Varsity girls, JV boys take first place at Region Cross-Country Meet; Varsity boys and girls teams headed to State Meet

The Fellowship Christian School cross country program had a great day.

At the Region meet held Oct. 26 at Allatoona Creek Park in Acworth, the varsity girls and JV boys teams both placed first. And the varsity boys team brought home second in the team competition.

The varsity boys and girls teams will both compete at the state meet. It's being held on Saturday, Nov. 6 at the state meet course in Carrollton. The races begin at 11 a.m.

(Photos by Leigh-Ann Thompson)

Boys MS Tennis Team beats King's Ridge to Improve to 2-0

The boys middle school tennis team has improved to 2-0 to begin the 2021 season.

The boys and girls teams both hosted King's Ridge Christian School at Paladin Park in their second matches of the season.

The boys team posted a 3-2 win, while the girls fought hard in a 2-3 loss.

The Lady Paladins are1-1 overall, and the boys 2-0.

Paladins Post 45-28 Victory Over Mount Pisgah to Complete Delayed Game, Notch Eighth Victory of Season, Cap 4-0 Region Campaign

Tonight's game was well worth the wait for the Paladins.

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School wrapped up a 45-28 victory at Mount Pisgah Christian School on Oct. 25 to complete a game delayed at halftime on Oct. 22 due to an issue with stadium the lights at the Patriots' sports complex in Johns Creek.

The win gave the Paladins their third straight Region title and the fifth football Region championship in school history. The varsity Paladin football team has now won Region championships in 2021, 2020, 2019, 2016 and 2007.

"It was extremely strange," head coach Tim McFarlin said about playing one half on Friday and one on Monday. "It was a challenge to get ready for tonight. We talked about how to handle it, and we wanted to establish our routine. There was a sense of urgency from the boys. [The credit] belongs to the boys. Football is about the horses and not the wagon. It's all about the kids. They earned this."

Fellowship improved to 4-0 in Region games and 8-1 overall with the victory over the Patriots. Since a road loss at Trinity Christian School in the season's second game, FCS has won seven straight contests. This season, Mount Pisgah is 1-1 in Region games but has two Region contests left: a game at King's Ridge on Oct. 29 and another game against Saint Francis at home on Nov. 5. King's Ridge is 1-3, Lakeview Academy 0-3 and Saint Francis is 1-1 in Region games.

On the first drive of the second half on Oct. 25, the Paladins scored quickly to open up a 10-point cushion. Sophomore Josh Milhollin hauled in a 14-yard TD pass from junior Caleb McMickle at 10:42. Sophomore Nathan Chapman kicked the fifth out of seven extra-points for the game. McMickle threw for more than 100 yards in the game. Junior Nick Persiano, who collected 164 yards and three touchdowns in the game, notched a 37-yard run to open the 52-yard, five-play drive.

Later in the third quarter, Persiano scored from 3 yards out to end a 40-yard drive. That score and kick made the score 38-21 with 2:13 left.

At 9:34 of the fourth quarter the Patriots cut the FCS lead to 10 points – 38-28 – with a rushing TD and extra-point kick.

Persiano's third TD came with 5:45 to play from 13 yards out as Persiano quickly got outside and reached the end zone. Senior Garrett Wagner, who had 122 yards in the game, had a key 18-yard pickup on the ground to start the long drive.

Over the final four series of the game, the Paladins stopped the Patriots on fourth down twice, and Mount Pisgah stopped FCS once on fourth down. The Paladins ran out the clock on the final possession to improve to a 10-7 all-time record over the Patriots in varsity football.

At Mount Pisgah on Oct. 22, Chapman's 29-yard field goal put the Paladins up 24-21 as the horn sounded to end the first half. It capped a 54-yard drive that began as senior Josh Cole scooped up a Patriots fumble with 1:14 to play. The Paladins were driving right to left when some of the lights went out at the stadium and then officials reversed the field, so FCS headed left to right for the drive's final few plays.

The Paladins scored on three out of five possessions in the first half and led 14-7 after the first quarter.

Persiano's 39-yard TD run on FCS' first possession got the team on the board at 8:57. Chapman booted the first of three extra-point kicks in the first half to give FCS a 7-0 lead.

The Patriots answered with a 1-yard TD plunge with 5:02 left to end a 67-yard drive and tied the game on the extra-point kick.

The Paladins went back ahead 14-7 with a long TD pass play. McMickle connected with junior Kyle Elphick on a pass over the middle that went for 53 yards and a score with 1:51 left in the opening quarter.

Mount Pisgah tied the game on the game's next drive.

Freshman Evan Haynes returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards and the Paladins marched down the field to take a 21-14 lead on a three-play, 65-yard drive. Wagner got outside and sprinted to the end zone for a 10-yard TD run with 8:01 left in the second quarter. Wagner's 43-yard run on a sweep set up 1st-and-goal from the 10.

But the lead didn't last long as Mount Pisgah tied it on an 18-yard touchdown pass play with 5:40 left in the half.

Overall, FCS is 54-52 all-time in Region football contests, and 112-85 overall in varsity football.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Stadium Light Issue Delays Completion of FCS-Mount Pisgah Contest; Second Half to Be Played Monday, Oct. 25 with FCS Leading 24-21

The Paladins quest for its third straight Region title has been delayed.

Friday's Region match-up between the Fellowship Christian School and rival Mount Pisgah Christian School was called at halftime with the Paladins leading 24-21 due to an issue with the stadium lights in Johns Creek. The game will be resumed at the start of the second half at Mount Pisgah on Monday, Oct. 25 at 5:30 p.m. with FCS holding a three-point lead.

With a win, FCS can notch its third straight Region title and the fifth in school history. Paladin varsity football teams have won Region championships in 2020, 2019, 2016 and 2007. This contest is FCS' fourth Region game of the year. The Paladins are 3-0 in Region games and 7-1 overall. Since a road loss at Trinity Christian School in the season's second game, FCS has won six straight contests.

This season, Mount Pisgah is 1-0 in Region games but has three Region contests left – FCS, at King's Ridge on Oct. 29 and against Saint Francis at home on Nov. 5.

A win over the Patriots will assure the Paladins of an unbeaten Region record and the title. Lakeview is 0-3 in Region games this season, while King's Ridge is 1-3 and Saint Francis is 1-1. The Knights defeated KR, 30-7, at home on Oct 22.

At Mount Pisgah, sophomore Nathan Chapman's 29-yard field goal put the Paladins up 24-21 as the horn sounded to end the first half. It capped a 54-yard drive that began as senior Josh Cole scooped up a Patriots fumble with 1:14 to play. The Paladins were driving right to left when some of the lights went out at the stadium and then officials reversed the field, so FCS headed left to right for the drive's final few plays.

The Paladins scored on three out of five possessions in the first half and led 14-7 after the first quarter.

Junior Nick Persiano's 39-yard TD run on FCS' first possession got the team on the board at 8:57. Chapman booted the first of three extra-point kicks to give FCS a 7-0 lead.

The Patriots answered with a 1-yard TD plunge with 5:02 left to end a 67-yard drive and tied the game on the extra-point kick.

The Paladins went back ahead 14-7 with a long TD pass play. Quarterback Caleb McMickle connected with fellow junior Kyle Elphick on a pass over the middle that went for 53 yards and a score with 1:51 left in the opening quarter.

Mount Pisgah tied the game on the game's next drive.

Freshman Evan Haynes returned the ensuing kickoff 30 yards and the Paladins marched down the field to take a 21-14 lead on a three-play, 65-yard drive. Senior Garrett Wagner got outside and sprinted to the end zone for a 10-yard TD run with 8:01 left in the second quarter. Wagner's 43-yard run on a sweep set up 1st-and-goal from the 10.

But the lead didn't last long as Mount Pisgah tied it on an 18-yard touchdown pass play with 5:40 left in the half.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

JV Football Paladins Improve to 5-1 with 22-8 win at 3A Gilmer County

The win streak continued for the JV football team from Fellowship Christian School.

Sophomore tight end Christian Easterly grabbed two TD passes as Fellowship posted a 22-8 win over 3A Gilmer High School in Jasper on Oct. 21. It was the last game of the season for the FCS squad.

It was the third straight win for the Paladins.

Fellowship improved to 5-1 overall with the victory.

Lady Paladins Fall in Volleyball Playoff Match at Tallulah Falls School

The Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team's season has ended in the state playoffs.

The Lady Paladins fought hard in a first-round match of the GHSA Class A Private Volleyball Championships at Tallulah Falls School in Tallulah Falls on Oct. 20. Fellowship lost 0-3 in the best-of-five match. The Lady Paladins dropped the first set, 20-25, and battled to the end in the second set, 26-28. Tallulah Falls took the third set, 25-12.

With the loss, the Fellowship team ended the season 18-17 overall.

The Lady Indians are the second seed from Region 8, while FCS was the No. 3 seed from Region 6.

It was FCS' eighth consecutive trip to the state playoffs.

Paladins Visit Mount Pisgah with Region Title on the Line

It's the biggest matchup of the year for the Paladins.

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School faces long-time rival Mount Pisgah Christian School in Johns Creek on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. with the Region title up for grabs. With a win, FCS can notch its third straight Region title and the fifth in school history. Paladin varsity football teams have won Region championships in 2020, 2019, 2016 and 2007.

The Mount Pisgah Christian School contest is FCS' fourth Region game of the year. The Paladins are 3-0 in Region games and 7-1 overall. Since a road loss at Trinity Christian School in the season's second game, FCS has won six straight contests. The Paladins are coming off a 31-7 Homecoming victory over King's Ridge Christian School.

But to head coach Tim McFarlin this game is really like any other regular-season contest.

"It is just another game for us," McFarlin said. "We won't get caught up in all that [talk about a Region title]. Our team continues to grow and get better each week. They are a solid team. But we have to continue to do the things we have done to get into this position. As every week, we focus on us."

On Oct. 15, the Patriots beat Lakeview Academy, 35-6, in their Homecoming Game to improve to 4-3 overall. This season, Mount Pisgah is 1-0 in Region games but has three Region contests left – FCS, at King's Ridge on Oct. 29 and against Saint Francis at home on Nov. 5.

A win over the Patriots will assure the Paladins of an unbeaten Region record and the title. Entering Friday's games, Lakeview is 0-3 in Region games, King's Ridge is 1-2 and Saint Francis is 0-1.

Fellowship is now 9-7 all-time in varsity football against the Patriots, including a 63-10 Senior Night win last fall. Overall, FCS is 53-52 all-time in Region football contests, and 111-85 overall in varsity football.

This season, the Paladins have shown good balance on offense with 1,256 passing yards and 1,180 rushing yards.

Junior Caleb McMickle has completed 68-of-108 pass attempts for 1,216 yards and 13 touchdowns. He's been intercepted twice and has been sacked just five times. His top target has been sophomore Josh Milhollin, who has 28 catches and 536 yards to go with three TD grabs.

Senior Josh Cole has made nine catches for 185 yards, while junior Kyle Elphick has hauled in eight passes for 173 yards. They share the team lead with four touchdown catches each.

Nick Persiano, a junior, leads the way 76 carries, 13 TD runs and 465 yards. Sophomore Noah Falcon has earned 228 yards on 53 attempts.

Cole tops the squad on defense with 67 tackles, 30 solo stops, 37 assists and seven tackles for a loss. Elphick is next with 37 tackles (13 solo, 24 assists).

Six different Paladin defenders have recorded one interception this year.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Boys and girls MS Tennis Teams Beat Pinecrest to Kick Off 2021 Season

The boys and girls middle school tennis squad from Fellowship Christian School have started the season off on a winning note.

Both teams opened the season against Metro 10 League rival Pinecrest Academy at Paladin Park on Oct. 19 win a win.

The boys team from FCS posted a 4-1 victory. The girls won 3-2.

Solid Ground Game Carries Paladins Past KR on Homecoming Night

A balanced run game was the catalyst in Friday night's victory for the varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School.

Of course, another good defensive effort helped too.

The Paladins had three rushing touchdowns and the defense limited King's Ridge Christian School to one second-quarter TD on the way to a 31-7 Region win over the Tigers on Homecoming Night at Bob Lord Field.

It was FCS' sixth straight victory and the team improved to 3-0 in Region games. Overall, the club is now 7-1 and is tied for fifth in the Class A Private rankings released this week by Georgia High School Football Daily.

"This team continues to get better every week and rose to the challenge," head coach Tim McFarlin said. "Our ground game was very important to the outcome tonight. And our defense continues to play well. They have allowed just 14 points over the past four games."

In a scoreless first quarter, the Tigers punted twice, FCS punted once, and sophomore Nathan Chapman missed a 39-yard field goal attempt with 3:11 left.

But four minutes into the second quarter, junior Nick Persiano capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive on a 2-yard TD plunge. Chapman kicked the first of four consecutive extra points to give Fellowship the 7-0 lead.

