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KMHS football players visit North School to read with students. See more photos on page 4B. Photo by Anna Hughes

KMHS football players
visit North School

By Loretta Cozart

Coach Greg Lloyd and 32 of the Kings Mountain High School football players visited North Elementary School on November 10.
The high schoolers partnered with North students to read with them as part of our PALS program. Football players visited the classrooms and read to the students.
North students lined the hallway and cheered on the Mounties who are in the state playoffs and ranked number one in their division this year.

KMHS women’s tennis team wins Big South Conference

Kings Mountain High’s women’s tennis team recently won its fifth Big South Conference championship in eight years.
The Lady Mountaineers’ record during that time was 70-6.
“I couldn’t be more proud of a group of young ladies, especially our seniors led by Hannah McCall, Katelyn Fleming, Hailey McCall and Railey Bolt,” said Coach Rick Henderson. Other members of the team were Katherine Fleming, Katie Murray, Melissa Brooks, Lillie Bolin and Khalia King.
In their opener, the Lady Mountaineers edged county rival Shelby 5-4 in a non-conference game. Winners were Fleming, Brooks and Murray in singles and Fleming/Bolt and Frye McSwain in doubles.
KM defeated Ashbrook 9-0. Winners were Hannah McCall, Katelyn Fleming, Katherine Frye, Hailey McCall, Katie Murray and Railey Bolt. Doubles winners were the McCalls, Fleming and Bolt and Frye and McSwain.
KM also dominated Hunter Huss 9-0 with wins by both McCalls, Fleming, Frye, Brooks and McSwain in singles and the McCalls, Fleming and Bolt and Frye and McSwain in doubles.
The Lady Mountaineers had their first tough BSC match, beating North Gaston 5-4. Winners were Frye, Hailey McCall, Murray and Brooks in singles and Fleming/Bolt and Frye/McSwain in doubles.
KM defeated Forestview 6-3with wins by Fleming, Frye, Hailey McCall, Murray and Bolt in singles and Fleming and Bolt and Brooks and Murray in doubles.
KM whipped South Point 7-2. After Hannah McCall lost, the Lady Mountaineers wrapped up the match with singles wins by Fleming, Frye,  Hailey McCall, Murray and Bolt. The McCalls lost their #1 doubles match but Fleming and Bolt and Brooks and Murray finished things up with victories.
The Lady Mountaineers defeated Cramer 8-1, sweeping after Hannah McCall lost at the #1 position. Winners were Fleming, Frye, McCall, Murray, and Bolt and doubles winners were the McCalls, Fleming and Bolt and Brooks and Murray.
In a head-to-head battle with county rival Crest to end the regular season, all of the KM ladies were in top form and won 9-0. Winners were Hannah and Hailey McCall, Fleming, Frye, Brooks and Bolt. Doubles winners were the McCalls, Fleming and Bolt and Brooks and Murray.
In the post-season BSC tournament, the ladies were represented by Frye and Murray. Frye was ousted in the first round by Lauren Lucas of South Point 9-0 while Murray fell to Jazmin Higley of Hunter Huss 8-3.
Hannah and Haley McCall and Fleming and Bolt represented the KM ladies in doubles and both teams advanced to the championship match. Hanna and Hailey took an early lead and won 6-2, 6-1 but both teams advanced to the Western Regionals in Hickory along with Fleming and Bolt. Unfortunately both teams fell in the first round.
“I was so proud of each of these four seniors who led our tennis team over the last four years by example on and off the courts,” said Coach Rick Henderson. “These continued their winning ways as they helped lead the KM women’ tennis program into the record books. Over the last eight years our women’s program has a conference record of 70-plus wins and eight losses.”
Participating on this year’s team were Hannah McCall, Katelyn Fleming, Katherine Fleming, Hailey McCall, Katie Murray, Melissa Brooks, Railey Bolt, Lillie Bolin and Khalia King.
Bolt, Brooks, Fleming, Frye and Hailey and Hannah McCall were selected to the All-Conference team.  Henderson was named Coach of the Year for the sixth time in the last nine seasons – 2014, ’15, ’16, ’17, ’18 and ’22.

Lions Here Friday

West Charlotte’s Lions will be roaring into John Gamble Stadium Friday night for a third round NCHSAA 3A playoff date with the Kings Mountain Mountaineers and according to KM head coach Greg Lloyd this will be the home team’s biggest test so far this season.
“They are impressive, for sure,” he said. “They’re electric as far as speed. They have excellent size. They are very athletic and they played in one of the toughest conferences in the state.”
The Lions tuned up for their 3A opponents by playing very tough Charlotte area 4A teams in pre-season so no one should look at their overall record and think there’s going to be another 42-0 blowout.
“It’s going to be a big test and a great game,” Lloyd says. “The team that plays better will win.”
The Lions are led by one of the best quarterbacks around in Kamron Roberts and he has plenty of outstanding teammates to throw to and hand off to. “Their number one (Caleb Barringer) is really fast and can score on any play,” Lloyd said.
“They’re also an excellent defensive team – one of, if not the best, we’ve seen,”
Lloyd added. “They’re going to be a big challenge. We’re going to try to execute better and play hard and try to keep the ball. On defense we’ll have to keep the pressure on them and play just as hard as we can play. This one’s not going to be easy.”
The Mountaineers hope to have junior defensive end/wide receiver Curtis Simpson back at full strength this week. He took part in just a couple plays in last week’s win over Smoky Mountain.
“I think he’s okay but you just never know about those nagging injuries,” Lloyd said. “We sure hope he will be playing.”
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Kings Mountain running back Caleb Holland turns the corner for some of his 126 rushing yards in Friday’s win over Smoky Mountain. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers shutout Smoky Mountain for 12th win

The defense set the tone early and often in the Mountaineers’ 42-0 win over Smoky Mountain in the second round of the state 3A playoffs Friday at John Gamble Stadium.
After winning the pre-game coin toss, the Mountaineers opted to go on defense. After an early first down by the visitors Bryson Brown, Jason Melton, Zay Smith and Jake Lloyd applied the pressure for three incomplete passes and Antonio Armstrong supplied a quarterback sack to force a punt which big AJ Richardson partially blocked and Lloyd returned it to the visitors’ 19 yard line. It took just two runs by Caleb Holland to get the Mountaineers into the end zone and with less than three minutes into the game they were on the way to their 12th straight win.
The defense was far from through as it had a hand in every touchdown scored the rest the night by making big plays to set things up for the offense. The offense had one of its most impressive nights finishing with 444 yards of total offense including 254 rushing and 190 passing.
Special teams were also doing their part. Kicker Jaden Ellis put several kicks into the end zone to make the visitors start at their 20, and on other occasions he supplied high kicks that resulted in short or zero returns. The defense held the previously high-scoring Mustangs to just 192 yards total offense – 100 on the ground and 92 in the air.
After the two teams exchanged a couple possessions after that initial score, the KM defense came up big again when Lloyd intercepted a pass at the KM 22 yard line late in the first period. With Holland and Teddy Jeffries running the ball three times each, the Mountaineers worked their way to the visitors’ one yard line on the final play of the first quarter. KM put big linebacker AJ Richardson on offense and on the first play of the second period he bulled his way into the end zone and Ellis booted the PAT for a 14-0 lead.
“It was a good win,” noted KM head coach Greg Lloyd. “We got off to a pretty good start but Smoky Mountain came to play. We stopped them on two early drives. The second quarter, we came out to play. We had a defensive turnover in the red zone and that gave us the momentum.”
Another interception by Smith put KM in business again at its own 33 with 10:32 on the second quarter clock. Again, Holland and Jeffries took turns running the ball to get in scoring range but a fumble (which KM recovered) and an incomplete pass on third and 14 forced a fourth and 14 from the visitors’ 27 yard line. Quarterback Lamont Littlejohn found Holland wide open in the end zone and Ellis’s PAT made it 21-0 with 7:41 on the clock.
After another punt by the visitors, it took KM just three plays to score as Ja’Qualyn Sanders streaked down the home sideline for a 59-yard catch and run that along with Ellis’s PAT sent the Mountaineers into halftime with a 28-0 lead.
The Mountaineers scored on their first two possessions of the second half to put the win in the bag. After SM kicker Nathan Porter put the kickoff into the end zone, the Mountaineers ate up almost half of the third period clock on an 80-yard, 11-play drive that ended with Jeffries’ two yard run. Along the way Littlejohn completed passes of 27 yards to Xorion Lenair and 28 to Sanders who made a highlight reel leaping reception at the Smoky Mountaintwo from which point Jeffries took it into the end zone and Ellis added the PAT for a 35-0 lead.
This time, Ellis went with a pooch kick which the visitors put in play at their own 33. They were forced to punt from their 35 and their kicker’s punt went into the end zone forcing KM to start at its own 20. A 15-yard run by Holland, a SM face mask penalty, and a 22-yard run around right end by Jeffries got the Mountaineers to the SM 22. After a bad snap resulted in a loss and a three-yard run by Littlejohn created a fourth and 10 at the 33, Littlejohn found Holland all alone at the five yard line for a pass and he back-peddled into the end zone for the final TD. Ellis’s PAT rounded out the scoring.
“Our offensive line blocked really well and Lamont had some timely throws,” Lloyd said. “Our special teams had one of its better games. We were good in every area.”
KM played all but one or two plays without the services of one of their top defensive standouts, Curtis Simpson, who hurt his ankle the week before. He is expected to be back for this week’s game with West Charlotte.
“Smoky Mountain presented us some problems, especially early,” Lloyd said. “We knew their quarterback was good and that number five (Damare Williams) was a threat. But our guys played hard and made some good plays on them.”
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Kings Mountain quarterback Lamont Littlejohn gets good pass protection in Friday’s opening playoff win over St. Stephens at Gamble Stadium. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers whip Indians 42-6


Kings Mountain’s Caleb Holland returned the opening kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown to spark a 42-point first quarter and a 42-6 victory over St. Stephens in the opening round of the state 3A playoffs Friday night at John Gamble Stadium.
Before four minutes were gone off the clock, the Mountaineers had built a 21-0 lead and it was evident the Indians would be no match for the top-ranked KM eleven.
Following Holland’s return and Jaden Ellis’s PAT for a quick 7-0 lead, the Mountaineer defense held the Indians to three and out and Xzorion Lenair returned a punt to the visitors’ 44. Teddy Jeffries took a handoff from quarterback Lamont Littlejohn and went off right tackle for a 14-0 lead.
With the Indians facing third and 22 from their own 21 on the next series, Jake Lloyd broke in front of the Indians’ intended receiver for an interception and a 36-yard burst down the visitors’ sideline for a 21-0 lead with just 3:55 gone off the clock.
Following another three and out highlighted by a five yard tackle for loss by AJ Richardson and a nine yard loss on Antonio Armstrong’s sack, the Indians had to punt again and Lenair returned it 42 yards for a touchdown to make it 28-0 with 6:25 still left in the first period.
Another three and out forced the Indians to punt again. This time, the Mountaineers took possession at their own 49. Following two carries by Holland for 17 and five yards – sandwiched around a 13-yard reception by Ja’Qualyn Sanders - Littlejohn hit Bryson Brown on a slant for a 35-0 lead with 3:38 on the clock.
The Indians picked up their initial first down on a face mask penalty against the Mountaineers, but the defense quickly took charge again and held them at midfield. After a holding penalty on KM, Littlejohn hit Jake Lloyd with a pass for 19 yards and a first down at the Indians’ 41 and Jeffries took care of the rest for a 42-0 lead with still 1:17 left on the first quarter clock.
That would be the end of the Mountaineer scoring, largely because the home team did not wish to run up the score. The coaching staff began substituting and all starters were on the sidelines in the second half supporting the second unit.
“We got everybody in the game and that’s good,” noted Coach Greg Lloyd. “We were able to rest some people. I doubt if the first team offense played maybe 12 plays. They didn’t get a lot of work but getting the lead helped us keep people fresh for this week. Simpson rolled his ankle but otherwise we’re pretty healthy. I think he’ll be able to play Friday.”
The Indians were able to finally get into KM territory late in the half but Lloyd’s interception stopped them at the 43, and after another change of possession the Indians were able to make it from their own 26 to the KM 46 but Micah Ward’s interception ended their hopes on the last play of the first half.
With the running clock rule in effect, the Indians ate up most of the third quarter on a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a quarterback Peyton Young’s 11 yard TD run with 35 seconds on the clock.  Facing fourth and seven at the KM 22, the Indians first went for a field goal, which was good, but KM was penalized on the play for roughing the kicker which set up Young’s TD.
Josiah Hill gained 37 yards on five carries and Ward 22 on four totes to take the game clock down to 5:11 and guys like Dariyon Black, Jason Melton and Jakarri Roberts held St. Stephens at bay the rest of the night.
Because of the outstanding defensive and special team efforts, the Mountaineers had very few running plays by the first unit. Jeffries had just two carries for 89 yards and Holland two for 22. Lloyd had one reception for 19 yards, Brown one for 16, Zay Smith one for 14 and Sanders one for 13.
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CHRIS JOHNSON

