Peoples Bank Holiday Clash Basketball Tournament

Area high school basketball teams gathered last week for the Peoples Bank Holiday Clash Basketball Tournament at Lincolnton High. These are pictures from the Stuart Cramer vs Bandys boy’s first round game. Stuart Cramer won 56-31. See page 13 for more action shots.                                                                                                    Photos by Bill Bostick/Tarheel Sports Photography
 

Stuart Cramer wins Championship game of Holiday Clash Tournament...

Stuart Cramer defeated Lincolnton 67-62 in the Championship game last Thursday night to win the Peoples Bank Holiday Clash Tournament.  Photos by Bill Bostick/Tarheel Sports Photography
 
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Congratulations Gaston Day School!

Gaston Day School scored a three-peat by fielding state championship teams in not one but three sports. Congrats to the GDS Varsity Girls Tennis, Varsity Volleyball, and Varsity Boys Soccer. Way to go!
 

Stuart Cramer soccer on a roll

The Stuart Cramer Men’s Soccer team finished the regular season as the Big South 3A Conference Champions with a record of 13-0-1 and continue to roll in the NCHSAA State Soccer playoffs. The Storm defeated Freedom 2-0 in the first round and Fred T. Foard in the second round 4-2. The Storm have played great team soccer in the playoffs with goals coming from Joseph Bravo, Jack Matz, Drew Crotts, Noah Arrowood, and Aidan Cameron. The Storm now move into the third round of the playoffs to face Central Academy as they continue with their record breaking season. 
Photos by Bill Bostick Tarheel Sports Photography
 

South Point and East Gaston advance while Cramer falls

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com

South Point East Gaston, and Stuart Cramer all saw action in the first round of the North Carolina High School football playoffs. South Point and East Gaston were able to pull off wins while Cramer fell.

South Point 41
East Guilford 31
When two evenly-matched teams take the field the difference between winning and losing could come down to how each team responds at a pivotal moment in the game.
The Red Raiders and Wildcats were both faced with critical situations in their first round playoff game. South Point was able to overcome their obstacles while East Guilford could not.
Right from the beginning this game was hard fought.
Midway through the second quarter the Red Raiders were trailing 14-7. While trying to move down the field the South Point offense coughed the ball up.
This mistake was big. If the Wildcats were able to capitalize on the turnover and score a touchdown they would be up 21-7.
Fortunately for Red Raiders fans the South Point defense had other plans.
“We faced a little bit of adversity early,” head coach Adam Hodge said. “We responded and held them to a field goal. We handled the adversity well. A lot of teams fall apart. We didn’t.”
After East Guilford kicked the field goal the Red Raider offense went to work and soon scored sending both teams to the locker room at half-time with the Wildcats up 17-14.
Having averted a potential disaster the Raiders took the field in the second half and continued to fight.
East Guilford fought as well as both teams went back and forth trying to find an opening.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter the Wildcats punched the ball into the end zone and after the PAT pulled ahead 31-28.
However, the Red Raiders were not deterred.
As the quarter evolved the momentum swiftly shifted South Point’s way. The Red Raiders offense turned on the afterburners with two Tyson Riley touchdown runs.
With the game on the line and time running out the Wildcats found themselves facing their moment of truth. While the Red Raiders had shown that they could overcome a setback with their second quarter stand, East Guilford was finding that they just didn’t have much in the gas tank anymore.
In the closing minutes the South Point defense stiffened and all East Guilford could do was turn the ball over. Once South Point had pushed out to a 41-31 lead the Wildcats found themselves trapped.
“In the fourth they turned the ball over and we pulled ahead,” Hodge said. “We pulled ahead and kept ahead.”
In reviewing the stats it looked like both offenses put up big numbers.
Overall South Point managed 451 yards of total offense. 414 of those yards came from a highly effective running game.
Tyson Riley carried the load for Big Red with 36 carries for 372 yards with five touchdowns.
Riley’s performance just can’t be understated. Every time he touched the ball he averaged 10.3 yards a carry.
South Point’s top defensive performers were Will Ross, Ben Lunsford and Shane Wilson.
Ross finish the game with 11 tackles while Lunsford registered nine stops and Wilson finished the evening with eight.
 Up next the 16-seeded Red Raiders will head to the mountains to take on the top seeded 10-1 Pisgah Bears of the Mountain Seven 3A Conference.
“Pisgah is big and physical,” Hodge explained. “They will try to run the football. Whoever is more physical will win. We have to match them.”

East Gaston 57
School of Davidson 39
Going into this game Warriors head coach JT Postell thought his team could match up well against the Spartans.
As this game started to unfold it looked like Postell was right.
While Davidson was able to move the football and score they just could not stop the Warriors ground game.
East Gaston rumbled for 541 yards of rushing offense.
Justin Hill ran for 255 yards and three touchdowns.
When Hill left the field he had 1,818 yards on the year. That proved to be more than enough to break the East Gaston single season rushing record of 1,714 yards set by Jazz Hopkins in 2014.
While Hill definitely had a good game he wasn’t the only Warrior the post big numbers. Markel McKinney ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns while Nehemiah Stovall ran for 112 yards with two scores.
Quarterback Trenton Sherrill passed for 62 yards and had a 100.7 QB rating.
Sherrill’s top target was Aiden Cloninger who had two receptions for 43 yards.
This week East Gaston will host the 25th seeded Forest Hills Yellow Jackets.
The 7-4 Yellow Jackets come from the Rocky River 2A/3A. Forest Hills is just coming off of a 27-26 win over the 8th seeded Providence Grove Patriots.
Coach Postell sees a difficult matchup.
“It’s going to be tough,” Postell said of the matchup with Forest Hills. “They are a good team. They have a lot of good players. They have some size and speed.”
The Warriors are coming off their first playoff win in 15 years. Even with that momentum coach Postell knows the road ahead will not be easy.
“When you advance you face a tougher opponent each week,” Postell went on to say. “The games are going to get tougher each week, but we know that’s how the playoffs are supposed to be.”

West Charlotte 34
Stuart Cramer 10
Stuart Cramer kept it tight for a while but in the end could not hold back the West Charlotte Lions.
Cramer finished the year at 5-6 and worked hard to snag a playoff bracket spot.  The Storm can hold their heads high. In 2021 they played some exciting football.
 
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Abbey volleyball sweeps Converse

Belmont Abbey hit a season-high .277 and Paige Rawlins tallied her eighth double-double of the season, lifting the Crusaders to a 3-0 (25-14, 26-24, 25-12) victory over Converse in Conference Carolinas women’s volleyball action last Saturday afternoon.
With their fourth win in the last six matches, The Abbey improves to 5-16 overall and 5-6 in league play. The Valkyries fall to 3-16, 3-7.
How It Happened
The Crusaders tallied 45 kills against just 14 errors in 112 chances. Converse connected at only a .062 pace (25-18-112). Rawlins registered 35 assists and 12 digs. She also had three kills and three block assists. Cameron Young had a season-high 16 kills, hitting .170. She had three assists, one ace and five digs. Lauren Hamilton also reached double figures in kills with 10. Hailey Ryan led the defensive effort with 17 digs. Maya Simmons equaled her career high with 12 digs.
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Abbey girl’s field hockey
defeats Coker

The Belmont Abbey field hockey team closed out its regular season home schedule on a good note in a 3-1 victory over Coker in South Atlantic Conference Carolinas play Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field. Madison Mitchell, Ashley Hubbard and Camrynn Aiello were all honored on Senior Day during a pregame ceremony. Belmont Abbey moved to 7-5 overall and 5-4 in league play with the victory while Coker is now 2-9 overall and 2-8 in the SACC standings.

