The 2018 Football season will look different to all who enter the gates of Dragon Stadium this year as a multi-million dollar renovation draws closer to completion. Upon entering the stadium, the eyes of the fans will be immediately drawn to the new artificial turf that has been been put down to replace the natural grass surface that has seen many years of tackles and touchdowns.
As the history of the old field remains in the hearts of Dragons before, a new era of history will begin on Friday May 18, 2018 as the Tigers of Dawson Co. will come in as the first opponent on the new turf and will end the 2018 Spring practice session for the Dragons. As exciting as it will be to see the Dragons take the field on Friday, it is just as exciting to know what actually goes into creating a masterpiece. The new turf is being completed by Deluxe Athletics. Their name might not be known but you will definitely recognize their work. Probably the most recognized on their resume is Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. As the home of the Falcons and Atlanta United, the turf is obviously durable and in Dragons Stadium it will see both football and soccer action for years to come.
The process of installing a surface such as this is fairly complex. After the turf is unloaded from the trucks, it is placed on the ground and rolled into position. Each roll is attached together by a rolling sewing machine and the meticulous job of putting the hash marks, numbers and logos begin. Every hash is individually cut out of the green turf and white strips are placed using a rolling machine that heats industrial strength hot glue to secure them. This process also occurs for the numbers, the logo in the center of the field and also for the end zone logos. Once this is complete the turf is swept with a street sweeper to prepare the surface for the sand and rubber pellets that lie deep within the grains of the artificial grass.
As the sand starts going in, it is monitored to remain at a specific depth and the packed with a commercial roller to ensure firmness and consistency of the playing surface. Following the sand, the crews bring out the rubber pellets to spread over the field. After completion of layer one of pellets, a second layer of sand and pellets are applied and then swept again. In the final process in completing the field a new technological product will be used. Cool Play is a highly advanced pellet that has a surface temp of 35 degrees cooler than traditional pellets used in artificial surfaces.
Also new to the stadium is a state of the art 32 feet high definition Jumbo Tron video board. This will allow player bios and game highlights to stream throughout the game while still functioning as a normal scoreboard. Track and Field for Pickens will benefit from the renovation as well with a new track surface being installed.
The first of many non athletic events that will take place on the new surface is scheduled for May 26, 2018 with the Graduating Class of 2018 receiving their diplomas and heading out in to the world.
The Dragons Super Star Swag Player of the Week goes to #25 Dillin Eilers. Dillin lead the Dragons defense with 16 tackles. 9 tackles were solo and 7 assists.
Great job Dillin on your efforts against Gilmer last week and congratulations on being named Super Star Swag Player of the Week.
This week’s Swag Player of the Week goes to Dragons sophomore running back #7 Kelton Gilbert. He had 69 yards on 5 carries and 1 touchdown, his first varsity touch down.
TeamFYNSports would like to Congratulate Keaton on both his first varsity touchdown and Player of the Week.
The week 7 Player of the Week goes to Dillon Gasaway. The Dragons Senior ran 147 yards on 12 carries and 3 touchdowns. Gasaway averaged 12.3 yards per carry.
TeamFYNSports Congratulates Dillon on his performance, earning him this weeks Super Star Swag POTW.
This weeks Star is #12 Marcus Byrd. Byrd threw 5-10 for 38 yds and 2-tds in last weeks loss at NW Whitfield. He also managed to compile 120 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Congratulations Marcus on being named Week 5 FYN Player of the Week.
Last night, the Pickens Dragons football team made the long trip to Rossville, Ga to take on the Ridgeland Panthers in the opening game of 7-AAAA play for both teams. Last year, the Panthers won a back and forth game inside Dragons Stadium and in the last three meetings, were 2-1 against Pickens. The Dragons looked to turn that around in this one.
The Dragons received the opening kickoff and Caleb Brooks nearly took it back as he set up the offense with good field position at the Panther 28-yd line after a 53-yd return. During the opening drive, Marcus Byrd completed two passes to Hunter Golden for 13 yards, then stretched across the goal line after a 7-yd run putting the Dragons up 7-0 with 10:39 left in the 1st quarter. After the Pickens defense forced and recovered a fumble, the offense looked to add to the lead. However, a tipped pass was taken by the Ridgeland defense all the way to the end zone to tie things up at 7 with 8:37 to go in the quarter.
Chris Pittman found pay dirt from 6-yds out for his 6th rushing touchdown of the year giving Dragons the lead back 14-7 as we headed to the 2nd quarter. Defense dominated the 2nd quarter as both teams only managed field goals in the frame. Ty Chastain tacked on 3 from 37-yds out at the 10:32 mark giving Pickens a 17-7 lead. The Panthers got their field goal as time expired in the first half giving us a 17-10 score as we went to the break.
The third quarter was controlled by defense as neither team was able to get points of any kind. Plenty of excitement still remained as the 4th and final quarter of play rolled around with the Dragons still leading it, 17-10. Ridgeland, using their running game, got down to the goal line of Pickens looking to tie things up late in the game. The Dragons defense held strong and stuffed the Panthers at the 1-yd line. Pickens punted it back to Ridgeland, and had one last shot to send this one into overtime. With under 20 seconds left, the Panthers pass was picked of by Avery Luke to seal the win for the Dragons 17-10.