Chris Johnson
returns home
for Friday game

One of Kings Mountain High’s all-time great athletes was in the stands and pulling for St. Stephens in the Indians’ opening round 3A playoff game Friday against the Mountaineers at John Gamble Stadium.
Chris Johnson, who was assistant principal at St. Stephens for many years before being recently moved to the Alternative School as its principal, was one of the Mountaineer greats in both football and baseball during his youth. He played football under Coach Bob Jones and baseball for Coach Barry Gibson. He was very versatile in football playing tailback,  defensive  back,  wide receiver, corner and safety and returning kickoffs and punts. He made trips to Kings Mountain and to their opponent’s field every Friday night when his son Xavier was playing for Coach Greg Lloyd’s Mountaineers in mid-teens. Xavier is now living in Raleigh.
Before going into administration, Johnson taught and coached some in Bessemer City and schools in Catawba County.
A member of the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame, Johnson was three-time All-SAC8 and Honorable Mention All-American during a great four-year career at Gardner-Webb. He intercepted 25 passes that’s still a school record. He is the only football player ever to be named Kings Mountain’s most valuable player two years straight.
“Sports has been good to me,” Johnson said prior to Friday’s playoff game. “It made me what I am today. What lessons you learn as an athlete come back to you. You go through rigors and it makes you a better person.”
He recalled that the 1975 and ’76 KMHS baseball teams won the conference championship. He played in the outfield and was one of the team’s best all-around players standing out in the field, at bat and on the base paths.
“I had a lot of good teammates,” he noted. “The 1975 team went to the state tournament. That’s the year we had David Lancaster, Tony Payne and a lot of other good players. We went deep in the third round. We beat Shelby twice during the regular season and then lost to them in the playoffs.”
He also played on some good basketball teams under Coach Allen Dixon.
“I had good teammates in basketball, too,” he noted. “People like Jim Thompson, Tommy Manning, Charles Bell and Butch Blalock. They were really good athletes.
“My son Xavier played football for Greg Lloyd at Kings Mountain,” he noted. “I saw a lot of their games then. 2014 was his senior year and we went up to West Henderson in the playoffs and almost froze to death. I think that’s the coldest I’ve ever been.
“Just to be on the ball field is great,” he said. “That’s where my heart was. Sports is still a family thing for me. I grew up without a dad and people in sports really embraced me. It’s always been a tradition for me.”
Friday was the first time Johnson has been back to Gamble Stadium since the new Brinkley Field was built and artificial turf put down on the playing field.
“This is very nice,” he said.

Blazettes in Big South competition

The Kings Mountain Elite Trailblazers “Blazettes” competed in the Big South Youth Cheer League competition Sunday at East Lincoln High School and had an outstanding showing in each age division.
The 6U Tiny Mites and 8U Mighty Mites both finished first place. The 10U junior varsity cheerleaders finished second and the 12U varsity cheerleaders were fifth.
Out of the 21 teams that participated, the KM Elite Tiny Mites won the overall highest score award. The Blazettes are led by cheer coordinator Brandy Tate and staff.
The staff, left to right, are Kela Jackson, Mashayla Hopper, Ashanti Whittenburg, Porshia Whittenburg, Brandy Tate, Angel Capel, Victoria Lawson, Octavia Young and Mindy Reynolds.

Elite Trailblazers advance
in Big South YFL playoffs

The KM Elite Trailblazers advanced three of four teams to the semifinals of the Big South YFL playoffs Saturday. All semifinal games will be played Sat., Nov. 12 at St. Stephens High School in Hickory.
In the 6U division, the Trailblazers Tiny Mites earned the #2 seed and a first round bye. They will face the #3 Cramerton Panthers in the semifinal round.
The 8U Trailblazers Mighty Mites got a 14-6 victory over the Boger City Steelers. Jasir Garner rushed for a touchdown and Nazareth Long ran a touchdown and two-point conversion.
The defense gave an outstanding team effort, getting big plays from Garner, Long, G’Hailyn Smith, O’Brian Smith Jr., Khyier Marable, Dallas Hamrick, Jeffrey Brown, Zuri Brown, Jordan Goode, Michael Thompson Jr. and Zayden Mintz. The 8U team will play #2 West Carolina Ducks in the semifinals.
The 10U Junior Varsity Trailblazers suffered a tough 20-0 loss to the Carolina Bears from Cabarrus County. The 10U team finished the season fifth in their division.
The 12U Varsity Trailblazers got an early 45 yard touchdown run from Cayden Smith to take the lead 8-0 against the East Lincoln Mustangs. East Lincoln would score in the fourth quarter but the Elite’s A’mon Parker got a big hit on the opposing quarterback and Javen Wilson intercepted the pass to stop the conversion. An interception by Braylon Brown later in the quarter and some good hard-nosed running by Kavion Byers helped the Trailblazers seal the 8-6 victory. Smith, Tyvegas Goode Jr., Zykeem Hamrick, Jace Currence, Westley Barnes and Desmond Nolan also helped anchor the KM defense. The Trailblazers will play the Iredell Bandits in the semifinals.
The schedule for Saturday, Nov. 12 is:
10:15 a.m. – 6U Division, #2 KM Elite vs. #3 Cramerton Panthers.
11:30 a.m. – 12U Division, #2 KM Elite vs. #3 Iredell Bandits.
12:45 p.m. – 8U Division, #2 West Carolina Ducks vs. #4 KM Elite.
The winner of each game will advance to the BSYFL championship game.
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Kohen Johnson

KM's  Johnson All-Region 10

Running for the Cleveland Community College Yetis, 2022 Kings Mountain graduate Kohen Johnson made the NJCAA all region 10 cross country team. Kohen held off regional champion Spartanburg Methodist's fourth runner by 6 seconds to make the all-region team.   Region 10 consists of junior colleges from NC, SC, and Virginia.  Kohen Johnson is a freshman at Cleveland Community College and will be competing in the National Junior College cross country championship this Saturday, November 12th in Tallahassee Florida.                                                                           
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Former KMHS football players

Former KMHS football players (left to right) Tommy Black, George Harris, Charles Yelton, Palmer Huffstetler and Ken Cloninger at last week’s 100th Mountaineer football celebration at Gamble Stadium. All of these men helped the ‘50s and ‘60s teams pack City Stadium.
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Alexa Jones is strong on the nets for Lady Mountaineers in playoff win over East Lincoln at Parker Gym.

Volleyball ousts East Lincoln,
West Henderson from playoffs

The Lady Mountaineers defeated East Lincoln 25-14, 25-18 and 25-10 in second round action last Tuesday night at Parker Gym.
Meile Songaila had 13 kills, eight serve receptions, 20 digs and two service points.
Myracle Davis had 17 kills and two blocks.
Paige Bagwell had 12 assists, seven kills and four digs.
Camden Pasour dished out 25 assists and had 21 service points, two kills, two serve receptions and 12 digs.
Carolina Barber had 21 serve receptions, eight service points, three assists and 14 digs.
On Thursday, the Lady Mountaineers defeated a good West Henderson team in a close match 25-16, 22-25, 25-23 and 25-19.
Songaila had nine service points, 20 serve receptions, 21 digs and 18 kills.
Davis had 23 kills, five blocks and two digs.
Pasour had 12 service points, 24 assists, eight digs and three kills.
Bagwell had six service points, 24 assists, 19 digs and 12 kills.
Barber had six serve receptions, 29 service points and 27 digs.
The Lady Mountaineers fell 3-1 to Fred T. Foard Saturday afternoon in a match to decide the Western Regional representative for the state tournament.
 
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Watts to run in state XC meet

The 3A West Regional cross country championship was held at Freedom High School in Morganton last week.
The Big South Conference individual champion Isaac Watts of Kings Mountain High School had another personal best time of 16.59 to finish 13th overall and qualify as the third individual form the West for the State 3A Championship meet Saturday in Kernersville.
Other scores for the Mountaineers were Max Thompson who finished 47th with an 18:37, Marty Lovingood finishing 75th with a 19.31, Nathan Inthavong 99th with a 20:22, Elliot Habel 140th with a 22:08, Hunter Cruise 153rd with a 23:08, and Nicholas Horn 155th with a 23:31.
For the KM women, Divinity Ervin finished 36th overall with a 20:57 but a heartbreaking eighth place as an individual just missing the seventh spot by two seconds. Brooke Waseman finished 56th with a 22:24, Sarah Eagle 73rd with a 23:16, Nicole Poston 115th with a 25:40, Kinley Putnam 117th with a 25:52, Kallie Hope 118th with a 25:53 and Cindy Ulloa 126th with a 26:51.
Both teams finished 15th out of the 29 in the region. ‘
“There were six seniors running for Kings Mountain,” noted Coach Rayvis Key. “Their leadership, faithfulness and perseverance will truly be missed next year.”

St. Stephens here Friday
for first playoff game

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers are ranked as the #1 team in the Western 3A playoff bracket and will play all of their Western playoff games at home, beginning Friday night when the #32 St. Stephens Indians come to town.
Although they come here with a 4-6 overall record, they have played some very good Western NC teams and turned in a big victory over Fred T. Foard in their season finale last week to nail down a playoff spot
“They played very well Friday and they played very well against Statesville,” Lloyd noted. Kings Mountain and Statesville have had some classic post-season battles over the years.
“They’re very competitive,” Lloyd continued. “They have a balanced offense (averaging 139 yards passing and 168 rushing per game). Their quarterback (Peyton Young, who is 94 of 184 passing for 1,373 yards) is a good one. They are very similar to Franklin last year. We can’t afford to look past anybody. We have to focus on St. Stephens.”
Mountaineer fans will recall that last year the Mountaineers had to drive 99 yards in the final two minutes to defeat a Franklin team that had a similar record to St. Stephens.
The Indians have a good running game led by Bryan Gaither who has 1,145 yards rushing and last week burned the Fred T. Foard defense for 288 yards on 19 carries to help his team grab the playoff spot.
They have a couple standout receivers in 6-1 senior Dayton Anderson (33 catches for 427 yards) and Brycen Gaither (sophomore running back) who has caught 17 passes for 253 yards.
The Mountaineers have had some nagging injuries, but Lloyd said everyone will be ready to go Friday.
“Winning all 10 regular season games is really a great compliment for the players,” he said. “They’re really good players to coach. We want to take this momentum into the playoffs, get better every day and make a deep run.”
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Mountaineers defeat Chargers 35-20 to finish
regular season 10-0 for the first time since 1964


Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers scored on their first three possessions to take a 21-0 lead and went on to defeat the Crest Chargers 35-20 Friday night at Crest and wrap up the Big South Conference championship and their first 10-0 regular season since 1964.
A victory by the Chargers would have created a three-way tie for first place between the Mountaineers, Chargers and South Point but the KM victory sent Crest to a third place finish with a 5-2 conference record and 7-3 overall mark while South Point claimed sole possession of second place with a 6-1 mark in the league and 9-1 overall.
“We got off to a great start,” said Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd, a former player and assistant coach at Crest. “We were minus a player or two but we played very well. We had a fantastic first half in all three phases of the game. We did a good job running the ball and passing. We were very balanced.”
The Mountaineers drove the opening kickoff 60 yards in 12 plays to score on a two-yard run by Teddy Jeffries, who would go on to finish with 138 yards on 16 carries before being injured late in the fourth quarter.
The Chargers stopped Caleb Holland for no gain on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and the Mountaineers drew a five-yard illegal procedure penalty before senior quarterback Lamont Littlejohn passed 19 yards to Bryson Brown and 10 to Ja’Qualyn Sanders to put the Mountaineers on the Crest 37. Passes of 14 yards to Jeffries and 16 to Sanders got them to the four and carries of two yards each from AJ Richardson and Jeffries got them into the end zone. Jaden Ellis’s PAT made it 7-0.
On the Chargers’ first possession from scrimmage, Sanders intercepted a pass to put the Mountaineers in business at the Chargers’ 26. After a holding penalty and a one-yard loss, Littlejohn hit Bryson Brown for a 19 yard reception to get the offense rolling again. Richardson’s one yard burst at the 4:28 mark and Ellis’s PAT made it 14-0.
Jason Melton covered Ellis’s pooch kickoff at the Crest 34. After two carries for 18 yards by Jeffries put KM on the Charges’ 19, Holland took it to the house and Ellis’s PAT with still 3:19 left in the first period put the Mountaineers up 21-0. Holland would finish with 74 yards on 13 carries as he and Jeffries each gained more yards rushing than the entire Crest running corps that had 48 yards on 20 carries.
“I thought Lamont, Bryson Brown and Zavion Smith did a really good job,” Lloyd said. “Our offensive line was really aggressive. The defensive backs made some really big plays.”
The Crest defense blocked a punt to give the Chargers possession at the KM 17 with 11:38 left in the second quarter and the hosts got on the board on a 14-yard reception by DeShaun Curry. The PAT failed and KM led 21-6.
The Mountaineer defense came up big forcing the Chargers to punt from their own 25. Xorian Lenair returned it to the Crest 38 yard line. It took just three plays to score as Jeffries broke a 30-yard run and Ellis again added the PAT for a 28-6 lead.
With 2:42 left in the half, KM’s Jason Melton tackled Crest QB Ny’tavious Huskey on a fourth and two and KM took possession at its own 33. Two runs by Holland netted 18 yards and Littlejohn passed to Lenair for a 35-yard gain to the Crest 21. After a two-yard gain by Jeffries, Littlejohn passed 19 yards to Sanders for a 35-6 halftime lead.
That completed the Mountaineer scoring but Crest caused some anxious moments with two touchdowns in the second half. The Mountaineers were on the Crest 13 yard line when the Chargers recovered a high snap all the way back to the Crest 31. That gave the hosts some momentum
and five plays later their Malachi Addison caught a 46-yard pass for a touchdown to cut the margin to 35-14.
Another snap sailed high over the KM punter’s head early in the fourth period and the Charges took possession at the KM 48. Adams’ 37-yard TD reception on a fourth and three play cut the margin to 35-20 with still 8:34 on the clock.
“The bad snaps kept them in the game, but we still kept them at bay,” Coach Lloyd noted. “We played very well and I am very pleased with the regular season. We let them back in the game. We had more to do with them coming back than they did. Our two blunders kept their drives going. We just have to stay away from mistakes. We have to use that as a lesson learned and aim for 100 percent concentration.”
A pass interception and return to the KM 37 put the Chargers in scoring position again but this time Curtis Simpson came up with a big sack to force a Crest punt.
With KM backed up to its own eight yard line facing third and 13, the Mountaineers pulled off several big plays to clinch the win. Littlejohn threw a quick pass to Sanders who rambled 27 yards for a first down at the 35 with 4:44 remaining.  The Mountaineers moved steadily down the field and Jeffries’ 24-yard run gave them a first down at the Crest 11 from which point Littlejohn took a knee twice to end the game.
Kings Mountain played exceptionally well in all areas of the game. The Chargers’ TD plays accounted for most of their yardage as the KM defense and special teams played lights out. Crest had only 29 yards on seven kick returns and zero yards on three punt returns. The Chargers’ biggest weapons were Huskey who hit on 10 of 20 passes for 161 yards and all three of their TDs and Addison who caught five passes for 89 yards.
 
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Kings Mountain High’s All-Conference cross country runners, left to right, Coach Wilson, Isaiah Watts, Max Thompson, Hunter Cruise, Marty Lovingood, Divinity Ervin, Brooke Waseman, Sarah Eagle and Coach Rayvis Key.

KM XC teams second in Big South,
Watts wins individual championship

Kings Mountain High’s cross country teams finished second to South Point in last week’s Big South Conference championship and the Mountaineers’ Isaiah Watts won the individual championship.
Watts took an early lead and never looked back as he controlled the race with a consistent 20-second lead for a final time of 17:54.
Max Thompson and Stuart Cramer’s Jordan Granados were in a photo finish for second at 18:05 with Granados winning by a lean. South Point finished with 39 points, KM had 45, Hunter Huss 81, Crest 113 Forestview 114 and Ashbrook 130.
Also finishing with All-Conference honors for the Mountaineers were Hunter Cruise, who ran eighth with a 19:38 and Marty Lovingood running 16th with a 20:40. Other KM finishes were Nathan Inthavong 21st, Elliot Habel 25th, Nicholas Horn 31st, Luis Cedillo 36th, Nathaniel Kiser 45th, Marcus Williams 46th, Eric Bell 54th and Hayden Huss 57th.
The girls race was a huge surprise as Forestview’s Emily Raspanti finished first in 21:13.71, barely edging out Kings Mountain’s Divinity Ervin with a 21:23.90
Again, South Point poured in the numbers with six All-Conference girls to win the team championship with 28 points to KM’s 54. Forestview ran third with 57, Crest 96, and Ashbrook 144.
Other Kings Mountain runners making All-Conference were Brooke Waseman with a sixth place finish in 22:58, and Sarah Eagle who was 12th in 23.55. KM’s other finishers were Sindy Ulloa 23rd, Nicole Poston 29th, Kallie Hope 30th, Parker Wilson 32nd, Wren Ballard 40th and Emily Phelps 43rd.
The next race for the Mountaineers will be the NCHSAA West 3A Regional Saturday, October 29 at Freedom High School in Morganton.
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Eric Spicer, former pro basketball standout Al Wood, Jimmy ‘Smoke’ Brown and Paul Ingram finished second in last week’s Rotary golf tournament. KG Etters, Will Spicer, Eric Moore and Bob Dixon finished first. Photo contributed

Rotary golf tournament

Eric Spicer, former pro basketball standout Al Wood, Jimmy ‘Smoke’ Brown and Paul Ingram finished second in last week’s Rotary golf tournament. KG Etters, Will Spicer, Eric Moore and Bob Dixon finished first. Photo contributed
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Kings Mountain Middle’s Silas Tate (left) is ready to intercept a pass in last week’s Tri-County Conference playoff loss to RS Central at Gamble Stadium. Photo by Lizzie Ingram 

Patriots fall
in playoffs

Kings Mountain Middle School’s football season ended Wednesday at John Gamble Stadium in a 20-0 loss to RS Central in the first round of the Tri-County Conference playoffs.
The Patriots had several players that stood out on defense. Nasir Epps and Silas Tate had interceptions. Malachi Powell forced a fumble and Christian Jarrett and Nasir Epps had fumble recoveries.
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100th football anniversary
at John Gamble Stadium

Left to right Ken Baity, Anthony Hillman and Kevin Mack - three of Kings Mountain’s all-time great running backs - at last week’s 100th football anniversary at John Gamble Stadium.
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Pictured above are former KMHS players and supporters who were honored with special awards at last week’s 100th football anniversary. Left to right Bob Hullender, Jack Ruth, Kevin Mack, Gary Stewart, George Harris, CJ and Yolanda Stephens (representing the late Calvin Stephens), Zack Massey and Sherry Massey (representing the late KMHS coach Ron Massey), Keith Falls and current KMHS head coach Greg Lloyd.

400 attend Mountaineers’
100th football celebration

A crowd of approximately 400 people attended the Kings Mountain Touchdown Club’s 100th anniversary celebration of Mountaineer football Thursday night at John Gamble Stadium.
Danny Ford, retired head football coach at Clemson, was the guest speaker. He was introduced by Kevin Mack, one of his star running backs on Clemson’s 1982 team which defeated Nebraska for the NCAA championship.
Mack, who still lives in Cleveland where he was Rookie of the Year and the leading rusher for the Browns in the 1980s, introduced his coach and both he and Ford recalled Mack’s adjustment time after joining the team right out of KMHS in 1980. But, after that adjustment early in his freshman season, Mack became one of the Tigers’ all-time leading rushers.
Before introducing Ford, Mack said football taught him a lot from the high school to the professional level and he thanked his high school coach, Dan Brooks who was in attendance, and Ford for molding him as a player and a man.
Speaking of Ford, he said “he drove his team to be good. The first couple of days I didn’t know if I’d make it. I had to adapt.”
Mack recalled that his freshman year at Clemson the Tigers went 6-5 but Ford was laying the groundwork for the next three years when the Tigers lost just three games and won the national championship.
“He produced some of the great teams in Clemson history,” Mack noted. “In his first game as head coach Clemson won the Gator Bowl over Woody Hayes and Ohio State.”
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Myracle Davis kills for a point in KM’s win over Crest in the Big South finale last week at Parker Gym.

KMHS volleyball
finishes perfect
in Big South 3A


Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team wrapped un another undefeated Big South 3A Conference championship last week at home with a 25-11, 25-18, 25-15 victory over county rival Crest.
Kings Mountain’s JVs also wrapped up another undefeated conference slate with a 25-18, 25-21 victory.
Meile Songaila had her usual all-around great game with nine digs, 12 service points, 16 kills and four blocks.
Myracle Davis finished with 17 kills, six blocks and four digs.
Paige Bagwell contributed 18 assists, 15 digs, five service points and two kills.
Camden Pasour had 14 assists, eight digs, five service points and three kills.
Caroline Barber provided six assists, 10 digs and 22 service points.
They JVs had a good all-around performance from Abigail Hedgepath, Ruby Osborne, Megan Harrison and Kenzlie Morris.
Hedgepath dished out 13 assists to go with five kills, five digs and three service points.
Osborne contributed four kills and three blocks.
Harrison had six kills and six digs.
Morris had three kills, a block and six service points.

Spikers open  state tourney
with a sweep of St. Stephens

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team swept North Davidson 25-10, 25-11, 25-9 in the opening round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state tournament Saturday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
The Lady Mountaineers were scheduled to host East Lincoln last night at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium. The Lady Mustangs advanced with a 3-0 first round win over St. Stephens.
The winner of last night’s contest will advance against the winner of the North Lincoln-West Henderson game. Those teams swept Rockingham County and South Point, respectively, in the first round.
Kings Mountain jumped out front early to put away North Davidson as all of Coach Heather Pasour’s ladies turned in an outstanding performance.
Meile Songaila led the way with 20 kills, one block, six serve receptions, 12 digs and 11 service points.
Camden Pasour provided 24 assists, 12 digs, 10 service points, two kills and two serve receptions.
Myracle Davis led in kills with 21 and also blocked a shot.
Paige Bagwell dished out 20 assists to go along with a kill, nine digs and eight service points.
Jessie Ozmore had 15 service points, four serve receptions and 11 digs.
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Teddy Jeffries is in the clear and heading for another touchdown in last week’s big win over the Ashbrook Green Wave at Gamble Stadium. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers clinch at least a tie for Big South championship,
face Crest Friday for chance to go 10-0 for first time since 1964


Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers scored on their first three possessions for a quick 21-0 lead and went on to defeat the Ashbrook Green Wave 48-14 on Senior Night Friday and clinch at least a tie for the Big South Conference championship.
The win improved the Mountaineers’ record to 6-0 in the conference and 9-0 overall going into their final regular season game Friday at Crest. A win there would give the Mountaineers their first 10-0 regular season record since 1964. Kings Mountain did go undefeated in the conference and overall in the regular 2020 season that was shortened to seven games and played in spring ‘21 because of Covid 19. The Mountaineers played two playoff games at home, beating Robinson before falling to Monroe to finish 8-1 overall.
A victory over Crest would likely keep the Mountaineers in Gamble Stadium for all of their Western division playoff games.
“We played well in all areas,” Coach Greg Lloyd said of his team’s win over Ashbrook. “We had too many penalties but both lines played well, the running backs did well and Lamont (Littlejohn) did a good job at quarterback.”
Led by strong blocking, the Mountaineers’ offense was strong all night and rolled up 404 yards of total offense – 208 through the air and 196 on the ground. Teddy Jeffries gained 120 yards on 14 carries to lead the rushing and the passing was shared by five receivers including Ja’Qualyn Sanders with four catches for 56 yards, Jake Lloyd two for 67, Casey Holland one for 26, Zay Smith one for 32 and a TD and Xzorion Lenair with one for a 31-yard TD.
The Mountaineers showed their dominance on the opening kickoff as Casey Holland returned the kick to the Ashbrook 21. A penalty set them back to the 38 where Teddy Jeffries took a handoff from Littlejohn and went around left end for a touchdown with just 22 seconds gone off the clock. Jaden Ellis’s PAT made it 7-0.
The defense showed up big, holding the Green Wave to three and out and forcing a punt. The short kick was downed at the Ashbrook 46. KM tested the Ashbrook defense with four straight running plays and then Littlejohn found Smith behind the Wave defense for a 32-yard touchdown pass. Ellis added the PAT for a 14-0 lead
Moving behind the running of their ace back Carmelo Bess, the Green Wave was able to pick up a first down but after the KM defense threw Sincere Sanders Moss for a seven-yard loss to set up a fourth and four punt attempt, KM’s defense blocked the punt and Micah Ward scooped it up at the seven and took it to the house. Ellis’s kick made it 21-0 with still 3:14 to go in the first quarter.
The Green Wave got on the board late in the second quarter on a 50-yard catch and run by Moss.
Kings Mountain drove the ensuing kickoff 89 yards in 10 plays to take a 28-7 halftime lead on an eight-yard run by Jeffries and Ellis’s PAT. Along the way the Mountaineers had big receptions from Jake Lloyd for 32 yards, Holland for 26 and Ja’Qualyn Sanders for 17.
After holding Ashbrook to three and out to open the third quarter, the Mountaineers survived two holding penalties to score in four plays on a 32-yard run around left end by Jeffries to go up 35-7.
Taking over after an Ashbrook punt, the Mountaineers drove 60 yards in six plays to go up 41-7 on a 31-yard touchdown reception by Xzorion Lenair.
The defense held the Wave to still another three and out, and the Mountaineers blocked a punt to take possession at the Green Wave 35. A 28-yard reception by Sanders put them at the three on the last play of the third quarter, and Sanders went around end for a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter. Ellis’s PAT made it 48-7.
KM’s starters came off the field but the second unit played well. Ward recovered an Ashbrook fumble at the Green Wave 39 and he and Tyler McIntyre handled the running duties to get the Mountaineers to the 24 before they were stopped on downs at the Wave 25. Bess took a pitch and covered the distance to account for the final margin.
Without a doubt, the Mountaineers face their biggest task of the season Friday at Crest which has rebounded from two early-season losses to get in position to grab a share of the BSC title.
“They’ve gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season,” noted Coach Lloyd. “They have a ton of speed and their quarterback (Ny’tavious Huskey) is a dual threat. They have the best receivers we’ve seen and (Javarius) Green is the best receiver we will see all year. Crest is very dangerous and they’re well coached. We will have to play an A game Friday.”
 
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Kings Mountain High’s Kaliyah Watson shot a 43 in last week’s final Big South Conference golf match at Lincoln Country Club and was named to the All Big South Conference team. Photo by Gary Smart

KM’s Watson third
in Big South 3A golf

South Point wrapped up the Big South Conference championship and Kings Mountain’s Kaliyah Watson qualified for the NCHSAA Western Regional in last week’s final BSC tournament at Lincoln Country Club.
Watson shot a 43 and finished third overall in the conference with a season average of 47 and was named to the All-Big South Conference team. Her season average also qualified her for the Western Regional October 18 at Cedar Rock Country Club in Lenoir.
South Point’s Ameila Connors shot a 39 to earn medalist honors and was also selected Big South Player of the Year.
Following South Point’s 130 were Crest at 159, Forestview 180 and Ashbrook 187. No other team had enough players to qualify for a team score. Those four teams also finished in the same order for the season as no one else had enough players for team scores. 

KM volleyball clinches Big South 3A championship

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team clinched the Big South 3A Conference championship last week with victories over Stuart Cramer and South Point.
While the Lady Mountaineers were winning Thursday against Cramer, the second place Crest Lady Chargers fell to the Forestview Lady Jaguars and that left Kings Mountain with a two-game lead with just one game remaining. Kings Mountain was scheduled to host the Lady Chargers in the regular season finale Tuesday and then will await pairings for the state 3A championship. First round action begins on Saturday, October 22 and the Lady Mountaineers will be at home. Other rounds are October 25, October 27, October 29, Western Regional championship November 1 and State 3A championship November 5.
Lady Mountaineer Coach Heather Pasour continued to get solid play from all of her ladies last week with a 3-0 sweep over South Point Tuesday before the clinching victory over Stuart Cramer.
Against the Lady Red Raiders, KM won 25-9, 25-7, 25-17 with all players turning in outstanding performances.
Camden Pasour dished out 24 assists to go with 11 service points, two kills and two digs.
Meile Songaila provided 15 kills, six service points, a block and seven digs.
Myracle Davis was a killer along the nets with 16 kills and a block.
Caroline Barber provided 15 service points and eight digs.
Paige Bagwell had nine assists, five kills, three digs and a service point.
In JV action, Kings Mountain won 25-13, 25-18.
Abigail Hedgepath had 19 assists and 13 service points, Kenzlie Morris five kills, a block and five service points and Ava Tipton nine serve receptions and six digs.
Thursday afternoon at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium, the Lady Mountaineers swept Cramer 25-12, 25-8 and 25-11.
Songaila had 14 kills, 11 serve receptions, four digs and 13 service points.
Pasour dished out 16 assists to go with 12 service points, four kills and three digs.
Bagwell provided 11 assists, 15 service points, four kills and three digs.
Barber had nine serve receptions, 12 digs and four service points.
Davis had 10 kills and a block.
In JV action, KM won 25-10, 25-9.
Hedgepath had 22 assists, two service points, three digs and two kills.
Ruby Osborne had five kills and four blocks.
Megan Harris led in kills with 10 and also had two digs.
Kenzlie Morris had 16 service points, two kills and two digs.
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KM’s Teddy Jeffries (21) follows the blocking of Michael Lubas (54) for a big gain in Friday’s win over Stuart Cramer. Photos by Gary Smart

KM blows past the Stuart Cramer Purple Storm,
dangerous Green Wave rolls into KMHS Friday


After a slow start, Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers blew past the Stuart Cramer Purple Storm 63-24 Friday night in Cramerton.
The win improved the Mountaineers’ record to 5-0 in the Big South and 8-0 overall heading into their final regular season home game Friday against the Ashbrook Green Wave. Cramer fell to 2-3 in the Big South and 3-5 overall.
The Mountaineers never trailed but the Storm answered KM’s opening touchdown drive to tie the game. Kings Mountain went on to lead 28-17 at the half and then broke it open over the final two quarters.
“That was a good win,” said KM head coach Greg Lloyd. “We played okay but it was not one of our best efforts. We left a lot of points on the field in the first half but we played a lot better in the second half.
“Stuart Cramer had a good game plan,” he added. “They were spreading us out with five wide and they played a 2-3 stack on defense. We adjusted well and played much better in the second half. We were happy to win and stay undefeated.”
With the Mountaineers playing without the services of one of their top running backs, Robert Kendrick, and Caleb Holland playing sparingly with an injury Teddy Jeffries took care of business with 163 yards rushing and five touchdowns. One of their best lineman, Eli Lipscomb, also sat out. “All three should be good to go this week,” Lloyd said.
The Mountaineers had one of their best nights passing as six different receivers chalked up 302 yards on 18 catches from quarterbacks Lamont Littlejohn and TJ Armstrong. Bryson Brown led the way with three catches for 92 yards and Zay Smith had six for 71. Ja’Qualyn Sanders had three for 61, Xzorion Lenair two for 36, Jake Lloyd three for 28 and Jeffries one for 14.
Brown took the opening kickoff eight yards to the KM 35 set up KM’s first TD drive. Two passes from Littlejohn to Zay Smith for 12 yards and Brown for nine put the Mountaineers in Storm territory at the 44. From there it took just four runs from Jeffries – the fourth for 28 yards – to get the scoring underway. Jaden Ellis’s PAT made it 7-0 with just two minutes gone off the clock.
Cramer showed some spunk, though, as Kamari Houze returned the ensuing kickoff to the KM 42. Behind the running and passing of senior quarterback Justin Rocquemore, the Storm knotted the score at 7-all on a 24 yard pass over the middle to Isaiah Johnson and Drew Crotts’ PAT.
It took the Mountaineers just four plays from scrimmage to go up 14-7 on a 27-yard pass from Littlejohn to Smith, and another Ellis PAT. A 16-yard run by Holland and a 17-yard Jake Lloyd reception set it up.
That score stood for the remainder of the quarter but Cramer was threatening again early in the second quarter when KM was flagged for a 15-yard pass interference call resulting in a first down at the KM 18. A 12-yard sack by Curtis Simpson and AJ Richardson set the Storm back to the 35 but a 21-yard run around end by Rocquemore resulted in a third and six at the KM 14. Richardson recovered a fumble and returned it to the 27 to get the Mountaineers out of the hole.
After an incomplete pass, Littlejohn found Bryson Brown 30 yards behind the Cramer defense and hit him in stride for a 73-yard touchdown and a 21-7 KM lead.
Backed up to their own 18 facing fourth and six, the Mountaineers punted but it was blocked by a heavy rush and Cramer’s Drew Crotts recovered the ball in the end zone for a TD to cut the margin to 21-14 with 4:49 left in the half.
The Mountaineers responded, though, as Lloyd returned the ensuing kickoff 25 yards to the KM 45. A 21-yard run by Holland and a 16-yard reception by Ja’Qualyn Sanders resulted in a first down at the Cramer 17 from which point it took just two carries by Jeffries and the PAT for a 28-14 KM lead.
Cramer’s Drew Crotts booted a 23-yard field goal to make it 28-17 at the break.
KM turned up the pressure on both offense and defense in the second half, scoring on four of five possessions to go up 56-17.
Taking over after holding the Storm to three and out to open the third, KM drove 53 yards in just seven plays to go up 35-17. Jeffries carried five times for 46 yards and scored from the one.
Following a Cramer punt at the 4:08 mark of the third, KM launched a 77-yard, seven play drive culminating with Jeffries’ fourth TD from the six yard line. Along the way Littlejohn threw passes to Smith for five yards, Brown for 10 and Xzorian Lenair for 28 to put KM on the Cramer 33. After a 13-yard run by Smith, Jeffries covered the remaining 20 on two carries to run the score to 42-17 going into the fourth quarter.
Following a Cramer punt, KM took just seven plays to go up 49-17 on Jeffries’ fifth TD, this one from 49 yards out. Sanders’ 23-yard reception was the other big play.
With 7:14 on the clock, KM pooch kicked and Stuart Cramer took over at its 30. On Cramer’s first play, Curtis Simpson intercepted a pass near the KM sidelines and rambled untouched into the end zone. Max Thompson’s PAT accounted for the final point and a 56-17 lead.
Cramer’s final points came with 4:21 remaining on a four yard run by Darius Sykes and Drew Crotts’ PAT.
Following an 18-yard kick return from Kameron Adams, KM’s reserves marched
44 yards in six plays to score on Micah Ward’s 12-yard run with 1:17 on the clock. Thompson added the point after. Along the way freshman quarterback TJ Armstrong hit Lenair with an eight yard pass and Josiah Hill had runs of 11 and 13 yards.
“Jeffries had a great game. We are very pleased with how he played,” Coach Lloyd said. “Our offense played well minus a few plays. Everybody did a good job. We just didn’t have our A game. We have to play a lot better this week. Ashbrook has a very good team. They’re one of the best teams around. Their record doesn’t show it but they played Crest and South one of their toughest games. They are real big and aggressive on defense. We’ll have to play well against them.
“This is a very important game,” he added. “If we win this we can do no worse than sharing the conference championship. Of course, we want to win them all.”
So far, Ashbrook hasn’t thrown the ball a lot but their running back Carmelo Bess is closing in on a 1,000 yards rushing season, finishing last week with 869 yards on 141 carries. He rushed for 175 yards against South Point and the Raiders had to score late to win 28-19.
 
