Athletics News

By the Numbers: 2023-24 TFS Athletics in Review


While the 2022-23 season was certainly one for the books, you could argue that 2023-24 was equally, or more, impressive. In what marked the final year in GHSA, Tallulah Falls once again proved to be one of the most well-rounded athletic programs in the area.


94% 17 of the 18 varsity teams playing for a chance at the playoffs made the postseason, which is remarkable.

2nd In the BLITZ Cup Standings, a year after winning the trophy. 

2 state titles! They both went to Madison Dampier, who defended her 100 Fly title, and won also the 200 Free. '2' also stands for the number of Region Coaches of the Year - Jeremy Stille for boys soccer, and Matt Heyl for volleyball. 2 is also the number of BLITZ Teams of the Year - Swimming (boys/girls combined) and Baseball.

3 state runner-ups! The baseball team and precision rifle team both finished 2nd in the state, and Sam Ketch (discus) was individually runner-up. Also, 3 stands for the Region/Area Runner-Up teams - baseball, boys tennis, and boys track & field all placed 2nd. 3 is also the number of BLITZ Players of the Year - Madison Dampier (girls swimming), Austin Ball (boys soccer), and Ariel Kelsick (girls tennis).

6 Region/Area Championships! Volleyball, precision rifle, girls tennis, boys soccer, girls soccer, and girls golf all finished atop their region/area. That's the most in TFS history in a single year.

7 Region/Area Championships individually! Sam Ketch (discus, shot put) and Julianne Shirley (high jump, 400) each won a pair. Mallory Higgins won in girls golf, Brianna Walter in precision rifle, and the girls 4x400 relay in track & field.

10 athletes/coaches played in All-Star games. The following earned the honors: Addy McCoy & Katarina Foskey (Volleyball), Ashton Roache (Baseball), Landon Hall (Boys Soccer), Josie Chesser (Girls Soccer), Jenna Chesser (Girls Soccer), Tessa Foor (Girls Soccer), Iva Ristic (Girls Soccer), Erin Jiminez (Girls Soccer Coach), Mallory Higgins (Golf). 

11 teams were state-ranked! Volleyball held a #1 ranking, while baseball, boys soccer, and precision rifle arrived at #2. Girls golf was #4, girls soccer #5, girls swimming #6, girls cross country #7, and all of boys swimming, boys golf, and bass fishing at #8. 11 is also for the Region/Area Players of the Year: Danny Grant (Baseball POY), Cole Bonitatibus (Baseball Pitcher of the Year), Austin Ball (Boys Soccer POY), Kyndal Anderson (Girls Soccer POY), Josie Chesser (Girls Soccer Defensive POY), Addy McCoy (Volleyball POY), Tanner Davis (Boys Tennis Singles POY), Ariel Kelsick (Girls Tennis Singles POY), Ava Carnes/Charlotte Stafford (Girls Tennis Doubles TOY), Brianna Walter (Precision Rifle - champ), and Mallory Higgins (Girls Golf - champ). 

12 Next Level signings. Adrijana Albijanic (basketball - Lawrence University), Austin Ball (soccer - Belmont Abbey College), Makhi Edgecombe (track & field - Mars Hill University), Ariel Kelsick (tennis - East Stroudsburg University), Sam Ketch (track & field - Davidson College), Henry Rickman (swimming - Piedmont University), Iva Ristic (soccer - Salem University), Julianne Shirley (track & field - Berry College), Caden Walker (baseball - Union University), Brianna Walter (precision rifle - University of North Georgia), Ashlyn Yaskiewicz (volleyball - Reinhardt University), Skylyn Yaskiewicz (volleyball - Reindhardt University).

15 Sweet 16 or better finishes. Baseball was State Runner-Up, as was Precision Rifle. Girls golf was 4th, girls swimming 6th, girls cross country 7th, boys swimming, boys golf, and bass fishing each 8th, boys track & field 12th, boys cross country 13th, and volleyball, girls soccer, boys soccer, boys tennis, and girls tennis all made the Sweet 16.

19 wins against state-ranked opponents. The most came from baseball, who had nine such victories in their historic season. Volleyball recorded six, boys soccer three, and girls soccer one.

22 athletes earned All-State status. The following earned the honors: Addy McCoy (1st Team Volleyball), Katarina Foskey (HM Volleyball), Zakhar Valasiuk (All-State North Basketball), Madison Dampier (1A-3A Swimmer of the Year), Carsyn Griffis (2nd Team Swimming), Mattie Patterson (2nd Team Swimming), Molly Rickman (2nd Team Swimming), Grayson Penland (2nd Team Swimming), Henry Rickman (2nd Team Swimming), Caden Polley (2nd Team Swimming), QianFeng William Xu (2nd Team Swimming), Austin Ball (1st Team Boys Soccer), Jake Wehrstein (1st Team Boys Soccer), Kelton Reynolds (1st Team Boys Soccer), Landon Hall (2nd Team Boys Soccer), Josie Chesser (1st Team Girls Soccer), Tessa Foor (1st Team Girls Soccer), Kyndal Anderson (1st Team Girls Soccer), Jenna Chesser (2nd Team Girls Soccer), LB Kafsky (2nd Team Girls Soccer), Maddie LeBlanc (2nd Team Girls Soccer), Mallory Higgins (1st Team Girls Golf) *awaiting postseason baseball 

57 That's the number of major school records set in 2023-24 across all programs. That includes single-game, single-season, and career records for teams and individuals.

Aside from the varsity sports that achieved all the success above, the JV teams and middle school programs were consistently competitive. Several MS teams claimed Tri-State Championships (boys basketball, boys tennis, girls golf) or Runner-Up finishes, and MS swimming won the GIAA Overall State Championship. TFS also saw softball find a ton of success in its first official season. Furthermore, both Grayson Penland (swimming) and Jenna Chesser (girls soccer) were the latest TFS athletes to earn Positive Athlete GA honors.

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