That drive featured a long pass over the middle from junior quarterback Caleb McMickle to sophomore wide out Josh Milhollin that went for 43 yards on 3rd-and-9. Following a 9-yard gain on a catch by senior Josh Cole from McMickle on the next play, Persiano found the end zone.

Persiano led the Paladins with 93 yards on 10 carries. Senior Garrett Wagner rushed twice for 77 yards – both for scores. Sophomore Billy Jackson earned 44 yards on two carries, while sophomore Noah Falcon finished with 28 yards on four attempts.

As a team, the Paladins out gained the Tigers, 387-166. The FCS defense forced six punts, and a pair of King's Ridge drives ended as the horn sounded to end the first half and the game.

The Tigers' answered Persiano's touchdown with a score and extra-point of their own to tie the game at 7-7 with 47 seconds left in the half. Ethan Joseph scored on a 3rd-and-goal play from the 3-yard-line to end an 80-yard drive for the Tigers.

But the Paladins jumped back out on top for good with another touchdown. Wagner bounced outside and sprinted down the right sidelines on a first-down play with 23.3 seconds left in the half. Fellowship led 14-7.

Wagner scored again on the opening drive of the second half. This time the senior fought his way into the end zone from 5 yards out to end a four-play, 80-yard drive. Persiano picked up 60 yards on the drive's second play, and Falcon added 17 on the run prior to Wagner's second TD.

Following another KR punt, McMickle connected with Cole on a TD pass play on 1st-and-15 from the Tiger 22-yard-yard line with 6:05 left in the third. It was a five-play 40-yard drive set up by junior Clay Shepler's 11-yard punt return that took the ball into Tiger territory.

The Paladins scored on their fifth straight possession as Chapman booted a 46-yard field goal with 2:54 left in the third quarter. That kick gave FCS a 31-7 lead. The key play in the 28-yard drive was Shepler's catch and face mark penalty that went for 18 yards. Persiano's apparent 25-yard TD run was called back on a Fellowship holding penalty.

McMickle went 6-for-12 is pass attempts for 129 yards and one score. Sophomore Josh Milhollin grabbed two passes for 60 yards, while Shepler had two catches for 39 yards and Cole made two catches for 30 yards.

It was a scoreless fourth quarter.

Following a punt, the Paladins ran out most of the fourth quarter clock on a nine-play, 60-yard drive that featured nine runs. Freshman Charles Sharp was stopped short on a 4th-and-4 play from the Tiger 33-yard-line to end the drive with 1:51 to go.

Cole led the Paladins with eight assisted stops and 12 total tackles, while junior Kyle Elphick registered nine tackles (four solo, five assists) and Wagner led the team with five solo stops and had eight tackles overall.

Entering the King's Ridge game, Fellowship had allowed just seven points in three straight victories – 37-0 over 5A Clarkston High School at Bob Lord Field on Oct. 8, 45-0 at Lakeview Academy on Oct. 1 and 40-7 over Saint Francis on Sept. 24.

The Paladins have posted a 9-3 all-time record against the Tigers in varsity football.

Fellowship travels to Johns Creek to face Mount Pisgah Christian School in a Region game on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m. The Patriots beat Lakeview Academy, 35-6, in their Homecoming Game on Oct. 15 to improve to 4-3 overall.

Following a bye week, Fellowship travels to Mableton to face non-Region opponent Whitefield Academy.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Third-Place Finish: Lady Paladins Defeat Saint Francis in Region 6 Tournament; Thom Named Region Coach of the Year and Amason Named Region Defensive Player of the Year

Amason, Duncan, Goch and Rhodes named to All-Region Team

The Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team has wrapped up third place in Region 6.

On Oct. 14, the Lady Paladins posted a 3-1 win over Saint Francis in the best-of-five Third-Place Region 6 Match held at Paladin Gym. The Lady Knights posted a 30-28 in the first set before FCS won the next three sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-31).

FCS has earned a No. 3 seed in the GHSA Class A Private School Volleyball Championships, which begin next week.

With the win, FCS improved to 18-16 overall. The team has won five out of its last six matches, and six out of the last eight.

Following the contest, FCS head coach Samantha Thom was named Region Coach of the Year.

Junior Lydia Amason was named Region Defensive Player of the Year, while Amason, juniors Alicia Rhodes and Summer Goch, and senior Emma Duncan were all named to the All-Region Team.

(Submitted pictures)

Girls Bring Home First Place at Mill Springs Cross Country Event

The girls middle school cross country squad from Fellowship Christian School notched first place in the team competition of the meet hosted by Mill Springs Academy in Alpharetta to finish the season.

On Oct. 14, the girls team claimed first at Mill Springs.

The boys team placed third, narrowly missing second by a couple of points.

(Photo by Cheryl Wade)

Lady Paladins Fall to Mount Pisgah in Second Round of Region Volleyball Tournament

The Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team fought hard but came up just a little bit short.

In the second round of the Area 6 Tournament, the Lady Paladins fell in four sets to Mount Pisgah Christian School in a best-of-five match played at Paladin Gym on Oct. 13.

The Lady Patriots won the first two sets, 25-21 and 25-22, before Fellowship rallied to claim the third set, 25-19. Mount Pisgah won the match with a fourth-set victory, 25-11.

The Lady Patriots face Mt. Bethel in the championship game at Mt. Bethel, beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 14. Fellowship hosts that match at Paladin Gym.

The Lady Paladins (17-16 overall) face Saint Francis in the third-place match on Oct. 14 at home at 7 p.m.

Lady Paladins Capture Metro 10 League Cross-Country Championship

The girls middle school cross country squad from Fellowship Christian School captured the Metro 10 League Championship.

The Metro League 10 Championships were held on Oct. 12 at Allatoona Creek Park in Acworth.

"Our girls team had a phenomenal race today and brought home the Metro 10 Championship," head coach Holly Quinn said. "Beyond winning the Region as a team, our girls individually had an incredible showing as they gave it their all and accomplished many goals and had great PRs."

The Fellowship boys team also had a great meet.

"Our boys team had a fantastic race with almost all the boys setting new PRs," Quinn said.

Week 8 Preview: FCS to Host King's Ridge Christian School on Homecoming Night

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School defense has been on a roll lately.

Over the past three games, Fellowship has allowed just seven points in three victories – 37-0 over 5A Clarkston High School at Bob Lord Field on Oct. 8, 45-0 at Lakeview Academy on Oct. 1 and 40-7 over Saint Francis on Sept. 24.

The Paladins enter Friday night's Homecoming Game (Oct. 15) against King's Ridge Christian School with a 6-1 record and a 2-0 mark in Region games. The Region contest begins at 7:30 p.m. at Bob Lord Field.

The Tigers are 3-3 overall, including a 1-1 Region mark, and have outscored their opponents 162-104 this season.

"Our toughest games are ahead of us," head coach Tim McFarlin said. "And it starts Friday. They are a well-coached team led by Terry Crowder, an old friend of mine. They are pretty good this year ... much improved from recent years. This game will be a good test for us. We have to slow them down as they have multiple weapons. We also have to have a good run game, which helps our pass game."

The Paladins have posted an 8-3 all-time record against the Tigers in varsity football.

FCS has scored 251 points this year and allowed 118 points. The team has outgained its opponents 2,029 yards to 1,440. That includes a 1,127-768-yardage advantage in passing, and 922-672 in rushing.

Junior Caleb McMickle has completed 62-of-96 pass attempts for 1,087 yards and 12 touchdowns. He's been intercepted twice and has been sacked just four times this season. McMickle has collected one rushing touchdown.

Sophomore Josh Milhollin leads the Paladins with 26 catches and 476 reception yards. He's grabbed three TD passes. Junior Kyle Elphick tops the team with four receiving touchdowns. The tight end has collected eight catches for 173 yards overall. Senior Josh Cole is third on the club with seven catches and 145 reception yards. He shares second on the team with Milhollin with three TD grabs. Senior Sam Albee has caught five passes for 93 yards and one TD.

Junior Nick Persiano leads Fellowship runners with 66 carries, 372 yards and 12 touchdowns. Sophomore Noah Falcon is next on the club with 49 attempts and 200 yards. Senior Garrett Wagner is third on the squad with three rushing touchdowns. He's run nine times for 96 yards. Cole has 42 carries for 185 yards and two scores.

Cole tops the Paladin defense with 55 total tackles, 26 solo stops, 29 assists, seven tackles for loss and two sacks. Elphick ranks second on the team with 19 assists and 28 total stops and is tied for fourth with nine solo tackles.

Junior Jonathan Long has made 27 tackles to rank third on the team. He and Albee are tied for second with 11 solo stops. Sophomore Bill Jackson is fourth on the FCS squad with 24 total tackles (nine solo, 15 assists).

Six different Paladin defenders have one interception.

(Photos by Larry Moore)

Lady Paladins Advance with Volleyball Tourney Victory over Pinecrest at Home

The Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team opened the Area 6 Tournament on a winning note. The team extended its win streak to four matches with the victory.

The Lady Paladins posted a three-set sweep of Pinecrest Academy at Paladin Gym on Oct. 12 in the opening round of the double-elimination tourney. Fellowship won the best-of-five match 3-0 with 25-8, 25-19 and 25-6 set wins.

FCS will face Mount Pisgah Christian School at Paladin Gym on Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in a second-round matchup. The Lady Patriots defeated Lakeview Academy in a match played earlier in the evening at Paladin Gym.

With the victory over Pinecrest, the Lady Paladins improved to 17-15 overall. The club has won five out of its last six matches.

PRs Fall for FCS Varsity and Middle School Runners at the Darlington Festival

A group of five boys from the varsity cross country team from Fellowship Christian School competed at the Darlington Festival at The Darlington School on Oct. 9 in Rome.

"Because of fall break, we entered a scaled down team of five runners into the boys varsity race at Darlington," head coach Tom Harrison said. "Our squad consisted of sophomores Tyler Greenwell, Charlie Gandy, Caleb Provenzano, Elijah Kennedy and freshman Joe Daumeyer. Each runner had a great race, with three of them setting new personal records on a challenging course."

Three boys and one girl from Fellowship Christian School's middle school cross country squad participated in the Darlington Festival as well.

All four of those middle school runners posted personal-record times.

Shutout Victory: Paladins Blank Clarkston High School to extend Win Streak to 5 games; Milestone Victory for McFarlin

The Fellowship Christian School offense was very efficient, and the defense turned in another solid effort on Friday night.

The Paladins scored on its first six possessions and the defense posted its second straight shutout in a 37-0 victory over 5A Clarkston High School at Bob Lord Field on Oct. 8. The team has allowed just seven points over the past three games and has now won five straight games.

Oh, and by the way, it was a historic night for head coach Tim McFarlin as well. The veteran coach notched the 200th victory of his head coaching career and is now 200-55-2 record over 21 years as a head coach. He's coached high school football as a head coach or assistant for 41 years.

With the win, the Paladins improved to 6-1 overall under McFarlin and his staff this season. The team hosts King's Ridge Christian School on Homecoming Night on Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

"The team played well tonight on both sides of the ball," McFarlin said. "We keep getting better every week. That is always our goal. The coaches and I are proud of their progression."

Sophomore Josh Milhollin grabbed the first of two touchdown passes from junior Caleb McMickle at 9:14 of the first quarter to cap a 70-yard opening drive. Following a bad snap, a two-point attempt failed but after an Angora punt the Paladins quickly scored again.

Junior Nick Persiano scored on a 3rd-and-2 run play from the 2-yard-line to end a 60-yard drive. Sophomore Nathan Chapman booted the first of four straight extra-point kicks and FCS led 13-0.

Clarkston punted again, and the Paladins took over at their own 28-yard-line. FCS marched down the field in three plays that included Milhollin's catch that went for 32 yards, sophomore Noah Falcon's 12-yard run and freshman Evan Haynes' catch and run for 11 yards. Haynes' grab ended the first quarter.

Senior Garrett Wagner scored on a 9-yard run to open the second quarter.

The Paladins out gained the Angoras, 193-32, in the first quarter, 290-61 in the first half and 302-130 overall.

Overall, McMickle went 10-for-12 for 176 yards and two scores. Sophomore Christian Easterly completed one pass for 16 yards. Milhollin collected 99 reception yards on four grabs. Sophomore Clay Shepler caught four passes for 33 yards, and Haynes had two for 29 yards.

The Paladins held Clarkston to negative-1 yards on the ensuing possession after Wagner's TD, took over at the FCS 40-yard-line and scored again. This time on a 36-yard field goal by Chapman at 6:34.

Fellowship closed out the first half on Milhollin's second TD reception with 1:35 to play. He hauled in a long pass and sprinted into the end zone for a 57-yard catch and run.

The Paladins also scored on their first possession of the second half. That scoring opportunity came following junior Ryan Marsh's interception and return to the Angora 1-yard-line.

