Kings Mountain High’s women’s golf team finished second to South Point in the first Big South Conference match of the season Monday at Woodbridge Golf Club. The Lady Raiders posted a 121 score to Kings Mountain’s 155. Crest was third at 158 followed by Stuart Cramer 162, Ashbrook 171 and Forestview 174. North Gaston and Hunter Huss competed but did not have enough players for a team score. Kaliyah Watson led Kings Mountain with a 45. Mylin Exkard shot 53 and Jaiden Earle 57. Co-medalists were Amelia Connor and Madison Pruden, both from South Point, with 39s. The BSC teams will meet again today at Crowder’s Mountain Golf Club. Hunter Huss will be the host team.
KM Cross Country second at Ashbrook
Kings Mountain High’s cross country teams braved a hot afternoon to finish second to host Ashbrook in the Green Wave’s Luminary Cross Country Meet last week in Gastonia. The temperature was still very hot even with a 6:40 p.m. starting time. Six teams participated. The Mountaineers’ Isaiah Watts twisted his ankle while leading the race and had to stop. Max Thompson stepped up and finished second overall to lead the Mountaineers. Freshman Luke Howell also earned a medal with an eighth place finish. The girls race was dominated by South Point with only Kings Mountain’s Brooke Wiseman finishing third to prevent a perfect score for the Lady Red Raiders. KM’s Sara Eagle also earned a medal with her eighth place finish. Kings Mountain was scheduled to compete at the Cleveland Community College course yesterday.
Mountaineer football resumes Friday at Hunter Huss High
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers return to the playing field Friday night to face a fast and dangerous Hunter Huss team in the first Big South 3A Conference game of the 2023 season. The Mountaineers go to Gastonia with a 3-0 record after defeating three strong opponents in Shelby, Cox Mill and Burns. Huss comes in with a 1-2 mark but that record is deceiving as their two losses were to two very good teams, 4A Providence 41-20 and perennial state power Hibriten 22-19. The Huskies defeated another good western team, Draughn, 44-21 last week. “They have some good athletes overall and some good skilled athletes that we will have to concentrate on,” said Coach Strait Herron. “We’ll have to bottle them up on offense and the defense will have to attack when we need to. They have very good speed in the skill positions. Their quarterback (Javarion Brown) is a good athlete and their running backs are quick and have speed.” Brown, a junior, is hard to handle as a runner and passer and is averaging 98 yards per game passing and 12 yards per carry rushing. Running back Darius Headley is averaging 98 yards a game (7.2 per carry) and Gene Neely is averaging 61 yards per game. “I hope we learned a lesson last week at Burns and make sure we don’t turn the ball over and give up big plays,” Herron said. Kings Mountain may have to run by committee as two of their top players, Teddy Jeffries and Micah Ward, are nursing injuries. “We will be without Jeffries for four to six weeks,” he noted. “He found it out when they did X-rays. We’re working with some guys that we can use as backups to Josiah. Micah won’t be back this week so we’re hurting a little at linebacker and back-up running backs. We’re making sure Robert Kendrick’s good and Josiah Hill’s good to go, and (JV player) Savion Lindsay if we need him. “Huss has speed and quickness and uses the whole field,” he noted. “If they spread you out on the field they could be hard to catch.” Offensively, Herron said, “we’ll have to protect the ball. That’s going to be a big part.” The Mountaineers are back to regular practice after school this week after being out of school last week. “Hopefully, there will be no more key issues,” he said. “We hope we’ll have good weather and can work things out in a timely manner. “Beating Burns to go 3-0 is a momentum thing as we go into the conference season,” Herron added. “We should feel good about that but we can do even better. We haven’t played a complete game yet and that’s a good sign that we have to get better.”
JVs shutout Burns 36-0
Kings Mountain High’s JV football team shook off some early penalties on its first two drives to roll over the Burns Bulldogs 36-0 Thursday night at John Gamble Stadium. Penalties hurt both teams on their early possessions but Jakelan Littlejohn’s 22-yard punt return to the Burns 22 yard line got the Mountaineer offense fired up. After a personal foul penalty the Mountaineers took possession at their own 42 and took just four plays to score on a one-yard run by Savion Lindsay. Along the way the Mountaineers got a 10-yard run by Lindsay for a first down and a 26-yard pass reception by Lindsay for a first and goal at the one. Lindsay scored on the next play and Ethan Reed’s point after split the uprights for a 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs put themselves in another big hole after an illegal block on Reed’s kickoff made them start from their own 14. Facing fourth and six from the 16, the Bulldogs decided to go for a first down but KM’s Jayden Williams picked off the pass and took it the house. Reed’s PAT made it a quick 14-0. KM’s Wiley Rainey blocked a punt on the Bulldogs’ next possession and the Mountaineers had to go just 10 yards to score on a six-yard keeper around end by quarterback Micah Byers and a four-yard run by Lindsay. Again, Reed split the uprights to put KM up 21-0. The Mountaineer defense got into the scoring act on the Bulldogs’ next possession when Semaj Odems blocked a punt and Wiley Rainey took it to the house. Reed added another PAT for a 28-0 lead. Kings Mountain drove 62 yards in six plays to account for the final margin. Jakelan Littlejohn took it in from the two and Daeshawn Camp passed to Lathan Feemster for a two-point conversion. An 18-yard run around left end by Lindsay set it up. Along the way Lindsay had three carries for 34 yards and Littlejohn two for 32. The Mountaineers have an open date this week and will begin Big South Conference play Septem-ber 14 at home against the Hunter Huss Huskies. Game time is 7 p.m.
Mountaineers defeat Burns 23-14 for third straight win, next game Big South 3A opener at Huss on Sept. 15
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers struggled at times against a good Burns defense and faced one of the best quarterbacks in the state in the Bulldogs’ Ben Mauney, but never trailed in winning their third straight game of the new season 23-14 Friday night in Lawndale. The defense managed to control Mauney early, holding the Bulldogs to three and out to begin the game only to fumble the punt and give the Dogs another series. The Dogs were then able to move to the KM 23 before KM’s Thomas Fair recovered a fumble. It took the Mountaineer offense just six plays to take a 7-0 lead on an eight-yard run by Ja’Qualan Sanders and Max Thompson’s PAT. But Mauney and the ‘Dogs proved quickly they were also one of the best teams around regardless of classification. The four-year starter Mauney led a 78-yard, nine-play drive that culminated with a three-yard run by Jeremiah Norris. The Mountaineers were able to stop a Bulldog two-point conversion attempt and held on to a 7-6 lead. The second quarter was almost all-Mountaineers as they put two touchdowns on the board to go into halftime up 21-6. First, they went on an 80-yard, 17-play drive that culminated with a one-yard Teddy Jeffries TD with just 3:10 left on the halftime clock. Along the way the Mountaineers got key pass receptions by Sanders, Josiah Hill, Jayden Gash and Xzorian Lenair to drive to the Burns 21. Behind good blocking, Jeffries took care of the final 21 yards on four carries. Thompson’s PAT made it 14-6. Burns went three-and-out and KM took possession at its own 49 with 2:02 on the first half clock. Sanders streaked far past the Burns secondary and Zollo hit him in full stride for a 51-yard touchdown and Thompson kicked the point-after for a 21-6 lead that held up until halftime. The Bulldogs took a big bite out of that lead in the third quarter, stopping the Mountaineers short on a faked punt to set up a 51-yard, 10-play drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown run by Zavion Wilson. Jonny Johnson caught a two-point conversion pass to cut the score to 21-14. Burns recovered a fumble at the KM 45 with 1:19 left in the third period and drove to the 25 before losing the ball on downs. The ‘Dogs regained possession on a KM fumble, but two plays later fumbled themselves and KM’s Jason Melton recovered it at the KM 49 with 6:02 left. Neither team was able to provide much offense after that. With 1:56 remaining and KM at the Burns 37 facing fourth and seven, Thompson got off a punt that was downed at the five yard line. Trying to scramble for a possible deep throw downfield, Mauney was being stormed by the KM defense and intentionally grounded the ball. However, he was in the end zone which resulted in a safety to account for the final score. The Mountaineers are idle this Friday and will open Big South 3A Conference play on Friday, September 15 at Hunter Huss. Their next home game is September 22 against the North Gaston Wildcats.