How It Happened
The Crusaders generated pressure on the Cobras early with three shots and three penalty corners in the first quarter. Abigail Kane scored her first goal of the season for The Abbey with 1:25 left before halftime. Her goal was set up off of a Crusaders penalty corner and was assisted by Casey Etter. Etter tallied her seventh goal of the season in the third quarter to give Belmont Abbey a 2-0 lead. She finished with a game-high five shots. Coker responded later in the third with a goal off of a penalty stroke. Samantha Moore scored her first goal of the season with 2:45 remaining in the game to seal the victory for The Abbey. Chloe Parker finished with eight saves, all of which came in the second half. It matched a season high that Parker accomplished Sept. 7 against Converse and Sept. 15 against Shippensburg. The Crusaders finished the game with 11 shots on goal.
Belmont Abbey story/photo
 

South Point, East Gaston
and Cramer prep for playoffs

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com

Regular season High School football is over and the playoffs are about to begin.
The North Carolina High School Athletics Association (NCHSAA) released their final brackets on Saturday afternoon and three local teams made the cut.
South Point, Stuart Cramer, and East Gaston all received at-large bids.
Here is the breakdown of who plays who and where this Friday night.

South Point
vs East Guilford
The 16th seeded South Point Red Raiders will host the 17th seeded East Guilford Wildcats in the first round. The Red Raiders ended the season 7-3 and finished third in the Big South 3A.
The Wildcats finished their season at 7-2 and ended the year in second place in the Mid-State 3A.
The Wildcats will be a tough opponent. They have the ability to produce points and shut down opposing offenses.
Offensively East Guilford has put 40 points or more on the score board in five games, while the Wildcat defensive has held their opponents to eight points or less six times.
Players to watch include quarterback Jaiden Evans, running back Tyriek Boyd and wide receiver Khyair Lundy.
South Point has the weapons to keep pace with the Wildcats. However, to increase their likelihood of pulling out a win South Point will need to play strong for four quarters.
Several times this year the Red Raiders started slow only to finish like gangbusters. In the playoffs that might not work.
South Point will need to hold the line defensively and get their running game going early. Look for senior Tyson Riley to run hard.
Playing strong is something that South Point head coach Adam Hodge will stress as the Red Raiders get ready for Friday night.
“They have a good team,” coach Hodge said of East Guilford. “They have a good quarterback, a good running back and some big ole lineman. We are going to have to play well. Sixteen and seventeen ain’t far apart. I think both of us have good teams. I think it will come down to execution.”

East Gaston vs Community School of Davidson
2021 was a good year for East Gaston football. The Warriors recorded their first winning season since 2015 with a 6-4 record. That effort put them in possession of third place in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A.
EG was awarded the 24th seed and will hit the road to take on the ninth-seeded Community School of Davidson Spartans. The Spartans finished the season 8-2 and won the Catawba Shores Athletic Conference 1A /2A title.
When Davidson has the ball, they definitely like to put it in the air. Quarterback Jameson Davies has thrown for 1,462 yards this season with 16 touchdowns and nine picks. His top target is sophomore Tanner Mullins who has hauled in 10 touchdown passes this year.
A review of the schedule shows that the Spartans and Warriors had two common opponents this year.
In 2021 Davidson and East Gaston both played Thomas Jefferson and Bessemer City. The Spartans beat the Yellow Jackets 31-24 but lost to the Gryphons 51-15 while the Warriors beat Bessemer City 48-28 and Thomas Jefferson 42-37.
This game will come down to doing what you do best and stopping the other guy.
Davidson will throw the ball, and the EG defensive secondary will need to be on their toes.
The Spartans will also have their hands full trying to stop the Warriors running game.
Justin Hill and Markel McKinney have both ran for over 1,000 yards this year. Trying to stop the run will be a priority for the Spartans, but there may be a price to pay if Davidson choses to bring their safeties up to try to crowd the line of scrimmage.
This year the Warriors offense has a credible passing attack. If quarterback Trenton Sherill gets the call he can torch the Spartans up top.
Making the playoffs was something Warriors head coach JT Postell told his team that they needed to shoot for.
“We are excited to make the playoffs,” Postell said. “That was one of our goals going into the season. We know we will have a tough opponent in the Community School of Davidson. We know offensively they pose some challenges with the way they throw the football. Defensively they are very aggressive so we know we need to have a great week of practice and preparation”

Stuart Cramer
vs West Charlotte
The Storm finished the regular season at .500 with a 5-5 record that placed them 5th in the Big South 3A.
Cramer drew the 27th seed and will travel it to Mecklenburg County to take on the sixth-seeded West Charlotte Lions. The Lions ended the regular season 6-3 and came in fourth in the Queen City 3A/4A.
Cramer and West Charlotte never faced the same team in 2021, yet they still have some things in common.
Both teams play in some of the toughest conferences in the state in the Big South 3A and the Queen City 3A/4A. The Storm and the Lions have both taken on some top-tier competition this year.
West Charlotte fields a powerful team that is strong on both sides of the football.
While there is no doubt the Lions will be a challenge, the Storm shouldn’t be short changed either.
Offensively Cramer is more than capable of putting up points.
Senior quarterback Justin Rocquemore can get the job done with his arm or his legs. Rocquemore is a game breaker. If he has a good day the Storm offense will be humming.
During several games this year the Storm defense has also shown that they can play some hard-nosed football.
Defensive end Arias Nash and linebackers Josue Sanchez and Daimean Fernandez are all outstanding players. This crew is gifted. If things work out they can really cause some chaos.
If Cramer plays smart football they have a real shot.
Head coach Ben McMillan believes his team is ready for the next level of play.
“We are excited for an opportunity to play another week,” McMillan said. “We are going to take this as a new season and chance to start over. We feel like we have a good team that can do some good things in the playoffs.”

South Point, East Gaston
and Cramer prep for playoffs

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com

Regular season High School football is over and the playoffs are about to begin.
The North Carolina High School Athletics Association (NCHSAA) released their final brackets on Saturday afternoon and three local teams made the cut.
South Point, Stuart Cramer, and East Gaston all received at-large bids.
Here is the breakdown of who plays who and where this Friday night.

