tossed two innings in relief.

Lady Paladin Varsity Basketball Team Beats Mount Pisgah in Region Tournament Opener; to Face Saint Francis in Finals

The varsity girls basketball team from Fellowship Christian School has advanced to the Region Championship game.

The No. 2 Lady Paladins advanced with a 52-33 victory over the third-seeded Lady Patriots from Mount Pisgah Christian School at Paladin Gym on Feb. 17 to open the tournament.

Fellowship faces No. 1 Saint Francis for the championship on Feb. 19.

"The girls played so well that I couldn't be more proud of the way we competed tonight," head coach Troy Schulz said. "Cate Hardin, Avery Paulson and Olivia Young played remarkable defense. We won every quarter. We always talk about winning quarters every game, and the girls did just that."

Junior Kaya Beard led the Fellowship with 24 points. Junior Savannah Schultz finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists, while Hardin netted seven points.

The team improved to 9-6 overall.

Fifth-Place Finish: Competitive Cheerleading Competes in GHSA Cheering Championships

The competitive cheerleading team from Fellowship Christian School competed in the GHSA Cheerleading Championships held at the Macon Centreplex on Feb. 15.

The team finished fifth among Class A private schools in Macon.

Competitive cheerleading returned to FCS this season.

Earlier in the season, the FCS team participated in an All-Star event this weekend in Atlanta, competed at First Presbyterian Day School in Macon on Feb. 6, and at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee on Jan. 23.

Fellowship Names McFarlin as Head Football Coach

Fellowship Christian School is excited to announce the appointment of Tim McFarlin as Head Football Coach. Coach McFarlin brings 40 years of experience and a tradition of winning to Fellowship. With a 194-54-2 career record over his 20 years as head coach at Roswell High School and Blessed Trinity Catholic High School, he is the winningest coach in North Fulton history. He is also one of 15 GHSA coaches to win state titles at two different schools.

Following 10 years as head coach at Blessed Trinity (2011-2021), Coach McFarlin amassed a 112-10-1 record. Inheriting a team that had never won a playoff game in its 10 year history, he led the Titans to seven region titles and three consecutive Class 4A state championships in 2017, 2018, and 2019. This past season, the Titans went 8-1 as a reclassified 5A school, reaching the quarterfinals and losing to eventual champion Warner Robins.

FCS Athletic Director David Lowery appreciates McFarlin's ability to bring out the best in his players. "Coach McFarlin likes to build things. I'm excited for him to take the incredible program Coach Al Morrell has helped build the last eight years and continue to build upon that success. We were extremely blessed by the interest from many highly qualified candidates for our head football coach position. Our search committee worked diligently and extensively to vet the top choices."

An area native and graduate of Milton High School, Coach McFarlin has spent his career coaching in North Fulton, holding posts at Roswell High School, King's Ridge Christian School, Blessed Trinity, and now Fellowship. The son of a Baptist pastor, his faith plays a role in the way McFarlin lives his life on and off the field, making him a natural fit at FCS.

"We are pleased that Coach McFarlin ended his brief retirement to invest in not only the future of Fellowship football, but all of the athletes who will be blessed to play under his leadership," shares Dr. Kathryn M. Teston, Head of School. "He is a highly respected coach who will take our football program to the next level of excellence, and we are excited to have him join our Fellowship family."

"Coach McFarlin's faith, character, and reputation were among the top reasons we chose him to lead our program," says Lowery. "He has long standing relationships in and around Roswell, where he has spent his entire career coaching. His success on and off the field speaks for itself. Coach does things the right way. His ability to use the game of football to help impact and lead young men to become all they are called to be fits the culture of Fellowship perfectly."

Continues Dr. Teston, "Coach McFarlin's heart and passion clearly align with Fellowship's mission and vision. We are thankful for a coach that will lead with his faith at the forefront."

Coach McFarlin is excited and grateful for this opportunity to lead the Paladins and shares the following message:

"Fellowship holds a magnetic pull for parents and students desiring an educational experience in a Christ-centered atmosphere. The commitment of the administration towards diversity is inspiring to me, as well as our coaching staff. We are especially impressed with their vision for the future building of athletic facilities on campus. Our hope is to utilize community connections to aid in these efforts to rapidly expand our capacity to serve the area. Coach Al Morrell is a close friend whom I admire greatly. He has established a high benchmark of success with the football program, and we will do everything we can to build upon the foundation that he has built."

McFarlin continued, "My wife, Kay, and I look forward to this new chapter and hope that we can contribute to the wonderful culture that already exists at Fellowship. We are grateful to Dr. Teston and Coach David Lowery for inviting us to join the Fellowship football program, and we look forward to meeting our new Fellowship Christian School community."

He and his wife, Kay, have been married for nearly 40 years. They have two children. Their daughter Courtney is married to Jim and has a son, Taylor. McFarlin's son Will serves as the Assistant Golf Coach at the University of North Georgia.

Fellowship is thrilled to welcome Coach McFarlin and his family to Fellowship Christian School, and we look forward to his leadership, both on and off the field, for years to come.

Top 16 Finish: Robertson Wraps up High School Career at GHSA Class A Championships

Senior Griffin Robertson from Fellowship Christian School wrestling in the GHSA Class A Wrestling Championships at the Macon Centreplex on Feb. 9.

Robertson won two matches, including one pin, and finished among the top 16 wrestlers in the 132-pound class.

"Griffin wrestled very well against the best competition in the state," head coach Dean Robertson said. "He recorded two wins over wrestlers from Gordon Lee High School and Dublin High School."

He was the third wrestler in FCS history to advance to the state meet. The five-day tournament runs through March 13.

Paladins Post Scrimmage Tie at Decatur HS

Senior Garrett Hauenstein collected two hits as the Fellowship Christian School varsity baseball opened the 2021 season with a scrimmage at 6A Decatur High School on Feb. 9.

Senior David Bishop and sophomore Cooper Davidson each knocked in a run as the Paladins tied Decatur, 4-4 in a seven-inning contest.

As a team, the Paladins collected six hits.

Fellowship used seven pitchers in the game who fanned a combined 10 batters.

"Our athleticism showed through tonight," head coach Shawn Oliver said. "My biggest thing is to stay out of the boys way and let them do what they do best. Our pitching was phenomenal tonight and outside of a couple of mental lapses we play a flawless game defensively. Offense was still getting timing and rhythm down but it's definitely further along than this point last year."

Season Preview: Paladins Have High Hopes Coming off 9-0 Season

Through the last few years, head coach Shawn Oliver has led a program that has won a lot of games and sent several players to college baseball.

Oliver's team is coming off a 9-0 season that was cut short due to COVID-19. The team hit .378 with 101 hits and 98 runs.

"Our goal, like every other team in the state, is to be the last man standing, holding that trophy up and representing our school in the greatest way possible," he said. "We don't talk about that though, we know there's stiff competition when you look around the state and in our Region. Our expectation each week is just to win the week, put ourselves in a position that we have a chance at the first Region title in program history, the first run to the final four, the state championship, and even being fortunate enough to hoist that trophy at the end of the year. Single A baseball is no joke and the last team standing at the end had to beat some solid programs to get there. The schedule this year reflects that mentality, since they replaced the power rankings, I took the opportunity to play some talented programs through all classifications and that'll make our boys even better."

The top eight hitters back from last year's team include sophomores Cooper Davidson (seven RBIs, .455 batting average) and Jack Rickheim (four RBIs, .300), and six seniors – David Bishop (nine RBIs, .394), Andrew Davidson (13 RBIs, .267); Matson Grosse (four RBIs, .409); Garret Hauenstein (14 RBIs, .393); Carson Phillips (.333) and Luke Schmidt (eight RBIs, .375).

As a pitcher, senior Noah Goss went 2-0 with one save, a 0.53 earned-run average, 13 innings pitched, eight strikeouts and four walks. Junior Thomas Bourne went 3-0 with a 1.91 ERA, 11 innings, seven strikeouts and five walks. Cooper Davidson was 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA IN 2 1/3 innings with two strikeouts and one walk.

"We've got a great mix of upper and lower classmen including some seniors who have been 3-year starters for our program who are stepping up and leading our program in the right direction," Oliver said. "We've got the ability to hit the baseball to all fields and we really focus on being complete hitters during practice. The boys have bought in and we had great success in the games we got to play [last spring]. I love the ability for all nine spots in our lineup to be a threat and that's a huge advantage in high school baseball when guys generally can get past 1-5 and relax for 6-9. But our guys keep pressure on the opposing team and when our Nos. 8 and 9 guys are getting on the bases, generally good things are happening. We've got some incredibly athletic young men and as a coach, I just stay out of their way and let them cause chaos on the base paths. Our goal is 100 SBs as a team this year. "

The Paladins also are strong in the field.

"Defense is where I focus a lot of our energy on being fundamentally sound as a team, keeping lay ups, layups and making those great plays look routine," Oliver said. "We brought on Will Mackenzie as our OF/assistant head coach last year and it made a huge difference. I could trust him to take those guys and they would be getting quality work while I focused on the infield. We've got a lot of flexibility as a staff where we can plug and play guys and they don't miss a beat. We've got athletes all over the field that allows us to do some things with our pitching staff to capitalize on that. "

Any concerns?

