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KMHS JV Cheerleaders

Kings Mountain’s JV cheerleaders braved the wet weather to cheer the Mountaineers on to victory over South Point during Thursday night at Gamble Stadium.

Photo by Gary Smart
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Kameron Adams carries the mail for Kings Mountain JVs in Thursday’s 7-6 victory over South Point at Gamble Stadium. Photos by Gary Smart

JVs stop Raiders’ two-point try
to remain unbeaten in Big South

Their last two games have been nail-biters, but Kings Mountain High’s JV Mountaineers are still unbeaten in the Big South Conference following Thursday’s 7-6 win over a good South Point team at John Gamble Stadium.
The Mountaineers got by Forestview 6-0 a week earlier on a one-yard sneak by quarterback Kylei Anderson in Gastonia. And they took an early 7-0 lead over South Point Thursday night at John Gamble Stadium but had to stop a two-point conversion try by the Red Raiders for a 7-6 victory.
It was their fifth straight win following an opening-season loss to the Shelby Lions. They travel to Stuart Cramer Thursday for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Mountaineers and Red Raiders stopped each other on their first two possessions before the Mountaineers drove 63 yards in 10 plays to score on a 26-yard run around left end by Kameron Adams. Max Thompson’s extra point for a 7-0 lead would eventually be the winner.
Along the way, Adams carried the ball four times for 46 yards. Thomas Fair and Zayvion Wilson also had big gains along the way.
Each team got off some good drives during the night but couldn’t produce any points because of good defensive stops by the other side.
Curtis Simpson’s pass interception gave KM a good scoring opportunity at the South Point 43. The Mountaineers were able to get the ball to the Raider 26 but an incompletion in the end zone gave possession back to the Raiders.
The Raiders were moving late in the second quarter but big defensive plays by CJ Houser and Eli Lipscomb forced them to punt with 29.5 seconds on the clock.
Lipscomb’s tackle for loss ended the Raiders’ first possession of the third period. A drive kept alive by an 18-yard reception by Ethan Guy and strong running by  Fair, Anderson, Adams and Wilson kept the ball in KM’s possession until just 23 seconds remained in the third quarter.
Backed up to their own six yard line, South Point’s Chance Ford rambled 42 yards to get the Raiders out of the hole, and six plays later he went 23 yards right through the middle of the KM defense for a touchdown with 6:08 left in the game. The Raiders handed to him again for a two-point conversion attempt but he was smothered by a host of Mountaineer defenders and the score remained 7-6.
Even though that eventually meant a KM win, the Mountaineers still had some shaky moments. Four plays later South Point recovered a fumble at the 50 but the KM defense stiffened and held them on downs at the KM 34. Anderson carried twice for 11 yards and a first down, allowing the Mountaineers to take a knee three times to run out the clock.

Volleyball 
closing in
on BS title

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team won two more games last week and go into the final week of the regular season with an undefeated record in the Big South Conference.
The Lady Mountaineers will host Ashbrook Thursday in their final regular season home match, and then close out BSC action Tuesday at second place Crest.
Kings Mountain is 11-0 in the conference and 14-2 overall heading into the final week of action.
The Lady Mountaineers polished off Forestview and South Point in straight sets last week.
Against the Lady Jaguars, KM won 25-13, 25-7 and 25-18 after the JVs swept their match 25-21, 25-12.
Against South Point, the varsity won 25-11, 25-8, 25-13 after the JVs captured wins of 25-13, 25-7.
Against Forestview, Meile Songaila had four serve receptions, 11 digs, 16 kills and 11 service points. Paige Bagwell added five kills, 25 assists, five digs and three service points, Mary Grace Hogue three kills, six digs and 15 service points, and Caroline Barber 14 service points, 13 serve receptions and eight digs.
In the JV match, Sara Kate Bridges had 11 service points, 21 assists and seven digs; Alexa Jones 13 kills, three service points, five serve receptions and three digs; London Brown five service points, six kills, eight serve receptions and two digs; and Addi Peeler nine service points, nine digs, and two assists.
Against the South Point varsity, Bagwell had two kills, 42 assists, three digs and four service points; Aaliyah Byers 22 kills, 11 digs, four serve receptions and 12 service points; Songaila 10 kills, nine digs, 11 serve receptions and seven service points, and Myracle Davis five kills and two blocks.
For the JVs, Bridges had 13 service points, 24 assists and eight digs; Peeler nine service points, 13 serve receptions and nine digs; Brooke Hamrick seven kills, eight service points and three digs; and Jones 12 kills, five serve receptions and four digs.
The JVs carried a 6-2 conference and 11-3 overall record into this week’s matches.

Good Cramer
team here
Friday for
homecoming

Kings Mountain will be having homecoming Friday night at Gamble Stadium, but the Mountaineers can’t afford to let the festivities take their focus off a very dangerous Stuart Cramer team.
Cramer comes to town with two losses, but they were to very good teams and the Storm will come in with the goal of defeating the Mountaineers to strengthen their seeding for the upcoming state playoffs.
Kings Mountain has to have the same mindset, because wins the next three Fridays could give them the Big South Conference championship and guarantee home games for the playoffs.
“Cramer’s going to be just the opposite of what we’ve been seeing this year,” says Mountaineer Coach Greg Lloyd. “They are a passing team with one of the top quarterbacks (Justin Rocquemore) in the state. He is extremely mobile with a very quick release.
“Their overall offense is very good,” Lloyd added, “and their defense has really improved. South Point just beat them by one touchdown and they were down just one going into the fourth quarter against Crest. No doubt, they will be ready. This will be a dog fight.
“With the addition of another round, I expect both of us to be in the playoffs,” he added. “But we don’t want to go in with losses. Their losses were to two very good teams, and they will come in here with a lot of motivation.”
Rocquemore, a junior, has been starting since his freshman year.
Defensively, Lloyd said the Storm is in a 4-2-5 and do a lot of blitzing.
“We definitely have to be ready for that,” he said. “I remember in 2018 they played us a 21-14 ball game. They are very competitive, they’re big and this is going to be a good ballgame.
“Our guys have to be ready. We have a great opportunity in these final three games. Each game is huge. We want to win these next two games and set up a big conference championship game with Crest.”
 
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Mountaineers’ AJ Richardson (15) is about the lower the boom on South Point quarterback Cam Medlock in Friday’s game in Belmont. Photos by Gary Smart

17-point fourth quarter breaks tie, gives Mountaineers 24-7
win over Red Raiders

For most of three quarters Friday night in Belmont’s Lineberger Stadium, it felt as though old rivals South Point and Kings Mountain may be going to overtime.
A first half touchdown by each team had them tied at 7-all at the break but the Mountaineers used a good ground game, hard-hitting defense and a strong kicking attack to score 17 fourth quarter points and put the Raiders away 24-7.
It was KM’s sixth straight win following an opening season loss to Shelby and kept them tied for first place in the Big South Conference with Crest.
The Mountaineers showed their toughness on the game’s opening drive, moving 80 yards in 16 plays to eat almost eight minutes off the clock and score on a two-yard run of tackle by Robert Kendrick. Jaden Ellis’s extra point made it 7-0. Before the night was over, Kendrick would have 16 carries for 141 yards.
The Raiders answered, going 78 yards on just
three carries by Tyson Riley whose final 56 knotted things up.
The Mountaineers threatened to take the lead midway of the third quarter, driving from their own 38 to the South Point seven behind the running of Kendrick. But, South Point’s Micah Stowe intercepted a pass and returned it to the KM 42 yard line.
“That was our only turnover and it was my fault,” KM Coach Greg Lloyd said. “That was not a good call.”
South Point was able to make it to the KM 23, but a Jake Lloyd interception at the 1:28 mark turned the game in KM’s favor.
With Kendrick and Thomas Feemster taking turns carrying the mail, the Mountaineers stayed on the ground except for the final play of the drive, a 10-yard pass to D’Andre Hoyle. The Mountaineers were flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD, but Jaden Ellis boomed a 42-yard extra point to put KM up 14-7 with 11:34 left on the clock.
“That was a big extra point,” Lloyd said. “Ellis, our snapper Gabe Short and our holder Bryson Brown all did a great job.”
The Mountaineer defense continued to make big plays. A 15-yard penalty on the Raiders and the first of two interceptions by Peyton Fisher basically put the win in the bag with 6:12 remaining.
Three plays after the pick, Ellis split the uprights with a 43-yard field goal to run the score to 17-7 at the 4:46 mark.
South Point was able to work the ball to the KM 35 and the Mountaineers put the win in the bag on just two plays – Alex Jackson’s sack and Fisher’s 63-yard pick six down the South Point sidelines.
“We came up big in the second half,” Lloyd said. “I thought it was a gusty effort. It was a big win at a tough place to play.
“I thought our defense improved as the game went on, and the offensive line did a great job. We did a good job of taking care of the ball.
“Fisher’s two interceptions were huge. We played really hard.” 
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Kings Mountain Middle School Cheerleaders

Kings Mountain Middle School cheerleaders perform for the home crowd at halftime of last week’s game at John Gamble Stadium.

Photo by Lizzie Ingram
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Aiden Smith

Kings Mountain Middle School quarterback Aiden Smith looks for a receiver in last week’s 12-0 loss to East Lincoln at John Gamble Stadium.

