Belmont Middle School Wildcats Softball

(March 25, 2021 Issue)

The Belmont Middle School Lady Wildcats softball team is back in action. After a warm-up intramural game at Dwight Frady Field in East Belmont, the team faced W.C. Friday and won a 27-9 victory. Kendall Jones led the team with RBIs and had an in the park home rum. Mallory Stafford was the winning pitcher.

Photos by Daryle Marr

Belmont Middle Boys Soccer

(March 25, 2021 Issue)

Belmont Middle boy’s soccer defeated WC Friday in their season opener last Wednesday 5-0. Zeke Pruitt lead the scoring with two goals. Patch Blee, Brandon Cunningham,and Ty Cunningham had one each. Luke Wesolowski recorded the shutout in the goal. Number 14 is Bennet Nixon. Number 24 heading ball is Patrick Blee. Player with blue mask  is Ty Cunningham.

Photos by Norris Pruitt

Red Raiders Junior Varsity vs KM Mountaineers action...

(March 25, 2021 Issue)

The South Point Red Raider JV team hosted the Kings Mtn. Mountaineers JV squad last week. Rain fell on part of the game and dampened the atmosphere literally and figuratively for the Raiders who lost 36-14. Here are some scenes from the soggy situation.  

Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders


Mt. Island Charter School Raptors
vs. R-S Central Hilltoppers

(March 25, 2021 Issue)

The Mt. Island Charter School Raptors played the R-S Central Hilltoppers from Rutherfordton last week. The Hilltoppers came out on top 48-42.  It was MICS’s Homecoming night. Landon Amick was named King and Brooke Harris Queen. The MICS Ladybirds presented the half time show.

 Photos by Michael Strauss Studios


South Point wins
over East Rutherford

(March 25, 2021 Issue)

The South Point Red Raiders Varsity football team sojourned to Forest City last week and played East Rutherford. The Red Raiders won 45-0.  At halftime the score was 10-0, but in the second half the Red Raiders scored touchdowns on all five possessions to make the score 45-0. Trevon Jones and Cam Medlock scored two touchdowns each and Hunter Hogue and Will Rhinehart scored one touchdown each. Carson Smith kicked a 30 yard field goal and four extra point kicks and Daniel O’Hanlan kicked two extra point kicks.

Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders
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Gaston Christian runners...

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Gaston Christian School recently hosted the NCISAA Winter Track and Field Carnival.  The GCS 4x800 team (pictured) of Garrett Huffman, Thomas Bunko, Ryan Thornburg, and Jake Sosebee placed 2nd overall. Adam Hoyle ran a 4:36 in the 1600, his time qualifies him for the state meet in May and was the top time among 3A runners. Adam also placed top 5 in the 1000 meter run. Luke Hoyle finished in the Top 5 in the 55 meter dash and top ten in the 300 meter dash. Connor Nanney placed in the top 5 in both the 500 and the 1000 Meter runs.
GCS photo

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Belmont Abbey story/photo

Kuhlman leads Crusaders
to semifinal victory

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Maria Kuhlman (pictured #15) went 6-for-8 from three-point range to lead the Belmont Abbey women’s basketball team to a 74-59 win over no. 4 seed Tusculum in NCAA Southeast Regional semifinal action this evening.  The win marks the 19th straight for the Crusaders, who now own a 23-2 record on the year.

How It Happened 
Brittany Autry scored the first basket of the contest, in a first quarter that was back and forth. A layup by Kuhlman with less than a minute to go in the quarter tied the game at 10, though Tusculum had a 13-10 lead when the period expired. A 5-0 run midway through the second pulled The Abbey to within three, at 22-19. The tough Crusader defense did not give up a field goal over the last three and a half minutes of the quarter, and The Abbey pulled to within four, 28-24 at halftime. The Crusader offense exploded in the third.  The team went opened the quarter with a 5-0 run. Autry scored six straight Abbey points.  Kuhlman scored nine points in the last two minutes, and the Crusaders held a 49-44 lead heading into the final period. Two free throws by Keyanna Spivey to start the third made it an 11-2 Abbey run. The Crusaders made their free throws down the stretch to wrap up the 74-59 victory.

South Point Red Raiders JV vs. Shelby

The South Point Red Raider JV team sojourned to Shelby last Thursday where they took on the Crest High Chargers. South Point’s gridiron learning curve continued with a 36-22 loss. Here are some scenes from the action-packed evening.

Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders

More South Point
 vs Stuart Cramer scenes...


(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Photos by Bill Bostick Tarheel Sports Photography

Red Raiders meet Storm
in gridiron action

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

The South Point Red Raiders Varsity football team visited Stuart Cramer High last week and played the Storm Varsity team. When the dust settled, the Red Raiders had pounded out a 42 to 24 win. The child in one of the photos is South Point coach Adam Hodge’s son watching his first Red Raider game.
Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders


MICS vs TJCA football scenes...

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

The Mt. Island Charter School Raptors football squad took on the Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Gryphons last week. The game was a close one with the Gryphons ironing out a 25-21 win. Congratulations to Joshua B. Stoney, Dylan Bisson, Jadon Robinson and Jaden Lockhart for being selected the Mountain Island Charter players of the game. Also, kicker #15 Todd Pledger just signed to play for UNC.  Here are some scenes from the exciting contest.
Photos by Michael Strauss Studio

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Belmont Abbey Victory

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

Second-seeded Belmont Abbey picked up an 82-70 victory over top-seeded Emmanuel to win the 2021 Conference Carolinas Men’s Basketball Championship. The matchup was the fifth of the season between the two conference and region powers. The two teams split two non-conference games early in January before splitting their two conference matchups on Jan. 21 and Jan. 23. Belmont Abbey outscored Emmanuel by six points in each half to win the fifth meeting of the year between the two teams currently ranked in the top three in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings.
Belmont Abbey Photo

Stuart Cramer Storm soccer team 

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer Storm soccer team clashed with the South Point Red Raider squad last week. In a closely fought battle of strong defenses, Cramer pulled out a 1-0 victory. Here are scenes from the sunny soccer showdown that also featured a performance by the South Point Dance Team. More on page 13.    Photos by Bill Bostick/Tarheel Sports photography

Mt. Island Charter Football Season Off To Rousing Start!