KM travels to Cox Mill this Friday
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will face another tough non-conference opponent when they travel to Cox Mill Friday night for a 8 o’clock game. Cox Mill dropped its non-conference opener last week 54-3 but it was to perennial state power Weddington. They lost their season opener last year, too, but then went on to finish 5-1 in its conference and 9-3 overall. Cox Mill has a ton of depth with a 61-man roster that includes 18 seniors. They are members of the 4A West Conference which includes perennial powers like Mooresville, West Cabarrus and Kannapolis A.L. Brown, Lake Norman, Hickory Ridge and South Iredell. Kings Mountain hopes to go in at full strength but at the time of this writing it’s not certain if leading rusher Teddy Jeffries will be fully recovered from last week’s injury against Shelby. “We will need to do a lot of work this week,” says Mountaineer head coach Strait Herron whose first win at KMHS came against the school’s longest rival, Shelby. “Cox Mill lost to Weddington but Weddington is a really good team. Playing them after a big game like that is always a concern. We can’t take it lightly.” The Mountaineers will go on the road again next Friday to face county-rival Burns, which is favored to win its conference for the second straight year and go deep in the state 2A playoffs again. After that the Mountaineers will take a week off before beginning Big South 3A play September 15 at Hunter Huss.
Faked punt for touchdown propels Mountaineers to 34-17 season opening victory over Shelby Lions
A fake punt for a 40-yard touchdown run by Robert Kendrick on the first play of the second quarter broke a 7-7 tie and propelled Kings Mountains Mountaineers to a 34-17 opening season victory over the Shelby Golden Lions Friday night at KM’s John Gamble Stadium. The win was the Mountaineers’ fourth in the past five seasons over their rivals from across the creek and the first for new head coach Strait Herron, who came to KM after a remarkable career as a five-time state championship coach at South Point High School in Rock Hill, SC. Like any other coach, Herron was pleased with the victory but knows there’s still a lot of work to do as the team gets ready for the Big South 3A Conference race. “It was fun,” he said of his debut here. “We went out with a great attitude and a lot of motivation. But after watching the film we did a lot of great things but also some things we need to fix.” Each team scored on its first possession to end the first quarter 7-7. Shelby won the pre-game coin toss and deferred to the second half. With transfer quarterback Zandan Zollo calling the shots the Mountaineers drove the opening kickoff 80 yards in nine plays to score on a three-run run by Teddy Jeffries and a Max Thompson extra point. Jeffries, who was the Mountaineers’ leading rusher last year when they went 13-1, was injured in the second half and his status for this week was unknown at The Herald’s press deadline. “We don’t know how bad it is yet,” Coach Herron said. “We don’t want things like that to happen but you have to plan for the next game. We’ll know more about it later this week.” Shelby answered that early score with a 53 yard kickoff return to the KM 44 yard line. Four plays later Triston Tate caught a 33-yard touchdown pass and Jose Lopez kicked the point-after. With Jeffries and Jeramiah Hill doing the bulk of the running with a pass each to Jayden Gash, Ja’Qualyn Sanders and Xorian Lenair mixed in, the Mountaineers made it to the Shelby 32 before a sack by the Lions’ defense put them back to the 40 as the first quarter came to a close. Facing fourth and 18, Coach Herron decided it was the “perfect situation” to fake the punt. “We felt like we could pick up the first down,” he said. “If we punted it would probably have gone in the end zone and they would’ve gotten the ball at the twenty anyway. Things just opened up and it went for a touchdown. Our quarterback called for it and the whole team handled it well.” From there, the Mountaineers built a 17-10 lead on a 30-yard field goal from Max Thompson that zoomed to 34-10 before the Lions tacked on a final TD on a 17-yard reception by Triston Tate with 2:20 remaining in the game. Kings Mountain took just three plays to stretch the lead to 24-10 on a 29-yard TD pass from Zollo to Lenair with 49.3 seconds left in the half. A pass interception by Kameron Adams with four minutes left in the third quarter put the Mountaineers in business at the Lions’ 34. Three plays later Thompson kicked a 39-yard field goal to run the KM lead to 27-10. The Lions were on their own nine yard line facing fourth and 12 when they got off just a 20-yard punt. Gash caught a 27-yard pass to two yard line and Hill scored from there to make it 34-10. Shelby got its final TD with 2:20 remaining on a 17-yard reception by Tate. “I was really pleased with our offense,” Coach Herron said. “We spent a lot of time trying to decide on a starting quarterback. Zollo did a good job but we still have some things to work on. “Defensively, we made a ton of mistakes. We have to be able to play sound football to win the big games. “I was really pleased to win this one. I’ve gotten a lot of texts.”
Mountaineer hitting practice begins at Carlton Stadium, jamborees Wednesday at Shelby and Friday at Gaffney
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers began fall football practice Saturday morning at Shu Carlton Stadium and are continuing to hit every day this week in preparation for a couple of jamborees this week and the regular season that begins on Friday, Aug. 18 with a 7:30 home game against the Shelby Golden Lions. New head coach Strait Herron said he was extremely pleased with how things went Saturday and looks forward to several good sessions in the coming days. The Mountaineers will compete in the annual Cleveland County Jamboree Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Shelby High School. Kings Mountain will get a strong test as it goes up against a very talented AC Reynolds team in the 6 p.m. contest. Friday night the Mountaineers will travel to Gaffney for a 6 p.m. clash with Catawba Ridge in the McDonald’s Classic. After those two bouts, the Mountaineers will turn their attention to their longest rival, the Shelby Golden Lions who will come here for a 7:30 p.m. clash at John Gamble Stadium. Coach Herron said he has been highly-pleased with how the Mountaineers are coming along in his new system and feels they will be at full strength for the beginning of the season. One of the team’s top players, UNC recruit Curtis Simpson, sat out Saturday’s practice with a slight injury but is in top shape this week. “Everything’s going really well,” he said. “Our quarterback situation is up in the air after just one day of hitting but we have some good, talented kids that know how to play. But we still have a long way to go.” Three quarterbacks show a lot of promise, including Kandon Zolo who is a senior transfer from Clover, SC; Darion Velez-Dixon, a junior transfer from East Mecklenburg; and TJ Armstrong, a sophomore who was the JV Mountaineers’ QB last fall. “We’ll try to rotate as best we can and hopefully three or four series on offense will get them all in,” he said. The Mountaineers have several returning on offense, including last year’s leading rusher Teddy Jeffries. Jaden Gash, Qua Sanders and Bryson Brown are returning receivers and will be good targets for the QBs. The offensive line looks strong, led by 6-1, 240-pound returnee Alex Jackson who can play any position. Sophomore Dom Davis is “a gritty little player,” according to Coach Herron and he will be joined by other hopefuls like transfer Brayden Barnes, Matt Rikard, Chris Benton and others. Coach Herron expects his players to get at the top of their game every Friday night as the Big South is always one of the toughest 3A leagues in the state. He sees Crest and South Point as the Mountaineers’ toughest conference foes. “Crest is a big one,” he said of the Mountaineers’ final regular season foe. “They have the Green kid who is very good and they’re talented as always. And South Point’s going to be really good. What they do is very hard to stop. And, Ashbrook has a lot of good players and they’ll be pretty good.” But, he knows the Mountaineers have talented players who can be right up there with the best of them. “We think we’ve got a chance,” he said. “We have a good enough defense to give people some problems.” The offense has a lot of potential, too, led by the above-mentioned line. “It’s coming down to who will be the starting quarterback,” he said. “All the quarterbacks are coming along. The quarterback is the key guy on offense. Coach Bolton has them on the right track. Ours is a tough offense to run but Coach Bolton has them on the right track.” Kings Mountain has good numbers with about 55 players on varsity and 50 on JVs. Fortunately, the Mountaineers haven’t had any major injuries thus far. He said it’s “hard to say” right now if the Mountaineers will be a running or passing team. “We really need to practice more running but we also put a lot of emphasis on passing,” he said. “We looked pretty good with both Saturday. We were lucky we didn’t get anybody hurt. Coming out healthy is a good sign. We’ve been piddling with injuries all summer but we’re healthy. We just hope the guys learn all these new things we’re doing. “In the past we’ve gone with a true Air-Raid offense but we may not go as fast with it this year. We still won’t huddle very often but we’ll probably go a little slower.”
Football workouts at KMHS
Kings Mountain High School's football team went through its first day in shorts and helmets Monday at John Gamble Stadium. Only one day of helmets, shorts, t-shirts and football shoes and two hours on the field are allowed through Saturday. Beginning Monday two practices per day will be allowed and complete uniforms can be worn but body-to-body contact is allowed during just one session. During the second practice only helmets, shoulder pads, shorts, t-shrrts and football shoes are acceptable.