Photo by Gary Smart

 
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Paige Bagwell dished out 49 assists in last week’s game with Ardrey Kell at the KMHS gym. Photo by Gary Smart

KMHS spikers split with Kell

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball teams split with 4A power Ardrey Kell in non-conference action last week at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
The JVs won 25-18, 25-17 and the varsity Lady Mountaineers gave Kell a tough battle before falling 3-2.
Kings Mountain got off to a good start, taking the first set 25-18. The visitors tied it with a 25-20 win before KM came back to take a 2-1 edge with a 26-24 win. Kell rallied with a 25-23 win to tie the series and captured the deciding fifth set 15-9.
Meile Songaila gave a strong overall effort with 12 service points, 12 kills, 42 serve receptions, two blocks and 21 digs.
Aaliyah Byers provided four service points, 29 kills, 17 serve receptions, one block and 26 digs.  
Paige Bagwell had 49 assists, nine service points, four kills, a block and 14 digs and Caroline Barber added 26 serve receptions and 26 digs.
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KMHS Cross Country

Kings Mountain High’s Cross Country team participated in the Wendy’s Invitational at McAlpine Creek Park in Charlotte last weekend. The meet included some of the best teams in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. Parker Key led the Mountaineers with an 18th place time of 17:49. Thalia Kushman led the KM women with a 31st place finish in 22:02. KM’s next meet is October 19 at Ashbrook.
 

SPORTS THIS WEEK

Wed., Oct. 6
4:30 – Middle school football, Kings Mountain at Lincolnton (Varsity begins at 5 p.m.)
6 p.m. – High school soccer, Hunter Huss at KMHS.
Thur., Oct. 7           
4 p.m. – High school volleyball, South Point at Kings Mountain (JV/V DH).
4 p.m. – High school tennis, Crest at Kings Mountain.
7 p.m. – JV football, South Point at Kings Mountain.
Fri., Oct. 8
7:30 – Varsity football, Kings Mountain at South Point
Mon., Oct. 11
4:15 – Middle school softball, Lincolnton at Kings Mountain.
4:15 – Middle school soccer, Lincolnton at Kings Mountain.
6 p.m. –High school soccer, Kings Mountain at North Gaston
Tues., Oct. 12
4 p.m. – Middle school golf, conference championship at West Lincoln
TBA – High school tennis, Big South tournament at North Gaston
3 p.m. – High school golf, Kings Mountain, South Point and Forestview at Cramer Mountain CC.
Wed., Oct.13
4:30 – Middle school football, North Lincoln at Kings Mountain (varsity begins at 5)
6 p.m. –High school soccer, Kings Mountain at Forestview.

KM Middle girls
unbeaten in East

King Mountain Middle School’s softball team carried an unbeaten 9-0 record into a Tri-County Conference home game yesterday against East Lincoln.
A 16-1 win over Lincolnton Thursday clinched the #1 seed from the East Division for the upcoming conference championship playoffs.
Avery Cruise pitched a complete game.
Prior to that victory, the Lady Patriots defeated a good Burns team 10-7 and West Lincoln 2-0.
Against West, which was the Lady Patriots’ toughest game of the year, Maddie Huffman went the distance and struck out 11.
The game was tied going into the sixth inning when Addie Carpenter’s single drove in Ava Broome. Just prior to that, Cruise had the defensive play of the game. Playing third base and with two outs and a runner on second, a rocket  was hit her way and she made the snag and threw to first to end the inning.
Kings Mountain tacked on an insurance run with Huffman scoring on a single to right by Kayla McSwain.
Huffman led the KM plate attack with 3 for 4, including the big double in the bottom of the sixth. Kayla McSwain was 2 for 3 with a walk, Addie Carpenter 2 for 4, and Ava Broome 1 for 2.      

Hall of Fame
induction set for Saturday

The Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony for the 2020 and 2021 honorees will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church.
Because of Covid, the 2020 induction ceremony was cancelled. All persons attending are strongly encouraged to wear masks and social distance as much as possible.
Tickets are on sale by all members of the Hall of Fame committee and will also be available at the door. No more than 250 people will be allowed inside.
The Class of 2020 includes Diane Williams, Joseph Bell Jr., Jim Medlin, Tim Riddle, Marquiz Williams, David Ray Robinson and the 1998 KMHS men’s track team.
The Class of 2021 includes professional baseball player Will Wilson, long-time KMMS coach Monty Deaton, and former Lady Mountaineer basketball great Trina Hamrick.
Distinguished service awards will be presented to retired KMHS principal Julie Rikard and John Gamble for their long time support of all levels of Kings Mountain sports.

Mountaineers edge good Forestview team,
but biggest test comes Friday at South Point

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers passed their first major test in the Big South Conference Friday night, falling behind early but coming out strong in the second half to defeat the Forestview Jaguars 28-14.
The win leaves the Mountaineers tied for first place in the BSC with Crest, which like Kings Mountain had to come from behind to beat South Point and remain unbeaten in the conference.
“We knew it was going to be a slugfest,” KM head coach Greg Lloyd said about his good friend Chris Medlin’s Forestview eleven. “They are a very good team and put up a hard fight.”
Both offenses had some success early but couldn’t finish off drives. It was the Jaguars’ defense that finally dented the scoreboard with 1:15 left in the first quarter. Their Jacob Neely broke in front of a KM receiver for an interception and 70 yard return for the TD and a 7-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, KM’s Peyton Fisher recovered a fumble at the Forestview 21, and three plays later Robert Kendrick went 14 yards around right end for a touchdown. Jaden Ellis’ PAT with 9:20 on the clock tied the score.
Forestview responded with its best drive of the night, staying on the ground for 11 of their 12 plays and eating 8:33 off the clock to get inside the KM one. With their big package in the game, the handoff went to a big lineman in the backfield but KM’s defensive line and linebackers stopped him a foot short of the goal line.
“That was very big,” noted Coach Lloyd. “It kept us tied and let us go into the second half with some momentum. It was probably the play of the game.”
The defensive momentum carried over to the second half as it held the Jaguars to three-and-out after the kickoff. KM took possession at its own 47, and after two runs by Thomas Feemster  quarterback Jonah Patrick hit D’Andre Hoyle on a quick slant and he made several good moves around would-be tacklers and turned it into a 42-yard touchdown and a 13-7 Mountaineer lead.
“D’Andre made some really big plays for us,” Lloyd noted. “Jonah made a nice throw and D’Andre went all the way with it. It was a big lift for us.
“Lamont Littlejohn ran the offense well, too,” he added. “Both of our quarterbacks did a good job.”
Kings Mountain’s defense held the Jaguars to three and out at their own 30, and Jake Lloyd blocked Neely’s punt and went untouched down the visitors’ sideline 20 yards for a touchdown with 6:13 on the clock. Robert Kendrick ran a two-point conversion to put the Mountaineers up 21-7. It was Lloyd’s second blocked punt for a touchdown in the past three games.
Forestview was able to answer by faking a punt and throwing 29 yards to Nathaniel Aguilar to the KM 32. They worked the ball to the KM two, and big tackle Ethan Barnett came on to plow through the KM defense for a two-yard TD to cut the margin to 21-14.
The Mountaineers put the win in the bag, going 76 yards in eight plays to score on a one-yard sneak by Littlejohn. Starting out first and 18 following a holding call, Hoyle got things going with a 44-yard catch and run to the Jaguars’ 32.  Other big plays during the drive were a 28-yard reception by Peyton Fisher and a 15-yard run by AJ Richardson to the one.
“Defensively, I thought Richardson had a big game,” Lloyd said. “Fisher played really well and also made a lot of good catches on offense. We did a nice job covering kicks. The blocked punt was big and it turned into a touchdown. We had some big plays in all three phases of the game.”



Things won’t get any easier for Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers when they travel to Belmont Friday night to take on the South Point Red Raiders. In fact, it will be their toughest test yet.
“South Point is very good,” Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd says of the team that had Crest beaten last Friday before falling by one point in the final minute.
“They played really well and had a great chance to win,” Lloyd said. “They were up 26-13 with nine minutes left and Crest put up a couple of late drives to win.”
This will be Kings Mountain’s first battle with the Red Raiders in several years as they played at the 2A level during the most recent NCHSAA realignment. Regardless of their classification it’s tough to beat them, especially on their home turf.
Even with last week’s loss, there is no doubt the Raiders (5-1) are still a championship threat in the Big South as well as the upcoming state 3A playoffs. With just three regular season games remaining after this week, this game is a big one for both teams.
The Red Raiders are still in a flex bone, or as they call it Red Bone offense. It has been successful for them for many years as they’ve won numerous conference and even some state championships with it.
Their go-to running back is senior Tyson Riley who is averaging 189 yards rushing per game. The team is averaging over 290.
They don’t throw the ball a lot, but their quarterbacks are very accurate and their receivers can catch the ball and go a long way with it. Their leading receiver is 6-5 tight end Jackson Blee who is averaging over 40 yards per reception.
“They have a big offensive line,” Lloyd noted. “They run the fullback (Riley) a lot, and he’s a very hard runner. Defensively, they tackle very well. They’re a typical South Point team that does a lot of things right.
“We have to be solid in all three phases of the game, that’s for sure,” Lloyd said. “They are extra tough at their place so we have to play our best game of the year. Their offense starts with the fullback, but you can’t just concentrate on their ground game. You have to cover all three phases.”

