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.
Screen shot 2021 09 16 at 11.32.51 am

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
 
Screen shot 2021 08 26 at 2.16.58 pm
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.
Screen shot 2021 08 26 at 2.17.31 pm

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.
Screen shot 2021 08 26 at 2.11.42 pm

Belmont Parks and Recreation Mobile unit brings the fun!

This summer Belmont Parks and Recreation brought the fun to you! Our 2021 Mobile Recreation program allowed us to serve communities around the entire City of Belmont.
We hit the road with our trailer stocked full of games, activities, crafts, and sno-cones. The sidewalks were covered in art, and the air was filled with laughter.
Our mission to give back to our local families and friends by providing this free program was more than fulfilling.
By traveling to different parks, we were able to encourage all populations to get outside, make new connections, and stay active.
The Mobile Rec program stimulated growth in less frequented parks by drawing families to each event. Our trailer went to six different parks and served over 100 children.
It is safe to say our sno-cones and bubble machine were the main attractions.
Nichols Food Store of Belmont had our backs by providing us all the ice we needed to keep sno-cones coming.
 At our final stop in downtown Stowe Park we succeeded our goals with the back-to-School Bash event which provided bookbags for 100 students thanks to funding from CaroMont Health.
The support that we had to make each event special was uncanny.  While we are sad to see summer come and go, we know this is just the beginning Mobile Recreation here at Belmont, NC.
Screen shot 2021 08 26 at 2.11.30 pm

Belmont Parks and Recreation soccer coach
volunteers train up for 2021 fall season

The Belmont Abbey College Men’s and Women’s Soccer Program players/staff met up with Belmont Parks and Rec soccer volunteers on Sunday August 8th for their pre-season coaches clinic.  The clinic, held at the Ebb Gantt Soccer Complex, covered several key points for both new and former volunteers which helped addressed ways coaches could better serve their players and effectively navigate drills that could benefit particular age groups.
Coaches were divided up into two smaller groups and were shown age specific drills and techniques that could give them better success with their soccer teams for the upcoming season.
Brian McGonagle, Belmont Parks and Recreation Athletic Director indicated that the partnership with the local college team has been a real blessing over the years.
“It’s critical to our success,” added McGonagle. “We as a department want to ensure each volunteer has the very best knowledge and guidance when managing their team players.”
According to statistics, most kids quit sports due to the coaching experience.
“I’m very grateful to the coaches and players from Belmont Abbey College,” concluded McGonagle.
“Having such a large program, partnerships are key and we are happy to have the ability to have such an asset like the Abbey so close to home.”
Belmont currently will be fielding 37 soccer teams for the fall season and volunteers are always welcome. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer coach for the City of Belmont Parks and Recreation you can reach the parks and recreation office at (704) 825-8191.
Screen shot 2021 08 26 at 2.11.16 pm

South Point Red Raiders wins
pre season soccer tournament

The South Point Red Raiders won the pre season soccer tournament (Gazette Cup) by defeating the Stuart Cramer Storm 3-0 in the Championship game played at Stuart Cramer last Saturday evening. Above are some great scenes from the exhilarating contest.

Photos by Bill Bostick/Tarheel Sports Photography
 
Screen shot 2021 08 19 at 11.02.22 am

Fall Sports Preview

See our Fall Sports Preview in this week's Banner-News  (August 19, 2021)
Screen shot 2021 08 19 at 10.59.59 am

2020 Hall of Fame – 1992 East Gaston Wrestling

By Kathy Blake
No Time to Lose
East Gaston wrestling doesn’t let change interfere with State title 
The year is 1992.
The Olympic Games are in Barcelona, Spain. Bill Clinton is elected president. Jay Leno debuts on “The Tonight Show,” and IBM introduces a laptop, the ThinkPad 700C.
“Barney & Friends” premiers on TV and, in better news, the Chicago Bulls win their second consecutive NBA title.
In Mount Holly, the East Gaston High School wrestling team – which graduated six members, including four 1991 state finalists and underwent a coaching change – patches its pieces together and wins another Class 4A state championship.
“It was one of those things we wanted to continue and defend that title,” says Cain Beard, a junior 112-pounder. “We had a legendary coach (Doug Smith) retire, and we were young and had to kind of mesh together. It took a lot of adjustment, because of our having been used to doing things a certain way. And this new coach comes in, and we had to get to know each other and figure it out.”
The new coach was Bryan Lingerfelt, who at 23 was on the borderline of being a peer vs. being authority. And Smith, who led the team to a 22-0 record and Class 4A state title the year before and had coached for 13 seasons, was still in the building, down the hall.
“I was just a young coach that was hoping to help young men and East Gaston,” Lingerfelt says. “I saw it as an opportunity to help. The success we had I’m sure was unexpected, but that is what made it so special and what made these young men special that season.”
“Coach Smith was still teaching at the school, and all of us would go talk to him about strategy, but it was awkward for us,” says Beard, who coached as several high schools before taking his current role in 2008 as head coach at Rock Hill High School. “It was an awkward situation (for Lingerfelt) to follow a legend. When I got to Rock Hill, I heard about how great the teams were in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and I kind of get the feeling of what Bryan must have felt. I know Bryan heard it from us: ‘That’s not how it was done!’ And I heard it at Rock Hill.”
Lingerfelt was a student-teacher as East Gaston in 1990 and helped coach football. He was hired at Surry Central High School after graduation from Appalachian State University in Boone, then was asked to return to East Gaston to coach wrestling for 1991-92.
For what it accomplished in 1992, the wrestling team is inducted into the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame.
The group went 14-1, the only loss coming at Ashbrook in the regular season – an outcome that was reversed in the state finals.
“Ashbrook and us, at the time, were the two premier programs in the area, and we went to their place and had to deal with some lineup issues – I don’t remember what it was – and we took a loss,” Beard says. “And sometimes a loss is a good thing. I’ve always said as a coach, if you go undefeated I need to make the schedule tougher.”
On the bus ride home, he says, the team pondered how to use the loss to their advantage. “Our goal as a team was not so much to avenge the loss but to put yourself in a position to win a state title. And we had done that, that night. We were going for our third state title.”
“I remember that bus ride as being quiet. I remember some guys crying,” says Brent Harrelson, a junior who wrestled at 171. “Whether we wanted to admit it nor not, Ashbrook was a very tough match. They were our rivals, and there was mutual respect, whether we wanted to admit it or not. It was important to beat those guys, then all of a sudden we had this mark on our record and we thought, we can’t do this.”
“The loss did bring the team together,” Lingerfelt says. “I believe Bart Davis may have said something to rally the guys. Losing to Ashbrook hurt their feelings, and they could have gone the other way as well, but they had a ‘tradition’ they wanted to continue.”
The Warriors beat Ashbrook 47-13 in the state Western final on February 6 to advance to the 4A dual-team title. It was Ashbrook’s first loss of the season.
On the night of the state final title match vs. Eastern winner Orange High (23-2), from Hillsborough, Beard says the term “three-peat” was “being thrown around. The (Chicago) Bulls didn’t do theirs until the next year, but the term was out there. And it was on our mind.”
“There was a certain standard we held ourselves to,” Beard says. “It’s about putting ourselves in a position to win a state title. That’s what we do. All of us understood how we had to do it, getting everyone mentally prepared and on the same page to be in that situation.”
East Gaston won 30-25.
“Before the match, we said don’t let anybody come in here and take it from us,” Lingerfelt said after the win. “That’s all I tried to do, keep the tradition of the program going. I just tried to guide it along.”
Following Harrelson’s pin at to give East Gaston the lead, Bart Davis (189) clinched the victory with one match remaining with a 10-5 win, making an Orange comeback mathematically impossible.
“Wrestling at a higher weight, especially toward the end of a match, is especially stressful when it’s close,” Harrelson says, “and all you can think of is, don’t let your nerves get in the way of what you’re trying to do. And that’s what it was.”
Orange took a 6-0 lead early, but decisions by Beard, Darrell Stewart (125) and Jody Chery (119) gave East Gaston a 10-6 lead. After Orange tied it at 12, Brian Stewart (140) won his match by pin and Shelton Camp (152) won 2-1 to improve his record to 27-0-1.
Harrelson, 45 now, says winning the championship was “surreal.”
“It was awesome. We were happy,” he says. “I can’t tell you how cool that was.”