New entry/traffic pattern for KMHS football parking
Kings Mountain High School has announced the following changes for the entry/traffic pattern for spectator parking at KMHS Friday night football games. “Our aim is to alleviate traffic congestion on Phifer Road and have a quicker and safer entry for all spectators into the parking lot,” said athletic director Matt Bridges. “We’ve designed the new pattern making it more convenient for all spectators.” The changes include: • General home parking, visitor spectator parking and visitor handicapped parking: Spectators will enter at the Phifer Road stoplight entrance leading into the student parking lot like years past. • All drop-offs. All drop-offs must be made in the front circle of the KMHS main office. • TD Club parking pass holders and home handicap parking. Spectators will now enter through either Kings Mountain Blvd./Intermediate School Road that is located at the new power station or the Gary Stewart Blvd., situated behind the middle school to access the Brinkley Field House and the Touchdown Club members/TD Club parking pass holders lot located on the middle school intramural field. No one will be allowed to drive past the old field house to enter the Touchdown Club parking area. All TD Club parking passes will have to enter those parking areas by the softball and baseball fields
Football workouts resume at KMHS
After having a week off due to the NCHSAA’s annual coaches’ clinic, Kings Mountain High’s football team got back into light workouts Monday at John Gamble Stadium and head coach Strait Herron and his assistants were well-pleased with the Mountaineers’ effort. “Today was very good,” Coach Herron said. “We had good numbers and that’s a good sign. I hate those weeks off. Sometimes players get a little winded but they came back in good shape. We’ve got a lot of good athletes and the coaches are doing a really good job. Everybody has a good attitude and are working hard. That’s most of the battle.” Herron is still pleased with the number of prospects. “We have more players and we had another new player come in today and had a call from someone who wants to play,” he said. Herron said the varsity has 55 players at present and the JVs 58. Herron and the Mountaineers are looking forward to August when they can begin regular practice. They will be in helmets first and then shoulder pads only until the first hitting day on Saturday, August 5. They should know very quickly how much progress they’ve made when they take on perennial Western NC power AC Reynolds at 6 p.m. in the annual Cleveland County Jamboree August 9 in Shelby. Two days later they will travel to Gaffney, SC for a 7 p.m. bout with Catawba Ridge in the annual McDonald’s Kickoff Classic. They open their regular season on Friday, Aug. 18 at home against Shelby. All regular season games begin at 7:30. THE SCHEDULE AUGUST 9 – Cleveland Co. Jamboree in Shelby, 6 p.m. 11 – McDonald’s Kickoff Classic, Gaffney, 7 p.m. 18 – Shelby home, 7:30* 25 – at Cox Mill, 7:00* SEPTEMBER 1 – at Burns, 7:30* 8 – Bye 15 – at Hunter Huss, 7:30 22 – North Gaston, 7:30 29 – Forestview, 7:30 OCTOBER 6 – at South Point, 7:30 13 – Stuart Cramer, 7:30** 20 – at Ashbrook, 7:30 27 – Crest, 7:30 *Non-conference **Homecoming
KMHS varsity football team preps for new season
Kings Mountain High's varsity football team went through an early morning workout Monday at John Gamble Stadium. The Mountaineers are preparing for their first season under new head coach Strait Herron.
Kings Mountain Mounties runners-up in YMCA Allstars
By Loretta Cozart
Bentlee Elmore and his buddy, Benjamin Sanders, participated in the YMCA KM Allstars 9-10 team this year. Their team, The Kings Mountain Mounties, came in as runners up against Boger City the weekend of June 24 & 25. The team played at Tryon baseball field and also received the Good Sportsmanship Award. “We are so proud of them and their team,” shared Bentlee’s mom Shannon Elmore.
KM sports fans mourn loss of one of its all-time greats, Otis Cole
Kings Mountain lost one of its greatest athletes May 18 when basketball star Otis Cole,71, died when a blood clot caused cardiac arrest. Cole was an All-American basketball player during the Mountaineers’ glory years of the late 1960s and early ‘70s under the late Bobby Hussey. He was the father of one of Kings Mountain’s best ever all-around athletes, Shonda Cole, who was an All-American volleyball player at the University of South Carolina and a star in the pro ranks. From 1968 to 1970 he teamed with other stars such as fellow high school All-American George Adams, Ken Mitchem, Rick Finger, Charlie Barnes and others to post a three-year record of 66-7. At Florida State he helped the Seminoles to a runner-up finish to UCLA in the 1972 national tournament. Cole was All-Conference all three of his varsity years at KMHS, and his senior year he was All-American and played in the prestigious East-West all-star game. He scored 1,292 points in his three-year varsity career and went on to score 1,361 points at Florida State. Although he followed his sports over the years, Cole also took up the game of golf and was good at that, too. His wife, Joanne, noted that Otis and his KMHS teammates Charlie Barnes, Steve Spencer and Rick Finger would meet at the Cherokee Grill once a week to eat and cherish their long friendship. Mrs. Cole said Otis called Finger, who is a retired doctor, to tell him about his cancer and Finger, Barnes, and Adams came immediately to help. Upon his death many of his former teammates and friends came to the home and/or funeral including FSU great Ron King and other Seminole teammates. Steve Spencer came all the way from Virginia. She recalled that about 20 years ago UCLA great Bill Walton sent Otis a huge autographed action picture of the two competing against each other in the national championship game. “Otis was such a loving person,” Mrs. Cole said. “He never met a stranger.” Mrs. Cole, the former Joanne Kilgore, said she knew Otis when they were students at KMHS but they didn’t date until later. They were married in 1984. Cole was preceded in death by his father, Otis Cole Sr., sisters Cherlyn D. Cole and Grace Setzer, and granddaughter Taylen Allen.
KM spring football workouts continue at Gamble Stadium
Kings Mountain High football players and coaches continue to be optimistic about the Mountaineers’ chance of having a good team in the fall 2023 season. Drills continue every weekday with one of the largest groups of prospects in years. “That’s a good problem to have,” said first-year head coach Strait Herron. “We have a list of 112 players (JV and varsity) and that’s a good problem to have. If those numbers hold up we will be able to two platoon.” The Mountaineers recently went to a 7 on 7 in Gaffney and Herron said “the kids are picking things up. Our offensive coordinator said 85 percent of his offense is in. That’s good that they picked it up so fast. The defense is a little easier to do but we really don’t know where people will be playing yet.” The Mountaineers won’t be able to hit until the end of July. They can put on helmets only for about 2 1/2 weeks, he said. The Mountaineers will get a good look against other teams in upcoming jamborees, including the annual Cleveland County Jamboree in Shelby where they will face Kannapolis A.L. Brown. They will also face Catawba Ridge in a jamboree in Gaffney, SC.
King’s City Church teams complete basketball season
The King’s City Church recently completed its inaugural 2023 Spring Basketball League. League Commissioner Shane Cole said the church started with four co-ed teams geared toward middle school ages with the hopes of giving young people in the area and chance to continue to play basketball. “We want to bring basketball year-round to Kings Mountain,” he said. King’s City Church along with the KM Blaze organization is sponsoring the league. “It’s an outreach toward basketball and ministry,” Cole said. “We had a spring season and are looking forward to another season in the fall. “We started with 21 kids and expanded to 26 by season end,” Cole noted. “By next fall we want to add a few more players in the middle school division with the hopes of adding a high school division in the future.” Final standings were Hoops Dreams in first place, Bulldogs second, Kangaroos third and Hornets fourth. The Bulldogs defeated Hoops Dreams 31-25 in the championship game. The Bulldogs were led by Malachi Powell with 18 points. Jayqwan Dawson and Jayvon Dawson led Hoops Dreams with 10 and nine points, respectively.
KMHS Jr. Varsity Football Workouts
Kings Mountain High JV football players go through early-morning workouts Monday at John Gamble Stadium.
KMHS Varsity Football Workouts
Kings Mountain High School varsity football players go through light workouts Monday morning at John Gamble Stadium. The Mountaineers will spend most of the summer months in light workouts and 7 on 7's here and in other cities as they prepare for the official beginning of fall practice.
KMHS softball team falls in playoffs
Kings Mountain High’s softball team fell to Southern Guilford 4-3 in last week’s state 3A playoffs. The Lady Mountaineers ended their season with a 13-8 overall record while Southern Guilford advanced to the second round with a 17-5 mark. Maddie Huffman led the Lady Mountaineers at the plate with 3-for-4 and two runs batted in. She also did a good job on the mound, giving up just four hits and fanning seven but seven KM errors helped Southern Guilford. Desiree Green went 2-for-4, including a double, and Paige Fleming had s single. Coach Kevin Cruise’s Lady Mountaineers will return most of their starters next season.