YMCA Golf Tournament raises financial assistance funds

The eleventh Annual Kings Mountain Family YMCA Golf Tournament was held on Friday September 24 at KMCC. Over 100 golfers participated in the annual event.
All proceeds raised go to the Financial Assistance programs. Funds raised help children play soccer, basketball, volleyball, flag football, t-ball, baseball and attend Teen Nights.
Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors – Carolina Powers Partners, Marie and  David Brinkley, First Baptist Church of KM and Eric and Cathy Moore, American Gypsum, Butler’s Tire & Auto, Josh Shelton – Edward Jones, KM Embroidery, Jolly Realty Group, Mill Steel Company, CM Tucker Lumber, Beam Construction, Clark Dietrich, Mario Ware, RUCO, 133 West and Brian & Debbie Osteen.
First place team with a score of 17 under (won on tiebreak):  Tyler Withers, Ty Withers, Dawson Adams, and Jordan Van Dyke.
Second place team with a score of 17 under:  Eric Moore, KG Etters, William Mabry, and Eric Stacy.
Third place team with a score of 16 under: Jeff Johnson, Chip Sloan, Lanny Wright, and Jason Mills.
Longest driver winners on Hole 2: Men – Matt Hunsinger; Women’s – Anne Brooks.
Longest drive Winner on Hole 11: Men’s - Kameron Kerr; Women’s – Dana Foy; Seniors – William Mabry.
Closet to pin winners : Hole 5 – Eric Stacy;  Hole 8 – Jimmy Parker; Hole 12 – Kameron Kerr;  Hole 16 – Harry Diehl; Hole 17 - KG Etters.

‘Tennis loses
to Forestview,
Stuart Cramer here Thursday

After numerous postponements and cancellations because of COVID quarantines and rain, Kings Mountain High’s women’s tennis team finally got its season started last week.
The Lady Mountaineers gave one of the pre-season favorites, Forestview, a tough match but the Lady Jaguars finally prevailed 5-4.
Kings Mountain was scheduled to make up a rained out game against Hunter Huss on Monday and were to go to South Point for a regularly-scheduled game Tuesday.
The Lady Mountaineers will be at home Thursday against Stuart Cramer.
Forestview wrapped up the victory with wins in four of the six singles matches and the #1 doubles matches.
(Singles)
Rennie Liu (F) d. Hannah McCall 6-0, 6-0; Maggie Lu (F) d. Katelyn Fleming 6-0, 6-2; Jessica Normik (F) d. Railey Bolt 6-0, 6-0; Sarah Younan (F) d. Hailey McCall 6-1, 6-4; Melissa Brooks (KM) d. Jamie Lacourse (F) 7-5, 5-7, 10-5; Katie Murray (KM) d. Kayleen Echeverry (F) 6-2, 6-2.
Doubles)
Lu-Normik (F) d. Hannah McCall-Hailey McCall 8-1; Katelyn Fleming-Railey Bolt (KM) d. Friday-Craig 8-4; Katie Murray-Kalin Brooks (KM) d. Jenkins-Parker 8-2.

Lady Chargers
win golf match

Kings Mountain High’s Kaliyah Watson shot a 53 in a Big South Conference golf match last week at Riverbed.
The host Crest ladies won with a 153 score, followed by Stuart Cramer 174, Ashbrook 198 and Forestview 205.
Allie MacArthur of Crest was the individual medalist with a 45.

Hall of Fame
set October 9

The 34th annual Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame dinner and induction ceremony will be held Sat., Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church.
Tickets are on sale by members of the Hall of Fame committee and at the door. They are $15 each.
All persons attending the ceremony are strongly encouraged to wear masks and social distance as much as possible.
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Parker Key, left, won last week’s Cleveland County cross country meet. Thelma Kushman, center, was second in the girls meet and Isaiah Watts was third for the KM men.

Key, Mountaineers
County XC champs

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers and their top runner Parker Key were winners in last week’s Cleveland County Schools Cross Country championship at Shelby High School.
The Kings Mountain women finished second, just eight points behind the host Shelby ladies.
Key ran the course in 18:03 to lead the Mountaineers to victory. Isaiah Watts finished third, closely followed by Hunter Cruise in fourth. Kohen Johnson was seventh, Nic Horn ninth, and Marty Lovington 10th.
Nathan Inthavong ran 11th, and Elliot Habel 16th.
Shelby’s Ally Hollifield was the individual champion in the girls’ event. Thelma Kushman of Kings Mountain finished second with a personal best time of 21:35. Other top runners for the Lady Mountaineers were Divinity Ervin in fifth place, Brooke Waseman seventh, Nicole Poston 10th and Sindy Ulloa 12th. 

Forestview here
Friday to battle
for share of first

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will face their toughest test since their opening game with Shelby when Forestview’s Jaguars come to John Gamble Stadium Friday for a 7:30 p.m. Big South Conference game.
Both teams go into the contest with unbeaten 2-0 records in the Big South. With Crest and South Point also unbeaten in the BSC at this point and Stuart Cramer and Gastonia Ashbrook definite threats to anyone, Friday’s contest could have playoff implications.
Forestview has shown tremendous improvement since dropping its first two games to Burns 8-6 and East Lincoln 31-17. They edged perennial Western power Freedom 13-7 in their final non-conference bout before opening Big South play with a 43-30 win over North Gaston and shutting out a talented Ashbrook eleven last week, 24-0.
A very experienced team with 15 seniors and 13 juniors – many of whom have started since their freshman year - the Jaguars are strong on both offense and defense and, as usual, have a tremendous kicking game. Their defense has shown tremendous improvement each week and is averaging over two sacks per game.
Their senior quarterback, Austin Parker, is 6-4 and completing a high percentage of his passes.
Senior running back Camury Reid is a strong running and receiving threat with over 300 yards in both categories. Another top receiver is junior Nathan Aguilar who is averaging over 17 yards per catch.
“Forestview is a very good team,” said Mountaineer coach Greg Lloyd. “I think you could put us, Crest,  South Point and Forestview
 in a hat and all have a chance to win the conference. They have a lot of seniors. I’m sure they are hungry and ready to play their best game against us.”
This will be the 17th meeting between Lloyd and Forestview Coach Chris Medlin since the two left East Gaston in 2007 to take their current positions. They’ve faced each other not just in conference play, but also in state playoff games.
“They lost a couple games early but they are improving each week,” Lloyd noted. “They have one of the strongest defenses and one of the best running games in the area. They have a lot of seniors and I’m sure they are hungry and ready to play their best game against us.”
 “This is going to be the toughest test we’ve had since the Shelby game,” Lloyd noted. “They have size and one of the strongest teams we’ve seen. This is going to be a big test, for sure.”
 
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Aaliyah Byers makes a powerful kill in last week’s sweep of Crest at Parker Gym. See more photos on 2B. Photo by Gary Smart

KM spikers blank Crest
to take sole lead in BSC

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team took over sole possession of first place in the Big South 3A Conference Thursday at Parker Gym with a 3-0 victory over Crest.
The two teams went into the final game of the first round tied for the lead. The Lady Chargers gave the Lady Mountaineers a tough run in the first set, losing by just 25-22, but KM dominated after that with wins of 25-13 and 25-15.
Aaliyah Byers led the way for the Lady Mountaineers with 19 kills, 10 service points and six serve receptions. Meile Songaila had 11 kills, two service points and eight serve receptions. Paige Bagwell added two kills, 35 assists and nine service points and Caroline Barber had 19 serve receptions, nine digs and three service points.
Kings Mountain’s JVs were also victorious, 25-10, 25-12.
Sara Kate Bridges had 14 assists, two kills, four digs and four service points. Alexa Jones had eight kills, three digs and 12 service points. London Brown had four kills, a block, five digs and four service points and Addi Peeler had 14 service points, five digs and eight serve receptions.
Kings Mountain, 10-1 overall, was scheduled to host a good Ardrey Kell team in a non-conference game Monday and Hunter Huss in a Big South game Tuesday. Then, the Lady Mountaineers will hit the road for BSC games at North Gaston on September 30 and Forestview October 5. Their next home game will be October 7 against South Point.
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KM’s DeAndre Hoyle returns one of his three pass interceptions in Friday’s game with North Gaston at KMHS.  Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers rout
Wildcats 56-0,