South Point
vs East Guilford
The 16th seeded South Point Red Raiders will host the 17th seeded East Guilford Wildcats in the first round. The Red Raiders ended the season 7-3 and finished third in the Big South 3A.
The Wildcats finished their season at 7-2 and ended the year in second place in the Mid-State 3A.
The Wildcats will be a tough opponent. They have the ability to produce points and shut down opposing offenses.
Offensively East Guilford has put 40 points or more on the score board in five games, while the Wildcat defensive has held their opponents to eight points or less six times.
Players to watch include quarterback Jaiden Evans, running back Tyriek Boyd and wide receiver Khyair Lundy.
South Point has the weapons to keep pace with the Wildcats. However, to increase their likelihood of pulling out a win South Point will need to play strong for four quarters.
Several times this year the Red Raiders started slow only to finish like gangbusters. In the playoffs that might not work.
South Point will need to hold the line defensively and get their running game going early. Look for senior Tyson Riley to run hard.
Playing strong is something that South Point head coach Adam Hodge will stress as the Red Raiders get ready for Friday night.
“They have a good team,” coach Hodge said of East Guilford. “They have a good quarterback, a good running back and some big ole lineman. We are going to have to play well. Sixteen and seventeen ain’t far apart. I think both of us have good teams. I think it will come down to execution.”

East Gaston vs Community School of Davidson
2021 was a good year for East Gaston football. The Warriors recorded their first winning season since 2015 with a 6-4 record. That effort put them in possession of third place in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A.
EG was awarded the 24th seed and will hit the road to take on the ninth-seeded Community School of Davidson Spartans. The Spartans finished the season 8-2 and won the Catawba Shores Athletic Conference 1A /2A title.
When Davidson has the ball, they definitely like to put it in the air. Quarterback Jameson Davies has thrown for 1,462 yards this season with 16 touchdowns and nine picks. His top target is sophomore Tanner Mullins who has hauled in 10 touchdown passes this year.
A review of the schedule shows that the Spartans and Warriors had two common opponents this year.
In 2021 Davidson and East Gaston both played Thomas Jefferson and Bessemer City. The Spartans beat the Yellow Jackets 31-24 but lost to the Gryphons 51-15 while the Warriors beat Bessemer City 48-28 and Thomas Jefferson 42-37.
This game will come down to doing what you do best and stopping the other guy.
Davidson will throw the ball, and the EG defensive secondary will need to be on their toes.
The Spartans will also have their hands full trying to stop the Warriors running game.
Justin Hill and Markel McKinney have both ran for over 1,000 yards this year. Trying to stop the run will be a priority for the Spartans, but there may be a price to pay if Davidson choses to bring their safeties up to try to crowd the line of scrimmage.
This year the Warriors offense has a credible passing attack. If quarterback Trenton Sherill gets the call he can torch the Spartans up top.
Making the playoffs was something Warriors head coach JT Postell told his team that they needed to shoot for.
“We are excited to make the playoffs,” Postell said. “That was one of our goals going into the season. We know we will have a tough opponent in the Community School of Davidson. We know offensively they pose some challenges with the way they throw the football. Defensively they are very aggressive so we know we need to have a great week of practice and preparation”

Stuart Cramer
vs West Charlotte
The Storm finished the regular season at .500 with a 5-5 record that placed them 5th in the Big South 3A.
Cramer drew the 27th seed and will travel it to Mecklenburg County to take on the sixth-seeded West Charlotte Lions. The Lions ended the regular season 6-3 and came in fourth in the Queen City 3A/4A.
Cramer and West Charlotte never faced the same team in 2021, yet they still have some things in common.
Both teams play in some of the toughest conferences in the state in the Big South 3A and the Queen City 3A/4A. The Storm and the Lions have both taken on some top-tier competition this year.
West Charlotte fields a powerful team that is strong on both sides of the football.
While there is no doubt the Lions will be a challenge, the Storm shouldn’t be short changed either.
Offensively Cramer is more than capable of putting up points.
Senior quarterback Justin Rocquemore can get the job done with his arm or his legs. Rocquemore is a game breaker. If he has a good day the Storm offense will be humming.
During several games this year the Storm defense has also shown that they can play some hard-nosed football.
Defensive end Arias Nash and linebackers Josue Sanchez and Daimean Fernandez are all outstanding players. This crew is gifted. If things work out they can really cause some chaos.
If Cramer plays smart football they have a real shot.
Head coach Ben McMillan believes his team is ready for the next level of play.
“We are excited for an opportunity to play another week,” McMillan said. “We are going to take this as a new season and chance to start over. We feel like we have a good team that can do some good things in the playoffs.”

Mt. Island Charter tops Lake Norman Charter

Here’s a wrap up of the Mt. Island vs Lake Norman football game last Friday by Coach Robert Washington. Score Mountain Island Charter 34 Lake Norman Charter 29.

MICS Players of the Game Nominations
Offense
Dylan Bisson- 17/22 402 passing yards, 4 TDs, 5 rushes 37 yards (BROKE GASTON COUNTY SINGLE PASSING RECORD) 137/195 3436 yards, 30 TDs
Cole Hart- 5 catches 118 1 touchdown.
Elijah Hadley- 15 carries 220 yards, 1 TD.
Trae Nickelson- 6 rushes 101 yards, 3 catches 102, 1 TD, 1 punt returns 27 yards and 3 kick returns 77 yards.
Defense
Leonard Hadley- 15 tackles.
Special Teams
Austin McConnell- 2 Punts 91 yards, 6 kickoffs 317 yards.
 
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The South Point Red Raiders varsity football team went at it against the Ashbrook Greewave on Monday, Oct. 18. When the thrilling exchange was over, the Red Raiders had pulled out a 35-21 win making them 5-3. Emily Vargas was crowned Homecoming Queen at halftime. Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders

South Point wins two in a row

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com
There is only one more game left in the 2021 high school football regular season, but it looks like the South Point Red Raiders are well on the way to finishing the season strong with back-to-back wins against Ashbrook and Forestview.
South Point 35
Ashbrook 21
Last week South Point ended up playing two games in five days. Their first game was on Monday when the Red Raiders lined up against the Ashbrook Greenwave.
The Greenwave managed to keep the ball away from the Red Raiders offense early in the game, but South Point was able to recover and went into the half up 14-7.
In the second half South Point was able to put another 21 points on the score board and easily outpaced the 14 points scored by Ashbrook.
The Red Raiders kept it on the ground only attempting one pass all game.
In the end South Point finished with 236 yards of total offense.
Solid performances were put in by Tyson Riley, Ashton Harris and Elijah Phifer.
Riley rushed for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Harris had 59 yards and a touchdown and Phifer finished up with 48 yards and one TD.
On the other side of the ball, the South Point defense played Ashbrook tough. The Red Raiders defense generated three turnovers.
Will Ross was Big Red’s top tackler with 16 stops. Not far behind Harris were Jaquis Rumph, Matt Hastings and Shane Wilson who all had 11 tackles a piece.
The Greenwave fought hard but in the end South Point took care of business.
“I thought we played pretty good,” head coach Hodge said. “They limited our possessions early in the game, but we were able to win the game. I’m proud of the kids.”
South Point 17
Forestview 14
After beating Ashbrook the Red Raiders only had a few days to prep before they faced the Forestview Jaguars in another important Big South 3A matchup last Friday.
This contest proved to be a real slugfest with both squads playing good football on both sides of the ball.
The South Point offense was powered by some strong running by senior Tyson Riley. Riley fought for every yard running for 79 yards off of 23 carries and scoring two touchdowns.
On the defensive side Ryan Harris led the Red Raider “D” with 11 tackles.
When regulation ended the game was tied up 14-14.
The battle continued well into two overtimes as the Jaguars and the Red Raiders both fought to get the upper hand.
In the second overtime it looked like Forestview may pull out the win, but missed a 42-yard field goal.
That misfire gave South Point the opportunity they needed to seal the deal.
A few plays later kicker Charles Birtwhistle had a chance to put the Red Raiders on top. Birtwhistle didn’t let his shot go to waste. The six-foot three-inch sophomore lined up and drilled a 27-yard field goal to give the Red Raiders the win.
With the playoffs coming up any conference win is a big deal. After beating Forestview the Red Raiders improved their record to 6-3. They are now in sole position of third place in the Big South 3A.
Coach Hodge was definitely pleased with how this one went down and is gearing up for the next game.
“A good high school football game,” Hodge added. “I’m proud of our kids and how they finished. They stuck together and won the game. Now we got to get ready for the next one. As Coach Lineberger would say, “Biggest room in the world is the room for improvement.”
This week South Point finishes up the regular season hosting the 1-8 North Gaston Wildcats.

Scenes from South Point Homecoming Game

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Mt. Island Charter Homecoming Queen And King

The Mt. Island Charter School Raptors played their homecoming game against Bishop McGuiness Catholic High (Kernersville) last Friday. Homecoming King and Queen were Leonard Hadley and Sandy Osterndorf.
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Congratulations to Mr. Zak Splawn who is the Carr Elementary PE Teacher. He was recently selected as a FSI Office/Carolina Panthers Top 10 Teacher of the Week.

Gaston County Schools Good News, September 2021

The Gaston County Board of Education received the following “good news” for the month of September 2021:
Bessemer City High School, East Gaston High School, Forestview High School, Highland School of Technology, and South Point High School were recognized by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association for outstanding sportsmanship.  The five schools did not have any athlete/coach ejections during the 2020-2021 school year.
Letters written 20 years ago by students at Tryon Elementary School were included in a display by the U.S. Secret Service in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the anniversary of 9-11.
Stuart W. Cramer High School senior Gwen Campau and Highland School of Technology senior Travis Rainwater are among 16,000 students who were named National Merit semifinalists. They will have an opportunity to compete for 7,600 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $30 million, which will be awarded next spring.
North Belmont Elementary School received a $9,150 donation from Vallen Corporation to purchase 20 computer stations.  In addition, Vallen employees donated three boxes of school supplies for students and teachers.
Rankin Lake Baptist Church packed and delivered 480 goodie bags for employees at North Gaston High School, W.C. Friday Middle School, Carr Elementary, Costner Elementary, Highland School of Technology, and Woodhill Elementary.
Highland School of Technology graduate Maggie Ferguson is the recipient of the Steagall Family Foundation Scholarship.  The scholarship provides $10,000 a year for college education along with an additional $6,000 per year for a summer internship program at Holy Angels. Maggie is attending UNC-Chapel Hill where she is studying speech pathology.
Gaston County Schools received 50 book bags from Direct Auto Insurance filled with school supplies.
H.H. Beam Elementary School received 96 book bags filled with school supplies from the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
W.B. Beam Intermediate School counselor Mark Reep shared information about the school’s amateur radio club with members of the Cherryville Rotary Club.  In addition, students in the Falcon Radio Club participated in the “Parks on the Air” amateur radio program this summer at Crowders Mountain State Park.
The cafeteria staff at Belmont Middle School and Page Primary received a 100 percent sanitation score.
The W.A. Bess Elementary PTO sponsored a school beautification project to prepare for the new school year. A team of school volunteers spent time planting flowers and spreading mulch to beautify the school grounds.
Bessemer City Primary celebrated “K is for Kindness Day” on September 10 in commemoration of September 11 and to honor the memory of Kay Scearce, who taught at the school for 31 years.
Classroom Central sponsored a school supply drive at Carr Elementary.  Nearly 190 teachers from across Gaston County received a box of school supplies.
Cake Me Away Bakery provided school supplies for Carr Elementary, Costner Elementary, W.C. Friday Middle, and North Gaston High School.
The Cherryville High School “Kindness Club” created posters for W.B. Beam Intermediate School.  Each poster has a unique message such as “One kind word can change someone’s entire day.” Senior Landrie Wofford organized the project.
Carr Elementary received school supplies from the Kiwanis Club, Dallas Baptist Church, and the Dallas Police Department. In addition, the school received a school supplies donation from third grade student Natalie Day.
In partnership with the Carolina Panthers, Carr Elementary teacher Diane Baron was nominated as a FSI Teacher of the Week.
Carr Elementary received the “Best of Gaston” award from The Gaston Gazette as a top public school in Gaston County.
Carr Elementary was selected to receive a Duke Energy Science Night Kit, which provides materials for students to participate in STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, math) activities.
North Gaston High School art teacher Tammy Hovis organized an art project at Carr Elementary that involved high school students painting a mural of the Leader in Me “7 Habits of Happy Kids.”
Chapel Grove Elementary teachers received gas gift cards from Gastonia Seventh Day Adventist Church. In addition, Southside Baptist Church, Carolinas Telco Credit Union, and Communities in School donated school supplies and backpacks.
More than 100 students at Gaston Early College High School have qualified for membership in the National Beta Club.
Gaston Early College High School students assisted Keep Gastonia Beautiful volunteers with a cleanup of the Highland Community Garden.
Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences school counselor Desiree Lackey and Gaston College liaison Misti Elting met with students and families to create four-year plans and discuss career and college goals. In addition, the school is developing clubs and a student council and working on inviting medical professionals to meet virtually with students to talk about their career journeys.
Hawks Nest STEAM Academy held a “Spruce Up The Nest” beautification day to prepare for the new school year.
The Hunter Huss High School football team assisted with a landscaping and mulching project at Lingerfeldt Elementary prior to the start of the school year.
McAdenville Elementary received a donation of school supplies from the Cramer Mountain Investment Club and Cramerton Community Committee.
Through the school’s “Penny March Madness” fundraiser, the New Hope Elementary PTO purchased new indoor basketball goals.
Each week at Page Primary, one kindergarten class and one first grade class have the opportunity to earn “The Golden Brick” as a part of the school’s behavior/character education program.  Classes must show the characteristics of respect, responsibility, and safety to be selected for “The Golden Brick.”
Pleasant Ridge Elementary received signs from Cliff Dixon and Pressbox Creative to help with morning and afternoon traffic flow.
Parkwood Baptist Church and Creekside Nursery volunteers planted 60 shrubs as part of a beautification project to repurpose the interior courtyard at Sherwood Elementary.
Sherwood Elementary received a donation of school supplies from Myers Memorial United Methodist Church.
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Belmont Middle School Wildcat Golf Team Runners-Up at GCS Championship

Congratulations to Coach Beaver and the Belmont Middle School Wildcat Golf Team. They finished Runners-Up at the GCS Championship at Cherryville Country Club last week. Belmont Middle’s Will Monteith was the Top Golfer at the tournament with a low score of 40 to lead all players.