Sophomore Billy Jackson scored on a 1-yard-plunge on the first play from scrimmage after the turnover. That gave the Paladins a 37-0 lead. The team scored on its first six possessions of the game.

Clarkston had a long drive in the fourth quarter, which stalled as the Paladins forced an incomplete pass on a 4th-and-7 play with 4:29 to play from the FCS 8-yard-line.

Did you Know?

• This game was the first varsity football contest between FCS and Clarkston. The Paladins are now 4-0 at home this season.

• Following the homecoming game, the Paladins close out the regular season with road games against Region rival Mount Pisgah Christian School on Oct. 22 at 7:30 p.m., and following a bye week travel to Mableton to take on non-Region opponent Whitefield Academy on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. (Photos by Milo Falcon)

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Undefeated: Paladins Post Shutout Win over St. Pius

The Fellowship Christian School seventh grade football squad continued its hot streak.

The Paladins stayed unbeaten with a 32-0 win over St. Pius at Bob Lord Field on Oct. 7.

With the victory, Fellowship improved to 6-0 overall.

Paladin Varsity Football Team to Host 5A Clarkston High School

Fellowship Christian School varsity football team returns home on Oct. 8 for its fifth contest at Bob Lord Field in a six-week stretch dating back to Sept. 10.

The Paladins (5-1 overall) hosts 5A Clarkston High School in a non-Region game at Bob Lord Field at 7:30 p.m. FCS enters the game on a four-game win streak.

Fellowship, 3-0 at home this season, has now out gained its opponents 1,747 yards to 1,310 yards in 2021. This includes 935 yards through the air and 812 on the ground.

"The season is a growing process, and our staff is very encouraged about where the team is right now," head coach Tim McFarlin said. "We're coaching a great group of young men and football is important to them. Good things are coming."

Clarkston has played two of its six scheduled contests this season, including a 49-8 loss at Bremen on Sept. 24. The Angoras lost by forfeit at Monroe Area on sept. 17, and posted a 20-19 victory at Berkmar on Aug. 27. The Angoras have allowed 69 points and scored 26 points this season.

The Paladins are coming off a 45-0 road victory at Lakeview Academy in Gainesville in a Region game.

Junior quarterback Caleb McMickle has completed 52-of-82 pass attempts for 911 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2021. McMickle has only been intercepted twice and sacked four times this season.

Sophomore Josh Milhollin leads the Paladin receivers with 22 receptions and 377 yards, and also has one TD catch.

Junior Kyle Elphick, who is next on the team with eight catches and 173 yards, tops the team with four touchdown grabs. Senior Josh Cole has collected seven catches, 145 receiving yards and three touchdown catches.

Junior running back Nick Persiano leads FCS with 56 carries, 312 yards and 11 touchdowns. Cole ranks third with 42 attempts and is second with 185 yards, while sophomore Noah Falcon is second with 45 carries and ranks third with 165 yards.

On the defensive side of the ball, Cole leads the way with 49 tackles, 23 solo stops and 26 assists.

Elphick ranks second on the team with 28 tackles and 19 assists, while junior Jonathan Long ranks second the Paladins with 11 solo stops and is third overall with 25 total stops. Senior Sam Albee's five tackles for loss lead the squad.

Cole, Elphick, Milhollin and senior Wilson Long all have recorded one interception.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Paladin Varsity Football Team Posts 45-0 Victory at Lakeview Academy, improve to 5-1; McFarlin Earns Win No. 199

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School notched a 45-0 road victory over Lakeview Academy in Gainesville on Oct. 2. It was a Region game.

With the victory, the Paladins improved to 2-0 in Region games and 5-1 overall. The team is now 2-1 on the road this season. It was the Paladins' fourth straight victory, including three straight home wins from Sept. 10-24.

It was the 199th victory as a head coach for Tim McFarlin, who owns a 199-55-2 all-time record as a high school head coach.

In Gainesville, the Paladins jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and opened up a 35-0 halftime advantage.

Junior Jonathan Long ran the second-half kickoff back 85 yards for a touchdown, and Nathan Chapman kicked the final of six consecutive extra points to give FCS a 42-0 lead.

Chapman's 42-yard field goal with 5:54 to play gave the Paladins a 45-0 lead.

The Paladins out gained the Lions 305-90 in the game, including a 170-59 advantage in the air and 135-31 on the ground.

Junior Nick Persiano scored three rushing touchdowns, sophomore Noah Falcon scored on a 64-yard pass completion from junior Caleb McMickle and senior Garrett Wagner scored on a 15-yard TD run in the first half.

McMickle completed 7-of-8 pass attempts for 153 yards in the game, while junior Jonathan Long was 2-of-5 for 17 yards. Falcon's 64 reception yards topped the team, while junior Clay Shepler grabbed a team-high four passes for 31 yards. Freshman Evan Haynes, sophomore Josh Milhollin, junior Kyle Elphick and senior Sam Albee all hauled in one pass.

Persiano ran nine times for 53 yards, while sophomore Bill Jackson carried the ball a team-high 11 times for 46 yards. Wagner finished with 37 yards on four attempts.The Fellowship defense held Lakeview to a minus-28 yards over its final six series of the first half. The Lions picked up 48 yards on their first drive before punting.

FCS' first drive of the game started with a 21-yard completion from McMickle to Elphick. Shepler caught his first pass of the season and later Persiano scored on a 3-yard sweep at 5:26 of the first quarter to end an 80-yard drive.

Senior Wilson Long picked off a pass deep in Lion territory with 4:29 left in the opening quarter. Persiano scored moments later on a 5-yard run.

Following a Lakeview punt, Falcon grabbed a pass downfield and sprinted into the end zone for a 64-yard TD pass play from McMickle.

The Paladin defense stopped the Lions again to force another punt after three plays from scrimmage. Persiano scored again – this time on a 5-yard run early in the second quarter. Milhollin gained 29 yards on a pass completion from McMickle on the play before Persiano's TD run.

Later in the first half, Wagner capped a 65-yard drive on a 15-yard TD run with 4:49 left.

The Paladins entered the game ranked seventh in the state among Class A Private schools by Georgia High School Football Daily.

Fellowship returns home for two straight games, including a match up against 5A Clarkston High School at Bob Lord Field on Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m. The school's Homecoming Night contest is Oct. 15 against King's Ridge Christian School at home at 7:30 p.m.

(Photos by Larry Moore)



Week 6 Preview: Paladins Travel to Gainesville for Region Game Against Lakeview Academy

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School returns to the road on Friday night following a stretch of three straight home contests.

The Paladins improved to 4-1 overall with a 40-7 victory over Saint Francis at Bob Lord Field on Sept. 24 on Senior Night. It was the team's Region opener.

Kickoff for the Fellowship-Lakeview matchup on Oct. 1 is 7:30 p.m. Overall the Paladins are 1-1 on the road and 3-0 at home this season.

FCS enters the game with a 3-2 all-time record against Lakeview in varsity football. Last year's contest was cancelled.

This season, the Lions have notched a 1-3 overall record and are 0-1 at home. The team dropped a 38-17 decision at Towns County on Sept. 17 and fell 31-20 at The Walker School on Sept. 10. The Lions lost 40-3 against Rabun Gap-Nacoochee at home on Sept. 13. The team opened the season on Aug. 20 with a 48-13 loss at Mount Paran Christian School.

The Paladins, ranked seventh in the state among Class A Private schools by Georgia High School Football Daily, enter the game on a three-game win streak, including three straight home wins from Sept. 10-24.

Overall, the Paladins have out gained its opponents, 1,442 yards to 1,220, this season. The team has shown balance on offense with 765 passing yards and 677 rushing yards. FCS opponents have picked up 642 passing yards and 578 rushing yards in 2021.

Junior quarterback Caleb McMickle has completed 45-of-76 pass attempts for 758 yards, nine touchdowns and thrown just two interceptions.

Sophomore Josh Milhollin leads FCS receivers with 21 receptions and 348 yards. He has caught one pass for a touchdown. Both junior Kyle Elphick and senior Josh Cole have grabbed seven passes. Elphick leads the team with four TD grabs, while Cole has hauled in three passes for scores. Elphick has recorded 152 receptions yards, and Cole has 145.

Senior Sam Albee has three catches, including one for a touchdown, for 57 yards, while freshman Evan Haynes has grabbed three passes for 25 yards.

Junior Nick Persiano and Cole have split time at tailback this season. Persiano has gained 259 yards on 47 carries (both team highs), while Cole has registered 185 yards on 42 attempts. Sophomore Noah Falcon has gained 160 yards on 44 touches.

Persiano's eight rushing touchdowns top the team. Cole has collected one run TD, while senior Garrett Wagner and McMickle have one apiece. Freshman TJ Lester has earned 73 yards on 10 carries.

Cole leads the Fellowship defense with 41 tackles, 18 solo stops and 23 assists. Junior Jonathan Long is second on the team with 25 total stops, which includes 11 solo tackles to place second on the Paladins and has 14 assists. Elphick is third with 22 tackles and ranks second on the team with 15 assists.

Albee's two sacks and four tackles for loss lead the squad. Cole, Elphick and Milhollin all have one interception.

Following the Lakeview contest, Fellowship returns home to face 5A Clarkston High School on Oct. 8 at 7:30 p.m., and hosts Region rival King's Ridge Christian School in a Homecoming Game on Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Senior Night Victory: Paladin Seniors, Retired Coach Al Morrell Honored at Halftime of 40-7 Varsity Football Win over Saint Francis

Fellowship Christian School honored a group of seniors that has already impressed head coach Tim McFarlin after five games coaching them.

During halftime of a 40-7 Region victory over Saint Francis at Bob Lord Field, the athletic department honored seniors Sam Albee, Josh Cole, Patrick Gibson, Wilson Long, Jack O'Connor, Luke Ramsey and Garrett Wagner, and also celebrated retired head Al Morrell on Al Morrell Recognition Night.

"They are a remarkable and courageous group," McFarlin said. "They were in the shadows of a successful team with a great group of seniors from last year's team. We only have seven of them. They could have easily tossed it in and not wanted to play for new coaches. But they didn't. They are a great group. I am grateful for them. The heart of this team was the fact Josh Cole moved positions [tailback to fullback] to help this football team. And of course, I can't say enough about what a great man and coach Al is. I have known him for almost 40 years. He is loved here at Fellowship."

Read more about Al Morrell Recognition Night here.

The Paladins improved to 4-1 overall with the win over the Knights in their Region opener. Fellowship is now 8-0 all-time against Saint Francis in varsity football.

Fellowship jumped out to a 13-0 lead after the first quarter. Junior Nick Persiano scored on touchdown runs of 8 and 3 yards at 6:29 and 4:27. Sophomore Nathan Chapman kicked the first of four successful extra-point attempts after the first score. He missed the second attempt.

The second Persiano TD came after Fellowship blocked the Knights' punt and recovered the ball at the 2-yard-line. Persiano finished with 46 yards in the first half and collected 66 for the game.

In the second quarter, Chapman booted a 27-yard field goal at 7:45 to end a 51-yard drive that continued following a Knight roughing the punter call.

On the next play from scrimmage for Saint Francis after Chapman's field goal, sophomore Josh Milhollin intercepted the ball and sprinted 57 yards in the end zone to put FSC up 23-0.

Following another Knight punt, Cole grabbed a 27-yard TD pass from junior Caleb McMickle with 2:32 left in the first half. That score gave FCS a 30-0 lead

Fellowship added 10 more points in the third quarter to open up a 40-0 lead.

Wagner, who picked up 50 yards on four carries during a 65-yard scoring drive to kick off the second half, scored from 4 yards out at 7:00. With 1:42 left in the third quarter, Chapman connected on a 34-yard field goal.

Saint Francis' lone score came on a 40-yard pass play Tayshon Lemon to Roman Stamps with 2:12 to play.

Fellowship out gained Saint Francis, 186-132, in the contest. That included advantages for the Paladins on the ground, 119-67, and through the air, 67-65.

McMickle completed 6-of-12 pass attempts for 60 yards, while Milhollin finished with three catches for 17 yards. Junior Kyle Elphick grabbed two passes for 16 yards.

Elphick (two solo, two assists) and sophomore Noah Falcon (three solo, one assist) led the team with four tackles apiece. Albee recovered a fumble.

It was McFarlin's 198th career victory as a head coach. McFarlin, who is 198-55-2 all-time as a head coach, asks himself the same question after every game – win, loss or tie.

"Did we get better? That's what we want to do," McFarlin said. "We want to keep rolling and improve week-to-week. The JV kids played a great game Thursday. Our program is growing. We have 27 ninth graders. We are excited for this program."

(Photos by Chip Cookston)

Al Morrell Recognition Night: Former Coach Honored Sept. 24

It's an understatement to say that Al Morrell had quite an impact on the varsity football program at Fellowship Christian School.

