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Award winners at KMHS cross country awards program. Left to right: Parker Key, all-conference and MVP; Wyatt Wilson, coach’s award; Marty Lovingood, all-conference; Kohen Johnson, all-conference, Hunter Cruise, all-conference and rookie of the year; Thalia Kushman, all-conference and MVP, Parker Wilson, all-conference, rookie of the year and Joe Hord Perseverance Award; Ashley Gural, all-conference, Divinity Ervin, all conference and coach’s award, and Nicole Poston, all-conference.   

KMHS cross country teams
hold awards program

The Kings Mountain High School cross country teams held their awards program on February 23.
Due to Covid-19 guidelines, only athletes were allowed to attend. Parents and other supports watched virtually.
This year’s team boasted nine All-Big South Conference runners. Both teams finished with 11-4 records.
The Lady Mountaineers finished second in the Big South while the Mountaineers finished third.
The boy’s team won the Cleveland County Schools championship while the girls finished second to Shelby.
Both teams are looking forward to another successful season, hopefully in the fall. 

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LIVESTRONG at the YMCA

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA is a free program designed for cancer survivors 18-years and older who have become de-conditioned or chronically fatigued from their treatment or disease. The goals of the program include:
• Rebuilding muscular strength and endurance
• Increasing flexibility and improving functional ability
• Reducing severity of therapy side effects
• Preventing unwanted weight changes
• Improving self-esteem and energy levels
Participants receive a FREE 12-week Family Membership Plus and may use YMCA facilities at any time. Participants may bring a support person who can participate in a workout of their own. Thanks to the generosity of donors, the program is free to participants.
Participants must receive medical clearance and are evaluated on an individual basis. Patients currently undergoing treatment may participate, but only if they receive proper medical clearance.
The 90-minute sessions are held twice a week. There is easy parking front and side of buildings and designated handicapped parking is available.
For more information, contact Margaret Litton, LIVESTRONG Instructor, Kings Mountain Family YMCA, 211 Cleveland Ave., Kings Mountain, 704-739-9631, or email MLitton@CleveCoYMCA.org.

KMHS golf season
to begin March 15

Kings Mountain High’s men’s and women’s golf seasons will be played at the same times and places this season, except for the conference and regional tournaments.
Kings Mountain will only be playing against one or two other teams in the regular season instead of all schools in the conference like it has been done in the past.
Members of the men’s team are freshmen Baylor Benton, Branson Bouchard, Caleb Marr and Hunter Cruise; junior Seabron Echols, sophomore Michael King, freshman Cade Leigh, junior Cooper Putnam and freshman Jayden Smith.
The only player on the women’s team is junior Emma Short.
THE SCHEDULE
MARCH
15 – Kings Mountain at Crest (Riverbend).
22 – North Gaston at KM (KM Country Club).
29 – Hunter Huss/Ashbrook at KM (KMCC).
APRIL
12 – Forestview at KM (KMCC).
19 – Cramer at KM (KMCC).
26 – Men’s conference match (Riverbend).
27 – Women’s conference match (KMCC).
MAY
3 – Men’s regional (Riverbend).
4 – Women’s regional (Skybrook in Huntersville)
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natalie lutz

Lutz off to good
start for LR tennis

Kings Mountain’s Natalie Lutz is off to a good start in her second year on the Lenoir-Rhyne tennis team.
Presently, Lutz is 3-0 and leading the team (2-1) in individual wins.
Lutz’s freshman year with the LR ladies came to an abrupt halt because of Covid.
Lutz was a two-sport standout at KMHS, playing tennis and golf. She had the option to play either sport in college and chose tennis. She and her KMHS teammate Madelynn Frye won one state championship in doubles.
“She always excelled in both sports and what was amazing and both were played in the same season,” noted her high school coach Rick Henderson. “So when the decision had to be made, Naatlie chose tennis over golf. As her high school tennis coach those four years, it didn’t surprise me that she wanted to continue her tradition by competing at the college level on the tennis team.
“Natalie could have taken the easier of the sport which was golf, but she chose the most physical and demanding of her body simply because tennis was her first love,” Henderson added.
Lutz opened this season by defeating a nationally ranked Queens University player. She was chosen the player of the match mainly due to her winning both her singles and doubles matches. She later defeated her opponents from Lander and Mars Hill.
Lutz is presently playing #4 in singles and bounces between #1 and #2 in doubles.
Lutz is majoring in Medical Studies and plans to attend graduate school to become a physician’s assistant.

Tennis to begin

Kings Mountain High men’s tennis practice will begin Wed., March 3 at 4 p.m. at the new KMHS tennis complex.
All student athletes must have an up to date physical on file before they can participate in tryouts or conditioning. Items to take for practice will be tennis attire, appropriate footwear and a tennis racquet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions all student athletes are required to wear a mask during practice as well as having their temperature checked prior to practice.
For more information call Coach Rick Henderson at 704-460-8066 or email Rick.Henderson2@duke-energy.com
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Kings Mountain junior guard Isaiah Tate topped the 1,000 career point mark in last week’s first round playoff loss to Central Cabarrus.

Tate tops 1,000
in playoff loss,
KM girls lose too

About the only bright thing for Kings Mountain High’s venture into the state 3A basketball playoffs last week was that junior standout Isaiah Tate topped the 1,000 career point mark in the Mountaineers’ first round 95-57 loss to Central Cabarrus.
The KM girls were in a similar boat at Jesse Carson, falling hard to a very good Carson team 69-33.
Led by a couple of Tate three-pointers, the Mountaineers were able to take an early 9-3 lead before Central Cabarrus began canning some threes of its own and rallied to lead 27-19 at the first quarter break. They were never headed after that.
It was Central Cabarrus’ first home first round playoff win in 10 years.
After leading 44-31 at the half, Central took a 71-44 lead heading into the final quarter.
Tate and Zeke Cannedy were KM’s only double-digit scorers with 20 and 12 points, respectively. Matt Toms scored seven, Marcus and Orlando Odums six each, Maddox James four and Titus Phillips two.
The undefeated Carson team had no trouble with the KM ladies, running up a 23-2 first quarter lead en route to a 69-33 victory.
Saniya Wilson had a big game with 23 points, four rebounds and four steals but she was the only KM player in double figures.
Tyasya Bell scored three points and also had four rebounds and three blocks. Khalia King had three points, two rebounds and two blocks, Aaliyah Byers two points, nine rebounds, two steals and two blocks, Monica Head two points and Kennedy Barnes six rebounds.
A strong 1-3-1 press was the key to Carson’s quick beginning. Kings Mountain rallied in the second period to outscore Carson 14-12 but that still left them behind 25-16 at the break. Carson led 52-23 going into the fourth quarter.
Mary Spril and Carleijh Perry scored 16 points each to lead Carson. Hannah Isley added 13, Colsie Perry and Ellie Wilhelm nine each, Kary Isley six and Camden Carley two.

Information for Friday’s game

Fans planning to attend Friday’s North Gaston at Kings Mountain football game at Gamble Stadium need to remember this information:
Game time is 7 p.m. Gates open at 6 p.m. Parking is first come, first served at the parking lots at the school and the Touchdown Club lot behind the baseball field.
Everyone is required to wear a mask and social distance at least six feet apart. Fans may take lawn chairs to sit on the bank. They can also sit in the stands.
Pre-sale of tickets for the varsity game will be from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Wednesday for all varsity cheer, varsity football and band at the field house.
Pre-sale for the general public is 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday at the field house.
Any tickets left over will be sold at the home gate on game night. The cost is $10 (cash only).
Persons holding NCHSAA coaching passes and Cleveland County Schools employees passes must purchase tickets.

Mountaineers
host Wildcats
Friday night

 

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers were scheduled to hit the road to Dallas Friday night for their second Big South 3A Conference game with the North Gaston Wildcats, but because of wet field conditions at North Gaston the game will now be played at KM’s John Gamble Stadium.
Just like last week with Stuart Cramer, Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd believes North Gaston will give the Mountaineers a good test and hopefully prepare them for a big home game against Hunter Huss next week.
Lloyd said new head coach Justin Clark, who spent his early years in Kings Mountain while his father Bruce was coaching at KMHS, has put in a new offense that should bring improvement to the Wildcats’ program.
“They’re now in a spread and they have a dual threat quarterback similar to the one we saw last week,” Lloyd noted. “They are definitely much improved. They gave up 20 points last week (to Hunter Huss) but they have a really solid offense. They are dangerous and we have to be ready to roll.”
Lloyd said, overall, he was pleased with his Mountaineers in their opening season win over Cramer but hopes to see much improvement this week.
“We need to work on special teams and add a few things on offense to make it more versatile,” he said. “Our defense needs to play like it did last week and not give up any big plays. And our offense needs to take care of the ball.”
The offensive line should be at full strength this week with the return of sophomore Isaiah Eskridge, who sat out last week with an injury.
“He’s our biggest offensive lineman, and we’re projecting him to play,” Lloyd noted.
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KM’s Chance Cannon is on his way to a 95-yard catch and run touchdown in Saturday’s 43-7 win over Stuart Cramer at Gamble Stadium.

Opening kickoff return sparks
KM to 43-7 season opening win

Kings Mountain sophomore Caleb Holland made a varsity debut that he will remember for a long time Saturday when he returned the opening kickoff of the 2021 spring season 90 yards for a touchdown to spark a 43-7 win over Stuart Cramer.
The Mountaineers would go into the halftime break with a 36-0 lead and turned the contest into a “running clock” game when quarterback Ethan Reid hit Devin Pressley on a 16-yard touchdown across the middle to run the score to 43-0 with 9:52 left in the third quarter.
Cramer scored its only touchdown in the final seconds of the third period when Jesse Allran managed to get past the KM defense for a 15-yard TD reception.
The Mountaineers showed signs of its typical greatness all through the game, but hurt themselves at times with miscues that can be corrected.
“It was a good first game,” said head coach Greg Lloyd. “We made plenty of mistakes but all in all it was good. Our defense was solid and we had a decent running game. The offensive line was better than a week before” when the Mountaineers scrimmaged Burns.
Last year’s leading rusher, junior Rashaard Brooks, finished with 92 yards rushing in 13 carries as the Mountaineers tried to distribute the ball to a lot of players. Quarterback Ethan Reid and running backs Holland and Jaylin Mims also did a good job running the ball.
“Brooks and Mims played well and the kickoff return by our tenth grader was the first time he touched the ball on varsity,” Lloyd said.  “We have to work on a lot of special teams’ breakdowns, but all in all it was good.”
Reid, the top passer in the Big South a year ago, hit 7 of 15 passes for 205 yards.
After KM’s initial score, new placekicker Jayden Ellis put his first varsity kickoff down at the two yard line where Cramer’s Johnny O’Shea caught and returned it to the 21. Three plays later the visitors faced a fourth and 23 at their own seven and the Storm’s punter was tackled in the end zone for a safety to put KM up 9-0.
KM then drove 57 yards in 10 plays to score on a two-yard burst by Jaylin Mims for a 16-0 lead.
The Mountaineers had some problems early with its passing game, but late in the quarter wide receiver Titus Phillips, who had just finished his basketball season earlier in the week, came onto the field and immediately raced down the home sideline past a Cramer defender and caught a pass in stride for a 51 yard touchdown and a 23-0 lead that broke the game open.
Cramer was driving later but Phillips, now in the secondary, intercepted a pass at the one yard line and returned it to the 30. However, a block in the back resulted in KM taking possession at the five. On first down, Reid hit Chance Cannon with a quick screen pass and he went 95 yards down the home sideline for a touchdown and a 29-0 lead.
On their next possession, a 34-yard run off tackle by Brooks was the big run on a drive that ended with Reid’s one-yard sneak and a 36-0 lead with 1:06 left in the half.
Deandre Hoyle recovered a fumble at the Cramer 35 on the first possession of the third quarter to set up Pressley’s touchdown.

KM RUSHING – Brooks 13-92, Reid 6-31, Mims 6-24, Holland 6-25, Patrick 1-2, Team -10.
KM RECEIVING – Cannon 2-103, Fisher 2-23, Phillips 1-51, Hoyle 1-13, Pressley 1-16.
KM SCORING – Holland 6, Mims 6, Reid 6, Cannon 6, Phillips 6, Pressley 6, Ellis 5, Team 2.
INTERCEPTIONS – AJ Richardson, Titus Philllps.
FUMBLE RECOVERY – Deandre Hoyle.
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Saniya Wilson

Saniya Wilson POY
in BSC basketball

Kings Mountain junior guard Saniya Wilson has been named Big South Basketball Player of the Year by the conference coaches.
She is a repeater on the All-Big South team and was joined there by her teammate, Khalia King.
Wilson, who topped the 1,000 career point mark in a win over Forestview this season, averaged 24.3 points a game in leading the Lady Mountaineers to a tie for second place in the BSC and a berth in the state 3A playoffs. She also set a personal single game record of 40 points in a game against Crest. Jessica Brunson of Crest was named BSC Coach of the Year.
The boys all-conference team will be announced after Crest has completed its run in the state 3A playoffs. The Chargers were schedule to face Weddington in the semi-finals last night.

JV Mountaineers
here Thursday

Kings Mountain High’s JV football team will open its season Thursday with a 6:30 p.m. home game against the North Gaston Wildcats.
Diron Bell begins his first season as the Mountaineers’ head coach. He has been a fixture in KM sports for many years. He was an outstanding running back for the Mountaineers in the early 1990s and later played for Catawba College.
All JV games this season will begin at 6:30. Four of them will be at home (North Gaston March 4, Burns March 11, Shelby March 25 and East Gaston on Wednesday, March 31.

Cramer here Friday for football opener

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

For the first time in over 15 months, Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers are scheduled to host Stuart Cramer’s Purple Storm in the Big South 3A Conference opening football game Friday at 7 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium. All regular season games will begin at 7 p.m. this season.
At the time of this writing, only 100 fans are to be allowed in the stands but Governor Roy Cooper was supposed to make a decision whether or not to increase that number Tuesday, which was past the Herald’s deadline. There is some talk that up to 40% of the stadium’s capacity could be admitted.
Regardless of how many fans will see them either in person or by KM high.org livestream, the Mountaineers expect to put on a good show against Cramer and all the other opponents on their schedule. Because of COVID, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association is allowing just seven regular season and four playoff games this year so winning every game will be the top priority for all schools hoping to win a conference championship and make a playoff run.
Kings Mountain saw action against a good Burns team in a scrimmage Saturday at John Gamble Stadium. The final hour (with a running clock) was game situations except for contact on kickoffs and punts.
During that time the Mountaineers scored one touchdown but missed the extra point. They threatened several more times but lost two fumbles inside the Burns 10 yard line.
It wasn’t unusual that both teams’ defenses were better than their offense but both the Bulldog and Mountaineer coaches were trying to get most of their players playing time so they can evaluate talents of non-returning starters.
Kings Mountain’s defense was strong all day. Defenders like Chris Ruffalo, Dameon Wilson, Javari Rice-Wilson, Ty Ledbetter, Chance Cannon, Robert Lipscomb, Logan Patrick, AJ Richardson, Derek Wilson, Devin Pressley and others basically kept the Dogs penned up.
The Mountaineers got good blocking from its offensive linemen, including Blake Davis, Michael Blanton, Chris Richardson and many others. They opened huge holes for running backs like Roderick Kendrick, Jaylin Mims, Caleb Holland and others.
Returning starter Ethan Reid scored the game’s only touchdown on a quarterback sneak and along with Logan Patrick threw some accurate passes to receivers like Deandre Hoyle, Chance Cannon, Blake Emory and Pressley. But they misfired occasionally and some other passes were dropped.
The scrimmage saw the varsity and JV teams working at once from 40 yards in. Lamont Littlejohn, son of former Mountaineer quarterback Lamont Littlejohn, threw three touchdown passes. Caleb Holland made some spectacular runs and then joined the varsity for the live action. Kendrick was also with the JVs during that time and made several long runs.

Regular season champions in YMCA 7-8, 9-10 and 11-13 boys basketball league

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain

YMCA basketball scores:

7-8 Boys
Tarheels 26, Hornets 21
Hornets – Daniel Bullock 9; Tarheels Michael Meeks 10.
Raptors 19, Dunk-aroos 13
Dunk – Easton Pasour 8; Raptors - Chase Thomas 9.
9-10 boys
Hornets 30, Buckets 13
Hornets – Brantley Deaton 10. Buckets – Karter Willis 10.
Destroyers 31, Heat 17
Destroyers – Yates Toney 10; Heat – Jaqualyn Ford 8.
11-13 boys
Heat 27, Hornets 22
Hornets – Cory’on Gaines 11; Heat – Ty Howard 14.
Bulls 40, Panthers 37
Panthers – Silas Tate 17. Bulls, Aiden Smith 16.
7-9 girls
Lady Bombshells 20, Lady Fireballs 15.
Lady Ballers – Kyleigh Gaines 8. Lady Fireballs, Addy Morehead 10.

Mountaineers sweep Forestview
in final home
 regular season game

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain swept Forestview in their final home basketball games Tuesday night at Parker Gym.
The girls rallied from an early deficit to defeat the Lady Jaguars 62-57 and maintain their hold on second place behind defending Big South champion Ashbrook.
The boys rolled to an 85-72 victory, keeping alive their hopes of finishing second and earning a berth in the state tournament.
The Lady Mountaineers struggled early and trailed the Lady Jaguars 19-12 after the first quarter and 28-25 at halftime. The locals rallied in the third period and outscored their visitors 21-12 to take a 42-40 lead into the final quarter.
“We struggled in the first half, but solid defensive pressure helped bring us back from the halftime deficit,” noted Coach Nicholas Inman.
Andrea Melton had her best game of the year, scoring all of her 13 points in the second half to help lead the comeback. Aaliyah Byers scored all eight of her points in the third period, and Saniya Wilson went 9-for-11 from the foul line to close out the victory.
Wilson finished with 27 points, five rebounds and five assists. Melton had two steals to go with her 13 points and Byers controlled the board with 10 rebounds.
Khalia King scored four points, Austyn Dixon had three points and three boards, Alayna Patrick, Kennedy Barnes and Monica Head had two points each, and Tyasya Bell had a point and four rebounds.
Myla Hoover led three double-digit scorers for Forestview with 20 points, Kendall Manning had 14 and Jimena Vazquez 10.
Payton Jacobs and Blake Riley added four points each, Zailyn Jeter and Megan Baker two each and Kiana Robinson one.
The Mountaineers had their most balanced scoring attack of the year with all five of their starters hitting double figures.
Zeke Cannedy led the way with 25 points and six rebounds. Isaiah Tate had 15 points and six assists; Marcus Odums 13 points, seven rebounds and six assists; Matt Toms 12 points, five rebounds and five assists; and Orlando Odums 11 points and four rebounds.
Maddox James had a big game off the bench with eight points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.
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Kameron Adams (20) carries the ball in KMMS game with Shelby. Adams was selected as KM’s offensive player of the game.

Shelby Middle bombs KM
42-0 in Tri-County opener

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

Shelby got a safety on Kings Mountain’s first possession and rolled to a 42-0 victory over the Patriots in the middle schools’ opening football game Wednesday at John Gamble Stadium.
The Blue Devils scored on all of their first half possessions, including one on an interception of a KM pitchout and 48 yard return by Tyjai Johnson.
The Blue Devils got their safety when the KM quarterback stepped out the back of the end zone trying to escape tacklers after Shelby backed the Patriots up to the one-inch line.
KM kicked off from its own 20 and Shelby’s Tristan Tate went untouched from 40 yards out to make the score 8-0.
Shelby scored three more touchdowns in the second quarter to turn the game into a rout.
Kings Mountain was held to two first downs in the game. Coach Kenny Bridges cited Kameron Adams for his play on offense and Max Thompson for his defensive play.
“Hopefully our next two games, which are on the road, will go better,” Bridges said. “I’m thinking Shelby is a whole lot better than anybody in the conference.”
The Patriots were behind the eight-ball going in as they had only four days of practice and are without eight starters from last year that did not come out for football.
The Patriots had only four eighth graders in the starting lineup and they were much smaller, and not nearly as experienced as the Shelby team.
Kameron Adams was selected KMMS offensive player of the game and Max Thompson was selected defensive player of the game.
Kings Mountain will travel to RS Central today and East Rutherford next week. The Patriots’ next home game is against Crest on March 10. Fifth quarter action begins at 4:30 and game-time for the varsity is 5 p.m.  

Crest sweeps KM in BS final

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams ended their regular season Friday night at Crest with a double loss.
The KM girls saw Crest come from behind in the fourth quarter to win 60-56 and knock the Lady Mountaineers out of an automatic berth in the state playoffs.
Kings Mountain finished the season with a 9-3 Big South and 10-4 overall record. Crest also finished 9-3 after beating Forestview in a makeup game on Saturday. Just in case that happened, KM and Crest flipped a coin after their game and Crest won the flip for second place.
The game was close throughout with neither team ever having a big advantage. KM led 16-14 after the first period, 28-27 at the half and 42-39 going into the fourth quarter but a 19-12 advantage in the final eight minutes made the difference for the Lady Chargers.
Despite the loss, KM junior Saniya Wilson had one of her best games of the year with 40 points, four rebounds and three steals.
Kennedy Barnes scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds, but the Crest defense did a super job in holding the other KM ladies down. Austyn Dixon had two points and five rebounds, Andrea Melton one point and three steals, Alayna Patrick one point and three rebounds and Tyasya Bell five rebounds.
Petty led three double-digit scorers for Crest with 16 points. Marshall had 15 and Williams 13. Warlick scored seven, Lee five, and Surratt and Hamrick two each.
The Crest boys completed a perfect regular season with a 60-44 win. Caleb Borders led the way with 16 points, but KM’s worst enemy was Matt Adams who scored 15 points and controlled the backboard with 15 rebounds.
Despite the loss, the Mountaineers still qualified for the state playoffs as the #2 team from the BSC. Hunter Huss went into its final game needing a win to force a tie for second place, but was tripped up by Ashbrook and finished in third place a game behind the Mountaineers.
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Caleb Holland hits the hole for the Mountaineers in Saturday’s scrimmage with the Burns Bulldogs at John Gamble Stadium. 