Hoyle ties pass
interception record

After having to punt on their first possession, Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers scored on eight of their next nine possessions and rolled to a 56-0 running clock victory over North Gaston Friday night at John Gamble Stadium.
Meanwhile, the KM defense was turning the Wildcats every way but loose. They had only 30 yards total offense in each half with 20 of their second half yards coming on their last possession.
“We played well, for sure,” noted Coach Greg Lloyd. “Everybody played really well but the competition ramps up this week, for sure” when the Mountaineers host a solid Gastonia Forestview eleven.
KM’s offensive assault began after a Peyton Fisher punt was downed at the North Gaston nine. The visiting Wildcats were held to three and out and had to punt. KM then began the rout when Zay Smith returned the kick 34 yards to the Wildcats’ 24 yard line.
A holding penalty during that run caused the Mountaineers to start on the ‘Cats 35 yard line. After a 19-yard run by Thomas Feemster and a six yard pass reception by Fisher, Robert Kendrick took a handoff from quarterback Lamont Littlejohn and scored from 10 yards out. Jaden Ellis’ point after touchdown made it 7-0 and the rout was on.
The two teams traded 15-yard penalties and a sack by Seth Neal forced the Wildcats to punt from their own five yard line. The Mountaineers took just six plays to score with AJ Richardson going in from six yards out for a 14-0 lead.
Two plays later, Deandre Hoyle recorded the first of his record-tying three interceptions on the night and returned it from the 50 to the North Gaston  23. Four plays later quarterback Jonah Patrick found Peyton Fisher wide open in the end zone for a 22-yard TD pass and a 21-0 lead.
The Mountaineer defense held North to three and out again and after a partially blocked punt took over at the Wildcats’ 32. A 13-yard reception by Hoyle and a nine-yard rush by Smith set up AJ Richardson’s eight-yard TD run for a 28-0 lead.
After the kickoff, Hoyle made his second interception on North’s first play, but North later picked off a Patrick pass. The Wildcats were able to pick up a first down and have five offensive touches, but the fifth resulted in Hoyle’s third interception at the 48 and return to the North 23. On second and six, Kendrick went 19 yards around left end to make it 35-0. (Former Mountaineers with three  interceptions in  a game were Chris Johnson vs. North Gaston in 1975, Petie McNeil vs. Burns in 1989 and Tyrese Crawford vs. Burns in 2011).
On the Mountaineers’ first possession of the third quarter, Jake Lloyd got off a 21 yard run to the North 12. Feemster’s seven-yard TD run was called back on a holding penalty, but he got off a 10-yard run to set up a two-yard TD run by Smith. That put the running clock rule into effect.
On second and eight from their own 22, the Wildcats coughed up the ball at the 17. Feemster covered the distance in two runs – the latter for a yard – and Ellis’ PAT made it 49-0. Feemster then left the game with a team-leading 75 yards on 12 carries.
North was able to pick up a first down, but sophomore Bryson Brown intercepted a pass with 10:45 left in the game. Sophomore Micah Ward carried the ball four times for 33 of his 55 rushing yards. After Patrick kept it for a 10-yard gain, Ward carried it four more times for 22 yards to set up Patrick’s three-yard TD with 4:25 remaining. Max Thompson’s PAT accounted for the final 56th point. For the game the Mountaineers were perfect on extra points, with Ellis kicking six and Thompson two.
North was finally able to pick up two first downs and get the ball to the KM 41 before the clock ran out. 

SPORTS  THIS WEEK

Wed., Sept. 22
TBA – High school cross country, Kings Mountain, Burns and Crest at Shelby.
5 p.m. - Middle school football, Burns at Kings Mountain. (Fifth quarter begins at 4:30).
Thur., Sept. 23
4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Crest at Kings Mountain.
4:15 - Middle School men’s soccer, Kings Mountain at North Lincoln.
4:15 – Middle school softball, Kings Mountain at North Lincoln.
7 p.m. – High school JV football, Kings Mountain at North Gaston.
Fri., Sept. 24
7:30 p.m. - High school football, North Gaston at Kings Mountain.
Saturday, Sept. 25
TBA – High school cross country, Kings Mountain at Freedom Invitational.
Mon., Sept. 27
2 p.m. – High school golf, all Big South teams at Kings Mountain Country Club.
3:30 – Middle school cross country, Kings Mountain, Burns and Shelby at Crest.
4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Audrey Kell at Kings Mountain.
4:15 – Middle school men’s soccer, Kings Mountain at West Lincoln.
Tues., Sept. 28
4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Hunter Huss at Kings Mountain.
4 p.m. – Middle school golf, Kings Mountain and North Lincoln at West Lincoln
4:15 – Middle school men’s soccer, Burns at Kings Mountain.
Wed., Sept. 29
5 p.m. – Middle school football, East Lincoln at Kings Mountain (Fifth quarter begins at 4:30).

JVs roll over Hunter Huss,
at North Gaston Thursday

Kings Mountain’s JV football team returned to action for the first time in three weeks Thursday night and rolled to a 20-6 victory over the Hunter Huss Huskies at Gamble Stadium.
Kings Mountain grabbed a 7-0 lead on its first possession, driving 35 yards after Jakari Roberts partially blocked a Huss punt attempt to give the Mountaineers possession on the Huss 30.
After a pass interference, the Mountaineers found themselves at the Huss 15. Two plays later Thomas Fair ran nine yards for a TD, and Max Thompson added the PAT for a 7-0 lead that held up until halftime. Kings Mountain was threatening to score again late in the half but lost a fumble at the Huss 10 yard line.
The Mountaineers drove 48 yards in the third quarter to take a 14-0 lead on a six-yard run by Kameron Adams. Thompson’s PAT made it 14-0.
Huss answered quickly, though, and scored on a two-yard quarterback sneak to cut the margin to 14-6.
Huss tried to pull off an onside kick, but KM’s CJ Houser recovered it at the 49, setting up the Mountaineers’ clinching touchdown drive. Adams and Wilson keyed a strong KM running attack and Ethan Guy had a key pass reception. Wilson scored on a 16-yard run to seal the win.
Huss lost the ball on downs at the KM 16 with 3:21 left. Wilson had two carries for 17 yards and Adams added two carries for nine yards to run out the clock.
The JVs are scheduled to go to North Gaston Thursday at 7 p.m.
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Zavion Smith (2) follows the blocking of Alex Jackson (57) and Thomas Feemster on a kick return in Friday’s game at Hunter Huss.  Photos by Gary Smart

KM opens BSC with win over Huss

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers got off to a slow start in their opening Big South Conference game Friday night at Hunter Huss, but soon heated up and rolled to a 45-6 victory.
The win puts KM at 1-0 in the Big South and 3-1 overall heading into a long-awaited home game Friday at Gamble Stadium against North Gaston. After their season opening loss to Shelby at home, the Mountaineers hit the road for wins over Asheville and Burns and they had an open date before going to Huss.
The Mountaineers moved the ball well all night but lost the ball on downs and had to punt on their first two possessions.
But, after the defense blocked a Huss punt to gain possession on the Huss 23, the points started coming quickly. The Mountaineers built a 45-0 lead in the third period, putting the running clock rule into play. The Huskies’ only touchdown came against KM’s second unit defense.
“We played pretty good on both sides of the ball,” Coach Greg Lloyd noted. “The offensive line gave us their best game of the year so far. Tykel Smith and Michael Lubas looked really good.
“Our running backs ran real hard and both of our quarterbacks (Lamont Littlejohn and Jonah Patrick) did  a good job.” “The defense played a solid game, too. All in all it was a good night.
“We scored on several passes and did some good things. We were a little slow starting out but we played pretty decent after that. The second quarter was really good to us.”
After blocking the punt, KM was penalized five yards for a false start but they scored four plays later on AJ Richardson’s one-yard burst. Jaden Ellis added the PAT for a 7-0 lead with 42.7 seconds left in the opening period.
Huss was driving when KM’s Deandre Hoyle intercepted a deep pass and returned it to the KM 41. The Huss defense held, though, and Peyton Fisher got off a 50-yard punt to the Huss eight yard line. On the Huskies’ first play, Richardson tackled Quentayvious Murray for a safety and a 9-0 KM lead.
“Deandre Hoyle had a very good game,” Coach Lloyd noted. “Our defense played extremely well. They got off a couple plays against us early, but we put pressure on them and created some turnovers. We had two interceptions. Michael Ward and AJ Richardson did a good job, and Zay Smith did a good job at safety. We had a lot of contributors.”
After the 9-0 start, points came rapidly. The Mountaineers returned the free kick to the Huss 27. Two runs by Thomas Feemster had the Mountaineers in the end zone, and Sel Randolph threw a two-point conversion pass to Seth Neal to run the score to 17-0.
Aided by a pass interference call, the Huskies were able to make it as far as the KM 29 before turning the ball over on a pass interception. Taking over on their own 25, it took the Mountaineers just three plays to score with Smith covering the final 32 yards. Ellis’ PAT made it 24-0 with 6:35 on the clock.
“I thought Feemster and Smith had some really nice runs,” Lloyd noted. “It was a good all-around play by our offense.”
Huss made it to the KM 49 before losing the ball on downs again. Nine plays later Hoyle took a screen pass and rambled 28 yards for a 31-0 halftime lead.
After the defense held Huss to three and out to open the second half, KM took just nine plays to score on Robert Kendrick’s two-yard run for a 38-0 lead.
Again, the Huskies couldn’t move the ball as they had two straight 15-yard penalties and a big sack by Richardson that put them on their own 19. A fourth down punt attempt was blocked by Jake Lloyd for a touchdown and a 45-0 lead with 4:46 left in the third period.
That put the running clock rule into effect and the KM starters left the game.
Huss managed to drive 63 yards for its only TD which came on a two-yard run by Javarion Brown. 

Lady Patriots win
fourth straight 14-2

Kings Mountain Middle School’s softball team ran its record to 4-0 last week with a 14-2 victory over East Lincoln.
Maddie Huffman pitched a complete game, striking out 14 batters.
It was a close game going into the fifth inning when the Lady Patriots scored 10 runs to break the game open.
Huffman went 3-for-4. Ava Broome went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and an inside the park home run down the right field line. Ava Tipton and Addi Carpenter both went 2-fof-4.