BY THE NUMBERS
East Gaston 1992 Wresting Team: David Laws (103), Caine Beard (112), Jody Cherry (119), Darrell Steward (125), Tim Hawkins (130), Brian Anderson (135), Brian Stewart (140), Sean Anderson (145), Shelton Camp (152), Steven Carpenter (160), Brent Harrelson (171), Bart Davis and Jeremiah Brunson (189), Nicer Young (Hwt).
Season record: 14-1
After having had to cancel the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that the 2021 event will be held on August 21,2021 at the Mount Holly Municipal Complex at 6pm. Tickets are available for $20 at Moose’s Pharmacy and David’s Detailing.
Screen shot 2021 08 19 at 10.59.43 am

2020 Hall of Fame – Scottie Holden

By Kathy Blake
Think fast… 
Got a second? This wrestling match is over
There is a word used in the South for the act of shoving work and responsibilities aside in favor of freely and nonchalantly being idle with time.
The word is “loafering,” a version of “loafing,” which simply means going slowly at one’s own pace, elsewhere, with no regard for obligations, or clocks.
Scottie Holden, as an athlete, was not one for loafering. A wrestler at Stanley Middle School and East Gaston High School in the mid-1980s, he was quick – sometimes excessively quick – and left opponents pinned before they had time to get their strategy adjusted. On your mark, set…match over.
During Holden’s junior year in 1984, East Gaston Coach Doug Smith complained about, of all things, how fast he finished his matches and got back to the bench. “He got on to me, because my first 22 matches was first-period pin. And he kept telling me I needed to go into the second or third round, because when I got to State it was going to go longer,” Holden says. “So my State final that I won, I did it in 1 minute 38 seconds.”
Smith coached East Gaston from 1978 through 1991, a year that ended in a state title. He knows a bit about timing.
“He was one of the most physical wrestlers I ever coached,” Smith says. “He physically beat up everyone he wrestled. He pinned three out of four at the State Championships, and he pinned a kid in the finals who was about as physical and tough as you’d see.”
Holden wrestled before North Carolina high schools were divided by attendance size. There wasn’t any 1A, 2A, and so on. Everyone was in the same batch. “In later years, they split schools into four classifications, but with him, there was only one state champ in each weight class. Back in that day, you had to go through everybody to win, and he was the first to do that.”
Holden won his state title at 108 pounds.
Being quick, and athletic, helps when you’re the little guy.
“I got started in wrestling with my brother, who was a year and three months older than me,” Holden says. “And, don’t laugh, but we were both small-framed and we played Little League baseball, him as a left-handed pitcher and me as a catcher. And when we got to middle school our stature for being ball players was not equivalent to what was needed.”
So Scottie and Jerry joined the wrestling team. “I won the county championship all three years,” Scottie Holden says. “Seventh, eighth and ninth grade, I won every year. My brother was close to the same weight class, and we pushed each other; we drove each other hard.”
Having a brother along helps in transitioning to high school, too. “When you go from middle school to high school, you’re already nervous and scared, and when you’re on the starting (wrestling) team as a ninth-grader, and you’re competing against 11th- and 12th-graders, it’s definitely a challenge. He was my motivator. We pushed each other.”
Holden’s accomplishments as an athlete and later as a coach led to his induction in the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame. “I never even thought of it before,” he says. “I never looked for any publicity. I’m just me. Worked hard all my life.”
That junior year, 1984, was a year for work. Holden says he’s the only East Gaston wrestler to win a true state championship, when all state schools competed without divisions. “There were 15 weight classes, but you had 25 or 30 people on a team. If your record didn’t allow you to qualify for Sectionals at the end of the season, you didn’t go,” he says. “The first round, there were 16 in each weight class and if you got beat you was done.”
Holden was quick away from the matt, too. If making weight was an issue, he could drop it like … now.
“When it was needed to lose 10 pounds during school, I had gotten out of class to lose weight… back in the day,” he says. “I could lose 10 pounds in a school day to compete. The plastic bags, the sweats… I’m glad they don’t allow that now.”
Holden’s senior year, 1985, didn’t go as planned. “I got sick and I had ruptured a blood vessel in my stomach, but I still made it to State,” he says. “My doctor advised me not to go, but I went anyway. I was too weak, and I lost out.” Still, colleges took notice. Chattanooga, Winthrop, Gardner-Webb, and he thought a long time about making the move to Tennessee.
“But I didn’t go,” he says. “I think that, in a way, if your mindset and heart isn’t in it, don’t do it. That is not a sport where you can get help, like have someone tackle someone or whatever. It’s a team sport, but it’s individual. So if your mind and heart is not in it, don’t pursue it.”
Holden pursued coaching, instead.
He was an assistant at Stanley Middle before he coached Mount Holly Middle School in 2002 and 2003, first as an assistant then as head coach. “I led them to their first championship title for Gaston County. Mount Holly had a team for 17 years and had never won,” he says. “I just wanted to work with the kids. I wasn’t interested in being in front of anybody. There’s a lot of kids I’ve coached through the years in Mount Holly, good kids.”
His son, Scottie Holden Jr., took over competition duties for his dad. “My oldest son went through Mount Holly and never had one point scored against him. I was amazed,” he says. “Never seen that before in my life. To see anyone in middle school never get one point scored on them.
“We won some matches 96-0, a perfect score. I told my team, I didn’t think that had ever been done in history. And the second year I coached, we beat another team 96-0.
“Scottie was a born-and-bred wrestler and started in the fifth grade, and we were actually invited to a tournament in Randolph County, and they invited our AAU team in Mount Holly,” Holden says. “My son was in sixth grade and beat an eighth-grader for the 80-pound weight class, and he only weighed 68 pounds. The kid from Randolph, his daddy was the head coach, and they had won the championship in that county for the last three years. But Scottie was 10 to 12 pounds lighter, and he beat him by decision.
“It was a big upset. I ran out on the matt and picked him up and hugged him. I didn’t care if I was disqualified or not. He also won a championship in seventh and eighth grade and was MVP for the Gaston County tournament.”
Looking back, Holden credits his parents – Jerry Holden Sr. and Helen Holden – and his children, his girls Tiffany and Carmen and sons Scottie and Calen. And his brother, Jerry. And Kirk Wells, the East Gaston assistant coach. “He was great with kids, and he pushed us more in a way like a comedy-type coach,” he says. “He made practices great.”
Holden left the sport for a role with Hoechst Celanese’s Mount Holly facility, mostly working with Oil of Olay production that sent bulk product to Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati. He says he put in “29.83 years, and retired and built a big shop behind my house.”
He can be found, most days, out back in that shop, working on a FedEx truck for Mutschler, Inc., which contracts throughout the southeast for FedEx Ground. He’ll do the maintenance, change out a transmission, service the vehicles. He’s quick to solve issues and take care of business.
But if he’s not there… he may have gone wandering to reminisce about how he’s worked hard all his life.
He’ll be back soon. He’s just off somewhere loafering.
BY THE NUMBERS
County Middle School Champion – 1980-1982 (7th, 8th and 9th grade)
State Tournament qualifier – 1983-1985 (10th, 11th, 12th grade)
State Champion, 108-pound class – 1984 (junior year)
Coach, Stanley Middle school
Assistant coach and coach, Mount Holly Middle School, 2002-2003
Won State title with MHMS
After having had to cancel the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that the 2021 event will be held on August 21, 2021 at the Mount Holly Municipal Complex at 6pm. Tickets are available for $20 at Moose’s Pharmacy and David’s Detailing.
Screen shot 2021 08 05 at 10.37.50 am