‘It was good to get
out there and play’

(February 24, 2021 Issue)

‘Kings Mountain coaches weren’t as interested in scoring more points than Burns as they were getting a chance to see all of their players line up against another team as they scrimmaged county-rival Burns Saturday afternoon at Gamble Stadium.
Both teams scored several times during the scrimmage, but in a running clock varsity only mini-game the Mountaineers out-scored the Bulldogs one TD to zero on a sneak by senior quarterback Ethan Reid.
“A lot of people got to play and it was good to get out there for some live action,” said Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd. “We saw a lot of good things. The front seven looked really good and our secondary didn’t look too bad.”
As is usually the case early in the season, the defense was ahead of the offense.
“Our passing game’s going to take a little longer to come around,” said Lloyd, who is breaking in a new group of receivers after losing the best two pass-catchers in the conference last year in Kobe Paysour and Quintin Davidson. “After a few games it should be fine.”
The Burns team lost one key player to injury, but Lloyd said the Mountaineers came out fine. They did hold out last year’s leading rusher Rashaard Brooks, who has what Lloyd called a “little nagging injury” but he will be in the lineup Friday night when Stuart Cramer comes to town for the Big South Conference opener.
Lloyd stresses that not just this week’s game, but every game this season will be the “big game of the year, because with us playing only seven games if you drop a game you’re running the risk of not getting in the playoffs. We have to treat each game like it’s a playoff game.”
The Mountaineers blew out Cramer last year in Belmont, but Lloyd said not to expect anything like that Friday night.
“I watched Cramer against East Lincoln and they look really good,” he said. “They are much better than they were last year.”
Lloyd said he was particularly impressed with defensive end Arias Nash and the Cramer quarterbacks.
“They’re passing a lot out of their spread offense,” he noted. “They run a 3-3 stack defense and do a lot of blitzing. They’re going to be much more competitive than they were last year. We have to be ready and play very well.”
The Mountaineers will be wearing two stickers on their helmets this year – Bag in memory of Coach Brent Bagwell who died recently, and the initials of their longtime equipment manager Donnie Mace who died shortly after the end of last football season.
“Bagwell was a great coach and Donnie fixed all our helmets in addition to doing a lot of other things,” Lloyd said. “He spoiled us. He cannot be replaced.”
Lloyd said the Mountaineers will have fewer players  than in the past.
“We have about 70, which is far less than in the past,” he said. “But I think that’s the standard all over the state.”
At the time of this writing, only 100 fans (mostly parents of players and cheerleaders) will be allowed in the stands. However, Governor Cooper is expected to announce higher numbers this week.
“We hope he will allow more,” Lloyd said. “It will create a little bit of atmosphere if more people are allowed in.”
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Wilson signs with Bluefield College

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High football standout Derek Wilson, second from left, signs to continue his education and football career at Bluefield College, VA. He is pictured with his mother, Nicole Wilson, left, brother Lemont Wilson and sister Ciara Wilson. Back row, KMHS athletic director Matt Bridges, head football coach Greg Lloyd and principal Julie Rikard.
 
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Cannon Signs with Mars Hill

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High football standout Chance Cannon, third from left, signs to play college football at Mars Hill. He is pictured on front row with members of his family, left to right, Senora Spikes, Sade Cannon and Brian Banks. Back row, mentor Orlando Floyd, KMHS athletic director Matt Bridges, head football coach Greg Lloyd and Principal Julie Rikard.

KMMS falls  to Central
in
 championship

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle fell to RS Central 59-39 in the Tri-County championship game last week at RS.
Led by the trio of Bradley Floyd, Caleb Nixon and Tucker Robinette the Patriots jumped out to an early 10-4 lead.
For the first three minutes of the second quarter, the teams exchanged baskets as KM was up 16-14 before RS went on a 15-0 run to lead 29-16. KM’s Nixon hit back to back threes just before halftime to cut the margin to 31-22.
A quick basket by Nixon cut the RS lead to 31-24 to start the third period, but the Knights scored six unanswered points to extend their lead to 44-31 going into the fourth quarter.
RS went on another run in the fourth to win going away.
Nixon led the Patriots with 18 points, including four threes; Floyd had five points, seven rebounds and five assists; Robinette four points and three assists, Linney four points and six boards, Max Thompson four points and three rebounds and Kameron Adams and Aiden Taylor two points each.
Nixon was named player of the game. Sixth man of the game was Adams, and defensive player of the game was Thompson.
KM finished its season 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the conference including a 4-1 record against Cleveland County teams.
“This is a great group of kids,” said head coach Shane Cole. “They have bought in, and their parents have bought in as well. They are doing what we ask them to do. Two championship game appearances in two years! These guys are 8-3 versus county teams. I tell them all the time, ‘if you want to win it starts in Cleveland County.’ I can’t wait until next year.”
Coach Corey Nixon added: “It was a great experience coaching this young group. They progressively got better throughout the season. Two championship games in two consecutive seasons! I’m looking forward to next season.”
Coach Brandon Foster added: “It has been a pleasure helping coach these amazing young men. Their growth has propelled us for next year. Watch out Cleveland County!”

Tennis tryouts
to begin

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High men’s tennis tryouts will begin Monday, March 1 at 4 p.m. at the new KMHS tennis complex.
All student athletes must have an up to date physical on file before they can participate in tryouts or conditioning. Items to take for practice will be tennis attire, appropriate footwear and a tennis racquet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions all student athletes are required to wear a mask during practice as well as having their temperature checked prior to practice.
For more information call Coach Rick Henderson at 704-460-8066 or email Rick.Henderson2@duke-energy.com

Patriots edge Shelby 47-43
to advance to championship

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team defeated Shelby 47-43 last week to make it to the Bi-County Conference championship game for the third time in the last five years.
Unfortunately, they fell to a very good RS Central team in the championship game. The RS team handed the Patriots two of their three losses this season.
KM and Shelby were tied at 42-all with 1:27 to play. Kee’Donn Linney gave the Patriots the lead for the final time on a tough drive to the paint, and Tucker Robinettes’ fast-break layup with 10 seconds left accounted for the final margin.
Robinette finished with 13 points, including three treys, and also had five rebounds and two steals. Caleb Nixon had 14 points, including 5 of 8 field goals, and grabbed three rebounds.
Bradley Floyd had eight points, five boards, seven assists, two steals and two blocked shots; Max Thompson six points and four assists; Kee’donn Linney four points and eight rebounds; and Brayden Mull two points and two rebounds.
Caleb Nixon got the Patriots on the board with a fast-break layup, followed by Floyd’s shot to tie the game at 7-all after the first quarter.
The second quarter saw Shelby go up 16-11 but KM scored the last three points of the half to cut the margin to 20-18.
Nixon and Floyd hit back to back treys to give KM a 26-24 led, and KM entered the fourth period up 35-28.
The fourth quarter saw a frantic pace by both teams. Shelby tied the game at 35 all with 4:44 remaining. Linney gave the Pats the lead with a free throw to make it 36-35.
Robinette’s three a couple possession later helped KM maintain the lead before Shelby tied it at 39 all. Robinette hit another three to put KM back in front but Shelby had a three to tie it at 42-all and set the stage for KM’s last minute heroics.
For the game, KM hit 46.3 percent of its shot, including 5 for 5 two-pointers in the first quarter and 5 for 9 threes in the second half.
Linney, who was cited by Coach Shane Cole for playing his best game of the year, was named player of the game. Josiah Guyton’s stellar play at guard and passing, earned him the sixth man of the game honor.
Bradley Floyd was named defensive player of the game.

Boys win, girls lose at Ashbrook

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams split a Big South 3A Conference doubleheader at Gastonia Ashbrook last week with the Mountaineers winning 68-44 after the KM ladies lost 44-27 in a battle that probably locked up the conference championship for the unbeaten Ashbrook ladies.
Going in, the KM ladies had a shot at forcing a tie for first place but Ashbrook jumped out to a 13-5 first quarter lead and was never headed.
The Mountaineers had an easy time of it, rolling over the Green Wave from start to finish.
Junior standout Isaiah Tate led the Mountaineers with 27 points, hitting 9 of 16 from the field including 5 of 8 three-pointers.
Zeke Cannedy added 17 points and Marcus Odums had a great all-around game with 10 points and 16 rebounds. Matt Toms had seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Titus Phillips and Orlando Odums added four and three points, respectively.
Ashbrook’s girls were on fire from the beginning, racing to an 8-0 lead by taking advantage of KM turnovers and mistakes.
“We kept it within striking distance at the half (23-11), then closed the gap at the end of the third quarter (Ashbrook 29, KM 24),” noted Mountaineer coach Nicholas Inman. “But Kennette Bess hit two threes and three free throws in the fourth to seal the win for Ashbrook.”
Kings Mountain was off all night from the foul line, going just 4-for-10, and from three-point range with just one bucket.
“Defensively, we held Ashbrook in check, holding them to their lowest point total of the year,” Inman noted. “Offensively, we just could not find a rhythm, committing too many turnovers and forcing contested shots.”
Saniya Wilson had her usual fine game for the KM ladies with 19 points and seven rebounds. But the aggressive Ashbrook defense held the rest of the KM team to just eight points. Khalia King scored four points and grabbed three rebounds, Austyn Dixon had two points and four rebounds, Tyasya Bell two points and three rebounds, and Aaliyah Byers five rebounds.
Bess led Ashbrook with 15 points. Madison Cole scored nine, Zaza Mason and Aaliyah El six each, and Shay Portee and Erakha Smith four each.

KMHS Football Players Practice

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High football players braved the rain Monday to get in some practice time on the John Gamble Stadium turf. The Mountaineers will be hosting Burns in a JV/varsity scrimmage Saturday and will open their season at home against Stuart Cramer on Friday, February 26. 

Burns here Saturday for football scrimmage,
no one other than teams allowed on campus

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain High’s football team will get its first action against another team in over a year when the Mountaineers host Burns in a scrimmage Saturday at 2 p.m. at Gamble Stadium.
Because of COVID restrictions fans will not be allowed on campus or adjoining fields but plans are underway to live stream the event as well as regular season games.
Both the varsity and JV teams will be involved in the controlled scrimmage.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played,” Coach Greg Lloyd noted. “This will be a chance to get the players used to hitting, blocking and tackling.”
Lloyd said the teams will probably also do some one-on-one and 7-on-7 workouts.
“This will be a good chance to help each other out,” Lloyd noted.
It will also help the two teams get ready for their season openers the following week. Kings Mountain’s JVs are scheduled to open the regular season on Thursday, Jan. 25 at Stuart Cramer and the varsity will host Cramer on Fri., Jan. 26. All JV games will begin at 6:30 and varsity games at 7 p.m.
Athletic Director Matt Bridges said COVID restrictions mandated by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association will be strictly enforced.
“Anyone on campus will be asked to leave,” he said. “There cannot be anyone watching from cars or standing around the fences, or in the parking area behind the baseball field.”
All games will be live-streamed free of charge on the school’s You Tube channel.
Once the regular season begins attendance will be limited to 100 people. Varsity cheerleaders and players will be able to purchase two tickets and JVs one, Bridges said.
“Hopefully, if things open up later and it is approved by the State Association we can allow more people in the stadium,” Bridges said. “We appreciate everyone’s support.”

Shelby sweeps Mountaineers
 

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams fell to Shelby in a non-conference doubleheader Thursday at Shelby.
The KM girls fell 65-45 in the opener before the boys went down 96-75 in the nightcap.
The Lady Lions roared to a 26-9 lead after the first quarter and took a 39-19 advantage at halftime. KM played them on even terms in the second half as each team scored 13 points in both the third and fourth periods.
Saniya Wilson led Kings Mountain with 24 points, five rebounds and three assists. Khalia King had nine points, Monica Head six and Tyasya Bell four points and four rebounds. Aaliyah Byers had two points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, Austyn Dixon four rebounds and Jackie Jarvis three rebounds.
Maraja Pass led Shelby with 25 points. Ally Hollifield scored 18, Yarharia Peeler eight, Brooke Hartgrove and Kate Hollifield five each, and Deja Griffin and Jasmine Gash two each.
Tyler Arrington led the Lions with a game-high 30 points. Isaiah Tate led the Mountaineers with 22, Zeke Cannedy had 19 and Marcus Odums 17.

Football workouts
underway at KMHS

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers opened the first day of football workouts Monday with both the varsity and JVs on the turf at John Gamble Stadium. The first hitting practice is set for Saturday. The Mountaineers will begin their season with a scrimmage with Burns on Sat., Feb. 20 at Gamble Stadium, and will host Stuart Cramer on Fri., Feb. 26 in their first Big South Conference game.

Tennis tryouts
to begin

(February 10, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High men’s tennis tryouts will begin Monday, March 1 at 4 p.m. at the new KMHS tennis complex.
All student athletes must have an up to date physical on file before they can participate in tryouts or conditioning. Items to take for practice will be tennis attire, appropriate footwear and a tennis racquet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions all student athletes are required to wear a mask during practice as well as having their temperature checked prior to practice.
For more information call Coach Rick Henderson at 704-460-8066 or email Rick.Henderson2@duke-energy.com

Patriots whip
Chase 64-29

(February 10, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team finished its regular season last week with a 64-29 win over Chase.
Kings Mountain, 5-2, was scheduled to begin the Tri-County Conference playoffs Monday at Shelby.
The Patriots got off to a blazing start against Chase, opening with a 22-2 run off 12 first quarter turnovers. Caleb Nixon and Tucker Robinette combined for 16 points.
The second quarter saw KM keep up the defensive pressure and extending its lead to 25 before taking a 35-14 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw the trio of Bradley Floyd, Robinette and Nixon score 13 points as the Pats took a 50-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
KM’s second and third units kept the offense going in the final quarter, outscoring the Pirates 14-5.
Robinette finished with eight points, seven assists and six steals. Floyd added six points, six assists and five steals and Nixon had 25 points and two assists.
Max Thompson had our points, six rebounds and five steals; Kee’donn Linney two points, four rebounds and two steals; Kameron Adams six points and three boards; Brayden Mull eight points and two rebounds; Aidan Taylor two points, two rebounds and an assist; Brayden Pearson three points and Charlei Foster two rebounds and a blocked shot.
The Patriots had 17 offensive rebounds, 20 assists and 21 steals.
Players of the game were eighth graders Linney, Adams, Taylor, Jaylen Clinton, Thompson and Kylei Anderson.
Sixth man of the game was Josian Guyon who was a spark off the bench and showed great leadership. Defensive players of the  game were Floyd and Robinette, who combined for 11 steals.
Screen shot 2021 02 11 at 10.57.01 am
Orlando Odums breaks the North Gaston defense for a lay-up in last week’s game at Parker Gym.

KM goes wire to wire
in sweep of Wildcats

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s girls and boys led wire to wire in sweeping North Gaston Tuesday night at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
The Lady Mountaineers rolled to a 15-8 first quarter lead en route to a 62-33 victory, and the boys opened the game with two treys by Marcus Odums and won easily 80-54.
North Gaston’s boys rallied after those treys to cut the margin to 19-12 after the first quarter but Kings Mountain got a long three-pointer from Isaiah Tate to end the first half up 40-21.
Freshman Zavian Smith had a steal and lay-in at the third quarter buzzer to put KM up 71-41 going into the final quarter.
Coach Grayson Pierce worked reserves in all game long, and no KM starter was on the floor in the final 7:36 after Matt Toms’ two free throws put the Mountaineers up 75-41.
Tate led five double-digit scorers for the Mountaineers with 21 points. Marcus Odums added 14, Orlando Odums 12, Zeke Cannedy 11 and Toms 10.
Titus Phillips and Smith added five points each and Maddox James scored two.
The Lady Mountaineers got another total team effort as they remained just one game back of league-leading Ashbrook.
Saniya Wilson led the way with 17 points, seven assists and seven steals. Khalia King also hit double figures with 12 points, and she pulled down three rebounds.
KM’s only senior, Kennedy Barnes, had an outstanding night as she was honored for her four years of contributions to Lady Mountaineer basketball. She had nine points and 10 rebounds.
“She is a great leader, both on and off the court for us,” said Coach Nicholas Inman. “She is a four-year varsity letterman in basketball and is also the goalkeeper for the girls soccer team.”
Barnes plans to attend Spelman College in the fall.
Six other Lady Mountaineers got into the scoring act. Monica Head had six points, Austyn Dixon six points and four rebounds, Andrea Melton four points and four steals, Tyasya Bell four points and three boards, Brooke Ferree three points and two assists, and Aaliyah Byers two points and five rebounds.
Mallory Canup and Bailey Perry led North Gaston with 10 points each. Sydnee Walls and Whitney Brown had four points each, Allison Gardner three and Leeza Rhyne 2. 

KM girls roll
over Cramer

(February 10, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain High’s girls basketball team rolled over Stuart Cramer 56-21 in a makeup game Thursday at Cramer. The game had been rescheduled from earlier in the season when there was a COVID case at Cramer.
The Lady Mountaineers jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first quarter and were on top 36-8 at halftime. The game was played with a running clock beginning midway through the third period. KM carried a 54-15 lead into the fourth quarter.
Khalia King led three double-digit scorers for the Lady Mountaineers with 15 points. She hit four of seven three-point attempts and also hauled in four rebounds.
Saniya Wilson had 13 points, six assists, seven steals and two rebounds.
Aaliyah Byers had her best game since joining the team after the volleyball season. She scored 10 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had three steals.
Andrea Melton added five points and four steals; Tyasya Bell four points and two rebounds; Brooke Ferree three points; Monica Head two points and two rebounds; Kennedy Barnes two points and four rebounds; and Riley Powers scored two points which were her first career points.
Reece Wolfe scored 11 of Cramer’s 21 points. Ranija Hamilton had seven, Madison Lee two and Megan Kimbirl one. 
Screen shot 2021 02 11 at 10.57.14 am
The scoreboard tells the exact time that Kings Mountain junior Saniya Wilson scored her 1,000th career point Friday at Hunter Huss. Wilson is pictured with her head coach, Nicholas Inman. Photo by Michael Kennedy

Wilson tops 1,000
in KM win at Huss 

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High junior standout Saniya Wilson scored her 1,000th career point in Friday’s 66-47 victory over Hunter Huss on the Lady Huskies’ court Friday.
The win kept the Lady Mountaineers alone in second place in the Big South Conference heading into a game last night at first place Ashbrook.
Kings Mountain will travel to Shelby for a non-conference game tonight before hosting Forestview in its final home game Tuesday. The regular season ends Fri., Feb. 19 at Crest.
Wilson finished with 26 points to lead all scorers. She also had six rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Khalia King and Aaliyah Byers also scored in double figures for the Lady Mountaineers. King had 17 points, including four threes, and Byers added 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Kennedy Barnes had seven points and four rebounds, Andrea Melton three points and two steals and Brooke Ferree two points, two boards and two steals.
Wilson scored 283 points for the Gaston Day varsity when she was in the eighth grade. Since Gaston Day is a private school, that year of varsity ball will not affect her fourth year of eligibility at KMHS.
The Lady Huskies were led by Jamya Daniels with 16 points, Caitlyn Pettis scored eight, Trinity Swann seven, Lanadia Adams three and James Love and Kenedi Armstrong two each.
In the nightcap, the Huss men gained revenge from an earlier defeat at Kings Mountain with a 73-62 win.
The game was close until the final five minutes when the Huskies pulled away.
Jaylen Moore led the winners with 18 points. Raegan Mackey added 14 and Noah Caulder 12, including 3-for-3 from three-point land.
Bagwell2
Brent Bagwell