KM track competes in 3A Regional
Twenty-four members of the Kings Mountain High school track and field team competed in the Western 3A Regional meet Friday at North Lincoln High School. Qualifying for the KM ladies were Ashlee Brooks, London Brown, Alyssa Deal, Sarah Eagle, Kieanna Ellis, Divinity Ervin, Kallie Hope, Janiya Hunt, Kamari Odems, Nicole Poston, Kinley Putnam, and Brooke Waseman. Competing for the KM men were Hunter Cruise, Nicholas Horn, Vance Johnson, Malik Littlejohn, Jake Lloyd, Marty Lovingood, Kayden Marthers, Tyler McIntyre, Barry Moore, Ja’qualyn Sanders, Max Thompson and Isaiah Watts. The men’s 4x800 meter relay team qualified for this week’s state 3A championship. Team members are Max Thompson, Marty Lovingood, Isaiah Watts and Hunter Cruise. They set a new KMHS record of 8:20.56. Max Thompson finished third in the 800 meter run with a personal record 2:02.24. The women’s 4x100 meter relay team of Brooke Waseman, London Brown, Alyssa Deal and Janiya Hunt finished eighth with a personal record of 52.77. Janiya Hunt finished sixth in the long jump. State qualifiers will travel to North Carolina A&T University Friday for the 3A state championship.
Goff to participate in Auburn Regional
Alex Goff, a senior on the University of Kentucky men’s golf team, has been selected to participate in the Auburn Regional as an individual, the NCAA announced Wednesday. The Regional began Monday and will end today. Goff has put together a standout senior year, leading the Wildcats with a 70.60 scoring average and a team high four top 10 finishes and eight in the top 20. The Kings Mountain native and former Mountaineer golfer has played 30 rounds over 10 tournaments with 28.3 of those 30 rounds counting toward the team tally. Goff has recorded a team-high 22 rounds of par or better, including a team-best 19 under par, and has three second place finishes in his last six tournaments including an 8-under par 202 at the Southeastern Conference championship last month.
Mountaineers beat Cramer 7-2, Carson 2-1 in state 3A playoffs
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers were scheduled to face West Henderson last night in the third round of the state 3A baseball playoffs. West Henderson, 21-4 and regarded as one of the top 3A teams in the state, has taken care of Atkins 16-1 and North Lincoln 8-0 so far. The Mountaineers opened the playoffs last week with home victories over Stuart Cramer 7-2 and Jesse Carson, 2-1. Cramer jumped out front 1-0 in the top of the third inning, but KM’s Cole Irby hit a grand slam home run in the bottom of the inning and that was all the Mountaineers needed to get the playoffs off to a great start. Zane Brockman went the distance for the Mountaineers, giving up just three hits and fanning eight. Cramer’s only run was unearned. He also led the Mountaineers at the plate with four hits, including a RBI double. Hunter Reavis started for the visitors and took the loss after giving up the home run. He lasted just 2 1/3 innings. Nate Brittain, who had no-hit the Mountaineers in a regular season game, came on and the Mountaineers chased him in a two-run sixth inning. The Mountaineers scored single runs in the first and sixth innings to edge a very good Carson team Friday night. The Mountaineers were scheduled to face West Henderson in a third round game last night. Aidan Taylor drove in runs in the first and sixth innings. He was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate. Irby went 2-for-3 and Brockman and Mayes each had a hit. Wyatt Davis held the visitors to just one hit and struck out 13 batters over the first six innings. The KM-West Henderson winner will face the winner of the last night’s East Rowan-North Davidson game in the state semi-finals.
Lloyd to coach at Starmount
Greg Lloyd, who recently resigned as the winningest football coach in Kings Mountain High’s 100-year history, Monday became the new head coach at Starmount High School in Booonville, NC. Lloyd served as the Mountaineers’ head man for the past 16 seasons and is the winningest football coach in school history. He has an overall record of 149-80 which includes two years as the head coach at East Gaston. The Mountaineers compiled a 13-1 record in Lloyd’s final season last fall, losing only to the eventual state champion East Lincoln Mustangs. Starmount, which is located near Winston-Salem, is coming off a 7-4 season in the Northwest 1A Conference. The Rams’ only conference loss last year was to Mount Airy which went on to win the state championship.
KM/NFL star Tracy Johnson dies of cancer
Former Kings Mountain High School and NFL football star Tracy Johnson, 56, died April 7 in Atlanta, GA after a battle with cancer. Johnson, then a high school junior, and Curtis Pressley, a senior, were the first two Mountaineers to gain over 1,000 yards rushing in the same year in 1983 for Coach Denny Hicks’ team. Pressley went on to play at Gardner-Webb and Johnson, who moved to Kannapolis for his senior year of high school, was a standout running back for the Clemson Tigers where he was a two-time honorable mention All-American. He later played with the Houston Oilers, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a seven-year career in the NFL. Besides being an outstanding running back, Johnson was also a great blocker for his fellow ball carriers. Johnson’s running helped Danny Ford’s Clemson Tigers win back-to-back ACC championships in 1987 and 1988 and his excellent blocking skills helped his teammates gain tons of yardage. During his Clemson career he gained 1,579 yards rushing and scored 23 touchdowns and accumulated 180 career knockdown blocks. He spent eight years in the NFL as a running back and special teams player.
KM golfers second to record-setting Cramer
Kings Mountain High’s golfers finished second to a state-record setting Stuart Cramer team in last week’s Big South golf match at Cramer Mountain Golf Club. Cramer’s 268 total beat the previous 270 NCHSAA 18-hole record and the Storm’s top golfer Aiden Vargosko shot a 61 which also broke the all-time individual record. Will Spicer led the Mountaineers with a 70, followed by Caleb Marr at 73, Baylor Benton 74 and Josh Gillespie and Thomas Spicer with 77 apiece. The BSC teams were scheduled to play their final conference match Monday with Forestview hosting at Riverbend Golf Course. The Western Regional will be held May 8 and the state championship on May 15-16.
CCHD partners with YMCA for Healthy Kids Day April 22
In celebration of National Public Health Week, the Cleveland County Health Department is partnering with the Dover YMCA to host Healthy Kids Day at the Cleveland County Health Department located at 200 S Post Rd, Shelby on Saturday, April 22, 2023, from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Healthy Kids Day is free and open to the public. Healthy Kids Day is the Y’s national initiative to improve the health and well-being of kids and families. For over 30 years, YMCAs and their communities have hosted free community events aimed to inspire kids and families to keep their minds and bodies active throughout the summer months and beyond. Similarly, for over 25 years, the American Public Health Association has worked to bring together communities across the United States to observe National Public Health Week in April as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation's health. “The goals of the YMCA and Healthy Kids Day closely align with the goals of the health department and National Public Health Week,” said DeShay Oliver, Deputy Health Director for the Cleveland County Health Department. “We can accomplish more when we work together and combine our resources. It is really all about coming together to improve the health and wellbeing of our community by providing an opportunity for families to play and learn together. We hope to see you there.” This year’s Healthy Kids Day will have a large lineup of activities including, but not limited to, inflatables, minigolf, face painting, balloon art, food trucks, giveaways, and educational resources. Also, to increase access to childhood vaccinations, especially for those who have a rising kindergartener, seventh grader or twelfth grader who need school-required immunizations, the health department will be opening their immunization clinic during the event. Nurses will be available to check the NC Immunization Registry to see if children need any vaccines. Those needing a vaccine may receive one that day if interested – no appointment is necessary. Incentives will be available for any children receiving a vaccine during the event. “Our goal is to help families get a head start on required vaccines for the upcoming school year,” said Heather Voyles, School Health Supervisor for the Cleveland County Health Department. “Waiting until the start of school in the fall creates barriers to scheduling availability in our community’s clinics. We would like to encourage parents to take advantage of this opportunity now, so they aren’t faced with challenges with getting their children’s vaccines later.”
