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

Tigers Play in Ga. State Semis Tonight

Friday, December 6, 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

 

 


Cleveland State Wins 2 of 3 In Weekend Series

Cleveland State picked up another series victory. The Cougars won two of three games at Roane State over the weekend. "We finished off the regular season by winning the series at Roane," said head coach Mike Policastro. Game one was dominated by Cleveland State (30-19, 17-10), winning 12-3.   Freshman centerfielder Devin Gardner led the charge hitting two ... (click for more)

Mocs Golf Team Signs Two More Standouts

The Chattanooga Mocs men’s golf team signed two during the April signing period. That makes a total of five new golfers for the 2016-17 roster. According to coach Mark Guhne, Oklahoman Mike Biata and Scotsman Will Porter have the chance to make an immediate impact. “Really, really excited to add Mike and Will,” he shared. “Mike helped lead his team to the (2015 Class 6A) state ... (click for more)

Cleveland City Schools Announces 5 Finalists For Director Of Schools

The Cleveland City Schools Board of Education announced the five finalists for the director of schools position.   The community is invited to attend the Board of Education interview session each day 6-8 p.m. at Mayfield Elementary School, 501 20 th Street NE, Cleveland. A complete schedule is attached.   Candidates:   Wednesday, ... (click for more)

Expansion By Developers Of McCallie Commons Would Raze 3 Old Houses On Oak Street

Developers of the McCallie Commons student housing at McCallie and Central are wanting to expand the project, but it would involve tearing down three old homes on Oak Street. The proposal from developer David Hudson would be an expansion of the four-story apartment building and separate parking garage with 300 parking spaces proposed that was approved earlier. The original ... (click for more)

Marvelous News From Central High School

To Roy Exum:     With all the recent news of major dysfunctions within our educational system, I thought I might alert you to something better. About a year ago you ventured up Highway 58 to Central High School to represent your late grandfather, Roy McDonald, as he was honored as a Distinguished Alumnus during the annual Senior Day festivities. I sort of expected ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Teachers Day Tomorrow

Years ago at a ritzy dinner party in Westchester County, New York, an editor from Reader’s Digest was seated next to the prettiest woman in the room and noticed her overall glow and countenance was such that he had never noticed a tell-tale scar under her nose. After the dishes were cleared away, admit the mindless chatter, he asked if she would mind telling him about it. The ... (click for more)