KM community mourns loss of Coach Bagwell

(February 3, 2021 Issue)
Kings Mountain sports in general – and football in particular – lost one of its best athletes and coaches last week with the passing of Brent Bagwell.
Bagwell was an all-star athlete in football, basketball and baseball for the Mountaineers, went on to an outstanding playing and coaching career in college and in recent years was a valuable assistant in the KMHS football program.
Bagwell, 51, was buried Saturday at Mountain Rest Cemetery and leaves his wife Shannon, children Paige, DJ and Daniel Bagwell and his mother,  Ruth Bagwell, and many other family members and friends to cherish his memory. He joins his father, Danny Bagwell, in Heaven.
Bagwell had an outstanding career at KMHS in the late 1980s and helped Denny Hicks’ Mountaineers to one of their best seasons in history in 1986 when he joined other future collegiate standouts like Rusty Bumgardner and Aubrey  Hollifield to lead the Mountaineers to an 11-2 season and three rounds in the state playoffs.
Bagwell was a year younger than the above-mentioned players but played football against them in the collegiate ranks – Bagwell at NC State and Hollifield and Bumgardner at Wake Forest.
Bagwell was also a standout hitter and infielder on the Mountaineer baseball team, and a tough scorer and rebounder on the basketball team. He always said his favorite memory of playing at KMHS was his junior year when the football and basketball teams made a long playoff run before losing to future Florida State and pro quarterback Brad Johnson and his Owen High teammates.
“But the main thing I remember is the special relationship between all the players and coaches,” he said years ago when he was inducted into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame. “That was a real special time.”
Bagwell was one of the first signees by Coach Dick Sheridan when he took over the NC State head coaching duties in 1988. But, before that Bagwell suffered a serious knee injury that threatened his collegiate career.
Between his football season and baseball season his senior year at KMHS, Bagwell and his father Danny were working on a building project at their home when Brent stepped through a weak place in the floor and suffered a serious knee injury. He feared Coach Sheridan would not honor his commitment but Sheridan told him to not worry about, take time to heal and then report to State.
Bagwell decided not to go on to college for the fall semester but put it off until the spring semester to allow for some healing. He was then red-shirted, giving him more time to heal.
Bagwell worked hard to rehab, and started all of the Wolfpack’s games his redshirt freshman season.
He started them all again
as  a  sophomore  but  each
 game  took a toll on his knee which he had to have repaired after both seasons. He was counseled by doctors not to play anymore, so Coach Sheridan put him on the coaching staff and he helped the Wolfpack to a great season.
During a 10-year period, he would later coach at numerous colleges including TCU, VMI, Newbery and Lenoir Rhyne.
After going into business, he had to take a break from coaching for a while but resurfaced at North Gaston High School where he served as offensive coordinator under head coach Bruce Clark. He helped develop the talents of many outstanding players, including current North Gaston coach Justin Clark, and they led the Wildcats to the NCHSAA 3A championship game.
Bruce Clark, who was also one of Bagwell’s position coaches at KMHS, called him one of the finest people he’s ever known.
“When you go into the coaching profession you came across a bunch of great people,” Clark said. “But a few really stand out. He was one of those.
“He was an amazing young boy when I first met him,” he said. “He always had a devotion for anything he wanted to do. I will never forget he started out in the ninth grade as a quarterback. We moved him to tight end. I remember getting a call from the receiver coach from NC State who said ‘we hear you have a big tight end down there.’ He said they were looking for a three-sport athlete who was big and could play at that level. I told him Bags could play anywhere.
“Brent had always wanted to go to NC State and when I told him what the coach said, he said ‘No way!’  From then on we had an amazing friendship. We went to watch him play a lot.”
Clark recalled taking Bagwell to a specialist in Charlotte after his accident. “He said ‘if what we draw is clear, he’s ok, but if it’s blood he won’t be. He drew four viles of pure blood. But God blessed Brent Bagwell with Coach Sheridan. He stuck with Brent. Brent stayed home an extra semester to rehab and then had a position coach, Robbie Caldwell, who was one of the best in the nation.
“When he ended up medically unable to play he stayed at State as an assistant and later coached under some other great coaches like Pat Sullivan (former Heisman winner) at TCU.”
Throughout Bagwell’s career as a college assistant, he and Clark stayed in touch and Clark and his family would go to a lot of games.
Clark said Bagwell could have been a head coach on the high school or collegiate level, “but he and Shannon wanted a family and I certainly understood that.”
But the two did coach together for seven years at North Gaston, with Clark as head coach and Bagwell as offensive coordinator. “It was an amazing time,” Clark said. “He absolutely loved it. High school is so much purer than the collegiate game. Bags just took over the offense and I was coaching the defense, and it was a match made in heaven. You could trust him. He would work a full day but set a schedule so he could make it to practice. The kids loved him and he helped a lot of them get into school.
 “He was an amazing man,” Clark added. “We always had great respect for each other. He was the ultimate daddy and husband. I’ve never seen anyone love each other more than Brent and Shannon. They had the happiest family I’ve ever seen.”
More important than coaching or anything else, Clark said Bagwell loved God.
“When I was in Kings Mountain Brent fell in love with First Presbyterian Church,” Clark recalled. “He became and Elder and just turned into the man that every mom and dad would want their son to be. He was an absolute great guy, one of the few that comes along that you just fall in love with. I’m missing him. I’ve cried every day since he died. Kings Mountain lost a great one!”
KMHS coach Greg Lloyd said Bagwell played a tremendous role in the Mountaineers’ success since he joined the coaching staff in 2014. Since that time the Mountaineers have compiled a 64-19 record with three trips to the Western Regional finals.
“He worked with our skill guys and called the plays for our JV team,” Lloyd noted. “On varsity game nights he was up top for the offense.
“Heaven just got a special man,” he added. “He was a fantastic coach and a great friend. This is a terrible loss and I feel so bad for his family.
 “He was always up top talking to us on the head sets. You’d never find a more knowledgeable coach. He was superb. We won’t be able to replace him. He was a special person and a fantastic coach.”
Basketball
Alayna Patrick works the offense for Kings Mountain in last week’s win over Crest. 

Mountaineers split with Crest 

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams split with Crest last week at Parker Gym with the girls continuing their strong play of late with a 61-52 win and the boys falling for the first time to a very good Crest five, 79-67.
The boys game saw the visitors hand the Mountaineers their first loss to take sole possession of first place in the Big South at the end of first round play.
The Mountaineers slipped into second place while the Lady Mountaineers strengthened their hold on second.
Coach Nicholas Inman got a strong performance from his entire squad with three players scoring in double figures while others were outstanding on defense.
Kings Mountain led the entire way, but their county rivals kept within striking distance. The Lady Mountaineers were up 13-6 after the first period, 26-23 at the half and 44-33 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Mountaineers saw their leading scorer,
Saniya Wilson, on the pine for much of the first half but others like Khalia King, Alayna Patrick, Andrea Melton, Booke Ferree, Aaliyah Byers, Austyn Dixon and Tyasya Bell stepped up.
Wilson still led the KM ladies in scoring with 28 points. She also dished out five assists and hauled in four rebounds.
King and Byers joined Wilson in double figures. King had 15 points, two rebounds and two assists and Byers contributed 10 points and six boards.
Dixon had four points and five rebounds, Bell two points and two rebounds, Patrick one point, three rebounds and three steals, and Melton one point and two assists.
Marshall and Petty led Crest with 15 points each, and Lee added 12.
A dominating first quarter by the Crest men got the Mountaineers down early to a point that they couldn’t climb out of. The Chargers bolted to a 24-8 lead after the quarter break. They increased their lead to 43-26 at halftime before KM rallied to outscore them 25-20 in the third period but still trail by 63-51 going into the fourth.
The Mountaineers were without the services of the Big South’s leading scorer, Isaiah Tate, for much of the game as he collected three early fouls and finished with just three points.
The other four KM starters finished in double-digits with Zeke Cannedy leading the way with 20 points. He pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists.
Matt Toms added 15 points, two boards and three assists, Marcus Odums 12 points, three boards and four assists, and Orlando Odums 10 points, two rebounds and two assists. Zavian Smith had four points and two boards, and Titus Phillips three points, a rebound and a steal. 

YMCA basketball

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Week one youth basketball results from the Kings Mountain Family YMCA:
7-8 boys:
Hornets 19, Raptors 14
Hornets – Daniel Bullock 10; Raptors – Chase Thomas 6.
Tarheels 38, Dunk-a-roos 19.
TH – Marquis Rodgers 16. DR – Easton Pasour 11.
9-10 boys:
Hornets 16, Heat 10.
Hornets – Kiser Richards 7. Heat – Bryson Ciaschini 7.
Destroyers 23, Buckets 7
D – Yates Toney 9; B – Karter Wills 3.
11-13 boys
Hornets 33, Heat 30
Hornets – Cory’on Gaines 13; Heat – Kingston Moore and Ty Howard 9 each.
Bulls 33, Panthers 18
Panthers – Silas Tate 8. Bulls Aiden Smith 14.
7-9 girls
Lady Bombshells 19, Lady Ballers 14.
Lady Ballers- Kyleigh Gaines 6; Lady Bombshells – Addy Morehead 8.
10-13 girls
Lady Hot Shotz 25, Lady Crushers 8
Crushers – Layla Crowell 4; Hot Shotz – Haper Hollifield 11.
14-16 boys
Tar Heels 33, Kangaroos 58
TH – Darian Lopez 18. K – Kee’Donn Linney 14.

Patriots top .500 mark
in 51-25 win over Burns

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team got over the .500 mark (2-2 conference, 3-2 overall) last week with a 51-25 win over county rival Burns.
Caleb Nixon got the Patriots off to a quick start by making his first two shots off passes from Bradley Floyd to give the home team a lead it would never relinquish.
The Patriots turned up their defensive intensity halfway through the first quarter and held the Eagles scoreless for over six minutes to go up 19-5 with five minutes left in the half. KM finished the quarter on a 17-5 run led by Nixon’s 11 points in the quarter.
The third quarter, led by Kylie Anderson, Aidan Taylor and Kameron Adams, saw the Patriots keep up its strong defense, holding Burns to just 15 second half points as KM took a 46-17 lead going into the final segment.
During the fourth period, Lincoln McDaniel came in and grabbed three big rebounds to keep possessions alive. Adams, Aiden Smith and Brayden Pearson rounded out the scoring for the Patriots.
Nixon led the Patriots with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He also had three assists and three steals.
Bradley Floyd added 10 points, five rebounds, six assists, eight steals and a blocked shot.
Tucker Robinette had six points, three assists and three steals and Brayden Mull had two rebounds and a blocked shot.
Kee’donn Linney had two points, four rebounds and a blocked shot; Max Thompson two points and three boards; Charlie Foster four points, four boards and two blocked shots; Josiah Guyton three assists and a steal; Kylei Anderson three points, two rebounds, and an assist, steal and blocked shot; Kameron Adams two points, two boards and two steals; Aiden Smith two points and two steals; Brayden Person one point; Jaylen Clinton two rebounds and a steal; and Aidan Taylor two steals.
The Patriots grabbed 33 rebounds, including 14 offensive; had 16 assists, 23 steals and six blocked shots.
Floyd was named player of the game; Kameron Adams and Lincoln McDaniel sixth men of the game; and Smith, Taylor and Clinton defensive players of the game. 

Patriots at Shelby Monday
for conference playoff opener

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain Middle’s Patriots will enter Tri-County Conference playoff action Monday at Shelby after defeating East Rutherford 72-37 Thursday. KM goes into the tourney as the #3 seed with a 4-2 overall record.
A Kee’donn Linney pass to Max Thompson got the Patriots off to a quick lead, and 10 points by Tucker Robinette sparked a 20-2 run as the Patriots raced to a 24-6 lead.
The Patriots were able to create 10 steals in the quarter for some easy transition baskets.
The second period saw KM keep its offense going as they ran off 19 points to go up 43-17 at the half. The third period saw a host of reserves get into the action. Led by Kameron Adams and Josiah Guyton, who combined for eight points, KM was able to extend their lead to 57-29 entering the final period. KM’s third unit came out strong, led by Jaylen Clinton’s four points, and outscored East 8-2 for the final margin.
Robinette led the Patriots with 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting. He also had two assists and four steals.
Bradley Floyd added four points, five boards, five assists and five steals and Caleb Nixon had 10 points, two threes and a steal.
Max Thompson had four points and three rebounds, Linney eight points on 3 for 3 shooting to go with six boards, two assists and two steals, and Josiah Guyton four points and an assist.
Charlie Foster had six points and three boards, Brayden Mull four points, five rebounds and two steals, Kylei Anderson two points and an assist, Kameron Adams six points, two boards, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot; Bryden Pearson three points, one assist and three steals, Jaylen Clinton four points and three boards, Coryon Gaines one point and Adian Taylor and Aiden Smith one assist each.
KM hit 54 percent of their shots (32 for 59), and 60 percent from two-point range (29 for 48). The Pats had 33 rebounds, 18 steals, a season-high 17 assists, 13 players scored and 15 different players have scored this season.
Robinette and Linney were named players of the game. Kameron Adams and Brayden Pearson were sixth men of the game and defensive players of the game were Linney, Floyd, Nixon, Robinette, Thompson and Gaines.
Kings Mountain will play at Chase Thursday in the final regular season game.

Mountaineers sweep Cramer

 (February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s varsity basketball teams kept their hold on second place in the Big South Conference Friday night with a sweep of Stuart Cramer at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
Both the girls and boys led from wire-to-wire as the Lady Mountaineers won 58-25 and the Mountaineers 80-54. The KM girls, 4-1 in the BSC and 5-1 overall heading into last night’s action against North Gaston, will go to Cramer Thursday for a game that was postponed earlier in the year due to a COVID case at Cramer.
The Lady Mountaineers saw seven different players score and Coach Nicholas Inman was able to get three of his JV players – freshmen Desirae Thombs, Riley Powers and Mashalyn Surratt – varsity action for the first time in their careers.
Junior All-Conference star Saniya Wilson continued to lead the KM ladies with 22 points, four rebounds, six steals and four assists. Sophomore standout Khalia King added 19 points, three rebounds and two steals and senior Kennedy Barnes had 10 points and four rebounds.
Monica Head had three points and two boards, Aaliyah Byes two points and three rebounds, Tyasya Bell two points and two rebounds, and Brooke Ferree six rebounds.
Ranija Hamilton led Cramer with 14 points. Dasia Harris scored five, Reece Wolfe four and Brianna McGinnis two.
Kings Mountain jumped out to a 10-4 first quarter lead and was out front 27-11 at the half. The Lady Mountaineers blew the game open with a 17-9 run to take a 44-16 led into the final eight minutes.
The Mountaineers, who bounced back from their loss to Crest in a battle for first place three nights earlier, got another all-around good game from Isaiah Tate with 22 points, eight assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Four of KM’s five starters hit double figures with Orlando Odums scoring 15 points and Marcus Odums and Zeke Cannedy 12 apiece.
Orlando Odums had eight rebounds and two steals; Marcus Odums five assists, four boards and two steals, and Cannedy two assists.
Matt Toms had a good all-around effort with seven points and seven boards, four assists and two steals and Titus Phillips contributed five points, six boards, an assist and two steals.
Zavian Smith had three points and a rebound, Curtis Simpson two points and six rebounds and Maddox James two points and four rebounds.
Mason Craig led the Storm with 12 points.

Football practice to begin

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Official football practice for North Carolina teams will begin next week.
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will take the field Monday at 3:45 p.m. The first two days’ equipment will be helmets only, followed by three days of helmets and pads.
The team can begin contact drills on Saturday.
The Mountaineers will host Burns in a scrimmage on Sat., Feb. 20 and will open their regular season at home against Stuart Cramer on Fri., Feb. 26.
Because of COVID, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has reduced the regular season to seven games and state playoff games to four. Kings Mountain’s varsity will have only three regular season home games but two of them are against perennial powerhouses Hunter Huss and Crest. Those two teams, along with KM, have decided the Big South championship for the past several years.
Mountaineer Coach Greg Lloyd feels this year’s team will continue to keep the winning tradition going. There are several starters returning from last year’s team that went 12-3 and played for the Western Regional championship for the second year in a row.
“I like the way both lines have looked,” Coach Lloyd notes. “We have good size and experience.”
He said senior quarterback Ethan Reid, who broke most of the school’s passing records last season, is throwing the ball better and last year’s leading rusher, Rayshard Brooks “has put on a little muscle and seems quicker and improved.”
Jalin Mims, a transfer from Forestview who is a running back and slot receiver, has also been impressive. He and others will be counted on to take up some of the slack lost by the departure of the school’s all-time leading receiver, Kobe Paysour, who is now enrolled at UNC.
“We have a good nucleus,” Lloyd said. “Experience is the key and we have 16 or 17 people that started last year and will be good leaders.”
 

Patriots beat Crest,
lose to R-S Central

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team opened its season recently with a 40-34 overtime  win over Crest and a 70-33 loss to RS Central.
Crest led 31-26 in the fourth period before KM came back to force overtime.
Brayden Mull led the KM attack with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Tucker Robinette had nine points, eight steals and three assists; Bradley Floyd eight rebounds and three assists; Caleb Nanney six points on a pair of three-pointers; Kee’Donn Linney three points, and Charlie Foster four points, six boards and a block.
KM had 32 rebounds, 13 steals and nine assists.
KM turned up its defensive intensity in the extra period and held Crest scoreless. Robinette and Linney combined for four free throws to seal the win.
KM started out strong with Nixon’s buzzer-beating three giving the Patriots a 12-8 lead after the first period.
The Patriots extended its lead to six as Guyton’s entry pass found Mull for a quick basket. With 1:44 to go in the half, Robinette hit two free throws to put KM up 18-17. Foster’s offensive rebound and put-back put KM up by three at the half.
The Patriots hit a cold spell in the third quarter as the Dragons went on a 7-0 run to take a 24-20 lead. Mull’s assist to Floyd for a score and Mull’s offensive rebound and pass to Robinette helped tie the game at 24. KM scored just one more basket during the quarter to go down 29-26 heading into the fourth.
Crest built a 31-26 lead before KM mounted its comeback, holding Crest scoreless until the final minute. Robinette’s steal and finish at the basket gave KM its first point of the period and Nixon’s three tied the game at 31-all with 3:30 left. Floyd’s free throw put KM up 32-31 but Crest hit a go-ahead three with a minute remaining before Mull tied the game at 34 to force the OT.
Mull’s double-double earned him player of the game honors, and Foster’s six boards and a block earned him the Sixth Man award. Robinette’s eight steals earned him the defensive player of the game award.
The Patriots ran into a powerful RS Central team in game two, falling 70-33.
KM struggled from the beginning, missing 15 out of its 17 shots. Caleb Nixon’s early goal earned KM a 2-2 tie but RS went on a run that left KM down 16-5 after one period and 37-12 at the half.
KM showed some fight in the third quarter, causing some turnovers that led to easy baskets. Max Thompson did a stellar job on the RS guards.
The fourth quarter saw RS in a full-court press that caused some KM turnovers. With the outcome evident, KM played its entire bench in the fourth quarter to see some glimpses of the future.
Nixon led the Patriots with 11 points, hitting five of six shots from the field. Foster had five points and four boards, Floyd five points, six rebounds and three assists, Robinette four points and four assists, Guyton three points and stellar defense, Mull two points, Adams two and Smith one.
Nixon was named player of the game, Guyton sixth man of the game and Thompson defensive player of the game.
Bb isaiah tate
Isaiah Tate guns one of his record-setting eight three-pointers in Thursday’s non-conference game with county neighbor Burns at Parker Gym.

Mountaineers sweep Burns
In non-conference twinbill

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams swept Burns Thursday at Parker Gym with the girls winning 53-47 and the boys 89-65.
The Mountaineers had a spectacular game from Isaac Tate who scored 35 points and tied a school record with eight three-pointers. He also contributed 10 assists, four rebounds and three steals.
The Mountaineers got an overall strong performance from everyone as three other players hit double figures and others just missed.
Marcus Odums continued his strong play with 11 points, four boards and three steals, and Matt Toms scored 10 points, grabbed six boards, dished out eight assists and stole the ball twice.
Zeke Cannedy added nine points, two boards, five assists and three steals
Titus Phillips, playing his first game after undergoing surgery, had a strong night with five points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Maddox James had seven points, Orlando Odums five points and a steal, Zavion Smith four points and an assist and Curtis Simpson three points and three rebounds.
The visiting Bulldogs stayed with the Mountaineers for the first half. The teams were tied at 16 after the first period and KM led by 36-32 at intermission. But the Mountaineers outscored the Bulldogs 28-18 in the third quarter and 25-15 in the fourth to win going away.
The girls game was close throughout with the Lady Mountaineers gaining the advantage in the second half. Burns broke out to an 11-10 first quarter lead and was on top 24-17 at the break. KM came back to take a 40-38 lead going into the fourth quarter and held on for the victory.
Sophomore Khalia King led the Lady Mountaineers with 19 points and four rebounds. KM’s leading scorer Saniya Wilson scored all of her 14 points in the second half. She   dished out two assists and stole the ball seven times.
Aaliyah Byers, playing in just her second game after joining the team after the volleyball season, had a good all-around effort with eight points, five rebounds and two steals.
Kennedy Barnes added six points and five boards, Andrea Melton four points and two steals, and Austyn Dixon two points.
Tishonna Strong of Burns was the game’s top scorer with 26 points. Mya Crosby had eight, Maggie Earl six, Esynce Howze and Robyn Whitworth three each and MaKaiyah Ross one.
The KM girls’ scheduled game at Forestview Friday was postponed because of COVID concerns at Forestview. An earlier game at Stuart Cramer that was postponed because of COVID will be played at 6 p.m. February 4 at Cramer.

Mountaineers
rout Forestview
to go 5-0 in BSC

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers ran their Big South 3A Conference record to 5-0 Friday at Forestview with an 84-44 rout of the Jaguars, setting up a battle for first place with the 5-0 Crest Chargers last night at KM’s Parker Gym.
Kings Mountain’s girls, 3-1 in the BSC, did not play because of a COVID issue at Forestview and they now have two games – one with Forestview on a date to be determined and another with Stuart Cramer on February 4 – to make up.
After just a brief exchange of baskets early on, it was Mountaineers all night long at Forestview. The Mountaineers finished the first quarter up 19-9 and then turned the game into a rout by leading 46-21 at the half and 61-33 going into the fourth quarter.
Isaiah Tate had another spectacular scoring night for the Mountaineers with 29 points. He also dished out six assists and stole the ball four times.
Zeke Cannedy added 17 points, two rebounds, six assists and one steal, Marcus Odums 10 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three steals, and Matt Toms 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals.
The Mountaineers also had great production from their bench as reserves added 18 points. Titus Phillips, who just joined the team after having surgery, had eight points, a rebound, an assist and two steals; Maddox James eight points and six boards, Amari Smith two points and a rebound, Zavion Smith four assists, a rebound and a steal and Curtis Simpson six boards and an assists.
Kings Mountain will begin second half BSC action Friday at home against Stuart Cramer. They will also be home on Tuesday, Feb. 2 against North Gaston before heading to Hunter Huss February 5 for a rematch with a very strong Huskie five.