KMMS runner
Landon Hogston
wins XC meet

Kings Mountain Middle School’s cross country team finished second in its first meet last week on the KM course, but Landon Hogston of the Patriots crossed the finish line first in 13:34.00.
The Patriots scored 39 points to trail leader North Lincoln with 23. Crest ran third with 88.
Other top ten finishers for the Patriots were Luke Howell, who was fourth in 14:21 and David Johnson who was ninth in 15:27. What made the difference was that North Lincoln had the other seven top ten finishers.
The Patriots’ Luis Cedillo Barrera was 12th in 17:29, Nate Kaiser 13th in 17:59, Jacob Baker 14th in 18:40 and Colton Willyoung 17th in 19:18.
Kings Mountain will go to Lincolnton on September 20 and will compete in the Cleveland County Meet at Shelby on September 27. All runs begin at 3:30 p.m.

Scenes from KM Vs. Hunter Huss Game

Photos by Gary Smart

Mountaineers return home
to face N. Gaston Wildcats

 Kings Mountain High football fans can save a little gas Friday night.
After three road games against Asheville, Burns and Hunter Huss, the Mountaineers will be hosting the North Gaston Wildcats at 7:30 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium.
The Mountaineers carry a 1-0 Big South Conference and 3-1 overall record into the contest. The Wildcats, coached by Justin Clark, have yet to win a game but Coach Greg Lloyd will be cautioning his players not to take them lightly.
“They are a much improved team,” Lloyd said. “They have a more balanced offense this year. They gave a really good Chase team a 10-point ball game and they put up 21 points on a really good Forestview defense last week. They are definitely better.”
Barring any injuries in practice this week, the Mountaineers should go into the game at 100 percent.
“It’s nice to be home for the next two weeks after being on the road so much,” Lloyd noted.
This year’s Wildcat team will probably be the strongest they’ve put on the field in many years.
“They are definitely better,” Lloyd noted. “They run a spread and also I-backs. They are a well-coached team that is getting better every week. They will come ready to play.
“They will mix it up a lot between throws and runs,” he added. “They run a bunch of formations so we’ll have to be ready for them.”
North Gaston’s quarterback, Kandon Zollo, has hit 34 of 64 passes for 406 yards so far. J.J. Gordon has rushed for 181 yards in three games and Brian Coley comes in with 14 receptions for 222 yards.
Coach Clark is the son of Bruce Clark, who was an assistant coach at KMHS in the 1980’s and early 90’s and late in his career was at North Gaston where he led the Wildcats to a runner-up finish in the state.
This will be the first of two straight home games for the Mountaineers. A very good Forestview team will be coming to Gamble Stadium the following Friday.
“It’s nice to be home for the next two weeks after being on the road so much,” Lloyd said.

Lady Mountaineers, Crest heading for BSC showdown

 The Kings Mountain and Crest women’s volleyball teams appear to be heading for a showdown for first place in the Big South 3A Conference Thursday at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
The Lady Mountaineers and Lady Chargers won both of their games last week and carried 3-0 Big South records into this week.
Kings Mountain took care of South Point and Stuart Cramer last week with both contests ending in 3-0 victories.
The Lady Mountaineers defeated South Point 25-13, 25-22, 25-15 Tuesday.
Meile Songaila provided 11 service points, 11 serve receptions, seven digs and 17 kills. Paige Bagwell had seven service points and 32 assists, and Aaliyah Byers had six service points, seven serve receptions, 12 digs and 15 kills.
The JVs fell 25-23, 25-23.
Brooke Hamrick had six kills and three digs; London Brown seven kills, eight digs and four serve receptions; Caroline Moss eight kills, 12 service points, 10 digs and 14 serve receptions; and Sara Kate Bridges five digs and 24 assists.
The varsity swept Stuart Cramer 25-15, 25-12 and 25-14 Thursday at Parker Gym, but the JVs lost again 25-16 25-9.
Byers had six serve receptions, six digs, 15 kills and four service points. Songaila added 11 receptions, seven digs, 11 kills, two blocks and nine service points. Bagwell had 22 assists and 13 service points, and Jessie Ozmore had nine assists and seven service points.
London Brown led the JVs with six kills, 12 service points and four digs; Caroline Moss had 10 service points and five serve receptions; Alexa Jones had eight kills, four digs and three serve receptions and Sara Kate Bridges had 16 assists and three digs.

Sports Hall of Fame
induction October 9

 The Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame banquet and induction ceremony will be held Saturday, Oct. 9 at 6 p.m. at Central United Methodist Church.
Since no banquet was held last year because of COVID, this year’s ceremony will honor two classes, 2020 and 2021.
Tickets are available from any member of the Hall of Fame committee. They are $15 each and only 250 tickets will be sold.
The 2020 inductees include Jim Medlin, Joseph Bell Jr., Marquiz Williamson, Tim Riddle, Diane Williams, the 1998 KMHS track team and David Ray Robinson.
The 2021 inductees are Will Wilson, Trina Hamrick and Monty Deaton.
Screen shot 2021 09 15 at 3.56.48 pm
COACH BRENT BAGWELL

McGills donate $10,000
In memory of Coach Bagwell

Chip and Laura McGill recently made a $10,000 donation to the Kings Mountain Touchdown Club in memory of Brent Bagwell.
They designated one-third of the total to go to the KMHS volleyball team, one-third to the football program and one-third to the Kings Mountain Touchdown Club to apply toward its debt.
The volleyball team purchased an Acuspike machine and serving machine to help improve their skills and keep practices running smoothly. Bagwell’s daughter plays on the Lady Mountaineer volleyball team.
The football program purchased weighted tackling dummies, single sled pads and arm shields.
The donation to the Touchdown Club went directly to its building fund.
Brent Bagwell was a three-sport athlete at KMHS in the late 1980s, starring in football, basketball and baseball. He was a starting offensive lineman at NC State before suffering a career-ending injury. Bagwell later coached football at several colleges and also was an assistant football coach at North Gaston High School under Coach Bruce Clark. At the time of his death he was a volunteer assistant at Kings Mountain High School under Coach Greg Lloyd.

Mountaineers
resume season
Friday at Huss

 Two young and well-rested teams hoping to make some noise in the Big South Conference will face off Friday night at 7:30 when Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers travel to Hunter Huss for both teams’ BSC opener.
Huss has been idle since its August 20 opener, and the Mountaineers were idle last week after posting a 2-1 record in non-conference play.
Although the Huskies lost their opener to a very good Hickory Ridge team, they have had plenty of time to rest up and work on a game plan against the Mountaineers. Their other two scheduled non-conference games were cancelled because of COVID concerns.
Kings Mountain has also had time to mend some wounds since defeating Burns two weeks ago, but the Mountaineers will still
be without the services of junior running back Caleb Holland who was injured in the Asheville game and still hasn’t been cleared to play.
“We should be a full strength except for him,” Coach Greg Lloyd said. “His elbow still isn’t completely healed so it will be running backs by committee like it was at Burns. He took a bad shot and they want to re-evaluate him before clearing him to play. Hopefully he will be back for North Gaston next week.”
Hunter Huss is probably even younger than the Mountaineers as most of their starting players are freshmen and sophomores. They have only five seniors in their starting lineup.
“They’re very similar to us,” Lloyd said. “They missed some of their key guys in their first game.”
The Huskies’ starting quarterback, freshman Javarion Brown, passed for 130 yards against Hickory Ridge. Junior Qualin Thompson is probably the Huskies’ top all-around athlete. He was their leading rusher and pass receiver in their opening game.
Their defense was also led by freshmen as free safety Gene Neely recorded seven tackles and defensive end Quashawn Mack five tackles and a sack.
“They run a 4-2-5 defense,” Lloyd noted. “They’re a fast team. They have a very good kicker.”
With Holland unavailable, Robert Kendrick and Thomas Feemster shared his position in the win over Burns, and defensive line standout AJ Richardson came into the backfield in tough yardage situations and ended up being the leading rusher in a 19-14 Mountaineer win.
“It will be running by committee again for us,” Lloyd said. “We’ll use multiple players.”
Kings Mountain has had a well-rounded passing attack so far with quarterback Lamont Littlejohn hooking up with a host of receivers like DeAndre Hoyle, Zavion Smith, Jake Lloyd, Sel Randolph, Peyton Fisher and others.
The Mountaineers have gotten good line play from Isaiah Eskridge, Tykel Smith, Michael Lubas and others, and good defense from Hoyle, Fisher, Jake Lloyd, Seth Neal, Jason Feemster and others.
Lloyd said because of the heat the Mountaineers will be inside a lot this week. They got in some good practices on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of last week but Lloyd gave the players days off on Monday and Friday.
“We want to stay fresh and healthy and get in a good game Friday night,” he said.
The junior varsity Mountaineers will host the Huskies Thursday at 7 p.m. at John Gamble Stadium. They carry a 1-1 record into the contest with a loss to Shelby and a win over Asheville. Their scheduled game with Burns was cancelled due to COVID concerns.
 

