Dragons shut out Mountaineers at home

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — The Pickens Dragons, were back on the diamond as they welcomed the North Murray Mountaineers to Dunn Field on Wednesday, March 1st, for a non-region tilt. The Dragons, defeated the region mate of the Mountaineers on Tuesday, February 28th, while the Mountaineers fell in a tough one to an old region mate of the Dragons, the Northwest Whitfield Bruins. Pickens, got a great start from James Tilley and the offense put up 10 runs to take this one in 5 innings.


In the top of the first, Tilley got off to a strong start as he induced 2 gound outs, and picked up his first strikeout of the game during a 12 pitch top half of the first inning. In the bottom half of the first, the Dragons got a 1-out walk from Trace Ledbetter. The Mountaineers, were able to turn a double play and send it to the top of the second, with the game still scoreless.


In the top of the second, Tilley said hot from the mound as he picked up his 2nd & 3rd K of the game in another 1-2-3 inning. In the bottom of the second, the Dragons got back to back walks from the Payne brothers as Tyler and Trey were on base with nobody out. After a fly out by Dawson Holland advanced Tyler Payne to 3rd, Harlan Will drove him in with an RBI single. Tilley, helped himself out as he followed that up an RBI single to bring in Trey Payne.

The Mountaineers, were able to get out of the bottom of the second as they turned their 2nd double play of the game to avoid any more damage. Going to the top of the third, Pickens now led North Murray, 2-0.


In the top of the third, Tilley, continued his fantastic start as he would strikeout the side to bump his total to 6 on the night. The bottom of the third got a little wacky so stick with me. Connor Shouse, led off with a single. Ledbetter, then followed that up with a walk. Cade Sutton, then reached on an error. Shouse, would be thrown out at home as Tyler Payne reached on a fielder’s choice. The same happened to Ledbetter as he would be out at home as Trey Payne reached on a fielder’s choice as well.

Holland, knocked a single through which scored Sutton to make it 3-0. A wild pitch brought in Tyler Payne and Trey Payne came in on a throwing error by the catcher. Holland, would also come in to score to make it 6-0. Will, Tilley, and Evan Giddens all drew walks consecutively to load the bases. Shouse, the career RBI record holder for Pickens Baseball, added to his total as he brought 3 runs in on an RBI triple. Shouse, would also come in to score on the play after a throwing error to make it 10-0 Dragons going to the fourth.


In the top of the fourth, Tilley came back out after the long bottom of the third. The Mountaineers, got their first hit of the game, but Tilley would strikeout the side for the 2nd inning in a row to give him 9 on the evening. In the bottom of the frame, the Dragons would go down quietly and we’d go to the top of the fifth with the Dragons leading, 10-0.


In the top of the fifth, the career saves leader for Pickens Baseball, JP Nunn, came on in relief of Tilley to close this one out. Nunn, would strike out the side in between giving up a walk and a single to give the Dragons the 10-0 win in 5 inning.


Stats for the Dragons:

Connor Shouse: 2-3 with 3 RBI & 1 run scored

Trace Ledbetter: 2 walks

Cade Sutton: 1 run scored

Tyler Payne: 1 walk, & 2 runs scored

Trey Payne: 1 walk, & 2 runs scored

Dawson Holland: 1-2 with a single & 1 run scored

Harlan Will: 1-1 with a single & a walk

James Tilley: 1-1 with a single, 1 RBI, & 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K on 55 pitches

Evan Giddens: 1 walk & 1 run scored

Tee Knight: 1 run scored

Jackie Jarrett: 1 run scored

JP Nunn: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K on 20 pitches

Dragons pick up road win over Rebels

PHS Baseball, Team FYN Sports

Blue Ridge, Ga — On the final day of the month of February, the Pickens Dragons traveled up 515 to take on the Fannin County Rebels in non-region action. This game, was the first of two between these two teams as they began a home and home series on Tuesday, February 28th. Hits and runs were at a premium for both teams for the majority of this one.  The Dragons, used big 5th and 6th innings to come away with the 7-2 win.