KMMS beats Burns
but loses to Shelby

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team defeated Burns and lost to Shelby in Tri-County Conference play last week.
The Patriots defeated Burns 51-39 Wednesday on the road.
Caleb Nixon led the Patriots with 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting. He also grabbed four rebounds, stole the ball five times, had three assists and one blocked shot.
Bradley Floyd hit all five of his shots from the field and finished with 11 points. He also had seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
Charlie Foster had seven points, six boards and two blocks; Brayden Mull nine points, seven rebounds and two steals; Tucker Robinette four points, two steals and two assists; and Kee’donn Linney three steals and three assists.
The Patriots had 15 steals and 29 rebounds.
Floyd and Nixon were selected players of the game as they combined for 31 points, 11 rebounds, eight steals and six assists.
Charlie Foster, who played tremendous defense to go along with his seven points, was named Sixth Man of the Game.
Kee’donn Linney was cited for his outstanding defensive play.
The Patriots fell to a good Shelby team 55-50 Thursday on the KM court.
Linney’s layup and Nixon’s three got the Patriots off to a quick start to keep the game at 5-5. The teams exchanged baskets before Shelby took a 13-10 lead into the second quarter.
KM went cold before Robinette’s three put them within one point at 17-16.
The teams combined for 68 points in the second half. Shelby built a 37-23 lead going into the fourth period. KM made three of its season-high nine three pointers as Robinette, Nixon and Aidan Taylor all connected from downtown to keep KM in the game.
Led by Floyd and Robinette with a combined 15
 points, the Patriots pulled to within two points before Shelby clinched the win.
Robinette led the Patriots with 17 points, including three 3-pointers.
Nixon scored 11 points.
Floyd had nine points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots.
Linney contributed five points, four rebounds, a steal and a block; Brayden Mull three points, six boards and a block, Aiden Smith three points and Foster two.
Robinette was named Player of the Game and Taylor was Sixth Man of the Game. Floyd and Kylei Anderson were the Defensive Players of the Game.
The KMMS girls lost to Burns 40-14 and Shelby 34-17.
Against Burns, London Brown and Kenzlie Morris scored five points each. Farri Martin scored two and Kaydence Smith and Saniya Porter one each.
Brooklyn Whitlock led the Lady Patriots against Shelby with four points. Kaydence Smith, Kaliyah Watson and Farri Martin scored three each and London Brown and Kenzlie Morris two each.

KM second to Cramer
in Thursday swim meet

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s swimmers finished a close second to Stuart Cramer in a three-team meet with Crest Thursday at Neisler Natatorium.
Cramer won the girls meet with 144 points, with KM second at 122 and Crest third at 121. Cramer also won the boys meet followed by KM and Crest.
The KM girls’ finish was highlighted by a win in the 200 medley relay (Madison Asycue, Callie Stimpson, Trinity Price and Sydnie Hay) as well as a win by Asycue in the 200 IM and Stimpson in the 500 free.
KM had two swimmers finish in second, Stimpson in the 200 free and Trinity Price in the 50 free.
The KM girls also finished second in both freestyle relays, the 200 (Trinity Price, Halie Towery, Stimpson and Sydnie Hay) and the 400  (Price, Asycue, Hay and Vanyah Roberts.
The KM Ladies also had strong third place showings by Hay in the 50 free and Ayscue in the 100 free.
The boys were led by Dalton Messenger who was first in the 50 free, Alex Barr first in the 500 free which was the race of the evening with Barr edging out a Cramer swimmer by a half-second.
The boys also won the 200 free relay (Alex Hayes, Carson Buchanan, Dalton Messenger and Alex Barr). Barr finished second in the 200 free.
Fast swims were also by Buchanan in the 50 free by finishing third, and by freshman Turner Brown in the 100 backstroke.
Buchanan, Messenger, Barr and Hayes finished second in the medley relay and Messenger, Nash Bachman, Brown and Andrew Dangelo were second in the 400 free relay.
The KM swimmers competed Monday in the Cleveland County meet and will host North Gaston and Ashbrook in the final regular season meet on Thursday.

Cross country finishes season

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Jackson Park in Hendersonville was the site for this year’s 3A West Cross Country Regional Meet.
Even though the temperature was 34 degrees with snow intermittently falling, the Kings Mountain High teams endured the conditions to finish their final meet of the year that started with workouts on July 6 and ended on January 16.
For the boys team, Parker Key finished 52nd with a time of 19:14. Key was followed by Kohen Johnson at 19:41, Hunter Cruise 19:54, Marty Lovingood 20:10, senior Wyatt Wilson 21:32, Nathan Inthavong 22:11, and Elliot Habel, who ran in the place of Nick Horn, with a 23:34.
The men’s team finished 12th out of 28 schools.
For the women’s team, which finished ninth, there was a photo finish with teammates Thalia Kushman and Divinity Ervin finishing at 45th and 46th, both in 22:55.
Ashley Gural was the only Lady Mountaineer running a personal record in the cold at 23:55. She was followed by Parker Wilson 24:26, Nicole Poston 25:21, Emily Phelps 28:02 and senior Emma Herndon 30:09.
Marcusodums

KM rallies late to edge Wave

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain’s boys came on strong in the fourth quarter to edge a winless Gastonia Ashbrook five 52-43 Friday night at Parker Gym and remain in a tie for first place in the Big South 3A and the young Lady Mountaineers gave pre-season conference favorite Ashbrook a tough battle before falling 69-62.
Playing their third game of the week probably played a part in the Mountaineers’ slow beginning, but their pressing defense in the fourth quarter that forced numerous Ashbrook turnovers played a much bigger part in the final outcome.
Neither team could find the bucket early as Ashbrook held leads of 7-5 after the first quarter and 19-15 at the half.
Behind the scoring of Marcus Odums, who would finish with his best game with 20 points, KM managed to overtake take the Green Wave 33-32 after three periods.
The Mountaineers opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to go up 40-32 and they never trailed again. Their biggest leads (50-39) came with 1:56 on an old-fashioned three point play by Orlando Odums, and (52-41) with 22 seconds left on a free throw by Zeke Cannedy.
Cannedy joined Odums in double figures with 10 points. The Ashbrook defense held KM’s and the Big South’s leading scorer, Isaiah Tate, to eight points.
In addition to his best scoring effort of the year, Odums also led the Mountaineers in rebounds with 10.
Kings Mountain’s girls got another outstanding scoring effort from their 1-2 punch of Saniya Wilson and Khalia King, who combined for 55 of their 62 points.
Wilson led the way with 32 and also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals while being knocked to the floor numerous times during the highly-contested first place battle.
King supplied 23 points and two assists.
Junior Aaliyah Byers, playing her first game after finishing her junior volleyball season three nights earlier, added four points and four boards. Kennedy Barnes had three points and four rebounds and Aystyn Dixon, also an addition from the volleyball squad, pulled down four rebounds.
Kennette Bess led the Lady Green Wave with 32 points and Aaliyah El scored 15.
Ashbrook led most of the way but KM was always within striking distance. The Ashbrook ladies led 19-15 after one quarter, 35-31 at the half and 51-48 going into the fourth period.
King’s three-pointer off an assist from Wilson gave KM the lead at 59-58 with 3:31 left, but Ashbrook responded from the foul line to regain the lead at 60-59 and they never trailed again.
Kings Mountain will host neighboring Burns in non-conference action Thursday before resuming BSC play Friday at Forestview. A big battle looms Tues., Jan. 26 when the undefeated Crest Chargers come to town.
GIRLS GAME
KM (62) – Wilson 32, King 23, Byers 4, Barnes 3.
AB (69) – Bess 32, El 15, Mason 6, Cole 6, Portee 5, Smith 3, Jones 2.
AB (69) – Bess 32, El 15, Mason 6, Cole 6, Portee 5, Smith 3, Jones 2.
BOYS GAME
KM (52) – M. Odums 20, Tate 8, Toms 7, Cannedy 10, O. Odums 7.

 
Volleyball

KM places six on BSC
All-Conference team

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team was rewarded big time for its undefeated season with all six starters being named All-Big South Conference and two players as well as Coach Heather Pasour sweeping the top individual awards.
Pasour was selected Coach of the Year. The conference’s top individual player awards went to junior Aaliyah Byers, who was named Offensive Player of the Year, and senior Kyann Crocker who was selected Defensive Player of the Year.
 Joining Byers and Crocker on the All-Conference team were Paige Bagwell, Emma Goff, Lily Gold and freshman Meile Songaila. Goff and Crocker are the only seniors in that group.
Byers was by far the conference leader in kills with 210. Songaila added 105.
Crocker was second in the league in digs with 138. Bagwell was third in assists with 244.
Others making All-Big South were Addie Beaver, Emma Langley, Catherine Pate, Kamryn Spangler and Sara Rose Warlick of second place Crest; Camryn Faggart, Madeline Hope and Brenna Hux of Stuart Cramer, and Lilly Harmon, Emma Thornburg and Anna Townsend of Forestview.
Kings Mountain went 12-0 in the Big South, winning all of their matches 3-0. Their only losses were to 4A power Audrey Kell in a non-conference game and a powerful Marvin Ridge team in the NCHSAA playoffs. 
Km saniya

It’s never easy, but KM
swept Huss Wednesday

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

When the Kings Mountain and Hunter Huss men meet on the basketball floor you can always count on a fast, furious and down-to-the wire battle.
On Wednesday night at Parker Gym, it was the same in the girls game as the Lady Mountaineers had a tough fight as well before pulling away for a 63-49 victory before the Mountaineers survived a late Huss rally to win 55-54.
The visiting Lady Huskies started both halves on a tear, but couldn’t contend with the KM ladies in the second and fourth quarters.
Huss, behind the hot hand of Jamya Daniel who led all scorers with 29 points, led 18-13 at the first quarter break but was outscored by the KM five 23-4 in the second period and the Lady Mountaineers went into halftime up 36-22.
Saniya Wilson, who would finish with 28 points, six boards, four assists and three steals, led the comeback with plenty of help from Khalia King and all-around good play from all other KM ladies. King finished with 17 points and three rebounds.
KM also got good efforts inside from Tyasya Bell with six points and six boards, and Kennedy Barnes with five points and four boards. Austyn Dixon had two points and five boards, Jacie Jarvis scored two and Alayna Patrick provided three steals.
KM overtook the Huss ladies 19-18 early in the second quarter on King’s two free throws and didn’t trail again. But Huss got hot again in the third period and narrowed the gap to 47-42 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Lady Huskies pulled to within 47-44 early in the fourth quarter and was still within striking distance at 51-48 with just under four minutes remaining.
After that, neither team could find the bucket until the 2:42 mark when King stole the ball and put the Lady Mountaineers up 53-48. KM ended the game on a 10-1 run to nail down their second straight win to open the season.
In the nightcap, the Mountaineers opened with a 12-0 run as the Huskies misfired every trip down court and KM swept the boards.
But, you just don’t hold the Huskies down forever. With 1:01 left on the first quarter clock, JJ Moore hit a free throw for the first Huss point and they quickly got field goals from Kendall Corry and Noah Caulder to end the first quarter down 12-5.
The Mountaineers were able to rebound and go up 20-7 and were up 28-17 following a pair of free throws by Isaiah Tate with 4:30 on the clock. Then, Huss got busy and got a 3-point field goal from Glue Phillips at the buzzer to go into the break down just 33-30.
The Huskies got a three from Corry just 45 seconds into the third quarter to tie the game at 33-all. KM was able to get the lead back to 10 (45-35) at the 2:30 mark but Huss rallied again to end the third period down 47-41 after Phillips’ goal with 21 seconds on the clock.
Early in the fourth quarter a KM player was hit with a technical foul, and Moore went to the line and hit three free throws to pull Huss within 49-47.
KM’s Zeke Cannedy hit a pair of freebies 18 seconds later to put KM up 51-47.
After a timeout, Phillips canned a jumper to bring Huss back to within two, 51-49, at the four-minute mark. KM was still up by two (53-51) when time was called with 2:48 remaining.
With the Mountaineers up 55-52 with 2:25 remaining, they double-dribbled and then lost the ball out of bounds on two straight possessions and the clock was down to 1:34.
The visitors seemed to be in the driver’s seat when Smith’s basket cut the margin to 55-54 and KM was whistled for a five-second violation at the 1:11 mark.
With 16.6 seconds left, Huss got the ball after a KM walking violation and was holding the ball for a final shot, which missed. KM rebounded and got the ball out to Tate who was streaking toward the KM goal as the game ended.
The ending was great for the Mountaineers, but not for the Huskies’ Phillips as he crashed into the metal goal support and suffered what appeared to be a severe wrist injury. He was transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Tate had his third super season-opening game, leading the Mountaineers with 26 points on 8-for-14 shooting and 10-of-11 from the foul line. Toms added 16 points, including a pair of threes. Fourteen other KM 3-point attempts missed.
Huss was led by Moore with 24 points and they hit 5 of 22 threes but only 7 of 16 free throws.
For KM, Orlando Odums pulled down 12 rebounds, Marcus Odoms eight and freshman Curtis Simpson six.


GIRLS GAME
KM (63) – Wilson 28, King 17, Bell 6, Barnes 5, Jarvis 2, Dixon 2.
HH (49) – Daniels 29, Love 7, Harris 4, Adams 4, Swann 3, Armstrong 2.
BOYS GAME
KM (55) – Smith 4, Cannedy 4, M. Odums 5, Tate 26, Toms 16.
HH (54) – Moore 24, Adams 4, Corry 10, Scott 2, Caulder 4, Love 4, Phillips 6.

 

Cramer here to open
men’s soccer season

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s men’s soccer team will open its season next week under new head coach Dillon Richards.
Stuart Cramer will be coming to town at 6 p.m. Mon., Jan. 25 for the Big South 3A Conference opener and the Mountaineers will travel to North Gaston the following Thursday before returning home on Mon., Feb. 1 against the Hunter Huss Huskies.
Coach Richards was head coach of the JV team last year but did not have enough players come out to field a JV team this year. Last year’s head coach, Erik Price, chose not to return this season but will continue to coach girls soccer.
Coach Richards said his players got in shape for a fall season in 2020, but that season was cancelled due to COVID and they just resumed workouts recently.
They officially started practice last week and Richards feels good about their chances of improving this season.
“I’ve been impressed,” he said. “Rylie Washburn and Dillon Messenger are back and we’re looking for them to be leaders and get everybody going. We have two freshmen that look good, Anthony Anselmo and Devon Dorsey.
 They have a lot of skill and are really competing for a starting spot.
“We have bunch of juniors that played JV last year,” he noted. “They’re good kids and need to step into leadership roles. We have a good bunch of kids this year.”
Both the varsity and JV teams finished just under .500 last year, so Richards is confident they can have a winning season this time around.
“I think we can be pretty good,” he said. “It will come down to conditioning. We tried to do a lot of that over the summer before it got shut down. We hope to push for second or third place in the conference. The competition is tough. Ashbrook and Forestview are tough to hang with.”
Kings Mountain will play a 14-game regular season schedule, which includes home and away games with all Big South schools and a single game with non-conference opponents Burns and Shelby. The Mountaineers play at Burns on Feb. 9 and host Shelby on March 3. All games are at 6 p.m.
THE ROSTER
Seniors – Riley Washburn, Dillon Messenger, Landon Phillips, Alex Nivens, Noah Crocker, Calen Buchanan.

Juniors – Evan Briggs, Ethan Capps, Chandler Dodgen, Ryan Carr, Cameron Petti, Silas Edmondson, Brayden Garris, Kohen Johnson, Junior Boakye.

Sophomores – Connor Washburn, Jaden Ellis.

Freshmen – Anthony Anselmo, Devon Dorsey.

THE SCHEDULE

JANUARY

25 – Stuart Cramer

28 – at North Gaston

FEBRUARY

1 – Hunter Huss

4 – Ashbrook

9 – at Burns

11 – at Forestview

15 – Crest

18 – at Cramer

22 – North Gaston

25 – at Huss

MARCH

1 – at Ashbrook

3 – Shelby

8 – Forestview

10 – at Crest

NC PLAYOFFS

MARCH

16 – First round

18 – Second round

20 – Third round

23 – Regionals

27 – State championship
Vb kyann

KM spikers lose
playoff opener

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team ran into a powerful Marvin Ridge team in the opening round of the state 3A playoffs last Tuesday at the KMHS gym and ended their season with a 3-0 defeat.
The Lady Mountaineers had swept all of their Big South Conference opponents 3-0 during the regular season but had an uphill battle from the get-go against Marvin Ridge.
The visitors jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set and ended up winning 25-23, 25-20 and 25-21.
Kings Mountain never got the lead in the first set, but rebounded from the early deficit to keep it close throughout.  The Lady Mountaineers battled back to tie it on several occasions, the last time at 16-all following a powerful kill by junior standout Aaliyah Byers.
Marvin Ridge jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second game and was up by 16-5 before KM rallied to make a game of it. KM trimmed the margin to 23-20 late before the visitors closed it out.
The Lady Mountaineers got off to a quick 2-0 start in game three. The lead changed hands several times and was tied at 12 all before the visitors built a 17-12 advantage. The closest KM could get after that was 18-16.
The Lady Mountaineers got a great effort from all of their players. Byers led the way with 17 kills, 17 digs and 11 serve receptions. Freshman Meile Songaila added 10 kills, 13 digs and 14 serve receptions. Kyann Crocker had 18 digs and 37 serve receptions, Paige Bagwell 17 assists and Ashlyn Wood 10 assists.
Despite the loss, the Lady Mountaineers finished with an overall 12-2 record which included a perfect 12-0 record in the Big South.  They will return most of their players next season.

Mountaineers sweep ‘Cats,
host Hunter Huss, Ashbrook

Kings Mountain’s Lady Mountaineers got their basketball season underway Monday with a 52-34 win over North Gaston in Dallas.
The Mountaineers made it two in a row with an 83-53 win in the nightcap.
The Lady Mountaineers had their scheduled opener with Stuart Cramer postponed because of COVID in the Cramer program, and KM’s head coach Nicholas Inman missed the North Gaston game due to COVID protocols for exposure.
Assistant coach Darrel Wilson took charge of the team and with the help of his daughter, Saniya, and all of her teammates saw the ladies get off to a great start.
Saniya Wilson, a junior standout, led all scorers with 22 points and also contributed 10 rebounds, seven steals and four assists.
Khalia King added 17 points and three boards. Kennedy Barnes had six points and five boards, Austyn Dixon four points and two rebounds, Tyasya Bell two points and Brooke Ferree one point, five steals and three rebounds.
Kings Mountain jumped out to a 10-6 first quarter lead and was on top 23-16 at the half. They began breaking the game open in the third period with a 16-8 advantage to take a 39-24 led into the final chapter.
Whitney Brown led the Lady Wildcats with 14 points.
The boys game was close for a while with the Mountaineers leading by just 19-18 at the first quarter break and 36-32 at the half. But they began breaking the game open in the third period and carried a 61-43 lead into the final eight minutes.
Junior star Isaiah Tate again led the offense with 31 points and six assists. He also contributed four steals on defense.
Matt Toms also had a good night with 19 points, and Zeke Cannedy contributed 13.
Kings Mountain will host Hunter Huss Wednesday in a Big South game that was originally set for last night but rescheduled because of KM’s opening round state tournament volleyball match.
The KM teams will face two good Ashbrook teams Friday night at home. They will host county rival Burns in a non-conference game January 21.
Sports swim
Nash Buchanan

KM boys win opening meet

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s boys defeated Forestview and Crest and the girls finished second to Forestview in their opening swim meet last week at Neisler Natatorium. The Crest girls were third.
The Lady Mountaineers were led by Madison Ayscue, who won both the 50 and 500 free.
Trinity Price won the 200 free and was second in the 100 backstroke.
Freshman Callie Simpson finished second in the 100 fly and 100 breaststroke.
All other Lady Mountaineers set new personal records, including Mallory Camp in the 50 free and 100 free.
Vanyah Roberts finished fourth in the 200 free and set her new personal record, and Hallie Towery competed in the 100 breaststroke and 50 free where she set a new personal record.
The boys were led by Alex Barr who won both of his events, the 50 free and 100 backstroke.
Dalton Messenger won both of his events, the 200 free and 100 breaststroke.
Carson Buchanan was second in the 500 free and 100 backstroke.
Alex Hayes finished second in the 100 free and freshman Turner Brown was third in the 500 free.
Nash Bachman set a new personal record in the 200 free and 100 backstroke.
Andrew Dangelo set a new personal record in the 100 free.
The KM guys team – Alex Barr, Turner Brown, Carson Buchanan and Dalton Messenger -  won the 400 free relay.
Volleyball
Aaliyah Byers serves the ball in last week’s victory over Forestview at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.

Lady Mountaineers sweep BSC volleyball title, were to open state 3A playoffs Tuesday night

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team finished off the Big South 3A Conference championship run last week with victories over Forestview and Crest, and were scheduled to open the state 3A championship playoffs last night at home against Marvin Ridge.
The KM ladies not only went undefeated through the conference season, but won all of their matches in straight sets. Their only loss this was to 4A power Ardrey Kell in a non-conference game.
But, those accomplishments didn’t help their seeding for the state playoffs as they went into the post-season as the sixth seed among 16 Western 3A qualifiers. Marvin Ridge is seeded 11th. A KM victory would move the Lady Mountaineers into a Thursday meeting against the winner of #3 North Iredell and #14 Weddington.
Crest, which finished second in the BSC to the Lady Mountaineers, drew the 10th seed and was to face #7 TC Roberson last night.
The Lady Mountaineers closed out the regular season with a 25-14, 25-11, 25-14 win over Forestview on Tuesday and a 25-19, 25-12, 25-17 sweep of the defending BSC champion Crest ladies on the road Friday.
 In the win over Forestview, freshman Meile Songaila continued to make her mark on KMHS sports with nine kills, 16 service points, two blocks and eight serve receptions.
Junior Aaliyah Byers, who leads the Big South in kills with 193, continued her outstanding play with 15 kills, nine service points and two blocks.
Emma Goff supplied 11 service points, three kills and three digs.
Kyann Crocker had seven service points, 11 digs and 14 serve receptions and Paige Bagwell provided 19 assists.
At Crest, Byers continued her excellent play which should lead to a host of post-season honors. She had an incredible 25 kills to go with 12 digs, 10 serve receptions, two blocks and seven service points.
Songaila contributed 10 kills, 15 digs, 11 serve receptions and 13 service points.
Goff had eight kills and nine service points.
Bagwell had an excellent game with 44 assists, eight digs and four blocks.
Crocker contributed two assists, 12 digs, 17 serve receptions and six service points.
Coach Heather Paysour said she was extremely pleased with her team’s effort at Crest.
“That’s the best I’ve seen us play,” she said. “I would say it’s been a while since we went an entire conference season without having a match go more than three sets. This is my 18th year in coaching and I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. We’re really excited.”
Kings Mountain’s JVs also ran the table in the BSC. In their final two matches they defeated Forestview 25-18, 25-14 and Crest 25-9, 25-16.
Against Forestview, Mary Grace Hogue had five kills and Mary Quay Moss three. Jessie Ozmore dished out 11 assists and Alayna Patrick did a great job serving and on defense.
At Crest, Moss had six kills and two blocks and Ozmore had 18 service points and eight assists.

