Banks County Opinions...

August 23, 2000

By Drew Brantley
The Banks County News
August 23, 2000

Crystal ball out, polished
It's just about time to stop talking about what the football season could be. This Friday night, some high school teams begin their regular seasons, while others, like Banks County, will play in jamborees. A handful of college teams will begin the NCAA regular season this weekend as well.
But just another week past Friday and Saturday's, we'll have everything in full swing.
But before even though the time for talking is dwindling, there is still a little room. I don't make a habit of writing a football prediction column. I don't know the future. If I could tell what would happen tomorrow, I would be buying a lot of lottery tickets.
Since I don't know, I will guess. I have some information about the season, but I don't know. If I low-ball anybody, I'll be glad to take credit for the inspiration that made a better record possible.
Maybe I'm optimistic. But I think that what should be the low end of possibility for the Leopards is still pretty high. I don't know how each game will go, but I think that 7-3 is so reachable that any record worse than that would be a bit of a surprise.
That doesn't mean that they can't falter. I also would not rule out the possibility that Banks County could win its first 10 games. Banks County ought to be planning on playing at least 11 games whatever their record.
I think that Greater Atlanta Christian, Rabun County and East Hall will be the other playoff teams from Region 8-AA.
Commerce will have to set aside its recent regular season success this year. The Tigers will finish their first 10 games with at least three losses. If they do any better than that, their top ranking in Class A might be a reality, playing the likes of Lincoln County, Washington-Wilkes, Franklin County, Buford and Athens Academy in the first 10 games.
Jefferson went 5-5 last year. They probably won't do better than 6-4 this year. If things don't go well for them, they could fall to three or fewer wins.
Jackson County plays in one of the toughest regions in Class AAA. A record of 2-8 would be a good target.
Madison County is playing a non-region schedule of mostly Class A and newly formed schools. They will win four games. A record of 6-4 and the first winning season since 1991 seems very possible.
Georgia will finish the year 10-3 with a win in a New Year's Day bowl game. Georgia Tech will go 7-5, losing in a mid-tier bowl game. The Falcons should have played .500 ball, but they probably won't make the playoffs.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and The Banks County News.

The Banks County News
August 23, 2000

Baldwin parents should have been notified earlier about school situation
The first day of school can be traumatic for young children who have been away from the structure of the classroom for several months.
Questions about who their teacher will be, whether or not their friends will be in their classes and what their schedule will be are among the concerns youngsters have as a new school year begins.
Banks County students planning to attend Baldwin Elementary School on Friday were given another thing to worry about less than 24 hours before they were set to begin another school year.
The Habersham County School System sent a letter late last week informing parents that Baldwin was at its capacity and the students would not be able to enroll.
The blame apparently went to a new state law reducing class sizes. The Habersham system knew about this new law for some time and should have planned better on the situation at Baldwin.
Whether or not their reasoning for turning away the students has merit can be debated, and likely will be, but the parents and their children deserved to know well ahead of time that they would not be allowed to attend Baldwin Elementary School.
Some didn't even have enough time to visit the school their kids would attend before Friday to meet their teachers. The kids have enough concerns with the arrival of a new school year without this.

By Angela Gary
The Banks County News
August 23, 2000

Pedaling full speed ahead
Flying across the field with wind whipping through my hair. Laughing as I go faster and faster and faster. Suddenly, I come to a little hill and I am going faster than ever before. I feel out of control. I can't stop. I scream at my mother, who is watching my wild ride, "Help me stop!!!"
My mother chases after me but she can't catch me. She frantically yells, "I can't catch you...brakes, brakes...use the brakes!!!!!." I look around for brakes as I fly down the hill. I don't see anything that resembles brakes. I begin to panic. I scream, "Where are they? Where are the brakes?" My mother yells, "Pedal backwards!"
Who knew you pedaled backwards to make a bicycle stop? Certainly not me. I had no idea. Of course, my only experience is riding around on a tricycle as a youngster. I probably didn't brake a lot in those days. I was fearless then. I have a lot of fears now and racing out of control down a hill is one of them.
I never learned how to ride a real bicycle. Yes, I admit it, I can't ride a bicycle. That seems to amaze most folks. I don't know if it's the balance thing or all that pedaling, but I never learned how. As my sister moved from tricycle to bicycle, I read more and played with my dolls.
I didn't feel that I was missing out on anything in life. On a recent trip to Jekyll Island, bicycles were the mode of transportation for many. It looked like fun, but I still didn't realize I was missing anything. This all changed when my dad brought home a huge tricycle. Actually, I'm not sure that it is called a tricycle, but that is what it looks like. It is adult-size, but it has three wheels. I had never seen anything like it.
My mother just laughed when she saw it. I don't think either of my parents really expected me to enjoy it as much as I have. Now that I have the brake thing down, you can't stop me. I hop on my "bike" (which sounds better than "trike") and ride around in the field behind our house. Once I get some new tires on it, I'm going to venture out even further. It also needs a paint job, but I don't think the peeling paint will stop me from riding.
I really love my new "wheels." I even rode over to my aunt's house to show my bike to her. When I told her to hurry outside to see my "new wheels," she asked if I had a new car. I told her I had something even better than a new car. Most folks might not see it that way, but since I missed out on the whole bike thing as a youngster, I have a lot of catching up to do.
So far I haven't had any serious mishaps, but I did kind of run over one of the cats at the shop. She's OK, though, and I don't have any broken bones. But if you see me headed your way, you might want to get out of the way. Watch out, world, here comes Angie and her bike!
Angela Gary is editor of The Banks County News and associate editor of The Jackson Herald. Her e-mail address is





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