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TJ Armstrong hands off to Jamerius Williams (14) in last week’s JV game with Stuart Cramer at Kings Mountain High School. The undefeated Mountaineers travel to Ashbrook Thursday and will close out their season against county rival Crest on October 27 at 7 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium. Photo by Charlie Smith

Undefeated Mountaineer JVs calm the Cramer Storm 47-6

Josiah Hill went around right end for a 52-yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage to spark the Kings Mountain JVs to a 47-6 victory over Stuart Cramer Thursday night at John Gamble Stadium.
The win improved KM’s perfect record to 7-0 heading into a game Thursday at Gastonia Ashbrook. The JV Mountaineers haven’t lost a game since the first game of the 2020 season. They hope to complete another undefeated season with a win over Ashbrook this week and their final game against Crest at Gamble Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 27.
Coach Diron Bell’s charges scored on all but one of their first half possessions to go into the break up 35-0. The half ended with the Mountaineers on Cramer’s 17 yard line.
After Hill’s initial score, the Mountaineers held the Storm to three and out and their punt went just 27 yards to their own 43. Quarterback TJ Armstrong hooked up with fellow freshman William Vaughn for a touchdown and a 13-0 lead.
The Cramer offense was able to pick up a first down but then went three-and-out and punted out of bounds at the KM 35. With 4:35 on the clock, the Mountaineers went on a 65 yard scoring drive that featured an 18-yard run by Jamerius Williams around left end, a 13-yard run by Tyler McIntyre for a first down at the 36, and a pass from Armstrong to Barry Moore to the 31. Hill went the distance on a reverse, but the TD was called back for holding. KM found itself on the 28 facing fourth and three and was stopped short of the first down but Cramer went three and out after a big tackle for loss by Izaiah Jones and was forced to punt. KM’s Jayden Watkins fielded it at the KM 35 yard line and rambled 65 yards for a TD. Dom Davis ran a two-point conversion to make it 21-0.
KM’s defense continued strong, forcing a punt. KM took possession at its own 35. It took the Mountaineers just two plays – a 17-yard Armstrong to Moore pass and a 48-yard touchdown on a catch and run by Tyler Furman on a quick-out from Armstrong with 6:34 left in the half. Vance Johnson added the PAT for a 28-0 lead.
Again, with good defense from the whole team including two big tackles by Mahki Borders and Jamel Lee, the Mountaineers held Cramer to three and out and the Storm had to punt with 4:15 left in the half. KM took possession at its own 14 and needed only five plays to go up 35-0 at the half on a five-yard yard TD by Vaughn and Johnson’s PAT. Other key plays were two runs by Hill for a total of 25 yards and a 56-yard catch and run by Williams to the five.
A pass interception and 31-yard return by Hill set the Mountaineers up at the Cramer 14 on the visitors’ first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Armstrong hit Vance Johnson with a TD pass with just 58 seconds gone off the clock to put the Mountaineers up 41-0.
Coach Bell turned the game over to his reserves and Cramer was able to drive 69 yards in 10 plays to score on a six-yard reception by Braxton Sample.
With Vance Johnson at quarterback, the Mountaineers second unit moved 61 yards in seven plays to score on a 10-yard run by Kamari Coleman with 1:43 left in the game. Johnson got the drive going with a nine-yard keeper followed by a 17-yard burst by Trenton Pettus to the Cramer 35. Runs of three yards by Watkins and seven by Pettus resulted in a first down at the 25. A penalty of 10 yards after Johnson’s run to the three moved the ball back to the 15. Pettus picked up five and Coleman got the final 10 to end the scoring.
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Eric Hatten on a big gain in Kings Mountain JV’s victory over Forestview last week at John Gamble Stadium. Photos by Gary Smart

JV Mountaineers roll over Forestview 42-0

Kings Mountain’s JV Mountaineers rolled over the Forestview Jaguars 42-0 for their fifth straight victory Wednesday at John Gamble Stadium.
The Mountaineers built a 28-0 lead in the first half with good play on offense, defense and special teams.
The defense set the tone early, holding the Jaguars to three and out on the game’s opening possession. After a punt was downed on the KM 48, the Mountaineers took just four plays to score on a 23-yard pass from freshman quarterback TJ Armstrong to freshman receiver William Vaughn.
Following another Forestview punt, the Mountaineers drove 78 yards in nine plays to go up 14-0 on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Armstrong to Barry Moore. Dom Davis added a two-point conversion.
Again, the defense held the visitors to three and out and Watkins returned a punt from the KM 46 to the Forestview 23. Jeremiah Hill covered the distance on one run and Vance Johnson added the PAT from placement to make it 21-0.
Forestview managed to keep possession for six plays but then had to punt again and KM’s Jayden Watkins returned it 58 yards for a touchdown. Johnson’s PAT made it 28-0 at the half.
Midway of the third period, KM’s Cole Groves recovered a fumble at the Forestview one yard line and Johnson’s QB sneak and PAT made it 35-0. Shortly afterward, the Mountaineers recovered a fumble at the Forestview 18 to set up Johnson’s five-yard TD run with 5:32 left.
Kings Mountain tries to keep its unbeaten streak alive Thursday with a trip to Belmont to face the South Point Red Raiders.

October 10 deadline to sign up
for 100 years of KM football

The Kings Mountain Touchdown Club’s celebration of 100 years of Mountaineer football will be held October 20 at John Gamble Stadium.
A free dinner will be served at 5 p.m. but you must sign up no later than October 10 by contacting Drew Fulton at kmfootball100years @gmail.com. You must be a member of the Touchdown Club, a former player, manager or coach to attend. 
Former Clemson University head football coach Danny Ford will be the guest speaker. Kings Mountain’s Kevin Mack, who was a running back on Ford’s 1981 Clemson team that won the NCAA championship, will introduce him.
Many former players and supporters have already signed up but the Touchdown Club encourages those who have not signed up to do so now. 

Undefeated South Point and Kings Mountain
kick it off
 Friday at Gamble Stadium
for first place in Big South 3A

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers face their toughest challenge of the season Friday night when the South Point Red Raiders invade John Gamble Stadium for a battle for the Big South 3A Conference lead.
Both teams come into the contest after defeating the other two teams that were tied with them for the top spot going into last Thursday’s action. While Kings Mountain was defeating previously unbeaten (in the BSC) Forestview in Gastonia the Red Raiders were defeating the previously unbeaten (in the BSC) Crest in Belmont.
Although both teams will have some more challenges ahead, it’s obvious that the winner of Friday’s game will have the inside track on the BSC championship and a very high seed for the upcoming 3A state playoffs.
The Mountaineers and Red Raiders have had some classic battles over the years, and Friday’s will not be an exception.
“They are very good,” Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd says. “They’re a state championship caliber football team. They run that option offense and it is very difficult to play against. They have a good fullback and their quarterback is running the ball a lot this year. He is also a good passer.
“They’re going to be tough to defend,” he added. “Their offensive line has good size and they come off the ball really well. Their kicking game is very strong, too. They’re well-balanced and they’re young and they’re going to be our toughest competition to date.
“We have to play really, really well,” he added. “Their quarterback (Patrick Blee, who averages 10 yards a carry) and tailback (Cam Medlock who has 13 touchdowns and is averaging 130 yards per game) are very good. We have to play assignment football. The defense will have to work hard.”
South Point has several other outstanding skill players, including senior end Aaron Chaney, who is averaging 18.6 yards per reception and Colby Hamilton who is averaging 23.5 per catch, and some big, tough defensive standouts like sophomore middle linebacker Chanyce Ford, sophomore free safety William Ross, middle linebacker Winter Kincaid and 6-3, 304-pound senior tackle Hunter Jackson.
“It’s going to be a tough game” Lloyd said. “There will be two good football teams on the field Friday night. We hope we’ll have a great crowd.”
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KM’s Javier Currie has the bead on Forestview’s Christian Holland in last week’s game in Gastonia. KM won 48-7. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers go 6-0 with
48-7 win over Forestview

Kings Mountain jumped on Forestview in a hurry and rolled to their sixth straight victory Friday night on the Jaguars’ field in Gastonia, 48-7.
The Mountaineers won the coin toss but deferred to the second half. After Jaden Ellis’s kickoff went into the end zone, the Jaguars took over at their 20 but facing a third and 10 they went to the air and KM’s Zay Smith picked it off and was tackled at the eight. Quarterback Lamont Littlejohn handed off to Caleb Holland and he went untouched into the end zone and Ellis kicked the PAT and the rout was on.
Another three and out resulted in another punt, this one going just eight yards to the Forestview 29. Teddy Jeffries carried three times for 22 yards and a first down at the Jags’ seven, and Littlejohn hit Jake Lloyd with a touchdown pass and Ellis’s PAT made it 14-0 with 6:56 on the first quarter clock.
The Jaguars were forced to punt again when three plays from the 20 resulted in minus four yards. Another short Forestview punt put KM in business on the Jags’ 45 and on a third and nine Littlejohn hit Xzorion Lenair for a 44-yard TD pass and a 21-0 lead.
Following the kickoff, the Jaguars were actually able to get a decent drive going but a fourth and one pass was broken up at the KM 26 by Zay Smith on the first play of the second quarter.
Highlighted by good runs by Jeffries and Robert Kendrick and pass receptions by Ja’Qualyn Sanders and Lloyd, the Mountaineers drove to the Forestview 16. After some penalty exchanges and a seven-yard Littlejohn to Sanders pass, Kendrick scored from two yards out and Ellis booted the point after for a 28-0 advantage.
After a pooch kick and return put the Jags at midfield, they were able to get to the KM 40 before Lloyd blocked a punt and the Mountaineers recovered it at the Forestview 37 with 5:22 showing on the second quarter clock. It took just two minutes and 11 seconds for the Mountaineers to cover the distance in five plays. A screen pass to Jeffries for 21 yards put the Mountaineers at the Forestview five, and Jeffries took it in at the 3:11 mark for a 35-0 lead at the break.
The Mountaineers took possession following a punt at the Jaguar 47 with 4:19 left in the third. It took just two plays – runs of 42 and five yards by Jeffries – to run the score to 42-0. After the ensuing kick, the Jaguars were facing a second and 20 at their own 20 when they fumbled and KM’s AJ Richardson picked it up at the 15 and took it to the house for a 48-0 Mountaineer lead.
After recovering a fumble at the KM 17 the Jaguars scored their only TD on a 20-yard pass reception by Tylique “va” Aldridge with 2:55 left in the game.
“I thought we played well,” noted Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd. “We got off to a great start. We won the toss and deferred and we had the wind and were able to back them up. We just played well in all areas.
“Our defensive line dictated the flow of the game. We put a lot of pressure on them.
“We had good balance,” he added. “We were beat up a little physically but nothing major.”