KM volleyball team 
sweeps Green Wave

(December 30, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team closed out its pre-holiday schedule last week with a 25-5, 25-7, 25-8 sweep of the Ashbrook Green Wave.
The Lady Mountaineers went into the break with perfect 9-0 Big South Conference record. They resume play Tuesday, Jan. 5 at home against Forestview.
Aaliyah Byers led the Lady Mountaineers with 13 kills and also added seven service points and six serve receptions
Meile Songaila had four kills, seven service points, two digs and three serve receptions.
Paige Bagwell also had an outstanding all-around effort with two kills, six service points, four digs and 27 assists.
Kyann Crocker added seven service points, four digs and four serve receptions.
Emma Goff had four kills and 20 service points.
In JV action, the KM ladies improved to 7-0 in the Big south with a 25-8, 25-8 win.
Mary Grace Hogue and Mary Quay Moss stood out on offense. Jessie Ozmore had numerous assists and did a good job serving.
Womensbasketball

Lady Mountaineers much improved, hope to be contender in Big South 3A

(December 30, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s men’s basketball team is used to fighting for conference championships and going deep in the state playoffs but slipped to a 12-15 record last year and fourth place in the Big South Conference.
With some young players and a few transfers things just didn’t jell right, but veteran coach Grayson Pierce feels he has the athletes with the talent and desire to turn things around in 2021.
Kings Mountain opens its regular season Tues., Jan. 5 at Stuart Cramer. The Mountaineers go to North Gaston on January 8 and play their first home game against always-powerful Hunter Huss on January 12.
Pierce predicts that Hunter Huss and Crest will again be the powerful foes they always are, but he feels like the Mountaineers have the kind of talent that could put them in a good position to greatly improve their standing in the Big South.
The veteran mentor says he will likely have a nine-man rotation with everyone getting a lot of playing time.
“We are bigger, stronger, faster and more experienced than we were last year,” he says of a current squad that should be strong on offense and defense. “We have a chance to be very good.”
Pierce has a veteran team that he thinks can make a run in the BSC and state playoffs.
“We haven’t been practicing in about two weeks,” he noted. “We had some Covid contact tracing and they shut us down. We had four total practices before stopping.
“But we have faith that those guys can catch on quickly and we’ll have a good year. We have faith that we can make a run. Last year we relied heavily on sophomores and juniors to get the job done, plus we had two transfers come in. That’s tough when you don’t have leaders.
“But our chemistry looks good this year. The players are in a different mindset and I think we will make a run in the conference and playoffs.”
Heading the list of returning starters is Isaiah Tate, who is one of the best shooting guards around. But, he’s not the only one that can put points on the board.
“Zeke Cannedy also returns and he scores in bunches,” Pierce noted. He’s a very good shooter.”
Another returner is 6-4 Orlando Odums. “He can hold down the paint and rebound for us,” Pierce said.
Matt Toms, who played a lot last year, will probably crack the starting five. “When he’s on he can shoot with the best of them,” Pierce said. “And he’s a good defensive player.”
Weston Hughes is another returner that could crack the starting five. Pierce said. “He can get down the court very well and get into the paint.”
Senior Titus Phillips, who is also a good football  player, will be joining the team soon after having surgery.
“We hope to get him back in about a week,” Pierce said. “He will help us on the boards. He’s a tremendous athlete.”
Some younger players should also make their mark on KM basketball.
Maddox James, who is 6-4, is a good rebounder and is very strong, Pierce said. “He can do a little bit of everything.”
Pierce said Curtis Simpson, a 6-5 freshman, will be a welcomed addition to the varsity. “He has a chance to be as good as anybody we’ve had here,” Pierce said. “He’s a shot blocker and gets rebounds. He could be 6-8 before he’s finished.”
Although KM should be the team to challenge Huss and Crest at the top of the standings, Pierce says the Mountaineers have to play at their highest level every night.
“The thing about this conference is that if you have a bad night, anyone can beat you,” he noted.
Pierce will again be assisted by Randy Drennan, Matt Bradley and Matt Carpenter. New to the staff is former KM player DJ Byrd, who is working with the post players.
“DJ will really help us,” said Pierce. “He was as good a rebounder as we’ve had and he will get them where they need to be.”
Mountaineerbasketball

Mountaineers plan to return
to their winning ways in BSC

(December 30, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s men’s basketball team is used to fighting for conference championships and going deep in the state playoffs but slipped to a 12-15 record last year and fourth place in the Big South Conference.
With some young players and a few transfers things just didn’t jell right, but veteran coach Grayson Pierce feels he has the athletes with the talent and desire to turn things around in 2021.
Kings Mountain opens its regular season Tues., Jan. 5 at Stuart Cramer. The Mountaineers go to North Gaston on January 8 and play their first home game against always-powerful Hunter Huss on January 12.
Pierce predicts that Hunter Huss and Crest will again be the powerful foes they always are, but he feels like the Mountaineers have the kind of talent that could put them in a good position to greatly improve their standing in the Big South.
The veteran mentor says he will likely have a nine-man rotation with everyone getting a lot of playing time.
“We are bigger, stronger, faster and more experienced than we were last year,” he says of a current squad that should be strong on offense and defense. “We have a chance to be very good.”
Pierce has a veteran team that he thinks can make a run in the BSC and state playoffs.
“We haven’t been practicing in about two weeks,” he noted. “We had some Covid contact tracing and they shut us down. We had four total practices before stopping.
“But we have faith that those guys can catch on quickly and we’ll have a good year. We have faith that we can make a run. Last year we relied heavily on sophomores and juniors to get the job done, plus we had two transfers come in. That’s tough when you don’t have leaders.
“But our chemistry looks good this year. The players are in a different mindset and I think we will make a run in the conference and playoffs.”
Heading the list of returning starters is Isaiah Tate, who is one of the best shooting guards around. But, he’s not the only one that can put points on the board.
“Zeke Cannedy also returns and he scores in bunches,” Pierce noted. He’s a very good shooter.”
Another returner is 6-4 Orlando Odums. “He can hold down the paint and rebound for us,” Pierce said.
Matt Toms, who played a lot last year, will probably crack the starting five. “When he’s on he can shoot with the best of them,” Pierce said. “And he’s a good defensive player.”
Weston Hughes is another returner that could crack the starting five. Pierce said. “He can get down the court very well and get into the paint.”
Senior Titus Phillips, who is also a good football player, will be joining the team soon after having surgery.
“We hope to get him back in about a week,” Pierce said. “He will help us on the boards. He’s a tremendous athlete.”
Some younger players should also make their mark on KM basketball.
Maddox James, who is 6-4, is a good rebounder and is very strong, Pierce said. “He can do a little bit of everything.”
Pierce said Curtis Simpson, a 6-5 freshman, will be a welcomed addition to the varsity. “He has a chance to be as good as anybody we’ve had here,” Pierce said. “He’s a shot blocker and gets rebounds. He could be 6-8 before he’s finished.”
Although KM should be the team to challenge Huss and Crest at the top of the standings, Pierce says the Mountaineers have to play at their highest level every night.
“The thing about this conference is that if you have a bad night, anyone can beat you,” he noted.
Pierce will again be assisted by Randy Drennan, Matt Bradley and Matt Carpenter. New to the staff is former KM player DJ Byrd, who is working with the post players.
“DJ will really help us,” said Pierce. “He was as good a rebounder as we’ve had and he will get them where they need to be.”
Kmspikers
Aaliyah Byers, left, and Myracle Davis go up to block a shot in last week’s KM victory over Crest at Parker Gym.

KM spikers sweep Lady Chargers,
take sole possession of BSC lead

No Big South teams have been able to take Kings Mountain’s volleyball team past the required three sets this season, but the Lady Mountaineers’ chief rival and defending conference champion Crest came close in Wednesday’s match at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium that closed out the first round of conference play.
The Lady Mountaineers prevailed 28-26, 25-10, 28-26, leaving them as the only undefeated team in the Big South Conference and the favorite to end the season as conference champions.
The Lady Mountaineers got a good all-around game from all of their players.
Senior star Aaliyah Byers, the leading candidate for Big South Player of the Year, had her typical great game with 16 kills, 15 service points, 10 serve receptions and 11 digs.
Freshman Meile Songaila continued her outstanding play with 15 kills, 12 service points, 19 serve receptions and 12 digs.
Paige Bagwell did her usual good job of setting up her teammates and recorded 16 assists and six digs.
Ashlyn Wood provided 18 assists and 11 digs.
Emma Goff showed great leadership on the court to go with her three kills and seven assists.
Kyann Crocker provided  five service points, 13 digs and 13 serve receptions.
Kings Mountain’s JVs continued their unbeaten ways as well with a 25-12, 25-17 victory over a good Charger squad.
Austyn Dixon’s offense was one of the key factors in the KM win.
Jessie Ozmore had eight service points and did a good job running the offense, and Addi Peeler had 10 service points.
The Lady Mountaineers began second round BSC play Friday with a 25-13, 25-11, 25-12 victory over Stuart Cramer in Belmont.
Byers had 17 kills, 13 service aces and 11 digs. Songaila had 16 aces and five kills, Gold and Goff four kills each, Crocker seven digs, and Bagwell and Wood 13 and 10 aces, respectively.
Kings Mountain will host North Gaston Thursday and travel to Hunter Huss Friday. The Lady Mountaineers will host Ashbrook Monday, Dec. 21 for their final pre-Christmas game.
Their final two regular season games will be against BSC teams Forestview at KM on January 5 and Crest away on January 7. NCHSAA playoffs begin on January 12. 

Realignment first draft has KM in BS 3A

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its first draft of the 2021-25 realignment plan Thursday and Kings Mountain will remain in Conference 50 (which should still be called the Big South 3A).
The league will be the same as it is currently, with the exception of Hunter Huss which will be moving to the 2A level, and South Point which is coming back to 3A after a four-year stay in 2A.
Other teams in the Big South are Crest, Ashbrook, North Gaston, Forestview and Stuart Cramer.
Hunter Huss will move to a split 1A/2A Conference 40 which also includes 2A teams Burns, East Gaston and Shelby and 1A teams Bessemer City, Cherryville and Highland Tech. That league will probably be called the Southwestern Conference.
Schools will be given several opportunities to oppose their placement before it becomes official, but Kings Mountain athletic director Matt Bridges said he is confident that the proposed Big South will not change.
“It worked out pretty good for us,” he said of the first draft. “The Big South is a good conference and it’s good travel-wise. Community support is very important and Big South Conference teams bring a lot of fans.”
Beginning in the fall schools will only play 10 regular season games. Kings Mountain will definitely keep county rivals Shelby and Burns on their schedule giving them two other non-conference games, one of which will be an endowment game. Bridges said he has already contacted some schools about possible playing dates and hopes to at least get a rough draft of a schedule in the next couple of weeks. But nothing can be set in stone until the realignment is official.
“We feel really good about our situation,” he said. “I would be shocked if it changes. Some of the split conferences are concerning, and they might change some.”
He said there are still some questions to be answered, one of which is the length of a JV season since the varsity season will be reduced to 10 games as well as the start date for JVs since varsity can’t begin until August 28. He said the season-ending date must be addressed because, as it appears right now the state championship game would be on the same date as the Shrine Bowl.
 “But, as far as the Big South schedule, we hope that we can put South Point on the date that we have Hunter Huss now and just move on,” Bridges said. “Kings Mountain and South Point had a long rivalry (before the Raiders dropped to 2A) and we look forward to renewing it.”
The Big South athletic directors were meeting Monday to discuss realignment and their possibilities.
While short travel distances are good for the Big South, other teams in the area face a lot of long trips. The proposed 1A/2A conference that includes Cleveland and Gaston teams isn’t expected to change any, but several schools in other split conferences will have miles to go on Thursday and Friday nights. Rutherford County 2A teams Chase, East Rutherford, RS Central and Thomas Jefferson will be playing in a split 1A/2A conference that includes mountain teams Brevard, Hendersonville, Polk County, and Rosman.
*(A side-note: Many former KM opponents will be moving to 4A in the fall, including AC Reynolds, TC Roberson, AL Brown, Weddington and Charlotte Catholic).
Kmcrosscountry
Kings Mountain High runners making the All-Big South Conference team were, front row, left to right, Nicole Poston, Ashley Gural, Parker Wilson, Thalia Kushman and Divinity Ervin. Back row, left to right, Parker Key, Marty Lovingood, Hunter Cruise and Kohen Johnson. 

KMHS women’s cross country
comes within point of BSC title

(December 16, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s young men’s and women’s cross country teams fared very well in last week’s Big South Conference championship meet at Gastonia Ashbrook.
The heavily-favored Forestview women’s team got a big scare from the Lady Mountaineers as the Lady Jaguars won by just one point, 34-35.
And, the perennial champion Forestview men surprisingly came in second to the Stuart Cramer Purple Storm. It was Cramer’s first cross country championship in its history. Kings Mountain came in third.
Kings Mountain placed five women and four men on the All-Big South Conference team.
KM women gaining the honor were Thalia Kushman, Divinity Ervin, Nicole Poston, Ashley Gural and Parker Wilson.
KM men selected were Parker Key, Marty Lovingood, Hunter Cruise and Kohen Johnson.
Kushman, a freshman, put up an amazing 2.5 mile fight going stride for stride with Forestview senior Emma Hughlett. The Forestview runner finally put some distance on Kushman to pull off the victory. 

Kushman’s time was 23:05.
Ervin finished fifth, Wilson seventh, Gural 10th and Poston 11th.
Rounding out the KM lineup were Emma Herndon and Emily Phelps, who finished 21st and 22nd respectively.
Parker Key led the Kings Mountain men with a seventh place finish at 18:42. Stuart Cramer’s Nick Willer finished first in 16:16.94.
KM’s Hunter Cruise came in 11th, Marty Lovingood 13th and Kohen Johnson 14th.
Other KM finishers were Nicholas Horn 21st, Nathan Inthavong 23rd and Wyatt Wilson 26th.
Both Kings Mountain teams qualified for the Western Regional meet on January 16. The site has yet to be determined.
Kings Mountain will host Burns, Crest and Shelby in its final home meet on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 3:45. The Mountaineers will then break for the holidays and will resume action against the same four teams in the annual Cleveland County championship meet at Shelby High at 3:45 on Wed., Jan. 6. If that meet should be cancelled because of bad weather, today’s meet at KMHS will decide the Cleveland County champions.

KM, Crest to stay
in Big South 3A

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its first draft of the 2021-25 realignment plan today and Kings Mountain will remain in Conference 50 (which should still be called the Big South 3A).
The league will be the same as it is currently, with the exception of Hunter Huss which will be moving to the 2A level, and South Point which is coming back to 3A after a four-year stay in 2A.
Other teams projected for the Big South are Crest, Ashbrook, North Gaston, Forestview and Stuart Cramer.
Hunter Huss will move to a split 1A/2A Conference 40 which also includes 2A teams Burns, East Gaston and Shelby and 1A teams Bessemer City, Cherryville and Highland Tech.
 
Crosscountry
AND THEY’RE OFF

Mountaineer runners sweep
Crest to go 2-0

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

Perfect weather led to another perfect run for the Kings Mountain High School cross country teams in a sweep of Crest and Hunter Huss last week.
Both teams had five of the top seven runners.
The men were led by Parker Key in 17:52.20, followed closely by Hunter Cruise in 18:50.05. It was their second straight 1-2 finish of the season.
Kohen Johnson and Nicholas Horn finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 19:42.50 and 20:30.12. Wyatt Wilson came in seventh in 21:09.51 and Elliott Habel was ninth in 21:19.03. Nathan Inthavong of the Mountaineers rounded out the top 10 in 21:25.33.
Marty Lovingood finished 12th in 21:56.70 and Marcus Williams 13th in 24:30.16.
Ben Kimmell of Huss, who ran third, and Rex Hoard and Colt Goodrum of Crest, who finished sixth and eighth respectively, were the only other top ten finishers.
Kings Mountain’s women claimed the top three spots, led by Thalia Kushman in 21:47.87. Like Key, it was her second straight #1 finish of the young season.
Lady Mountaineers Divinity Ervin and Ashley Gural were second and third, respectively, in 22:48.92 and 24:25.18.
Jillian Hux and Emma Harrill, both of Crest, crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth, respectively. The final five top ten finishes belonged to the Lady Mountaineers with Nicole Poston sixth, Parker Wilson seventh, Emily Phelps eighth, Emma Herndon ninth and Hannah Crawford 10th.
Both KM teams will face their toughest test of the season December 1 when they travel to Forestview. The Forestview men are the defending Big South 3A Conference champions. They will follow that up in the conference championship meet on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Gastonia Ashbrook.
Kings Mountain will not have another home run until Wednesday, Dec. 16 when they host county rivals Burns, Crest and Shelby at 3:45 p.m.

SPORTS THIS WEEK

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

Thur., Dec. 3

4:30 – High school volleyball, Kings Mountain at Forestview (JV/V DH).
Fri., Dec. 4
4:30 – High school volleyball, Kings Mountain at Ardrey Kell (JV/V DH).
Tues., Dec. 8
3:45 – High school cross country, Big South Conference championship meet at Gastonia Ashbrook. Teams KM, Ashbrook, Forestview, Stuart Cramer. Hunter Huss, North Gaston and Crest.
4:30 – High school volleyball, Crest at Kings Mountain (JV/V DH)
Volleyball
Lady Mountaineers take a timeout in sweep of Hunter Huss.

Lady Mountaineer volleyball
dominates Huss and Ashbrook

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team entered the Thanksgiving break last week with a pair of victories that ran their Big South Conference record to 4-0.
The Lady Mountaineers and Crest are tied for first place at the break. Those two teams will meet on December 8 at KMHS.
Before then, though, the Lady Mountaineers will travel to Forestview for a BSC game on December 3 and Ardrey Kell for a non-conference contest on December 4.
The Lady Mountaineers haven’t lost a game yet, sweeping all of their opponents 3-0. Against Ashbrook they rolled to a 25-8 win in the first set before Ashbrook made it interestingw and fell by 25-15 and 25-22 in the final two.
Aaliyah Byers had another spectacular outing with 19 kills, five service points and eight digs.
Lily Gold provided seven kills and five service points.
Paige Bagwell dished out 19 assists and had eight service points.
Ashlyn Wood added 13 assists and 11 service points.
Kyann Crocker had nine digs, 16 serve receptions and nine service points.
 The Lady Mountaineers rolled over Hunter Huss Monday at Parker Gym 25-11, 25-5, 25-7.
Byers had her usual strong outing with eight kills and 16 service points.
Wood provided 17 assists and five service points.
Emma Goff had four kills and 16 service points.
Bagwell contributed nine assists and 13 service points.
Freshman Meile Songaila was again strong on the nets with seven kills.
Ron massey

BLAST FROM THE PAST
(October 21, 2020 Issue)

Coach Ron Massey talks with his Mountaineers after the 1998 state 3-A championship football game at UNC’s Kenan Stadium. The Mountaineers fell to a strong Winston-Salem Carver team 33-28 to finish with a 14-2 overall record. This was the first time in KM football history that the team won over 12 games in a season.
 
1993 nchsaa champions

BLAST FROM THE PAST
(October 21, 2020 Issue)

1993 NCHSAA CHAMPIONS – The Kings Mountain High men’s swim team won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championship in 1993. First row, left to right, O’Brian Wilson, Jay Speight and Bergen Hall. Second row Chuck Kaylor, Antonio Budia, Israel Angeles and Nathan Mayse. Back row Dan Messenger, Rick Clary, Lindsay Suber and Dave Messenger.
 
1973 kings mountain babe ruth

BLAST FROM THE PAST
(October 21, 2020 Issue)

The 1973 Kings Mountain Babe Ruth all-star team won the North Carolina state championship over Greenville at St. Stephens High School in Hickory and competed in the Southeast Regionals in Clearwater, Florida. Front row, left to right, are Steve Southwell, Kenny Baliles, Frank Hovis, Mark Thornburg and Jeff Reynolds. Second row Mike Sisk, Monte Falls, Jimmy Parker, Gary Proctor and Chris Johnson. Back row coach Tommy Pruett, Kevin Ford, Joel Burgess, Andy Bridges, Jeff Carroll and coach Tony Leigh.
 
Basketball2
See more photos in October 21, 2020 issue) Page 1B & 2B

George Adams was KM’s first 
All-American basketball player

(October 21, 2020 Issue)

(Third in a series on some of the best athletes and teams in Kings Mountain sports history). 