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

The Mt. Island Charter School Raptors got their football season off to a rousing start with a 58-0 victory over Christ the King School. Here are some action shots from the game.
Photos by Michael Strauss Studio
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Abbey Girls take Conference Carolinas Championship

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

Maria Kuhlman scored 21 points in the second half and overtime periods to lead the Belmont Abbey women’s basketball team to a 68-62 overtime win over Barton, and a Conference Carolinas championship. It is the second year in a row the team has qualified for the NCAA Tournament.
Belmont Abbey Photo

South Point Red Raiders Varsity scenes

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

See more photos inside this week's Banner-News (March 11, 2021)

Red Raiders take
win over East Gaston

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

The South Point Red Raiders football squad won the annual Black Friday game against the East Gaston Warriors last Friday by a score of 44-6. It’s the 14th time in a row that the Red Raiders have prevailed. East Gaston last beat South Point in 2006.  Several Red Raiders found the end zone.  Hunter Hogue scored two rushing touchdowns along with Will Rhinehart, Cam Medlock, Trevon Jones, and Jack Milford who each scored touchdowns.
Kicker Carson Smith was perfect 6-6 on extra points.  East Gaston scored one touchdown in the first half, but the Red Raider defense kept the Warriors out of the end zone turning away two East Gaston drives deep into South Point territory and scoring a safety in the second half.
In the JV contest held last Thursday, South Point also won by a score of 21-14.
Here are some scenes from both games.
This week, the Red Raiders will travel to Stuart Cramer to continue their cross-town rivalry with the Storm.  The two schools will continue their rivalry in the River Rumble. See more scenes on page 11.
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Lauren Tolbert a junior, captured the 1-A individual cross country state championship, and her time of 19:15.05 set a state record. 

Lauren Tolbert: A three-time state champion who’s eyeing the Olympics

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

Gaston County Schools

What is it like to be a three-time state champion?  To find out, we asked Highland School of Technology student Lauren Tolbert.
In January, Tolbert, a junior, captured the 1-A individual cross country state championship, and her time of 19:15.05 set a state record.  Her win makes her the first cross country state champion for Gaston County Schools since South Point’s Glenn Sparrow captured a state title 43 years ago.
Winning state championships is nothing new for Tolbert. As a ninth grader, she won the 400 meters outdoor track and field title, and last year, she won the 1,000 meters indoor track and field title.
Tolbert is a champion in the classroom, too.  She works hard to maintain an A average and wants to graduate with honors.  Her college plans include pursuing a degree in biology or other related field, going to dental school, and specializing in oral surgery.
Here are five questions we asked to learn more about Tolbert’s winning ways.
As a student-athlete, how does it feel to win first place and set a state record? 
It feels really great winning and setting a state record because this year was more challenging than previous ones because of COVID-19.  The season started later than usual so this pushed us to run in much colder weather.  With all that we went through, I am glad to end the season on a high note, knowing that the hard work I put in finally paid off.  It has always been my goal to win a state title in cross country.
Last year, you were an indoor track and field champion.  How does that compare to winning a state championship in cross country? 
The cross country title is a bit more special because my true strength is on the track, not on trails.  As a freshman, I finished third, and as a sophomore I was the runner-up. This year, I am the champion so it really means a lot.
Due to the pandemic, the NCHSAA canceled indoor track and field.  What are your aspirations for outdoor track and field this spring? 
My aspirations during outdoor season is to finally run a sub 2:10 in the 800 meters and around 54.5 seconds or better in the 400 meters.  These were my goals last year, but the season was canceled.  I am aiming to break the state records in both of these events.  If they have the New Balance Nationals this year, which is a big high school meet, I would like to compete there, too. Accomplishing these goals will help continue to build my confidence, and I feel anything is possible if I work hard and I put my mind to it.
What is a typical school day like for you? 
My school day involves taking honors classes both in core subjects and the dental science pathway.  After school, I am involved in training with my track/cross country teams.  I normally run about 16 miles per week to get my endurance up and improve my speed.  On days when I am not running, I work on conditioning and weightlifting.  After my workouts, it is time for homework and getting ready to do it all over again the next day.
 What long-term goals do you have moving forward with either cross country or track and field? 
My goals over the next year and a half are to win more state titles and set new records to leave a good legacy before graduating from Highland.  I have been competing nationally at the Junior Olympics for AAU track and field for seven years, and I have placed third twice.  After high school, I would like to compete at the NCAA Division I level to continue improving my running skills and maybe someday achieving my ultimate dream of trying out for the USA Olympic team.
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South Point Red Raiders Junior Varsity Football Team