KM girls first,
boys second
In XC meet

Kings Mountain’s girls finished first and the boys second in the Ashbrook Luminary Run last week.
Led by Thalia Kushman with a first place finish in 23:30, the Lady Mountaineers placed four runners in the top seven and five in the top 13 to post an impressive victory. KM finished with 29 points to far outdistance second place South Point with 55. Stuart Cramer had 70 and Forestview 71. Ashbrook, Hunter Huss and East Gaston didn’t score.
The Mountaineers gave pre-season Stuart Cramer a tough race but Cramer prevailed with 34 points. KM had 48, Foretview 60, South Point 95 and Ashbrook 111.
Kings Mountain did have the individual winner
though, with Parker Key crossing the finish line in 18:58.
Following Kushman for the Lady Mountaieners were Divinity Ervin (23:57) in third place, Brooke Waseman (25:54) in fifth, and Nicole Poston (26:52) in seventh.
Other top 10 finishers for the Mountaineers were Isaiah Wood, eighth in 21:23, and Rohen Johnson, ninth in 21:24.
Next up for the KM runners is the Cleveland County Championship meet September 22 at Shelby High School.
KM men:
1 – Parker Key (18:58). 8 – Isaiah Wood 21:23; 9 – Rohen Johnson 21:24; 11 – Hunter Cruise 21:36; 18  Hudson Durham 32:12; 20 – Hayden Huss 32:54; 22 – Nathan Parsons 34:04; 23 – Mark Allen 36:48.
KM women:
1 – Thalia Kushman 23:30; 3 – Divinity Ervin 23:57; 5 – Brooke Waseman 25:54; 7 – Nicole Poston 26:52; 13 – Parker Wilson 28:0; 16 – Sindy Ullou 28:22; 26 – Lacy Wiggins 34:45.
 

NCHSAA distributes
$1.7 million to schools

CHAPEL HILL – The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) distributed $1,717,803.65 to the Association’s member schools from interest earned on the Association’s Endowed Funds during 2020-2021. This total is in addition to the $4 million distribution approved by the Board of Directors in the COVID-19 Athletic Program Subsidy (CAPS) initiative from earlier in the fiscal year.

On July 27, 2021, the newly formed NCHSAA Endowment Advisory Committee reviewed the Endowment and recommended a 7% share on investment earnings for member schools in 2020-2021. The Board approved that recommendation in August, and the over $1.7 million end-of-year distribution total is a direct result of those two groups oversight.
NCHSAA membership distributions in 2020-2021 total $5,717,803.65. These types of distributions have been ongoing since 2010-2011 and with the total from 2020-2021 now equal $18,535,005.12 over that span.
 “We are thankful that due to the financial stability of the NCHSAA and the wisdom of past Boards of Directors and Executive Directors that we are able to provide such a large benefit to our member schools in an incredibly challenging year,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “This type of distribution is only possible because our member schools agreed to pool shared resources in the early 1990’s and create one of the first Endowment Funds for a high school athletic association in the country and that visionary partnership is now bearing fruit to the benefit of schools in our state.”
The NCHSAA Board of Directors also made a commitment in May 2021 to cover the payment of Catastrophic Insurance Premiums for member schools, an estimated savings of $500,000 per year for the full membership.
 The NCHSAA Endowment, a first-of-its-kind program in high school athletics, was started under the leadership of Charlie Adams, the late Executive Director of the NCHSAA who led the organization from 1984-2010 when he retired. Under Adams’ leadership, the Board of Directors studied the concept of beginning an Endowment for the Association, starting the fund in 1991.
Since the endowment’s inception and the start of a corporate partnership program, another early adoption of Adams relative to other state associations in the country, the profile of the NCHSAA membership’s shared assets has blossomed is now able to annually return interest and other benefits to the member schools of the NCHSAA.

Lady Mountaineers open BSC
with sweep of Cats and Jaguars

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team opened Big South 3A Conference play last week with 3-0 sweeps of North Gaston and Forestview.
The Lady Mountaineers took all the bite out of the Wildcats with wins of 25-12, 25-8 and 25-7. Forestview gave the KM ladies a tough time in game one, losing by only 25-22 but the Lady Mountaineers took the final two sets more easily, 25-15 and 25-19.
Aaliyah Byers had two super outings with 45 kills for the week. She had 17 kills, nine service points, three serve receptions and five digs against North Gaston and 28 kills and 12 digs against Forestview.
In the battle with North, Meile Songaila registered five kills, 12 service points, five serve receptions and five digs. Paige Bagwell added 14 assists, two kills and five service points, and Jessie Ozmore dished out 15 assists.
Against the Lady Jaguars, Jarvis had three blocks, Songaila and Lily Gold seven digs each, and Bagwell 36 assists.
The Lady Mountaineers were scheduled to go to Shelby Monday and South Point Tuesday. They are at home Thursday against Stuart Cramer and travel to Gastonia Ashbrook on September 21 before closing out first round play against BSC co-leader Crest at home on September 23.

Mountaineers hand Burns first loss

Kings Mountain and Burns showcased some good, young talent Friday night in their non-conference battle at Ron Greene Stadium in Fallston and when the dust settled the Mountaineers had handed the Bulldogs their first loss of the season, 19-14.
After holding the Mountaineers to three-and-out to open the game, the Bulldogs marched right down the field to take a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard Ben Mauney to Kahari Surratt pass but the Mountaineers battled back to tie the game at 7-all at the half.
Kings Mountain then built a 19-7 lead but had to hold off the Bulldogs in the final five minutes to take its second win in three outings heading into a break this week before beginning Big South Conference play on Friday, Sept. 17 at Hunter Huss.
The Mountaineers, led by running backs Thomas Feemster and Robert Kendrick along with big defensive tackle AJ Richardson in short yardage situations, moved in for a tying TD on Kendrick’s five yard run and Jaden Ellis’s PAT with 58.6 seconds left in the half. The big plays of the drive came when the Mountaineers faced third and one at their own 45 yard line and Richardson came in to ramble 16 yards up the gut of the Burns defense for a first down at the Burns 40; and again when they faced third and one at the Burns 35 and he bulled his way nine yards for a first down at the 26. Kendrick went eight yards around the left side of the Burns defense for the tying score.
Burns drove the second half kickoff to the KM 25 before misfiring on two straight passes and losing the ball on downs. Lamont Littlejohn’s 20-yard pass to Deandre Hoyle got the KM attack going, and four plays later Littlejohn hit Sel Randolph for a 24-yard completion to the Burns 32. A pass interference call on Burns for face-guarding gave KM a first down at the 15 and a five-yard reception by Fisher made it first and goal at the Burns four. It took four plays to score with Richardson bulling his way off left guard for a 13-7 KM lead with 2:56 on the clock.
Burns mounted a good drive and appeared to be on its way to a tying or go-ahead touchdown but KM’s Deandre Hoyle intercepted a pass at the 10 yard line and returned it to the 31. Burns DB Jakari Geter intercepted a Littlejohn pass at the Burns 13 with 5:20 showing on the clock.
Big stops by KM defenders Curtis Simpson, Fisher, Lloyd and Bryson Brown forced a punt. Three plays later Littlejohn found Hoyle wide open down the KM sideline for a 69 yard touchdown pass and run and a 19-7 lead with 2:59 left in the game.
Mountaineer fans still were on the edge of their seats, though, as the Bulldogs’ senior receiver Chase Bridges took a short pass from Ben Mauney and broke past the KM secondary for a first down at the KM 14. Mauney then hit Ryan Thompson in the end zone to cut the score to 19-14 with 2:03 remaining.
Fisher covered a Burns onside kick at the KM 44, and with the help of a big eight-yard run for a first down by Feemster to the Burns 42 with 59.8 seconds left the Mountaineers were able to take a time out and then a knee to end the game.

Kings Mountain 
Hall of Fame set
for October 9

The Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame will have a two-year induction ceremony Saturday, Oct. 9 at Central United Methodist Church.
The 2020 ceremony had to be postponed because of the corona virus, and it will be held with the 2021 ceremony. After that the Hall of Fame committee will begin planning the 2022 event which hopefully will be held next May.
The 2021 inductees include professional baseball player Will Wilson, former KMHS basketball star Trina Hamrick and the man who is probably the winningest coach in Kings Mountain sports history, Monty Deaton. Deaton currently serves as golf and girls basketball coach at Kings Mountain Middle School but he has also coached in the city youth leagues and is a former head football coach at Kings Mountain Middle.
Wilson was all-star baseball player for the Kings Mountain Mountaineers and was an All-American at NC State University. He is currently playing pro baseball in the San Francisco Giants organization.
Hamrick was a standout basketball player at KMHS where she led the Lady Mountaineers to their first modern day conference championship in 1983 and was KM’s first female to make the East-West All-Star game.
The Hall of Fame 2020 class, originally announced more than a year ago, includes Joseph Bell, Marquiz Williamson, Jim Medlin, Tim Riddle, David Ray Robinson, Diane Williams and the 1999 KMHS boys track team that won every regular season meet and finished second in the state 3A meet.
Johnny Gamble, longtime coach in Kings Mountain youth leagues and currently head JV baseball coach at KMHS, will receive the 2020 Distinguished Service Award.
Julie Rikard, retiring principal of Kings Mountain High School, will receive the 2021 Distinguished Service Award.
 