Mountaineers win second straight Shelby tourney, have five tough BSC tests to complete regular season
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers went 3-0 to win their second straight Shelby Easter Baseball Tournament last week at Shelby’s Veterans Field and they began the home stretch of the Big South Conference season last night against a powerful South Point team at Lancaster Field. The Mountaineers, who are undefeated in the Big South Conference and hoping to repeat as league champions, have a tough undertaking as they head into the stretch run. They will play South Point again April 20 in Belmont and face Stuart Cramer Tuesday, April 25 at Sims Legion Park in Gastonia. After that they will host Cramer on April 27 for Senior Night before battling their closest and probably toughest rival Crest in the final two BSC games on May 2 at Crest and May 5 at Lancaster Field. A special Champions Night will be held April 28 at 7 p.m. when “old-timers” from the state championship 1989 and 1993 Mountaineer teams face off. The Mountaineers edged a strong Burns nine 3-2 in Thursday’s championship game after winning earlier bouts over Brevard 7-2 and South Caldwell 4-3. The Mountaineers came from behind with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings after Burns scored its two runs in the top of the fourth. Kings Mountain got good pitching from Wyatt Davis, Colton Mayes and Aiden Taylor with Taylor coming on in the seventh to put the Bulldogs down in order and get the win. Davis started and went the first five innings. He gave up three hits and struck out seven. Mayes and Taylor worked the sixth and seventh and held the Bulldogs hitless. Caleb Broome, Taylor, Mayes, Jacob Hamrick, Zane Brockman and Cole Irby had a hit apiece for the Mountaineers with Broome and Mayes each getting an RBI. The Mountaineer defense committed just one error. Kings Mountain rapped 14 hits in its opening round victory over Brevard. Brayden Patrick, Taylor and Jackson Toney handled the pitching chores, combining for a four-hitter and 12 strikeouts. Patrick worked the first two innings and gave up one hit and fanned four. Taylor worked three frames and gave up two hits while fanning six to get the win. Toney hurled the final two innings and gave up one hit and fanned two. Broome led the plate attack with a perfect 4-for-4 which included an RBI and a double. Hamrick was 2-for-4 with two runs and one RBI and Brockman was 2-for-3 with two RBI. Tucker Cash, Lucas Saldo, Colton Mayes, Jason Melton, Hunter Ellis and Cole Irby had a hit apiece. The Mountaineers scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to defeat South Caldwell in the semi-finals. South Caldwell had snapped a 1-1 tie with two runs in the top of the seventh. Brockman hurled the first six innings for the Mountaineers, giving up just four hits and fanning four. Patrick hurled the seventh. Brockman went 2-for-3 with a double and two runs batted in and Mayes and Hamrick added two hits each. Broome and Saldo had the other two KM hits.
Mountaineers sweep Forestview
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers defeated Forestview twice last week to go into the Easter break with a perfect 8-0 Big South 3A Conference record. The Mountaineers, who are competing in the annual Shelby Easter Tournament this week, will resume conference play April 18 against the South Point Red Raiders, who are in third place with a 6-1 mark after suffering their first loss last week with the BSC co-leader Crest. The Mountaineers had their toughest BSC game so far last Tuesday at Forestview, winning by 4-2, but those two teams battled again Wednesday at Lancaster Field and after a shaky top of the first inning the Mountaineers rolled 11-0 in a 4 ½ inning contest called on the 10-run mercy rule. Wyatt Davis pitched the first four innings to get the win. He gave up three hits in the first inning when the Jaguars loaded the bases before Davis fanned Josh Canton to get out of the jam. After that the senior right hander had little trouble as he gave up just one more hit while striking out seven. Brayden Patrick came on to pitch the final inning and struck out all three men he faced. The Mountaineers had their guns loaded all night, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first that would be enough but they also added five in the second and four more in the fourth. Jacob Hamrick got things going with one out in the bottom of the first when he reached on an error and stole second. With two outs, Cole Irby walked and a wild pitch put runners on second and third. Colton Mayes doubled to left-center for a 2-0 lead. Davis fanned the side in the top of the second and the Mountaineers scored two more in the bottom of the inning to go up 4-0. Jack Toney doubled to lead things off. With one out, Lucas Saldo and Caleb Broome walked to load the sacks. A fly ball off the bat of Jacob Hamrick was dropped in right field to put the Mountaineers up 3-0, and Zane Brockman followed with a single to right to make it 4-0. Irby’s sacrifice fly, a wild pitch and a passed ball ran the score to 7-0. Forestview got its only other hit of the night – a single by Trip Dow - with one out in the top of the fourth but Davis answered with three strikeouts. The Mountaineers tallied their final two runs in the bottom of the fourth. Hamrick singled and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Brockman to run the score to 8-0. A three-run triple by Aidan Taylor accounted for the final score. A night earlier in Gastonia, the Jaguars got a good pitching effort from Josh Clanton who gave up just four hits and fanned six over 5.2 innings to keep the Jaguars in the game. The Mountaineers, who managed just six hits but stole nine bases, scored two runs in the first and one in the third to go up 3-0. The Jaguars rallied for two runs in the bottom of the sixth but KM got an insurance tally in the top of the seventh. Aiden Taylor led KM at the plate with 2-for-3 and Hamrick, Mayes, Brockman and Irby added one apiece. Kings Mountain stole nine bases with Broome, Taylor and Hamrick swiping two each and Saldo, Turner Brown and Brockman getting one apiece. Brockman went 5.2 innings to get the win. He gave up five hits and struck out nine. Taylor came on to pitch 1 1/3 inning and gave up one hit while fanning two. Josh Clanton pitched 5.2 innings of four-hit ball and fanned six Mountaineers.
KMHS falls 7-5 at Shelby, resumes BS play April 18
Shelby scored three runs in the fifth inning to break a 4-4 tie and defeat Kings Mountain 7-5 in a non-conference baseball game last week in Shelby. The Mountaineers used the game to work a lot of players into the lineup. Brayden Patrick, Aiden Taylor and Colton Mayes handled the pitching duties. Patrick pitched one inning and struck out the side, Taylor hurled three frames and fanned four, and Mayes pitched the final two innings. Combined, they gave up nine hits and struck out nine. Cole Irby led the KM plate attack with 2-for-3 and two runs batted in. Patrick, Jason Melton and Zane Brockman each had a hit. Kings Mountain led 4-1 going into the bottom of the third. Shelby scored three in the bottom of the inning to tie the game an added its final three in the fifth. KM scored its final run in the seventh. The Mountaineers are back in Shelby this week competing in the annual Easter Tournament at Veteran’s Field. They resume Big South Conference play at home on April 18 against The South Point Red Raiders. After that they go on the road for games with the Raiders on April 20 in Belmont and Stuart Cramer April 25 at Sims Legion Park in Gastonia. The games at South Point will begin at 4 and 7 p.m. and the games at Sims Park will begin at 5:30 and 7:30.
Caleb Broome’s grand slam leads KM over Wildcats 9-1
Three Kings Mountain pitchers combined for a no-hitter and 17 strikeouts but North Gaston’s Wildcats took advantage of 11 walks to force the Mountaineers to go eight innings to win 9-1 in a Big South Conference game last week in Dallas. The Mountaineers were held scoreless for five innings before taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the sixth. North Gaston got a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the inning to tie the game and force extra innings. Caleb Broome’s grand slam home run accounted for half of the Mountaineers’ eight runs in the extra frame. Zane Brockman worked the first five innings for the Mountaineers. He struck out 10 but walked six. Wyatt Davis pitched the sixth and seventh and got the win when the Mountaineers unloaded on the Wildcats in the top of the eighth. Davis struck out four and walked three. Aidan Taylor came on in the bottom of the eighth and walked two but struck out three to get the save. Broome went 2-for-4 to lead the Mountaineers at the plate. Brockman, Jacob Hamrick, Cole Irby, Colton Mayes and Jack Toney added a hit apiece. The no-hitter was the second of the young season for the Mountaineer pitching staff. Brockman earlier pitched a perfect game against Hunter Huss with every out being a strike out. The Mountaineers committed only one error and Brockman, Irby and Toney pulled a double play. North Gaston’s only run came on a sacrifice fly by Wayne McSwain. The Wildcats committed four errors.
Wyatt Davis gets victory in Friday shutout at home
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers got another outstanding pitching effort from Wyatt Davis and Colton Mayes and took advantage of eight bases on balls to shutout North Gaston’s Wildcats 5-0 in a Big South Conference baseball game Friday night at KM’s Lancaster Field. The Wildcats, who had taken the first place Mountaineers extra innings earlier in the week in Dallas, were simply no match this time around. The game got underway with Davis striking out the side in the top of the first and the Mountaineers coming in to take advantage of a Zane Brockman double sandwiched around two walks followed by a bases-loaded North Gaston error to take an early 1-0 lead. The Wildcats would go on to commit four errors while Davis was sending 12 of their batters back to the dugout via the strikeout route. KM’s senior right hander used up all but one of his allotted 105 pitches and Mayes came on to get the Wildcats three up, three down in the top of the seventh and end the game. After Brockman’s first inning double, the Mountaineers wouldn’t get another hit until the top of the fifth after North’s southpaw Caleb Cloninger reached his allotted 105 pitches. But the Wildcats committed four errors and that along with Davis’s pitching and good defense was enough to keep the Mountaineers in a battle with Cleveland County rival Crest for first place. Kings Mountain increased its lead to 2-0 in the second when Caleb Broome reached base on an error and scored when the North right fielder dropped a fly ball off the bat of Jacob Hamrick. The Mountaineers scored their final three runs in the fourth on three walks, three errors and a wild pitch. After Ashton Pope came in to pitch for the Wildcats in the bottom of the fifth, KM loaded the bases on a single by Taylor, double by Broome and an intentional walk but Pope buckled down to fan Irby to get out of the jam. North Gaston threatened in the top of the sixth inning following one-out back-to-back singles by Pope and McSwain but Davis got Bates on a fly ball to right field and Walker on a grounder back to the mound. Kings Mountain got a one-out double from Jason Melton in the bottom of the sixth but Pope fanned two batters to get out of the jam. The Mountaineers were scheduled to go to Forestview last night. They travel to Shelby today for a non-conference game and resume Big South play at home Thursday for a 7 p.m. contest with Forestview. It has been designated as Little League Night. After that the Mountaineers will travel to Shelby to compete in the Lions’ annual Easter Tournament on April 10-13. Big South play resumes April 18 with South Point coming in for what could be an earth-shaking Earth Day Night. That big game will feature free giveaways from the City of Kings Mountain as well as a race against Woodsy the Owl around the bases.