South Point Junior Varsity Roster

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

8 ShaCory Foust Freshman SE/DB
10 Ashton Green Freshman QB/DB
11 David Howard Freshman QB/DB
12 Shacory Foust Freshman QB/DB
19 Harrison McKinney Freshman SE/DB
32 Jacob Broome Sophomore RB/DB
33 Dawson Tobin Freshman QB/DB
40 Colby Hamilton Freshman TE/LB
42 Drew Sprinkles Freshman QB/DB
46 Javonte Lowery Freshman TE/LB
50 Camden Ashe Freshman OL/LB
51 Harrison Hendren Freshman OL/DL
52 Brock Wisley Sophomore OL/DL
53 Joseph Risk Freshman OL/DL
60 Alex Hernandez Freshman OL/DL
61 Johnny Armstrong Freshman OL/DL
62 Roman Barker Freshman OL/DL
63 Hudson Spargo Freshman OL/DL
66 Josh Barker Sophomore OL/DL
68 Winter Kincaid Freshman QB/DB
70 Thein Nguyen Freshman QB/DB
71 Spencer Butler Freshman OL/DL
72 Ethan Dellinger Freshman OL/DL
73 Kaleb Toms Freshman QB/DB
75 Aiden Reid Freshman OL/DL
78 Donovan Haley Freshman OL/DL
79 Kameron Adams Freshman QB/DB
80 Logan Jarrell Freshman SE/DB
81 Caiden Mills-Shivert Freshman QB/DB
82 Josh Robinson Freshman SE/DB
84 Cody Williams Freshman SE/DB
86 Justin Rambdeo Freshman SE/DB
87 Charles Birtwistle Freshman SE/DB
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South Point Red Raiders Varsity Football Team Photos by J. Scott Studio

South Point Varsity Roster

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

5 Will Ross Sophomore SE/DB
8 Jaquis Rumph Sophomore DB
9 Frank Vickers Sophomore SE
10 Will Rhinehart Senior QB
11 Javus Davis Senior DB
12 Elijah Phiffer Sophomore QB/DB
14 Joseph O’Neil Junior RB
20 Ben Lunsford Junior DB
21 Mica Stowe Sophomore DB
22 Simon Dellinger Junior DB
23 Lavonte McCorbin Sophomore DB
25 Macario Brandon Junior DB
27 Cam Medlock Sophomore OLB/RB
30 Trevon Jones Senior RB
31 Tyson Riley Junior RB
33 Omari Hunt Senior LB
34 Jack Milford Sophomore RB
35 Jackson Blee Sophomore TE
40 Hunter Hogue Senior RB
41 Ryan Harris Junior LB
42 Garrett Voorhees Senior DL
43 Xavier Johnson Senior LB
44 Matt Hastings Junior LB
45 Josh Crowder Sophomore LB
46 Jackson Risk Senior DL
50 Shane Wilson Junior DL
51 Hunter Bradshaw Senior LS
53 Jaremiah Agyemang Senior DL
54 Elija Baucom Sophomore DL
55 Wyatt Triplett Junior OL
60 Aiden Ramirez Sophomore DL
62 Jacob Humphrey Senior OL
64 Dylan Owenby Sophomore OL
65 Sullivan Absher Sophomore OL
67 Hunter Jackson Sophomore OL/DL
68 Trey Cherry Sophomore OL
71 Robert Raffone Senior OL
72 Xarique Culbreath Junior DL
74 Jacob Patterson Junior OL
76 Ethan Thagard Junior OL
80 Matthew Laney Junior SE
81 Quevon Jackson Senior SE
82 Carson Smith Senior K
84 Ethan Simmons Senior SE
86 Daniel O’Hanlon Senior K
87 Dylan Nicks Junior
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Stuart Cramer High Senior Night scenes...

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer High basketball teams celebrated Senior Night on February 12. Seniors were honored with a variety of awards and recognitions.
See all photos on page10 of this week's Banner-News (February 25, 2021)
 Photos by Amy Craig

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South Point High swim meet results

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

By Charlotte Sautner

Lincoln Charter High School hosted the 1A/2A Western NCHSAA Regional Championships on Friday, February 5 at the Huntersville Aquatic Center.  South Point’s men’s team finished 6th and the ladies team finished 11th. For the men, sophomore Davis Adcock won the 200 yard IM with a time of 2:02.99 which was 6.87 seconds lower than his seed time.  Davis also finished 2nd in the 100 yard backstroke with a time of 53.53 taking 1.62 seconds off his seed time.  The men’s 200 yard medley relay, composed of Davis Adcock, Luke Smith, Gage Adcock and Luke McMahan finished 4th with a time of 1:50.46 which was 2.87 seconds faster than their seed time.  All of these young men will be representing South Point at the 1A/2A state championship meet.
Other results for South Point:
200 yard medley relay – 8th – 2:10.55 – Avery Lester, Anna Huffstickler, Kirsten Lynch & Sydney Lester (3.58 seconds faster than seed time)
200 yard freestyle relay – 10th – 1:55.20 – Avery Lester, Arden Pallozzi, Cara Targonski, Kirsten Lynch (2.95 seconds faster than seed time)
400 yard freestyle relay – 8th – 4:25.26 – Avery Lester, Sydney Lester, Arden Pallozzi & Cara Targonski (23.86 seconds faster than seed time)
200 yard freestyle – 7th – Sydney Lester - 2:13.85 (5.58 seconds faster than seed time)
100 yard butterfly – 10th – Kirsten Lynch – 1:18.32 (.15 seconds faster than seed time)
500 yard freestyle – 5th – Sydney Lester – 5:48.75 (19.94 seconds faster than seed time)
100 yard backstroke – 7th – Avery Lester – 1:07.41 (4.19 seconds faster than seed time)
200 yard freestyle relay – 6th – 1:37.68 – Gage Adcock, Luke McMahan, Luke Smith & Davis Adcock (2.61 seconds faster than seed time)
400 yard freestyle relay – 7th – Gage Adcock, Edwin Gore, Luke McMahan, and Luke Smith - 3:52.34 (17.38 seconds faster than seed time)
200 yard IM – 11th – Edwin Gore – 2:31.92 (1.95 seconds faster than seed time)
50 yard freestyle – 12th - Luke McMahan – 25.56 (.72 seconds faster than seed time)
100 yard butterfly – 11th – Henry Eisenhuth - 1:07.71 (1.25 seconds faster than seed time)
100 yard breaststroke – 11th – Luke Smith – 1:11.60
Overall the women’s team finished 11th and the men’s team finished 6th.
At the 1A/2A state championships held at Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary NC on Friday, February 12th Davis Adcock finished 6th in the 200 yard individual medley with a time of 2:03.95.  In the 100 yard backstroke Davis finished 11th with a time of 57.61.  The 200 yard medley relay of Davis Adcock, Luke Smith, Gage Adcock and Luke McMahan was 10th with a time of 1:50.84.
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The South Point High Red Raiders football team met the Forestview Jaguars last Saturday at Davis Park in Belmont for a pre-season scrimmage game. The event was held at Davis Park due to soggy conditions at Lineberger Stadium. No score was kept of the get together. Everyone just enjoyed a nice sunny day and the chance to play some ball after a long time off the field. See more scenes from the day in this week's Banner-News (March 24, 2021). Photos by Calvin Craig/Superraiders