On Sept. 24, the veteran football coach was honored on Al Morrell Recognition Night at Bob Lord Field during halftime of the FCS' 40-7 win over Saint Francis.

"Al was the perfect man and coach to lead Fellowship," Athletic Director David Lowery said. "He was an experienced coach who had started a program at Creekview and was essentially going to rebuild Fellowship's program. Coach Morrell is open in his faith with his players. His faith drives and guides him. He always lets his actions speak. Al relates well with his players and his coaches. He is one of the best at 'breaking down a game.' He determines what you like to do and formulates a game plan that makes you do something else."

In eight seasons at the helm of the Fellowship Christian School football program, Morrell led the school to a 66-26 record, five trips to the GHSA Class A Private Football Championships, one state title game (runner-up), one state Final 4 appearance and four state Elite Eight trips, three Region titles and three sub-Region championships.

"It's humbling," Morrell said of the recognition. "The relationships I built in my eight years at Fellowship are cherished and my favorite memories. The coaches and the players are most special to me. I coached for 40 years total [as assistant and head coach] and loved every minute of it."

Following the 2020 season, Morrell retired with 115 career wins as a high school football head coach. Morrell guided FCS to a 9-5 record in the state playoffs during his eight years as the Paladin head coach. The school is 11-6 overall in the state football playoffs.

"I have known Al for close to 40 years, and I have watched him live his life both on and off the field," FCS head coach Tim McFarlin said. "During that time, I have never heard one negative thing said about him. He is a man of faith! He loves Fellowship, and it is my honor to follow him here."

Fellowship varsity football teams posted a record of 38-58 in varsity football over its first nine seasons before Morrell joined the school prior to the 2013 season. When he retired Fellowship's all-time varsity football record was 104-84.

"It was a group effort," Morrell said about the program's success during his time at FCS. "We had some really good assistant coaches and very talented players. The kids and the families truly bought into what we were trying to do here. The community, administration and athletic department support was outstanding too."

The focus in the weight room and on conditioning was a Morrell staple at Fellowship.

"Our success is directly related to our commitment to our strength program," Lowery said. "We hang our hat on being a strong, physical team. That continues on today."

During his storied career, Morrell received numerous post-season awards including these at FCS: Region 6A Coach of the Year in 2020, Region 6A South Coach of the Year in 2019, Region 6A (Division B) Coach of the Year in 2018 and Region and GHSA Class A Coach of the Year in 2016.

During Morrell's tenure at FCS, the Paladins were 37-16 in Region games. Following the victory over Saint Francis, Fellowship now owns a 51-52 all-time Region record.

Prior to joining FCS, Morrell spent 32 years as coach at five different public schools in the Greater Atlanta area, including programs in both neighboring Cherokee and Cobb counties.

In 2013, Morrell was inducted into the CSB Hall of Fame as a coach of distinction from Cobb County.

He had retired from coaching when he received a call from former athletic director Bryan Lindner, who knew Morrell.

"Bryan called me," Morrell said. "I was actually working on my Bobcat at my Canton farm when the phone rang. We knew each other. We had a great conversation. He later formally interviewed me and then I had a series of interviews with the [football coaching search] committee. From day one it was a great place for me. I loved coaching at Fellowship, the players, their families, our coaches, David Lowery and the athletic department and Dr. Teston and the administration."

Before Lindner called, McFarlin actually gave Morrell the heads up about the opening.

"Tim told me about it, and said it might be a good fit," Morrell said. "We have been friends for around 40 years. He coached at Roswell when I was at Marietta. He's a great man and a terrific coach."

From 1989-1992, Morrell helped Marietta High School post an unprecedented 40-0 regular-season record and earn one Sub-region title, three Region 6AAAA Championships and four state playoff appearances as offensive backs coach. He also spent eight years at Etowah High School as offensive coordinator.

Morrell was named Cherokee County Head Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Cherokee County Gridiron Hall of Fame following the 2012 campaign after guiding the Creekview Grizzlies of Canton to the 7A sub-Region Championship.

Morrell was named the Cherokee County Offensive Coach of the Year in 2004 as offensive coordinator at 4A Sequoyah High School (Canton) and later served as head coach at the school. He helped start both football programs at Sequoyah and Creekview.

Morrell, who became a Christian in college at Troy State in Alabama, knew he wanted to coach.

"I played baseball in college and was originally a baseball coach before I started coaching football," Morrell said. "God wanted me to use coaching as a platform to share my faith in Jesus Christ. I always loved sports too."

Al's brother, Alberto Morrell was a long-time high school coach in Florida. Both men are known as Al Morell. Al's full first name is Alfonso." He was influential on my career," the former FCS coach said.

(Recognition Night Picture from Chip Cookston, others are file photos)

Lady Paladins Honor 5 Seniors, Defeat Weber School

The athletic department honored the five seniors from the Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team on Senior Night.

Lucia Bustamante, Emma Duncan, Elsa Loechl, Katie Parker and Savannah Schulz were all honored prior to Fellowship's match against The Weber School at Paladin Gym on Sept. 23.

On the court, the Lady Paladins posted a two-set Area victory over Weber. The scores of the sets were 25-13 and 25-7.

With the win, FCS improved to 7-1 in Area matches. The team is 13-14 overall this season.

(Photo by Matt Duncan)

Paladin Seniors to be Honored at Halftime of Saint Francis Game; Al Morrell Recognition Night Being Held

Fellowship Christian School will honor the seniors from the varsity football team and all Paladin fall sports teams during halftime of Friday's Senior Night contest against Saint Francis. It will also be Al Morrell Appreciation Night as the school will honor its retired former varsity football coach.

"We are excited to recognize our fall sports seniors and honor former head coach Al Morrell at halftime of this Friday's football game," Athletic Director David Lowery said.

The Paladins (3-1 overall) face Saint Francis at Bob Lord Field on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. It's the Region opener for Fellowship, which is in the middle of a stretch of games on eight-straight Friday nights.

FCS is 7-0 all-time against the Knights in varsity football. Saint Francis enters the game with a 0-4 record this season, including a 34-14 loss at Lumpkin County High School on Sept. 17 and a 35-14 loss at home to The Darlington School on Sept. 3. The Knights lost a heart breaker to Athens Christian on the road, 23-22, on Aug, 27, and came up short in the season opener to North Cobb Christian School in Acworth, 24-14, on Aug 20. Fellowship is coming off a 35-14 win over the Eagles at home on Sept. 17.

This season, the Paladin offense has shown plenty of balance. The team has out gained its opponents 1,256 to 1,088 yards, which includes a 698-577 advantage in the air and 558-511 on the ground.

Junior Hunter McMickle, who threw for a career-high 280 yards against NCCS, has completed 39-of-64 pass attempts for 698 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He's thrown just two interceptions.

Junior Nick Persiano leads the Fellowship runners with 193 yards and six touchdowns. He's carried the ball 32 times at tailback and fullback. Senior Josh Cole, who has also split time at tailback and fullback this season, has earned 185 cards and two TDs on a team-high 42 carries. Sophomore Noah Falcon has gained 144 yards on 37 attempts. McMickle has picked up one rushing score this season.

In just three games, sophomore Josh Milhollin leads FCS receivers with 18 catches and 331 yards. He's grabbed one touchdown pass this season. Milhollin is coming off a nine-catch and 228-yard performance – both career highs – against NCCS.

Junior tight end Kyle Elphick leads the Paladins with four TDs and has made five catches for 136 yards. Cole has hauled in six passes for 118 yards and two scores, while senior Sam Albee has three catches for 57 yards and one score.

Cole is Fellowship's top tackler. He leads the way with 17 solo stops, 20 assists and 37 total tackles. Junior Jonathan Long has registered 21 tackles (10 solo, 11 assists) to rank second on the squad, while Elphick is next with 16 stops (three solo, 13 assists).

The Paladin senior football players include Albee, Cole, Patrick Gibson, Wilson Long, Jack O'Connor, Luke Ramsey and Garrett Wagner.

(Photos by Chip Cookston and Larry Moore)

11 Paladin Cross-Country Runners Turn in PRs or Season-Best Times in Canton

The boys and girls varsity and JV cross country squads from Fellowship Christian School participated in the annual Warpath Invitational meet hosted by 7A Cherokee High School at Boling Park in Canton on Sept. 18.

A total of seven FCS runners set a new career Personal Record (PR) and four more set season-best times at the Warpath Invitational. The event included 32 teams from Class A through Class 7A, including two teams from Class A Region 6. Fellowship competes in Region 6 with seven other schools.

"In anticipation of our post-season competition, each of these bigger races is preparatory as they tend to help us run a little faster and dig in a little deeper, from the starting line to the finish line, head coach Tom Harrison said. "Such was the case at Boling Park as our athletes yesterday held their own. Of the team members that ran the same course last year, eight finished with faster times when compared to their race times from last year. With five meets complete, and four meets to go in the regular season, we now look to strike the correct balance in our training. We want to keep our athletes healthy and injury free, while still moving them forward to achieve peak performance in their post-season races."

Currently, the Fellowship varsity girls squad ranks first in the Region, and both the boys varsity and JV boys rank second.

"Officials rank teams based on the cumulative time it takes a team to run a 5K, compiled by using the fastest time of everyone on a team during the current season," Harrison said. "These individual 'PRs' combine to give each team a cumulative score. As the rankings attest, PRs are important to a team's ranking, and with each subsequent meet, our team has had the opportunity to improve individual times and overall team placement."

Crossover Win: Balanced Attack Leads FCS Football Squad Over NCCS at Home

A strong second half carried the varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School to its third victory of the season.

The Paladins snapped a 14-14 halftime tie with three second-half touchdowns and a defense that held North Cobb Christian School to under 100 yards and scoreless over the final two quarters on the way to a 35-14 Region crossover victory over the Eagles at Bob Lord Field on Sept. 17.

"That came from down deep," head coach Tim McFarlin said about the second-half surge. "They decided it was time to buy in do what they do best."

Junior quarterback Caleb McMickle completed 11-of-13 passes for a career-high 280 yards and two touchdowns and junior Nick Persiano gained 82 yards and scored three touchdowns on 17 carries in his second straight game at tailback to lead FCS (3-1 overall) to the win.

Sophomore Josh Milhollin set career highs with nine catches and 228 receiving yards.

"His best game of the year," McFarlin said about McMickle. "He played extremely well. Nick ran the ball well too. The offensive line really played well. They have blocked well over the past two games. It's made a difference."

A young offensive line set the tone as the Paladins out gained the Eagles in game, 372-220.

"They are a hard-working group," offensive line coach Brandon Seigler said. "We don't have any seniors, but our juniors, sophomores and freshmen have really worked hard. They have blocked well, protected the quarterback and opened the holes. That has been done due to a lot of hard work."

The defensive line and the entire unit made an impact too.

In the second half, the Paladin defense held the Eagles scoreless in five possessions that included three fourth-down stops, a fumble and a punt that ended the Eagle possessions.

The Paladins scored on both of its possessions in the third quarter to take the lead for good.

Senior Josh Cole made the stop on a 4th-and-5 play from the Paladin 35-yard-line on the Eagles opening drive in the second half. The Paladins took over at their 38-yard-line and marched down the field to score on Persiano's 1-yard plunge. Sophomore Nathan Chapman booted the third of his five extra-point kicks to give the Paladins a 21-14 lead with 4:00 to play in the third quarter. That six-play drive was highlighted by a pair of catches by Josh Milhollin – one for 7 yards on a 3rd-and-5 play from the 43-yard-line and a 49-yard catch and run to take the ball to the 1-yard-line on the next play from scrimmage. Milhollin grabbed seven passes for 162 yards in the game.

Just 19 seconds later Milhollin scooped up a NCCS fumble to set up another scoring drive. Following an 8-yard pickup by Persiano, junior tight end Kyle Elphick hauled in a 47-yard TD pass from McMickle. The Paladins led 28-14 with 3:20 left in the third. It was Elphick's only catch of the game.

Fellowship took over again as senior Garrett Wagner batted down a pass on 4th-and-5 with 1:26 left in the third.

Persiano scored again from 7 yards out with 9:32 to play to give FCS a 35-14 lead. He gained over 40 yards on an eight-play, 58-yard drive that began in the third quarter. On 3rd-and-8 from the FCS 44-yard-line, Milhollin gave the Paladins a first down on a downfield catch that went for 16 yards.

The Paladins and Eagles traded punts before the Paladin defense stopped the Eagles on a 4th-and-5 play from midfield as the final horn sounded.

In the first quarter, the teams traded touchdowns as the Eagles scored on their opening possession and the Paladins answered on Cole's 5-yard TD catch with 46.5 seconds left, his lone catch of the game.

Following a punt from each team, the Eagles went ahead 14-7 on a late TD run with 54.3 seconds to play in the half.