Gaston Schools photo
 

Belmont Middle Wildcats
are Division II Champs

The Belmont Middle School Wildcats football team beat York Chester Middle at York Chester last Wednesday 14-0 to become the Division II Champions for Gaston County.

Photos by Calvin Craig
 

Cramer and East Gaston win big

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com


The East Gaston and Stuart Cramer football programs each won big in important conference matchups last week.
East Gaston beat Bessemer City 48-28 while Cramer defeated Ashbrook 31-20.

East Gaston 48
Bessemer City 28
In the East Gaston’s Southern Piedmont 1A/2A match up against the Yellow Jackets the Warriors pushed out to an early 35-14 lead at the half.
In the second half EG tacked on another 13 points to take a 48-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth the Warriors started to substitute their starters and the Yellow Jackets put up 14 points late in the game.
The East Gaston offense put up good numbers.
Once again the offense was powered by rock-solid running from the duo of Justin Hill and Markel McKinney.
Hill and McKinney work well together.
Against Bessemer City, Hill had 151 yards and two touchdowns while McKinney was able to run and catch the ball efficiently.
McKinney ended the evening with 105 rushing yards off eight carries with three touchdowns.
The six foot 195 pound senior also had 49 yards of receiving offense off of three receptions and a TD.
Warrior quarterback Trenton Sherrill had a respectable game going six for 13 for 94 yards and a touchdown.
Sherrill’s ability to successfully put the ball in the air helps the EG offensive effort. With a decent passing game in place opposing defenses can’t stack the box which allows the Warriors to run the ball very effectively.
East Gaston’s top tacklers were Luis Nunez who finished the game with six stops and linebacker Jake Fox who ended his night with five tackles.
Head coach JT Postell is happy the Warriors got a conference win but the coach also wants his team to play at a high level for four quarters.
“Overall I thought we played well,” Postell said. “We did some good things, but also failed to execute the way we should going forward. It’s a win, we are happy with that. It’s a conference win.”
This week the 5-2 Warriors will be tested as they travel to Lawndale to take on the 5-2 Burns Bulldogs in another important Southern Piedmont 1A/2A contest.

Stuart Cramer 31 
Ashbrook 20 
Cramer improved to 4-3 by playing well-rounded mistake-free football against the Ashbrook Greenwave.
The Cramer offense was productive against Ashbrook registering 326 yards of total offense.
QB Justin Rocquemore definitely got the job done for the Strom. He threw for 145 yards and three touchdowns while also running for 94 yards.
Roquemore spread the ball around connecting with five different receivers, he threw two touchdown passes to sophomore Isaiah Johnson and one to senior Dameian Bentley.
With seven games under his belt, Roqumore is playing some inspired football. So far he has thrown for 1351 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for 469 yards and four TDs.
Against Ashbrook the Cramer offense got some additional firepower when defensive end Arias Nash lined up in the backfield running for 19 yards off of three carries and scoring a touchdown against Ashbrook.
On the defensive side several Cramer players had outstanding performances.
First up is defensive end Arias Nash.
Let just be honest, Nash is a beast. He wreaked havoc on the Ashbrook offense putting up 20 tackles and four sacks.
Linebackers Josue Sanchez and Daimean Fernandez along with defensive end Kenneth McAllister had first-class games. Sanchez finished 15 tackles while Fernandez and McAllister had 11 stops a piece.
To sum it up, Cramer played well across the board.
“This one was a total team effort,” head coach Ben McMillan said. “We made some big plays in all three phases of the game, offense defense, and special teams. That’s something we have been focusing on and we want to keep improving on.”
This week Cramer has a hard Big South 3A matchup when they go on the road to battle 6-1 Kings Mountain.
While there’s no doubt that the Mountaineers are a tough, coach McMillan thinks the Storm can give Kings Mountain a real run for their money.
“We’ve been competitive with everyone we have played this year,” McMillan added.

Stuart Cramer High Homecoming Court & Queen

Stuart Cramer High introduced its Homecoming Queen and Court last week. Queen Zareha McSwain is pictured at left receiving her crown. Court- Left to Right- Emma Goodson, Sabrina Wepez, Stella Herzberg, Aubrey Baker, Lily McCollough, Zareha McSwain (Queen), Camein Cline, Grace Michael, Taylor Hartsell, Jocelyn Gordon, Tori Pullen, Kaydence Allen.
Photos by Bill Bostick Tarheel Sports Photography
 

Red Raiders gridiron action

The South Point Red Raiders varsity football team hosted the Kings Mountain High Mountaineers last week. When the dust settled the Mountaineers had achieved a 24-7 win.                  
                                                                                                                      Photos by Calvin Craig Superraiders
 

Cramer beats Huss while
East Gaston nips Thomas Jefferson

 

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com

The Stuart Cramer and East Gaston football teams both registered big wins this week. Cramer crushed Hunter Huss in a 33-8 win while East Gaston rallied to beat the Thomas Jefferson Gryphons 42-37.

Stuart Cramer 33
Hunter Huss 8
It had been a tough couple weeks for Stuart Cramer, but the Storm got back on track by ending a two game skid by beating Huss in a Big South 3A matchup.
The Storm won by playing well on both sides of the ball in a game they dominated from the beginning.
“It was great to bounce back after a tough couple of weeks,” head coach Ben McMillan said. “I think all the way around we played really well especially our defense.”
Defensively the Storm didn’t give Huss much room to maneuver. The Huskies only made it into the end zone once.
Defensive end Arias Nash had a fantastic game registering 15 tackles, one sack and five quarterback hurries. Josue Sanchez and Daimean Fernandez also played well. Both finished the night with 10 tackles a piece.
The Storm offense had a productive night as well.
Cramer employed a well-balanced attack inflicting damage on the ground and in the air.
The Storm finished the game with 421 yards of total offense. The production was pretty much evenly split with Cramer having 204 yards of rushing offense matched by 217 yards of passing.
“Offensively we were able to run the ball a little more,” McMillan added. “We just need to work on finishing drives with touchdowns.”
Storm QB Justin Rocquemore delivered a well-rounded performance passing for 217 yards with three touchdowns and running for 116 yards.
Running back Myles Hamilton contributed to the ground game as well. Hamilton had 72 yards off of 13 carries.
When Rocquemore went to the air his favorite target was six foot two inch junior receiver Nathan Brittain who really put on a show grabbing six passes for 78 yards with three touchdowns.
With their win over the Huskies Cramer improved their record to 3-3.
This week Cramer plays host to the 1-3 Ashbrook Greenwave.