South Point football season coming up

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

The “short” high school football season is coming up. Covid restrictions will make necessary certain adjustments. Here are the ones that will  be in place for South Point High.
Tickets are pre-sale only based on prioritized allotments to football players, cheerleaders, dance team for their parents/ family members. Games are limited in outdoor venues to 100 spectators (home fans only for football).
No tickets will be purchased at the gate.  Everyone entering will be COVID screened.
All participants, essential personnel, and spectators will wear masks and social distance at all times.
Currently there are no concession sales.
There is no Booster PSL seating or reserved parking for this season.
Games will be video live streamed and broadcast on WGNC 101.1 FM and 1450 AM.

South Point Football Schedule
Feb 24 JV @ Burns 7pm
Feb 25 V vs Burns 7pm
Mar 4 JV vs East Gaston 6:30pm
Mar 5 V @ East Gaston 7pm
Mar 11 JV vs Stuart Cramer 6:30pm
Mar 12 V @ Stuart Cramer 7pm
Mar 18 JV vs East Rutherford 6:30pm
Mar 19 V @ East Rutherford 7pm
Mar 25 JV @ RS Central 6:30pm
Mar 26 V vs RS Central 7pm
Mar 31 JV vs Shelby 6:30pm
Apr 1 V @ Shelby 7pm
Apr 8 JV @ Chase 6:30pm
Apr 9 V vs Chase 7pm
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Abbey defeats Mt. Olive

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Belmont Abbey used a late run to break open a close game last Saturday, winning 67-54 over Mount Olive in Conference Carolinas men’s basketball action.
With the victory, the Crusaders clinch a berth in the league tournament next month, guaranteeing no worse than the No. 7 seed. The Abbey improves to 11-4 overall and 9-3 in league play, while the Trojans stand 5-8, 5-8.
How It Happened 
Sean Halloran (pictured #5) led the Crusaders with 18 points, tallying half of those with a perfect nine of nine effort at the free-throw line. Quest Aldridge added 14 points and a team-high six rebounds, while Charles Solomon chipped in 10 points and five boards. Belmont Abbey shot 48.8 percent from the field overall, making 50.0 percent in the first 20 minutes. The Crusaders held a 29-18 rebounding advantage and committed a season-low 11 turnovers.
Belmont Abbey photo/story

Scenes from Stuart Cramer
vs Ashbrook soccer

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer varsity soccer team traveled to Ashbrook High on Feb. 8 and engaged in a hard fought game. After double overtime, the contest ended in a 1-1 tie. Both teams put on a fantastic show as these scenes attest.

Photos by Bill Bostick Tarheel Sports Photography
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Abbey lacrosse season opens 

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Angelina Perrone (pictured) scored four goals, but the Belmont Abbey women’s lacrosse team lost a very competitive season opener last week at Wingate, 18-16.
How It Happened 
In The First Minute of the contest, Perrone scored the season’s first goal, off a pass from Kylie Eastman. Less than a minute later, Sarah Schaefer made it a 2-0 lead with a free position goal. Mackenzie Kaderabek scored two goals in a row for The Abbey, to tie the game at four.  Riley D’Andrea and Alyssa Pearson scored back to back Abbey goals to give the Crusaders a 9-8 lead at the 10:13 mark. At halftime, BAC trailed 11-10, but outshot Wingate 18-15. In the second half, Perrone again got the scoring started for the Crusaders, scoring each of the team’s first three goals of the period. A Kaderabek free position goal, followed by a D’Andrea score just 37 seconds later pulled The Abbey to within three, at 18-15.  D’Andrea finished off the scoring in the game’s final minute, but Wingate held on for the 18-16 win. On the day, Perrone was the Crusaders’ leader, with four goals and an assist. Kaderabek also scored four goals, while Eastman handed out five assists.
Belmont Abbey photo/story
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Cailyn Oliverio, Keara Wiley, Ethan Jung, Mason Green, Nolan Berry, Emily Heil, Jack Lazaroski. Sydney Strauss, and Coach Dawn Heim.