But Persiano scored his first touchdown of the game on 1st-and-goal from the 3-yard-line seconds later. The drive began on a 39-yard pass play to Milhollin from McMickle. Fellowship covered 58 yards in two plays in a drive that was set up by junior Jonathan Long's 30-yard kickoff return.

Overall, the Paladins scored on five out of seven possessions, including three out four over the final two quarters.

Cole topped the FCS defense with seven solo tackles, eight assists and 15 total stops. Senior Wilson Long made four solo stops and six total tackles, while Jonathan Long made two solo tackles and six total stops.

Fellowship will host Region rival Saint Francis on Senior Night on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m. It begins a stretch of four Region contests over a five-week span through Oct. 22.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Paladins to Host North Cobb Christian in Varsity Football Crossover Game

The emergence of a stronger passing attack for the Fellowship Christian School football team game is the direct result of the team's hard work on the ground game.

"It comes off of the run," head coach Tim McFarlin said. "As the result of our run game, we are able to have success passing. Our speed picked up in the run game last week. It was a pure blessing to the coaching staff how Josh [Cole] handled going to fullback. Most of the time it's the tailback who gets most of the notoriety. But often times the fullback is the catalyst with his blocking, which was the case as Josh opened the holes. Scott Buck and Josh really set the tone and made the blocks for Nick Persiano and Noah Falcon last Friday. They had confidence in the guy's blocking hard for them."

The Paladins improved to 2-1 overall with a 43-20 victory over The B.E.S.T. Academy in a non-Region game played on Sept. 10 at Bob Lord Field.

Fellowship faces North Cobb Christian School at Bob Lord Field in a Region crossover contest. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.

"It's been good," McFarlin said about his team's preparations for NCCS. "We're battling some injuries, but it's actually helping us develop our depth. Injuries are always a challenge for any team. But the good news is guys are developing on the field and contributing."

Fellowship enters the game with a 4-0 all-time record over the Eagles in varsity football. NCCS enters the game with a 2-2 record this season, including road wins on Aug 20 at Saint Francis (24-14) and Aug. 27 at Hebron Christian (24-14). The Eagles have lost two contests at home – 28-0 to Calvary Day on Sept. 10 and 28-18 to Whitefield Academy.

In addition to building balance on offense, the Paladins have made strides on defense following a week two loss at Trinity Christian School on Sept. 3.

"They are going to continue to make progress [on defense]," McFarlin said. "Our schemes are complex, and the boys will grow into it. We are pleased with how they are doing. Every week we continue to get better."

Cole leads the Paladin defense with 22 total tackles, 10 solo stops and 12 assisted tackles, and shares the lead with one interception. Junior Jonathan Long is next on the team with 15 total tackles and eight solo stops.

Sophomore Billy Jackson ranks second on the squad with eight assists and shares third with 10 total tackles. Junior Kyle Elphick has also registered 10 tackles (three solo, seven assists) and has one interception to share the team lead.

On offense, Cole has split time at fullback and tailback. He leads the club with 42 carries and 185 yards and ranks second with two rushing TDs. Falcon ranks second on the team with 33 carries and 130 yards, while Persiano is third with 15 attempts and 111 yards and tops the Paladins with three rushing touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Caleb McMickle has completed 28-of-51 pass attempts for 418 yards and six touchdowns. He's been intercepted twice and sacked three times with one rushing TD.

Cole leads Fellowship receivers with 113 yards, has grabbed five passes and has also made one TD catch. Sophomore Josh Milhollin leads the team with nine catches and has earned one TD catch and 103 receiving yards. Elphick's three TD grabs top FCS. The tight end has caught four passes for 89 yards, while senior Sam Albee has three catches for 57 yards and one score.

For the season, FCS has out gained its opponents, 884-868, and holds a 466-359 on the ground. Overall, the Paladins have 418 passing yards.

(Photo by Larry Moore)

Lady Paladin Volleyball Team Downs King's Ridge, Pinecrest to Improve to 6-1 in Area Matches

The Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team improved to 6-1 in Area play with a pair of wins at Pinecrest Academy on Sept. 14.

In the second match of the evening, the Lady Paladins defeated King's Ridge Christian School in Cumming in three sets. FCS took the first set, 25-11, but lost the second, 20-25. Fellowship claimed the match with a third-set win, 15-6.

With the victories, the Lady Paladins evened their overall record at 10-10.

Earlier in the evening, Fellowship beat Pinecrest in two sets. It was the first of two Area matches for Fellowship in Cumming on Sept. 14.

The scores of the matches were 25-11, 25-8.

Total of 16 FCS Cross-Country Runners Set PRs or Season-Best Times at Big Peach Stampede

A total of 16 members of the boys and girls varsity and boys JV cross country squads from Fellowship Christian School set either personal or season best times on Sept. 11 at Kennesaw Mountain High School's Big Peach Mustang Stampede at Allatoona Creek Park in Acworth.

The Fellowship squads competed against athletes from 20 other schools.

"The Big Peach invitational provided our team nearly quintessential race conditions -- the elements of the course, the terrain and perfect weather and temperature presented great race day opportunities for our athletes," head coach Tom Harrison said during an interview on Sept. 12. "As our athletes paced through the 5K, they took advantage of these conditions, leaning into their potential by bringing their 'A' game to each individual effort. Consequently, it was a great 'PR day' for our team, with many crossing the finish line in record time. In fact, 16 of our runners across our three squads turned in season or career personal best times. Among our runners who ran the same course last season, nine finished with faster times when compared to last year's times on the same course. With yesterday's meet, each runner demonstrated their continued growth and strength, progressing on as a runner to meet their personal goals and team goals."

The FCS girls and boys varsity squads currently rank first among 1A Region 6 Private Schools, and the JV squad ranks No. 2 in the same category.

"The coaches continue to be very proud of the effort and ethic our athletes bring to their races," Harrison said. "Collectively, the team showcases developmental progress from week to week, and each week the 5K competition is a wonderful way for each athlete to recognize and realize their potential. Yesterday's race at Big Peach continued that trend."

Fellowship Girls Bring Home First Place at Dominion Dash Cross-Country Meet

The girls' middle school cross country squad from Fellowship Christian School placed first at the Dominion Dash hosted by Dominion Christian School on Sept. 11.

"Both the boys' and girls' teams ran great," head coach Holly Quinn said. "Our girls' team brought home first place. It was a large meet with around 600 runners for the middle school division. I am so proud of our runners and their effort today. It was hilly and a super muddy course."

(Photo submitted)

Paladin Football Team Posts Home Victory Over B.E.S.T. Academy

An adjustment in the offensive backfield paid big dividends on Friday night for the Paladins.

Junior Nick Persiano and senior Josh Cole switched roles as Persiano took over at tailback and ran for 106 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns to lead the varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School to a 43-20 victory over The B.E.S.T. Academy of Atlanta at Bob Lord Field. Cole led the way blocking from the fullback slot to help the team bounce back strongly from last week's loss with the Sept. 10 win.

"The kids played hard, that's the bottom line," head coach Tim McFarlin said. "We made a lot of changes this week. Really the key to the whole week [of preparation] was Josh Cole. I was a little worried how he would react when we asked him to move to fullback this week. The tailback gets most of the carries and we were asking him block at fullback, but Josh took it in stride and ran with it. He and [backup fullback] Scott Buck blocked so well tonight. Josh and Scott set the tone for Nick and Noah [Falcon]."

Fellowship (2-1 overall) broke open a close game – it was tied 8-8 after the first quarter – with three touchdowns in the second quarter and 43 straight points overall. Two of the second-quarter scores came on runs by Persiano and the third score came on a TD reception by sophomore Josh Milhollin.

Following a Fellowship fumble with 8:12 left in the first quarter, B.E.S.T. got on the board first on a 61-yard touchdown pass play and added the two-point conversion.

"Errors early hurt us early, but they were due the boys being extra pumped up to play," McFarlin said. "That's never a problem. You can correct mistakes made when the boys are excited and too ready to play. Overall, we had a tremendous week of practice and tonight's game was a great win."

FCS bounced back quickly from the Eagles score to tie the game at 8-8 following senior Sam Albee's 28-yard TD catch from junior quarterback Caleb McMickle at 5:20. Cole caught the conversion pass from McMickle to tie the contest. It was a seven-play, 92-yard drive for the Paladins.

Following an Eagle punt, the Paladins scored again. Milhollin made a leaping one-handed grab and corralled the ball in the end zone and give the Paladins the lead for good with a 15-yard TD pass play from McMickle with 10:19 left in the second quarter. Sophomore Nathan Chapman made the first of five straight extra-point kicks to make the score 15-8. The nine-play, 89-yard drive featured a long Persiano run and 15-yard penalty to the Eagles early in the drive.

Junior Sean Sargent recovered an Eagle fumble two plays from scrimmage later, and FCS cashed in with another score. Persiano found the end zone on a 3-yard run. Fellowship led 22-8 with 8:59 left in the half.

Persiano's second TD – this one from 21 yards out – came after another punt. He had a 28-yard TD earlier in the drive called back due to a Paladin holding penalty. His score capped a seven-play, 58-yard drive to make it 29-8 at halftime.

The third touchdown of the game by Persiano came on the opening drive of the second half. He scored on a 3-yard run. That made it 36-8 and ended a 62-yard drive that included nine total plays (eight runs by Persiano and Falcon and a 17-yard completion from McMickle to Albee midway through the drive).

Falcon gave the Paladins a first down with a two-yard gain on 4th-and-1 with less than 10 minutes to play in the quarter. Falcon finished with 46 yards on 11 carries.

Just three plays later, Cole picked off a B.E.S.T. pass ran it 20 yards into the end zone for the Paladins' next score. It gave FCS a 43-8 lead late in the third quarter.

B.E.S.T. scored with 20.5 seconds left in the third quarter on a 1-yard run. The conversion pass play was stopped by FCS. The Eagles closed out the scoring on a 2-yard TD run with 58.2 seconds left in the contest. The team scored on a conversion pass play, but it was called back due to a penalty. The Paladins defense stopped the second attempt to give the final count.

FCS out gained the Eagles, 318-151. The Paladins picked up 169 yards on the ground and McMickle went 9-for-16 and threw for 149 yards and two scores. Milhollin led the Paladins with four catches and had 36 reception yards. Cole and Albee both had two catches for 62 and 44 yards, respectively.

Buck led the Paladins with four assisted stops and five total tackles, while both junior Jonathan Long and Cole shared the lead with two solo stops. Freshman Josh Petty and Sargent both recovered a fumble.

Friday's game against the Eagles was the second of games on eight consecutive weeks for the Paladins (2-1 overall). B.E.S.T. dropped to 1-2 overall.

The Paladins return to action on Sept. 17 against North Cobb Christian School at Bob Lord Field at 7:30 p.m.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Varsity Paladin Football Team Returns Home to Face The B.E.S.T. Academy

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School returns home this Friday night to continue a busy stretch of games on eight consecutive weeks.

On Sept. 10, FCS hosts The B.E.S.T. Academy of Atlanta at Bob Lord Field. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. In the first meeting between the schools in varsity football, the Paladins posted a 42-0 victory over the Eagles at Grady Stadium on Sept. 25, 2020.

The Paladins (1-1 overall) are coming off a tough 56-20 loss at Trinity Christian School in Sharpsburg on Sept. 3.

The loss at Trinity stung for the Paladins.

"You can't hide it," head coach Tim McFarlin said. "It was an embarrassing loss. You can search for excuses, but we don't. As a team we addressed it and moved on. They are a very good football team. Most of those young men have been together since the fifth grade. But it painted a clear picture for us of what a championship-caliber football team looks like. Our goal is to get there."

Against the Lions, junior quarterback Caleb McMickle threw for a career-best 144 yards and three touchdowns. The Paladins gained 80 yards on the ground and were out gained overall, 374-224. Freshman TJ Lester led FCS with 71 yards on four rushes.

Junior tight end Kyle Elphick made two catches – both for scores – that totaled 61 yards. Junior Josh Cole registered a team-high three grabs for 51 yards and one score. Freshman Evan Haynes and junior Jonathan Long each had two catches.

On defense, FCS was led by Cole's seven assisted stops and 11 total tackles. He and senior Garrett Wagner each made four solo tackles to share the team lead. Wagner finished with six total stops and Elphick recorded five total tackles, four assists and an interception.

The Paladins have gotten back to work after a tough loss to the undefeated Lions.

"Monday was a tough day," McFarlin said. "But the guys have really prepared themselves for this Friday. We have probably had the best two practices of the year [on Tuesday and Wednesday]. We won't cry about the loss, but we are taking steps to get better. I actually feel better that we had that game. We can learn from it. It's not about winning and losing games as much as it is about getting better every week."