East Gaston 42
Thomas Jefferson 37
It’s a little early in the season for must win games, but for the East Gaston Warriors to maintain their forward momentum in the Southern Piedmont 2A/2A the game against Thomas Jefferson was pretty much a must win contest.
The Warriors started out strong but soon found themselves in a hole. East Gaston trailed Thomas Jefferson 28-21 at the half.
When play got back underway in the third quarter the Gryphons picked up where they left off striking yet again to put the Warriors down 35-21.
It was beginning to look like the Warriors were going to let the game get away from them, but with about four minutes left in the third running back Justin Hill took matters into his own hands. Hill broke off a 77-yard touchdown run that put the Warriors back in the game.
After Hill’s score, EG continued to rally scoring one more touchdown in the third and another in the fourth quarter to seal the deal.
Thomas Jefferson managed a safety in the fourth quarter, but it didn’t matter. East Gaston’s comeback was complete.
 “It was a great team win,” head coach JT Postell said. ‘We got off to a good start and then faced a little bit of adversity in the third quarter through part of the third quarter. Our guys responded and played their hearts out for the rest of the game.”
The East Gaston running game definitely got the job done.
The duo of Justin Hill and Markel McKinney provided the Warriors with a potent 1-2 punch.
Hill finished the night with 25 carries for 266 yards and two TD’s, while Markel McKinney had 16 carries for 191 yards and four scores.
Quarterback Trenton Sherrill went seven for 15 for 101 yards
Aiden Cloninger was EG’s top receiver with four catches for 53 yards
Several defensive players had noteworthy games for East Gaston.
Jake Fox finished the game with five tackles while Justin Hill and Jaxson Cogdill registered four stops apiece.
Josiah Lucas finished up with three tackles and Aiden Cloninger snatched an interception to round out the Warrior’s defensive effort.
This week the Warriors will host Bessemer City.

Wildcats
football
action

The Belmont Middle School Wildcats football team went on the road last Wednesday all the way to Cherryville High’s Rudisill Stadium where they met the Chavis Middle School Wolverines. When the struggle over the inflated pigskin object was concluded, the Wildcats had scratched the Wolverines silly by a score of 53-0. Here are some scenes from the Wildcat win.  
Photos by Calvin Craig
 

South Point Red Raiders gridiron action...

The South Point Red Raiders junior varsity football squad was on home turf at Lineberger Stadium last Thursday when they met the Stuart Cramer Storm JV team for the second time in two weeks. When the game was over, the Red Raiders had squeezed out a 22-14 victory. The Red Raiders JV are now 4-1.

Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders

Red Raiders football action...

The South Point Red Raiders football squad journeyed to Gastonia and met the Hunter Huss Huskies last Friday. On a great night for fall football, the Red Raiders dogged the Huskies and went back to Belmont with a 42-7 win. Here are some scenes from the tussle. See story on page 16.                
         
Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders
 

Belmont Middle School football scenes...

The Belmont Middle School Wildcats football team played at W.C. Friday last Thursday.  Belmont won 28-0.  They have now won three games in a row. Here are some great scenes from the thrilling encounter.

Photos by Calvin Craig
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Belmont Abbey Rugby...

Eric Morgan converted a kick on the final play of the game, leading 21st-ranked Belmont Abbey to a 10-7 win over UNC Charlotte in rugby action Thursday night.
The game was played at Martha Rivers Park in Gastonia.
How It Happened- UNCC opened the scoring with a short try and conversion midway through the first half. The Crusaders (3-1-1) tied the game at 7-7 a short time later after Michael Brennan broke through the defense, the made the conversion. The Abbey played most of the second half in the 49ers’ end, but could not score until the final kick.
Belmont Abbey photo/story
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Mt. Island Charter Senior
Tennis Players

Mt. Island Charter School recognized its senior tennis players last week.  Left- Brooke House and family; Right - Charlotte Porter and family; along with Coaches- Brian Lawing and Don Abernathy.

Photo by Michael Strauss

Raptors gridiron scenes...

The Mt. Island Charter School Raptors varsity football team clashed with the Community School of Davidson gridiron squad last week. When the dust settled, Davidson had pulled out a 23-14 win. Here are a few pics from the meeting.

Photos by Mark Giacomin
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Gaston Christian defeats Hickory Grove Christian

Gaston Christian School varsity soccer has a great game recently when they defeated Hickory Grove Christian 10-1. Jaylen 4 goals; 3 assists.  Patrick 1 goal; 2 assists. Evan 2 goals. Cater 1 goal. Jacob H 1 assist. Cannon 1 goal; 1 assist. Jacob K 1 goal.
 
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Raphael Turner

Raphael Turner named MICS head varsity baseball coach

Originally from Washington, DC, Raphael was a dual sport athlete at Woodrow Wilson High School. There, he played football and baseball as a three year varsity standout. Recruited to play both sports in college, he chose to continue his student-athlete career at Radford University in Virginia.
At Radford, Raphael showed promise as one of the emerging stars for the program but a roller coaster career due to injuries all but solidified an opportunity that would allow him to play beyond college. In his five years of attendance, he majored in Sports Management while also obtaining a minor in Business Management. Raphael would go on to play three years on the independent professional circuit.
After his baseball career, Raphael founded Unmatched Performance Athletics in Charlotte, NC. He and the coaches he partnered with, developed a youth baseball organization designed around using baseball as a tool to create hard working, humble, team players and young men. He served players from ages six to nineteen years of age.
Raphael parlayed the opportunity with Unmatched and local athletes as a chance to leave a greater footprint on the game of baseball. Always being in love with the most mysterious part of the game, “the art of hitting,” he welcomed a following that wanted the knowledge he possessed. He is now known on a national scale in the baseball community as “@thathittingguy” on all major social media platforms.
The only thing Raphael loves more than coaching is learning how to be the best husband and father possible. Raphael lives in Denver, NC with his wife Joy and their children where they attend Church of Denver.

Register for Mt. Holly adult kickball

Registration for Mt. Holly Parks and Rec. Adult Kickball is open. The registration will end on Thursday, October 7th at 5:00pm.
If you have enough people to form a full team, you can register online with the Team Registration link. If you don’t have enough to form a team but just want to play, you can register online with the Individual Registration link.
The cost for a team is $300/residents & $350/non-residents.
To get the resident rate, at least 50% of your team must be Mount Holly residents. The cost for individuals is $35/residents & $40/non-residents.
Visit the Mount Holly website’s “Parks and Recreation” page for full details and registration links!
http://cms8.revize.com/.../community.../adult_sports.php
If you wish to register in person or have questions on the Adult Kickball season, please contact Connor Sisk at connor.sisk@mtholly.us.

Belmont Middle
Girls’ Softball action

In a match-up of two undefeated teams, Belmont Middle School Girls’ Softball Team lost 10-6 last week at Cherryville. BMS jumped out to an early 4-0 lead; but lost the lead in last couple of innings. Here are some scenes from the exciting contest.

