Ringgold's Zach Shahan, Tried by Fire and Still Standing

Tigers Play in Ga. State Semis Tonight

Friday, December 06, 2013 - by B.B. Branton

“It’s do or die on Friday night and we want to win a state title for our community as we have all been through so much due to the Tornado of 2011. We want to make history for ourselves and Ringgold football.”

 --  Ringgold senior offensive lineman Zach Shahan

 

Fire can destroy and fire can be used to strengthen and make tough.

For Ringgold senior offensive guard Zach Shahan, he has experienced both.

Devastating electrical fires destroyed the Shahan homes in Rossville when Zach was in the sixth grade and in the Ringgold area two years later, followed by a near community-destroying Tornado in 2011.

 “Our school and community have been through a lot with all the loss due to the Tornado so our goal is to win the state football title for them,” said Shahan, a 6-0, 340 pound guard.

Tonight, Ringgold (11-2) travels south to Washington County (12-0) in a Georgia AAA state semifinals game. The winner will play for the state champ next Friday in the Georgia Dome.

Radio Broadcast: The game can be heard on 94.7 FM at 7:30 p.m.

“My family has suffered a great deal of sadness due to losing our homes and just about all our possessions, but thanks to the people at the Red Cross along with friends and family we have been able to get back on or feet more than once,” stated Shahan.

One friend who has been there through all the tough times is fellow teammate and offensive guard Bryan Derben.

“We have been good friends since we played rec league football together as kids,” said Derben a 6-2, 280 junior guard.

Through all the adversity, Shahan smiles when he and Derben talk about football championships.

While the Tigers are within two wins of the high school brass ring, Shahan and Derben already know what it means to win it all.

“Bryan and I are always together,” Shahan stated. “If you see one of us the other one is close by.”

They led the Chargers to a rec league Super Bowl crown in 2007, beating a team from Alabama for the title.

“We had a real good team that year (current Ringgold quarterback Slade Dale was a running back) and went undefeated,” Derben stated.

“The final game was crazy as we played in rain, sleet and snow all in the one game,” Shahan said with a laugh. “That’s the coldest I have ever been.”

The best friends continued their winning ways in the fall of as Ringgold Middle School won the north Georgia league in 2009 when Derben was a seventh grader and Shahan in the eighth (the year of the second fire), and Derben captured a second trophy the following fall.

While Shahan has gone through a couple of devastating fires in his personal life, leaving him with almost nothing, he, his friend Derben and the rest of the Ringgold Tigers have to be tested by two more fires (i.e. opponents) before being crowned the toughest, strongest, most resilient team in all of Georgia AAA.

contact B.B. Branton at william.branton@comcast.net

 

 


Chattanoogan.com Prep Football Picks: Week Four

<iframe width="600" height="2000" frameborder="0" src=" https://docs.google.com/ spreadsheet/pub?key= 0AlRpAaeqeC1udDZQYTlvZ01OM3V6T ENPY3lERVA3Z1E&output=html& widget=true "></iframe> (click for more)

Best Polo Player In The U.S., Julio Arellano Set To Play This Weekend In Bendabout International Cup

The best polo player in the United States will lead the Bendabout Farm team against a team from Mexico on Sunday to play for the Bendabout International Cup. The warm up match begins at 10 a.m. Saturday with tournament play at 2 p.m. Sunday on the farm located south of Cleveland on U.S. Highway 11 in McDonald. Gates open to the public two hours before start time. ... (click for more)

EPB Officials Huddle With Attorneys Over City Street Lighting Issue

EPB board members huddled with attorneys on the issue of billing for city street lights on Friday morning. EPB Chairman Joe Ferguson asked for the private session with attorneys Rick Hitchcock and Tom Greenholtz of Chambliss Bahner. Don Lepard, owner of Global Green Lighting, earlier filed a $10 million "whistle blower" lawsuit, claiming overbilling by EPB on street lighting. ... (click for more)

City Council Taking Applications From Those Interested In Serving On City IDB

The City Council is taking applications from those interested in serving on the city industrial Development Board (IDB).   There are four vacancies on the board that has been in the news for its controversial approval and re-approval of $9 million in Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for developers of Aetna Mountain. Resumes are due by Sept. 29.   ... (click for more)

Walking Among Memories, The USS LST-325

I have walked among the head stones at Flanders Fields and have seen the entrenchment of soldiers with only bayonet tips sticking out of the earth. Later I traveled to Normandy where I stood on the sand and made scuff marks with my shoes on Omaha Beach and climbed the hill to the magnificent American Cemetery there. I again walked among the many, many tomb stones so neatly and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Troubling Jameis Winston

One of the greatest things about the American legal system is that each and every crime is judged on its own merits. Just because Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy were each arrested for domestic abuse earlier this week, each National Football League football hero will be given an independent hearing and trial, if need be, ... (click for more)