Mt. Island Charter swimmers State meet results

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations to the MICS Swim Team for their results at the High School States in Cary. Everyone at MICS appreciates the hard work and dedication of coaches Dawn Heim and Brian Lawing. Boys finished 9th out of 28 teams and Girls finished 8th out of 28 teams. First time in the top ten for both groups. Girls relays medaled for the first time in school history for the 200 and 400 Free relays. 
Photos by Michael Strauss Studios

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Ryan Maney is WC. Friday Classified Employee of Month

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Mr. Maney has the BEST attitude toward his work and more importantly toward the staff and students of W.C Friday. The workload of our entire custodial staff has increased tremendously during the pandemic. They have all risen to the occasion. The building looks AMAZING and we can work with confidence that we are as safe as we can be due to their efforts. Mr. Maney is a big part of this. The fact that he has taken on these additional responsibilities, in and of itself, is reason enough for Mr. Maney to be Employee of the Month. The consistent, positive, encouraging attitude with which he has taken on these additional responsibilities makes him even more deserving. Mr. Maney does an excellent job keeping our school clean and always has a positive attitude.
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Belmont Abbey Men’s Lacrosse
Ranked #3 In Nation

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

The Belmont Abbey Men’s Lacrosse team has been ranked #3 in the nation, in the 2021 Preseason Coaches Poll, the USILA announced. The Abbey returns 44 players from a team that was 7-0 and ranked #4 last year when the Corona virus cut the season short.  Included among the returners are three players who received All-American Honors last season: goalie Bryce Gifford, midfielder Sean Hanrahan, and attacker Noah Haas. The Crusaders opened the 2021 season on Friday, February 12 at Catawba.

Belmont Abbey photo
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Dunbar signed with Jacksonville University

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

South Point senior, Anna Dunbar, has signed a national letter of intent to play beach volleyball at Jacksonville University, Florida. Anna was the SWC Defensive Player of the Year this past season. Seated from the left are: Jackie Dunbar, Anna’s mother; Anna; Grayson Dunbar, Anna’s brother; and Sam Asis, Anna’s beach volleyball coach.  Standing from the left are: D’Anielle Henslee, Anna’s aunt; Linda Henslee, Anna’s grandmother; Chloe Ratliff, Anna’s teammate on the South Point volleyball team; Bridget Atkinson, South Point head volleyball coach; and Emily Revels, Anna’s teammate on the South Point volleyball team. 

Photo by Charlotte Sautner
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Downing named Conference Carolinas
Women's Basketball Defensive Player

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Belmont Abbey forward Allie Downing (pictured) has been named the Conference Carolinas women’s basketball Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced. It marks her second time winning the award this season. Last week, the New Madison, Ohio native grabbed 11 defensive rebounds, and added two steals.  She was also the defensive leader of a team that gave up just 53 points per game last week.

Belmont Abbey photo

Lady Red Raiders top Lady Storm in hoops action

The South Point Lady Red Raiders basketball team went up against the Stuart Cramer Lady Storm last week. Both teams went all out and when the final buzzer blared South Point had won 45-29. Here are some exciting scenes from the game.

Photos by Bill Bostick Tarheel Sports Photography


Storm pushes past Red Raiders

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer Storm and South Point Red Raider soccer teams met last week. When the final whistle had sounded, Stuart Cramer came out on top by a score of 3-0. Here are some scenes from the game.
Photos by Bill Bostick
Tarheel Sports Photography
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Gaston College athletic program hits home run with big name signings

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

The Gaston College Board of Trustees voted unanimously in November to add athletics to its rich history of academic excellence and leadership. Gaston College has been without athletics for nearly 50 years and when Dr. John Hauser became President last June, he began the process to end that drought.
A national search was officially organized to hire key leaders to lead the program and the first tier of the lineup is now complete with the hiring of: Gene Banks, Athletic Director; Dickey Nutt, Associate Athletic Director/Head Basketball Coach; Shohn Doty, Head Baseball Coach; John Horshok, Director Athletic Program Development and Sports Marketing.
“This is an amazing group who will bring instant credibility and excitement to our college and campus,” Dr. Hauser said, “Our alumni, students, faculty, staff and community deserve a full college experience and athletics will provide both local enthusiasm and national exposure for Gaston College.”
Banks will manage the coaching staff as Athletic Director (AD) and he brings his legendary Duke University credentials to Gaston College along with the management skills he developed playing and coaching in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and internationally.
After being named the top high school player in the country Banks helped launch the Duke dynasty and played on Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s first team before performing for the San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls. He later coached the Washington Wizards with Flip Saunders. He has previous experience as an AD at Bennett College and has a popular streaming podcast--”The Bank Shot” and continues to help support youth programs through his long-running namesake foundation.
In addition to his athletic director duties, he will be involved with the College’s new Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion as well as work with WSGE 91.7 FM--the College’s award-winning radio station. “I am joining Gaston College to strive to achieve athletics excellence,” Banks said, “This is a truly remarkable opportunity to design a program from scratch and combine top-notch athletics with a unique community partnership approach.”
“I can’t wait! --we want to bring more fun and excitement to Gaston College than they have ever had!”, he added.
Dickey Nutt is a coach in NCAA Division I basketball with 273 wins as well as an award for being “Coach of the Year” at Arkansas State in the Sunbelt Conference.  He is currently a special assistant to the head coach at Cleveland State University, where he plans to finish the season, and is a former head coach at Southeast Missouri State, and former assistant head coach at Oklahoma State, Stetson, and Florida State.
He was recommended to the Gaston Head Coach job by Florida State Head Coach Leonard Hamilton a former player at Gaston College whose team is the current defending ACC Champions. Hamilton has been also been a passionate adviser to this process of building back a sports program with his alma mater.
Shohn Doty brings 25 years of college coaching experience to Gaston College and is known for his significant success as a pitching coach and led UNC-Charlotte 49ers to the lowest ERA in Conference USA.  He started his career at Indiana State and then Old Dominion and was responsible for recruiting and coaching future MLB Hall-of-Fame pitcher Justin Verlander. He stayed at Old Dominion for four years before coaching at UNC-Wilmington and Arkansas-Ft. Smith before moving to the Charlotte assignment.
During his tour with the 49ers his pitchers crafted four wins over Top Ranked Division I teams (Arkansas #4, NC State #6, East Carolina #8 and Wake Forest #17).
  In addition to Banks, Nutt, and Doty--Gaston College has partnered with Horshok’s Gas House Gang, LLC--a creative sports marketing group composed of premier sports professionals (including Banks).
Horshok has a distinctive career representing national and international sports and entertainment business properties and entities to include Coca-Cola USA, Major League Baseball Alumni Association, International Special Olympics, Partners of the Americas/US State Department, USA Rugby, Siemens Corporation, Harmon Killebrew Foundation, and USA Sports Marketing. Horshok will brand and network key relationships for Gaston College and manage the overall sponsorship and community activation targets.
“We are very fortunate to have John (Horshok) as part of our team,” said Dr. Hauser. “His experience with coaching youth and men’s programs combined with his long associations with clubs like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals as well as his many associated properties will be invaluable in developing a successful athletic and community model at Gaston College.”
In addition to the baseball, basketball programs GC are now interviewing coaches to head up their Esports, softball and beach volleyball programs.
 Gaston College will begin to recruit players for the 2021 Fall season beginning March 1 and will be fully eligible for the 2022 championship season in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA).
For more information, contact John Horshok, Director Athletic Program Development and Sports Marketing at 336 209-2318.