"Every year I worry about our pitching and every year they just go out and do exactly what we ask of them as a staff," Oliver said. "With our offense putting up crooked numbers early, it allows our staff to pitch to contact, getting guys out of the box early and go a little deeper into the game. We focus on eliminating the freebies [BBs, HBP] and really try and put the pressure on the other team to chain hits together. We don't have one of those gorilla arms that can just go out and shutdown guys with 14 strikeouts a game, but we know who we are as a staff and keep our focus on being great at who we are. Coaches Lane Perrins, Archie Wanamaker, Nile Ball, and Grant Kierpa really took hold of our staff and helped those guys become better each time they stepped on the hill. "

Headed for States: Robertson Finished Third at Area Meet to Advance

Fellowship Christian School will have a varsity wrestler at the state meet for the first time since 2016.

With a 40-second pin in the first period, Griffin Robertson took third place in the Area duals hosted by Holy Innocents' Episcopal School on Feb. 6 to advance to the state tournament being held at the Centreplex in Macon Ga., Feb. 9-13.

On Feb. 6, senior Lincoln Ledet and freshman Tyler Wagner placed fourth in their weight divisions for Fellowship and are alternates for the state tournament. Senior Owen Reedy and senior Phillip Elliot each placed sixth.

In 2016, Nate Shirley (152 pounds) advanced to GHSA State Wrestling Championships and finished second. Shirley (160 pounds) advanced to GHSA State Championships and was third overall in 2015.

In 2014, Shirley (152 pounds) became the first FCS wrestler to place at state wrestling meet (fourth-place finish). Shirley and James Wilson (185) became first Paladins to reach state meet that year.

Varsity Paladin Basketball Team Falls to No. 1 Class A Private Team, 57-51

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball squad played the No. 1 team in GHSA Class A Private rankings tough before falling on the road.

On Feb. 6, the Paladins dropped a 57-51 contest to Providence Christian Academy in Lilburn.

With the loss, the FCS team dropped its record to 7-9 overall.

"We are very proud of their efforts and the fact they believed in themselves and their capabilities," head coach Chris Cameron said.

Five Straight Wins: Lady Paladins Beat Mount Pisgah 61-48 to Extend Streak

The varsity girls basketball team from Fellowship Christian School has kept its win streak intact with another victory on the road.

Junior Kaya Beard led the way for Fellowship with 28 points and 12 rebounds as the team posted a Region victory at Mount Pisgah Christian Academy in Johns Creek, 61-48.

"It was a huge double, double for us," head coach Troy Schulz said. "We executed our game plan and played tremendous defense. I am so proud of these young ladies."

Juniors Cate Hardin and Savannah Schulz both netted eight points for the Lady Paladins.

With the victory, FCS improved to 4-0 in Region games and 7-3 overall.

Second Half Surge Carries Paladins Past Weber in Varsity Basketball Action

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball squad bounced back from a Friday night loss (Jan. 29) with a road victory in the final of two games played on consecutive days.

On Jan. 30 at The Weber School in Sandy Springs, the Paladins rallied from a 31-26 halftime deficit to beat the home team 64-60. It was a Region contest.

Sophomore Zak Thomas netted 21 of his team-high 29 points in the second half to lead FCS' 38-29 second-half scoring effort. The Paladins netted 14 points in the first quarter, collected 12 in the second, and had 18 in the third and 20 in the fourth.

Fellowship improved to 7-6 overall and 5-5 in Region play. Overall, the team has now won four out of its last five games.

Senior London Griggers scored 14 points, while senior AJ Salvadori scored seven and junior Josh Cole added five.

Trio of Paladins Honored by Georgia High School Football Daily

Seniors Charlie Patterson (offensive lineman) and Murphy Reeves (running back) have been selected for the first tem of 2020 Georgia High School Football Daily Class A Private All-State Team, as announced this week.

Senior Nathan Nardone, a offensive lineman and linebacker, earned honorable mention status.

Patterson and Reeves are among 208 first-team players from all classes honored by Georgia High School Football Daily. These athletes will be presented commemorative jerseys.

Earlier this offseason, Reeves was named Class A Private School Player of the Year by Recruit Georgia, and Reeves was named Player of the Year for Region 6A.

Reeves, Patterson and Nardone were among a group of 18 Paladin players to receive post-season Region 6A honors. That group led the Paladins to an 11-1 season and a trip to the Elite eight of the GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships.

Reeves led Fellowship with 135 carries, 1,861 yards and 25 rushing touchdowns in 2020. He also grabbed one pass for 25 yards and a score. Reeves wrapped up his four-year varsity career as Fellowship's all-time leader with 506 rush attempts, 5,241 yards, 62 rush touchdowns and 63 overall TDs.

Patterson and Nardone anchored the offensive line that opened holes for the Fellowship offense to gain 3,689 of its 4,805 total yards on the ground this season. It's the third highest single-season team run total in school history for FCS.

Nardone's 62 tackles led the Paladins. He also topped the team with 40 assisted stops, was third with eight tackles for loss and fourth with 22 solo tackles.

3-Game Win Streak: Paladins Post Victory in Athens

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball squad has now won for the second consecutive night.

FCS posted a 52-36 victory at Athens Christian Academy on Jan. 23. It was a non-Region contest.

With the victory, the Paladins have improved to 6-5 overall.

The team has now won three straight contests, and four out of its last five games.

Fellowship led 27-12 at halftime, and 38-24 through three quarters. The club outscored Athens Christian 14-12 in the fourth quarter.

At Athens, senior London Griggers led Fellowship with 17 points. He netted three 3-point baskets.

Senior AJ Salvadori scored 14 points, while sophomore Zak Thomas added 12 points. Thomas netted a pair of 3-pointers.

Lady Paladins Win at Athens Christian Academy to Extend Basketball Win Streak to Four Games

In its second game in as many days, the Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team posted another win.

The Lady Paladins posted a 41-29 victory at Athens Christian Academy. FCS improved to 6-3 overall with its fourth straight win. Saturday's game was a non-Region game.

Junior Cate Hardin led the Lady Paladins with 13 points. Freshman Olivia Young scored nine points, including a 3-for-6 effort from behind the 3-point line. Freshman Avery Paulson chipped in with eight points.

"It was a good team win," head coach Troy Schulz said. "All eight girls got valuable minutes and worked hard. The four freshmen and [sophomore] Addy [Costoulas] played all 16 minutes of the first half and we led 18-9. We will get back in the gym and correct a few things to get ready for King's Ridge on Friday [Jan. 29]."

Lady Paladin Varsity Basketball Team Continues Streak with Victory over Pinecrest

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball squad has now won three straight contests.

The Lady Paladins posted a 37-25 win over Pinecrest at home on Jan. 22. It was a Region contest.

Junior Kaya Beard topped the Fellowship team with 18 points.

Junior Cate Hardin chipped in with 11 points and freshman Avery Paulson netted six points.

"It was a good defensive third quarter that was the difference," head coach Troy Schulz said. "We held them to two points. I am proud of the girls."

FCS improved to 5-3 overall.

Varsity Boys Basketball Team Beats Pinecrest in Overtime

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball team has won its last two games.

The Paladins from FCS downed the Paladins from Pinecrest Academy at Paladin Gym on Jan. 22. The score of the Region game was 62-58 in overtime.

Overall, Fellowship has won two out of its last three games. The team is now 5-5 overall.

Senior London Griggers topped the team with 17 points.

Senior AJ Salvadori collected 15 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while sophomore Zak Thomas netted 15 points. Junior Josh Cole grabbed a team-high 14 rebounds and chipped in with six points.

(Photo by Milo Falcon)

Reeves Named Recruit Georgia's Class A Private School Football Player of the Year

Senior running back Murphy Reeves has been named Class A Private School Player of the Year by Recruit Georgia, which was announced on Jan. 15.

Earlier this offseason, Reeves was named Player of the Year for Region 6A. Reeves was among a group of 18 Paladin players to receive post-season Region 6A honors. That group led the Paladins to an 11-1 season and a trip to the Elite eight of the GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships.

Reeves led Fellowship with 135 carries, 1,861 yards and 25 rushing touchdowns in 2020. He also grabbed one pass for 25 yards and a score. Reeves wrapped up his four-year varsity career as Fellowship's all-time leader with 506 rush attempts, 5,241 yards, 62 rush touchdowns and 63 overall TDs.

(File Photo)

Varsity Paladin Basketball Team Hangs on for Third Win of Season

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball squad had a strong defensive effort to stop Mt. Bethel Christian Academy from scoring on an inbounds play with 1.1 seconds left to post its third victory of the season.

The Paladins (3-5 overall) posted a 48-47 victory over the Eagles in a Region game played at Paladin Gym on Jan. 16.

FCS has now won two out of its last three contests.

Junior Walton Wade led Fellowship with 12 points, while senior London Griggers netted 11 points. Sophomore Zak Thomas scored 10 points.

Senior Anthony Salvadori and junior Josh Cole both grabbed eight rebounds. Salvadori blocked seven shots.

The Paladins led 29-17 at halftime.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Paladins Place Fourth at Area Team Duals

The Fellowship Christian School varsity wrestling squad placed fourth as a team at the Area Team Dual Championship hosted by Wesleyan School on Jan. 15.

"They team did great," head coach Dean Robertson said. "There was excellent competition in the tournament. We managed to finish fourth to advance to the next round of the state team tournament."

Senior Matthew Meadows earned his first pin of the season.