In the top of the first, the Dragons would go down in order and we’d head to the bottom of the frame. In the bottom of the first, Dragons starter and Ga Tech commit Connor Shouse, struck out the side in between walking a batter. Going to the top of the second, it was still scoreless between the Dragons and the Rebels.


In the top of the second, Trey Payne reached on a 1-out error for the Dragons first base runner. Dawson Holland, then beat out a double play to reach base. James Tilley, followed that up by drawing a full count walk. Holland and Tilley would be left stranded however as Fannin got a fly out to end the top half of the second. In the bottom of the second, the Rebels led off by getting hit by a pitch. Shouse, then got the ground ball for the double play.

Second baseman Evan Giddens, then caught a line drive to him for the third out. Going to the top of the third, the Dragons and Rebels were still tied.


In the top of the third, the Dragons had their best scoring chance so far. Giddens, led off with a single, the Dragons first hit of the game. Cade Sutton, then reached on an error. Shouse, drew a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Somehow, someway, the Rebels were able to get out of it with no damage done. The Rebels, got a strikeout, an infield fly out, and a ground out to send to the the bottom of the third still scoreless.

In the bottom of the third, the Rebels again led off by getting hit with a pitch. After a ball that got passed the catcher to advance the runner to 2nd, Shouse picked up his 3rd K of the day for the first out. Another ball would get by the catcher to advance the runner to 3rd with 1-out. Shouse, shook that off and picked up his 2nd K of the inning and 4th overall for the 2nd out. Shouse, forced a grounder right back to him for the 3rd out. Going to the fourth, there was still no score.


In the top of the fourth, Tilley would reach on an error. He then would steal 2nd to put a runner in scoring position for the Dragons with 1-out. The Rebels, once again avoided a potentially big inning as they got a fly out and a pop out to send it to the bottom of the fourth. In the bottom of the frame, The Rebels had a runner reach after a dropped 3rd strike. With 2-outs, after a wild pitch, a passed ball, and a walk, Fannin had runners at the corners. Shouse, picked up his 3rd K of the inning to keep it scoreless and send it to the fifth.


In the top of the fifth, the Dragons broke through. Sutton, led off with a double. Shouse, moved him over to 3rd with a grounder. Trace Ledbetter, drove him in with an RBI single. After Tyler Payne drew a walk, Trey Payne drove in Ledbetter with an RBI single. Tyler Payne would also come in to score and Trey Payne advanced to 3rd on a throwing error. Holland, brought in Trey Payne on the grounder to make it 4-0 Dragons going to the bottom of the fifth.

In the bottom of the fifth, the Rebels led off by drawing a walk. Fannin then tried a hit and run play, but would only get the steal of 2nd. A wild pitch moved the runner over to 3rd with 1-out. The Rebels, would then get their first hit and first run on the same play with an RBI double to make it 4-1. Shouse, picked off the runner at 2nd, then got a grounder to send it to the sixth with Pickens leading, 4-1.


In the top of the sixth, the Dragons loaded the bases with 1-out after a walk by Giddens, a single by Sutton, & a walk by Shouse. Ledbetter brought in Giddens after a grounder to 2nd to make it 5-1. Tyler Payne then drove in Sutton and Shouse with a 2-RBI single to make it 7-1 Dragons going to the bottom of the sixth. In the bottom of the sixth, Tee Knight came on in relief of Shouse. Knight, worked around giving up a lead off single, and a 2-out walk. Going to the seventh, the Dragons led the Rebels, 7-1.