South Point wins swim championship

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

By Charlotte Sautner
The South Point High School men’s and women’s swim teams won the Southwestern 2A conference championships held on January 21st at the Sharks Aquatic Club in Shelby. This is the fourth straight year that South Point’s swim teams have won the championships.  They are coached by MaryEllen Lewis who was named Men’s Coach of the Year.  Coach Lewis talked about how proud she is of their accomplishments.  She said, “There were so many challenging restrictions this season.  They had half the time in the pool to practice, but still managed to become conference champs.”
Following are the results:
200 yard medley relay
Women: 2nd – Arden Pallozzi, Kirsten Lynch, Sydney Lester, Cara Targonski
Men – 1st – Davis Adcock, Gage Adcock, Luke Smith, Luke McMahan
200 yard free
Women: 3rd – Arden Pallozzi; 4th - Avery Boyd
Men: 2nd – Henry Eisenhuth; 3rd – Caden Wagner
200 yard IM
Women: 2nd – Avery Lester; 3rd – Cara Targonski
Men: 1st – Davis Adcock; 2nd – Edwin Gore
50 yard free
Women: 2nd – Kirsten Lynch; 8th – Kailee McAlister
Men: 2nd – Luke McMahan; 3rd – Luke Smith
100 yard fly
Women: 3rd – Kirsten Lynch; 4th – Arden Pallozzi
Men: 1st – Henry Eisenhuth; 2nd – Quinton Futrell
100 yard free
Women: 5th – Avery Boyd; 6th – Kailee McAlister
Men: 3rd – Gage Adcock; 4th – Edwin Gore
500 yard free
Women: 3rd – Sydney Lester; 6th – Emma White
Men: 2nd – Quinton Futrell; 4th – Carson Helton
200 yard free relay
Women:  2nd – Avery Lester, Cara Targonski, Kirsten Lynch, Sydney Lester
Men: 1st – Luke Smith, Luke McMahan, Gage Adcock, Davis Adcock
100 yard backstroke
Women:  2nd – Avery Lester; 7th – Cara Targonski
Men: 1st – Davis Adcock; 3rd – Matthew Erickson
100 yard breaststroke
Women: 1st – Sydney Lester; 2nd – Anna Huffstickler
Men: 1st – Luke Smith;  2nd – Gage Adcock
400 yard free relay
Women: 1st – Karlee McAlister, Avery Boyd, Arden Pallozzi, Avery Lester
Men: 1st – Quinton Futrell, Henry Eisenhuth, Edwin Gore, Matthew Erickson

Final Scores
Women: South Point – 308     Men: South Point – 352
 East Gaston – 239         East Gaston – 268
Shelby – 236                          Chase – 180
Chase – 236                             E. Rutherford – 172
E. Rutherford – 145           Shelby – 137
Burns – 92             Burns – 130
RS Central – 35         RS Central - 59
Screen shot 2021 02 04 at 1.52.42 pm

Tolbert Wins 1A Individual Cross Country State Championship

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations to Highland School of Technology student athlete Lauren Tolbert for winning the 1A individual cross country state championship with a time of 19:15.05. Lauren is Gaston County’s first individual cross country state champion since 1978 when South Point’s Glenn Sparrow won.
Gaston Schools photo

Spivey is Conference Carolinas Women’s Basketball Player of the Week

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Belmont Abbey forward Keyanna Spivey has been named the Conference Carolinas Women’s Basketball Player of the Week, the Conference office announced. Last week, the Rocky Mount, N.C. native scored 34 points in three games.  Highlighting Spivey’s week  was a 16-point performance at Emmanuel on Saturday, including 12 in the fourth quarter.  Spivey shot 45% from the field for the week, and went 7-9 from the free throw line.
Belmont Abbey photo

Stuart Cramer Storm Vs. South Point Red Raiders

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer Storm and South Point Red Raider varsity basketball teams met last week. The exciting and hard fought contest went to the final buzzer with South Point pulling out a close 60-57 win. Here are some scenes from the thrilling event.     Photos by Amy Craig. See more photos inside this week's Banner-News.