Lady Paladins Varsity Basketball Beat Lakeview Academy for Second Straight Win

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team has now won two straight contests.

Junior Cate Hardin netted a team-high 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead the Lady Paladins to a 55-23 Region win over Lakeview Academy on Jan. 12 at Paladin Gym.

Freshman Alden Hayes notched 15 points, 10 rebounds and made two blocks, while Junior Kaya Beard collected 16 points, 13 rebounds and registered four blocks.

The Lady Paladins are now 2-0 in Region games and 4-3 overall.

"It was a great team win," head coach Troy Schulz said. "The girls fought hard and played well after a long break. They followed the game plan and executed almost flawlessly minimal turnovers. I couldn't be more proud they were challenged to play with max effort and fearlessness. We played with this verse in mind – Philippians 4:13 – and we told the girls to make 'em proud with their play. After the game I told them He would be proud."

Reeves Named Region 6A Player of the Year; Morrell Named 6A Coach of Year

Senior running back Murphy Reeves has been named Player of the Year for Region 6A, which was announced this week.

Fellowship Christian School varsity football coach Al Morrell has also been selected as the coach of the year for Region 6A.

The veteran coach has led the Paladins to a 67-26 record since 2013, including a 53-10 mark over the past five seasons, five straight trips to the state playoffs and four Elite Eight appearances since 2016.

Morrell was named Region 6A (South) Coach of the Year in 2019, Region 6A (Division B) Coach of the Year in 2018, Region and Class A Coach of the Year in 2017, and was both Region and Class A Coach of the Year in 2016.

Reeves was among a group of 18 Paladin players to receive post-season Region 6A honors. That group led the Paladins to an 11-1 season and a trip to the Elite eight of the GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships.

Named to the First-Team Offense were seniors Brady Niblock (tight end), Charlie Patterson and Reid Robinson (offensive line) and Eli Hildebrandt (ath).

First-Team defense recognition went to seniors Joey Archer (defensive line), Jordan Brewer (defensive back), Lawson Haigler (outside linebacker), Caleb McClung and Nathan Nardone (inside linebackers), junior Josh Cole (defensive back) and sophomores Kyle Elphick (defensive back), Jayven Hall (outside linebacker) and Sean Sargent (defensive line). McClung was also named a First-Team specialist at long snapper.

Sophomores Calen Nichols (offensive line) and Clay Shepler (wide receiver) were named Second-Team offense. Seniors Cole Chapman (defensive line) and Michael "Moose" Washburne (defensive back) were selected for Second-Team defense.

Reeves led Fellowship with 135 carries, 1,861 yards and 25 rushing touchdowns in 2020. He also grabbed one pass for 25 yards and a score. Reeves wrapped up his four-year varsity career as Fellowship's all-time leader with 506 rush attempts, 5,241 yards, 62 rush touchdowns and 63 overall TDs.

Niblock, Patterson, Robinson and Nichols helped the offensive line open holes for the Fellowship offense to gain 3,689 of its 4,805 total yards on the ground this season. It's the third highest single-season team run total in school history for FCS. Niblock caught two passes for 40 yards and one score.

As a quarterback, Hildebrandt went 53-for-85 and threw for 939 yards and 11 scores. He was picked off just three times. He ranked fourth among Paladin rushers with 341 yards on 57 attempts and scored four times on the ground.

Archer finished with 37 tackles (16 solo) and shared the team lead with 10 tackles for loss and three sacks.

Brewer shared the team lead with three interceptions and registered 10 solo tackles and 14 assisted stops.

Cole ranked fourth on the team with 53 tackles and shared second with 23 solo stops. He was fourth on the team with 30 assisted tackles.

Elphick shared the team lead with three interceptions. He also recorded 31 tackles (12 solo).

Haigler ranked fifth on the squad with 41 tackles, including 15 solo stops and 26 assisted tackles.

Hall led the team with 24 solo tackles and shared the lead with 10 tackles for loss. He registered 55 total tackles and 31 assisted stops to rank third on the team in both categories.

McClung ranked second on the team with 60 total tackles, ranked second with 37 assisted stops and shared second with 23 solo tackles.

Nardone's 62 tackles led the Paladins. He also topped the team with 40 assisted stops, was third with eight tackles for loss and fourth with 22 solo tackles.

Sargent shared first on the FCS team with three sacks, and was fourth with seven tackles for loss. He also recorded 27 tackles, including 16 assisted stops.

Shepler led the Paladins with 16 catches and 314 reception yards in 2020. He also grabbed one TD pass.

Chapman recorded 11 tackles and recovered a fumble.

Washburne made 38 total tackles, including 22 assisted stops, and had one interception.

(File Photos)

Lady Paladins, Paladin Varsity Basketball Teams Beat Athens Christian

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball squad has notched its second victory of the season.

The Paladins posted a 62-42 win over Athens Christian in a non-Region game played at Paladin Gym on Dec. 19.

Senior London Griggers netted a team-high 21 points and also had two rebounds. Sophomore Zak Thomas notched 12 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Senior Mac Madden chipped in with nine points, three rebounds and two steals, while junior Jacob Welty added eight points, four assists and two steals. Senior AJ Salvadori collected six points, five rebounds, four blocks and three assists.

FCS (2-3 overall) has notched two wins in its last three contests.

Fellowship will play in the Wheeler High School Tournament on Dec. 26.

In the girls varsity game, FCS ended a two-game losing streak with a home win on Dec. 19.

The Lady Paladins posted a 54-17 non-Region victory over Athens Christian at Paladin Gym.

Fellowship improved to 3-3 overall with the win. The game was the squad's final contest of 2020.

Paladin Basketball Team Posts 75-61 Win at Brandon Hall

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball squad has notched its first victory of the season.

The Paladins (1-1 in Region games and 1-2 overall) won at Brandon Hall in Atlanta, 75-61, on Dec. 11. It was a Region game.

Sophomore Zak Thomas led FCS with 20 points, and collected six rebounds and five assists.

Senior AJ Salvadori registered 17 points, seven rebounds and led the team with five assists and five blocks. Senior London Griggers netted 17 points and grabbed five rebounds.

Senior Mac Madden contributed with eight points and team-high eight rebounds.

It was the first Fellowship win for head coach Chris Cameron.

Paladins Fall to Trinity in State Football Quarterfinals, Stellar Group of Seniors Wrap Up Career

The Fellowship Christian Football team did not go down without a fight.

Despite trailing 41-13 through three quarters, the Paladins battled hard in the fourth quarter scoring twice and having the clock end on an another drive to the Lions' side of the field.

The Lions (seeded No. 1 from Region 4) prevailed with a 41-27 victory in the GHSA Class A Private School Championships Elite Eight game played in Sharpsburg, Ga., on Dec. 11. The loss snapped an 11-game win streak for Fellowship (seeded No. 1 from Region 6).

A stellar group of seniors played their last game at Fellowship that includes Jackson Albee, Joey Archer, Jordan Brewer, Cole Chapman, Lawson Haigler, Eli Hildebrandt, Cade Kammerer, Caleb McClung, Josh McLaughlin, Nathan Nardone, Brady Niblock, Charlie Patterson, Murphy Reeves, Reid Robinson, Brad Rodgers, Matt Rodgers and Michael Washburne.

"This loss is so, so tough, especially for this group," head coach Al Morrell said. "They are such a special group. Tonight was very tough. Again despite adversity, they led by example and fought to the bitter end. I can't say enough positive things about the effort. But you have to hand it to Trinity. They played a great game and executed well."

This group of seniors has helped the Paladins to a 40-9 record, make four trips to the state playoffs and advance to the Elite Eight three times over the past four seasons.

Just 1:30 into the fourth quarter on Friday night, sophomore Jayven Hall scored on a 2-yard run. Matt Rodgers kicked the extra point to help FCS pull to within 21 points at 41-20. Rodgers connected on 3-of-4 extra-point kicks on the night.

Hall's TD capped a 75-yard drive that included a 21-yard QB keeper from Hildebrandt, and a couple of key pass completions to sophomore Clay Shepler (21 yards) and McLaughlin (8 yards). Washburne's interception with 1:45 left in the third quarter gave the Paladins the ball for that drive.

The Lions recovered the onside kick, but the Paladin defense stopped the Lions on a fourth-and-five play from the FCS 33-yard-line seven plays from scrimmage later.

Reeves scored the final TD of his FCS career with a hard-fought effort breaking tackles from 19 yards out with 6:08 to play. It ended a 66-yard drive and left the score 41-27 with 6:08 left.

The Lions fumbled a fair catch on the kickoff, but recovered the ball. FCS forced a punt four plays later, but penalties and incomplete passes cost the Paladins on their next drive that stalled a fourth-and-long play with just over two minutes the play.

Trinity fumbled three plays later, and the Paladins drove nearly 50 yards on their final drive before the clock ended the game.

The Lions scored three touchdowns in the first quarter as FCS faced a rare first-half deficit.

The Paladins got on the board as Shepler and Hildebrandt connected on a 7-yard TD pass at 9:15 of the second quarter. That pulled the Paladins to within 21-7. It capped a 10-play, 72-yard drive.

Trinity answered right back from an 80-yard touchdown pass play to take a 28-7 lead, and the next drive for Fellowship ended following Hall's 6-yard pass from Hildebrandt that came up 3 yards short on a fourth-and-nine play from the Lion 20-yard-line.