Mountaineers
are idle until
September 17

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers have an open date Friday, but beginning Friday, Sept. 17 they hope to continue their improvement and make a strong run in the Big South Conference and perhaps the state playoffs.
With most of the starters gone from last year’s undefeated Big South Conference team, the Mountaineers are in a rebuilding year but it is going very well as they have posted impressive victories over Asheville and Burns since dropping their season opener to Shelby.
Coach Greg Lloyd said he could not be happier with the Mountaineers’ 19-14 win last week over county rival Burns.
“It was a big win for us,” he said. “I was pleased with the way the kids played. We got off to a rugged start but after that we played well and had a bunch of players that contributed. It was sort of a bend but don’t break defense, but we got them stopped.
“Our offense was balanced,” he added. “AJ Richardson did a good job. He had some nice carries from the fullback position” while also standing out on the defensive line.
“Lamont Littlejohn had some big throws, especially in the second half,” Lloyd noted. “Everybody contributed. I was real pleased to get out of these first three games with a 2-1 record.
“Deandre Hoyle made a couple of big plays with that interception and the long touchdown reception. He made up for the pass he dropped earlier in the game.
“Alex Jackson and Isaiah Eskridge had good games on the offensive line. The whole line did a good job.
“Peyton Fisher had a very good game,” Lloyd noted. “He didn’t come off the field. He is in excellent shape.
“I was real pleased with everybody. It was pretty exciting. It was a good game.”
Lloyd doesn’t know if he will be able to scout Hunter Huss this week. They are scheduled for an open date but have played only one game to date.
“If they play this week we’ll go scout them,” Lloyd noted, “and then get ready for the rest of the season.”
Lloyd said when the Mountaineers travel to Huss they should be at full strength.
“We should have (running back) Caleb Holland back and he will be a big help,” Lloyd noted. “We’ve been well pleased with how well the other backs have played since he got hurt.”

SPORTS THIS WEEK

WED., SEPT. 8
5 p.m. – Middle school football, Kings Mountain at Shelby (Fifth quarter at 4:30).
THUR., SEPT. 9
4:15 – Middle school softball, Kings Mountain at Burns.
4:15 p.m. – Middle School soccer, Kings Mountain at Burns.
4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Forestview at Kings Mountain (JV/V DH).
MON., SEPT. 13
3:30 p.m. – Middle school cross country, Crest, Burns and North Lincoln at Kings Mountain.
4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Kings Mountain at Shelby (JV/V DH).
6 p.m. – High school soccer, Kings Mountain at Hunter Huss.
TUES., SEPT 14
1:30 – High school women’s golf, Kings Mountain and all Big South teams at Catawba Creek (Ashbrook and Huss hosts).
4 p.m. -  Middle school golf, KM, East Lincoln and Crest at Deerbrook GC.
4 p.m. – High school volleyball, Kings Mountain at South Point (JV/V DH).
4:15 – Middle school soccer, West Lincoln at Kings Mountain.
4:15 – Middle school softball, West Lincoln at Kings Mountain.
WED., SEPT. 15
5 p.m. – Middle school football, Kings Mountain at West Lincoln (5th quarter at 4:30).
6 p.m. – High school soccer,  North Gaston at Kings Mountain.
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Pictured L-R: parents, Joseph and Brandi Torres; Mark McDaniel, Booster Club President; Joshua Torres and Amy Allen, North School Principal. (photo provided)

Torres honored awarded
Booster Club Good Citizen

Joshua Torres is the first KMHS fourth grade Booster Club Good Citizen. Joshua is a student at North Elementary School. He is an exceptional student, always eager to learn and adds tremendous value to lessons through his active participation and astute insight.
Joshua’s teachers and fellow students appreciate his positive attitude and consideration for others. He embodies all the positive character traits highlighted each month in Cleveland County Schools. His favorite subject in school is math. Joshua’s hobbies include video games, Upwards Soccer and 3-D printing.
Joshua is the son of Joseph and Brandi Torres. He has an older brother, Jordan and younger sister, Harper.
Congratulations to Joshua for being such a great example for others to follow. 

SPORTS THIS WEEK

 Thurs., Aug. 26
4:30 – KMHS volleyball, Weddington at Kings Mountain (JV/V DH).
5 p.m. – High school soccer, RS Central at Kings Mountain.
7 p.m. – JV football, Asheville at Kings Mountain
Fri., Aug. 27
6 p.m. – High school cross country, Kings Mountain in 44-team Western NC XC Carnival at Jackson Park, Hendersonville. (Open boys begins at 4 p.m., girls 4:45; Inv. boys begin at 6 p.m., girls at 6:30).
7:30 – High school football, Kings Mountain at Asheville
Sat., Aug. 28
TBA – High school volleyball, Kings Mountain at Chesnee, SC
Mon., Aug. 30
4:30 – High school volleyball, Burns at KM (JV/V DH).
6 p.m. – High school soccer, Lincolnton at Kings Mountain.
Tues., Aug. 31
4:15 – KMMS softball, Crest at Kings Mountain
6 p.m. – High school soccer, Kings Mountain at Burns

NEW BIG SOUTH
WOMEN’S GOLF SCHEDULE

Date     Host    Course      Time

Set. 7    S. Point, Cramer    Cramer Mtn.    1 p.m.

Sept. 20    Crest    Riverbend    2 p.m.

Sept. 27    Kings Mountain    KMCC    2 p.m.

Oct. 5    N. Gaston    Lincoln CC    2 p.m.

Oct. 12    Ashbrook/Huss    Catawba Creek    2 p.m.

Fans, Bands & Stands

Photos by Gary Smart
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Kings Mountain’s Peyton Fisher sacks Shelby quarterback Daylin Lee in Friday’s season opener at Gamble Stadium.

Mountaineers drop opener,
travel to Asheville on Friday

Things looked good for Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers when they took a quick 7-0 lead over Shelby in last week’s season opener at John Gamble Stadium. But the Lions quickly roared back to defeat the Mountaineers 37-14 and break a two-game losing streak to their longtime rival.
After Curtis Simpson recovered a fumble to end the Lions’ first possession on the Shelby 46 yard line, quarterback Lamont Littlejohn threw a 36-yard pass to Bryson Brown to set up a four-yard TD pass to Seth Neil for a touchdown. Jaden Ellis added the PAT for a 7-0 lead.
That got the huge home crowd excited, but the Lions quickly drove 83 yards to tie the score on a three-yard touchdown run by former KM player Marquis Adams.
Adams scored again from 18 yards out with just 45.7 seconds left in the quarter that put the Lions up for good.
Shelby’s balanced passing and running attack along with a rock solid defense basically kept the young Mountaineers at bay for the rest of the night, except for a brief third quarter run by the KM offense that resulted in a 45-yard Caleb Holland burst for a touchdown that brought the Mountaineers to within 23-14.
Shelby’s Ja’Keith Hamilton got loose down the sideline for a 75 yard touchdown catch and run, and Adams later scored from five yards out to give the Lions their final margin of 37-14 with 1:45 left in the third.
The Lions finished with a whopping 595 yards total offense (159 rushing and 336 passing) while holding the Mountaineers to 94 rushing and 125 passing.
“I wasn’t disappointed in our effort,” KM coach Greg Lloyd said. “It was a little frustrating because we didn’t have all of our players in there in the second half because of cramps; and we’re far more inexperienced than we’ve been in years. I thought Peyton Fisher had a good game. Isaiah Eskridge at right tackle did a good job. Littlejohn had a decent game at quarterback and Jake (Lloyd) did good.
“It was a good experience for us. We had eight sophomores and a freshman on defense and that is really tough when you’re taking on a team like Shelby. Jaden Ellis did a great job kicking
“We knew it would be tough going in. We knew it would be an uphill battle, but it was good experience and will only help us get better. We won’t see another team as good as Shelby. We’ll be fine and we’re looking forward to going to Asheville Friday night.
“Asheville has a lot of speed. Their quarterback’s a good passer and they run a lot. They run a lot of five-wides. They’re a good team and they’re hungry for a win, too. They lost to a very good Robinsville team last week. Robinsville is the defending 1A state champions and a very good team.
“We will have to come out healthy. We had a lot of guys cramp up last week in the second half. Hopefully, we won’t have that this week.”
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Aaliyah Byers kills one in season opener against Highland Tech.  Photos by Gary Smart

Lady Mountaineer volleyball
2-1 after first week of action

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team is 2-1 after losing to a very good TC Roberson team 3-2 on the road Thursday.
Roberson, playing its first game, prevailed 25-17, 22-25, 25-23, 19-25, 15-7.
Aaliyah Byers led the KM ladies with 27 kills and seven blocks while Meile Sangaila added 23 digs and 38 serve receptions. Paige Bagwell had 36 assists.
The Lady Mountaineers opened their season the previous Monday with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Highland.
Byers got her senior season off to a great start with 13 kills, four service points, six serve receptions, three blocks and 10 digs.
Songaila also got off to a big start with six kills, 11 service points, 23 serve receptions, two blocks and 13 digs.
Lily Gold contributed five kills, six service points and eight digs and Bagwell dished out 16 assists to go with nine digs and four service points.
KM posted its second straight win on Tuesday with 25-18, 25-18, 29-27 win over East Lincoln.
Byers again had a big night with 15 kills, nine digs, six serve receptions, three blocks and seven service points.
Songaila contributed nine kills, nine digs, 13 serve receptions, four blocks and six service points.
Ozmore had 11 assists and five digs; and Bagwell dished out 21 assists to go with three digs, two blocks and 11 service points.
In JV action, Kings Mountain opened its season with a 25-11, 25-21 win over Highland Tech.
Sara Kate Bridges had 11 assists, seven digs and five service points.
London Brown had six kills, four digs, five serve receptions and 10 service points; and Addi Peeler added seven serve receptions, five digs and 10 service points.
The JVs came back from a 25-23 loss in the first set to defeat East Lincoln 25-17, 16-14.
London Brown had 11 kills, three digs, seven serve receptions and four service points.
Addi Peeler added seven digs, 20 serve receptions and 13 service points.
Sara Kate Bridges had six digs, 18 assists and six service points. 
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FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