Safe Sitter class offered

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

The Belmont Parks and Recreation is hosting a Safe Sitter: Safe@Home class for Grades 4-6. This class will teach preteens how to be safe when they are home alone. The price for the class is $25.00 , which includes an hour and a half class and a safe at home booklet that the participants can take home with them. Four classes, two on Wednesday March 10th at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM, and two classes on Saturday March 13th at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM. If you would like more information on this class or would like to register, please go to   or call 704-825-8191. 

Abbey tops Emmanuel

(January 28, 2021 Issue)

LJ McCoy (pictured) tallied 18 points and hit four free throws in the final 1:06, lifting Belmont Abbey to a hard-fought 76-74 victory over Emmanuel in Conference Carolinas men’s basketball action last week at the Wheeler Center. The win was the fifth in a row for the Crusaders, who improve to 6-1 overall and 4-0 in league play.

How It Happened 
Belmont Abbey found itself leading by seven with 56 seconds left, but needed a defensive stop in the final five second to secure the victory. Mario Lacy, Jr. and Charles Solomon also reached double figures at 14 and 12 points, respectively. Lacy added eight rebounds, while Sean Halloran tallied seven boards and a team-best five assists. The Crusaders posted a season-low for shooting percentage at .446 (29-65), but also turned in their best field goal percentage defense number of the campaign at 41.2 percent (21-51). Belmont Abbey won the rebounding battle 37-33 and forced 22 turnovers.  After Emmanuel scored the first five points of the game, Nate Davis hit three straight buckets to give The Abbey a 6-5 lead. With the score tied at 11, McCoy and Emmanuel Hernandez hit baskets and the Crusaders never trailed again. Seven straight points turned a one-point lead into eight, 33-25 with 5:07 left in the half, then margin reached its biggest point, 39-27 at the 2:56 mark. The score was 43-32 at the break. KJ Jones of Emmanuel led all scorers with 26 points.
Belmont Abbey photo/story
Mt. Island Charter School volleyball team.

East Wake Academy wins state title with 3-1 win over Mountain Island Charter

(January 28, 2021 Issue)

Mt. Island Charter School played East Wake Academy for the NC 1A state championship last Saturday.
East Wake Academy got their offense rolling early, taking a commanding 2-0 set lead with a pair of 25-15 set wins to set themselves to win the school’s first state championship. The Eagles combination of setter Kristen Seavy and Krista Brantley were a deadly force in the four set win over Mountain Island Charter.
Seavy was selected as M.V.P. of the 1A Championship Match thanks to her 38 assists and four aces. She also contributed five digs and four blocks to a spectacularly well rounded effort. The Eagle attack funneled through Seavy, though she frequently played through Brantley who smashed 28 kills with just 10 attacking errors in the match.
Mountain Island Charter got their attack going in the third set, sparked by ten kills from Lauren Pledger in the set. The Raptors ripped off nine straight points to go up 13-11 in the third. Then, after giving up a 6-0 run to the Eagles, the Raptors tacked on another 9-0 run to go up 22-17, eventually holding off East Wake Academy 25-21 to force a fourth set.
Early in the fourth set, Mountain Island appeared poised to send the match to a decisive fifth set, scoring six straight to take a 12-6 advantage. However, finding themselves down 21-11 in the fourth, the Eagles managed a side out that brought up Eilis Thomas up to the service line. Thomas sent her heavy, diving serves pounding across the net, disrupting the Raptors rhythm and the Eagles scored 12 straight points to go up 24-21, hanging on to close out the match 25-23.
The NCHSAA is committed to recognizing good sportsmanship and has partnered with the North Carolina Farm Bureau to recognize one individual from each of the participating championship teams in volleyball with the 2020-2021 Sportsmanship Awards. The recipients for this year’s 1A awards were Lauren Pledger from Mountain Island and Lexi Brantley from East Wake Academy.

Gaston Christian School hoops action

(January 28, 2021 Issue)

The Gaston Christiam School varsity boys basketball squad played in the MLK Phenom Hoops tournament against Metrolina Christian Academy last week and won 70-61. Will Kelly had 22 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. Greg Brockington had 16 points, 5 assists, 2 saves. Joe Rhyne had 13 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists. GCS photos

Stuart Cramer Storm

(January 28, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer Storm basketball team met North Gaston last week. After the dust settled the North Gaston Wildcats prevailed 69-49. Here are some scenes from the thrilling evening.
Photos by Amy Craig

Stuart Cramer Storm men fall to Crest

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer Storm varsity basketball team took on Crest on January 11. When the final buzzer sounded, Crest had won 84-62. Here are some scenes from the action packed contest.

Photos by Amy Craig

Abbey’s Kuhlman, Downing
win awards

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Belmont Abbey seniors Maria Kuhlman and Allie Downing have been named Conference Carolinas Women’s Basketball Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced.
Kuhlman has made a conference-high 18 three-point field goals this season, and has a .529 percentage from long range. Her 16 assists on the season are second-best in the conference, and trail only teammate Taylor Stelley. She is also averaging 13.8 points per game, which is among the top 5 in Conference Carolinas.
Downing has been the leader of a very tough Crusader defensive unit. She has pulled down a Conference Carolinas-best 25 defensive rebounds on the year, and has a conference-high seven steals. She also has blocked four shots this season, which put her in a tie with teammates Brittany Autry and Shelby Darden for the conference lead. Downing has led a defensive unit whose opponents are shooting just .351, a conference best.