KM visits
Forestview
Thursday


Two Big South teams will drop out of a tie for first place this week and Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers hope Forestview will be one of them.
While Crest and South Point are also battling to keep a share of the conference lead, the Mountaineers will be on the road for the second straight week Thursday at 7:30 p.m. on the Jaguars’ field in Gastonia. The game has been rescheduled because of predictions for heavy rain Friday.
Thus far, the Mountaineers have taken down Hunter Huss 42-16 and North Gaston 56-0 while the Jaguars have a 20-0 victory over North Gaston and a 24-21 win last week over a good Gastonia Ashbrook eleven. In earlier non-conference games the Mountaineers defeated Shelby, Asheville and Burns while Forestview lost to Burns and East Lincoln but knocked off an always strong Morganton Freedom eleven to begin its three-game winning streak.
The Jaguars have a well-balanced offense led by 6-4 junior quarterback Jaxson Hill who has hit 46 of 86 passes for 405 yards.
 Sophomore running back Christian Holland leads a good running attack with 75 yards rushing per game and Hill has several good receivers in sophomores Trey Meeks and T “va” Aldridge and senior Tanner Zill. Some of their top defenders are 6-2 senior cornerback Chris Cathcart, who has an interception and a sack to his credit; 6-2, 283-pound tackle senior tackle Christian Mixter, who leads the team in tackles and sacks, and 6-2, 275-pound defensive end Myles Jackson.
“They’re definitely playing their best football of the year so far,” noted Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd. “They beat a very good Ashbrook team last week and they’re on a roll with three wins in a row. They have a good running game and their quarterback can throw the ball.
“They’re very tough on their home field,” he said noting that the Jaguars have beaten the Mountaineers several times in the past over there. “We’ll have to play extremely well.”
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KM QB Lamont Littlejohn gets good blocking from Alex Jackson (57) on a scramble in last week’s Big South victory over the North Gaston Wildcats. Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers rout
North Gaston 56-0

His blockers opened a lane wide enough to drive a couple of 18-wheelers through, so Caleb Holland hauled the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown to get the Kings Mountain Mountaineers rolling to a 56-0 victory over the North Gaston Wildcats Friday night in Dallas.
The Mountaineers went on to score six more times to carry a 49-0 lead into halftime. The reserves took over in the second half and tacked on the final TD.
“We got off to a good start,” noted Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd. “We got our nerves out early. We dominated in all three phases of the game. We tackled well, we blocked well and we made plays. Everybody (49 players) got to play and they all did a good job.”
Kings Mountain’s defense, which would hold the Wildcats to minus 22 yards rushing and just 44 passing for the game, held them to minus seven on their first possession. With the Cats taking over at their own 20 after KM’s kickoff went into the end zone, AJ Richardson’s quarterback sack left the hosts facing a fourth and 13 at the NG 19 and their punt only went 22 yards to the 41. After a two yard loss, KM quarterback Lamont Littlejohn threw a pass to Xzorion Lenair for 18 yards, then hit Ja’Qualyn Sanders for a 25-yard touchdown and Jaden Ellis’ PAT made it 14-0.
The KM defense held the ‘Cats to another three and out and Lenair returned a punt 15 yards to the North 44. A Littlejohn pass to Bryson Brown plus a five-yard NG penalty put the Mountaineers at the North 20. Littlejohn hit Sanders with a 12-yard pass and Teddy Jeffries’ run covered the final eight yards for a 21-0 lead.
Aided by a 15-yard penalty against the Mountaineers, the ‘Cats were able to get to the KM 33 yard line but a fourth and eight sack by Eli Lipscomb stopped them at the 42. The Wildcat defense was able to stop the Mountaineers’ first unit on downs for the only time and forced a punt.
Taking over at the North 30 following a punt, it took KM just three carries by Kendrick – the final one for three yards – to go up 28-0.
A Micah Ward fumble recovery at the North 26 set up a 20-yard pass to Brown, followed by a three-yard burst up the middle by AJ Richardson for another TD. The extra point made it 35-0 with 9:35 still left in the half.
North had to punt from its own eight and KM took possession at the ‘Cats 41. KM went to a wildcat offense and two runs by Kendrick resulted in a first down at the 23, from which point Zay Smith took it to the house for a 42-0 lead with 4:52 still left in the half.
“Zay got nicked up a little bit but I think he’ll be ready to go this week,” Lloyd noted.
Simpson, Richardson and Antonio Armstrong sacked the NG quarterback to force a punt which Lenair returned 45 yards for a TD at the 3:08 mark to send the Mountaineers into halftime with a 49-0 lead.
North Gaston had just as tough a job moving the ball on the KM backups as it did while the starters were on the field. Facing fourth and two on their own 20 after their longest run of the night - 11 yards by JJ Gordon - the Cats went for the first down but a pass fell incomplete. KM’s Micah Ward covered the distance in two carries and Max Thompson kicked the point-after to end the game.
 
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Josiah Hill (5) runs behind the blocking of Izaiah Jones (52) in KM JV’s 48-16 win over North Gaston Thursday night at John Gamble Stadium. Photos by Gary Smart

JV Mountaineers skin
‘Cats 48-16,

host Forestview Jaguars Wednesday

A pass interception by Jayden Watkins to stop North Gaston’s game-opening possession at the KM 38 yard line got the Mountaineers going to a 48-16 victory over the Wildcats in Thursday’s junior varsity football game at Gamble Stadium.
The win kept the Mountaineers undefeated with a 4-0 record. They’ll be at home again Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Forestview Jaguars.
After the INT, it took the Mountaineers just nine plays to score on a one-yard sneak by quarterback Vance Johnson. Josiah Hill had three carries for 36 yards, Tyler McIntyre two for 20 and Dom Davis two for 10 to set up Johnson’s sneak.
Kings Mountain went on to lead 28-0 at the half and 48-8 after three quarters. The final quarter was played with a running clock.
Josiah Hill scored from 15 yards out and Tyler McIntyre ran for a two-point conversion to put the Mountaineers up 14-0.
The Wildcats punted on the second play of the second period. McIntyre got off a 52-yard run to the North six and Hill took it in the end zone on the next play. The PAT made it 21-0.
After forcing another punt, the Mountaineers drove 56 yards to score on a three-yard run by McIntyre. With 0:51 left in the half. Johnson’s PAT made it 28-0 at the break. A 17-yard run by Hill and an offside penalty on North Gaston gave KM a first and goal at the 10, and an offsides penalty on the Wildcats set up McIntyre’s TD.
The Mountaineers recovered an onside kick at their own 48 to start the second half. Hill immediately swept right end for a 22-yard gain, followed by a North personal foul penalty which set the Mountaineers up at the North 27. Two plays later Hill circled right end for a 24 yard TD and Johnson’s PAT made it 35-0.
North Gaston finally got on the board on a nine-yard TD reception by Kameron Dial and a two-point conversion pass. Kings Mountain answered with a Vance Johnson kickoff return to the 45, followed by a Jayden Watkins 55-yard TD run for a 41-8 KM lead.
On North’s first play following the ensuing kickoff, KM recovered a fumble at the North 10 and Kamari Coleman took it in the end zone on the first play from scrimmage to make it 48-8.
With the clock running, North took advantage of a pass interference call on KM, followed by a pass reception of 17 yards by Carter Mason which was followed by a 15-yard late hit penalty on the Mountaineers. KM was flagged for interference again, resulting in a first down at the eight and North’s Isaiah Ewing caught a pass for the TD and another for the two-point conversion to account for the final score.

KMHS volleyball sweeps Crest to take first in Big South

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team is all alone in first place after an impressive 3-0 victory over Cleveland County rival Crest Thursday in Boiling Springs. The win left the Lady Mountaineers as the only undefeated team in the Big South Conference with a 7-0 record.
Several ladies turned in spectacular performances in the 25-13, 25-22, 25-14 sweep. Camden Pasour dished out 20 assists to go along with 14 service points, four digs and a kill. Paige Bagwell added 18 assists, four kills, seven service points and five digs.
Meile Songaila had her usual all-around game with 14 kills, 11 serve receptions, five digs and two service points.
Myracle Davis also turned in an outstanding all-around effort along the nets with 21 kills and two blocks.
The Lady Mountaineers’ JV team had a tougher match but still came out on top, 25-23 and 25-23.
Ruby Osborne had four blocks and three kills.
Brooke Hamrick had five kills, two serve receptions, three digs and five service points.
Abigail Hedgepath contributed 15 assists.
Ava Tipton had four service points, seven serve receptions and five digs.
The Lady Mountaineers tuned up for their rivalry game with the Lady Chargers last Tuesday with a 25-17, 25-14, 25-9 sweep of Stuart Cramer in Cramerton.
Songaila had an outstanding overall effort with 12 serve receptions, two blocks, 17 kills, 12 digs and 15 service points.
Davis contributed two blocks and 15 kills.
Bagwell dished out 22 assists to go with five kills, three digs and 13 service points.
Pasour had 20 assists, three kills, four digs and seven service points.
Caroline Barber had 12 serve receptions, 13 digs and seven service points.
The JVs swept their match, 25-15, 25-10.
Abigail Hedgepath had four service points, two kills, 19 assists and five digs.
Ava Tipton had three service points and 10 serve receptions.
Brooke Hamrick produced 10 service points, seven kills and three serve receptions.
Ruby Osborne was strong along the net with eight kills and a block.
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Kings Mountain running back Caleb Holland (3) turns the corner on the Hunter Huss defense in Friday’s game at Gamble Stadium. KM won 44-14. Photos by Gary Smart

KM rebounds from opening
kickoff return to beat Huskies

The son of a former Kings Mountain football player returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown to give visiting homecoming foe Hunter Huss an early lead of 7-0 but the Mountaineers rebounded for a 44-14 victory in their first Big South 3A Conference game Friday at John Gamble Stadium.
The Huskies, who came to town with less than 30 players and would lose a few more from injuries during the contest, stayed right with the home team for the first half after sophomore Jayden Gash, whose father Daryl played for the Mountaineers in the early nineties, made that early stunner.
The Huskies’ defense held the Mountaineers to three and out on their first possession but the KM defense began turning the tide moments later when it blocked a Huss punt which Robert Kendrick recovered at the Huskies’ 38. Teddy Jeffries had three straight carries behind good blocking by the O-line to set up a three-yard touchdown run by big AJ Richardson and Jaden Ellis split the uprights for the tying extra point. Kings Mountain didn’t trail again but Huss was still in the game until late in the third quarter when the Mountaineers broke away from a 22-14 halftime lead to put its fourth straight win in the bag and drop the Huskies to 1-3.
“Everybody was slow getting going,” noted KM offensive coordinator/line coach Kevin Cruise. “We didn’t play our best but we got a lot better in the second half.”
The Mountaineers took the lead for good after the second Huss possession. After Ellis’s kickoff was returned to the Huskies’43 the Huskies were penalized 25 yards for holding and a late hit on the same play. Facing third and six from the Huss 18, KM’s Jason Melton sacked Huss QB Javorion Brown to force a punt which gave KM the ball at the Huss 45. A 28-yard Lamont Littlejohn to Jake Lloyd pass gave the Mountaineers a first down at the Huss 17 and Caleb Holland covered the distance on just two carries to put the Mountaineers up 13-7.
The Mountaineers covered 65 yards in less than two minutes to take a 19-7 lead on consecutive catch and run pass plays from Littlejohn to Xzorion Lenair for 37 yards and 25 yards and the TD to Teddy Jeffries.   The Huskies dialed long distance again, though, as Headley got loose for a 75-yard TD to make it 19-14.
Kings Mountain moved the ball steadily down field behind the running of Holland and Jeffries and a big sweep of left end by Zay Smith to the Huss nine. Ellis came on to kick a 28-yard field goal to put the Mountaineers up 22-14 at intermission.
The defense came up big with a blocked punt at the 6:58 mark of the third quarter that set up the Mountaineers at the Huss 13. Holland had runs of six and 12 yards sandwiched around a five-yard illegal procedure call and Ellis again was true on the PAT for a 29-14 lead.
With Huss attempting to go for it on a fourth and 10 from their own 45 to get back in the game, KM’s Curtis Simpson and Eli Lipscomb sacked Headley. Littlejohn’s scrambling pass of 12 yards to Jake Lloyd and Zay Smith’s first down run of 10 yards for a first down at the Huss 12 set up a Jeffries’ two-yard TD run and a two-point conversion pass from Bryson Brown to Simpson for a 37-14 lead with 10:18 left.
With Huss facing third and 23 from its own 15, Simpson and Eli Lipscomb combined for a sack and the Huskies had to punt. Xzorion Lenair returned it from the 50 to the Huss 11. Smith got off a 10-yard run for a first and goal at the one. Huss was able to come up with two tackles for minus four yards before Robert Kendrick scored from five yards out and Ellis kicked the PAT to round out the scoring.
“It was good to get off to a 1-0 start in the conference,” said Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd. “Huss came to play. They were improved and we were impressed. They played really hard and they have good team speed.”
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Lady Mountaineer Kaliyah Watson tees off in Monday’s BSC golf match at Kings Mountain Country Club.