Congratulations area coaches

Congratulations to two current high school athletic directors and one retired athletic director for receiving awards earlier this week at a North Carolina Athletic Directors Association luncheon. 
Scott Harrill of Cherryville High School received the Region 6 Athletic Director of Excellence Award. In addition, East Gaston High School athletic director Ryan Resendez received the Region 6 Citation Award and retired Hunter Huss High School athletic director Steve Gardner received the Braveheart Award.                                                                Gaston Schools photos

The gift, the giver,
and boys who play ball

By Kathy Blake
Some youth ballplayers didn’t have a ride to the field. So coaches would pick them up for practice and drive them home, only to find both cars in the driveway. “Some of them didn’t have the best family life, and we tried to give them through ball what they weren’t getting from home,” says Donna Womack, whose husband Eddie coached. “They were good athletes. You just take them under your wing.”
Years later, a man approached the Womacks at a restaurant. He had a son with him, about 8 years old. The man told his son, “This was my coach in Optimist Ball, and he taught me more about life and baseball than anyone I’ve ever known.”
Not all sports accomplishments are validated by statistics. Interpersonal skills, effort and determination can’t be numerically recorded in a coaching notebook. Neither can basic concern for a person’s well-being.
Eddie Womack coached people, not just athletes. For 35 years in Mount Holly schools, Little Leagues, Dixie Youth League baseball, Babe Ruth, fall ball. He also played football and baseball for Mount Holly High School and played both sports at Lenoir-Rhyne.
Around Mount Holly, he’s known as the man who has coached so many kids – and cared about so many kids.
But there is one statistic Womack knows: According to the NCAA, only about 2 percent of high school athletes receive a college scholarship. And, fewer than 2 percent of college athletes have the chance to turn pro.
Youth ball, or maybe high school ball, is all they get.
“That’s when you need these special coaches. It’s a gift. Coaching is a gift,” Donna says. “You have to have a passion for it.”
Eddie Womack first put on a players’ uniform in 1962, for pee-wee football. He played fullback and tailback for Mount Holly High from 1965 through 1967 and played baseball 1965 through 1968. He went to Lenoir-Ryne in 1968 and started coaching locally in 1971, when he assisted Coach Delmer Wiles with baseball and football at Mount Holly High. The next 30-plus years were a tour of youth leagues, one after the other, season after season.
This year, for his efforts, he’s inducted in the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame with the Community Service Award.
“I’m just a representative of people that have helped coach with me. You can’t do it by yourself,” he says. “It’s just in my blood. I just want to coach. Some people tell me I’m crazy and ask how I put up with the parents. I tell them, the parents don’t mess with me. I’m here to teach the kids to play ball.”
But family influences happen.
“I had a kid at East Gaston, and he was tall, and he said all he could do was pitch. His older brother played college ball, and I had a talk with him privately,” Womack says, “and I said, ‘Let me be honest with you. You don’t want to play baseball.’ I just had that feeling, and one day his brother came to watch him play. And I told him, ‘You’re not your brother. I have two sons. They’re not the same.’ Parents sometimes want kids to be something they’re not. It’s a crying shame.”
The Womacks’ sons are Kelly, who will be 43 in November, and Kent, who will turn 40 in January. Eddie Womack is 70. He and Donna have been married 45 years. “Ever since I’ve known him, he’s loved sports,” she says. “When we got married, he played softball and on the traveling league team and the wives would go. So we’ve always been in it, and around it, and he umpires, and he’s always been on a ballfield. He just loves the kids and what he does.
“It’s funny, because sometimes these big, tall guys will come up to him and say, ‘Hi, Coach,’ and they were like 8 or 9 when he coached them. It makes him feel good. The boys, they don’t forget what you taught them. He says he tries to teach them ball and the values of life. You can carry the values on through long after the games.”
So many stories:
“I had one kid, he was 13 or 14 and his parents separated right before ball started and he had a big chip on his shoulder because he thought everyone was looking at him,” Womack says, “because at that time, not a lot of people separated or got divorced. We were at a ballgame and I brought him in from the outfield to pitch, and me and another coach were walking back to the sideline laughing and he thought we were laughing at him and he hollered at us. And he’s about 6-foot and I’m about 5-foot-7 if you stretch me, and I said, ‘Don’t you ever holler at a coach again. All I want you to do is pitch.’ After he finished that inning he said, ‘I’m sorry, coach.’ And I said, ‘I love you buddy.’ He made All-Stars. I wanted him to enjoy the game of baseball.”
And:
“I had one team a few years ago, a guy called me up late on a Thursday night and says, ‘I got 14 boys who want to play ball this fall, and we’ll put them in a league.’ I said, first question, do they want to play ball? He said, ‘Yes. They didn’t make the travel team.’ I said, if they want to play, I’ll coach ‘em. So we played the fall league and went 7-2-1. One guy says, ‘How’d you get these boys to win? We couldn’t get them to win in rec ball. And I said, I’m not their daddy. Sometimes you need a change.”
Womack was in an accident in 2015. He drives a truck now, for Lanier Material Sales. Doctors want to put a metal plate in his back. Some days, he has trouble walking. But he wants to coach again. He lost his best friend at age 17, and his last words to him, before doctors operated on the friend’s brain, were, “We’ll throw the ball when you get out of the hospital.” He doesn’t question the Lord’s work, he says. “I know I’ll see him again.”
Meanwhile, he watches the kids play ball, tries to give them part of his gift before they’re grown.
He quotes a song by Trace Adkins:
“You’re gonna miss this/ You’re gonna want this back/ You’re gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast/ These are some good times/ So take a good look around/ You may not know it now/ But you’re gonna miss this.”
One day, Donna says, Eddie left her a note.
It said, “Donna, thank you for always letting me do what I love to do.”

