Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Tifton, Georgia
One of Michigan's top high school football coaches has been named head coach of the Tift County High Blue Devils.

Noel Dean most recently coached the Lowell (Mich.) High Red Arrows for 22 years, winning three state championships, making six state finals appearances, taking nine trips to the state semifinals, and winning 13 district and nine regional crowns during his tenure.

Dean was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2016. The Tift County Board of Education named him Tift's head football coach during a special called meeting Tuesday night.

“We are happy to welcome Coach Dean to the Blue Devil Nation,” said Superintendent Adam Hathaway. “Our process led us to one of the most successful high school football coaches in the country. Coach Dean has a long history of success as a head coach, leader, and member of his local community. We couldn’t be more excited to add a coach of his caliber to our athletic program and the faculty at Tift County High School.”

TCHS Principal Chad Stone added that “Coach Dean understands hard work, success, and what it means to be a Blue Devil. I am eager to see him work with our student athletes and develop a football program that makes us better today than yesterday.”

Dean is confident that the Blue Devils football team will see success in future seasons.

"Tift County is on a collision course to win a state championship. It's going to happen," Dean said.

Dean, who has been coaching since college, retired from Lowell High in June 2018 in order to watch his son play junior varsity football and to ponder his future.

Dean began his coaching career in 1991 at Bendle (Mich.) High School. During his time there, he led the school to its first-ever playoff appearance and was named Regional Coach of the Year in 1995 when his team made it to the semi-finals. Dean left Bendle in 1996 and became head coach at Lowell High.

Dean’s record boasts more than 245 wins, and his teams have been recognized 14 times for being Academic All-State and four times for being the top Community Service program.

Dean’s 2004 Lowell Red Arrows team was named No. 14 in the top 25 teams of the last 25 years by State Champs Sports Network in their coverage areas of Michigan and Indiana. ​The 2004 Lowell football team won the Division 3 State Championship, allowing only three regular season teams to score, totaling 36 points given up during the season. ​The 2004 Lowell team outscored their opponents by 575 points, an average of 41 points a game. They won their five postseason games by 35 points a game.

Dean was awarded the American Football Coaches Association 2011 Power of Influence Award, has been honored 16 times as Michigan High School Football Coaches Association Regional Coach of the Year, and was named State Coach of the Year three times. In 2000, he was named AP Coach of the Year. He was granted AP Honorable Mention four times and Detroit News Coach of the Year three times. In 2004, he was named Detroit Lions Coach of the Year and Grand Rapids Press Coach of the Year in 2009, 2012, and 2016. 

Dean is also a believer in building a complete community experience for student athletes. In 2008, He started the Pink Arrow Pride game at Lowell High School. The game turned into a movement that saw multiple sports rally to raise money for cancer survivors and families in the Lowell area just outside Grand Rapids. To date, the Pink Arrow Pride program has raised more than $2 million for the community.

Dean and his wife have four children. His youngest, Doak Dean, is a senior at Lowell High and has committed to wrestle at Harvard, where his brothers Cannon and Zeth have studied and competed. His sister, Darby, plays soccer at Ferris State University in Michigan.
Southwell will open a second drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination site in Tifton on Feb. 1 at the Tift Regional Community Events Center on Carpenter Road.

Shots will be given Monday-Friday, and an appointment will be required. 

COVID-19 testing, which was previously being performed at the Tift Regional Community Events Center, will be moved to ExpressCare in Tifton. In addition, COVID-19 testing can be performed at any of Southwell’s primary care clinics, including those in Adel, Sylvester, Ashburn, and Nashville.

“We are focused on increasing output,” said Alex Le, Southwell chief operating officer. “We recognize the demand for vaccines within our community, and we need to expand to meet that need. At the same time, we have seen a decrease in the number of people utilizing our drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic at the events center.

"We will continue to have enough testing to meet the needs of all the communities we serve through our convenient care, primary care, and pediatric clinics, and will increase the number of vaccinations for members of our community so we can help prevent hospitalizations in the future.”

The vaccinations will be open to those over age 65; first responders, such as police officers, firefighters and EMS personnel; and healthcare workers not employed with Southwell. Individuals who receive vaccines through the drive-thru clinic at the Tift Regional Community Events Center, next to the Tiftarea YMCA, will receive the first dose of the two-part Pfizer vaccine.

This will be Southwell's second vaccination site for Tifton, and its third site overall. Southwell's other vaccination drive-thru sites are Southwell Medical in Adel on Wednesdays and the Southwell Medical Clinic location (formerly Affinity) in Tifton, open Monday through Friday.

The vaccinations at all sites are by appointment only. Those who meet the eligibility criteria for the vaccination may call the drive-thru clinic’s request line at 229-353-2200 to leave a message for scheduling. A representative will return the call and schedule an appointment.  