Sophomore Kyle Elphick made an interception for FCS five plays later, but Fellowship could not score on four runs from the 4-yard-line with 3:19 left in the half and were stopped three times from the 1-yard-line.

Following a pooch punt on third-and-10 from the Lion 1-yard line, Fellowship scored its second touchdown on Reeves 2-yard run with 12.8 seconds left in the half to end a 56-yard drive.

Trinity scored the only two touchdowns in the third quarter.

Reeves led Fellowship, which gained 186 yards on the ground, with 150 yards on 18 attempts with two scores. He ends his career as Fellowship's all-time leader with 506 rush attempts, 5,241 yards, 62 rush touchdowns and 63 overall TDs.

Hildebrandt went 15-for-24 for 171 passing yards and one TD at Trinity. Shepler grabbed five passes for 92 yards and one score. Brewer also caught five passes and picked up 26 reception yards.

Nardone led the defense with 12 tackles and seven assists. McClung registered 11 tackles, including a team-best seven solo stops. McClung and Archer both recorded one tackle for a loss.

Trinity gained 402 yards, including 238 passing and 164 rushing.

(Photos by Chip Cookston and Milo Falcon)

Fellowship to Face Trinity Christian School in GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships Elite Eight ... Finally

With the stakes very high, the Fellowship Christian School varsity football team will face Trinity Christian School for the first time in varsity football.

The matchup between the Lions and the Paladins for Bob Lord Field on Sept. 18 was called off to COVID-19 exposure, but the teams will face off in Sharpsburg on Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Elite Eight of the GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships.

It's a battle of No. 1 seeds as undefeated FCS squad captured the Region 6A title and Trinity claimed the Region 4A crown. The Paladins advanced to the quarterfinals with a 49-14 victory over Athens Academy at home on Dec. 5 in the second round of the state playoffs. The team collected 500 total yards, just seven short of the season-high 507 it picked up in the victory at B.E.S.T. Academy in the team's third game of the season.

On the same evening, the Lions improved their record to 10-2 and extended their win streak to six games with a 54-13 win over Whitefield Academy in the second round.

"They are a very solid team," head coach AL Morrell said. "They are very well coached. Their only losses this year are to Eagle's Landing and Athens Academy, both very good football teams. Their head coach Kenny Dallas coached at Eagle's Landing. They run a spread offense. They are a passing team."

The keys to the game for the Paladins will be to slow down the twin sons – quarterback David and wide receiver Joshua – of Kenny Dallas.

"Those are the two guys we have to stop," Morrell said. "We have to execute on offense, not turn the ball over and block well."

A strong run game and tough defense have carried the Paladins to its third season of at least 11 wins in varsity football history at Fellowship. It's also the team's third straight trip to the Elite Eight.

The impressive Fellowship ground game has collected 3,503 yards, while the defense has held its opponents to 477 rushing yards this season. Overall, FCS has out gained its opponents 4,448 to 1,651.

Senior Murphy Reeves leads FCS with 117 carries, 1,711 yards and 23 touchdowns. He's gained 5,095 yards on 489 carries for 61 rushing touchdowns and 62 overall touchdowns in his four-year career at Fellowship, all school records.

Junior Josh Cole is playing in his third varsity season, and is next on the squad with 57 carries, 572 yards and 10 TDs. Senior Lawson Haigler has collected 392 yards on 38 rushes with six touchdowns.

Senior Eli Hildebrandt leads FCS quarterbacks with 38 completions, 61 attempts ad 10 TD passes. He's also rushed 42 times for 329 yards with four scores.

Sophomore Clay Shepler's 11 receptions and 222 receptions yards leads the team. Cole had hauled in eight passes for 203 yards and shares the team lead with three TD receptions (senior Josh McLaughlin has three TD catches and five catches overall), while Haigler has 10 catches for 186 yards and two TD receptions.

Overall, the Paladin defense has held its opponents to 10 or fewer points in a game six times (not including a 13-0 forfeit win over Lakeview Academy).

Senior Nathan Nardone tops the Paladin defensive unit with 33 assisted tackles and 50 total stops, while sophomore Jayven Hall is next with 49 tackles and a team-best 22 solo tackles. Senior Caleb McClung has registered 48 tackles (16 solo, 32 assists), followed by Cole with 45 (19 solo, 26 assists) and Haigler with 41 (15 solo, 26 overall).

Hall tops the team with 10 tackles for a loss and three fumble recoveries, while senior Jordan Brewer has picked off a team-best three passes. Sophomore Kyle Elphick has made two interceptions, both for log TD returns.

In two playoff games, the Paladins have collected 923 yards to 298 for its opponents.

"This is the best defense we have had since I have been here," Morrell said. "Coach [Jake] Robertson and the assistants have done a great job with this defense. We have solid defensive backs, great line backers and our defensive line has done a great job. They played a huge offensive line from Athens Academy very well on Friday."

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Team Effort Leads Paladins Past Athens Academy in Second Round GHSA Playoff Game

It was junior Josh Cole's night in the first half, while seniors Eli Hildebrandt and Murphy Reeves dominated the final 20 minutes.

That trio, along with the efforts of sophomore Jayven Hall and a strong defensive unit carried the Fellowship Christian School varsity football team to a 49-14 victory over a talented Athens Academy team at Bob Lord Field in the second round of the GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships on Dec. 4.

With the win, the 11-0 Paladins will face Trinity Christian School in the state quarterfinals (also known as the Elite Eight) on the road in Sharpsburg on Dec. 11, 2020. The 10-2 Lions defeated Whitefield Academy (6-5), 54-13 in the second round on Dec. 4.

This is Fellowship's third straight trip to the football Elite Eight and the fourth time in school history the squad has reached at least 11 varsity football wins.

"We beat a really good football team," head coach Al Morrell said. "We knew they would be a challenge, and they were. Honestly, it's a big relief [to get past this game]. We are just so thankful with this crazy COVID thing to just be here playing football. But our boys played their hearts out. Our defense played tremendous."

On Friday night, Cole's three touchdowns helped the Paladins take a 21-0 halftime lead before Hildebrandt, Reeves and company took over in the second half.

"Both of those guys came up very big," Morrell said. "Eli had a career night. He must have well over 100 yards rushing. But you can't take anything away from the play of Josh, Jayven or our defense. We pretty much shut them down after they scored two times in the third quarter. Other than those two long pass plays, it was an outstanding effort. That is one talented team. They have at least four kids going Division I next year."

With the Paladins leading 21-0, the Spartans scored on a pair of pass plays from 35 and 90 yards in just over two minutes in the early part of the third quarter. They pulled to within 21-14 at the 8:24 mark of the third.

But Reeves answered that second score just 45 seconds later on a 58-yard sprint to the end zone. Senior Matt Rodgers' extra-point kick was no good, but the Paladins had breathing room again with a 27-14 lead. Rodgers made five of his six extra-point attempts.

Over next three series, defense was the name of the game as Athens punted twice and Fellowship once.

After the second Spartan punt in that stretch, the Paladins drove 79 yards for a touchdown to put the game away. Following Reeves' long run, Hall scored on an 11-yard carry and Hildebrandt tacked on the two-point conversion run one minute into the fourth quarter.

FCS got the ball right back on the next play from scrimmage as senior Jordan Brewer out jumped the Spartans' star receiver for an interception at 10:43 of the fourth.

Hildebrandt scored on a 67-yard quarterback keeper as he sprinted down the sidelines. The Paladins led 42-14 with 10:04 left. Hildebrandt rushed nine times for a team-high 154 yards, and also completed three-of-four pass attempts for 109 yards.

Hall grabbed the ball away from a Spartan runner with 6:19 left to give FCS the ball back. Following another long quarterback run from Hildebrandt, Hall scored again on a 2-yard plunge with 4:16 to go to wrap up a 74-yard TD drive.

In the first quarter, Cole scored on an eight-yard TD at 8:45, and grabbed a pass from Hildebrandt and went 76 yards for another score at 2:20. Cole also added a 29-yard TD run at 7:17 of the second quarter. Senior Lawson Haigler's interception deep in Spartan territory set up Cole's first score.

The Paladins out gained the Spartans 550-323 in the game, including a 391-58 advantage on the ground. In the fourth quarter, the Paladins gained 195 yards to 55 for the Spartans.

"We wanted to keep our boys fresh, and wear them down," Morrell said. "We had a very strong second half."

Reeves ran 15 times for 127 yards, while Cole notched 48 on six rushes.

Nathan Nardone topped the Paladin defense with six solo tackles, seven assisted stops and 13 total tackles. Hall was next on the squad with eight total tackles, including five assists. Brewer collected seven tackles, including five assisted stops, and Cole registered six stops and five assists.

Did You Know?

  • Prior to the quarterfinals and semifinals, the GHSA hosts coin flip to decide home field for teams with like seeds. The Paladins are No. 1 in Region 6 and Trinity is No. 1 in Region 4.
  • FCS has played just four varsity football games in December. The other games were in the 2016 state semifinals at Prince Avenue Christian School (31-28 victory on Dec. 2), its 34-27 overtime loss to Eagle's Landing Christian School at the Georgia Dome on Dec. 9, 2016 and a state semifinal loss to Wesleyan School on Dec. 6, 2019.
  • The Paladins have topped 10 wins in a season five times (2007, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020).
  • It is the fifth straight trip to the state playoff for Fellowship, now 53-9 in that span.
  • Morrell has posted a 67-25 all-time record since joining the Paladins in 2013.