BY THE NUMBERS
As a player:
Pee-Wee Football, 1962; Midget Football, 1963; Pop-Warner All-American
Mount Holly High School: Football 1965-67 (fullback, tailback). Won Western 2A State in 1967
Mount Holly High School: Baseball 1965-68 (pitcher) Conference champions 1964, ’65, ’66, ’67
Lenoire-Ryne College: Baseball, football
As a coach:
Mount Holly High School: Assistant for baseball, football 1971-1972
Coached Mount Holly Recreation Department and Little League teams: 1970s
Dixie Youth baseball: 1990-2000
Babe Ruth: 1980s
East Gaston assistant coach, fall ball: 1993-2005
Umpire: Babe Ruth and Dixie League games

After having had to cancel the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that the 2021 event will be held on August 21,2021 at the Mount Holly Municipal Complex at 6pm. Tickets are available for $20 at Moose’s Pharmacy and David’s Detailing.
 

Stanley Parks & Rec.
12U Baseball scenes...

The Stanley Parks and Rec. 12U baseball team was the District 4 Majors champions and advanced to the Dixie Youth State Tournament. Stanley was 3-2 in post season play. The tourney was held in Elizabethtown, NC. Stanley lost a heartbreaker in the 1st round  to Southwest 3-0 on a three run home run in the last inning. Stanley then beat Red Springs 9-3 to stay alive with Luke Poplin, Cooper Hardiss, and Luke Brown pitching in the win.  Stanley was eliminated  by Burgaw 10-3. Here are some scenes from the exciting games. See more on page 11.
Photos by Randy Starkey
 
Screen shot 2021 07 22 at 11.30.31 am

Kelly named Gaston County Player of Year

Congratulations to Will Kelly of Gaston Christian School on being named the Gaston County Player of The Year.  Schools like Virginia Tech, Appalachian State, Wofford, Georgia State, Liberty, Charlotte, Yale, UMBC, and Mercer have all expressed interest his way at some point and that list could continue to grow.
Screen shot 2021 07 22 at 11.30.23 am

 Assistant Coaches join new
Gaston College Athletics Program

The Gaston College Athletics Department has added two new members to its baseball coaching staff. Jacob Rand and Kenneth “KJ” McAllister, Jr., will join Head Baseball Coach Shohn Doty in the Gaston College’s athletics program that officially begins this fall.
Rand is the Recruiting Coordinator and an Assistant Coach for the Baseball team. He graduated in 2015 from Mars Hill University in North Carolina, where he was a four-year starter on their baseball team, playing in three positions: Catcher, Second Baseman, and Third Baseman. Prior to Gaston College, he was assistant Baseball Coach and Director of Operations at Wingate University in N.C. Wingate averaged more than 30 wins per season and appeared in two NCAA Regionals during Rand’s tenure there, and in April won the 2021 South Atlantic Conference tournament title.
He has worked with several traveling baseball organizations, including the Charlotte Megastars and the Pineville Pioneers/Southern Collegiate summer team, and was the Head Coach of the On Deck O’s inaugural senior team.
“This is an unprecedented time for Gaston College, and I am excited to be a part of the bright future of this athletics department,” said Rand. “I look forward to working with Coach Doty and Coach McAllister as we build a program in an always competitive Region 10.”
“Jacob is a relentless recruiter and is on the cutting edge with his hitting philosophies,” said Doty. “We are extremely excited to add him to our staff. He is coming from a program that has a tradition of winning and he will bring that culture with him.”
McAllister, who was the 2018 3A High School Baseball Coach of the Year at Jacksonville High School in N.C., is also an Assistant Coach at Gaston College. He is a graduate of Limestone University in Gaffney, South Carolina, where he had the all-time sixth highest batting average, and was an All-Conference player.
In 2013, McAllister was an All-Star in the Coastal Plain League, the nation’s premier collegiate summer baseball league, and he played professionally for the San Angelo (Texas) Colts in 2014. He served as Assistant Baseball Coach at North Carolina Central University prior to joining Gaston College.
“I’m excited to be able to work with a great coaching staff and help mold a great group of student athletes,” said McAllister. “I’m truly grateful for the opportunity and I am ready to get to work!”
“KJ has a unique presence and energy around him that I believe will translate to our players,” said Doty. “He will be a quality coach and his knowledge of infield play will be a huge asset.”
Gaston College has several players already committed to join the baseball team this fall. New recruits include several Division I transfers as well as high school graduates from various areas, including Canada. With the high level of baseball talent in the area more local commits are expected to be announced in the coming weeks.