Watson shoots 49
in BSC golf match

Kings Mountain’s Kaliyah Watson shot a 49 to finish third in Monday’s Big South Conference golf match at Kings Mountain Country Club.
South Point won with a 132, followed by Crest 168, Forestview 194 and Ashbrook 200.
South Point’s Madison Pruden was the medalist with a 42.
The BSC teams play Monday at Riverbend Golf Course in Shelby.
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Camren Houser scores for the Patriots in last week’s game at Gamble Stadium. Photos by Lizzie Ingram

Patriots rout West Lincoln
in first conference game

Kings Mountain Middle School’s football team opened conference play Wednesday at John Gamble Stadium with a 42-0 win over West Lincoln. The win gave the Patriots a 1-1 overall mark heading into a game yesterday at North Lincoln.
Christian Jarrett returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and Dakota Smith added a two-point conversion to get the rout underway.
Nazir Davis had three TD receptions as well as a two-point conversion run.
Devin Hopper had a pair of TD caches and Xavier Hutchens added another receiving score.
Camren Houser also had a rushing touchdown.
Defensive standouts included Malachi Powell with a forced fumble that was recovered by Graylon Koontz; and Brandon Ayers and Jarrett Linder each had a sack.
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Meile Songaila

KM’s Songaila
MaxPreps NC Player
of the Week

Kings Mountain High junior outside hitter Meile Songaila was named North Carolina’s Outstanding Volleyball Player of the Week for the week of August 22-28 by MaxPreps.
MaxPreps is an American website that specializes in coverage of American high school sports. This siite is owned by Paramount Global and is a division of CBS Sports. Founded on August 1, 2002, the company has covered up to 29 sports including boys, girls and co-ed sports. MaxPreps is currently headquartered in El Dorado Hills, California.
Songaila’s statistics for the week were 79 kills, 5.27 kills per game, 55 digs. 3.67 digs per game, 68 receptions, 4.53 receptions per game, five assists, three aces and five blocks.
Kings Mountain High volleyball is undefeated in the Big South Conference.

Kings Mountain cross country
sweeps county meet at CCC

The host Kings Mountain High men’s and women’s cross country teams rolled to victory in the annual Cleveland County meet held last week at the new 5K course at Cleveland Community College.
The Mountaineers compiled 26 points to Shelby’s 44 and 55 for Crest. Burns competed but did not score as a team.
The Lady Mountaineers won by 15 points over Shelby, 32-37. Crest was third with 73 and Burns did not score as a team.
Kings Mountain’s Isaiah Watts was the individual champion with a personal best time of 17.49. Shelby’s Damon Cook took second in 18:49. KM’s Max Thompson was third in 19:49 and Marty Lovingood fifth in 20:52.06. Hunter Cruise ran eighth and Nathan Inthavong ninth to give the Mountaineers five top ten finishes.
Nicholas Horn ran 17th, Nathaniel Kiser 21st, Marcus Williams and Luis Cedillo tied for 23rd, Hayden Huss ran 27th and Eric Bell 28th.
Shelby’s Aly Hollifield edged KM’s Divinity Ervin in 21:30 for first place in the women’s race. But Kings Mountain had four runners in the top five and six in the top ten. Brooke Waseman was third in 23:59, Nicole Poston fourth in 25:33, Sarah Eagle fifth in 25:35, Sindy Ulloah eighth in 26:30 and Kallie Hope 10th in 27:02.
Other KM runners were Kinley Putnam who finished in the top 15 with a time of 27:26, Alyssa Deal 22nd in 32:41, Wren Ballard 23rd in 32:42, and Emily Phelps tied for 25th.
Kings Mountain will travel to Freedom High in Morganton today for the annual Freedom Invitational.

KM volleyball continues unbeaten
with wins over Raiders and Jaguars 

 Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team continued its Big South 3A Conference unbeaten string last week with 3-0 wins over South Point and Forestview. The Lady Mountaineers will have their biggest test Thursday when they travel to Cleveland County rival Crest and they will stay on the road next Tuesday at Gastonia Ashbrook.
The Lady Mountaineers defeated Forestview 25-13, 29-27 and 25-15 last Tuesday. Meile Songaila was strong along the nets with 24 kills and also provided eight service points and 11 serve receptions.
Camden Pasour dished out 20 assists to go with four service points, one kill and seven digs.
Paige Bagwell had 14 assists, seven service points and three kills.
Myracle Davis provided 13 kills and three blocks.
In JV action, KM won 25-23, 21-25 and 15-8.
Abilgail Hedgepath had three kills, 18 assists, nine digs and three service points.
Kenzlie Morris had six kills, two digs and eight service points.
Megan Harris had nine kills, five serve receptions and four service points.
Ava Tipton had 18 serve receptions, 11 digs and 12 service points.
The Lady Mountaineers swept both matches against South Point with the JVs winning 25-6, 25-6 before the varsity won 25-14, 25-8, 25-10.
Songaila had 15 service points, 20 kills, five serve receptions and 14 digs.
Davis had 22 kills and two blocks.
Pasour provided seven service points, two kills, 22 assists and nine digs.
Bagwell added 13 service points, one kill, 18 assists and eight digs.
Caroline Barber had seven service points, six assists, 20 serve receptions and 19 digs.
Hedgepath led the JVs with 17 assists and four digs.
Ruby Osborne had four kills and a block.
Brooke Hamrick had seven kills and six digs.

Next up:
Wildcats
in Dallas

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will end the first half of their regular season Friday night when they travel to Dallas to take on the North Gaston Wildcats.
The Mountaineers go into the Big South Conference game with an unbeaten 4-0 overall record while the Wildcats are 0-4. But just like KM’s opponent last week, the Hunter Huss Huskies, the Wildcats have some really good players who can be hard to contain.
Leading the pack for new head coach Dan Rothwell is sophomore running back JJ Gordon who is their leading rusher and scorer. Junior quarterback Tj Belton is also impressive as a runner and passer. He has some good receivers in Jurnee Lattimore and Isaiah Banks.
The Wildcats have been in every game except a 65-14 defeat to a very good Chase team. North was in every other game early but fell in the second half to East Gaston 28-8, 4A Alexander Central 17-8 and Big South Conference foe Gastonia Forestview 20-0 last week.
“In a lot of ways, North Gaston is similar to Hunter Huss,” noted Mountaineer head coach Greg Lloyd. “Their numbers are not great but they have some people with good speed. Their quarterback is a dual threat and they played very good defense against Foerestview. They only gave up 20 points. They’re very capable of making big plays. We have to put in four good quarters.”
“They have a new coach and he’s trying to put his stamp on things,” noted KM line coach and offensive coordinator Kevin Cruise. “They have several good athletes.”
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Caroline Barber bumps the ball for the Lady Mountaineers in last week’s sweep of Hunter Huss at Parker Gym. Photos by Gary Smart

Lady Mountaineers volleyball still unbeaten in BSC

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team posted two impressive victories in Big South Conference play last week, defeating Hunter Huss 25-7, 25-6, 25-3 Tuesday and North Gaston 25-10, 25-7, 25-8 Thursday.
Meile Songaila and Myracle Davis were strong along the nets Tuesday with 10 and eight kills, respectively. Songaila also had a block and nine service points.
Camden Pasour dished out 17 assists to go along with two kills and seven service points.
Paige Bagwell was strong overall with 15 assists, seven kills and 20 service points.
Caroline Barber had 10 serve receptions and eight service points.
Against North Gaston, Songaila provided four serve receptions, 14 kills, one block, three digs and 12 service points.
Pasour had 21 assists, 19 service points and three kills.
Bagwell had 11 assists, five kills, a block and six service points.
Davis had 16 kills and two blocks.
Barber had 11 serve receptions and seven digs.
The Lady Mountaineers were scheduled to go to Gastonia Forestview yesterday and will host South Point Thursday before hitting the road again to play at Stuart Cramer on September 20 at 4:30 and Crest in Shelby on September 22. They continue on the road for games at Ashbrook on September 27, Hunter Huss on September 29 and Cox Mill on October 3 before hosting North Gaston on October 4 at 5:30.
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KM senior quarterback Lamont Littlejohn Jr. fires a pass in recent 27-0 victory over Burns. The Mountaineers are coming off a bye week to face seven Big South opponents to complete the regular season. Photo by Gary Smart

Huskies here Friday for BSC
opener, KMHS homecoming

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers open Big South 3A Conference action against the much-improved Hunter Huss Huskies Friday night at 7:30 at John Gamble Stadium. It’s also KM’s homecoming game.
The Huskies, who didn’t win a game last year when they started sophomores at almost every position, are looking for a good season in the BSC this time around.
True, they come in with a 1-2 record but their two losses were to two very good football teams, 32-27 to Central Cabarrus and 45-0 to a Hickory Ridge team that could be one of the best in the state.
In between those two contests, the Huskies defeated perennial mountain power Hibriten 49-42.
Kings Mountain comes in with a 3-0 mark with impressive wins over county rivals Shelby and Burns sandwiched around a victory over mountain power Asheville. But that’s all in the past and Coach Greg Lloyd’s staff and players will be focused on going through what should be a very competitive conference race.
“Hunter Huss is a much improved team,” Lloyd noted. “They are more mature than they were last year and it’s really paying off for them. They have good speed and their quarterback is very good and they have four or five guys that are really fast. We can’t look past them. We definitely have to play better against them.”
Several Huskies have put up some impressive numbers as they have a balanced running and passing attack. Quarterback Javarion Brown is hitting 50 percent of his pass attempts with a 99-yard per game average and five touchdowns. He has several good receivers such as Gene Neely and fast runners like Neely, Jayden Gash and Talik Chambers.
Their defense is also much improved, led by free safety Zamarius Gladden and defensive end James Taylor each with an average of 10 tackles per game. Quashaun Mack is averaging two sacks per game.
Of course, the Mountaineers have put up some great stats as well. Quarterback Lamont Littlejohn has hit on 31 of 49 passes so for 439 yards and six TDs and has spread the passes around to the likes of Jake Lloyd, Caleb Holland, Bryson Brown, Teddy Jeffries, Ja’Qualyn Sanders and Robert Kendrick. They also handle a lot of the rushing load along with big AJ Richardson who is the go-to guy in short yardage situations, especially inside the opponents’ 10-yard line.
Many of the above-mentioned standouts are also defensive leaders, including Lloyd who is averaging 8.5 tackles per game and Curtis Simpson and Richardson with seven and four sacks, respectively.
The Mountaineers will go into this week’s game – and hopefully the rest of the season – in top shape.
“During the off week we worked basically on ourselves,” Coach Lloyd said. “We worked a lot on the kicking game and I feel like it’s going to be better. Overall, we want to see some improvement and just keep doing what we’ve been doing and get better at it every week. We want to keep the ball in front of us.”
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Myracle Davis gets one of her 15 kills in last week’s Big South season opening win over the Ashbrook Green Wave at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium. Photos by Gary Smart

Lady Mountaineer volleyball opens BSC with big wins

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team opened Big South 3A Conference play Friday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium with a sweep of the Ashbrook Green Wave.
The varsity won 25-4, 25-9, 25-5 after the JVs won 2-0 with identical 25-8 scores.
Camden Pasour had a big night for the varsity ladies with 27 assists and 14 service points.
Meile Songaila registered 15 kills and also had a block and four serve receptions. Myracle Davis added 12 kills, Paige Bagwell eight kills and three assists and Caroline Barber 14 service points, eight serve receptions and four digs.
In the JV game, Abigail Hedgepath had 16 assists, Brooke Hamrick five kills and seven service points and Ava Tipton eight serve receptions and seven service points.
In a non-conference match with a good Hickory team on Tuesday, the varsity won 25-20, 25-19, 20-25, 26-24 and the JVs won 25-7, 25-14.
All of the Lady Mountaineers had a good all-around game. Songaila had 16 kills, 16 digs, 19 service points and two blocks. Davis added 22 kills and five blocks. Pasour had 15 service points, 25 assists, three kills, 10 digs and one block and Bagwell provided 13 assists, 11 kills, two service points and five digs.
The JV ladies won 25-7, 25-14. Ava Tipton had six serve receptions, five digs and three service points. Abigail Hedgepath added two digs, six kills, 11 assists and three service points; and Brooke Hamrick had five kills, one block, two digs and nine service points.
Kings Mountain was scheduled to host Hunter Huss yesterday. The Lady Mountaineers will travel to North Gaston Thursday and Forestview September 13 before returning to their home court on September 15 against South Point.
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KOBE PAYSOUR