In the top of the seventh, Holland led off by drawing a walk. Colby Brooks, then reached on a 1-out error. Both runners advanced after a wild pitch to put runners on 2nd and 3rd with 1-out. The Rebels, got out of the top of the seventh with a strikeout and a ground out to send it to the bottom of the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, the Rebels made it a little interesting. Fannin, got a run on a hit, a walk, and a couple of hit batsman. With 2-outs and the bases loaded, Cason Cannon got the final out to give the Dragons the 7-2 win.


Stats for the Dragons:

Cade Sutton: 2-5 with 1 single, 1 double, & 2 runs scored

Connor Shouse: 2 walk, & 1 run scored 5 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 9 K on 77 pitches

Trace Ledbetter: 1-4 with 1 single, 2 RBI, & 1 run scored

Tyler Payne: 1 walk, 1 single, 2 RBI, & 1 run scored

Trey Payne: 1-4 with a single, 1 RBI, & 1 run scored

Dawson Holland: 1 walk, & 1 RBI

Evan Giddens: 1-3 with a single, a walk, & 1 run scored


The Dragons, will be back in action on Wednesday, March 1st as they welcome the North Murray Mountaineers to Dunn Field for  another non-region contest. First pitch it set for 5:30 pm.

Dragons fall just short in high scoring game against Mountaineers

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Chatsworth, Ga — It was a first time match up on Friday, August 26th as the Pickens Dragons took to the road for the second straight week as they battled the North Murray Mountaineers. Both teams came into this game looking to bounce back after tough losses to open the season as the Dragons fell to Sonoraville 27-15, and the Mountaineers fell to Dalton, 49-27. In this one, it seemed like if you blinked you missed another big play or touchdown. It came down to the final seconds as North Murray came away with a 54-50 victory.


In the first quarter, the Dragons got the ball to begin the game. As the Dragons were driving, the Mountaineers forced and recovered a fumble around mid-field. North Murray cashed in on that turnover and scored on a 5-yd touchdown run. The PAT was no good and with 8:11 left in the first quarter, the Mountaineers held a 6-0 lead. Pickens, came back out on offense, looking to answer. Answer they did as Sam Streicher found Marcus Pike streaking down the near sideline for a 57-yd touchdown. The PAT was successful and the Dragons took a 7-6 lead with 7 minutes left in the first quarter. The Mountaineers, came back with a 4-yd TD run by QB Seth Griffin. The PAT was good and North Murray took a 13-7 lead going to the 2nd quarter.

Canaan Denson with the hand off

Early on in the second quarter, the Dragons finished off a scoring drive with a 9-yd TD run from Canaan Denson. The PAT was no good, and with 11:34 left in the first half, the ball game was all square at 13. The Mountaineers, countered with a second rushing touchdown from Griffin. This one from 13 yards out. The PAT was good an North Murray retook the lead, 20-13 with 7:55 left in the first half. Pickens, needed just 2 minutes and 39 seconds of game time to get into the end zone as Mason Powell ran in for a 6-yd TD. The Dragons, then went for 2 and converted it to take a 21-20 lead with 5:16 left in the first half.

The Mountaineers, retook the lead on a 29-yd TD run that needed 81 seconds of game time. North Murray, went for the 2-point conversion attempt but was unsuccessful. With 4:35 left in the first half, the Mountaineers led, 26-21. The Dragons, got back into the end zone after a 39-yd TD pass from Streicher to Powell. The 2-point try was good and Pickens retook the lead, 29-26, with 1:12 left in the first half. North Murray, went hurry up in the final minute of the first half and got in with a 7-yd TD pass. The PAT was good, and the Mountaineers took a 33-29 lead over Pickens going to the half.