When Kings Mountain schools integrated – partly in the 1965-66 school year and fully in 1966-67 – the Mountaineers hadn’t won a handful of basketball championships dating back to their beginning in the early 1900s.
But the young people of that day – now ‘old-timers’ - will never forget the 1966-67 and 1967-68 teams that featured some of the best players to ever come through Kings Mountain.
The best then, and probably now as most old-timers will tell you, were young men like George Adams and Otis Cole who excelled not just on the high school level but in college. And, it Adams’ case, the pros.
Total desegregation of schools began in the fall of 1966. But the year before, local Black students were given the option to stay at Compact for one more year or come on to KMHS.
A lot did come on to KMHS, among them Ken Mitchem who was a Mountaineer basketball star and went on to play four years at Pan American University in Texas before becoming a slow-pitch softball superstar with the Pharr Yarns Reds and helping them win a number of national championships.
After full integration, the Mountaineers under veteran coach Don Parker in 1966-67 and Bob Hussey the next three seasons, had their best four-year run in school history. They won back-to-back titles the first two years. In Parker’s last year they went 20-0 in the regular season before being upset by Marion (now McDowell County) in the bi-conference tournament in Hickory.
The 25-0 run came in Hussey’s first year and Adams’ senior year of 1967-68 when they fell to Kannapolis in the WNCHSAA championship game.
With Adams graduated, the Mountaineers had a much smaller lineup but a very good one in 1968-69, led by Cole and guard Charlie Barnes, the latter a very good guard for the Appalachian State Mountaineers, but they finished second in the SWC to a very good Cherryville team. Most of those players were seniors the following year when the Mountaineers won the SWC and built a 23-0 record before falling to Avery County and its 7-4 giant Tommy Burleson in the association playoffs.
Adams enjoyed his days at Compact and Kings Mountain. He literally lived just a stone’s throw from Compact High School and stayed there the first year of integration. He played as a freshman and sophomore at Compact under the late Coach John Blalock, who produced numerous championship teams at Compact in the 1960s and at KMHS in the 1980s.
While Adams’ success at KMHS was what caught the eye of college recruiters, he had a good reason for staying at Compact. His mother had died when he was four years old and his father later moved up north and Adams was living with his elderly grandmother.
“I talked to people like Ken Mitchem and he was telling me what an opportunity I missed out on by not going to Kings Mountain,” Adams recalled recently. “But in those days I had been accustomed to Compact for so long I was hesitant about stepping out. The next year it would be mandatory.
“I lived directly across the road from the little church near the school. I could just walk a few steps and be there. That affected my decision. I also wanted to play at Compact because my older sister and my four brothers had played there.
“My grandmother (Mary Thompson) raised me. My father moved to New York sometime after my mother died. He always remained in contact with me and supplied my needs. He was always in my life and very understanding, but I was the youngest one in the family and I didn’t want to leave her.”
Adams played JV basketball as a freshman at Compact, but started as a sophomore on a very good and exciting Compact team. He went on to become one of the top players in the state his junior and senior years at Kings Mountain.
“My JV year at Compact we had an amazing varsity team with guys like Jimmy Curry, Miles Boyd, Billy McCathen, James Hood and my brother Thomas Adams,” he noted. “They won a championship. I remember when we had a pep rally and they came out of the dressing room wearing blue Compact Cobras jackets. That inspired me to try to be like them.”
If not for integration, Adams most likely would have remained at Compact but he also enjoyed his two years at KMHS. He became the Mountaineers’ first-ever All-American basketball player his senior year and was the school’s second-ever All-American, joining quarterback George Harris from the championship 1955 football team.
In Adams’ two years at KMHS the team posted an overall record of 45-2. In addition to  All-American,  he was also All-State and played in the East-West All-Star game in Greensboro.
He received college offers from all over the United States, including national champion Houston. He chose Gardner-Webb where he was a three-time All-American and held the school records for scoring and rebounding for many years. For Adams, that was his only choice because his family always came first and he would be close enough to get home when needed.
His freshman year at GWU, he averaged 18 points per game on a team that included All-Americans Artis Gilmore and Ernie Fleming. They were sophomores. GW was beginning a senior college program the next season and they decided to complete their career at Jacksonville University. Jacksonville offered Adams, also, but he wanted to stay at GWU. He left there after his senior year with 15 school records including most points (2,404) and most rebounds (1,113). The Bulldogs played in the National JUCO tournament his freshman year and the national tournament his sophomore, junior and senior years.
Although he never sought special attention, Adams said “I really began getting exposure at Gardner-Webb. It was a great opportunity. I hadn’t had a chance to gain exposure before that and a new page opened up in my life. I go back to Gardner-Webb a lot. I still see and talk to a lot of my teammates. One of my teammates, Billy Ellis, is now the mayor of Boiling Springs.”
Throughout his career at KMHS and GWU, Adams was the leading scorer and rebounder, but he never wanted attention. “I have always been the kind of person that ‘we won’ and ‘the team won.’ It never really was about me and how many rebounds and points I had. I try to apply basketball to my life – work hard and achieve.”
 Adams went on to play four years in the American Basketball Association. He was the first inductee in the GWU Sports Hall of Fame and joined Cleveland Browns football star Kevin Mack, the late Western Carolina League president and KM mayor John Moss, and the late Washington Senators baseball great Jake Early in the first induction class of the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame.
“My father (Coleman Adams) only saw me play one time,” Adams recalled. “That was when I was with the Virginia Squires and we played in the Nassau Coliseum in New Jersey. He was at the game and it was one of the proudest moments of my life.”
Adams has always been grateful for the opportunities he had on all levels of basketball – he even served as an assistant coach at Hunter Huss High School for several years. But, he always wished that other great players from Compact had had the same opportunities.
“Believe me,” he said in a 1988 interview in The Herald, “there were a lot of outstanding players at Compact who never got a chance to prove themselves because of the timing. I was lucky.”
Adams averaged over 23 points and 20 rebounds per game during his two-year career at KMHS, and it could have been much more had he been a selfish player or if the Mountaineers hadn’t been as good as they were. In many games, the Mountaineers would build a big halftime lead and reserves would play most of the second half. In one memorable game at Lincolnton, the Mountaineers built a 42-0 lead and in one game at Shelby he pulled down a school record 29 rebounds.
The only time he was held under double figures was in a non-conference game when York, SC went into a deep freeze and Coach Parker ordered his Mountaineers not to try to steal the ball because York’s game plan was to try to get them in foul trouble. The halftime score was 4-2. KM ended up winning 22-13 and Adams scored nine points.
At GWU, Adams once scored 57 points in a single game and had a 26-rebound game. He averaged hitting 64.2 percent of his shots over a four-year period. Although he’s proud of his accomplishments there, he said the greatest thing was playing for a man like Eddie Holbrook.
Adams was drafted in the second round by the world champion Milwaukee Bucks (the 43rd draft choice overall) and played played four seasons with San Diego under NBA legends K.C. Jones (three years) and Wilt Chamberlain (one year). Just like the timing for integration had been off when he was in high school, his time in the pros was off because the multi-million dollar salaries players draw now were not the case then.
Now retired and living in Gastonia, he returns home from time to time to catch a game at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium and cheer on the Mountaineers and perhaps even recall some of those great moments from the sixties.
“I am thankful for all of the wonderful memories from Compact, Kings Mountain and Gardner-Webb,” he said. “I will take in a game now and then. I’ll go to local high school games and Gardner-Webb when I can stay up long enough to see it from start to finish.”
He maintains contact with most of his former teammates, especially KMHS teammate Rick Finger who is a neurologist in Charlotte and helped George get the help he needed for a health problem a while back. He sees teammate Otis Cole from time to time and has a great appreciation for him.
“Otis Cole was one of the best athletes I’ve ever been around,” he said. “He was not only a great basketball player but also a great softball, baseball and football player. And, now I think he’s gotten into golf and I’d say he’s great at that too.”
Looking at his beginning at Compact, Adams recalled three people that really inspired him to be a good player.
“I was around some very good players who were older than me,” he said. “I tried to pattern myself after them. There was a player named Billy Smith who was a great player and inspired me. And there was an athlete named Alex Smith – I don’t think the two Smiths were related – but he was 6-5 and one of the players that really inspired me.
“I started out as John Blalock’s ball boy and trainer. Just sitting on the bench with him inspired me. John Blalock was a good coach and a good human being.  He knew how to place people in the places where they would be more effective. He was a father figure for the kids, including myself, who needed motivation and guidance.”
And, he said, he is grateful for the two years he spent at KMHS. In the beginning of integration, a lot of schools had problems.
“But I do not recall a single problem the two years I was at Kings Mountain,” he said. “The people were always supportive of the students and athletes. In the transition of integration I don’t remember any problems whatsoever. That made it great for me.”
Team
1966 TEENER ALL-STARS – Front row, left to right, Johnny Reynolds, Joe Cornwell, Eddie Black, Glenn Perkins and Jack Bell. Second row, Larry Carroll, Mike Smith, Geeper Howard, Rocky Goforth and Corky Fulton. Back row, Darrell Whetstine, Ken Mitchem, Wayne Mullinax, Clarence Ash and Gene Putnam.

1966 Teener League baseball all-stars first
KM team to play in national tournament

(Second in a series of great moments in KM sports)

Throughout its storied baseball history Kings Mountain High School has fielded numerous championship teams and has sent players as far as the major leagues.
The late Jake Early, who was an all-star catcher for the Washington Senators, and Dick Gold, who was a first team All-American second baseman at Florida State, gained national fame.
But the first Kings Mountain team to make it to a national tournament was the 1966 Teener League baseball all-stars who won the North Carolina and Southeast Regional championships and finished third in the Teener World Series in Hershey, PA.
Most of the players were also on the 1969 Kings Mountain High School team that defeated Statesville 2-0 for the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association state championship.
Kings Mountain got into Teener baseball in 1965. Kings Mountain qualified for the state tournament that year but lost to Gastonia in the championship game.
In ’66, KM won the district title in two straight games over Cherryville, 7-2 and 3-2. Rocky Goforth and Darrell Whetstine turned in complete game pitching performances. Clarence Ash, went 2-for-3 in the first game and Mike Smith went 2-for-3 in the second.
In the state tournament, KM knocked off host Greenville 4-3 in eight innings and then defeated Gastonia 7-4 in the second game. Goforth pitched seven sound innings, but because of a Teener rule that limited pitchers to seven innings a day he had to depart and Whetstine came on to get the win.  Whetstine went the distance the next day against Gastonia and Ken Mitchem hit a three-run homer.
Gastonia battled back through the loser’s bracket to eliminate Greenville and challenge Kings Mountain for the state crown. In the first championship battle, Gastonia won a 4-3 decision despite a two-run homer by Wayne Mullinax, thus forcing a second title game. This time, KM jumped out front 2-0 on a two-run homer by Mike Smith but they eventually needed a two-run homer by Mullinax in the eighth inning to win the championship.
A week later, they defeated Greenville, TN in a best of three series at Belmont Abbey for the Regional championship. Tennessee won the first game 5-4 but in the long run KM’s pitching was too good to touch and the hitting was sensational in the final two games with wins of 10-0 and 14-2 clinching the championship.
Whetstine threw a two-hitter in the first win and Goforth tossed a three-hitter for the championship.  Smith went 3-for-4 and Eddie Black, Clarence Ash and Geeper Howard added two hits each.
KM didn’t play up to its potential in the first game at Hershey and lost to Bellfonte, PA 5-4. KM out-hit its opponent 8-4 but committed four errors, which was rare for its rock solid defense.
KM battled back to stay alive with its first of three straight victories, defeating Pitman, NJ  behind Goforth’s one hitter. KM won with four runs in the sixth on singles by Mullinax and Howard and a three-run double by Mitchem.
Whetstine pitched a complete game and KM ousted Pierre, SD 6-4, scoring three runs in the fourth to break a 3-3 tie.
KM’s most impressive victory was an 8-1 win over River Rouge, Michigan, which was regarded as the team to win the Series. But Goforth was masterful on the mound with a two-hitter and 10 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, KM collected eight hits and put the game away early. Goforth and Joe Cornwell led the way with 2-for-3 each.
That afternoon, KM went against Lebanon Valley, PA with Whetstine pitching with only a day’s rest. KM fell behind early and couldn’t catch up. The next day Elgin, Illinois defeated Lebanon Valley for the championship.
 Mullinax, a third baseman, recalled that the Teeners defeated Cherryville to get to the state tournament. That was not an easy task.
“Alan Lindsay was their pitcher,” he recalled. “He was tough. I wish we could have taken him with us.”
In that great comeback in the championship game in Greenville, Mullinax hit a game-winning home run to erase the huge Gastonia lead.
“Joe Cornwell got on base and stole second,” Mullinax recalled. “Bo Goforth wanted me to bunt him over but Uncle Bob Moore told me to hit the ball. Not bragging, but I knocked it over the fence and the fence behind it.
“The year before Gastonia had put us out,” he recalled. “Tommy Goforth, Paul Gaffney and a lot of those guys that were a year older than us were on the team. So the next year we had a lot of the same guys with another year experience. I remember Jonas Bridges (owner of WKMT Radio) broadcast all of our games – the ones at Greenville and Belmont Abbey, and then in Hershey. When I hit that home run that won the state championship game Rocky Goforth’s daddy (Eugene) came out of the stands and met me at third base.”
The team was strong in all areas – good hitting, a great defense and an outstanding 1-2 pitching punch of Goforth and Whetstine.
“Rocky had some great games up there in Hershey,” Mullinax said. “Whetstine always pitched well, too. He started a lot of games and came in to save a lot of games. I think the day I hit that home run he came in and saved the game.”
Whetstine and Goforth were two of the ace pitchers on Bob Hussey’s 1967 and 1968 KMHS teams. In ’69, Whetstine had graduated and the tough pitching duties fell on Goforth. A lefty with great control, he was the son of a former pro pitcher (the above-mentioned Gene Goforth) and had such great control that he could keep the ball low and stay ahead of the hitters.
Goforth remembered well the big comeback that beat Gastonia in the state championship game in Greenville.
“They just folded,” he said. “Their shortstop, who was very good, started making errors and that’s how we won. I remember Wayne Mullinax hitting that long home run over the left field fence and Daddy was the first one out there to meet him when he rounded third.”
When the locals actually lost the first game of a best of three series with Tennessee at Belmont Abbey, some of the Gastonia players who had lost to KM the week before were razzing them. But KM blew them out in the second and third games. In fact, if the 10-run mercy rule would have been in effect back then the games would have ended early.
“Tennessee wasn’t that good, really,” Goforth noted.
The KM stars then went to Hershey, and lost the first game.
“We put ourselves in a hole by losing the first game,” Goforth said. The KM team won the next three games before being eliminated. Goforth won his two games with a one-hitter and two-hitter.
Looking back on the state championship win over Statesville in ’69, Goforth said Kings Mountain was the underdog. Six of the nine men in the Statesville lineup had batting averages over .300.
“The key to us winning the Association championship was (Coach) Bob Hussey,” Goforth said. “No doubt about it. He was the best coach I ever had. He could get the best out of everybody.”
Except for the two regular season conference games with a strong Cherryville team and its ace lefthander, Alan Lindsay, Goforth said it was mostly a blowout season. Goforth was the winning pitcher in a 1-0 KM win at Cherryville and Lindsay was the winner in a 1-0 Cherryville win at KM’s City Stadium. For both pitchers, it was their only loss of the season.
“Cherryville was very good,” Goforth noted. “Belmont had a good team but we beat them with no problem.”
Statesville, though, was another matter entirely.
“We went up there and beat them 2-0,” Goforth recalled. “I pitched a one-hitter and Mike Smith drove in both runs. Smith wasn’t all that big and they didn’t know what a great hitter he was. They played him way too close in and he hit the ball to the left field fence to drive in the runs.”
Goforth said he had one anxious inning.
“I believe it was the fifth,” he noted. “I hit a guy and walked one and they got their one hit to load the bases. I went 3-2 on the next batter and threw him a curve. He just stood there and watched it go by for the final out.
“It was nerve racking,” he added. ”Statesville was loaded with guys hitting over. 300. We just caught them on a bad day.”
Ymcagoff
YMCA Golf Tournament –First place team of the YMCA Golf Tournament.

YMCA golf tournament a success 

The 10th annual Kings Mountain Family YMCA Golf Tournament was held Friday at Kings Mountain Country Club. The tournament raised over $18,000.
Erin Jolly, Jean Walker, Kenny Walker and Spud Wells took first place with a score of 19-under-par 53.
Second place at 17-under were Thomas Spicer, Will Spicer, Ty Withers and Tyler Withers.
Third place at 17 under were Derrick Braun, KG Etters, William Mabry and Eric Moore.
Closest to the pin winners were Steve Hoyle on #5, Steve Bostwick on 8, Brian Brentzel on 12, David Pless on 16 and Tyler Withers on 17.
Longest drive winners on hole 11 were  William Mabry (seniors), Brian Bretzel (men) and Abby Brooks (women).
Winners on hole 2 were Jimmy Jolly (seniors), Chris Jolly (men) and Jean Walker (women).
“We thank our sponsors, participants and volunteers for a very successful tournament,” said Kevin Osborne, VP/Senior Executive Director of the YMCA.
Goff1
Alex Goff brings home individual championship trophy in Blessings Collegiate Golf Tournament. 

KM and Kentucky’s Goff goes 6-under
to win Blessings Collegiate Invitational

Although it’s spelled differently, Kings Mountain’s Alex Goff has the perfect last name.
Goff, a former golf star for the Kings Mountain Mountaineers, is now turning out to be the #1 golfer for the University of Kentucky Wildcats.
Goff won his second major championship in less than month last week when he won the prestigious Blessing Collegiate Invitational in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He shot a three-day total of minus six 210 to win by two strokes over Hunter Walcott of Tennessee and Dan Erickson of Texas A&M who finished at 206. He previously won the Kentucky Amateur with a 12-under score of 204.
Goff shot a Blessings record 7-under par 65 in the semi-finals round last Tuesday en route to the individual championship over the top golfers from other 13 Southeastern Conference schools. He carried a four shot lead into the final round, highlighted by four straight birdies on holes two through five. He added back-to-back birdies on the seventh and eighth holes to go 7-under.
Goff struggled toward the end of the final round Wednesday but held on after a double-bogey on the 17th hole.
Goff was Academic All-SEC last season with the Wildcats as a red-shirt freshman. He carried a 73 stroke average, which was second on the team. He had a team high four top 20 finishes and two top 10 finishes.
While at KMHS, Goff was a four-time Conference Player of the Year and All-State. As a freshman, he won the 3A Western Regional championship and finished fifth at the state championship as a sophomore. He was runner-up for the state championship in 2018.
He had a 68.5 stroke average his senior season and was the North Carolina junior stroke play medalist with a 7-under 64.
He tied the course record at Cleveland Country Club with a 9-under 63 and shot a 7-under 65 in the second round of the Henry Transou Memorial Classic. He was a semifinalist at the 2016 North Carolina Junior Tournament and finished 10th in the 2017 Joe Cheves Junior Invitational.
Along with his outstanding accomplishments on the golf course, Goff was also a member of the National Honor Society and participated in the BETA Club at KMHS.
Goff is the son of Brian and Miriam Goff. He has a sister, Emma. His father played baseball at James Madison University and two of his uncles played collegiate football.
Football
Kings Mountain High School’s first football team in 1922. Front row, left to right, Joe Lee Woodward, Herman Hayes, Hoyt Matthews, Tom Fulton and Jake Hord. Second row Forrest Houser (standing), Howard Pursley, Lloyd Ormand, Tom Saunders, Hoyle McGinnis and Charlie Saunders (standing). Back row Clemonsee Boone, J.M. McGinnis, Plato Goforth, Odell McGinnis, Fred Plonk, Royce Green and Lawrence Lovell. Standing in back is Supt. J.Y. Irvin. See 1922 Mountaineer basketball team photo on Page 7 of the KM Herald October 7 issue.

BLAST FROM THE PAST
KMHS basketball over 100 years old, football should turn 100 in year ‘22

(October 7, 2020 Issue)

Had the pandemic not come along, Kings Mountain High School would be playing its 98th season of football right now.
Hopefully, the season will be played in early 2021 with an abbreviated seven-game regular season and a four-round state playoff. It is assumed, if that happens, the players would hit the field again in the fall of ’21 but that, too, could depend on the pandemic and/or decision from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.
The first Mountaineer football team in 1922 did not even have a coach. Uniforms were hand-me-downs from Trinity College (now Duke) and their shoes were Boy Scout shoes to which a local cobbler attached rubber cleats for 50 cents a pair.
Of course, none of the original Mountaineers are still with us but in earlier years players recalled the beginning in stories in The Herald.
It all began when a few players from Davidson College came to Central School to talk to the high school boys about organizing a football team.
Eighteen youngsters agreed to play. They didn’t have a coach. Two local doctors, Dr. Hood and Dr. Norman, agreed to coach and others around town helped out.
Later in the year, Fred Ormand took over as coach.
Although none of the original Mountaineers, when interviewed by The Herald later in life, remembered the team’s record it is believed to have been 3-2-1. Of the information recalled by players and reported in The Herald, the Mountaineers lost to Lincolnton 12-0 in their first-ever contest, tied Gastonia 0-0, beat Cowpens on a forfeit, shutout Mt. Holly 19-0, lost to Charlotte 25-0 and defeated the KM All-Stars 35-0.
Some of the game results were reported to The Herald, and others were not with a small blurb saying “The Kings Mountain boys played football Friday.”
In a Herald story in 1949, it was reported that Charlie Saunders ran a 60-yard touchdown against Mount Holly, Forrest Houser caught a touchdown pass from Hoyt Mathews, and Lawrence Lovell scored on a “double pass” from J.M. McGinnis.
The forfeit win over Cowpens came as a result of the Cowpens team getting upset with an official’s call and walking off the field. The Mountaineers - you never heard or read about them referred to as Mounties during that time - were leading 7-0.
The late Joe Lee Woodward, in a 1974 feature story in the Kings Mountain Mirror-Herald, told editor Gary Stewart that the first football game he ever saw, he played in against Lincolnton.
“They beat us on two end-around runs,” he noted.
Woodward said the Mountaineers ran a “box formation” and the center snapped the ball directly to the player that was going to run it.
Passing was almost non-existent at the time because footballs were almost round, Woodward noted. “The ball was big and bulky and we always played with one ball until it wore out.”
Teams traveled to games in cars.
One of the original Mountaineers, Plato Goforth, was in the eighth grade. In his final year, 1926, the Mountaineers finished undefeated but did have four ties.
The teams played their home games near Deal Street on a field at the current site of Bridges Auto Parts. He remembered that some fans would give a player that scored a quarter, and he caught five touchdown passes in a game against Mt. Holly.
Members of the original team included Joe Lee Woodward, Herman Hayes, Hoyt Matthews, Tom Fulton, Jake Hord, Forrest Houser, Howard Pursley, Lloyd Ormand, Tom Saunders, Hoyle McDaniel, Charlie Saunders, Clemonsee Boone, J.M. McGinnis, Plato Goforth, Odell McGinnis, Fred Plonk, Royce Green and Lawrence Lovell.
Pursley, who played baseball at KMHS beginning in 1918, said he thought the Mountaineers were playing baseball as early as 1912 when he moved to town from South Carolina.
Pursley was playing baseball in KM when the rivalry with Shelby began around 1921. He said it came about during a baseball series between Neisler Mills and a mill from Shelby.
He recalled that just about every textile mill and many communities in all the area towns had baseball teams and they’d play about three games a week. It was a highly competitive league that drew a lot of fans.
Pursley was a highly-recruited pitcher but chose not to go to college or the pros. Some other outstanding players here during those years included Coman Falls, Red Layton, Arthur Hord, Ormand and catcher Jake Early. Early spent 10 seasons in the major leagues and caught the entire 1943 All-Star game for the American League.
Grover also produced some great baseball players during that time including John Gold, Jim Blalock, Bub Keeter, Al Crisp, Buck Shuford, George Royster and Wayne Conner.
Kings Mountain chose an all-star team which fell to Grover in the post-season. Players included Red Layton, Humphries and Carl Moss of the Margrace, Cornwell, Coman Falls and Skimp Stowe of the Stags, Morrison of the Bonnie, Cole of Pauline and Hunter and Hayes of Mauney.
Pursley recalled that the Mountaineers played basketball on an old dirt court near St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church. In the thirties basketball was played on the stage at Central School.
Woodward was a 6-3 eighth grader in 1922 and was the tallest player on the team. Of course, he was a forward. He played tackle and quarterback in football and first base in baseball.
All games, especially basketball, has changed tremendously since then both in style of play and rules.
“Back then,” Woodward recalled in a 1974 article in The Herald, “after a basket the ball was taken back to center court for a jump. No players except the centers were allowed at center court. The other players went to the four corners of the court and the center would give a signal to let us know who he was going to tip the ball to.
“The guards were called chewing gum guards,” he said. “They stayed with their forwards all the time. Because of that Ed Lovell coached his forwards to run in circles so we’d have a step on the guard when the ball was tipped.”
As for fouls, he said, one could put his hands up in front of their man to keep him from getting a shot at the basket but you couldn’t hack him.
“Play was rough,” he noted, “but I don’t remember ever fouling out.
“Uniforms were usually cut off pants. Goals were home made and didn’t have baskets on them. Goals were made at a machine shop.”
Kmhstrack

KMHS Basketball players get in shap

(October 7, 2020)

Kings Mountain High basketball players are getting into shape by running the track at John Gamble Stadium. The Mountaineers are looking forward to another good season in 2020-21. 
 