See KM Herald Fall Sports Preview in this week's issue (August 18, 2021)

Shelby here Friday for opener
Mountaineers inexperienced but hope
to be ready for Big South competition

For the past several seasons Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers just reloaded each fall and were always in the running for conference championships and deep playoff runs.
But losing well over 20 outstanding senior players from the spring ’21 team, the Mountaineers will begin the fall season in a rebuilding mode. Hopefully, a tough three-game non-conference schedule against some of the top teams in Western North Carolina will give Coach Greg Lloyd’s young Mountaineer eleven the experience it needs to compete in the Big South Conference and the post-season.
The Mountaineers open Friday night at John Gamble Stadium against their oldest and toughest rival, Shelby.  After that they face two other Western powers on the road, Asheville and Burns.
“We lost a lot of good athletes” off of last year’s team, Lloyd noted. At least 10 of them will be playing on the collegiate level.
Lloyd does have some returning starters and others that saw playing time last year, and he looks for some of last year’s JV players to fill important roles.
Isaiah Eskridge and Tykel Smith return to the interior line along with Peyton Fisher at wide receiver. Deandre Hoyle started as a receiver on offense and corner on defense.
KM’s only returning starter in the backfield is junior Caleb Holland, who came up from the JV team to lead the Mountaineers in rushing after Rashaard Brooks was injured. Brooks is still recuperating and if he plays at all this year it will be late in the season.
Sel Randolph, who was a key reserve last year, and Zay Smith, who excelled at the JV level, will see a lot of action at the slot. Jake Lloyd, a returning starter on defense, and Bryson Brown will be at wide receiver.
Robert Kendrick, who had a good season in the secondary as a varsity freshman, and Smith will also see time at running back.
Up front, Alex Jackson and Dalton Smith will move into starting guard spots, and Michael Lubas will take over the center position.
The Mountaineers lost one of their leading passers ever, Ethan Reid, who is now at Appalachian State. During the early-going, the Mountaineers will have Jonah Patrick and Lamont Littlejohn splitting time at quarterback. Patrick was back-up to Reid last season and Littlejohn quarterbacked the JVs to an unbeaten season.
“On offense, I think we have a decent chance to be good,” Lloyd noted. “We’re just young. There’s not a lot of seniors on this team. I like our spread. It will take some games to develop but I think we will be pretty good.”
Defensively, the Mountaineers lost several starters including two of their all-time best, Javari Rice-Wilson at defensive end and DayDay Wilson at linebacker. They are now in the major college ranks.
But junior AJ Richardson, who was also one of the team’s top tacklers, returns at linebacker along with Jake Lloyd at safety and Deandre Hoyle at corner.
Alex Jackson, a part-time starter last year, will start on the defensive line and Peyton Fisher also returns to the defense.
Lloyd looks to Michael Ward and Jacaylen Sanders to start at linebacker. Tykel Smith and Zaylon Ramos return to the defensive line.
Bryson Brown looks good at corner and Chase Ellis, a senior, will play a lot on the defensive line.
KM’s kicking game should be strong as Jaden Ellis returns as the place kicker. Fisher will probably do the punting, and freshman Max Thompson is also a talented kicker. Randolph and Lloyd will return punts and Kendrick and Smith will return kicks.
While many schools are reporting low numbers, Lloyd is pleased that the Mountaineers had 76 people show up for opening day of practice.
“I believe Shelby, Burns and Crest had about the same so all four Cleveland County teams should be good,” he said. “I am glad we will be able to field a JV team. A lot of schools won’t be able to do that.”
Although the Mountaineers are young overall, Lloyd is optimistic.
“Our players have won a lot at the middle school and JV level, but it’s a little different on the varsity level,” he said. “Our Achilles heel may be that we are so young. We have a tough early season schedule with Shelby, Asheville and Burns. But, after that we have a bye and will know more about how we might fare in the Big South Conference.
“We have a hard-working group of players. We’re young, so the good thing is that we will have 80 percent of them for two or three more years. We can grow together and hopefully have a good year this year and be very good the following years.”
He knows challenging for the Big South title is a tall order, but he’s ready to give it a shot.
“The Big South Conference is super competition,” he said. “And South Point coming back in is going to make it even stronger. They have most of their players returning from last year so they could be the favorite.
“I am glad the conference is up to eight teams. I’m not sure if anyone will be able to run the table. Crest will be good. They may be a little young, too, but they have a lot of people back on defense.
“I think Ashbrook and Forestview will be pretty good, too. They have a lot back so you know they will be much better than they were in the spring. I really don’t know that much about the other teams. I think Huss will be very young and I believe North Gaston will be improved in the second season under their new coach, Justin Clark. Cramer could be very good. Their number 7 (Arias Nash) is a very good defensive end, and their quarterback (Justin Rocquemore) is a very good passer.
“It’s going to be an interesting year. We’re not settled on a starting quarterback yet. We’re going to play them both starting out because they did a good job over the summer.”

YMCA All-Star baseball teams

Crest edges KM
for Wachovia Cup

In an incredibly tight race with four teams finishing within six points of each other at the top, Crest edged Kings Mountain 187.5 to 186.5 to win the Wachovia Cup for the Big South Conference for the 2000-21 school year.
Stuart Cramer finished two points behind Crest and Forestview just six points back.
Crest won conference championships in baseball, softball, women’s soccer, men’s basketball and women’s golf.
Final standings: Crest 187.5, Kings Mountain 186.5, Cramer 185.5, Forestview 181.5, Ashbrook 39, North Gaston 136.7, Hunter Huss 115.
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ALWS Keeter Stadium (Photo provided)

Play Ball! American Legion World Series celebrates ten years in Shelby

By Loretta Cozart

In April, the head of the nation’s largest veterans’ organization announced that The American Legion World Series will be played in Shelby, N.C., August 12-17. The eight-team championship tournament is returning after the premier baseball event was cancelled in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 2021 marks the events 10th year in Shelby.
American Legion National Commander James W. “Bill” Oxford said “As a former American Legion Baseball coach, I am extremely excited about the return of this fantastic event. With the availability of vaccines and additional data showing that young people participating in outdoor activities represent a low risk for spread of the virus, we feel that we can conduct a safe world series. This is a very different environment than what we faced last year. Many of us eagerly await the umpire’s welcoming words of ‘play ball!’”
   Events for the six-day event include:
• Thursday, August 12, Opening Day: Senior Citizens, 55 and older, are admitted free. Cleveland County City Council on Aging will place large containers at the main gate to collect non-perishable food and hygiene items for the pantry at the Neal Senior Center. 6:30 pm – Parade of Champions.
• Friday, August 13, Salute to Academic Achievement Day: JROTC Unit of Blackman High School of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, under the instruction of retired Col. Jeffrey Gaylord, will post the colors for all games on Friday and Saturday.
• Saturday, August 14, USAA Military Appreciation Day, 3:30 pm: Ceremony to honor Mitch Harris, Mt. Holly native, U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Navy veteran, former Legion baseball and MLB player, and Lt. Col. Brad H., a Shelby native, former Legion player, who is currently active Army with U.S. Special Operations Command.
    •    Sunday, August 15, Atrium Health Salute to Healthy Living Day, 10:00 am: Worship Service lead by Pleasant City Church, 3:15 pm: Presentation to J.J. Guinozzo, celebrating 50-years as the scoring czar for the ALWS, 3:40 pm: Autograph session in the McIntosh Law Firm Hospitality Tent with Mitch Harris; Buddy Green who recommended Harris to the U.S. Naval Academy; Kermit Smith, Appalachian State University head baseball coach and Harris’ Legion coach; and J.J. Guinozzo.
• Monday, August 16, Youth Athletic Day, 5:45 pm: Recognition on the field of two North Carolina ALWS Champions: Shelby Post 82 (1945) and Charlotte Post 9 (1965). Members of both teams have been invited to attend.
• Tuesday, August 17, Championship Tuesday: Seven-time NASCAR Champion and current NTT driver Jimmy Johnson will throw out the first pitch. Miss Gastonia 2020 Julie DeSerio will sing the National Anthem. Skydive Carolina parachutists will deliver the game ball. Fireworks after the game.
   The American Legion will observe Center for Disease Control guidelines and local and state public health mandates for all its national programs.
The American Legion is the largest veterans service organization with nearly 2 million members in more than 12,000 posts across the nation. Chartered by Congress in 1919, The American Legion is committed to mentoring youth and sponsoring wholesome community programs, advocating patriotism and honor, promoting a strong national security and continued devotion to servicemembers and veterans.
General Admission, Adult Day Passes tickets, and Student Day Pass tickets remain available. Box Seats, Reserved Seats, and Rocking Chair Seats have sold out. Tickets can be bought online at: https://americanlegionworldseries.com/tickets/baseball/buy-baseball-tickets/