Dragons defense making a stop









The scoring definitely didn’t slow down in the second half. North Murray added to their lead after a 37-yd screen pass that went for a touchdown. The PAT was good and with 9:20 left in the third quarter, the Mountaineers took a 40-29 lead. The Dragons, looked to get back into the game as Powell plowed in for a 1-yd touchdown. His third total touchdown of the game. Pickens went for 2, but the attempt was unsuccessful. With 6:46 left in the 3rd, North Murray held a 40-35 lead. On the next Mountaineer possession, they ran a pitch play that had been successful for them prior, but the Dragons blew the play up and Kadyn Hampton recovered the fumble and took it into Mountaineer territory. Pickens cashed in on the turnover after a screen pass from Streicher to Isaiah Williams went for a 21-yd touchdown. The 2-point try was successful and with 4:46 left in the third, the Dragons retook the lead, 43-40.

After getting another stop on defense, Pickens extended their lead after Streicher found Hampton and he took the screen pass 66 yards for the score. The PAT was good and the Dragons would take a 50-40 lead over North Murray heading to the fourth quarter.

Sam Streicher slings it to Kadyn Hampton on the screen play

At the 9:32 mark in the fourth quarter, Griffin found the end zone for his fourth rushing touchdown of the game to cut the Pickens lead down to 50-47. Both teams had chances throughout the final quarter, but neither offense could quite break through. The Mountaineers, got into the end zone after a 24-yd TD pass. The PAT was good, and with 55 seconds left in the game, North Murray regained the lead, 54-50. The Dragons, had 55 seconds and all three timeouts to work with. The ensuing kickoff by the Mountaineers would go out of bounds and Pickens would take over at their 35-yd line. After a couple of runs and a big play to Pike, the Dragons were set up inside North Murray territory. With the seconds dwindling, Streicher heaved the ball towards the end zone, but it was batted down and the Mountaineers came away with the 54-50 win.


The Dragons, will look to rebound after a tough couple of weeks as they will again be on the road when they head to Blue Ridge to take on the Fannin Rebels for the first time since 2011. Both teams will be looking for their first win of the 2022 season and it is surely to be an exciting one between these two 515 schools. Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm on September 2nd.

Dragons face old friends and new challenges as the ’22 season approaches

PHS Football, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — The Pickens Dragons are just 12 days away from taking the field against the Rockmart Yellow Jackets in their second scrimmage in preparation for the 2022 season. The Dragons, are in a new region this year as we discussed in a prior article. While the Dragons are in a new region and new classification, the teams they are going up against are very familiar.


The 2021 Dragons went 4-5 overall and 1-4 in 7-AAAA. Despite that, they were just a game out of reaching the playoffs in a very competitive region. The Dragons, had a young, competitive bunch last season and with another year of experience under their belt, that bunch looks to take the next step in 2022.


Returning players:

The Dragons, return a vast majority of their players from the 2021 season. Returning under center is Sam Streicher. While he did battle the injury bug late in the season, Streicher finished 2021 with 1,353 yards and 13 touchdowns. He added 155 yards and 1 touchdown rushing. The leading receiver, Marcus Pike, is also back. Pike, finished with 668 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Dragons, also have their third leading receiver Isaiah Williams and their fourth leading receiver Colby Brooks back as well. The Dragons, will also have their leading rusher, Miguel Salto back toting the rock.


Defensively, the Dragons return their leading tackler from last season, Kadyn Hampton. Hampton, racked up 112 total tackles in 2021 recording 12.4 tackles per game and 12 tackles for loss. Also back, the Dragons second leading tackler, Kaleb Nicholson. Nicholson, recorded 64 tackles last season from the defensive line averaging 7 tackles per game. He also had 10 tackles for loss. The Dragons will also return Kaleb Taylor, Trevor Morgan, and Mason Powell on the defensive side.



As mentioned earlier, the Dragons will take on the Rockmart Yellow Jackets on Friday, August 12th at Dragons Stadium in the final tune up before the 2022 season. The Yellow Jackets, have been a very consistent, very good team for a while and have several athletes on both sides of the ball. It will be a good test in the fall scrimmage for the Dragons. Right out of the gate to start the regular season, the Dragons will head to Sonoraville to take on the Phoenix. The Phoenix, took the place of the Dragons in 7-AAAA and they have the tools to potentially make a run in 7-AAAA. What a way to open the year. From there, the Dragons travel to Murray County to take on North Murray and their really athletic bunch. The Dragons will log more miles after that as they head to Blue Ridge to take on the 2x defending region champion Fannin Rebels.