Gaston Braves season ends in second round of playoffs

By Art Shoemaker
The G-Braves opened the second round of the play-offs against an outstanding Rutherford County squad.
In the first match-up, played at South Point, the Braves fell by a 9-5 score.  In a seven inning game the locals trailed 9-2 after six innings but mounted a comeback by posting three runs in the final inning but this was not enough in losing the opener.
Parker Agosta, an East Gaston Warrior, suffered the loss on the mound for the Braves.  Grayson Guy, Dylan Owensby, Drew Wofford, Daniel McClellan, Logan Agosta, Caleb Burr and Jackson Risk all had a single hit for the Braves.
Game two in the series saw the Braves rebound in winning by a 5-1 score. Jake Bidoglio, a Red Raider standout, pitched a masterpiece in going the distance allowing only three hits and striking out seven.
Grayson Guy, who performed at Gaston Christian and Caleb Burr, an East Gaston star, led the Braves on offense with two hits each.
The Braves traveled to Forest City to play Post 29 in game three of the series.  The G-Braves managed only one run in this affair in losing 7-1.
Ethan Simmons, who has been stellar all season for the Braves, only allowed five hits but was the hard luck loser on the mound.
Grayson Guy, who continued his season long hitting success for the Braves led the Braves with two hits in the game.
The season came to an end last Monday as the Braves fell by an 11-3 score.
Rutherford Co. scored in every inning but one with the big inning occurring in the sixth.  Post 29 put the game away with six runs in this inning.
Marshall Witheral, a South Pointer, took the loss for the G-Braves.  He allowed only four hits in his four innings of work but the Braves committed errors that aided the host team in their victory.
Ayden Ledford and Jackson Risk each had two hits for the Braves.
Coach Tim Brown offered praise to this team for their effort, hustle and positive attitude throughout the 2021 season.
Screen shot 2021 07 15 at 9.53.42 am

Zack Karagias, First State Champion

Congratulations to Stuart W. Cramer High School junior Zack Karagias who recently became the school’s first state champion. Zack won an individual 3A state championship in wrestling in the 145 weight class.
 
Screen shot 2021 07 15 at 9.53.33 am

Massey wins an individual 3A state championship

“SHOUT OUT” to Ashbrook High School freshman Camryn Massey who recently won an individual 3A state championship in the discus throw. Her toss of 140’ 09” is a new state record. In addition, Massey placed third in the shot put. 

Photos courtesy: Jeffrey Sides
 
Screen shot 2021 07 15 at 9.53.26 am

Congratulations to Highland School of Technology junior Lauren Tolbert!

Congratulations to Highland School of Technology junior Lauren Tolbert who was named the 1A Female Most Valuable Performer for winning individual state championships in the 400 meter run and 800 meter run. In addition, she finished second in the 100 meter dash and third in the 200 meter dash.

Photo courtesy: Dan Loughlin
 
Screen shot 2021 07 14 at 4.56.23 pm

Congratulations to the Gaston College- Apprenticeship 321 CNAI Apprentice Grads!

After a year of hard work, Their instructors, employers and mentors got together for a small celebration to recognize their achievement. For more info on becoming an apprentice, email apprenticeships@gaston.edu.
 
Screen shot 2021 07 14 at 4.48.34 pm
2021 GASTON BRAVES AMERICAN LEGION BASEBALL TEAM - Back Row L to R: Athletic Director Mark King, Head Coach Tim Brown, Micah Tribble, Caleb Burr, Jake Bidoglio, Ethan Simmons, Jackson Risk, Wyatt Triplett, Cameron Cook, Drew Wofford, and Assistant Coach Zack Bumgarner. Front Row L to R: Grayson Guy, Ayden Ledford, Daniel McClellan, Parker Agosta, Liam Brady, Riley Hawkins, Dylan Owensby, Logan Agosta, and Greyson Thomas. The Gaston Braves American Legion baseball team took on Cleveland County on July 6 and 7th. On July 6th the Braves lost 15-6. On July 7th the Braves won 9-8. July 6th was played home at South Point High School. July 7th was played in Granite Falls. The Braves advanced to the second round of the playoffs.

Gaston Braves win opening Play-off Series

By Art Shoemaker

As July 4th is a day of celebration it was fitting that the Gaston Braves also celebrated with an opening game victory in a win over Post 29 from Caldwell County.
In a best three wins in a possible five game series the Braves opened with a win at Raider Field by the score of 12-9.
Ethan Simmons picked up the win on the hill for the G-Braves.  Greyson Thomas, Jake Bidoglio and Drew Wofford all worked in relief in this opening contest.
The Braves posted a run in the first frame and added two in the second and surged ahead in the sixth inning with six runners crossing the dish.  The team added three additional runs in the sixth inning.
A South Pointer, Jackson Risk, continued to shine on offense for the Braves.  Risk enjoyed a 2 for 3 night that produced five RBI’S for the Braves.  Liam Brady also enjoyed a productive night on offense in gathering three hits in his three plate appearances.  Jackson Risk, Caleb Burr and Daniel McClellan each racked up multiple hits for the Braves.
The Braves followed up this opening game win with another victory in game two in defeating Caldwell Co. by a 9-5 score.
After scoring two tallies in the fourth inning the Braves put the game away in the fifth frame with a four spot.  The Braves out hit the visitors by a 9 to 5 count.
Liam Brady was the winning pitcher for the Braves in relief.  Parker Agosta started on the mound giving way to Brady in the third inning.  Jake Bidoglio also pitched in relief.
Drew Wofford and Logan Agosta both had two hits for the Braves.  The Braves played errorless baseball in the game.
Caldwell Co. rebounded in a big way in game three.  Post 29 recorded a 15-6 victory in this contest.  Caldwell Co. led 10-6 after five innings of play but broke the game open by scoring five runs in the seventh inning.
Grayson Guy took the loss for the Braves.  Parker Agosta, Daniel McClellan, Logan Agosta, Caleb Burr and Drew Wofford all had hits in the game for the Braves.
The Braves traveled to Lenoir Wednesday to play game four.  In a rain delayed game the G-Braves closed out the series in winning by a 9-8 score.  The Braves could only muster five hits in the game but were aided by four Caldwell Co. errors.
The Braves posted five runs in the fifth inning and added four more in the sixth.
Ethan Simmons started on the hill for the Braves.  He was relieved by Cameron Cook who picked up the win.  Jake Bidoglio also worked in relief for the Braves.
Dylan Owensby had two of the Braves five hits in the game.  Ayden Ledford, Caleb Burr and Daniel McClellan each collected important RBI’s in the game.
The Braves will now play Rutherford County in their next play-off series.  Rutherford Co. advanced by defeating Gastonia Post 23.

