THE CONNIE SOUTHWELL FILE
CONNIE SOUTH WELL WON THE 2016 FNF GEORGIA PHOTOGRA-
pher of the Year Contest through an online vote at FNFMagazine.com that
was open to fans this spring. She submitted a photo of Colquitt County
receiver Ty Lee making a touchdown catch in the 6A championship game
against Roswell in the Georgia Dome. She received 53 percent of all votes
among the 10 finalists, finishing first with 1,642 votes. The second-place
finisher, Janet Callaway of Mary Persons, received 511 votes. Jim Clark of
Alpharetta placed third with 449 votes.
SOU TH WELLPHOTOGRAPH Y.COM
PERHAPS IT’S ONLY FITTING THAT THE
best team in the state has the best pho-
tographer. Connie Southwell, a freelance
photographer for the Moultrie Observer,
earned the distinction of 2016 FNF Georgia
Photographer of the Year through an online
vote this spring. She submitted a photo for
the contest from Colquitt County’s victory
over Roswell in the 6A championship game
at the Georgia Dome.
“It’s an honor to get Photographer of the
Year,” Southwell said. “I love photography
and have a couple of mentors over the few
years that helped me learn.”
Southwell started freelancing for the
Moultrie Observer in 2009 after a decade
of photographing her son, Will. He played
multiple sports – including football – at
Colquitt County before continuing a baseball
career at Georgia Southern in 2004.
In 2010, Southwell started shooting
photos for the Colquitt County football team.
Only two years into legendary coach Rush
Propst’s tenure at the school, she never
imagined the level of success the team
would achieve shortly thereafter.
Last season, Colquitt County won its
second consecutive 6A championship,
extending its winning streak to 30 games.
“I love making children happy and getting
them in the paper,” Southwell said. “Now
that the team has won back-to-back champi-
onships, it’s a little more than that.”
Southwell was nominated for the FNF
Photographer of the Year Contest by an
anonymous member of the Colquitt County
“I always took pictures of my son playing
sports, and people always said I needed
to start doing this for a living,” Southwell
said. “I started doing football, and the local
paper was interested. I figured I’d do a little
on the side. My son played football, but I
didn’t take pictures except for myself. Rush
[Propst] is the head coach now, and I just
started taking pictures for him. A lot of their
stuff happens at spring practice for the next
season’s program.” –Dan Guttenplan
Southwell is a freelance photographer for the Moultrie Observer. She also has her own
photography business, Connie Southwell Photography. She specializes in sports photography,
portraits, weddings, real estate photography and event photography. “I do it all,” Southwell said.
“Football is my favorite sport to shoot now. I’m hooked.”
Photographers interested in submitting entries for the 2017 FNF Photographer of
the Year can do so at fnfmagazine.com/poty.
OF THE YEAR 2016
IT’S NOT OFTEN IRWIN COUNTY GETS TO
celebrate a victory over archrival Fitzgerald.
However, the 2015 Friday Night Football Magazine
Team Moms Contest provided Irwin County with
The Irwin County team moms bested their rival
team moms from Fitzgerald nine miles down the
road to come away with a victory in the FNF Magazine Team Moms Contest, sponsored by Samsung.
With a winning prize of $1,000 in the form of a
donation to the football program at stake, the Irwin
County team moms received 65,274 votes on their
way to winning the contest for the state of Georgia.
The Fitzgerald team moms had a strong showing as
well with 55,383 votes.
“When it got to the final round, that’s when it got
a little hectic,” said Irwin County team mom Dene
Hogan. “We’re friends with so many of them. They
saw our social media, and it became a competition.
It was relentless.”
FNF Magazine set out to determine the school
that boasted the best collection of football moms
through an online vote that ran from July 1 to October 22. As a reward, FNF Magazine and Samsung
made a $1,000 donation to the Irwin Country
football booster program.
“It became haywire in our town,” Hogan said.
“It went through the school, and teachers allowed
2015 Team Moms Contest. –Dan Guttenplan
kids to vote from different computers. That’s how
widespread it got.”
Irwin County and Fitzgerald have played each
other every season for the last 62 years. Irwin
County coach Buddy Nobles and assistant David
Vaughn both served as assistants on Fitzgerald
coach Robbie Pruitt’s staff. Players from the two
schools start competing against each other as
rec league players. Irwin County’s last win over
Fitzgerald came in 1999 – that is, at least, until the
To learn more about the 2016 Team Moms of the
Year program, please visit fnfmagazine.com/
Irwin County Edges
Fitzgerald in Team