The Tift Regional Community Events Center is located at 1657 S. Carpenter Road in Tifton. Southwell Medical can be found in Adel at 260 MJ Taylor Road. Southwell Medical Clinic is located at 2225 Highway 41 North in Tifton.

The Tift County Health Department is also offering free COVID-19 vaccinations. To register, call the department's Vaccine Line at 229-386-8373.

Some private clinics and pharmacies are also authorized to give COVID-19 vaccinations. To locate a site, Click Here! and type in your county.
Tifton Grapevine
The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Tift County continues to drop from a previous spike but deaths are still rising; five additional deaths were recorded in Tift during the past week, the state says.

Of Tift County’s additional five deaths, two were reported Tuesday, according to data from the Ga. Department of Public Health (DPH). Tift now has 85 related deaths reported since the pandemic began. There have been a total of 3,224 reported in the county, the DPH said.

Tift has seen 143 new cases of the coronavirus during the past two weeks, which is 350 per 100,000 population. During that period, Tift's positive testing rate is 13 percent.

The state on Tuesday reported 5,706 new COVID-19 cases in the previous 24 hours with 142 additional deaths and 417 new hospitalizations. Overall, Georgia has had a total of 727,752 cases and 11,996 deaths of state residents, the DPH reported.
A collaboration between Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College and Cumberland University will open the doors for ABAC graduates pursuing careers in athletic training.

A new articulation agreement between the schools gives qualifying ABAC graduates who complete a bachelor’s degree in biology an interview and consideration for acceptance into the master of science in athletic training program at Cumberland University.

Dr. Matthew Anderson, dean of the ABAC School of Arts and Sciences, is sure ABAC graduates will use the opportunity to their advantage.

“We are confident that they will excel in Cumberland University's strong master of science in athletic training program, which provides students both the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary for success in this field," Anderson said.

Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education, and the program is designed to prepare students for the profession through knowledge and clinical experiences.
Tifton Kiwanis Club President Jane Justice presents a check from the club to Harvey Morgan, left, and Tony McBrayer to support the Peanut Butter & Jesus organization, a community ministry that offers PB&J lunches to needy children and families. The Tifton Kiwanis Club meets the first and third Thursday of each month at Tifton's Hilton Garden Inn.
Mandy Brooks of the TRMC Foundation, left, and Richard Webb, Stacy Searcy and Jeremy Saylor of Irwin EMS with the donated heart monitor.  
The Tift Regional Medical Center Foundation recently presented a Lifepak 15 heart monitor and defibrillator to the Irwin County EMS

The lifesaving device can perform a diagnostic EKG en route to a hospital, where the results are sent directly to the emergency department and to a physician’s mobile phone. This allows physicians and staff to prepare for a cardiac victim before arrival, saving valuable time.  

The Lifepak 15 monitor and defibrillator was funded by the 2020 “Hearts and Diamonds” gala, which raised more than $114,000 for the foundation’s Heart Safe Community Program.
Preston works alongside pulmonary medicine and
critical care specialists Jian Li, MD, Rubal Patel, MD, FCCP, and Caroline Hendley, NP, at Southwell Medical Clinic.
An undergraduate of ABAC and the University of Georgia, Preston earned his nurse practitioner degree from the University of South Alabama. He received specialized training in adult-gerontological acute care and brings years of experience as a former ICU registered nurse. 
Services include intensive care and treatment of diseases and conditions of the chest.  

Southwell Medical Clinic is located in Tifton at 2225 U.S. Highway 41 North. Please call 229-391-4200 for more information. 
This polydactyl feline is available for adoption at the Tift County Animal Shelter. To adopt her or see other pets available, visit the Animal Shelter from 1-6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or call 229-382-PETS (7387).
Pets of the Week are sponsored by:
Branch's Veterinary Clinic
205 Belmont Ave., Tifton, 229-382-6055
– JAN. 27, 1899
The Tifton Masonic Lodge announced plans on Jan. 27, 1899, to erect a brick building on Main Street at the site of the organization's former wooden structure, which was burned in December 1898.

The ground floor of the new structure will be "a handsome storeroom; the second floor will be arranged for offices, which will be well ventilated and lighted; and the third floor will be reserved by the fraternity for a hall," according to news dispatches of the day.

The building still stands on north Main Street downtown.
Call Us at 478-227-7126

Your Locally Owned Digital Newspaper!

To Subscribe, CLICK HERE!
We’ve Got Your Keys
to Your New Home.
Give Us a Call Today!
Tifton Grapevine
e-published every Tuesday and Friday

Frank Sayles Jr.
Editor & Publisher
Bonnie Sayles
Managing Editor
A Service of Sayles Unlimited Marketing LLC, Tifton, Georgia