For the game Pickens had 9 1st downs, went 4/11 on 3rd down, & 1/2 on 4th down. Dragons finished with 196 total yards on offense on 47 plays, including 180 yards rushing. The Pickens defense, along with 2 takeaways, stopped the Ridgeland offense on several key drives.
C. Pittman led the Dragons in rushing with 81 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown while Byrd added 40 yards on the ground on 10 carries and a touchdown
Dillin Eilers led Pickens in tackles with 18 total tackles with 6 solo and 12 assists, Kyle West added 16 total tackles with 12 solo tackles and 4 assists, & Avery Luke chipped in 10 total tackles with 6 solo, 4 assists, & the game preserving INT
Byrd punted it 4 times for 175 yards with a 43.8 yard average
Brooks added 59 yards in return yardage including the 53-yd return on the opening kickoff
Chastain went 2/2 on PAT’s and hit a field goal for 37-yds
With the win, the Dragons now improve to 4-0 on the season and now find themselves in a three-way tie with Cartersville and Heritage for the top spot in the region standings at 1-0. Next week, Pickens will make the trip up to Tunnel Hill, Ga to take on the Bruins of Northwest Whitfield. The Bruins are 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in region play after an early season loss to Southeast Whitfield 21-12 and shutting out LaFayette 24-0 last night.
After their 4-0 start, the PHS Dragons Football team have been nominated for High 5 Sports team of the week. Pickens, along with the Cambridge Bears, East Coweta Indians, Mill Creek Hawks, & Therrell Panthers are involved in a week long voting process that will decide High 5 Sports’ Team of the Week winner.
Here is the link to cast your vote: http://www.fox5atlanta.com/sports/high-5-sports/13138526-story
Last night, the Pickens Dragons varsity football team traveled to Gainesville to take on the Vikings of East Hall. These two teams played last season in Jasper with the Dragons taking it. Pickens looked to build off their hard fought victory last week over White County.
The Vikings won the toss and elected to receive. With help from a pass interference called on 3rd down, East Hall found the end zone on their opening drive but missed the PAT to lead it, 6-0 with 8:34 left in the 1st quarter. After picking off a pass from Marcus Byrd in Dragon territory, the Vikings added to that lead with a 22-yd run and 2-point conversion making it 14-0 with 5:01 remaining in the opening quarter. The Dragons got their first points of the game on a Chris Pittman 3-yd run cutting the Viking lead in half 14-7 as we’d head to the 2nd.
Pickens tied things up at 14 just 5 seconds into the 2nd quarter with C. Pittman finding pay dirt from 5-yds out. After being backed up deep into their own territory, East hall connected on a 95-yd pitch and catch to take the lead right back 20-14 with 8:03 left in the 1st half. Ty Chastain cut that lead in half with a 38-yd field goal as we went into the break with the Vikings leading the Dragons, 20-17.
Byrd gave Pickens the lead for the first time in the ball game after a 55-yd run making it 24-20 Dragons with 10:22 left in the 3rd quarter. Caleb Brooks took it from 18-yds and found the end zone on a sweep play stretching the Dragons lead to 31-20 with 4:10 to go in the 3rd. 3rd time was indeed a charm for C. Pittman as he got in from 9-yds out at the 1:43 mark in the 3rd giving Pickens a 38-20 lead.
Trevon Hawkins made his mark on the game in the 4th as he scampered 13-yds for the score making it 45-20 Dragons with 5:08 remaining in the game. East Hall got their final score of the game at the 4:04 mark in the 4th after a 64-yd pass and catch making it 45-28 Pickens. Hawkins added a 2nd score of the quarter, this one from 20-yds giving us a final of 52-28.
Pickens had 24 first downs, went 5/12 on 3rd down and 3/5 on 4th down ran 77 total plays for 591 total yards with 517 of those yards coming on the ground. The Dragon defense forced 3 turnovers, 2 interceptions and 1 fumble.
Marcus Byrd went 6/12 for 74 yards passing and added 124 yards rushing on 12 carries and 1 touchdown
Chris Pittman ran it 27 times for 224 yards and 3 td’s, and Trevon Hawkins added 37 yards on 4 carries and 2 touchdowns
Defensively, Will Wotring lead the way for Pickens with 10 total tackles with 7 solo and 3 assisted while Jacob Gordon collected 9 total tackles, 5 solo, 4 assisted, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery
Byrd punted once for 55 yards, Brooks had 47 punt return yards on 3 attempts, and Dillon Gasaway lead the kick return yards with 45
Ty Chastain went 7/7 on PAT’s and 1/1 on field goals with a long of 38
The Dragons will be on a bye next week but will be back in action and at home on Friday, the 18th as they host the Knights of Johnson, Gainsville
Pickens High School running back Shannon Brooks visited Georgia Tech on Friday and received a scholarship offer from the Yellow Jackets coaching staff. Brooks recently spoke with FYN and said that the only caveat to signing with Tech left for him to oversee is passing the ACT. (more…)
Pickens High School senior quarterback Tanner Brumby signed his National Letter of Intent on Wednesday with Mercer University, guaranteeing that he will be a Mercer Bear come the fall of 2014. (more…)
Pickens Dragons senior quarterback Tanner Brumby committed to play football at Mercer University on Sunday, January 12th, getting one step closer to becoming only the fifth player in Pickens High School history to play football at the Division 1 level.