Goff’s 16-under takes second at Hootie even
Kings Mountain’s Alex Goff, a senior on the University of Kentucky men’s golf team, carded the second lowest tournament with a 16-under-par 200 to finish second at the Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate tournament last week. He opened with a 6-under 66 on Sunday, followed by a 7-under 65 on Monday and a final round 3-under 69 on Tuesday. It was the second lowest 54-hole score in UK program history and earned him Southeastern Conference Golfer of the Week honors. Goff has three top 10 finishes and seven of his eight tournaments have resulted in a top 20. Goff will be inducted into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame on May 6 at Central United Methodist Church. Other inductees are Chris Henson, Miles Boyd, Cedric Thompson, Tim Hines and Suzette Feemster.
KMHS softball routs Cramer, South Point
Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team won two games last week to remain in second place in the Big South 3A Conference behind Cleveland County rival Crest. The KM ladies (5-1 in the BSC) were scheduled to travel to Crest (5-0) last night with hopes of creating a tie for first place. The Lady Mountaineers defeated Stuart Cramer 11-3 Friday night in Cramerton after crushing South Point 13-3 on Tuesday in Belmont. Kings Mountain started off strong in both games behind good hitting and pitching. At South Point, the Lady Mountaineers tallied 12 hits led by Austyn Dixon with 3-for-5. Alayna Patrick also had multiple hits including a home run. Ava Tipton, Paige Fleming and Cheyanne Reynolds all had multiple RBIs. Maddie Huffman hurled the victory. The Lady Mountaineers exploded for six runs in the top of the first to begin Friday’s rout at Stuart Cramer. Cheyanne Reynolds, Alayna Patrick, Austyn Dixon and Desiree Green all had multiple hits for the Lady Mountaineers. Kings Mountain also got a dominant effort from the pitching combination of Kali Weaver and Maddie Huffman. Huffman struck out 12 batters in five innings to get the win.
KM men’s, women’s track run season record to 22-0
Kings Mountain High’s track teams ran their records to 22-0 last week with a sweep of five area schools at John Gamble Stadium. The Lady Mountaineers finished with 155.33 points to second place Shelby’s 139.33. Crest ran third at 77 followed by East Rutherford 67, Burns 47 and Bessemer City 35.33. The Mountaineers rolled up 185 points to Shelby’s 140. Crest ran third with 85 followed by Burns 82, East Rutherford 18 and Bessemer City 8. KM’s Max Thompson had a big day, winning the 1600, 800 and 3200. His 1600 time of 4:33 made him an automatic qualifier for the Western 3A Regional meet. Hunter Cruise was a double winner, taking the pole vault at 11 feet even and the 400 meter dash in 53.47. Kings Mountain’s 4x100 relay team consisting of Barry Moore, Zavion Smith, Bryson Brown and Robert Kendrick won in 44.69. The 4x400 relay team won in 3:50.62. Members were Hunter Cruise, Tyler Furman, Immanuel Feemter and Marty Lovingood. The Kings Mountain women had four first places, led by the 4x400 relay team of Brooke Waseman, Kieanna Ellis, Nicole Poston and Kamari Odems with a season best time of 4:51.30. Divinity Ervin won the 3200 meters and was second in the 1600 meters. Alexis Jackson won the triple jump and was second in the pole vault. Jailen Moore won the shot put. Other second place finishers included Brooke Waseman, London Brown, Alyssa Deal and Janiya Hunt in the 4x100 relay, Sarah Eagle in the 3200 meter run and Kallie Hope, Kinley Putnam, Carley Evans and Divinity Ervin in the 4x800 meter relay.
Golfers second at Lincoln CC
Kings Mountain High’s golfers finished second to Stuart Cramer last week at Lincoln Country Club. North Gaston was the host team. Cramer shot 292 to KM’s 299. South Point was third at 326 followed by Crest 327, Ashbrook 333, Forestview 364, North Gaston 416 and Hunter Huss 474. Will Spicer led the Mountaineers with a 70. Baylor Benton shot 75, Josh Gillespie and Caleb Marr 77 each and Thomas Spicer 78.
Will Spicer’s 67 medalist in BSC match
Kings Mountain High’s Will Spicer shot a 67 to take medalist honors in last week’s Big South Conference golf outing at Catawba Creek Golf Course in Gastonia. Cramer shot a 291 to take team honors. Kings Mountain was second at 304 and Crest third at 322. South Point shot 330 followed by Forestview 367, host Ashbrook 404, North Gaston 419 and Hunter Huss 462. Other Kings Mountain scores were Caleb Marr 73, Josh Gillespie 81, Thomas Spicer 83 and Baylor Benton 86.
Golfers second at Lincoln CC
Kings Mountain High’s golfers finished second to Stuart Cramer last week at Lincoln Country Club. North Gaston was the host team. Cramer shot 292 to KM’s 299. South Point was third at 326 followed by Crest 327, Ashbrook 333, Forestview 364, North Gaston 416 and Hunter Huss 474. Will Spicer led the Mountaineers with a 70. Baylor Benton shot 75, Josh Gillespie and Caleb Marr 77 each and Thomas Spicer 78.
Brockman hurls perfect game, strikes out all 15 Huss batters in Big South Conference 3A victory
Kings Mountain High’s Zane Brockman did something Tuesday night at Lancaster Field that’s never been done before in the 100-plus year history of Mountaineer baseball. The senior right hander not only pitched a perfect game but every out (15) was a strikeout in the Mountaineers’ 13-0 Big South 3A Conference win over the Hunter Huss Huskies. The game ended in the middle of the fifth inning on the NCHSAA’s 10-run mercy rule. After Brockman sent the first three Huskies back to the dugout via the strikeout route, he and the Mountaineers came to bat in the bottom of the first inning to go up 3-0 to get the rout underway. The Huskie hurlers had a tough time all night getting the ball in the strike zone, beginning when KM’s leadoff batter Caleb Broome was hit by a pitch. He stole second and third and scored what would be the winning run when Jacob Hamrick singled to right. An error and wild pitch accounted for the other two runs. Kings Mountain added four runs in the second to go up 7-0. Lucas Saldo got things going with an infield single and Broome followed with a double to put runners on second and third. After a pitching change a walk and wild pitch ran the score to 4-0. Cole Irby singled to left for a 6-0 lead and another run scored on a wild pitch. The Mountaineers went up 12-0 in the third. Tucker Cash, Saldo and Broome reached on hits and Hamrick homered to make the score 11-0. Cash’s fly ball to left was dropped and the scoreboard moved to 12-0. Kings Mountain scored its final run in the fourth. Aiden Taylor led off with a double to left and Turner Brown singled to put runners on first and third. Brockman’s sacrifice fly brought Taylor home with the 13th run. Walks to Wyatt Davis and Colton Mayes re-loaded the sacks but C.J. Whitworth came on to pitch for Huss and got Melton and Toney on fly outs.
Davis hurls three no-hit innings in 24-0 victory
The Hunter Huss Huskies did manage to get three hits in their second meeting with Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers Friday at Huss but they still couldn’t dent the scoreboard as the Mountaineers rolled to a 24-0 Big South 3A Conference victory. Senior right hander Wyatt Davis pitched three no-hit innings and struck out nine to get the win. Jackson Toney hurled two innings, giving up the three hits and striking out five. Kings Mountain jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and broke the game wide open with 13 runs in the second frame to go up 18-0. The Mountaineers finished the Huskies off with two in the third and four in the fourth and finished with 19 hits. Several Mountaineers had a field day at the plate, including: -Jacob Hamrick, 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, five runs scored and seven RBI. -Aidan Taylor, 3-for-3 with five runs scored. -Brayden Patrick, 2-for-4 with a double and four RBI. -Zane Brockman, 3-for-3 with three RBI. -Hunter Ellis, 2-for-4 with three RBI. -Tucker Cash, 2-for-4 with two RBI. -Lucas Saldo, 2-for-4 with two RBI. The Mountaineers also had a field day on the base paths with nine stolen bases. Taylor had four, Mayes two and Cash, Hamrick and Ellis one each. Kings Mountain will host North Gaston Friday at 7 p.m. It will be Retro Night and will feature 80’s music and 80’s prices at the concession stand. The Mountaineers go to Forestview on April 4 and Shelby April 5 before returning home April 6 to host Forestview in Little League Night. All Little League teams are invited and kids will run the bases after the game.
