The Banks County News
August 30, 2000
Region 8-AA takes
to the field this Friday
Banks County is in a new region this year
for football. The realignment shook things up last spring. But
now is the time to see what those changes will mean in real competition.
While several of the teams are familiar, some of the teams are
new to the Leopard schedule.
Rabun County, Dawson County, Union County and Greater Atlanta
Christian were all with the Leopards last year in Region 8-A.
East Hall, Lumpkin County and White County were all in Region
7-AA last year.
Another of the new region teams is Apalachee. But this Barrow
County school is new to everything.
Opening this year to handle overcrowding at Winder-Barrow, Apalachee
is playing a region schedule without any seniors. It's not just
that the football team doesn't have any seniors. The whole school
has just grades nine through 11.
That did not keep Apalachee from winning its first-ever game
last week, though. Banks County will get a crack at the Wildcats
on Oct. 13.
Glascock County has the dubious distinction of the most consecutive
losses by a high school team in the state with 62 straight defeats,
a streak which was ended by a forfeit win.
The team won its first game on the field in the 1990s last year.
This year, Glascock County opened with a 26-6 win over Stewart-Quitman.
NICKNAME NEEDS SMACKDOWN
The World Wrestling Federation and NBC have joined forces to
produce a professional spring football league that will begin
play next year as the Xtreme Football League.
Set to begin in the weeks following the Super Bowl, the league
is supposed to offer a more raw edge to football.
Dick Butkus is the coach of the Chicago team, harking back to
an era when the NFL played a more rugged brand of football.
The XFL is designed to be rougher, with no fair catch rule on
punts, but based on some of the nicknames for the teams next
year, I think it may be a little too rough.
The main problem I have is with New York-New Jersey team. They
have chosen to be called the Hitmen.
In 1996, the NBA's Washington Bullets decided that their nickname
made light of guns in a city that had led the nation in murder
The Washington basketball team is now known as the Wizards.
I don't know if changing the Bullets' name was a good thing to
do or not. But starting a sports team in the New York City area
called the Hitmen does not seem to make a lot of sense.
Recent studies by the Justice Department show that violent crime
has dropped significantly in New York City and the state.
Highlighting violence by the use of the nickname seems to make
light of something that should always be taken seriously.
The WWF is fun show to watch, much like a cartoon. Simulated
violence is a part of that show.
But the XFL will apparently be a true contest of athletes. Making
a direct connection between football and murderers does not seem
The NFL has the Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I am
sure that pirates did kill people.
In baseball, the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians do use
a Native American warrior as their mascot. Indeed, warriors like
those killed people and were killed.
But we do not have to deal with much swashbuckling or battles
on the prairies these days. The violent death of anyone at any
time should not be trivialized, but there is a distance of history
that removes much of the sting from pirates and Indians.
Murder for hire will always be a serious issue.
There are still several months before the season begins. Hopefully
some changes will be made.
Drew Brantley is the sports editor for The Commerce News and
The Banks County News.
The Banks County News
August 30, 2000
'Ya gotta have
On a recent weekend, I covered the Banks County Fire Department's
Boot Drive. What a job they had! There they were risking life
and limbon Hwy. 441 at the I-85 interchange no lesscollecting
money for children with Muscular Dystrophy These firemen are
gutsy! And not just at fighting fires or making amazing rescues!
It was very hot that weekend. But not only did these guys, who
were on their own time, brave the heat from the sun, but also
the heat from the asphalt below. It was toasty out there, as
I found out in doing interviews with the men and women. Dodging
the heart-stopping traffic on Hwy. 441 alone was a major feat,
but add a few semis passing you in both directions and you get
an idea of what taking your life in your hands really means.
Lieutenant Tim Smallwood said he liked it when the big trucks
passed by. He said it provided for "a nice, cool breeze."
After spending a couple of hours with them, Captain Lee Burks
told me that he needed more people to volunteer so that he could
give the teams more breaks from the heat. He looked at me and
asked if I'd like to join them over the weekend. Well, how can
a girl refuse a guy in uniform! Especially for such a good cause!
All the funds the fire department was raising were to stay in
Banks and Jackson counties to help our own children with MD.
So Sunday afternoon, I went out to give them a hand for a few
hours. What I didn't realize was that they were going to make
me wear a fireman's helmet and carry one of those firemen's boots.
That added several pounds to manage while doing a balancing act
between lanes and collecting change and bills from passing motorists.
It didn't take long to figure out who was going to be generous
and who did not want to be bothered. What I discovered, and it
took me by surprise, was that the drivers of Caddys, Lincolns,
Beamers (BMWs), Corvettes and Lexuses were the least likely to
give. Maybe their car payments were too high and they didn't
have a dime, literally, to spare. Or maybe they were just too
cheap. I don't know. All I do know is that many of these drivers
would not turn to face us or even acknowledge we were there at
their windows asking for help for the kids. Elderly people were
the most likely to totally ignore us. Hmmmm... Kind of makes
you wonder doesn't it?
On the other side of the coin, the crappiest-looking cars, family
vans and SUVs, high school students and young adults heading
off to UGA were the most generous. It is thanks to their generosity
that the drive was such a success.
One father, who had just finished shopping with his teenagers
for school clothes, asked me, "Are y'all collecting for
us parents? We need a foundation to pay for all this stuff our
kids want." We both laughed while his kids glowered in the
back seat. He threw in a $20.
Young couples just starting out with babies of their own dug
deep to help children in need. Children who didn't have as good
a chance at life as their own happy, healthy babies. What hearts
they had! Even teenagers and the college crowd found at least
some "spare change" to give to the kids.
To all of you who opened your hearts and wallets, "Thank
you from the bottom of my heart!" You gave me a view of
American spirit that I hadn't seen in a while. More importantly,
you gave hope and love to the children who suffer from this terrible
disease and their families. On their behalf, "God Bless
Shar Porier is a reporter for The Banks County News.
The Banks County News
August 30, 2000
Have a safe and
fun Labor Day holiday
It's considered to be the last official day of summer. The last
day for a long weekend trip. The last day to head to the lake
or cook out by the pool. Labor Day is a holiday for students
and many adults and plans are likely in the work for fun activities.
Those who plan to hit the road are encouraged to buckle up and
not drink and drive. Law enforcement officers across Georgia
will be on the roads this Labor Day weekend. A "Strap 'N
Snap" campaign is planned with troopers and officers conducting
road checkpoints across the state and issuing citations to those
who don't have on a seat belt or have their children in car seats.
Enjoy the long holiday weekend, but be sure to make it a safe