Summer Out Loud challenge

The YMCA’s free three-week Summer Out Loud Challenge, presented locally by Atrium Health, launches July 12.
Opt-in to the free challenge today by texting SUMMER to 877-799-6220 and be entered to win a one-year household membership to the Gaston County Family YMCA and the national grand prize of a family vacation of your choice (up to $5,000 value).
After opting-in via text, follow the prompts to register for the challenge. You will receive three texts a week filled with motivation, workouts, and family fun activities to try throughout the challenge. Participating in the Summer Out Loud Challenge will also let you attend select Gaston County Family YMCA classes and activities throughout the challenge.
Visit any Gaston County Family YMCA location to pick up your Summer Out Loud passport filled with creative ideas and activities to do together with your family this July. To be eligible for the grand prizes, you must opt-in to the challenge and complete and return the passport to your local Y by Wednesday, August 4. The grand prize winner will be announced on Friday, August 13.
“Kids and parents are eager to get out of the house and enjoy some of their most cherished summertime traditions and activities, said Sharon Padgett, Gaston County Family YMCA. “With sunny days finally in the forecast, we encourage families to participate in this free challenge to rediscover sunshine, optimism, and what it means to live Summer Out Loud!”
Visit the website gastonymca.org, to learn more about the free challenge and to review the rules and regulations.

Park Hop Scavenger Hunt...

Mount Holly Parks & Recreation is happy to be involved with Gaston County’s Park Hop Scavenger Hunt again this year.
Park Hop is a fun and exciting way for people to explore parks within Gaston County while being physically active. The website for more information is www.gastongov.com/parkhop.
From the website, you can register for Park Hop, download a paper passport, and submit clues.

Gastonia Braves complete
regular season - await play-offs

By Art Shoemaker

Last Saturday the G-Braves played host to Post 23 from Gastonia. Post 23 posted a single run in the opening inning and added two more tallies in the third frame. This was all the visitors could muster in losing to the Braves by a 7-3 final score. The Braves scored twice in both the third and fourth innings and put the game away by posting a three spot in the sixth inning. Grayson Guy pitched a strong four innings for the Braves in picking up the win. Marshall Witherall was very effective in his three innings of relief. Parker Agosta and Liam Brady each collected two hits for the Braves.
Last Monday the Braves traveled to Charlotte to face Mint Hill. The G-Braves lost a high scoring affair to Mint Hill by a final score of 9-8. Mint Hill put the game away by scoring four runs in the sixth inning.
Wyatt Tripplett started on the mound for the Braves and worked two innings. He was followed by Jake Bidoglio, Grayson Thomas, and Riley Hawkins. Grayson Guy and Caleb Burr each collected two hits for the Braves.
Mint Hill traveled to South Point last Tuesday to play the Braves for a second time. This game produced strong pitching by both teams as Mint Hill was victorious by a 3-2 final score.
Ethan Simmons pitched into the fourth inning for the Braves. Simmons was very effective early but ran into control problems in the fourth. Liam Brady finished the game for the Braves and looked good in his almost three innings on the rubber. Jackson Risk led the Braves on offense with two hits.
Last Wednesday the G-Braves hosted the pitching rich Union County nine at Raider Field. This was a double header affair with the visitors emerging with a 6-3 win in the opening encounter.
Union County plated two runs in the third inning and four additional scores in the fourth frame aided by a mental blunder by the Braves in the field.
The Braves scored a single run in the sixth and two additional scores but this was not enough offense in the opening contest as the Braves could only manage four hits in the game.
Parker Agosta, an outstanding baseball player from East Gaston, pitched well enough to win throwing six strong innings but the Braves came up short in the opening game loss.
Grayson Guy, Jackson Risk, Caleb Burr and Riley Hawkins each had one hit in the game. In the second game the Braves scored a remarkable comeback win. Trailing 5-2 going into the final inning the Braves erupted with a four spot to pull out a 6-5 win.
Jackson Risk, a two sport star at South Point who is headed to Belmont Abbey to continue his athletic career, was the star of the game. Risk laced a double plaiting three Braves scores in this dramatic comeback victory.
Jake Bidoglio, another South Pointer opened the game on the hill and pitched well. Grayson Thomas came on in relief and was outstanding in his four innings of work. Thomas picked up the win in relief.
Liam Brady led the Braves with two hits. Wyatt Triplett, who has played outstanding baseball all summer, launched a home run in the fifth frame for the Braves.
The G-Braves finished the regular season with a win-loss record of 6-6. And now await their opponent at the playoffs which began on July 4th.
Coach Tim Brown stated that the Braves have played hard all season and the entire team has displayed a team ball first attitude in every game. Most of the regular season losses were decided by a run or two.
Screen shot 2021 06 17 at 12.39.10 pm
Maria Kuhlman and Allie Downing