KM Cheerleaders practice 

(October 7, 2020 Issue)

The basketball and football seasons are still several months away but the Kings Mountain High cheerleaders were busy at John Gamble Stadium Monday afternoon getting their cheers down pat.
 
Ymca
YMCA Board Members Josh Shelton, Jeff Johnson, Mike Weisman, Kenneth Robbs, Jason Burgess, Russ Putnam, Erin Jolly and Y Director Kevin Osborne.

KM Family YMCA
Golf Tournament Oct. 9

   The 10th Annual Kings Mountain Family YMCA Golf Tournament is Friday, October 9 at Kings Mountain Country Club.
   Registration is at 11:30 am with a shotgun start at 12:30 pm. Registration is $70.00 per person / $280.00 a team.
   Sponsorships opportunities remain for Title, Corporate, and Hole Sponsors. For more information contact the YMCA at 704-669-3686 or emailkosborne@clevecoymca.org
   Corporate support and participation helps assist YMCA childcare, Community Enrichment Academy, summer camp, swimming lessons, Senior programs, YMCA LiveStrong programs, youth sports – basketball, soccer, baseball, volleyball, and flag football.
Yetis
Front row, left to right, Kinser Hudson, Coach Steve McCachren, Lindy Jenkins, Madison McCabe. Back row, left to right, Dylan Williams, Noah Lesser, William Fuzie, Jonas Guffey and Drake Ballard. Williams and Fuzie ran cross country and Kings Mountain High School. 

Yetis XC nationally ranked

After its first meet of the 2020 season, the Cleveland County men’s cross country team was ranked 24th in the nation. The poll was released on September 23.
This is CCC’s first-ever national ranking.
The ranking follows the Yetis’ first meet of the season at Montreat College. According to Coach Steve McCachren, meet results are submitted to the USTFCCCA for review by a panel of coaches who monitor results and create the poll. The panel considers the final results, distance, weather, type of course and course conditions.

KMHS Sports Schedules

Click on the schedule to view.

KMHS wins Wells Fargo Cup with best mark in Big South

 Kings Mountain High won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 2019-2020 Wells Fargo Conference Cup Championship in the Big South 3A Conference.
The Wells Fargo Conference Cup is a companion to the Wells Fargo Cup and recognizes schools with the best overall interscholastic athletic performances within individual conferences. Wachovia, and now Wells Fargo, has sponsored the conference awards program since 1980. In most conferences, points are awarded based on participation and standings in conference play.
 Each conference determines its own method of awarding points.
Kings Mountain finished with 122 points in overall Big South Conference play. The Mountaineers won only one conference championship, in women’s cross country, but placed near the top in almost every other sport.
Forestview was second with 115 points, followed by Stuart Cramer 114.5, Crest 111.5, Ashbrook 101, Hunter Huss 84.5 and North Gaston 82.5.

Football starts Friday in SC

North Carolina high school football teams will be waiting until winter 2021 to play their 2020 schedule, but area fans chomping at the bits to see some action can drive a short distance to Gaffney and Clover Friday night for their season openers.
According to their schedules on MaxPreps Gaffney, with former Kings Mountain High’s Kobe Paysour at wide receiver, will be hosting Boiling Springs at 7:30 p.m. At the same time Clover will be hosting Wren.
The other two nearby South Carolina teams, York and Blacksburg, will be on the road. York takes on Indian Land and Blacksburg battles St. Joseph’s Catholic.
Any local fans attending the games should be prepared for social distancing, masks and other COVID restrictions that may be required by the South Carolina schools.

Touchdown Club launches 2020 membership drive

 The Kings Mountain Touchdown Club is kicking off its annual membership drive and is urging all fans of Mountaineer sports to join as soon as possible.
The club began its 14th year in July but delayed its membership drive while waiting for direction regarding athletic events at Kings Mountain High.
Currently, the NCHSAA plan is to postpone and abbreviate the athletic seasons with some sports beginning in November and others in 2021.
The club supports 26 athletic programs at the high school. Money from club membership is used for meals, travel, uniforms and other necessities.
President David Brinkley urges club members – and others who would like to become members – to give  generously as the pandemic could make the athletic department needs greater than ever.
“Currently, there will be limited attendance, no concessions and limited parking,” he noted. “This is a substantial amount of revenue that our high school depends on to support the athletic programs. For those who have joined in the past, please consider moving up a level in membership. If you have never joined, we would love to have you.”
Over the past 14 years, the club has tried to make a difference in athletes and facilities, Brinkley noted.
“We need everyone’s help to accomplish the needs of our athletes,” he said. “It is our plan to continue to host four meals and review the football game films at no cost for members and guests (no children). All meetings will be held in the field house community room. This will be determined by our governor when we are allowed to meet in larger groups.”
When and if attendance is allowed by the governor, Brinkley said parking passes will be available.
The club offers the following memberships:
First down club - $100.
Second down club - $200.
Third down club - $300.
Fourth down club - $500.
Coaches club - $1,000 and up.
Brinkley asks that membership dues be in by October 31. Make your tax-deductible donation payable to Kings Mountain Touchdown Club and mail to PO Box 2017, Kings Mountain, NC 28086. Provide an email address to help the club with mailing costs.

Football starts Friday in SC

North Carolina high school football teams will be waiting until winter 2021 to play their 2020 schedule, but area fans chomping at the bits to see some action can drive a short distance to Gaffney and Clover Friday night for their season openers.
According to their schedules on MaxPreps Gaffney, with former Kings Mountain High’s Kobe Paysour at wide receiver, will be hosting Boiling Springs at 7:30 p.m. At the same time Clover will be hosting Wren.
The other two nearby South Carolina teams, York and Blacksburg, will be on the road. York takes on Indian Land and Blacksburg battles St. Joseph’s Catholic.
Any local fans attending the games should be prepared for social distancing, masks and other COVID restrictions that may be required by the South Carolina schools.

KMHS wins Wells Fargo Cup with best mark in Big South

 Kings Mountain High won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) 2019-2020 Wells Fargo Conference Cup Championship in the Big South 3A Conference.
The Wells Fargo Conference Cup is a companion to the Wells Fargo Cup and recognizes schools with the best overall interscholastic athletic performances within individual conferences. Wachovia, and now Wells Fargo, has sponsored the conference awards program since 1980. In most conferences, points are awarded based on participation and standings in conference play.
 Each conference determines its own method of awarding points.
Kings Mountain finished with 122 points in overall Big South Conference play. The Mountaineers won only one conference championship, in women’s cross country, but placed near the top in almost every other sport.
Forestview was second with 115 points, followed by Stuart Cramer 114.5, Crest 111.5, Ashbrook 101, Hunter Huss 84.5 and North Gaston 82.5.
Alexgoff
Kings Mountain’s Alex Goff, now a Kentucky Wildcat golfer, won last week’s Kentucky Amateur at Lexington, KY Country Club.  

Former KMHS star Alex Goff Kentucky Amateur champion

Kings Mountain’s Alex Goff shot a 12-under-par 204 to win the 106th Clark’s Pump-N-Shop Kentucky Amateur championship Friday in Lexington, KY.

Goff, a scholarship golfer at the University of Kentucky, shot a two-under 70 in the final round to win the title by four strokes over former champion Andy Roberts. They were the only players to shoot under par.

Goff was a four-year standout at Kings Mountain High School, finishing among the top players in the state 3A championship each spring.

After a 67 on Thursday, Goff took a three-stroke lead into Friday’s final 18-hole round.

He basically wrapped up the championship on the front nine, making four birdies that put him seven shots up at the turn.

Roberts, who was Kentucky’s Amateur champion four years ago, finished with an 8-under 208.

Due to NCAA regulations, Goff could not accept the first place prize of $750.

Goff and his teammates will begin Southeastern Conference play in the coming weeks. 
Day day kobe javarismall
Day Day Wilson, Kobe Paysour and Javari Wilson, left to right, at last year’s KMHS football banquet.

Paysour to Gaffney; Wilsons staying in KM

With COVID 19 delaying the start of North Carolina high school football until February, three Kings Mountain High senior standouts who had already committed to major colleges with intentions of leaving KMHS at the Christmas break had some tough decisions to make.

Kobe Paysour, the Mountaineers’ all-time leading pass receiver who will be enrolling at the University of North Carolina for the spring semester, announced last week that he would play his final prep season  with the Gaffney Indians.

Defensive end Javari Wilson and linebacker Day Day Wilson, who have committed to Fordham and Missouri, respectively, have decided to stay at KMHS and help the Mountaineers in their quest for a conference and state championship.

Paysour enrolled at Gaffney last week. The Indians are preparing for a slightly-delayed South Carolina football season that begins at home on Friday, Sept. 25 against Boiling Springs.

Paysour will make the defending state champions and longtime South Carolina power even more powerful as he will help form one of the top 1-2 pass receiver duos in the state, just as he did with Quintin Davidson last season in KM. Gaffney also returns its top pass catcher from last year’s championship team, Natron Johnson, who caught 69 passes for 802 yards.

Over his three-year career at KM, Paysour hauled in 171 passes for 3,696 yards, both career records. His 79 receptions for 26 touchdowns his junior year are also school records along with his 103-yard pass interception return for a TD in a state playoff game at Statesville in 2018.

Of course, head coach Greg Lloyd and every KM fan hates to see Paysour go. But, with the ruling by the NCHSAA not to play fall football and with him due to enroll early at Carolina, Paysour wanted to play his senior year and Lloyd supports his decision.

The Mountaineers have some talented pass receivers returning and Lloyd plans to move defensive back Titus Phillips, who was the leading receiver on the JV team as a freshman and sophomore, to Paysour’s spot. DeAndre Hoyle, who is up from the JVs, transfer Jaylen Mims and others, will also be receiving threats.

“We support Kobe’s decision,” Coach Lloyd said. “He wanted to play his senior year and if he’d stayed here he would not have been able to since he’s going to Carolina early.

“I think we’ll still be able to score a lot of points,” he said. “The offensive and defensive lines may be the best ones we’ve had since I’ve been here. I think we’ll be fine.”

Kings Mountain fans interested in attending Gaffney games should make themselves aware of South Carolina High School League’s COVID-19 restrictions. Last week the SCHSL was granted exceptions to the governor’s current restrictions to no more than 250 people or 50  percent (whichever is less) of a sports venue’s capacity. That means the Cherokee County School System will have control of its schools’ capacities. Whatever school systems decide, the SCHSL is recommending precautions such as electronic ticketing, cashless transactions, social distancing and for all spectators to wear masks at all times.
Carl championlarge
Kings Mountain’s Carl Champion, who died last week, had the perfect last name. He was a real champion to his family and friends, to Kings Mountain High and many other high schools and colleges, the City of Kings Mountain, countless charities, and to many other people and organizations he was involved with.

Carl was Kings Mountain’s Champion!

Kings Mountain’s Carl Champion, who died last week, had the perfect last name. He was a real champion to his family and friends, to Kings Mountain High and many other high schools and colleges, the City of Kings Mountain, countless charities, and to many other people and organizations he was involved with.

Growing up in the Bethware area, Champion had an early love for sports that would continue for the rest of his life. In sports and other endeavors, he gave his full support.

He made his mark on Kings Mountain sports not just on game days, but also by his generosity of money and providing free grading for most of the athletic fields at the high school and other places.

His generosity reached far and wide, as did his friends.

Shortly after he met Champion in the late 1960s at a softball game, Belmont’s Art Shoemaker became one of his closest friends.

“He always made me feel like I was part of his family,” Shoemaker said. “We immediately hit it off.”

In the late sixties Shoemaker was coaching a slowpitch softball team in Gaston County, and needed a sponsor.

“I knew of Carl,” Shoemaker recalled. “We had played him when I was coaching Groves Thread. I went to him and introduced myself. Groves was no longer going to sponsor a team. He told me he was starting a team and wanted me to help him get it off the ground. Looking back, he’s done so much for people in Kings Mountain and all over. He was generous to a fault. It’s been a great honor to know him.”

Shoemaker recalled that Champion’s team won three straight NC state championships, and one year finished third in the national tournament in York, PA.

“There won’t be another Carl Champion,” Shoemaker said. “When we started the team he wanted to play. I had gotten some top notch players in the area and I told him his name was on the jerseys as owner, but he couldn’t play. He said, ‘Well, if that’s the way you feel that’s the way it’s going to be.’ ”

In 1973, Shoemaker recalled, Champion’s team finished third in the nation behind two teams that had all paid players.

“We both decided we couldn’t compete at that level,” he said. “The best thing about coaching Carl’s team is that we became great friends. He was like a brother to me.

“It just broke my heart to see him struggling to breathe near the end,” he said. “We’d had a surprise 80th birthday for him recently and I could tell then he wasn’t feeling well.”

Champion loved his friends and loved Kings Mountain, Shoemaker said.

“If there was anything he could do for you he’d do it,” he said. “I loved him and he loved me, and I know I will see him again.”

Shoemaker agrees that Champion had the perfect last name.

“He was a champion in every sense of the word,” he said. “When he said something he meant it. He was one of the most generous men I’ve ever known.”

Champion was serious about his businesses doing things the right way. But he could have less-serious moments.

“He was the best prankster I’ve ever known,” Shoemaker said. “I will never forget one time I was officiating a middle school football game in Kings Mountain and Carl was in the stands. At halftime he called me down the sideline and pulled out a bunch of money like he was paying me off. I said ‘You put that money back.’ I knew there were a lot of people watching.”

Shoemaker said coming to KM and coaching Carl’s softball teams was one of the best things he ever did.

“He always tried to do it the right way,” he said. “We had the best amateurs in Cleveland and Gaston County. But the two teams that finished ahead of us in the national tournament were pro teams.

“Carl was a great friend of Kings Mountain athletics. I never will forget when Kings Mountain went to Chapel Hill for the state football championship in ’98. He called me and said ‘Get me four or five charter buses.’ He filled them with fans and they didn’t have to pay one penny. He was so generous. If he knew somebody needed something he would take care of it. There will never be another Carl Champion.”

Bruce Clark, who coached at KMHS in the 1980s and 1990s, echoed Shoemaker’s remarks.

“I have never had a better experience in coaching,” he said. “I coached his daughter Ashley in softball and his son Kevin in football. He’s just one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. He cared so much about Kings Mountain and wanted everyone to do well.

“It was not just what he did for sports, but the things he did for me personally. I was at a coach’s clinic when we were building a house. He came out and looked at the yard and said there was going to be a drainage problem. My wife called me and said he had some equipment out there. When I got home he had landscaped the yard and sowed it, and it was perfectly manicured.”

After Clark’s 1989 baseball team won the state 3A championship, Champion took the players, coaches and their wives, and others to the beach and paid the entire bill.

“He was such a great supporter of all athletes,” Clark said. “When we kept winning during the playoffs he would shoot fireworks. He came to me one day and said he wanted to take the team to the beach. He gave us a big RV so we could all ride together. We stayed for a week – the players, coaches and their wives and their parents and family.

“Carl and Dub Blalock were two of our biggest supporters,” he added. “They would take everybody to the Riverview Fish Camp in Belmont. Carl was just a fine man. He just wanted to see you have a good time and enjoy the moment.

“What he did for the Kings Mountain Hall of Fame was just amazing. He will always be a special person in my heart.

“When I was coaching in Greensboro, North Gaston and Boiling Springs Carl would just all of a sudden show up. He’d just sit with me and talk and see how things were going.

“He was an amazing man. We have lost a good one.”

As great of a supporter as he was in sports, that’s only a drop in the bucket of the good he did while on Earth. Whenever there was a need – someone was hurt in an accident, a child born with numerous health problems, supporting the Shriners Hospitals and numerous other causes, Carl Champion was there for them.

He was a true Champion!
Sportsslow
The late Henry “Slow” Robinson was the catcher for Satchel Paige.

The late ‘Slow’ Robinson was Satchel Paige’s catcher

This is the 100th year since the formation of the Negro Major League baseball league.

A man who lived the latter years of his life in Kings Mountain, Henry Frazier “Slow” Robinson, spent several seasons in the league before it merged with the Major League.

Robinson moved to Kings Mountain from California in 1989. He and his wife lived across from Ebenezer Baptist Church on Cherryville Road.

Robinson began his professional career in 1939 with the Satchel Paige All-Stars. He was Paige’s catcher. His career was interrupted in 1944-45 by World War II when he joined the U.S. Navy.

He played for the Kansas City Monarchs, New York Black Yankees, Baltimore Elite Giants and the Baltimore Greys and retired from the game in 1950.

Robinson was born in Alabama, and moved to Oklahoma at a young age. His brother Norman Robinson also played major league ball and they played together with the Elites in 1946.

Prior to moving to Kings Mountain, Robinson ran his own business, Sweep It Right Parking Lot Maintenance, in Los Angeles.

 
Sportsbasketball
Otis Cole, right, and 7’4” Tommy Burleson of Avery County get pre-game instructions from a referee prior to the start of the 1970 WNCHSAA playoff game at the KMHS gym.

BLAST FROM THE PAST: 1970 Mountaineers undefeated until they faced a 7-foot-4 giant

Fifty years ago Kings Mountain High School put one of its best teams ever on the basketball floor.

The first full five-year period after school integration proved to be one of, if not the best, in Mountaineer basketball history.

The 1966-67 and 1967-68 teams that featured All-American George Adams posted back-to-back seasons of 20-1 and 25-1, the first being upset by Marion in the first round of the WNCHSAA playoffs and the latter losing only to A.L. Brown of Kannapolis in the Western North Carolina High School Activities Association championship game.

Coached by the late Bob Hussey, the 1968-69 team featured a mostly young group of players but still managed to finish 18-5 overall and second place in the Southwestern 3A Conference behind Cherryville.

But players like Otis Cole, Charles Barnes and Phillip Francis polished their skills during that season, and in 1969-70 they and their teammates reeled off 23 straight victories before facing a giant in the WNCHSAA semi-finals.

That giant was 7-foot-4 Tommy Burleson and Avery County, who came into the KMHS gym and scored the last seven points of the game to stun the Mountaineers 63-61.

Kings Mountain led 61-56 with 1:59 remaining in the game before Burleson, who finished with 38 points, scored the last seven on an old-fashioned three-point play (a field goal and free throw, there were no three-point goals back then), a tipped-in missed shot and a 23-foot jumper at the buzzer for the game winner.

Otis Cole, who finished his senior season with 550 points and a 23.4 points per game average, went on to a great career with the Florida State Seminoles. Cole was on the FSU team that lost the NCAA national championship to John Wooden’s UCLA powerhouse in 1973.

Cole still lives in Kings Mountain and is seen regularly at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium, cheering on the Mountaineers. Barnes, who went on to become a starting guard at Appalachian State and later coached basketball in Georgia and North Carolina, averaged 18.2 points per game and had a season’s total of 436 points.

Francis, who was the #3 scorer with 238 points, joined Cole and Barnes on the All-Southwestern Conference team. Cole played in the East-West All-Star game and also made the All-American team.

The 1970 team’s toughest games in the SWC were against the Crest Chargers and their superstar, David Thompson, who would later join Burleson to lead NC State to the national championship. Both of those games went down to the wire.