The Eagles (1-1 overall) had a bye week last week following a 12-7 victory at North Clayton on Aug. 27. The team suffered a 41-8 loss at home to the Spencer Greenwave of Columbus on Aug. 22.

"I have watched them on film," McFarlin said. "They have good size and good speed. But at this point I am more concerned about us. The key to every game is to play a fast and physical game with great intensity."

McFarlin is happy about the Paladins' stretch of games following a holiday weekend and an early-season bye week.

"We need to get into the routine," he said. "The kids are getting used to a new routine, and there aren't any more off days."

(Photos by Larry Moore)

Quinn, Johnson Join Athletic Department; New Titles for Trevers, Robertson

Athletic Director David Lowery recently announced some changes to the Fellowship Christian School athletic department.

On Sept. 3, Lowery announced that Holly Quinn joined the athletic administration team as the associate director of athletics – administration and student-athlete support, and that Darryl Johnson was hired as associate director of athletics – middle school athletics.

In addition, Lowery reported that Andy Trevers would continue to serve on the athletic administration team as the associate director of athletics – internal and external operations, and that Jake Robertson will now lead FCS' strength training and sports performance program in addition to coaching football and lacrosse. Trevers previously served as assistant athletic director, and Robertson associate athletic director.

"We are all excited about this new alignment in our department and are working diligently to bring everyone up to speed in their new roles," Lowery said. "I pray this will help position us for great things moving forward in Fellowship athletics."

Quinn moves into Robertson's former role. Entering her fourth year at FCS, Quinn has coached middle school girl's soccer for the last few seasons. In 2021, the girls not only completed a perfect 12-0 season but also did not allow a single goal en route to claiming the Metro 10 Championship. In addition to coaching soccer, Quinn will lead the Paladin middle school cross-country program this year.

"I am excited about the opportunity to join the athletic administration team, and coach middle school boys and girls cross country in addition to girls soccer this year," Quinn said. "The Lord pulled heavy on my heart to pour more into athletics and our Fellowship athletes this year. God has also led and encouraged me to help champion women's sports. I want to empower all our athletes but especially our girls who can sometimes feel out of place or lost within the world of athletics."

Johnson has joined the athletic administration team and moves into Brad Welty's former role. In addition to his role as associate director of middle school athletics, Johnson will be heading up the wrestling program for FCS.

"We are so grateful for Coach Welty's contributions in this role and are thankful that he will continue teaching and coaching in middle school," Lowery said.

Johnson has been involved in athletics and coaching for more than 20 years in Minnesota. A graduate of Woodruff High School in Peoria, Ill., he was a four-year varsity letter winner in wrestling, three-year letter winner in track, and two-year letter winner in football. He continued his career at Minot State College, where he wrestled, ran track, and played football. A veteran of the United States Army, Johnson continued to wrestle after college. While stationed at Fort Bragg in the 82nd Airborne Division, he was Post Runner-up in 1987, Post Champion in 1988, and contributed as a member of the FORSCOM Championship Team in 1989.

"In addition to coaching wrestling, I'm excited to be joining the athletic administration team at Fellowship Christian School," Johnson said. "Through a mutual friend, I was connected to Fellowship. My wife and I had been discussing relocation to the Atlanta area and this connection opened an opportunity that became more of a blessing as we prayed and discussed the opportunity at FCS. My first visit to the school allowed me to see this God-filled community up close and share in the monthly men's fellowship breakfast [Paladin Roundtable] back in May. That visit confirmed our decision that such a change was ordained by God."

Trevers will continue to serve on the athletic administration team as the associate director of athletics – internal and external operations.

"We are blessed to have Coach Trevers on our athletic administration team, and I believe the department's new structure will greatly benefit from his many talents and abilities in organization and communication," Lowery said. "Coach Trevers will also continue to lead the soccer program for FCS, where he brings a tremendous amount of experience and knowledge. More importantly, his heart for Jesus is incredible, and his desire to love and serve our student-athletes and coaches at FCS is a true blessing."

Robertson will lead FCS' strength training and sports performance program in addition to coaching football and lacrosse.

"Coach Robertson has assisted in the weight room for the last five years and has a real passion for helping athletes reach their goals related to strength training," Lowery said. "I am excited to see Coach Robertson take on this new role given his tremendous passion, energy, and connection with young people.

Tough Night: Paladins Fall to Trinity Christian on the Road

Three passing touchdowns – including two in the fourth quarter – were a few of the bright spots during a tough evening of football.

Junior quarterback Caleb McMickle threw for a career-high 144 yards and three touchdown passes – including one at the end of regulation – for the Paladins in a 56-20 loss to No. 1 ranked Trinity Christian School in Sharpsburg on Sept. 3.

It was a rematch of the first-ever football game between the schools. On Dec. 11, 2020, the Lions beat FCS 41-27 in a GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships Elite Eight contest.

On Friday night, junior linebacker Kyle Elphick intercepted a pass on Trinity's opening possession and McMickle connected with senior Josh Cole on a 24-yard touchdown pass on a 2nd-and-9 play to get Fellowship on the board first. Sophomore Nathan Chapman missed the extra-point attempt, but FCS led 6-0 at 8:23. Cole's TD catch capped a three-play, 39-yard drive that included a Trinity penalty.

Unfortunately, the Lions scored the next 49 unanswered points before the Paladins final two scores.

McMickle connected with Elphick, a tight end, on a pair of scores over the final 10:21. The first score came on a 52-yard catch and run to cap an 80-yard drive that began late in the third quarter. Fellowship missed the point-after attempt, and it was 49-12. The Paladins covered the 80 yards in six plays that included Cole's 23-yard gain on a pass from McMickle on third down.

As the horn sounded to end the game, Elphick hauled in a pass in the end zone on a fourth down play from the 9-yard-line. Senior Sam Albee grabbed the two-point conversion pass from McMickle to make it 56-20. The longest gain of the drive was TJ Lester's 76-yard run.

Trinity's final touchdown came following a Paladin fumble deep in their own territory with 4:25 to play. Trinity scored on a 1st-and-goal play from the 2-yard-line to take a 56-12 lead.

Following Fellowship's first touchdown, the Lions scored three consecutive TDs in the first quarter and added a fourth score with 1:10 left in the second quarter. The Lions led 21-6 after the first quarter, 28-6 at halftime and 49-6 after three quarters.

Trinity returned a pass interception for a touchdown at 11:07 of the third, and added two more TDs at 8:44 and 4:51.

At Trinity, the Paladins gained 80 yards on the ground and were out gained overall, 374-224. Lester led FCS with 71 yards on four rushes.

Elphick made two catches – both for scores – that totaled 61 yards. Cole had a team-high three grabs for 51 yards and one score. Freshman Evan Haynes and junior Jonathan Long each had two catches.

On defense, FCS was led by Cole's seven assisted stops and 11 total tackles. He and senior Garrett Wagner each made four solo tackles to share the team lead. Wagner finished with six total stops and Elphick recorded five total tackles, four assists and an interception.

The Paladins, who beat Christian Heritage 31-21 in Dalton on Aug. 20, are now 1-1 on the season. The team begins a stretch of games over seven consecutive weeks, including three straight at Bob Lord Field from Sept. 10-24, against B.E.S.T. Academy this Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

(Photos by Larry Moore)

Paladins Travel to Sharpsburg for Rematch of Last Season's FCS-Trinity Christian GHSA Football Playoff Contest

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School is making its second trip to Sharpsburg for a varsity football contest against Trinity Christian School since December 2020.

On Dec. 11, the Paladins suffered their only loss of the 2020 season – 41-27 – to the Lions in the GHSA Class A Private School Football Championships Elite Eight contest. In a rematch, FCS travels to Trinity for a contest on Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m. It will be the second time the Paladins and Lions have met in varsity football.

The Paladins, who beat Christian Heritage 31-21 in Dalton on Aug. 20, enter the contest with a 1-0 record, while Trinity is 2-0 with a pair of road victories (54-3 at Mount Vernon Presbyterian on Aug 27 and 59-7 at Athens Academy on Aug. 20).

FCS led the entire contest at Christian Heritage, and showed a balanced attack.

Senior running back Josh Cole gained 168 yards on 25 carries in the game for the Paladins, who were narrowly out gained by Christian Heritage, 343-342, in the contest. That total included 217 rushing yards and 125 passing yards.

Sophomore Noah Falcon collected 55 yards on 11 attempts on the ground.

Junior quarterback Caleb McMickle threw for 125 yards (10-for-15). Sophomore Josh Milhollin led the team with five catches and 67 receiving yards, while junior Elphick grabbed two passes for 28 yards.

Junior Jonathan Long led FCS with five solo tackles and eight total stops, while Cole registered four solo stops and seven total tackles.

(Photo by Milo Falcon)

Fellowship Beats Saint Francis to Take Pair of Area Matches

The varsity volleyball team from Fellowship Christian School posted a pair of Area victories at home on Aug. 31.

The Lady Paladins (6-7 overall) posted a 25-9, 25-17 victory over Saint Francis at Paladin Gym. It was the second of two Area matches played at Paladin Gym on Aug. 31.

They were the team's first two Area matches of the season.

Earlier in the evening, Fellowship defeated Mt. Bethel Christian Academy in straight sets.

In the first match at Paladin Gym, FCS downed Mt. Bethel Christian Academy in two sets.

Fellowship won the first set, 25-6, and took the second one, 25-16.

Lady Paladins Place Third at Cherokee Christian JV Volleyball Tournament

The Fellowship Christian School JV volleyball club posted a 4-2 record and claimed third place overall at the Cherokee Christian School JV Volleyball Tournament held on Aug. 28.

The Lady Paladins defeated Dominion Christian, 25-19, 25-20, to bring home third place. That match came after Fellowship fell to The King's Academy, 23-25, 23-25 in the semifinals.

"These ladies battled all day," head coach Troy Schulz said. "This is the most improved team over a two-week period that I have witnessed in 31 years of coaching. The entire grouped rocked it today. Our communication was awesome and the teamwork was even better. We came back to beat Dominion to take third place."

FCS opened the tournament with a 17-25, 25-21, 15-11 over King's Ridge Christian School. The Lady Paladins fell to The King's Academy in two sets (23-25, 22-25) in the next match.

Fellowship defeated Holy Spirit Prep, 25-11, 25-15, and Fidelis Christian, 25-18, 25-20, in its third and fourth matches to improve to 3-1 in the tourney. The team earned the third seed heading into the finals round.

"In the Holy Spirit match, Anna Mullis served 10 aces in the first game," Schulz said. "They really started to gel in that match."

The Lady Paladins are now 5-7 overall.

Paladin Runners Place 4th at Our Lady of Mercy Invitational

The boys and girls varsity and JV cross country squads from Fellowship Christian School opened the 2021 regular season at the Our Lady of Mercy Invitational at OLOM in Fayetteville on Aug. 21.

The boys squad finished fourth overall.

In a field of 70 runners, FCS seniors Davis Hobbs and Garrett Lengefeld finished in the top 20 at 10th and 15th, respectively. Sophomore Tyler Greenwell finished in the top 15 in the JV race.

"Both the boys and girls teams ran their races well," head coach Tom Harrison said. "The efforts expended and the experiences gained from this their first meet of the season have given the cross country teams a foothold and feel for the competition, going forward. This early meet helped each member of the team recognize their potential, and look forward to what the season holds for them."

Paladins Post 31-21 Win at Christian Heritage in Varsity Football Regular-Season Opener

Josh Cole scored a late touchdown to give the Fellowship Christian School varsity football team some breathing room.

And the senior running back's 26-yard touchdown with 2:36 left on Aug. 20 in Dalton, Ga., maybe even allowed veteran head coach Tim McFarlin to take a deep breath. The final Christian Heritage drive stalled and the Paladins posted a 31-21 victory over the Lions in McFarlin's first regular-season game at FCS.

The victory also happened to be Fellowship's second straight win over Christian Heritage. The Paladins are now 2-6 all-time against the Lions in varsity football.

Cole scored on a pair of runs, junior quarterback Caleb McMickle connected on a touchdown pass to junior tight end Kyle Elphick and scored on a QB keeper in the game for the Paladins. Sophomore kicker Nathan Chapman booted a 24-yard field goal, went 4-for-4 in extra-point attempts and even had a second field goal called back due to a penalty.

Hanging onto a 24-21 lead with 5:02 to play, the Paladins took over on offense following a Lion touchdown at midfield. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty pushed back Christian Heritage to the 25-yard line for the kickoff.

To begin the drive, McMickle connected with sophomore Josh Milhollin on a 10-yard completion, followed by Cole's three consecutive runs of 8, 6 and 26 yards (final attempt was the TD). Chapman kicked the final of his four extra points to give FCS a 10-point cushion with 2:36 left.

Christian Heritage, which drove deep into Paladin territory, ran out of time as the final buzzer sounded. The Lions' 10-yard TD run and extra-point with 5:12 left made the score 24-21.