KMMS tennis defeats Burns
Kings Mountain Middle School’s tennis team defeated Burns 8-2 last week to run its record to 4-1 heading into its final home game yesterday against Crest. The Patriots close out their season with matches at Shelby Wednesday and Thursday. Singles: Seanna Simon defeated Lynnie Britton 8-4. Dominic Allan defeated Sarah Britton 8-2. Cindy Tipton lost to Lillian Colson 8-6. Marquise Thomas lost to Troy Cornwell 8-4. Camden Morris defeated Lainey Yarbro 8-3. Landon Webster defeated Payton Beaver 8-5. Doubles: Simon/Allen defeated Britton/Britton 8-0. Tipton/Thomas defeated Colson/Cornwell 8-4. Morris/Webster defeated Yarbro/Beaver 8-2. In addition, Amelia Pruitt, Christian Smith, Elijah Propst, Xander Parker and Eli McComas won practice matches.
CCC Yetis softball team have winning weekends
The Cleveland Community College softball team won both ends of their home doubleheader versus Southeastern Community College. The Yetis won game one 3-0 and game two by a run rule score of 14-6 in the sixth inning. Brooke Dover would pitch all seven in the game one win. Kaylen Cales was the winning pitcher in game two with Trinity Hatchel hitting a homer for the offense. “Getting sweeps against conference opponents mean a lot over the course of a season,” said Head Coach Ronald Beaver. “It was cold, rainy and windy all day and the team came through to pick up two big wins.” The CCC softball team faced another opponent on Saturday, keeping the winning streak going. The Yetis won both games of the home doubleheader versus Brunswick Community College, 11-3 and 7-6. The two wins capped a 4-0 weekend for the Yetis following their doubleheader sweep of Southeastern Community College on Friday. In game one on Saturday, Brooke Dover pitched a complete game, striking out 10 in a game decided by the run rule in the sixth inning. Andrea Melton and Carmen Pruett had three hits each and Hayle Eubanks drove in three runs. In game two, Kaylen Cales would pitch 6.1 innings as the winning pitcher with Dover collecting the final two outs for the save. Melton, Pruett and Alexis Shope hit doubles and Mallory Haynes had two hits and two RBI’s. “We had great weather for softball on Saturday and we had a lot of fans on campus to watch the games,” said Coach Beaver. “The team played well and kept their focus to get four Region wins in two days.” The softball team is back at home on Wednesday as Cleveland has switched home dates with Southwest Virginia due to the rain forecast. The Yetis will host a home doubleheader at Yeti Athletics Park beginning at 1 p.m. In baseball news, CCC’s baseball team won their weekend series on the road versus Region 10 conference opponent Wake Tech. The Yetis would sweep the doubleheader on Saturday 3-2 and 7-3, with the Eagles bouncing back for a 9-8 win on Sunday. In game one, Jamisen Eichacker pitched six innings while striking out six for the win. Jeb Shuler and Boone Cartee would both pitch scoreless innings in relief. Ben Hemphill and Luke Banister would double with Banister and Tyler Casciato hitting triples. In game two, Kyle Murphy would pitch four innings and strike out three for the win. Aiden Schenck doubled, and Hemphill would triple for the offense. In game three, Dalton Chapman doubled and Alex Khan tripled and drove in three runs on the day. The Yetis play at home on Wednesday as they face USC Salkehatchie with a noon start. The team travels to Catawba Valley next weekend for their next Region 10 series.
KMHS track sweeps three to run season mark to 17-0
Kings Mountain High’s track and field teams ran their 2023 record to 17-0 last week with a victory over Forestview, North Gaston and Stuart Cramer at John Gamble Stadium. The contest was one of the most competitive of the season with most of the teams performing very well. In women’s action, the Lady Mountaineers won with 139 points followed by North Gaston 71, Forestview 68, Hunter Huss 55 and Stuart Cramer 13. The Kings Mountain men piled up 134 points to win by 40 points over second place Hunter Huss with 94. Forestview ran third with 88 followed by Stuart Cramer with 33 and North Gaston with 18. The Lady Mountaineers had their best time of the year in the 4x800 relay, crossing the finish line in 12:13.41. Team members were Kinley Putnam, Carley Evans, Sindhi Ulloa and Divinity Ervin. Lexi Jackson was first in the triple jump at 30’1” and first in the pole vault at 6’6”. Divinity Ervin was first in the 100 meters in 5:57.40 and the 3200 meters in 13:02.40. Brooke Waseman was first in the 400 meter dash with a personal best time of 1:09.11. Kallie Hope was first in the 800 meter run with a personal best 3:14.32. Parker Wilson, McKenzie Taylor, Kenzlie Morris and Kamari Odems finished second in the 4x400 relay. Kamari Odems was second in the high jump at 4’4” and third in the 100 meter hurdles at 19.25. Janiya Hunt was second in the long jump at 14’7”, second in the 100 meter dash in 13:30 and second in the 200 meter dash in 27.88. Kinley Putnam was second in the pole vault at six feet even. The 4x200 meter relay team finished second in 2:00.14. Team members were Brooke Waseman, Princess Strain, London Brown and NyAdria Beam-Phillips. The 4x100 relay team tied for second in 53.68. Team members were Brooke Waseman, Alyssa Deal, London Brown and Janiya Hunt. Kings Mountain’s men got a first place in the 4x800 meter relay. Members were Mar Lovington, Elliot Habel, Nat Inthavong and Isaiah Watts. Max Thompson took the 1600 meter run in 4:37 and also won the 800 meter run. Hunter Cruise also was a double winner, taking the pole vault in with a leap of 11 feet even and the 400 meter dash in 53 seconds. Ja’Qualyn Sanders won the long jump with a jump of 19’7”. Jake Lloyd won the triple jump with a jump of 38’6”. Kings Mountain was scheduled to host Shelby, Burns, Crest, Bessemer City and East Rutherford yesterday and is scheduled to go to Stuart Cramer April 6 at 4 p.m. The Mountaineers will host the Cleveland County championship April 20 at 4 p.m.
KM Defeats Ashbrook
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers rolled to a 22-0, five-inning victory over the Ashbrook Green Wave in a Big South 3A Conference battle last week in Gastonia. The Mountaineers collected 19 hits with 10 different players getting at least one. Jacob Hamrick led the way with a perfect 4-for-4 including a home run and five runs batted in. Zane Brockman was 3-for-5 with five RBIs and Cole Irby 3-for-5 with four RBIs. Aidan Taylor was 2-for-3 with an RBI, Colton Mayes 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Tucker Cash, Nic Cole, Jack Toney, Turner Brown, and Lucas Saldo had a hit apiece. The Mountaineers got the only two runs they needed in the top of the first. They began breaking the game open with four runs in the second and followed with six in the third, seven in the fourth and three in the top of the fifth. Wyatt Davis worked the first four innings, giving up the only hit. He sent 10 Ashbrook batters back to the dugout via the strikeout route and Colton Mayes came on to pitch the fifth and final inning and struck out the side. The two KM hurlers threw just 77 pitches and did not walk a batter. Thirty seven of Davis’s 61 pitches and nine of Mayes’ 16 were strikes. Ashbrook used four pitchers with starter Nathan Crawford taking the loss.
Weaver no-hits Huss in opener
Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team opened its Big South Conference season last week with big victories over Gaston County foes Hunter Huss 21-1 and Ashbrook 21-0. Senior Kali Weaver pitched a no-hitter in the win over Hunter Huss, striking out 12 of the 17 batters she faced. She walked two. The Lady Mountaineers struck for 13 runs in the first inning and carried a 21-0 lead into the top of the fourth when the Lady Huskies managed to score their only run. The game ended on the 10-run rule after the Lady Huskies batted in the top of the fifth. Reynolds led the Lady Mountaineers at the plate with 2-for-2 and four runs batted in. Weaver, Desiree Green, Anna Wooten and Paige Fleming also had two hits. Greene went 3-for-4 with three runs batted in against Ashbrook. Weaver and Reynolds had two hits apiece and Patrick one. Anna Wooten went 2 2/3 innings on the mound. She gave up two hits and struck out seven. Kings Mountain is scheduled to go to Forestview Friday for a 6 p.m. game and will return home Tuesday at 6 to host the South Point Lady Red Raiders.