Belmont Abbey named Award of Excellence winner for Conference Carolinas

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Belmont Abbey has been selected as Conference Carolinas’ nominee for the 2021 NCAA Division II Award of Excellence.  The accolade recognizes initiatives in the past year that exemplify the Division II philosophy, community engagement and student-athlete leadership. Twenty-eight schools and one conference earned distinction as finalists with all 23 Division II conferences submitting a nominee for the first time since 2015. Six additional finalists were picked as at-large honorees for submitting a strong nomination that was not chosen as the finalist for their conference.
Division II honors its members each year for conducting events that promote student-athletes giving back and serving as leaders within their communities or on their campuses. A committee of athletics administrators determined this year’s finalists, and the national Division II Student-Athlete Advisory Committee selects the winner, who will be announced at the Division II business session Jan. 15 at the virtual 2021 NCAA Convention.
“We are ineffably grateful to the NCAA for selecting Belmont Abbey College as the Conference Carolinas nominee for the 2021 Division II Award of Excellence,” Vice-President and Director of Athletics Stephen Miss said. “. A testament to the vision, leadership, and hard work of so many of our SAAC students - not just this past Spring but over the 10 years since it’s inception - Mr. Crusader has grown in stature and significance on our campus and is now a staple of our academic calendar and Abbey culture. I would be remiss not to acknowledge and thank Coach Toni Elyea for her good work in partnership with Michelle McNeight. We anticipate eagerly learning the overall outcome of this prestigious award.”
Belmont Abbey submitted its annual Mr. Crusader Pageant, where student-athletes participate in a multitude of events and the audience votes for their favorite student-athlete by donating money to Make-A-Wish. The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee members plan, organize and produce the evening, which is also the the department’s largest fundraiser and community engagement event. Avery Wilson, a Make-A-Wish recipient who participates each year as a judge, was celebrated for beating cancer, helping SAAC break the previous record for Make-A-Wish donations.
“As a collective whole, our campus strives for excellence and virtue in everything so receiving this award is a huge honor and signifies what our student athletes started in 2010, and have grown into something bigger than themselves -- leaving a legacy that harnesses the spirit of The Abbey,” SAAC Advisor and Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Toni Elyea added. “It shows our students that they are called to serve the common good. However, our students are anything but common. They breath life into all of our events and our campus each day. I couldn’t be more proud of them, the amazing coaches, administration and faculty that I get to work with each day. I am looking forward to once again raising the bar this year with SAAC and our community.”

Abbey men top Barton

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Sean Halloran led four players in double figures and Mario Lacy posted his first double-double as a Crusader, lifting Belmont Abbey to a 77-58 victory over Barton in Conference Carolinas men’s basketball action Friday night. Halloran posted a season-high of 21 points, while Lacy tallied 14 points and 13 rebounds, both season bests.
Quest Aldridge chipped in 12 points, while freshman Prince Davies added 10 points, four rebounds and three assists.

How It Happened 
Halloran hit eight of 11 from the field with five three-pointers, while also making three steals and dishing our three assists.  Belmont Abbey trailed 14-8 in the first eight minutes, but posted a pair of 8-0 runs around a Bulldog free throw to lead by nine, 24-15, at the 3:26 mark. An 11-3 spurt over the final 3:06 of the period, pushed the margin to 15, 35-20, at the break. The Crusaders’ lead reach as high as 27 on two occasions near the middle of the second half, before Barton used a 11-0 run to climb to within 18. The Abbey shot 50.8 percent from the field, including 56.7 percent after intermission, while the Bulldogs could only rally to 43.6 percent shooting after a 30.8 percent opener. Belmont Abbey held a 42-25 advantage on the boards and had one fewer turnover. The Crusaders improve to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Bulldogs fall to 0-2, 0-2.

Abbey girls beat Barton

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Alexis Schulz (#23) scored 16 points and the Belmont Abbey women’s basketball team earned a solid 83-65 victory over Barton this afternoon.  With the win, The Abbey improves to 5-2 on the year, with a 1-1 conference record.  Barton is now 2-1 on the season, with a 2-1 Conference Carolinas mark.

How It Happened 
The teams went back and forth early, until a 10-0 Abbey run put the Crusaders in front 21-14.  At one point during the stretch, the Crusaders scored seven points in less than a minute.  BAC led 23-18 when the period expired . A 4-0 run to open the second put the Crusaders up 27-18. Later in the quarter, the Crusaders defense held the Bulldogs to no field goals over a 4:19 span.  Four straight points by Hannah Roney to close out the quarter gave Belmont Abbey a 42-29 lead at halftime. Barton came to within five early in the third, but then a 9-0 Abbey run put the Crusaders in front 51-37.  Kelli Thomas scored four points during the run. Allie Downing scored five points in a 19-second span, and Belmont Abbey held a commanding 65-48 lead heading into the final period. A jumper by Schulz at the 7:37 mark put BAC up by 20.  She scored 12 of The Abbey’s 18 points in the quarter to help the Crusaders finish off the 83-65 victory. On the day, Downing’s 17 points led the Crusaders.  Schulz scored 16.  Brittany Autry, Maria Kuhlman, and Keyanna Spivey each scored 11.  Spivey also grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.
Gaston Christian Basketball team

Gaston Christian School basketball scenes

(January 14, 2021 Issue)

The Gaston Christian School JV basketball team defeated Westminster last week by a score of 54-50. Bobby had 12pts; Jacob 12pts, 6 reb, 5 assists; Niko 12pts, 5 assists; Chris 8 pts; Kyriako 6pts, 5 reb, 2 assists; Preston 4pts, 6 reb.

Gaston Christian Photos
See more photos on page 13 of this week's Banner-News.


Stuart Cramer High Storm Basketball Team VS. KM High Mountaineers

(January 14, 2021 Issue)

The Stuart Cramer High Storm basketball team met the Kings Mountain High Mountaineers last week in two exciting games. The Cramer JV team won their game 34 to 26. The varsity team fell to KM by a score of 85 to 42. Here are some scenes from the evening of play.

See more photos on page 11 of this week's Banner-News
Photos by Amy Craig