Kuhlman, Downing earn CoSIDA Academic All-America Honors

Belmont Abbey women’s basketball players Maria Kuhlman and Allie Downing have been named Academic All-America by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced. Kuhlman was a first-team selection, while Downing earned second-team honors. Belmont Abbey was the only school with multiple selections on the 15-player team.
The players are only the fifth and sixth overall -- and first two females -- to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in school history.
Kuhlman, a May graduate from Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., played in 107 career games at The Abbey, averaging 14.0 points, 4.2 rebound and 2.0 assists during that span. She was named Conference Carolinas Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women’s basketball and was the winner of the conference’s Murphy Osborne Award, significant of the top graduating senior in the league. She was a three-time first-team all-conference selection and finished the season as Division II’s active career leader in three-pointers made. She holds Belmont Abbey’s career threes record for both men and women and was on the 2021 Conference Carolinas and the NCAA Southeast Regional all-tournament teams, the latter as the Most Valuable Player. She finished with a 3.99 GPA in Theology.
Downing, from New Madison, Ohio, also graduated in May with a 3.98 grade-point average in accounting and business management. She appeared in 116 games for the Crusaders, averaging 13.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists during her career. A three-time All-Conference Carolinas selection, she was named to the all-tournament teams for the conference tournament and NCAA Southeast Regional.
Ten of the 15 members of the 2020-21 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division II Women’s Basketball teams have at least a 3.90 G.P.A., with four student-athletes maintaining a perfect 4.00 GPA. The five members of the first team have an average GPA of 3.98.
Screen shot 2021 06 17 at 12.39.03 pm

East Gaston alumni taking part in Olympic trials

If you have your eyes on this summer’s Olympics, you might want to be on the lookout for Kyndal Knight. She is competing  in the Olympic diving trials that are happening in Indianapolis. How awesome would it be to have an East Gaston High School graduate in Tokyo representing Team USA! While at East Gaston, Kyndal was a swimming and diving sensation, winning two regional titles and the 1A/2A state diving championship. She graduated in 2018 and went on to the University of Kentucky on a full-ride scholarship. Kyndal certainly knows what it takes to be a champion, and it is good to see that she is continuing to put forth a winning effort in everything she does! 

Gaston Christian School runners news...

Just before school let out, Gaston Christian School hosted NC runners elite meets for both middle school and high school.
In the middle school meet:
Olivia Van Pelt ran a 14.09 in the 100 meter dash and a 29.04 in the 200 meter dash, both marks are middle school team records.
Cayden Brack ran a time of 13.00 in the 100 meter dash. Our 3rd fastest middle school mark in team history.
In the 1600, Henry Roberts posted a time of 5:33 which is a 7th grade team record and the GCS 3rd fastest middle school time ever. Nathan Eastburn and Carter Hoersch were also sub 6:00 with times of 5:52 and 5:58.
The GCS boys 4x800 team (Carter, Nathan, Henry, Jordan) posted a time of 10:32 which is a new MS school record.
Carter Hoersch posted a time of 13:38 in the 3200 which is the GCS 2nd fastest 7th grade mark.
In the high school meet:
Connor Nanney ran times of 2:04 in the 800 and 4:44 in the 1600 while Madi Freeman placed 2nd in the shot put.
Screen shot 2021 06 10 at 12.35.44 pm

Belmont Abbey Athletics enjoys unprecedented success in 2020-21

Belmont Abbey Athletics overcame unprecedented obstacles to enjoy unparalleled success during the 2020-21 academic year. The College’s motto of Excellence and Virtue played out in competitions, classrooms and with community service.
Crusader sport programs won six Conference Carolinas Tournament championships and three regular-season titles with several teams advancing to regional and national tournaments. Previously, the highest number of championship wins was seven. A record number of athletes were also recognized individually with conference, regional and national awards.
After limited competition during the fall semester, the winter sports seasons kicked off the year with a bang. Women’s Basketball repeated as regular-season champions and earned the right to host all rounds of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. A win over Barton in the final sent the team to the Southeast Regional as the top seed, where they again defeated Barton for the rights to cut down the nets and a spot in their first-ever Elite Eight. Men’s Basketball earned the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament, and after a pair of home wins, traveled to Emmanuel, where it upset the top-seeded Lions for an automatic bid to the Southeast Regional. The Crusaders then earned the No. 1 seed -- another program first -- but they bowed out in the regional semifinal.
Wrestling sent a pair of Crusaders to the national tournament with Mitch Dean winning the regional title and earning All-America honors after placing sixth. Benjamin Fielding finished second at the regional tournament earning his first NCAA national qualifier accolade.
Men’s Volleyball earned its first-ever conference tournament title and automatic bid, facing Penn State in the opening round of the NCAA National Collegiate Men’s Volleyball Championship. The men’s lacrosse team also won the conference tournament as the No. 2 seed, but finished just outside the region’s top five. On the women’s side, the golf team captured its second Conference Carolinas Championship and participated in the NCAA South Regional.
The men’s tennis team captured a share of the league’s regular-season championship, advancing to the tournament final, while men’s soccer -- playing in the spring -- surprised everyone by upsetting its way to the tournament title as the No. 6 seed.
Cheerleading competed at the Can-Am Nationals in March and won the championship for the second time in three years.
Individually, women’s basketball player Maria Kuhlman earned the conference’s highest honor, the Murphy Osborne Award. It is given annually to the senior who is the most well-rounded in terms of athletics, academics and community service. Softball’s Payton Whitley and women’s lacrosse’s Kylie Eastman were named Player of the Year for their respective sports, while Chandler Baker (men’s basketball) and Andres Golindano (men’s tennis) were deemed best freshman in the league. A pair of coaches -- Jason Williams and Jason Gault were each honored by their peers as Conference Carolinas Coach of the Year.
A total of 76 athletes earned all-conference honors -- second-most in the league -- while 58 were named Player of the Week. The latter total is more than 50 percent higher than the next closest competitor.
Off the court, Belmont Abbey was chosen as Conference Carolinas representative and national runner-up for the NCAA Award of Excellence for its work on the Mr. Crusader Pageant. The annual event raised a record-total in donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, NCAA Division II’s national charity. More than 2,800 hours of community service were performed and recorded through Helper Helper, third-most among Division II schools.
Five programs (men’s and women’s cross country, men’s indoor track, acrobatics and tumbling and men’s volleyball) were recognized by the league with individual sport Messick Awards, significant of outstanding sportsmanship during their seasons.
In the classroom, 239 students were on the Conference Carolinas honor roll with 101 earning Academic All-Conference recognition. 28 student-athletes were on the President’s List with 258 earning a spot on the Dean’s List.