Photos by John Kalmbach
 

After slow start Red Raiders run past Stuart Cramer for 28-21 win

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com

This year’s annual South Point-Stuart Cramer football game known as the ‘River Rumble’ turned out to be the game of the week.
Cramer played tough leading the Red Raiders for most of the game, but an opportunistic South Point defense and some strong running by Tyson Riley erased the Storm’s best chance at securing their first victory over South Point.
The Red Raiders started the game with an 87 yard drive topped off by a Tyson Riley 6-yard touchdown run.
Cramer responded with quarterback Justin Rocquemore connecting with Dameian Bentley on a 66-yard touchdown strike.
After tying up the game the Storm kept rolling scoring two additional touchdowns to push out to a 21-7 second quarter lead.
Not to be left out the Red Raiders pushed back when Frank Vickers ripped off a 75-yard kick return to narrow the gap.
A Charlie Birtwistle PAT sent the Red Raiders into the locker room down 21-14 at the half.
When the third quarter got underway the Red Raiders kept the pressure on the Cramer offense while Tyson Riley and the South Point offense went to work.
In the second half the South Point defense kept Cramer out of the end zone by producing timely sacks and three interceptions.
With the Cramer offense all but grounded the Red Raider running game took over.
The South Point offensive line paved the way for Riley to score two second half touchdowns on his way to a 42 carry, 243-yard, and three touchdown performance.
Riley’s 42 touches set a new school record. The previous record was shared by Tyler Bray and Troy Leeper.
Justin Rocquemore was Cramer’s top offensive player. Roquemore passed for 138 yards and a touchdown while running for 77 yards off of 12 carries with two TDs.
Head coach Adam Hodge was glad the Red Raiders pulled out the win.
“We started a little slow and had to come out and battle to win,” Hodge said. “They got a lead on us and we had to get up and fight.”
This wasn’t the first time this season that South Point found themselves starting out slow or being behind early in a game.
Coach Hodge understands that if the Red Raiders are hoping to win the conference or have a deep playoff run they’re going to need to be ready to roll on the first play of the game. South Point can’t count on always being able to rally to pull out a win.
“We need to put in four full quarters of football,” Hodge stressed.  “I don’t think we’ve done that yet. We started slow against Lincolnton, East Gaston and Cramer. We can’t do that if we want to win a state championship. We need to start fast and finish fast. We have a good team. We need to play a full game.”
With the Cramer win, South Point’s record improves to 3-1. This week the Red Raiders will go to Hunter Huss to battle the winless Huskies.
The 2-2 Storm will travel to Shelby to take on the 2-1 Crest Chargers.

Belmont Wildcats football action...

The Belmont Middle School Wildcats football team tangled with the Bessemer City Middle Tigers last week. When the scratching was over, the Wildcats had clawed out a 32-8 win Here are some colorful shots from the scuffle.

Photos by Calvin Craig

Sherrill, Hill and Cloninger propel
Warriors past Cherokee in 35-27 win

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com

If 2021 has taught us anything it’s that the East Gaston football program has improved dramatically this season.
Going into the Warriors home game against 2-1 Cherokee, East Gaston was sitting at 1-2.
East Gaston opened the season dominating the North Gaston Wildcats in their lone win of the year. That win was followed up by tough losses to Stuart Cramer and South Point. At different times during the losses to the Storm and the Red Raiders the Warriors were in the game but either let things slip away or didn’t play solid ball for four quarters.
If East Gaston could only find a way to play a complete game they could be onto something special.
As it turned out the Warriors did just that in beating the Cherokee Braves 35-26.
Powered by strong performances by quarterback Trenton Sherrill, running back Justin Hill and wide receiver Aiden Cloninger, the Warriors amassed 342 yards of total offense and played solid across the board.
Sherrill finished the game passing for 121 yards and three touchdowns. Hill ran for 127 yards off of 13 carries and a touchdown while Cloninger hauled in seven passes for 121 yards and three scores. Hill also scored on an 80-yard kickoff return.
Also putting in some solid work was running back Markel McKinney who ran for 92 yards off of 11 carries.
East Gaston head coach JT Postell was pleased with how things turned out
“It was a great win against a tough opponent,” Postell said. “I knew Cherokee was going to be tough and quite a challenge. They have really good size along their offensive and defensive line.”
The Braves are one of the top 1A programs in Western North Carolina coming out of the tough Smoky Mountain 1A Conference.
“We knew we would have our hands full with their quarterback,” Postell added.
While the Braves were able to put 26 points on the board the game was never really in jeopardy. EG played solid football throughout the game and the scoreboard reflected that effort.
“I’m proud of our guys,” Postell went on to say. “We played hard for four full quarters. That’s something I’ve emphasized. It’s something we haven’t done yet and I felt we did against Cherokee.”
This week the 2-2 Warriors will travel to Cherryville for their first conference game of the year to take on the 1-3 Ironmen.
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Belmont Abbey men’s soccer team opened 2021 season

The Belmont Abbey men’s soccer team opened its 2021 season at Limestone.  The Saints won the contest 3-0. How It Happened - In the 17th minute, Kevin Daly took the first shot of the year for the Crusaders. Limestone took the lead in the 13th minute, and held the 1-0 advantage at halftime.  The defense was strong throughout the half, limiting the Saints to just three shots in the period. The Saints scored in the 63rd and 65th minutes to take a 3-0 lead. Ben Knust made four saves in goal.     Belmont Abbey photo
 

Wildcats gridiron action...

The Belmont Middle School Wildcats football team battled the Stanley Middle School Blue Devils last Wednesday. When the contest was concluded, the Wildcats had clawed out a 34-0 victory. Here are some shots from the gridiron grapple.   Photos by Calvin Craig Superraiders
 

South Point Red Raiders Junior Varsity football scenes...

The South Point High Red Raiders JV football team traveled to Claremont in Catawba County last week and took on the Bunker Hill High Bears. By the time the contest was concluded, the Bears had mauled the Red Raiders 22-8. Here are a few scenes from the event.

Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders
 

Mt. Holly Sports Hall of Fame scenes

Above: The 1992 East Gaston High School Wrestling Team, state champions. The Mt Holly Sports Hall of Fame banquet and induction event was held on August 21, 2021 at the Mt Holly Municipal Complex. Here are photos of the inductees.

Photos by Richard Flowers
 

South Point Red Raiders clash with Hickory Raging Bulls

The South Point Red Raiders clashed with the Hickory Ridge Raging Bulls (Harrisburg, NC) last Friday. When the dust settled, the Bulls stampeded over the Red Raiders 27-7. Here are some scenes from the bully ball game.

Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders
 

Mountain Island Charter
football action...

The Mt. Island Charter School Raptors football team met the Cabarrus Stallions on August 27. The Raptors came away with a 28-6 victory. Key Raptor players in that contest included- Dylan Bisson, QB, SR- 14/17 for 423 yards 3 TDs, 3 rushes 27 yards 1 TD; Cole Hart, WR, SR- 4 catches 202 yards 2 TDs; Trae Nickelson, ATH, SR- 148 Yards All Purpose; Ashton Miller, DL. JR- 7 tackles, 2 tackle for Loss, 2 sacks; Tanner Leeson, DL, SR- 4 tackes, 3 Tackles for Loss, 3 sacks.