The Paladins led 10-0 after the first quarter, 17-7 at halftime and 24-14 after the third quarter.

Fellowship ended a 14-play, 58-yard drive on the opening possession with Chapman's field goal. On a 4th-and-2 play from the Lion 18-yard-line, junior Nick Persiano grabbed a pass from McMickle for an 11-yard completion and a key first down. Three runs by Cole took the ball almost to the goal line, but a flag pushed the Paladins back to the 5-yard line on fourth down and Chapman gave FCS three points.

Senior Patrick Gibson recovered the fumble on the ensuing kick off, and the Paladins scored three plays from scrimmage later as McMickle connected with Elphick for a 5-yard TD pass play. The Paladins led 10-0.

The Lions' first drive ended as sophomore Billy Jackson scooped up a Christian Heritage fumble at the FCS 44-yard-line. Unfortunately the Paladins could not capitalize on that turnover as Chapman's 44-yard field goal early in the second quarter was taken off the scoreboard due to a Fellowship penalty. The Lions blocked Chapman's next attempt from 49 yards after the penalty was marked off.

Christian Heritage struck first in the second quarter on a 1-yard QB keeper for a touchdown. After the extra point, the score was 10-7.

Following Milhollin's long kick off return to the Lion 22-yard-line, the Paladins reached the end zone again on Cole's 10-yard run with 8:12 to go in the half. Fellowship led 17-7 after scoring on three of its first four possessions.

Christian Heritage scored on the opening drive of the second half. A 58-yard TD pass play and kick allowed the Lions to pull within 17-14 at 10:42.

Fellowship's next drive ended in a punt, but the Lions could not tie the game as Carson Russell missed a 39-yard field goal attempt with 3:53 left in the third quarter.

McMickle's QB keeper from a yard out and extra point put FCS back up by 10 – 24-14 – with 44.9 seconds left in the half. Highlights of the eight-play, 78-yard drive included a 23-yard completion from McMickle to Elphick early in the drive, and back-to-back runs of 20 and 13 by Cole later in the drive.

Cole gained 168 yards on 25 carries in the game, sophomore Noah Falcon added 55 yards on 11 attempts on the ground. The Paladin ground game earned 217 total yards.

McMickle threw for 125 yards (10-for-15). Milhollin led the team with five catches and 67 receiving yards. Elphick grabbed two passes for 28 yards.

The Lions out gained the Paladins, 343-342, in the contest.

Junior Jonathan Long led FCS with five solo tackles and eight total stops, while Cole registered four solo stops and seven total tackles.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Week 1 Preview: Paladins Face Stiff Test at Christian Heritage to Kick Off Regular Season

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School is making strides in the right direction.

"Football is a process," head coach Tim McFarlin said. "You can practice, but only a game can help you see where you are as a football team. We look at the season at its entirety. It's a cliché, but we really will take them one game at a time this season. We want to get better every game."

The Paladins' scrimmage against Holy Innocents' Episcopal School at Bob Lord Field on Aug. 13 ended at halftime due to multiple lightning delays with the Paladins leading 17-13.

"It was a great effort by the team," McFarlin said. "For the most part we hit our assignments well. We have some great film to use as a teaching opportunity for our players. That game was a good learning experience. And our kids are hungry to learn."

The Paladins open the regular season at Christian Heritage in Dalton on Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

"They are a good football team," McFarlin said. "They have a lot of very good players. Their quarterback and [No. 1] running back are both very good."

Last season, Fellowship opened its 11-1 season with a 43-21 over Christian Heritage at home on Sept. 4.

But that result has no bearing on this contest.

"We are a totally different team," McFarlin said. "It will be a challenge. They are a very talented team."

Christian Heritage has a long history of being a tough opponent for the Paladins. FCS is 1-6 all-time against the Lions.

Earlier this summer, long-time Calhoun High School football coach Hal Lamb joined the Lions Athletic Department as Athletic Director of Development. While he is not coaching football, he brings a winning football tradition to Dalton. At Calhoun, he went 233-37 with three state titles and 18 consecutive Region crowns over 21 seasons.

On Aug. 13, the Paladins scored three times and held HIES to two touchdowns.

Junior quarterback Caleb McMickle connected with sophomore Josh Milhollin on a 65-yard pass play late in the first half to give FCS the lead for good.

Earlier in the half, senior Garrett Wagner scored on a 46-yard run and sophomore Nathan Chapman kicked a 42-yard field goal.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Lady Paladins Kick off Regular Season with Varsity Volleyball Victory over Cherokee Christian School

The Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team had a tough test to begin the 2021 regular season.

The Lady Paladins pulled out a non-Area victory over Cherokee Christian School at Paladin Gym in the best-out-five match. FCS won three games to two.

Fellowship opened the match with 25-18 and 25-22 victories, but Cherokee tied the match with a pair of 25-19 wins.

The Lady Paladins prevailed with a game five win, 15-5.

Paladin Runners Head to Starting Line Aug. 21

Head coach Tom Harrison's outlook for the upcoming varsity and JV cross-country season is pretty positive.

"I think we are in a good place starting out this season," Harrison said. "We have a fresh crop of freshman – several of whom have come to us from other schools – who have shown great potential early on in the season. That, combined with our returning runners and some new upperclassman, gives us a strong outlook for the coming season."

The Paladins open the season on the road in Fayetteville at Our Lady of Mercy's Mercy Invitational on Aug. 21, beginning at 7:30 a.m. That meet begins a schedule that features nine regular-season meets for the Paladin runners.

"Our busy schedule will present some great opportunities for each individual runner to 'find their stride' on a variety of courses," the veteran coach said.

Last season's FCS team was led by a very strong group of seniors. With the departure of that group of seniors from last year, there are several rising seniors who are strong runners and are expected to lead the team, including senior boys Jake Cartrett, Davis Hobbs, Garrett Lengefeld, Benny Lorenzo and Ryan Jordan.

"We have a strong group that has the potential to fill the void, and lead the team on and off the course," Harrison said. "Each of those senior boys will be competitive to represent Fellowship as a top seven varsity boys cross country runner. For the girls, our team will be a small group of six, which does not have any senior representation. However, in spite of the small size of the group, the outlook for our girls this season remains strong as it has in previous seasons, because of the experience and talent within this group."

Harrison expects a balanced roster of younger and older runners on both the boys and girls sides. He sees a lot of improvements already from the team in pre-season practice.

"In addition to the seniors mentioned above, there are several younger runners on both the boys and girls squads in contention to be in the top tier," he said. "The athletes that return to cross country year to year often find that they grow, becoming faster and stronger with each subsequent year, particularly if they put in some mileage over the summer months. Additionally, races and training events provide growth opportunities for the athlete because they create an atmosphere where athletes can learn how to manage and strategize the mental and physical aspects of the sport. As they navigate their way through the cross country season by running challenging 5K courses or while training for a meet, the athlete will always find opportunities to gain confidence, or to dig deep, or to settle in to a pace that will sustain him throughout a 5K. They'll know what it means to finish strong, or to know how fast he or she should go out at the start, or find a race strategy that works."

What will determine success for your teams this year?

"We can measure success in cross country from an individual's perspective, as well as a team's perspective," Harrison said. "Each runner has the ability to achieve success by working towards his or her personal best. Those efforts collectively combine to give our teams a real shot at the Region competition. With a top four finish we would qualify us for the state meet."

(File picture)

Paladin Football Team Prevails Over HIES in Lightning-Shortened Season Tune-up

The Fellowship Christian School varsity football team's scrimmage ended early due to lightning.

On Aug. 13, the Paladins took a 17-13 lead over Holy Innocents' Episcopal School into the locker room in head coach Tim McFarlin's Paladin coaching debut. About 50 minutes later it was announced that the game would not continue following multiple lightning strikes in the area.

FCS took the lead for good as junior quarterback Caleb McMickle connected with sophomore Josh Milhollin on a 65-yard pass play over the middle. Milhollin hauled in the ball about 30 yards down the middle of the field and sprinted past the defenders into the end zone. Sophomore Nathan Chapman booted the second of two extra-point kicks to give FCS the four-point lead with 19.9 seconds left in the half.

Chapman's 42-yard field goal – which probably could have gone for 52 yards – put Fellowship up 10-7 with 5:03 left in the half. It came two plays after senior Josh Cole's apparent 21-yard TD run was called back due to a penalty, which was followed by an incomplete pass.

The Golden Bears answered that field goal with junior Drew Bomar's 4-yard TD run on a sweep to the right corner of the end zone. Junior Nick Persiano blocked the extra-point kick, but HIES took a 13-10 lead with 28.7 seconds left in the half.

Fellowship struck first on a touchdown with 4:25 remaining in the first quarter. Senior Garrett Wagner took the pitch and sprinted 46 yards into the end zone as FCS answered a Golden Bears sack of McMickle.

HIES tied it at 7-7 on Bomar's first TD run and an extra-point kick at 9:15 of the second quarter.

The Paladins kick off the regular season in Dalton against Christian Heritage on Aug. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

(Photos by Milo Falcon)

Alumni Update: Moore Prepares for Senior Lax Season, Finishes 5-Week ROTC Training This Summer

Meredith Moore has made a commitment that's an even bigger one than deciding to become a college women's lacrosse athlete.

Moore, who enters her senior year and final college lacrosse season at Presbyterian College this year, completed a five-week ROTC training program this summer. She joined ROTC during the fall of her sophomore year, and will be commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Army following graduation in May 2022 from Presbyterian. Moore will then spend four years as an active duty Army officer and another four in the reserves.

"The Lord put the military on my heart," said Moore, a 2018 graduate of FCS. "I want to offer hope to others in the military, and I want to people [in the military] to know about Jesus. I am so excited about my choice. While training was very demanding, being a college athlete makes you stronger, training a little easier and helps with your endurance."

On the lacrosse field this past spring, Moore helped Presbyterian to continue to make progress during head coach Eric Clakeley's second year as the program's head coach. As a freshman, Moore's team finished 1-16, but the Blue Hose improved to 2-5 in 2020 and 4-10 in 2021.

"My junior year was awesome," she said. "It really was a relatively normal season. We had 16 games scheduled, and actually played 14 after a short year my sophomore season. We were happy with that. Coach has done a great job. He is a great leader. We are excited for this season and the progress we can make."

Last season, Presbyterian posted a 12-11 victory over Longwood in Farmville, Va., on April 3, 2021, which was the Blue Hose' first conference win for the seniors on the team during their Presbyterian careers.

"We are excited about this season this spring," Moore said. "We have 13 freshmen coming in. Our goal is to go to the Big South Tournament. As a senior I look for a unique opportunity to lead my teammates. I am excited for my final season. I have enjoyed my three years here, and I really have no complaints. Not very many people can say they played four years on Division I lacrosse at a great school like Presbyterian."

The field for the Big South is expanding for women's lacrosse this spring to include Furman University, Mercer University and Wofford College.

As a junior, Moore started all 13 games she played in and registered a career-high 11 ground balls, including three to match her single-game career high in a 23-8 loss to Campbell at home in Clinton, S.C., on April 17. She also caused a career-best seven turnovers overall, and registered a career single-game high of three on April 14 in a 21-7 loss to Winthrop at home. The 13 starts are a career high.

Moore and three teammates were selected for the IWLCA Academic Honor Roll following her junior season.

"It was really quite nice, as academics are really why we are in school," Moore said with a smile.

During the Covid-19 shortened sophomore season in the spring of 2020, Moore started all seven games and finished with six ground balls and caused one turnover. She set a single-game career best with three groundballs on Feb. 7, 2020 against Howard.

Moore played in a career-best 16 games as a freshman, which included nine starts. She set career highs with two assists and two points, and recorded 10 groundballs and caused four turnovers in 2019.

Moore's younger sister, Suzanne, enters her sophomore season at Young Harris College this spring.

"It's been so cool to watch her join a team, and come into her own in lacrosse and otherwise," Meredith said.

The Moore sisters helped build the girl's lacrosse program at Fellowship.

"High school lacrosse is so special," Moore said. "College lacrosse is so memorable and I wouldn't trade it for anything, but the friendships you build and the bonds you create in high school are really extra special. We helped lay a foundation for a special program there. They continue to do really big things at Fellowship, which has people talking about it."

(Photos courtesy of Presbyterian College)

Lady Paladins to Kick off Season with Scrimmage on Aug. 6

The Fellowship Christian School varsity volleyball team enters the 2021 season with a pretty impressive streak.

The FCS varsity volleyball teams have qualified for the state playoffs seven straight seasons.

Under head coach Samantha Thom, who joined the program in 2019, the Lady Paladins have reached the 2020 GHSA Class A Private School Championships, and advanced to the second round of the 2019 GHSA Class A-AA Championships.