After a bye week, the Dragons finally have their home opener as they host Christian Heritage. Another team with some up and coming players that will be a good test for the Dragons. The Dragons will then get into region play in 7-AAA. With away games at Lumpkin, Dawson, and West Hall and big home games against Gilmer, White County, and Wesleyan. The Dragons have in total, 6 away games and 4 home games on the schedule. There is no easy game on this schedule either. I’m willing to bet, that’s how head coach Grant Myers and the Dragons want it.



With the Dragons returning many from last season’s team, they do also have some holes to fill. Kaleb Nicholson and Kaleb Taylor will sub in on the offensive line, Kadyn Hampton and Mason Powell will join Salto in the backfield. We saw during the spring scrimmage, Hampton moved from the linebacker spot to the secondary. With the Sanchez brothers, Jose and Juan moving on after graduation, the Dragons will have to see who can and will take over the kicking duties.


Then there’s the young guys. If you’ve seen the youth football scene in Pickens County the last several years, you know that a very talented group are heading into their freshman year. If you don’t know about them yet, you will soon enough. Will any of these promising players make an impact during the 2022 season? Time will tell. The immediate future is promising for the Dragons.


The Dragons are looking to get back into the playoffs and moving into a new region I believe helps that. With their non-region schedule the way it is, I firmly believe it will help them get ready for the grind that is region football. I see the Dragons making the playoffs, and possibly contending for a home playoff spot.


Record Prediction:

There is no short selling how difficult the Dragons non-region schedule is. Quite frankly I believe it is one of the tougher non-region schedules in the area. Three of the four games are on the road and all of the teams have legit chances to make the playoffs. Their schedule as a whole will be challenging in its own way. I think if the Dragons can manage a 2-2 record heading into the region portion of their schedule, they will be in a good spot. Final prediction: 7-3.

Dragons drop tough home opener to Mountaineers

PHS Basketball, Team FYN Sports

Jasper, Ga — After picking up wins over Copper Basin and Fannin in the annual ETC Thanksgiving Tournament last week, the Pickens Dragons came back home to the Dragons Den and the newly named Roy Cowart Court as they welcomed the North Murray Mountaineers for a non-region game. Oddly enough, with the recent re-classifications, these two schools will be in the same region (6-AAA) starting with the 2022 school year. This game, while relatively low scoring, saw plenty of back and forth action. In the end, it would be the Mountaineers coming away with a 44-39 victory.


In the first quarter, North Murray jumped out early with a quick bucket. From then on, it was the Jaden Stewart show as he went on a personal 8-0 run that included two three pointers to give the Dragons an 8-2 lead over the Mountaineers going to the second quarter.

Dragons moving the ball on offense

Camden Dunn of the Dragons got the scoring started in the second quarter to make it 10-2. North Murray’s scoring drought came to an end as they would answer with a bucket of their own. Pickens big man Luke Rogers got in on the scoring as he would go on a 4-0 run to stretch the lead to 14-4. The Mountaineers would then close the gap with an 8-0 run to make it 14-12 before Rogers went on another 4-0 run to make it 18-12 Dragons. A three pointer by North Murray cut it to a 3 point lead, but Collin Kellogg would make a basket to give Pickens a 20-15 lead at the break.

Dragons on defense in the 2nd quarter







Coming out of the half and starting the third quarter, the Mountaineers went on a quick 4-0 run to cut the lead down to 20-19. A Kellogg bucket would make it 22-19. After a bucket by North Murray, the Dragons went on a 5-0 run as they got buckets from Stewart and Kadyn Hampton as well as a free throw by Rogers to make it 27-21. The Mountaineers got a bucket and a free throw to end the third as we’d head to the fourth with Pickens ahead, 27-24.