Photos by Mark Giacomin
 

Stuart Cramer comes from
behind to beat East Gaston
28-21

By John Wilson
John.bannernews@gmail.com

Anytime local rivals go at it there are bound to be some fireworks and a little bit of excitement.
That proved to be the case when the East Gaston Warriors football team traveled to Cramerton to face the Stuart Cramer Storm in a non-conference matchup that went the distance.
The Storm took advantage of some late game turnovers to stage a dramatic comeback to beat the Warriors 28-21.
Both offenses played incredibly well with EG putting up 396 yards of total offense and Cramer keeping pace with 364 yards.
Justin Rocquemore proved that he truly is a dual threat quarterback throwing for 292 yards and four touchdowns and running for 39 yards. Dameian Bentley was Cramer’s top receiver hauling in four passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
“I was proud of the way our guys stayed together playing as a team,” head coach Ben McMillan said. “They kept fighting even after some things didn’t go our way early on in the game.”
McMillan credits the defense with putting the Storm in a position to win the game.
“Our defense played really well again and forced some big turnovers late in the game,” McMillan added.
Arias Nash, Josue Sanchez, Markel McKinney, Dameian Bentley, and Markiss Nelson all contributed in one way or another to the Cramer defensive effort. Nash and Sanchez were the games top tacklers with Sanchez leading the pack with 15 tackles followed by Nash who finished the night with 14.
Throughout the night Cramer had some tough moments, but they always found a way to turn things around.
For the most part coach McMillan thought his offense played well. When the going got rough the Storm offense delivered.
Now Cramer will go into the bye week looking pretty good at 2-1.
 “Offensively we made some key plays when we needed to,” McMillan said. “Going into the bye week I feel like our team has improved each week. I want to continue.”
As for East Gaston, well this is a team that need not hang their head low. While no one likes it when a game gets away from them the Warriors played well and are giving Cramer their due.
“A tough loss,” head coach JT Postell said. “We played well at times but also lost focus at times and made too many mistakes at crucial moments of the game. I am really proud of our fight and the way we battled for four quarters. Give Stuart Cramer a lot of credit, they made more plays than we did. Coach McMillan does a great job over there.”
The Warriors had several players that distinguished themselves against Cramer. Quarterback Trent Sherill went 11 for 25 for 166 yards and two touchdowns. Markel McKinney also put in a solid performance running for 101 yards off of 15 carries and a touchdown while pulling in six passes for 91 yards and a TD.
While Sherrill and McKinney did some solid work Justin Hill needs to be mentioned as well. Hill ground out 126 yards off 22 carries and was the game’s top rusher.
Over the last few games East Gaston has shown that they are a team that can no longer be taken lightly. Look for them to continue to get better.
 “We will get back to work and continue to try and improve.” Postell added.
This week Cramer has a bye while East Gaston travels to the mountains to battle the Cherokee Braves.

Scenes from Stuart Cramer - East Gaston Game

Belmont Middle football scenes...

The Belmont Middle School Wildcats football team sojourned all the way to Gastonia last week and jousted with the Grier Middle School Knights. When the final buzzer sounded, Grier had prevailed with a score of 24-12. Here are some nice photos from the thrilling encounter.
Photos by Calvin Craig
 
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Nat Worcester

Worcester named head cycling coach

Former Belmont Abbey cyclist Nat Worcester has been named as the Crusaders’ new head coach, Vice President and Director of Athletics announced today. Worcester begins his duties immediately.
“We are thrilled to name Nat Worcester as our new Head Cycling Coach at Belmont Abbey College,” Vice-President and Director of Athletics Stephen Miss said. “As an alumnus of our college and cycling program, as well as a recent convert to Catholicism, Coach Worcester is the ideal individual to form and develop our students, maintain continuity and build upon the foundation established during his athletic career.”
A 2020 graduate of The Abbey, Worcester returns to his alma mater where he was a four-year letterman and team captain, participating in the disciplines of track and road. Since graduation, he has been working at the Giordana Velodrome as a Track Assistant, providing instruction in the rider certification program, ensuring operational safety at the track and supervising equipment. He also has served as Director of the DDP Cycling Team, coordinating logistics for races and planning and implementing race strategies.
He holds a Level 3 coaching license from USA Cycling.
“I am extremely honored and grateful to Abbot Placid Solari, O.S.B., President Thierfelder and Stephen Miss for the opportunity to return to my alma mater and lead a program that I helped form in its early years,” Worcester said. “Belmont Abbey is a special place with a growing cycling tradition. I am fully committed to continuing the successes of this program.”
Worcester earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in sport management. He is currently working towards a master’s in psychology with a specialization in sports psychology.
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Congratulations to
South Point High School

Congratulations to South Point High School for being recognized by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association as the Southwestern 2A Wells Fargo Conference Cup champion. South Point High School collected conference championships in men and women’s soccer, women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s swimming and diving.

Gaston Schools photo
 

Mountain Island Charter Raptors Win!

Last Friday the Mountain Island Charter Raptors varsity football team won their away non-conference game against Anson (Wadesboro, NC) Bearcats by a score of 34-27. Congratulations to Austin McConnell, Brock Haynes, Ashton Miller and Reginald Taylor for being selected the Mountain Island Charter players of the game. Here are a few shots from the contest.

Photos by Mark Giacomin
 

Gaston Christian
Volleyball scenes

The Gaston Christian School Varsity Volleyball team is back in action and in their first home game defeated Lake Pointe 3-0. The team went on to defeat  Charlotte Latin 3-1.


GCS photos
 

South Point Red Raider’s 46-7 victory

​​​Here are some action shots from the South Point Red Raider’s 46-7 victory over Lincolnton last Friday night.  
                                                                    Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders
 

MICS tennis has great match

Mt. Island Charter School took on Pine lake Prep in a great tennis match last week. Jackie Reilly and Abrie Ashburn (below) had their first ever tennis win. Senior Brooke Houser (at left) also had a good day. The team coach is Brian Lawing. The team was started spring of 2021 and this is their second season.

Photos by Michael Strauss
 

Belmont tennis is a big hit

Featured here is the most recent City of Belmont Parks and Recreation August tennis class celebrating their final tennis lesson.
The heat didn’t faze these dedicated players who learned how to volley, forehand and backhand with their class instructors.
Participants ages 5-13 enjoyed meeting each session from 9:30am – 10:30am; 10:30am – 11:30am working on their individual skills.
The overall program saw an increase from previous student turnout by nearly 40%.
A big thank you goes out to the Harris Teeter of Belmont for donating gift cards to purchase several cold treats for the players for their last day of class.
More info on how you can experience a future program contact the City of Belmont Parks and Recreation website at https://parksrec.egov.basgov.com/belmont
Or call the main offcie at (704) 825-8191.