(Photo by Chip Cookston)

Boys Tennis Squad falls to Saint Francis in Metro 10 League Finals

The undefeated season for the boys middle school tennis team from Fellowship Christian School has ended.

The Fellowship squad fought hard in the Metro 10 League championship match against Saint Francis at Paladin Park on Dec. 3 before falling.

The Knights posted a 3-2 win in the very tight match to end the championship hopes for the Paladins

Fellowship ended the season 7-1 overall.

Paladins Face Stiff Challenge in Athens Academy in Second Round of State Playoffs

The Fellowship Christian School varsity football team will likely have its greatest challenge of the season on Friday night.

The 10-0 Paladins host 10-1 Athens Academy in the second round of the GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships on Dec. 4 at 7:30 p.m.

"They're the best team we have ever faced in the second round of the state playoffs in my time here," head coach Al Morrell said. "Since they did not use rankings this year, the brackets are different. You won't face a random crossover opponent in the second round and teams can face very tough games in the early rounds. Athens Academy is a great program, and is a very well coached team. The only school they lost to this year is the No. 1 team in the state [Prince Avenue Christian]. They have plenty of talented players, and their strength is their offensive line. They have three kids headed to [NCAA] Division I programs next fall, including one kid to Virginia with Charlie [Patterson]. They are a power team, and like to run right at you."

In the last combined rankings released by the Georgia High School Football Daily, FCS was ranked No. 2 among Class A Private Schools and Athens Academy No. 4. The Spartans are the second-seeded team from Region 8 behind Prince Avenue and the Paladins are No. 1 from Region 6.

The Paladins improved to 10-5 all-time in the state playoffs with a 49-7 opening-round win over Mount Paran Christian School at Bob Lord Field on Nov. 27. It is Fellowship's fifth straight trip to the state playoffs.

Like Fellowship, Athens Academy has both a strong defense and a very successful run game.

"They can also spread the field well," said Morrell, who is 66-25 at FCS that includes an 8-4 state playoff record and a trip to the state finals in 2016. "The challenge is getting ready for two offenses in one week. But the boys have had a great week of practice and are prepared for the toughest opponent of the season."

The keys for the Paladins will be to start fast, have success early, rotate players in and out throughout the game to keep the team fresh and execute on both sides of the ball, according to the veteran coach.

"I feel like if we keep it close, we have a great chance [to win]," Morrell said. "They play the same guys most of the game, and we have plenty of depth, so the second half is very important. We usually able to rest guys, so we hope to wear them down."

With the victory over the Eagles, the Paladins have improved to 10-5 all-time in the state playoffs. The Paladins are now 101-83 all-time in varsity football, including a 1-2 mark against Athens Academy.

Through nine games on the field (FCS has one forfeit win), the Paladins have collected 3,952 yards and have allowed just 1,330 this season. Those numbers include a 3,116-421 advantage on the ground. The Paladins have reached 40 or more points in a game seven times this season.

The Paladin defense has been stellar this season as well. The team has held opponents to 10 or fewer points in six of nine games, including three shutouts.

Senior Caleb McClung leads FCS with 27 assisted tackles and 39 total stops, while sophomore Jayven Hall leads the team with 17 solo tackles and is second with 37 tackles.

Senior Murphy Reeves leads Fellowship's ground game with 102 carries, 1,584 yards, 22 touchdowns and an average of 15.53 yards per carry. Junior Josh Cole has collected 524 yards on 51 attempts with eight touchdowns, and senior Lawson Haigler has added 376 yards on 35 rushes with six scores.

Senior quarterback Eli Hildebrandt has completed 33-of-52 pass attempts for 653 yards and nine TDs. Sophomore Clay Shepler and Haigler both have grabbed 10 passes to share first on the squad. Shepler's 220 reception yards top the team.

(Photo by Chip Cookston)

Lady Paladin Varsity Basketball Team Beats Pinecrest, Improves to 2-1

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team has won for the second time this season.

On Dec. 1, Fellowship posted a 42-24 Region victory at Pinecrest Academy, 40-24.

"It was a big win for the Lady Paladins tonight," head coach Troy Schulz said. "We started a little slow tonight, but overall it was a great team effort. At one point I said to Coach Allison [Michael] I think there may be a lid on that basket. It was 17-15 at the half and then the girls started to find the groove. I was extremely pleased with our defense especially in the fourth quarter as we held them to one point while scoring 17. We are proud of these girls tonight as they battled all night and finally found success in the fourth quarter. They were rewarded for their persistence."

Junior Cate Hardin led the Lady Paladins, now 2-1 overall, with 18 points.

Junior Kaya Beard netted nine points, and freshman Avery Paulson knocked down a big 3-pointer in the first half and finished with six points. Junior Savannah Schulz had five points and played all 32 minutes.

Boys Tennis Squad Downs Whitefield, Advances to Metro 10 League Finals

The undefeated boys middle school tennis team has now qualified for the Metro 10 League championship match.

With a 5-0 victory over Whitefield Academy in the first round of the playoffs at Paladin Park on Dec. 1, the Paladins have advanced to the title match. They will face the winner of The Walker School and Saint Francis. Match details will be announced later.

Fellowship improved to 7-0 overall with the victory.

Alex Chapman captured first singles, 8-0; Logan Gilleland won second singles, 8-1; and Austin Turner claimed third singles, 9-7.

In first doubles against the WolfPack, the team of Will Landreth and Jackson Young won 8-1. The duo of James Scherer and David Kennedy took second doubles 8-8 (tie breaker 7-5).

Paladins Down Mount Paran to Advance in GHSA Class A Private Football Championships

A two-week break from games didn't seem to hurt the Fellowship Christian School varsity football team too much on Friday night.

The Paladins did not show any rust early as senior Murphy Reeves scored on the game's first play from scrimmage and the team scored on its first three possessions overall en route to a 49-7 victory over Mount Paran Christian School at Bob Lord Field in the opening round of the Class A Private School Football Championships on Nov. 27.

"Our offensive line is playing outstanding, and we have super talented backs," head coach Al Morrell said. "That's probably the fifth time Murphy has scored on the first play of the game. He's a terrific back, who is hard to catch in the open field. We did have a great start to the game. It had been three weeks since we played, so we did not execute perfectly. But we played well enough to win."

Fellowship, seeded No. 1 from Region 6, improved to 10-0 with the victory. FCS faces Athens Academy (seeded second from Region 8) at Bob Lord Field on Dec. 4. Athens (10-1 overall) defeated Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in overtime, 49-42, on Nov. 27. The Mustangs (5-7 overall and the third seed from Region 5) rallied from a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime.

"Athens is a great team," Morrell said. "I believe their only losses over the last three years are to Eagles' Landing Christian School and Prince Avenue. They have a huge offensive line with three Division I commits. They are very big and physical."

With Friday's victory, the Paladins have improved to 10-5 all-time in the state playoffs. In their previous game, the Paladins defeated Mount Pisgah Christian School, 63-10, on Senior Night on Nov. 6 to capture their second straight Region championship and the school's third Region football title since the 2016 season.

The Paladins offense didn't waste any time against the Eagles as Reeves took the pitch, went right and scored on a 79-yard TD run 23 seconds into the playoff contest. Senior Matt Rodgers booted the first of seven extra points to give FCS a 7-0 lead. It was the first of three touchdowns for Reeves, Fellowship's all-time rushing leader.

The Fellowship defense forced a Mount Paran punt three plays from scrimmage later. Sophomore Jayven Hall then capped a 57-yard drive with an 11-yard scoring run with 9:32 left in the first quarter.

Following another Eagles punt, Reeves scored on a 37-yard TD run at 8:23 of the first quarter. Senior Lawson Haigler ended the first quarter scoring on a run up the middle that went 42 yards and a score on the final play of the first quarter score.

The Paladins led 28-0 after the first and out gained the Eagles (seeded fourth from Region 7) in the first quarter, 248 yards to minus-15.

FCS scored on five out of eight possessions in the first half, including senior quarterback Eli Hildebrandt's 1-yard TD run with 53.1 seconds left in the half. The 54-yard drive was set up by junior Wilson Long's interception.

It was another strong defensive effort for the Paladins, who held the Eagles to minus-26 yards in the first half that included sacks by seniors Joey Archer and Caleb McClung.

"The defense had another shutout, as they scored on our offense," Morrell said. "They are playing extremely well."

Following a Mount Paran punt to end its first possession of the second half, Reeves scored on a 38-yard run that included a broken tackle and spin move up the middle with 6:00 left in the third quarter. The senior gained 238 yards on 12 carries.

Junior Garrett Wagner added a TD run from 6 yards 31 seconds into the fourth quarter to give Fellowship a 49-0 lead. The 12-yard drive was set up by Hall's fumble recovery.

The Eagles' lone score came on a fumble recovery that went for a 73-yard score with 5:44 to play. Mount Paran finished the season 1-9.

Fellowship improved to 5-3 all-time against Mount Paran in varsity football, including a 45-13 win over the Eagles in the Elite Eight of the 2016 playoffs on Nov. 25, 2016.

The Paladins out gained Mount Paran 423 to minus-25 yards on Friday night, including a 397 to minus-86 advantage on the ground. The Eagles picked up 61 passing yards to 26 for FCS.