Thom, who's posted a 14-3 Area record and 32-41 overall mark at FCS, guided the Lady Paladins to the 2019 Area Championships. The school has earned five Area or Region championships in girls' volleyball all-time at FCS.

The Lady Paladins kick off this season with a scrimmage against Holy Innocents' Episcopal School at Paladin Gym on Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. The club's regular-season opener is a home match against Cherokee Christian School on Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.

"We won't set official goals until after the scrimmage," Thom said. "But we always have the goal of winning Area. We want to bring that back to Fellowship this year, and of course make it to state again."

The Lady Paladins face some tough opponents early in the season before its Area schedule. From Aug. 19-26, four of the team's first six opponents are 6A schools (John's Creek, East Paulding, Kell and Wheeler) and one is a 7A school (Duluth). In addition, many of the teams in the field for the Lakepoint Station tournament on Aug 28 will be from 7A and 6A.

"I think we've scheduled some pretty tough opponents," Thom said. "I think starting off with tough non-Area teams will help prepare us for our tough Area opponents like Mount Pisgah, Saint Francis and Mt. Bethel. I don't know yet who'll be the best in Area, but Mount Pisgah is always tough. Saint Francis graduated a very good player who's now at Michigan, but they have been very good. We expect some tough Area opponents."

Team dynamics are expected to be a little different in 2021 as FCS graduated five seniors from the 2020 squad.

"Three of those five had played varsity at Fellowship for four years," Thom said. "It's a lot younger team this year, but they're looking very good in practice."

Thom and assistant coach Brittany Betten have watched the team grow in recent practices.

"The chemistry is really good," Thom said. "They have seemed to have jelled together."

Thom talked about the factors that have helped the Lady Paladins build the current state playoff streak.

"The hard work the girls put in is a major factor," Thom said. "Coaches can only do so much. These girls love the sport and have the will to get it done."

(File picture)

New-Look Paladins Open Season with Scrimmage on Aug. 13; Team Kicks Off Regular Season at Christian Heritage Aug. 20

The varsity football team from Fellowship Christian School has had the challenge of learning new offensive and defensive schemes this summer.

Under the direction of veteran head coach Tim McFarlin, defensive coordinator John Thompson and the team's coaching staff, the Paladins have been hard at work getting a grasp of the new systems under the direction of several new coaches.

McFarlin, who led Roswell High School to a state championship and Blessed Trinity to three state crowns, joined FCS on Feb 10 to take over for the retired Al Morrell. McFarlin has 40 years of coaching experience, and he brought in Thompson, a veteran of 30 years coaching, as his defensive coordinator. Thompson, a former college coach, also serves as the school's recruiting coordinator.

"We are pleased with the progress," McFarlin said. "As a coach you are never completely satisfied, but we are in a good place. The kids have been working hard."

The Paladins, coming off a 1a-1 season and a trip to the GHSA Class A Private Elite 8, have spent hours working on the new systems on both sides of the ball over the past few weeks. The team kicks off the 2021 season with a scrimmage against Holy Innocents' Episcopal School on Aug. 13 at Bob Lord Field at 7:30 p.m. The season opener is the next Friday night at Christian Heritage in Dalton, Ga. at 7:30 p.m.

"The boys have bought in," McFarlin said. "They have learned the system and continue to get better. But we won't know how well they've learned it until we play games. We are in the middle of a process to get ready for the season."

The defensive scheme is probably a little tougher to learn, according to the veteran head coach.

"It's extremely tough to learn, but coach Thompson is a master at teaching it," McFarlin said. "On offense, we want to do a few things very well. But honestly the kids are growing on both sides. Our special teams should be very good too. Jim Broadwell has done a great job with them. We are very happy with their progress too."

It's too early to tell which players will lead the Paladins this fall, or what the team's strengths will be.

"We have to continue to let them develop," McFarlin said. "That'll be game to game to see who [leads the team] and how we do as a team."

Following last season, a group of 18 Paladins received post-season Region 6A honors. That group led the Paladins to the state Elite 8, which ended with a tough 41-27 loss to Trinity Christian School. The schools will meet again in Sharpsburg, Ga., on Sept. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

Among the honorees from last fall were senior-to-be Josh Cole (defensive back) and incoming juniors Kyle Elphick (defensive back), Sean Sargent (defensive line), Calen Nichols (offensive line) and Clay Shepler (wide receiver).

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

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). 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.

McFarlin's friendship with Morrell helped his adjustment to FCS.

"Al and I have been friends for 30 years, so I knew a lot of Fellowship and this program," McFarlin said.

FCS is the third Roswell high school program that the long-time Roswell resident has coached led.

"I love this community," McFarlin said. "I grew up here and went to Roswell North down the street. My mom worked there. I love Roswell. The families in Roswell have so many good choices for schools. I am very blessed to be here at Fellowship. I look forward to the season."

(File picture by Chip Cookston)

Alumni Update: Herrmann Ready for Second Collegiate Volleyball Season

Taylor Herrmann hopes for a little more normal of a volleyball season this time around.

The 2020 Fellowship Christian School graduate is getting ready for her second collegiate volleyball season at Piedmont University. This time it should be in the fall.

"It was easier than I planned on, and it was good," Herrmann said about her first collegiate volleyball season. "Because of Covid we did have a shortened season. The school moved all fall sports to the spring too. We usually play in the fall, and had about half the games we normally have. We are glad to get back to the fall."

Herrmann's club volleyball experience with A5 helped her better prepare for her first collegiate season.

"I played club, so that helped," she said. "The college game is tougher than high school, but club play helped me get ready for that kind of competition at Piedmont."

Herrmann, a 5-foot-8 Libero and defensive specialist, played in all 15 matches for Piedmont. The Lady Lions finished 4-11 overall, including a 2-6 mark in USA South Athletic Conference matches.

Last season, Herrmann collected 25 sets played, 33 digs, 60 total attempts and a digs percentage per set of 1.32.

"I played in three out five sets overall," Herrmann said. "With a lot of new players coming in this year, so I really want to keep my playing time."

This summer Herrmann has been busy with her job and also managed to improve her conditioning via weight training. She heads back to college Aug. 9.

"Practices should start the first day of classes," she said. "I am excited about the season, and meeting the new people."

Herrmann helped build a strong program at FCS.

She's the school's all-time single-season (2019) and career leader for digs. Herrmann also was named to the All-Area team in 2019, and helped the Lady Paladins win the Area Championship in 2018 and 2019.

"I do miss it a lot," Herrmann said about FCS volleyball. "Playing with my best friend [Meredith Rush] was a lot of fun. We had some good teams there."

Herrmann has now found a home at Piedmont, which located in Demorest, Ga. She's a forensic science major, and Piedmont is one of very few Georgia colleges and universities with that major.

"I really, really like it there," she said.

Herrmann has some advice for those 2021 FCS graduates headed for collegiate sports this fall, which actually fits for all incoming freshman athletes at Piedmont.

"Make sure you enjoy it," Herrmann said. "Don't stress yourself out, like I did a couple of times last year. Make sure you build relationships with your teammates, and work hard to quickly adjust to classes, practices, weight training and games. It's a pretty busy schedule. And also make sure your grades are good. The coaches really, really watch that in college. If your grades slip than you do not play."

(Photos courtesy of Piedmont University)

Alumni Update: Moore Completes Successful First Season at Young Harris; Awaits New Coach

As Suzanne Moore prepares for her second collegiate women's lacrosse season at Young Harris College, she waits patiently to find out her team's new coach will be.

Head coach Samantha Hurley left the Lady Mountain Lion program earlier this month to take the head coach position at NCAA Division I Radford College in Virginia. In four seasons at Young Harris, Hurley finished with a 33-25 record and guided the Lady Mountain Lions to a pair of regular-season conference titles and one tournament championship.

"She was a great coach, and it was an incredible opportunity for her," Moore said. "But it's been a strange summer as we currently don't have a coach."

Due to the pandemic, Moore's freshman season at the NCAA Division II school in north Georgia was impacted.

"Well it was a lot different than I expected," the defender said. "We did not have fall ball. The first time we played a game [or scrimmage] was in February."

Moore, who played in 11 games and had two starts, recorded five ground balls and finished with six turnovers for Young Harris, 5-8 overall in 2021. The team went 1-3 in conference games.

Young Harris also faced a pair of top 20 schools in non-conference games last season (Queens University and the University of Mt. Olive).

"We only played four conference games," Moore said. "We lost two games by one goal. We made the league championship game as the fourth seed, but lost. Overall, the year was OK. I was very happy with the year personally."

Moore has set some goals for the 2022 season.

"I want to contribute more this year than last year," she said. "I played in a quarter to about a half of the games I played in. I want to play more."

The college game was a little different than high school for Moore, a biology major at Young Harris.

"It was a lot faster," she said. "We had a sixth-year player, who was 24. So we had a wide range of ages on the team too. That was different than high school."

The 2020 graduate of FCS helped build the Lady Paladin lacrosse program.

"It was super fun to be part of the first of everything," Moore said. "I was on the first middle school and the first varsity team. I don't think I realized the significance of it back then, but it's super cool to think about now.

Moore, whose sister Meredith will enter her senior season at NCAA Division I Presbyterian College this fall, has learned a lot from her older sister.

"She helped me prepare [for college lacrosse], the pace of the game and the people," Moore said.

In turn, Moore would like to help others get adjusted to college athletics like her sister did for her. She has some helpful advice.

"It's a completely different game," she said. "I would tell them to stay true to who you are and work hard. And also lean into your faith. Young Harris isn't a Christian school, so I got plugged into my church and my small group. Have fun and enjoy college, but give it your all as an athlete."

A little quieter than the north Atlanta suburbs, Moore has found a home in the north Georgia mountains and the city of Young Harris.

"I love it there," Moore said. "It's not just the school, but the people in town. Everyone is great. It's a great place to be. The school has kids from north Georgia and south Georgia, other states and we also have a lot of International students."

(Photo courtesy of Young Harris College)

Alumni Update: Joye Completes Freshman Baseball Season at Georgia State, Moves to New School

Fellowship Christian School graduate Preston Joye has decided to transfer to NCAA Division II Valdosta State and continue his collegiate baseball career in south Georgia.

Joye, who graduated from FCS in 2020, completed his first college baseball season for Georgia State University in Atlanta in the spring of 2021. While he enjoyed his time there, he decided to make a change.

"There were a few reasons, but that's where I am from," said Joye, who attended Fellowship from eighth to 12th grades. "I have friends on the team, and the coaches have been great and have made me feel welcome. I am excited to be there."

Valdosta State competes in the Gulf South, and Joye has set his sights on helping grow the program there like he did at FCS.

"I would like to help the team there reach Regionals and hopefully advance to the [Division II] World Series," Joye said. "I want to be a big impact player and contribute to the team's success."

To help him prepare for his sophomore season, Joye is spending this summer in Wyoming as an infielder for the Casper Horeseheads of the Expedition League. The summer league team for college players has a 55-game schedule in June and July.

"For me, I wanted to get some more at-bats," Joye said. "My defense has always been good, but I want to work on my swing here. My coaches knew someone [with the Horeseheads], and they needed an infielder, so I decided to come here for the summer."

Joye helped Georgia State post an 18-37 record in 2021. He played in 30 games, started 15 contests and hit .161 in 56 at-bats with nine hits, nine runs and five RBIs. In Sun Belt Conference games, Joye played in 17 games with 11 starts and batted .176 with six hits, six runs and four RBIs for the Panthers. He set season highs with two hits on May 22 against Little Rock, and two runs versus ULM on May 25.

"It was really good," Joye said about his freshman year. "I sat around a little bit in the early part of the season, but got my chances to play and started to have an impact. I started to contribute."

Among his highlights were an opportunity to play in televised games and compete in Panthers' conference games.

What was Joye's toughest adjustment to college baseball?

"The schedule," he said. "It was pretty busy. Playing sports in college takes a lot of work and time. The pressure is there too. I found out I had to slow the game down to calm my nerves. When I slowed down my heart rate I found I could compete better."

As a freshman in the classroom, Joye had some strong success. He was named to the Dean's List, Fall 2020, and to the Athletic Director's Honor Roll, Spring 2021.

Joye remains close friends with former FCS teammates Cameron Gill and Isaac Bouton, both current college baseball players.

The friendships he built at Fellowship as a student athlete and helping to build a strong baseball program at FCS are among his favorite memories from high school.

"Some of my friends [from FCS] will be life-long friends," Joye said. "I also will never forget that second playoff game against Wesleyan that we won on a walk-off homerun. That's also a favorite memory."

His advice for incoming freshman athletes is pretty simple.

"The college locker room can be a tough place," Joye said. "The game can become all that you do, but you need to stand strong in your faith. You also need to listen to your coaches, overcome challenges and adapt, and work on the mental aspect of the game. It will pay off."

(Photos courtesy of Georgia State University/Dale Zanine)