Other members of the ’70 team were Steve Gladden, Roger Smith, Jewel Watson, Geeper Howard, Ben Brown, Bobby Ethridge, M. White, Chuck Carpenter, Randolph Ross, Wilson Ledford, Chuck Easley and Andy Neisler.
— KM Herald
Javari rice wilson
Javari Wilson

KM’s Javari Wilson to play football for Fordham Rams

A third Kings Mountain High School football player has announced his college choice as well as the probability of leaving school at the semester break.

Javari Wilson, the Mountaineers’ all-star defensive end, will be attending Fordham University in New York City.

Last year’s Big South 3A Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year received numerous other offers from schools like Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Campbell, Western Carolina, The Citadel, College of Charleston, Akron and Gardner-Webb.

“I really like the atmosphere up there and being in the Big Apple, and the relationship with my position coach, Kenny Anunkie,” Wilson gave as the reason for choosing the Rams. “He was previously at Ohio State and was one of the better players in the NFL.”

Anunkie was a two-time All-ACC defensive lineman at Duke and the Blue Devils’ all-time sack leader. He is also the associate head coach at Fordham.

Wilson said he is undecided on his major. “But I feel like I am good enough to compete as a true freshman and I trust my defensive line coach to help me do well.”

The Rams run a 4-3 defense and a spread offense, both very familiar to the Kings Mountain product.

“They had a 4-8 record last year but I plan to help them improve that,” he said. “With electrifying talent we hope to change the mentality of their game in the Patriot League.”

Wilson was a three-year starter in high school, playing running back and fullback at Gastonia Forestview his freshman year and defensive end the last two seasons at Kings Mountain.

“I am expecting Kings Mountain to have a good year,” he said. “We have good coaches and good players. I don’t want that to end. Since my freshman year we’ve had great teams. I think the transition to college will be smooth with everything good.

“I feel like Kings Mountain will be a great team even if a couple of us leave,” he added. “I think they can still make it to the state championship.”

Other KM standouts who have already made college commitments are UNC-bound wide receiver Kobe Paysour, and Wilson’s cousin linebacker Dameon “Day  Day” Wilson, who is going to the University of Missouri.

“Day-Day and I are cousins, but we’re more like brothers,” Javari said. “We’ve been together since we were little.”

Javari is the son of Nataya and Brenton Wilson. They live between Kings Mountain and Grover.

“I am really looking forward to Fordham,” he said. “I have to mainly get stronger and faster. The next level is fast. I want to adapt as quickly as I can and be knowledgeable of the game and film study.”

Wilson had 62 solo tackles and a team-high 11 sacks for the Mountaineers last year. He led the Big South in sacks.

He begins his in-school classes at KMHS on Thursday.

“I want to truly thank the coaches and the whole community for their support while I was in Kings Mountain,” Wilson said. “I will always carry that throughout my career.”
Sportslarge

NCHSAA announces dates for sports;  football season is February 8-April 9

Sports fans anxious to get out and support their favorite high school teams will have a wait a little longer.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association last week announced that no sports will begin until November; and football will not be played until early next year.

Que Tucker, executive director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, announced the following schedule for sports:

Governor’s reopening plan may result in football being played in early 2021

North Carolina high school sports will be further delayed after Governor Roy Cooper’s announcement last week that Phase 2 of the state’s reopening plan will now be delayed until at least September 11.

Kings Mountain, which has been holding fall sports workouts for several weeks, will be off this week and next and will resume workouts the week after the first full week of school.

But, that doesn’t mean the Mountaineers will be playing anytime soon.

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has announced that the start of school sports practice will be delayed beyond the previously announced date of September 1.

Que Tucker, Executive Director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, issued the following statement:

“The NCHSAA Staff and Board of Directors will review all available options, seek input from SMAC, DPI, a sports Ad Hoc Committee, and announce a calendar for playing sports during the upcoming school year. It is hoped that we can make this announcement prior to August 17, 2020.

“We want to play sports during the upcoming school year and are making plans to do so; however, the health and safety of all participants, including coaches and other essential staff, will be a priority as decisions and plans are made.”

KM athletic director Matt Bridges and head football coach Greg Lloyd are confident that all sports will be played, but some fall sports such as football could be played after the first of the year. If football is played in the fall, there is speculation that it would be a seven-game regular season schedule and four playoff rounds.

“We’ll keep doing workouts,” Lloyd said. “I do think we’re going to play football whether it’s in the fall or the spring. Right now we’re just kind of waiting.”

There has been some talk that basketball could begin in November and go through January, and football begin in February and end in early April.

“Whenever we play we’ll have to look at it positively,” Lloyd said. “We’re going to have a good team. We want to play whenever we can play.”

There has also been speculation that if football is played in the fall there would be no spectators, and no one wants to see that since football provides about 75 percent of the funds needed to fund a total athletic program.

“We still hope to be playing low risk sports in the fall, things like cross country, tennis and golf,” Bridges noted. “And then play everything else in the second semester. Things like volleyball, soccer and football are a higher risk.

“We may have to create a third season (for sports like baseball and softball) during the spring semester. A lot of spring coaches also coach other sports,” Bridges noted.

Bridges said he expects an announcement from the NCHSAA by the end of this week. 
Golf

KM Touchdown Club Annual golf tournament

The Kings Mountain Touchdown Club held its annual golf tournament Friday at Kings Mountain Country Club with well over 100 golfers participating. All profits from the tourney will be used as a payment on the club's artificial turf and tennis projects at Kings Mountain High School.


KM Touchdown Club
golf tourney winners


 Winners of last week’s Kings Mountain Touchdown Club golf tournament included:

First flight – Brad Moffitt, Steven Dellinger, Billy Crease and Zach Harris.

Second flight – DeWayne Clark, John Smith, Dexter Tate and Gerald Putnam.

Third flight – Chris Jolly, Jim Jolly, Erin Jolly and Michael Jolly.

Fourth flight – Josh Skibo, Trey Robinson, Tai Robinson and Cody Barrett.

Fifth flight – Louis Sabetti, Chris Bullock, Michael Sabetti and Allan McNamara.

Closest to the pin on #17 – Kenneth Barker.

Closest to the pin on #5 – Jason Bridges.

Closest to the pin on #12 – Austin Black.

Closest to the pin on #8 – Josh Skibo.

Senior longest drive – David “Big Mac” McDaniel.

Women’s longest drive – Sarah Drennan.

Men’s longest drive – Mark Ham.
 
Football field today
KMHS football field today

KMTD auction begins Thursday on Facebook

The Kings Mountain Touchdown Club auction begins Thursday at 9 a.m. and runs through Saturday at 6 p.m. You can place bids 24 hours a day.

There are lots of great prizes to bid on. There are a big variety of prizes for both men and women.

Everyone must register in order to place a bid. Hit the big KM on Facebook and it will take you directly to the auction website or enter www.qtego.net/qlink/kingsmountain on your browser to access the website.
Footballpractice

Mountaineer football “touch” practices begin

Kings Mountain was able to get its first “touch” practice underway Tuesday morning at John Gamble Stadium. The NCHSAA approved touching the football beginning Monday, but Monday’s workout was canceled because of the weather. Backs, receivers and kickers are shown in these photos working out on the new Gamble Stadium turf. 

Tennis lessons, leagues to begin at new complex

Kings Mountain High tennis coach Rick Henderson invites tennis enthusiasts to enjoy the new six-court tennis facility at the high school and consider taking tennis lessons and get involved with a tennis league that is forming.

Henderson said he is looking for tennis enthusiasts of all ages for lessons and leagues that will start in the near future.

“We hope to draw a number of folks that haven’t played in a number of years,” he said. “Hopefully we will draw dozens of folks that are new to the game of tennis as well. We currently have approximately 20 people that have shown an interest in the adult league. I’m not quite sure what day or time the adult league will start but it will be soon.”

Henderson said he is looking to start in the latter part of August to begin the adult league along with group and private lessons on Saturday mornings. Former high school players will assist Henderson with the lessons.

“I’m excited about our new tennis complex and know there are hundreds of other folks in the community that are excited as well,” Henderson said. “We no longer have to dream about having tennis courts in our community. It’s now a reality.”

Anyone interested in participating in the tennis league and/or lessons, call Henderson at 704-460-8066 or email Rick.Henderson2@duke-energy.com
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Seven Mountaineers pre-season All-State 

Seven Kings Mountain High senior football players have been selected to the North Carolina High School Football Friday Nights in the Carolinas pre-season all-state team.

Selected to the first team were quarterback Ethan Reid, wide receiver Kobe Paysour, defensive lineman Javari Wilson and linebacker Dameon Wilson.

Making the second team were junior running back Rashaard Brooks, offensive lineman Blake Davis and defensive back Chance Cannon.

Reid, beginning his second season at KMHS, already holds the school record for most touchdown passes in a single season and was last year’s Big South Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

Paysour was the top pass receiver in the conference for the second straight year and is already the KMHS record holder for receiving yardage.

Dameon Wilson led the team in tackles and Javari Wilson was voted the Big South Defensive Player of the Year.

Running behind the blocking of Davis and others, Brooks rushed for over 1,400 yards last season.

From his defensive back position, Cannon was in the opponents’ backfield all night long pressuring the quarterback and tackling the runners.

Two of the KM stars – Dameon Wilson and Kobe Paysour – have already committed to Missouri and UNC, respectively, and all of the others except Brooks are getting college offers. After Brooks’ junior year, he  should also be highly recruited.  

 

How to register to bid on KMTD Club online auction

The Kings Mountain Touchdown Club auction is almost complete. A few more items will be added in the next few days, but there is already a variety of items for viewing at www.qtego.net/qlink/kings mountain

You will need to go to that site to register to view the items, and to bid. For more information on each item, click on the picture. When you provide your email address, you will be sent updates when new items are added. Check often to see the new items.

Browse and look at all items, but you cannot bid until August 6 when the auction opens. The auction will remain open from Thursday, Aug. 6 at 9 a.m. until Sat., Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. All bids are anonymous. Once the auction opens, watch your item closely so that you can bid again if someone raises the bid

All proceeds go to reduce the debt of $2.1 million for the improvements to the football, track and tennis facilities at KMHS. Auction items include:

 • 2 footballs and a helmet signed by Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney

• A Danny Ford 1981 National Championship football signed by Danny Ford. This is the year KM’s Kevin Mack helped Clemson win the National Championship.

• 2018 Limited Edition Championship Football signed by Dabo Swinney Clemson vs Alabama.

• A signed basketball by Coach Rick Barnes of the University of Tennessee.

• A framed signed jersey of Jon Beason former Carolina Panthers linebacker.

• A signed football by Carolina Panthers wide receiver D. J. Moore.

• A framed signed photo of Ethan Brand Duke Basketball All American.

• A framed signed photo of Grant Hill Duke Player Rookie of the Year.

• A framed signed picture of Kelvin Benjamin defended by Richard Sherman.

• A signed baseball and bat by Will Wilson who recently signed with the San Francisco Giants

• Gardner Webb University football helmet

• Football cleats signed by Christian Wilkins 3 time All American Clemson University

• KMHS Football helmet signed by KM rising stars DayDay Wilson and Kobe Paysour

• 6 Charlotte Hornets 2021 season tickets 3 rows behind the Hornet’s bench

• 3 separate very nice vacation packages

• Belize Vacation

• Chetola Vacation

• Willow Valley Resort Vacation

• Dinner for 4 at the Capitol in Charlotte with limousine service included

• 3 separate golf bags

• Gardner Webb University golf bag

• A Stihl weed eater

• An Echo weed eater

• 3 separate coolers Yeti, Grizzly and a K-2

• An Outdoor Lighting System

• A 12x15 room of carpet installed by Flooring America

• A diamond necklace

• 8 separate pairs of Oakley Sunglasses $200 to $300 dollar value

• A child’s Nano Balance bicycle

• 2 rounds foursome of golf at Riverbend

• 2 rounds foursome of golf at the

• Dunes Club at Myrtle Beach

• One foursome of golf at Cramer Mountain

• A round of golf with Brad Jones Bring 3 Carmel Country Club

• A golf foursome Marion Lake Club Golf, Marion

• A golf foursome Red Bridge Golf Club, Locust

• A golf foursome Cowan Ford Golf Club

• Oil and filter change by Leigh’s Automotive

• Oil and filter change by Parker’s Amoco

• Nebo Flashlight

• 2 Copper Top Birdhouses with poles

• Ricky Stenhouse Jr Race Suit 2013 Sprint Cup Rookie Day of Year

• Western Carolina Ultimate Package

• J T Poston Vineyard Vine Shirt

• Men’s Nike Golf Shirt and Titleist hat plus golf balls

• Men’s Footjoy KMCC golf shirt, golf balls, hat and towel

• Lickety Lew’s gift package

• Lots of KMHS football jerseys with various colors and numbers will be up for bids. 
Workout2
Kings Mountain High varsity football workouts.

NCHSAA delays start of fall practice to September 1,
Kings Mountain High still hopes to get in full seasons

As of now, Kings Mountain and other high school football teams in North Carolina can begin pre-season practice on September 1, which is a month later than usual.
Que Tucker, executive director of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, announced the start for fall sports last week.
The first eight days have to be workouts only, KMHS athletic director Matt Bridges explains, meaning the first game would be around September 17.
At this point, Bridges said, he does not believe the NCHSAA would cancel the season or move it to the spring.
“I feel like the state association would adjust the schedule before they would do that,” he said. “I think they’d have a shorter season or playoff so we could finish up by Christmas. Some football coaches around the state have mentioned moving it to the spring, but I really don’t think that will happen.”
Bridges said he expects other sports’ seasons would also be adjusted.
“Basically, we’re just sitting and waiting,” he said. “I think they’re probably polling all the school boards in the state to see what they’re going to do.
“Because we’re still in Phase One for sports, there’s nothing we can do except conditioning,” he noted. “We do know the first week of school (August 17-23) will be a dead period. I think the state association is doing a survey on which schools will be open to students and which will be virtual or a combination of the two.
“I think they want to get a full season in, even though it might be adjusted by either shortening the regular season or the playoffs. They want to get it in safely. Hopefully we can go to stage 3 soon.”
Most KMHS fall sports have been working out for a couple of weeks. The football team works out Monday through Thursday mornings; soccer, cross country and volleyball are working out a couple days a week and tennis will begin soon.
“All of the teams have to have social distancing,” he noted. “They can’t hit or share equipment or anything. They can use balls but two people can’t touch the same ball. Getting to stage 3 is really important.”
Bridges said because of the uncertainty about the beginning of the sports year, the high school is not yet selling passes.
“Once we know for sure what the situation looks like, we will adjust the prices of all of our sports passes, reserved seating and parking and let the public know about it,” he said.
7 15 2020 4 54 32 pm 8168345

KM High Varsity Football Workouts Resume

Kings Mountain High varsity football workouts resumed Monday morning at several different practice fields. The Mountaineers and all other NCHSAA teams are limited to light outdoor workouts with social distancing as long as Phase 2 of the governor's COVID plan remains in effect but they and other schools hope to see their football season begin in August.

Women’s tennis workouts Tues., July 21 at KM High

Workouts for the Kings Mountain High women’s tennis team will begin Tuesday, July 21 at 6 p.m. at the KMHS tennis complex.

Each student athlete must take tennis gear and attire, have an updated physical on file or take the physical form to workouts. No one can participate in workouts without a current physical.

For more information contact Coach Rick Henderson via email (Rick.Henderson2@duke-energy.com) or text 704-460-8066.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, standards and guidelines, each student athlete will be required to complete the NCHSAA Initial Screening and Pre-participation Family History before the first day of workouts. Contact Coach Henderson to know the expectations and guidelines before you arrive at the courts, during workouts and following workouts.

Symptoms of Covid-19: Do not come to campus if you have any of these symptoms:

Cough, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, chills, sore throat, shortness of breath, new loss of taste and smell.

The NCHSAA’s first day of tennis practice and tryouts is Monday, August 3. Starting time is 6 p.m. 
Ycamp
Attendees gather for the first day of camp. Photos by YMCA

Y sports camps begin in July

The Kings Mountain Family YMCA announced they will provide sports camp this summer. Camps will be constructed and programmed to maintain social distancing, capacity regulations and best safety practices.

Each camp has a capacity of 18 participants, with the exception of Dance Camp that has a capacity of 9 participants. Camp is for ages 7 – 12 years old. Register online at CleveCoYMCA.org or contact Michael Peeler at MPeeler@CleveCoYMCA.org. for pricing.

July 13 – 17 : Multi-Sports Camp – Campers will learn and develop basic skills for a variety of different sports throughout this camp. 8:30 am – 12:00 pm at Kings Mountain Family YMCA.

July 20 -24 : Soccer Camp – Campers will learn basic soccer skills and performance training. 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Davidson Park.

July 27 – 30 : Golf Camp – Campers will learn basic golf skills and golf etiquette when taking care of the course. 8:30 am – 12:00 pm at Kings Mountain Country Club.

August 3 – 7 : Dance Camp – Campers will develop and learn the skills used in beginner – advanced dances. 8:30 am – 12:00 pm at Kings Mountain Family YMCA.
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YMCA pool now open for members and non-members

The pool is now open at the YMCA. There are several safety measures in place to comply with the new state guidelines to keep everyone safe.

Hours:

• Monday – Friday: 12 pm – 6 pm The pool is available for YMCA members beginning at 12 pm and for community members from 2 pm – 6 pm.

• Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm

• Sunday: 2 pm – 6 pm

• Cost: $3 per guest and free for YMCA members

The YMCA is offering swim lessons whether you prefer group or private lessons. We have both options available throughout July and August. There are swim lessons available in the evenings throughout the week for kids ages 3 – 14. Session times vary between 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm.

• Group Swim Lessons: $35 for members or $55 for non-members.

• Private Swim Lessons: $50 for members or $85 for non-members.

• Financial Assistance is available upon request.

The YMCA is also offering birthday parties at the pool with a maximum of 20 guests.  For more information please contact Aquatics Director, Michael Peeler at 704.669.3687.

Be sure to social distance while at the pool. There will be a limited capacity of 60 people total at the pool and only 35 in the pool; so be sure to get a spot! We ask that families limit their pool visit to 2 hours to accommodate capacity guidelines.

Please note that we will not have any chairs or picnic tables available. Be sure to bring your own chair! Also, you will need to bring your own US Coast Guard approved life jackets and puddle jumpers. We have lifeguards on duty to ensure a fun and safe time.

Sponsors needed for KMTD golf, KMTD auction will be held online

The annual Kings Mountain Touchdown Club golf tournament will be played August 7 at Kings Mountain Country Club.

All proceeds will go toward the athletic facility upgrades at Kings Mountain High School, which included artificial turf and other improvements to John Gamble Stadium and new tennis courts and a locker room/rest room facility.

There is still a real need for tournament sponsors. Sponsorships are $100 for silver, $250 for gold, $500 for platinum and $1,000 for diamond.

All persons wishing to help the tournament should call 704-466-7214.

Because of social distancing regulations, president David Brinkley also reports the usual pre-tournament meal will be cancelled and the annual auction will be held online. The club will begin advertising the items shortly but they will include things such as vacations, golf trips a signed basketball from Coach Rick Barnes, a signed football and helmet from Coach Dabo Swinney and several foursomes for golf. In all there should be about 50 items to bid on.

The auction will begin on Thursday, August 6 from 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and continue all-day Friday and Saturday up to 6 p.m.

Persons will be able to bid and also post upset bids online.

For more information on the tournament and auction, contact Harold Farris. 
Sports

Schools may begin conditioning July 6

 As of now, Kings Mountain and other area high schools will be able to begin outside fall sports conditioning July 6. 

Athletes were driving by the high school Monday through Wednesday of this week to pick up information from their coaches. 

Next week is a dead week for all North Carolina High School Athletic Association members. During that time there can be no type of workouts or conditioning.

All athletic teams are required to obey safe distancing policies as well as having no more than 25 people in a single group, including coaches. That number probably won’t affect any sport except football but KMHS has enough practice and playing fields to safely obey the requirements. 

All teams are limited to 90 minutes a day. Until further notice, fans are not allowed to attend
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KMHS rising senior linebacker “Day Day” Wilson has committed to play football at the University of Missouri

Mountaineer football star Day Day Wilson commits to play collegiately at Missouri

Kings Mountain High football standout Dameon “Day Day” Wilson Sunday afternoon officially committed to continue his career at the University of Missouri.

Wilson, a rising senior and an all-star linebacker for the Mountaineers for the past three seasons, joins teammate Kobe Paysour at the next level. Paysour, a wide receiver, earlier committed to the University of North Carolina.

Wilson gave his fans, who watched live on Facebook, an anxious moment when he started taking off an outer sweatshirt to make his official announcement. He revealed a University of North Carolina shirt, but then took it off to show a Mizzou shirt.

Wilson was offered by some of the top football schools in the nation, including North and South Carolina, Kentucky and NC State. But, he said he just had a great feeling about playing in the SEC in general, and Missouri in particular.

“They’re just great people out there,” he said. “They have a great coaching staff. I just felt like it is the place for me.”

One of the coaches that recruited him to Mizzou was former Crest athlete Charlie Harbison, who is Missouri’s assistant head coach.

“A lot of their coaches were at Appalachian State last year when they beat both North Carolina and South Carolina,” Wilson noted.

In making his announcement, Wilson said “I just want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the ability to play.”

Wilson is the son of James and Rachelle Wilson. His older brothers, Trevon and Javari, also played football at Kings Mountain.

Wilson, who had a team-high 123 tackles last year, has been a part of the winningest era in KMHS history the past three seasons. The Mountaineers barely missed going to the state championship game last fall when they fell in the Western championship to Charlotte Catholic, 56-49, in a state record seven overtimes.

With the uncertainty of the Covid 19 situation, Wilson hopes his high school football career isn’t over. The Mountaineers are expected to begin light preseason workouts July 6.

“We hope to get to play this season, and win the state championship,” he said.
— KM Herald