KM’s Kobe Paysour stands out
in Carolina’s 63-61 win at ASU

Former Kings Mountain High School football star Kobe Paysour stood out in several Mountaineer victories during his prep days and Saturday was a big factor in another Mountaineer team – the Appalachian State Mountaineers – losing one of the highest scoring games in North Carolina collegiate football history.
The redshirt freshman wide receiver helped his North Carolina Tar Heels edge Appalachian State 63-61 in Boone.
Playing in the place of UNC All-American wide receiver Josh Downs, who was injured in Carolina’s game the week before, Paysour caught all eight passes that quarterback Drake Maye sent his way for 92 yards and a touchdown. His longest catch was for 21 yards.
The Tar Heels fell behind 21-7 early but made a huge comeback and the lead changed hands numerous times the rest of the way.
Paysour started his freshmen through junior seasons at KMHS and set school records with 71 receptions for 1,596 yards and 26 touchdowns. Before his senior season, Cleveland County Schools were closed because of COVID and he played his senior season at Gaffney High School and led the Indians in receptions and yardage. He returned to KMHS after Gaffney’s season ended and had the grades and credits to enter Carolina in the spring semester. He spent last football season as a redshirt.
He was a High School All-American his sophomore year at KMHS when he caught 60 passes for 1,138 yards and 16 touchdowns. For his prep career he caught 195 passes for 3,912 yards and 51 touchdowns, including 37 passes for 534 yards and five TDs in seven games at Gaffney. He was All-Conference all four years of his high school career and was an All-American his sophomore year at KMHS.
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Kings Mountain’s Curtis Simpson (9), Rodney Unnash (40) and Javier Currie (33) sack Burns quarterback Ben Mauney in Friday’s game at KM’s Gamble Stadium. Photos by Gary Smart

KM Mountaineers shutout Burns Bulldogs 27-0,
idle Friday before beginning BSC play next week


Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers completed their non-conference play Friday at Gamble Stadium with an impressive 27-0 victory over the previously unbeaten Burns Bulldogs. The Mountaineers have an open date this week and will begin Big South Conference play at home on Friday, September 16 against the Hunter Huss Huskies.
The Bulldogs, who had two big victories over their other 3A non-conference opponents Forestview 42-0 and Crest 35-12 coming in, kept the game close in the first half and trailed just 7-0 at the break.
But with good blocking by linemen like Alex Jackson, Michael Lubas, Isaiah Eskridge, Dalton Smith, and Treston Spikes the Mountaineers put two more touchdowns on the board in the third period and scored again in the fourth stanza to put the game away.
“We played really well,” noted KM head coach Greg Lloyd. “We won both lines of scrimmage. We controlled the clock and kept their defense on the field. It was a good night. That was our second shutout in a row and we’re really proud of that.”
Kings Mountain had a balanced offensive attack with 138 yards in the air and 204 on the ground. Burns had a good night in the middle of the field but the KM defense came up big in scoring situations. The Bulldogs finished with 116 yards rushing but the Mountaineers held their talented passing quarterback Ben Mauney to a season low 78 yards.
“We wanted to get after him early and make sure he didn’t have time to throw because his receivers are really dangerous,” Lloyd said. “They have good running backs. I thought AJ Richardson and Curtis Simpson, our defensive ends, put a lot of pressure on them.”
Kings Mountain’s defense set the tone for the game shortly after the opening kickoff when a Burns punt was partially blocked and the Mountaineers took over at the Burns 22. On KM’s fourth offensive play, quarterback Lamont Littlejohn hit Thomas Fair with a 12-yard pass for a touchdown and Jaden Ellis kicked the point-after with 5:45 on the clock.
The Mountaineers would threaten again on their next possession, driving from their own five following a Burns punt to the Burns 24 but the Bulldogs’ Lamont Wilson intercepted a pass. And, they drove from their own seven to the Burns 26 late in the half but a field goal attempt missed with five seconds on the clock.
Kings Mountain had back-to-back scoring drives that ate up most of the third quarter to take a 21-0 lead. Taking over on their own 44 after Caleb Holland’s kickoff return, the Mountaineers covered the 56 remaining yards in eight plays to take a 14-0 led on Holland’s 13-yard run off tackle and Ellis’s PAT with 7:48 on the clock.
After the ensuing kickoff, Burns put the ball in play at its own 22 and, on first down, Mauney fumbled while being sacked by Simpson. Richardson scooped the ball at the nine and took it in the end zone, giving KM two TDs in just 21 seconds.
KM’s final TD drive began at the 11:23 mark of the fourth quarter  when  the
KM defense forced a three and out. Taking over on their own 33, the Mountaineers covered the distance in just eight plays with the big one being a 42-yard reception by Jake Lloyd for a first down at the Burns five to set up a three-yard TD run by Richardson.
Burns took over at its own 22 and found itself in another deep hole as KM’s Rodney Unnash sacked Mauney for a seven yard loss. They had to punt with 5:32 left and wouldn’t touch the ball again until just 32 seconds remained on the clock.
“I think we won all three phases of the game,” Lloyd said. “I thought our special teams were really good and did a good job. It was a good night and our second shutout in a row and we’re really proud of that. We came out in good shape. We didn’t get anybody hurt and we should be healthy when we start conference play.”
With an open date this week, Lloyd said the Mountaineers will work on “fundamentals and our passing game. We’re off to a good start but we can get much better. We’ll probably work some with new guys and try to improve overall.”
 
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After sluggish start, Mountaineers
roll to big 24-0 win over Asheville

The lightning that sent teams and fans out of John Gamble Stadium for 45 minutes Friday night was nothing like the yellow flags flying all over the place in the first quarter of the Mountaineers’ non-conference game with Asheville.
But, things finally settled down and the Mountaineers rolled to their second straight win 24-0.
“We were behind the chains starting out,” Coach Greg Lloyd noted. “We were out of rhythm but the more we got into the game it was cleaner. We were shooting ourselves in the foot with some penalties and turnovers.”
The Mountaineers got going early in the second quarter after a Jaden Ellis kickoff into the end zone made Asheville’s offense start on its own 20. Backed up on their 10-yard line following a Curtis Simpson sack, the Cougars had to punt and it traveled just 19 yards and KM took over on Asheville’s 33 yard line. A roughing the passer flag on the Cougars gave KM a first down at the 22 and an 11-yard pass from Lamont Littlejohn to Bryson Brown and three rushes by Teddy Jeffries put the Mountaineers into the end zone. Jaden Ellis’ PAT made it 7-0 with 7:24 left in the half.
With 44 seconds left on the first half clock, Simpson blocked a punt and KM took over on the Asheville 17. Three KM passes fell incomplete, but Ellis came on to boot a 34-yard field goal to send the Mountaineers into halftime with a 10-0 lead.
The flags didn’t fly as much in the second half and the Mountaineer offense did a good job of running the clock. The defense continued to shine as it would hold the Cougars to 51 yards total offense – 24 on the ground and 27 in the air on just four of 14 completions. Kings Mountain finished with 199 yards total offense. Sanders caught four passes for 53 yards, Brown and Zay Smith two each for 17 yards each, and Jeffries one for four. Jeffries and Caleb Holland led the rushing with 36 and 35 yards, respectively.
“Everybody played hard,” Coach Lloyd noted. “We were able to keep the ball away from them. After a tough one at Shelby it was a good win for us. We are happy to be where we are.”
After the Asheville punter dropped the snap on a punt attempt midway of the third period, the Mountaineers marched 49 yards in 11 plays to go up 17-0 on a five-yard touchdown run by Holland and Ellis’s PAT. Facing fourth and one at the Asheville 40, big AJ Richardson plowed two yards for a first down at the 38 and two runs by Kendrick made it first and ten on the 25. A face mask penalty on Asheville resulted in a first down at the 15 and three straight runs by Holland put the Mountaineers in the end zone with 29 seconds left in the quarter
Once again the KM defense came up big as Micah Ward’s tackle for a two-yard loss forced a 21-yard punt by the Cougars. Taking over at the Asheville 49, the Mountaineers continued to work the clock. Smith made a remarkable sideline catch for a first down at the Asheville 36 and Holland carried three times for 11 yards to set up a 25-yard TD pass from Littlejohn to Sanders who made an over the shoulder catch in the end zone for the final TD with 6:56 remaining. The defense held the Cougars to another three and out and the KM took over with just 5:15 remaining. Led by the running of Feemster and Ward and a 10-yard reception by Sanders, the Mountaineers ran the clock down to 51 seconds before Asheville intercepted a pass. But it was too little, too late.
The Mountaineers were without one of their top players, senior Jake Lloyd who developed a mild case of COVID after turning in a strong all-around effort in the Mountaineers’ opening win at Shelby the week before, but his replacements played very well.
“Jake looks fine and I think he may be able to play Friday,” Coach Lloyd said. “We’ll just have to wait and see.”

KMHS band entertains the crowd at football home opener

 Kings Mountain High’s football team played its first home game of the season Friday night. After a 45-minute lightning delay the Mountaineers squared off against Asheville and posted an impressive 24-0 victory. Not only did the team play its usual exciting game, the band did as well before a packed home crowd. The Mountaineers and the band will be back on the Gamble Stadium turf Friday with a big county rivalry game with the undefeated Burns Bulldogs.

Photos by Gary Smart

KM’s Watts first, KM teams
second in opening XC meet

Both Kings Mountain teams ran second to South Point in the Mountaineers’ first cross country meet last week – a two-mile scrimmage- at KMHS but the Mountaineers’ sophomore Isaiah Watts ran first with a time of 11:23. He finished 23 seconds ahead of second place Mason Braswell of South Point in 11:46.
It was the only home meet scheduled for the Mountaineers this season.
The Mountaineers’ only other top ten finisher was Hunter Cruise, who was 10th in 13:07. Nathan Inthavong was 16th, Marty Lovingood 19th, Elliot Habel 20th, Nicholas Horn 24th, Nathaniel Kiser 39th, Marcus Williams 40th, Hayden Huss 49th and Eric Bell 51st.
South Point’s girls finished with 34 points to KM’s 38. Forestview was third with 56. In the boys’ race, South Point had 37 to KM’s 63. Forestview was third with 75, followed by Crest 99, Hunter Huss 114 and West Lincoln 150.
The Lady Mountaineers were led by Divinity Ervin, who finished second to South Point’s Lexi Birtwistle  14:01 to 14:29. KM’s Thalia Kushman was third in 14:40.
Kings Mountain’s only other top 10 finisher was 10th place Brooke Waseman in 16:16. Sindy Ulloa ran 13th in 17:00, Kinley Putnam 16th in 17:22, Nicole Poston 17th in 17:26, Kallie Hope 24thin 18:15 and Emily Phelps 36th in 24:03.
Kings Mountain travels to York, SC September 1 for a 5 p.m. start. The Mountaineers will go to Ashbrook on September 6 and compete in the county meet with Burns, Crest and Shelby on September 13 at the Cleveland Community College course.

Burns bringing
powerful team
to KMHS Friday

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers have opened their 2022 football season with a pair of impressive wins over perennial North Carolina powers Shelby and Asheville, but their toughest game so far comes Friday night when a powerful Burns team comes to John Gamble Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Bulldogs’ come to town with an impressive resume with blowout wins over the Forestview Jaguars and Crest Chargers. They have tons of experience and are led by one of the area’s – if not one of the state’s – best quarterbacks in 6-3 Ben Mauney who is averaging 388 yards passing per game.  They also have a strong running attack, led by Jeremiah Norris with 111 yards per game.
“Burns is definitely an improved team,” says Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd. “They have tons of skill players who make big plays. They’re very aggressive and they are the best team we’ve seen to this point.
“They are really good in all areas of the game,” he added. “They’re strong on both sides of the ball. Their quarterback is a returning starter and they have a lot of seniors that have had good success. I’d say they are one of the top two or three 2A teams in the state. They are a state championship caliber team.
“This will be a big test for us,” he said. “We’ll have to earn everything we get. We need to stay on the field, pick up first downs and not have turnovers. They have a lot of seniors that started their sophomore and junior years. Their receivers are really tall and talented and skilled athletes.
“They’re going to be a challenge. Their quarterback is a junior and is starting for his second year. We have to be ready. This is our third tough game. We’d like to get finished up non-conference with everybody healthy. Then we’ll have an open date before we start conference play. But we can’t think about anything but Burns right now.”