Dragons in-bounding the ball in the third

The Mountaineers, once again got the scoring started as we began the fourth quarter to cut it to 27-26. After Rogers went 1-2 from the free throw line, Stewart made a bucket to make it 30-26. After a bucket from North Murray cut the lead down to two, Caleb Keith hit a three to make it 33-28 Pickens. The Mountaineers would then answer with a 5-0 run to tie things up at 33. Rogers then made a bucket and Kellogg connected on a free throw to make it 36-33. Again, North Murray came back with a three pointer to tie it up at 36. Stewart gave the Dragons the lead back with a bucket making it 38-36. After tying things back up with a pair of free throws, the Mountaineers took the lead for the first time since the opening quarter as they would go on a 6-0 run that included 4 made free throws to make it 42-38. The Dragons would make one out of three free throw attempts and North Murray put the game away with two free throws as they get the win, 44-39.


Leading Scorers for North Murray:

Gavin Pittman: 9 points

Isaiah Morrison: 7 points

Seth Griffin: 7 points


Leading Scorers for Pickens:

Jaden Stewart: 14 points

Luke Rogers: 12 points

Collin Kellogg: 5 points


Up next for the Dragons is a date with their main rival, the Gilmer Bobcats in Ellijay on Saturday, December 4th. These two teams played on November 20th, with Gilmer coming away with a 60-53 win. Tip off set for 4:30 pm.


Dragons 4th quarter comeback falls just short at North Murray

PHS Basketball, Team FYN Sports

Chatsworth, Ga — On January 26th, the Pickens Dragons (8-11, 5-4) traveled to Chatsworth to take on the North Murray Mountaineers (7-11, 2-9) in non-region action. Pickens, looked to get back on track after two tough losses, while North Murray was coming off of a tough loss to now region opponent, Lafayette. The Dragons, cut into a double digit fourth quarter deficit, but the Mountaineers held on to win 68-58.


After a Noah Sutton bucket got things going in the first quarter, the Mountaineers went on an 8-0 run to take an 8-2 lead. The Dragons went on a 5-0 run with a Owen Moss bucket and Sutton three pointer to male it 8-7. North Murray countered with a 6-0 run to extend their early lead to 14-7. Pickens, outscored the Mountaineers, 6-5 the remaining of the first quarter as North Murray took a 22-13 lead into the second.

Dragons with the ball early in the game

In the second quarter, the Mountaineers saw their lead stretch out to 16 at one point. The Dragons, cut the lead down to 10 with the help of Jaden Stewart, who went on an 8-2 run against North Murray to close the first half. Going to the break, North Murray led Pickens, 43-33.

Dragons defending the basket







The third quarter started with the Mountaineers going on a 7-0 run to make it 50-33. Ending the North Murray run was ‘Senior Tucker Lowe. After scoring two points in the first half, Lowe made a three pointer to put him over the 1,000 career point mark. Lowe became the 16th Dragon in history to accomplish this feat. As for the rest of the quarter, Pickens cut into North Murray’s lead slightly as the Mountaineers took a 60-47 lead into the fourth.

#2 Tucker Lowe surpassed 1,000 points on Tuesday

In the fourth quarter, the Dragons made a heck of a comeback attempt. After going back down 17 early in the fourth, Pickens went on an 11-0 run to cut the Mountaineer lead down to 64-58. North Murray, was able to hold off the furious rally from Pickens with a couple late free throws to get the win, 68-58.


7-AAAA Boys Basketball Standings:

Heritage: 13-5 (9-1)

Cedartown: 8-8 ( 7-2)

Northwest Whitfield: 11-5 (5-4)

Pickens: 8-11 (5-4)

Central-Carroll: 13-8 (4-4)

Ridgeland: 5-11 (1-8)

Southeast Whitfield: 4-16 (1-9}

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