Haigler collected 81 yards on five carries, while Hall added 34 on five attempts. Both Hildebrandt and sophomore Caleb McMickle completed two passes, while senior Jordan Brewer grabbed two of them.

Defensively, Archer and McClung led the way with six solo tackles and six total stops apiece. Archer led the team with two tackles for loss. Senior Jackson Albee recorded a sack.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Paladins Begin Varsity Boys Basketball Season Dec. 1 at Pinecrest Academy

The Fellowship Christian School varsity boys basketball team has been adjusting very well to its new coach and his philosophies.

"It's actually going very well," head coach Chris Cameron said. "The kids have responded well. They have been having fun and are working hard. For them there was uncertainty in the beginning with a new coach, new system. But their energy level has been great. We have some good talent here as well."

A veteran coach with college experience, Cameron was attracted to Fellowship for its "Christian atmosphere" and "being able to be a part of it." He is also up for the challenge of the rebuilding process.

"We are not focused on the past," Cameron said. "We are focused on who we are and why we all came here. We want to win and change the mindset. As a team we will put the work in to do that."

The Paladins travel to Cumming to face Pinecrest Academy in the season opener on Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. It is a Region contest.

Fellowship basketball fans will likely see a very different type of game this season.

"There are three ways we are going to win – play smart, work hard and compete together," Cameron said. "We will play up tempo with a more defensive mindset. We also want structure and control. We will build our team around this style."

In the early season practices the Paladins have shown Cameron good shooting and solid skill development. There are multiple players who will contribute on both ends of the floor.

The Paladins will be part of a strong Region 6-A division that features perennial state power Saint Francis, Pinecrest, Brandon Hall, King's Ridge Christian School, Lakeview Academy, Mt. Bethel Christian School, Mount Pisgah Christian School and The Weber School.

Dana King will serve as JV head coach and will assist Cameron this season with the varsity. FCS teacher Edward Pasqual is also a varsity assistant coach.

Cameron, who joined FCS in July, is a member of the Albany (Ga.) Sports Hall of Fame (2013). He's entering his 20th year as a basketball coach this school year, and has coached at both the college and high school levels.

Cameron earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Tulane University and a Master of Science in Health and Physical Education from Albany State University.

A native of Albany, Ga., Cameron played basketball at Tulane University. He lettered all four years for the Green Wave. Cameron played high school basketball at Dougherty High School and was a member of the Trojans Final Four team in 1991.

Football Playoff Game Set: Paladins to Face Mount Paran in Opening Round of Class A Private School Football Championships

The match up is all set.

The Fellowship Christian School football team, seeded No. 1 from Region 6A, will host Mount Paran Christian School in the opening round of the Class A Private School Football Championships on Nov. 27 at Bob Lord Field. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

The Eagles (1-8 overall) beat The Walker School 33-7 on Nov. 20 to qualify for the state playoffs as the No. 4 seed from Region 7A.

The Paladins (9-0) defeated Mount Pisgah Christian School, 63-10, on Senior Night on Nov. 6 to capture their second straight Region championship and the school's third Region football title since the 2016 season. Fellowship equaled its single-game points record set on Oct. 23, 2020 with a 63-0 win over 7A Dunwoody High School at Bob Lord Field.

Fellowship is 4-3 all-time against Mount Paran in varsity football, including a 45-13 win over the Eagles in the Elite Eight of the 2016 playoffs on Nov. 25, 2016. The Paladins are 9-5 all-time in state football playoffs.

"Don't let Mount Paran's record fool you," head coach Al Morrell said. "They are a good football team. They played a lot of teams tough this season. We will be ready on Friday night. The boys are excited for another state playoff game. We are focused on playing a good game. We need to execute on both sides of the ball, limit mistakes and turnovers, and play with confidence [after two off weeks]."

The Paladins have out gained its opponents 3,525-1,355 in eight games on the field this season. That includes 2,715 yards on the ground to just 507 for its foes. As a team the Paladins have collected 39 rushing touchdowns.

Senior Murphy Reeves tops Fellowship runners with 90 carries, 1,346 yards and 19 touchdowns. Junior Josh Cole is next with 49 rushes, 506 yards and eight scores. Senior Lawson Haigler has picked up 295 yards on 30 carries with five TDs.

Senior quarterback Eli Hildbrandt had gone 33-for-52 for 643 yards and nine TDs. Haigler and sophomore Clay Shepler share the team lead with 10 catches each. Shepler's 220 reception yards tops the squad, while Haigler has gained 186 reception yards and has grabbed two TDs. Both Cole and senior Jordan Brewer have seven catches and two TD receptions.

On defense, senior Caleb McClung leads the Paladins with 27 assisted tackles and 39 total stops. Sophomore Jayven Hall's 17 solo tackles lead the team. He's second overall with 37 total stops. Senior Nathan Nardone ranks third on the team with 35 total tackles and is second with 25 assists.

Lady Paladin Varsity Basketball Team Wins Opener at AIS

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team started the 2020 season off on the right foot.

The Lady Paladins posted a 42-10 victory over non-Region Atlanta International School in Buckhead on Nov. 21.

"We played really well for a first game," head coach Troy Schulz said. "Avery Paulson played extremely well in her first varsity game. Kaya Beard was strong in the post."

Beard led the Lady Paladins with 16 points. Junior Cate Hardin and freshman Alden Hays chipped in with eight points apiece, while junior Savannah Schulz and Paulson added two points each.

Lady Paladins Tip off Season Nov. 20

The Fellowship Christian School varsity girls basketball team has already established a motto in the preseason it brings to every practice and plans to take to heart throughout the season.

"We want to 'be better today than we were yesterday' this season," head coach Troy Schulz said. "We are excited about the season. Our practices have actually been going better than I expected. We lost five seniors and we will be young. But we are making improvements and should be pretty balanced."

The Lady Paladins open the season on Nov. 20 at Atlanta International School at 5 p.m.

The Lady Paladin roster includes eight players, including a group of three juniors and three freshman who are expected to lead the team in minutes this year.

That includes junior returners Kaya Beard, Cate Hardin and Savannah Schulz, who played valuable minutes last year, and cousins Alden Hays and Avery Paulson and fellow freshman Olivia Young.

"Those three juniors will be our team captains," Schulz said. "They are the three wheels of the bus, and we are looking for that fourth wheel. Any one of those six girls could lead in scoring any night. I really like our group of freshmen too."

Beard gives FCS a strong presence under the basket.

"Kaya is very strong in the post," Beard said. "She'll have a great presence there."

Sophomore Addy Costoulas also returns to the team, and freshman Shelby Grace Sparrow is a newcomer.

"They have both worked very hard," Schulz said. "Addy could contribute a lot."

Despite being a young team, the coach expects a balanced attack this season.

"We have six or so girls who are very balanced across the board, and will get a lot of minutes," Schulz said. "Our scoring will be balanced."

The team has set the bar high in a tough Region that features three good programs: Saint Francis, Lakeview Academy and Mount Pisgah Christian School (three teams that are contenders for the Final Four).

"I believe we can finish in the top 3-4 of the Region and make the state playoffs," Schulz said. "That's a goal we have. We want to be above .500 and think 12 or 13 wins in realistic."

Saint Francis is a perennial Final Four team, Mount Pisgah is very tough to beat and region newcomer Lakeview is very talented.

"We have three top contenders for the Final Four in our Region," Schulz said. "We hope to improve every day, compete well and split [two] games with them."

In addition to a tough Region schedule, Schulz also called out The Walker School and Trion High School as being tough non-Region opponents.

Rickheim Wraps up HS Career with Seventh-Place Finish; FCS Girls Bring Home 12th Overall

The boys and girls varsity cross country squads from Fellowship Christian School competed in the GHSA Class A Private Cross County Championships held at the state meet race course in Carrollton, Ga., on Nov. 7.

The girls team took home 12th place overall, but were first among teams from the Region (Mount Pisgah, Lakeview Academy and Saint Francis) competing in the state meet.

Senior Sami Rickheim closed out her high school career with a seventh-place finish in the varsity girls race.

The boys squad finished third among teams from the Region at the meet and were 22nd overall.

"It was a challenging course," FCS head coach Tom Harrison said. "It was also a great opportunity for both our boys and girls to cap off the season with an appearance at state. It was the final high school race for two seniors -- Sophia Mahlke and Sami Rickheim. The kids showed good effort and attitude today on a challenging course."

(Photo courtesy of @PaladinsFCS)

Paladins Beat Mount Pisgah to Capture Second Straight Region Title; Fellowship Honors 17 Football Seniors

Prior to Friday's game against Mount Pisgah Christian School, the athletic department from Fellowship Christian School honored a group of 17 seniors.

Senior Night was a fitting tribute to a group of athletes who have had a major role in the team's 38-8 varsity football record over the past four seasons since falling the state championship game in December 2016. Many of the 17 have spent four years with the varsity program following successful middle school careers at FCS.

With a 63-10 victory over the Patriots, the Paladins captured their second straight Region championship and its third Region title since the 2016 season. The team equaled its single-game points record set on Oct. 23, 2020 with a 63-0 win over 7A Dunwoody High School at Bob Lord Field.