Annual Kids Catfish tournament planned

The Gaston County Parks and Rec. Annual Kids Catfish Tournament will be held Saturday, July 17th at 8am for ages 3 – 15. The event will be held at Dallas Park at the end of Leisure Lane past the dog park at the two lakes.
This will be the perfect opportunity to introduce your kids to fishing. There will be a limited supply of fishing poles that will be loaned out during the event. Please wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet or muddy, no sandals.
All kids must be accompanied by an adult who can help bait their fishing pole and assist handling any fish caught.
Adults are not permitted to fish during the tournament.
Prizes will be awarded throughout the event. Free admission.
For additional information please contact Gaston County Parks & Recreation at 704-922-2164 or spencer.hall@gastongov.com.
Gaston County strives to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to access its programs, services, and activities. If you require assistance to participate in a program, service or activity of Gaston County, we request that you contact our office at least 5 days before the event.
Screen shot 2021 06 10 at 12.29.32 pm

Cramerton 2021 Summer Camps are signing up!

Registration is in person only at the C.B. Huss Recreation Complex - 8 Julian Street; Cramerton, NC 28032. The Recreation Center is open Monday - Friday from 8am - 5pm.  Due to the limited spots in these camps, registration forms are only available at the C.B. Huss Recreation Center.

EDUCATIONAL CAMPS
Nature Explorer Day- If getting messy and finding crawling things is your child’s jam, be sure to register for Nature Explorer camp.  Campers will explore our parks and streams learning about the local ecology.  Campers should wear clothes and shoes that can get dirty, bring a water bottle, sunscreen and bug spray.
Dates:  June 7-10
Ages: 8-13 years old
Time:  9am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton resident / $80 for non Cramerton resident
Art Camp- During this workshop we will be discussing the basics of acrylic paint and how to use it in a fun and creative way. We will be learning how to paint with a brush, a palette knife, and even just pouring it straight on to the canvas! This will be a great time for your child to learn in a creative environment while having a blast.
Dates:  July 19-22
Ages: 8-12 years old
Time:  9am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton resident / $80 for non Cramerton resident
Coding Camp- Chase boredom away – learn to code! Campers will create a “Chase” game or an animated story (their choice) during this session. Campers will need to bring a device with a keyboard (laptop, Chromebook, etc.). Scratch programming software will need to be installed on the device prior to the first class (installation instructions will be emailed the Friday before camp starts).
Dates:  July 26-29
Ages: Rising 4th graders - Rising 6th graders
Time: 6pm-7:30pm
Cost: $30 for Cramerton residents / $40 for non Cramerton residents
Race Day Camp- Build, race, break and fix.  Kids will build things that roll, fly or float, test them out and take them home!  Races will be indoor or outdoors so be sure to dress for the weather.  Bring water and sunscreen.
Dates:  August 2-5
Ages: 8 years old-12 years old
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton resident / $80 for non Cramerton resident

SPORTS CAMPS
Boys Basketball Camp
Dates: June 14-17
Ages: 8 years old-12 years old
Time: 8am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton residents / $80 for non Cramerton residents
Baseball Camp
Dates:  June 21-24
Ages: 8 years old-12 years old
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton resident / $80 for non Cramerton resident
Soccer Camp
Dates: June 28-July 1
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton residents / $80 for non Cramerton residents
Basketball Camp-
Girls Basketball Camp
Dates: July 5-8
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton residents / $80 for non Cramerton residents
Volleyball Camp- Dates & Ages:
7-9 years old: TBD in August
10-12 years old: TBD in August
13-15 years old: TBD in August
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $60 for Cramerton residents / $80 for non Cramerton residents

LIL’ SQUIRTS CAMPS
Lil Astronauts Day- Future astronauts will complete crafts and activities relating to space including making cosmic playdough, their own planet suncatchers and launching stomp rockets sky high! We will be both indoors and outdoors during this fun day of space play.
Date: June 19
Ages: 4-7 years old
Time:  9am-12pm
Cost: $20 for Cramerton resident / $30 for non Cramerton resident
Dino Day- Our paleontologists will explore dinosaurs hands on!  We will make molds of footprints, excavate fossils and do some din-inspired art too.  Campers should wear clothes that can get dirty along with their sense of adventure!
Date: June 26
Ages: 4-7 years old
Time:  9am-12pm
Cost: $20 for Cramerton resident / $30 for non Cramerton resident
Superhero Day- Engage your camper’s imagination as they transform into a superhero!  Supers will create their own costumes or wear one from home, complete feats of valor and solve crimes together!  While superhero knowledge is appreciated, it is definitely not required!
Date: July 24
Age: 4-7 years old
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $20 for Cramerton residents / $30 for non Cramerton residents
H2O Outdoors Day- Beat the heat at Cramerton Parks and Rec!  We will play a variety of games and activities involving water to stay cool.  Campers should wear bathing suits and shoes that they can run in and can get wet.  No crocs or flip flops and don’t forget a towel!
Date: July 31
Age: 4-7 years old
Time: 9am-12pm
Cost: $20 for Cramerton resident / $30 for non Cramerton resident

Gaston Schools sports physicals

Student-athletes and parents! Mark your calendar for the annual Gaston County Schools Sports Physical Day. It’s Saturday, June 5 from 8:00 until 12:30 p.m. at CaroMont Specialty Surgery in Gastonia. Student-athletes can take advantage of this opportunity to complete a physical for the fall sports season. The cost is free. Space is limited. The deadline to register is Friday, June 4 at 8:00 a.m. Click the link below to register for an appointment and to complete a form. https://www.gaston.k12.nc.us/athletics.
Screen shot 2021 06 03 at 1.58.33 pm

Gaston Christian School MAC Track Team

The Gaston Christian School MAC Track team recently participated in a MAC Conference meet. Results included- 100 meter 3rd: Abbey, 200 meter 3rd: Luke, Boys 4x2 relay: Luke, Jake, Jake and Greg. Both boys and girls teams finished in 2nd place for MAC Conference.
Screen shot 2021 05 06 at 2.30.11 pm

Belmont Abbey men’s soccer team
Captured Conference Carolinas Championship

(May 6, 2021 Issue)

The Belmont Abbey men’s soccer team captured the Conference Carolinas Championship Sunday evening. The sixth seeded Crusaders defeated the second-seeded Barton Bulldogs 1-0. In the championship game. Recap- Nathan Deimling scored the lone goal of the game in the 69th minute off a pass from Aaron Madison. The Abbey outshot Barton 9-4. Ben Knust had two saves in the game. It is the second conference championship in program history, the first coming in 2005. Aaron Madison, Jorgoe Agular, Kevin Daly, Maynor Figueroa, and Ben Knust were named all-tournament team. Knust earned tournament MVP honors.