TFC’s Featured Male Athlete of the Month – Josh Folwell

Joshua Folwell is the Featured Male Athlete. The 6 foot 3 inches Power Forward is poised to bring Toccoa Falls College a Championship.

Where are you from? Why did you choose to come to Toccoa Falls College?

I’m from a small town called Greensboro, North Carolina. It’s right past Charlotte. I went to another college first, to try and get on the basketball team, but it didn’t really work out. Their coach told me about Toccoa’s coach. I came in for a couple workouts and got to see the school. Really I wanted to play basketball and use basketball as a means to get a good education and eventually coach asked me to be on the team. It kind of just worked out, because I found out that they (TFC) had an Outdoor Leadership Education Major and things just seem to fit, so that’s how I chose Toccoa Falls.

What are you majoring in and why did you choose that major?

I’m an Outdoor Leadership Education Major. One main reason is that I love the outdoors. I love to fish, love to go hunting, kayaking, back packing, all those fun things. I also like kids. I have a heart for kids, a passion for kids. I figured I can use that major to reach out to kids, possibly doing a summer camp or yearlong camp.

Let’s talk sports, is there another sport you like to play beside basketball?

There is! I love all sports. Actually, since I’ve come to Toccoa, Volleyball has been one of my favorite sports to play. If I don’t have practice or if practice ends early, the Hmong students are in the gym a lot playing volleyball, and I love going and playing with them.

When it comes to basketball, do you model your game play after any NBA player’s game?

I don’t really know if I’d use the word model, but my favorite NBA player is LeBron James. I like the way he plays. I like his hard nose, getting to the basket mentality. I like getting to the basket and making something out of that. But yeah, if I had to say one player it’d be him.

As the season begins, what’s one goal you hope to accomplish?

Well, you’re always going into the season wanting to get that banner (Championship Banner) at the end of the year. That’s definitely a goal, winning a championship, winning the region tournament at the end of the year, but I think since a lot of our seniors left and a lot of our leaders left. I think this is the year for me to become a leader on this team. We got a lot of young kids coming in, a lot of freshmen and sophomores. I’m the only real junior, so I think becoming a leader for those guys would be good: showing them good things to do, different moves, this and that, and especially off the court, being a Christ-like leader.

What’s one thing people don’t know about you?

One thing that people don’t know about me is that I enjoy playing Yugioh, the card game. Only a few people know, but I guess I’m a nerd for that.

What’s one thing you’ve done in your life, that you really feel accomplished and proud of?

So this past summer, I had the opportunity to go to Thailand. I went with a team of ten people, including myself. I got to work at a college there. It was Chiang Mai University. We got to work with the college students and got to teach them English. Just being able to go to Thailand and be there for 8 weeks, and not having anything to worry about, just trusting the Lord. This was really something to feel accomplished about.

Alright, last question. What do you want to tell our readers out there before we end our interview? Maybe some advice, something to go by.

We just got a new coach this year. Every day after practice or before practice, he goes over a verse of the day or saying of the day. And on the first day was, “If a man doesn’t work, a man can’t eat.” It was really meant for basketball, but it can be applied for so many other things. If you don’t work hard for things in life, or work hard in your school life, or if you don’t work hard at anything, then you’re not going to benefit from all the stuff you do. If you only study for 5 minutes for a test and then go take the test, you’re not going to do good on that test. But if I go and study for 45 minutes to an hour and then next day you study for another 30 minutes. You’ll have a better opportunity to do good on that test. This just kind of stuck with me, if you don’t work hard at what you do, then the chances of you succeeding gets less and less.

That’s really encouraging. Something many of us can start to do as well.  Thanks again Josh, I hope everyone enjoys getting to know you and definitely good luck to you and the Men’s Basketball team.

TFC Basketball Gearing up for Regionals

The basketball season here at Toccoa Falls College is coming near to its end, and both the men’s and women’s teams are gearing up for their regional tournaments.

The Lady Screaming Eagles won both home games this past weekend, bringing their overall record to 9-13. They have been playing well lately, as they have posted a 4-2 record over their last six games, with all four wins coming at home. In fact, the Lady Screaming Eagles are making TFC a tough place to play for all opponents, as they are 8-2 at home on the year.