"It was so special to honor this great group of kids," head coach Al Morrell said. "They are an extremely talented and dedicated group. They work hard in the offseason, in the weight room, at practice and in games. The coaches and I could not be more proud of them. We are obviously excited about the state playoffs but this Region title is very nice. It's a testament to how hard everyone in our program works every day -- the players, the coaches and the support staff. I have said this before, but we have a great coaching staff here."

Fellowship's seniors this season include Jackson Albee, Joey Archer, Jordan Brewer, Cole Chapman, Lawson Haigler, Eli Hildebrandt, Cade Kammerer, Caleb McClung, Josh McLaughlin, Nathan Nardone, Brady Niblock, Charlie Patterson, Murphy Reeves, Reid Robinson, Brad Rodgers, Matt Rodgers and Michael Washburne.

Friday night's game started out like several games have this season.

Reeves, Fellowship's all-time leading rusher, took the pitch on the first play from scrimmage, broke a tackle and raced into the end zone for a long TD run (61 yards this time). Matt Rodgers kicked the first of eight straight extra points to give the Paladins an early lead.

Fellowship went on to score four more touchdowns in the first quarter and three times in the second on the way to a 56-3 halftime lead. Fellowship improved to 9-0 overall and 4-0 in Region games.

"Our offense was terrific," Morrell said. "The line and backs blocked well, and our guys run hard. They make plays. It was also nice to see us convert a turnover for a score and have some key passes. Overall, it was a very good effort from our team."

Now the Paladins will have to wait for their next opponent. The GHSA Class A Private School Championships kick off on Nov. 27. There aren't any first-round byes this season.

On Nov. 6, Reeves scored on touchdown runs from 61, three and 46 yards, while Haigler added a 5-yard TD run, sophomore Jayven Hall returned a fumble 50 yards for a score, Hildebrandt connected with Brewer on a TD pass play from midfield, Hildebrandt scrambled for a 7-yard touchdown run, junior Josh Cole collected a 45-yard TD run and Matt Rodgers' 1-yard plunge closed out the scoring.

Kammerer recovered a fumble to set up the drive that Reeves capped with his second TD run.

In the first quarter, Reeves scored twice, Haigler once, Hall once and Brewer grabbed a TD pass.

Hildebrandt and Reeves added TD runs in the second quarter to give FCS a 49-0 lead. Following a 35-yard field goal from the Patriots with 35 second left in the first half, Cole broke a couple of tackles on a sprint to the end zone with 19.7 seconds left in the half.

Rodgers scored from two yards out and freshman Nathan Chapman kicked the extra point to help Fellowship tie the single-game points record with about four minutes left in the third quarter.

Mount Pisgah added a 1-yard TD run with 6:29 to play. The Patriots are now 4-4 overall, which includes a 1-1 Region mark.

With the win over Mount Pisgah, the Paladins have topped 40 points in a game seven times this season. It was also marked the sixth time of the season that Fellowship has allowed 13 or fewer points in a game.

The Paladins are now 9-7 all-time in varsity football against the Patriots.

Fellowship out gained the Patriots, 453-119 in the game, marking Fellowship's sixth straight game of over 400 yards. That included a 398-26 advantage on the ground.

Reeves topped the Paladins with 196 yards on 10 carries, while Cole added 111 yards on six attempts. Brewer caught two passes for 55 yards.

Washburne led the Paladin defense with five assisted tackles and seven total stops, while Cole (two solo, three assists), Hall (two solo, three assists), McClung (two solo, three assists) and sophomore Kyle Elphick (one tackle, four assists) all registered five total stops. Haigler and McClung each recorded a sack.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

FCS Boys and Girls Teams Prepare for GHSA Class A Private School Cross Country Meet

The boys and girls varsity cross country squads from Fellowship Christian School will compete in Saturday's GHSA Class A Private School Cross County Championships being held at the Carrollton State Meet Course (Nov. 7).

Head coach Tom Harrison answered some questions about the meet. The boys race begins at 9:30 a.m., and the girls race begins at 10:15 a.m.

What are the secrets to success for boys and girls this year?

Harrison: As the season progressed and our kids competed in their meets from week to week, they increasingly learned the tactic of running together as a pack – 4 or 5 of our athletes running together, limiting the gaps between them and runners from other teams, which impacts the overall scoring for the team. Pacing each other through portions of the course, and then finishing the race relatively close to each other has been instrumental in our teams' overall success this season.

What are your expectations for boys and girls on Saturday?

Harrison: I expect that they will enjoy the fruits of their labors – the hard work they put into the season which enabled them to get to the State competition. If they come together in this race to work together as a team, I think they have a chance to finish their season well.

What are the keys to race for Fellowship?

Harrison: Cross Country at Fellowship is "come as you are" – there are not any tryouts for the team. Generally speaking, the main criteria that determines an athlete's position on a Varsity or JV squad is the 5K time they produce at each meet. A runner's performance in one race, would impact which team he runs on in the next race.

Is the team prepared for such a tough field?

Harrison: With 1A private schools from all over Georgia participating, the state meet provides a competitive venue for our runners. Some members of our girls team have run this race before, while this will be the first time for our boys. Each member of the squad is looking forward to the challenge of running this race. As they realize the opportunity to run at the state level and accept the challenge provided by the opportunity, I feel confident that our athletes will prepared to put in a great effort.

What have this year's seniors meant to the program?

Harrison: We had 10 seniors begin this season with us in the fall, although not all were able to complete the season because of injury, etc. Most have been with the team for one, two or three years, while a few pushed through all four years. Our seniors this year are: Andy Chapman, Ryan Johnson, Lincoln Ledet, Sophia Mahlke, Cam Miller, Ace Montgomery, Colin Omonhundro, Owen Reedy, Sami Rickheim and Sabrina Smith. Team captains this year were Cam Miller and Sophia Mahlke. Any time you have athletes participate and then return for the next season as many of our seniors have done, helps grow the team and the program.

Week 9 Preview: Region Title on Line for Paladins in Senior Night Game against Mount Pisgah

The stakes are high for the Fellowship Christian School varsity football team on Friday night.

The Paladins host Region rival Mount Pisgah Christian School at Bob Lord Field on Nov. 6 with its second straight Region championship and third in the last five years on the line. The FCS squad captured the Region 6-A championship in 2016 and 2019.

Fellowship improved to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in Region games with a 49-13 road win at King's Ridge Christian School on Oct. 30.

"It will be a huge game for us," said Morrell, now 64-25 as FCS head coach. "We have taken it one game at a time this year, which has put us in a position to win the Region championship. But it won't be easy. Mount Pisgah is very much an improved team from last year, and they have plenty of talent. It will be a very tough football game for us. It will be exciting to honor this terrific group of seniors that have meant so much to our program."

The Patriots enter the game with a 4-3 overall record, which includes a 1-0 Region mark and a 1-2 road record. Mount Pisgah is on a two-game win streak, including a 31-15 win over Lakeview Academy on Oct. 30 and a 35-14 victory over Chamblee High School on Oct. 23.

In the victory at King's Ridge, the Paladins topped 40 points in a game for the sixth time this season. It was also the fifth time of the season that Fellowship has allowed 13 or fewer points in a game.

Fellowship out gained the Tigers, 430-11 in the game, marking Fellowship's fifth straight game of over 400 yards.

FCS quarterbacks threw for 149 yards and the team gained 281 yards on the ground at King's Ridge. The Tigers earned 110 rushing yards and threw for seven yards.

Through eight games, the Paladins have picked up 3,072 yards compared to 1,236 for their opponents. On the ground, it's a 2,317 to 481 advantage.

Senior Murphy Reeves, Fellowship's all-time rushing leader, tops the squad this year with 1,150 yards, 80 carries and 16 touchdowns. Junior Josh Cole is next on the team with 43 carries, 395 yards and seven scores.

Eli Hildebrandt, a senior quarterback, has completed 32-of-51 pass attempts for 593 yards and eight scores. Both senior Lawson Haigler and sophomore Clay Shepler have 10 catches to share the team lead.

On the defensive side of the ball, senior Caleb McClung tops the squad with 34 tackles and shares first with 24 assisted stops.

Senior Nathan Nardone (eight solo tackles, 24 assists) and sophomore Jayven Hall (15 solo stops, 17 assisted tackles) have registered 32 tackles apiece. Hall leads the team in solo tackles.

Fellowship is 8-7 all-time in varsity football against the Patriots.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

FCS Senior Reeves Rushes for 4 Scores to Lead Paladins to Eighth Straight Win; 49-13 at KR

Murphy Reeves set another Fellowship Christian School football record on Friday night.

On Oct. 30, the senior running back scored four rushing touchdowns to lead the Paladins to a 49-13 road win at King's Ridge Christian School in a Region contest. Reeves, already the school's leading rusher for yardage (4,534), carries (452), and rushing touchdowns (53), is now the school's all-time leading overall touchdown leader with 54. Former Fellowship quarterback Jack Hardin recorded 52 total touchdowns during his Paladin career.

"Murphy has been a steady catalyst for our offense for three years," head coach Al Morrell said. "The coaches and I are very proud of him. He has worked so hard to get where he is today. He brings speed, physical play and dedication to every game and practice."

The Paladins improved to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in Region games with the road win. The team hosts Mount Pisgah Christian School at Bob Lord Field with its second straight Region title on the line.

"It will be a huge game for us," said Morrell, now 64-25 as FCS head coach. "We have taken it week to week, and one game at a time this year. We played well against King's Ridge, which has set up for this big game next week. Our offensive and defensive lines set the tone for us and played great. The coaches and I are proud of this team. They are a great group of kids."

