With one rebuilding job complete, Chad Fisher wanted a new challenge. He's got one now after being approved by the Walker County Board of Education as the next head football coach at LaFayette High School.
Fisher, who guided Gordon Central from an 0-10 season to two playoff berths in five years, succeeds Tab Gable, who retired after two seasons with the Ramblers.
"It's a great opportunity for me professionally and for our family," Fisher said. "We were looking to move into a small community, and at LaFayette we get that and the chance to coach in a higher classification. Gordon Central has been great for us, but it was time to move on to something else."
Fisher already is commuting to LaFayette to help oversee offseason workouts and is getting the word out about a need for players.
"My biggest thing is to recruit the hallways and get the athletes to participate," he said. "We'll have fun schemes with our spread offense and our attacking-style defense. I'm very excited about it."
Four Heritage athletes in four different sports have secured their post-prep destinations. Football player Jordan Liles, the Generals' leading tackler and a 4.0 student, will sign scholarship papers to attend first-year program Mercer University next week.
"It's a great opportunity for Jordan to get in on the first team at Mercer," Heritage coach Tim James said. "He really liked everything Coach [Bobby] Lamb had to say, and with his academic background Jordan's going to get a good [academic] package."
Colby Chattin, son of Heritage softball coach Steve Chattin, has signed to play baseball at two-year Georgia Highlands College in Rome. A third baseman most of his prep career, he likely will get time at catcher in college.
"Colby liked the college, and the chance to go to a two-year school and play right away really appealed to him," Steve Chattin said. "They recruited him as a catcher, where he played in the summer for the [Chattanooga] Cyclones, but they liked the fact he can play multiple positions."
Coach Chattin also announced that Allison Vaughn has committed to Division III Piedmont College to continue her softball career. Vaughn, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, missed most of her senior season due to the injury. She was an all-star performer her junior season as a pitcher.
Senior volleyball player Amanda Trotter also will attend Piedmont.
Ringgold baseball star Corey Kafka, the 2012 Best of Preps player of the year, was named last week as state co-player of the year in Class AAA by the Georgia Dugout Club. Kafka, who is attending Mercer on a baseball scholarship, won nine games last year and batted .511 with six homers and 37 RBIs for the state-runner-up Tigers.
Coach Brent Tucker was named co-coach of the year with Columbus' Bobby Howard. Ringgold also was awarded the "field of the year" in Class AAA. Bill Womack Field was rebuilt after the April 2011 tornado.
"This award obviously means a lot to the community of Ringgold," Tucker said. "It's something we're all very proud of."
Ringgold senior pitcher Gabriel Rich has committed to Cleveland State Community College. Rich, who has had limited time on the mound for the Tigers, earned recruiting recognition playing for the Cyclones last summer.
Tucker expects Rich to step forward for a Tigers team that lost its top pitchers from last season.
"Gabriel's had a lot of summer success, and he's been waiting for his turn on this pitching staff," Tucker said. "He's got a good fastball and knows what he's doing on the mound. I'm very excited to see him this year."
Three basketball players and one coach achieved personal milestones recently in northwest Georgia. Gordon Lee boys' basketball coach Ed Clendenen recorded his 400th career win, while Kassidy Blevins, Gordon Lee's star senior guard, surpassed the 1,000-point total.
At Dade County, senior guard Erika Woodfin passed the 1,500-point plateau, while senior teammate Ansley Chilton joined the 1,000-point club.
A trio of area high school football players made recent commitments, including two from Ridgeland. Panthers all-state running back Darrell Bridges committed to NCAA Division I member Presbyterian, and offensive lineman Gannon Hampton gave a pledge to Carson-Newman of Division II. Lookout Valley two-time all-state running back Jamal Jones also committed to Carson-Newman over the weekend.
Bridges led Ridgeland to the Class AAAA state championship game by rushing for more than 2,300 yards, much of that total coming off Hampton's blocks. Jones ran for more than 3,000 yards in his career with the Yellow Jackets.