This year’s squad features three seniors, Katie Calloway, Esther Shady, and Rachel Morris, and all three have done their part to provide leadership both on and off the court. Calloway, averaging 9.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game, and Shady averaging 9.4 points and 9.1 rebounds make up the starting frontcourt for the Lady Screaming Eagles, while Morris who averages 2.1 points and shoots 38% from the three point line, comes off the bench to play valuable minutes and run point for the second unit.

The Lady Screaming Eagles are 2-1 in their region so far, and have three region games left to play.

The men’s basketball team won three of four games at home over the weekend, including big wins over region opponents Clearwater Christian and Johnson University of Florida. After their successful homestand, the Screaming Eagles record is now 12-10. They have also been playing well of late, as they have now won five of their past nine games, and are 6-3 at home this season.

The men’s team has three seniors this year: Josh “Red” Barrett, Jon Sauls, and Derek Westfall, with Barrett and Westfall being four-year starters at TFC. Barrett is leading the team with 19.8 points and 5.6 assists per game, Sauls is averaging 14.2 points while making a team leading 63 three pointers on 38% from deep,  and Westfall helps to anchor the middle by averaging 13.4 points and 5.1 rebounds a game on 52.5% shooting.

Head Coach, Jason Mehl, is pleased with the way his team has played so far, but is always looking for ways to improve in order to achieve the teams ultimate goal. “The big picture priority is always winning a region championship and the regular season games need to be preparing us for that,” Mehl said. “With the exception of a couple of games, most of our games, win or loss, have made us better.”

The improvements the team has made this season, especially in terms of rebounding and defense, have helped them to a 4-2 record in region play, with four more region games left.

One of the big reasons why both teams have performed so well at home is the increase in fan support, especially that of the students. The men and women both rely on pressure defense and up-tempo offense, and the motivation and momentum they get from the often times exuberant crowd really seems to propel them to victory, while also rattling the opposing team.

Something else that the students have been doing to help boost attendance is to have different themes for the games. For example, in last Thursday’s home win over Clearwater, students were encouraged to dress up for “Hillbilly” night, and the results were incredible. They came in wearing overalls, hats, American flags, carrying banjos, and one student even brought a life-size plastic deer. Overall, the support they gave the teams helped them to beat TFC’s rival, and both teams hope to have that kind of support for the rest of the season.

The Screaming Eagles and Lady Screaming Eagles both play their last home games on February 13th and 14th. To keep up to date with everything that is going on, feel free to like TFC’s athletic page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/TFCathletics), as well as the student section’s page (https://www.facebook.com/screamingeaglesstudentsection).

TFC Men’s Basketball On a Roll

On Feb. 2, 2013, Our Toccoa Falls men’s basketball team faced our bitter rivals, Clearwater, in an epic matchup. Many students gathered to cheer for their beloved eagles as they came out with a 94-79 win. The Eagles played with swag and determination to come with a win for their great fans. Jason Mehl, the men’s head coach talked more on what played a role on the Eagles’ big win that Saturday. “The biggest difference that led to their big win against Clearwater was earlier in the week against Sewanee. They were making good shots and doing great defensively in that game. After that loss, I showed them the film where they were playing great basketball and it all has clicked since then.”

Mehl also stated that “after the loss to Florida Christian the night before, I told them ‘let us keep playing our game.” During the whole span of the game, Clearwater showed signs of coming back and keeping the game close. It was not enough though when the second half came and the Eagles’ defense exploded.

I asked Mehl who he found as the MVP of the game. “There is not really a MVP individually for this game. MVP goes to the whole team. They played great basketball. The MVP probably would go to the defense.” Mehl also pointed me to some stats that were phenomenal. Six players were in double figures in points scored and two of them were from the bench. The Eagles’ had eighteen steals as well as forcing forty turnovers against Clearwater. Safe to say, the Eagles’ defense is clicking at just the right time before they close out the regular season with region tournament just a couple weeks away.