The Paladin offense came out flying once again. Senior Eli Hildebrandt connected with senior tight end Brady Niblock on the game's third play from scrimmage for a 38-yard score. Senior Matt Rodgers kicked the first of seven straight extra points to give FCS the 7-0 lead.

Junior Josh Cole scored from two yards out at 8:20, and Reeves scored on a nifty 67-yard run to help Fellowship open up a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Paladins would go on to score three more touchdowns in the second quarter, including a 13-yard run from Reeves at 2:18. That possession was set up by senior Jordan Brewer's interception.

FCS scored twice more before halftime.

Reeves burst into the end zone from three yards out at 7:51, and sophomore Caleb McMickle connected with senior Lawson Haigler on a 12-yard pass play at 2:59.

Each team scored a touchdown in the second half. Reeves wrapped up his stellar night with a 1-yard plunge to give FCS a 49-6 lead in the third quarter

The Tigers, which had a pair of field goals from Logan Hewlett on the night, scored their lone touchdown in the fourth quarter on a two-yard run.

Friday's game marked the sixth time the Paladin offense topped 40 points in a game. It was also the fifth time of the season that Fellowship has allowed 13 or fewer points in a game.

Fellowship out gained the Tigers, 430-11 in the game, marking Fellowship's fifth straight game of over 400 yards.

FCS quarterbacks threw for 149 yards and the team gained 281 yards on the ground. King's Ridge earned 110 rushing yards and threw for seven yards. The Paladins earned 19 first downs to eight for the Tigers.

Reeves collected 165 yards on 13 attempts, while Haigler picked up 43 yards on three rushes and Cole gained 43 yards on six carries.

Hildebrandt completed 7-of-8 pass attempts for 135 yards, while McMickle threw for 14 yards. Sophomore Clay Shepler led the with 60 reception yards on two catches, while senior Josh McLaughlin made two grabs for 19 yards and Haigler had two catches for 14 yards (including one TD catch). Niblock's lone catch went for 38 yards and a score.

As a defense, the Paladins made a combined seven tackles for a loss. Sophomore Jayven Hall (four solo, three assists) led the FCS defense with seven tackles.

Senior Nathan Nardone (two solo, four assists) and Haigler (four solo, two assists) made six total tackles apiece. Niblock recorded a fumble recovery, and Brewer had an interception.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

FCS Varsity Football Team Returns to Region Play with Contest at King's Ridge on Friday Night

As the regular season winds down, the varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School enters a stretch of consecutive Region games.

The Paladins (2-0 in Region games and 7-0 overall) travel to Alpharetta to take on King's Ridge Christian School on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. The Tigers enter the contest with a 0-1 Region record and a 2-2 overall mark, including losses in their last two contests (14-6 at Lakeview Academy on Oct. 23 and 27-0 at The Darlington School on Oct. 9).

"They are a much improved football team," head coach Al Morrell said. "They have a new coach [Terry Crowder], and they run the same offense we do. We are excited to play them and have another game on Friday night."

The keys for the Fellowship squad will be to play smart defensively and execute on offense, according to Morrell (now 63-25 at FCS).

"With the Wing T, you need to read the keys and be disciplined," Morrell said. "We run it, so we know how to defend it. On offense, we'll have to guess how they'll line up [on defense] and block well."

So far this season, the Paladins have out gained opponents 2,647 to 1,119 (including a 2,041 to 371 advantage on the ground with 27 touchdowns).

FCS' all-time leading rusher is senior Murphy Reeves, who tops the team with 68 carries, 989 yards and 12 TDs this year.

Junior Josh Cole ranks second on the team with 357 yards on 37 rushing attempts with six scores. Senior Lawson Haigler is third on the Paladin squad with 24 rushes and 237 yards. He's scored four rushing TDs.

Senior quarterback Eli Hildebrandt has completed 27-of-45 pass attempts for 477 yards and seven touchdowns. Haigler tops the team with 182 reception yards and shares first with eight catches. Sophomore Clay Shepler has also grabbed eight passes and has 160 reception yards, while Cole has hauled in six passes for 160 yards. Senior Josh McLaughlin leads the team with three touchdowns catches.

The Paladin defense has allowed just seven points over the past four games on the field, including three shutouts.

Senior Caleb McClung has registered 20 assisted tackles and 29 total stops that lead the team. Cole is next with 27 tackles, including a team-high 12 solo stops. Both senior Nathan Nardone (six solo tackles, 19 assists) and sophomore Jayven Hall (11 solo tackles, 14 assists) have recorded 25 tackles.

"We're a senior-led team," Morrell said. "They have experience and give us really good team chemistry. We have a great coaching staff, including two terrific coordinators. Right now we are clicking."

The Paladins are slated to host Mount Pisgah Christian School on senior night on Nov. 6 at Bob Lord Field.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Historic Victory: Paladin Football Team Sets School Records in Homecoming Win over 7A Dunwoody High School

Offense has grabbed a good share of the headlines for the varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School this season, but the defense has been rock solid.

Over the past four games, the Paladin defense has allowed just seven points and has posted three shutouts. The latest shutout came during a school-record 63-0 Homecoming victory over 7A Dunwoody High School at Bob Lord Field on Oct. 23.

The victory marks the first time a Fellowship team has played and beaten a 7A school in varsity football, and is the most points scored in a varsity football game in school history. On Oct. 9, the Paladins set the previous record with a 58-7 win at Saint Francis.

Last week, FCS (7-0 overall) notched a 13-0 forfeit win over Region foe Lakeview Academy. So the team was eager to get on the field for the annual Homecoming Night contest.

Against the Wildcats, the Paladin defense allowed just 114 yards, blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown and returned another interception for a score.

"It was a great win," head coach Al Morrell said. "It was a team effort. Our defense was outstanding, and the offense was terrific. The kids know it's a blessing to play football on Friday nights. The coaches and I have been proud of their focus all season long. They prepare well for their opponent, no matter the school or its size. It's quite an accomplishment to beat a bigger school."

The Paladins (2-0 in Region games) face two Region opponents in their next two games, including a road game at King's Ridge Christian School on Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Fellowship hosts Mount Pisgah Christian School on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in a Senior Night contest. The squad wraps up the regular season with a home game against 6A Alcovy High School of Covington on Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m.

On Friday night, FCS jumped out to a 35-0 lead over the Wildcats in the first quarter.

Senior Murphy Reeves, who gained 190 yards on six carries, scored on runs of 58 and 66 yards on drives to start and end the quarter. He helped the Paladins gain a season-high 420 yards on the ground. The team picked up 475 total yards – it's second-highest single-game total of 2020.

In between Reeves' career rushing touchdowns 48 and 49, senior Lawson Haigler scored on four-yard TD run at 7:10 of the first quarter, senior Nathan Nardone returned an interception 20 yards for a score at 6:36 and junior Garrett Wagner scored from three yards out on a run with 1:30 left.

Junior Josh Cole scored the lone touchdown of the second quarter from 15 yards out. Senior kicked Matt Rodgers booted six straight extra points in the first half as FCS opened up a 42-0 lead.

Cole's second score came on a seven-yard run with 6:40 left in the third quarter. Rodgers tacked on another extra point.

Just a few minutes later, Haigler scored his second TD of the game. This time he blocked a field-goal attempt, scooped up the ball and sprinted 65 yards to the end zone. Rodgers finished the day seven-for-seven in extra-point kicks to give FCS a 56-0 advantage.

Haigler led FCS with five assisted tackles and eight total stops against Dunwoody. Sophomore Jayven Hall (three solo tackles, two assists) and senior Joey Archer (two solo tackles, three assists) each record five total stops. Senior Brad Rodgers and sophomore William Jaroszewski each recovered a fumble.

Sophomore Nick Persiano closed out the scoring on a 9-yard TD run with 8:19 to play. Freshman Nathan Chapman converted his first varsity extra-point kick.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Fellowship entered the game against Dunwoody allowing the second fewest points a game (11.2) than any other team than Athens Academy (8.3). Athens dropped a 41-0 decision at Prince Avenue Christian on Oct. 23.

With the win, Morrell improved his record as Fellowship head coach to 63-25.

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Champions: Paladins Capture Metro 10 League Championship for Second Time; Fifth Title Overall

The fifth and sixth grade football team from Fellowship Christian School has captured the Metro 10 League Championship for the second time.

FCS defeated Whitefield Academy, 32-16, on the road on Oct. 22.

It was the fifth title for the fifth and sixth grade football team from Fellowship, including the 2016 Metro 10 League Championship, the Fifth- and Sixth-Grade Football League Championship in 2014, and AMFL titles in 2009 and 2010.

The Paladins improved to 6-2 overall this season with the win. The club won three straight games to finish the season, and five out of its last six contests overall.

"I could not be more proud of the entire team that has worked tirelessly to achieve their goals," head coach Scott McMickle said. "I expect this team to win many more championships."

The WolfPack entered the game undefeated.

Davis Ferguson threw for approximately 300 yards and four touchdowns, on a 50-yard TD pass to Walker Waggoner with 5:25 to play. Fellowship tacked on the two-point conversion following that score to take a 32-16 lead.

Jackson Thrasher led a host of receivers with almost 200 yards and two touchdowns.

(Photos from @PaladinsFCS)