Big start keys Mountaineers over Ashbrook
Kings Mountain batted around in the first inning to take a 5-0 lead and rolled to a 10-0, five-inning victory over the Ashbrook Green Wave in their Big South 3A Conference opener on a bitterly cold Tuesday night at KM’s Lancaster Field. Jason Melton walked to lead off the bottom of the first, and after a passed ball moved him to second Caleb Broome doubled to right center to plate Melton and the rout was on. The Mountaineers went on to score four more runs as Zane Brockman walked and Cole Irby followed with a hit. Brayden Patrick, who hit by a pitch, tallied the fifth run on a wild pitch. Kings Mountain added three more runs in the second on a hit by Broome and several wild pitches, hit batsmen and walks. The Mountaineers scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to end the game on the 10-run mercy rule. Wyatt Davis and Melton drew back-to-back walks and Broome was hit by a pitch before Brockman and Irby singled to get both teams out of the cold. Broome and Irby had two hits and two RBIs apiece to lead the five-hit KM attack. Ashbrook pitchers issued nine bases on balls. Brockman worked the first three innings to get the win. He gave up just one hit and struck out eight. Brayden Patrick came on to pitch the final two innings. He didn’t give up a hit and struck out five. Three Ashbrook hurlers combined for nine bases on balls while fanning just two.
Mountaineer track teams open season with sweep of Cleveland, Gaston teams
Despite cold weather, nine area track and field teams had a very competitive meet at Kings Mountain’s John Gamble Stadium last Tuesday. The host Mountaineers took both the girls and boys events. The Mountaineers piled up 144 points to beat arch rival Shelby with 120. Crest ran third with 64 points followed by Burns 61, Ashbrook 56, Cherryville 41, Stuart Cramer 29, North Gaston 25 and Bessemer City 14. The Lady Mountaineers dominated with 140 points to second place Shelby’s 65. Ashbrook and Stuart Cramer came in a close third and fourth with 63 and 62 points, respectively. Cherryville was fifth with 51 followed by Burns 50, North Gaston 47, Crest 35 and Bessemer City 10. Kings Mountain’s women took first in the distance medley relay with a time of 16:34.10. Team members were Sarah Eagle, Emily Phelps, Kallie Hope and Divinity Ervin. Individual winners for the Lady Mountaineers were Kamari Odems who cleared 4’8” to win the high jump, Divinity Ervin with a time of 12:56 to win the 3200 meter run, and Kinley Putnam who cleared seven feet to win the pole vault. For the Mountaineers, Barry Moore, Zavion Smith, Curtis Simpson and Robert Kendrick dominated the 4x200 in 1:35.81. Hunter Cruise, Max Thompson, Marty Lovingood and Isaiah Watts won the distance medley relay in 12:42.81. Zavion Smith, Robert Kendrick, Barry Moore and Hunter Cruise took the sprint medley relay in 1:43.85.2. Max Thompson won the 3200 meter run in 10:28. Hunter Cruise won the pole vault with a leap of 11 feet even. Kings Mountain was scheduled to host North Gaston, Stuart Cramer, Freedom, Forestview and Hunter Huss yesterday. The Mountaineers will host Shelby, Burns, Crest, Bessemer City and East Rutherford at 4 p.m. March 28. They will host the Cleveland County championship against Burns, Crest and Shelby on April 20 at 4 p.m.
KM softball beats Chase, Hunter Huss here Friday
Kings Mountain High’s women’s softball team fought back from an early one-run deficit to defeat Chase 5-2 in a non-conference game Thursday at KMHS. The Lady Trojans took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning on a sacrifice fly by Osment. The Lady Mountaineers got on a hitting streak in the bottom of the third and took a 2-1 lead on a home run by Alayna Patrick and never looked back. Madeline Huffman got the win on the mound, going seven innings and striking out 10 while scattering eight hits. Patrick and Austyn Dixon both had multiple hits for the Lady Mountaineers. Desiree Green and Paige Fleming each had RBIs. The Lady Mountaineers were scheduled to begin Big South 3A Conference play last night at Gastonia Ashbrook. They will host the Hunter Huss Lady Huskies in a conference game Friday at 6 p.m. They go to North Gaston on March 21 and Forestview March 24 before returning home against South Point on March 28. All games begin at 6 p.m.
KMMS track opens season with big win
Kings Mountain Middle School’s track team got its season off to a great start last week with a victory over North Lincoln, East Lincoln and Lincolnton. The Patriots travel to Shelby Wednesday for a 4 p.m. start. “These kids have worked hard every day to get better,” said Coach Shane Cole. “I’ve challenged them to keep up the winning tradition that KM has. They were ready this week, and even when I had to make a couple of changes in the lineup before we even got off the bus they said ‘let’s go coach.’” KM took the top three spots in the 3200 meter run with Landon Hogston finishing first in 11:59.22, followed by John Steele second at 11:59.72 and Luke Howell third at 12:01. David Johnson won the 1600 meter run in 5:33 and Riyad Alkhaimi was fourth in 5:48. Johnson ran second in the 800-meter in 2:26 and Alkhaimi was fifth in 2:34. Cameron Zuniga won the shot with a throw of 35’10”. Isaiah Rote was third at 30’11” and Camren Houser fourth at 30’4 1/3 inches. Zuniga also won the disc with a throw of 102’9”. Elijah Perry was third at 85’.75” and Daeshaw Camp fourth at 80’4”. Isaiah Branch was second in the long jump at 17 feet even. Silas Tate was fourth at 15’10” and Devin Hopper fifth at 15’8”. KM took the top two spots in the triple jump with Khareem Coleman finishing first at 31’2” and Camren Houser second at 30’11”. Christian Jarrett was second in the high jump at 5’3” and Xavier Hutchens finished fourth. Dakota Smith won the hurdles at 16:01, followed closely by Ezra Ellis at 16.52. Aiden Kendrick was fifth at 17.77. Qua Ingram won the 100 meter run in 11:64. Xavier Hutchens was fourth at 12:21 and Isaiah Branch fifth at 12:21. Ingram also won the 200 meter run in 23.68. Nasir Epps was fourth at 25.90 and Xavier Hutchens fifth at 26:14. Ingram finished second in the 400 meter run in 1:02.12, followed closely by teammate Malachi Powell at 1:02.51. Kings Mountain swept all three relays. Ezra Ellis, Christian Jarrett, Nasir Epps and Isaiah Branch won the 4x1 in 51:47; Ellis, Jameron Thurman, Dakota Smith and Nasir Epps won the 4x2 in 1:47; and Landon Hogston, Devin Hopper, Silas Tate and Malachi Powell won the 4x4 in 4:25. Kings Mountain finished with 11 first places out of the 15 events. The Patriots were second in seven events and third in eight. The Patriots more than doubled the score of second place East Lincoln, 125 to 51. North Lincoln ran third with 39 points and Lincolnton was fourth with 13. KM’s 4x4 relay team - Hogston, Hopper, Tate and Powell – was selected as the Relay Team of the Week. Qua Ingram with two first place and one second place finish, was named Runner of the Week and Cameron Zuniga, with two first place finishes, was selected Field Athlete of the Week.
Patrick’s first inning grand slam sparks 13-0 win over Blacksburg
Brayden Patrick’s grand slam home run highlighted a nine-run first inning that led to a 13-0, four and one-half inning rout of Blacksburg High’s Wildcats in Kings Mountain High’s Lickety Lew’s Night baseball home opener Wednesday at Lancaster Field. The Mountaineers had only three hits during the inning with winning pitcher Zane Brockman getting the other two – a single and a double. But the Mountaineers took advantage of seven walks, three wild pitches, a hit batsman and an error while sending 14 batters to the plate. Brockman gave up just two harmless hits and struck out 11 batters in his four innings on the mound. Aidan Taylor pitched the top of the fifth, fanning one batter and issuing two walks. The Wildcats had runners on first and second with two outs and Levi Barrett at the plate when his ground ball to shortstop hit teammate Davon Garrison on his way to third to end the game. After Blacksburg’s Kolby Capps beat out an infield grounder to deep short to open the game and was immediately sacrificed to second by Wesley Bright, Brockman got out of the inning by striking out three and four hitters Levi Barrett and Justin Wylie. The bottom of the first saw KM leadoff hitter Jacob Hamrick fly out to medium centerfield, but Capps walked Caleb Broome and the Mountaineer assault began. Brockman’s single to center and two wild pitches brought Irby in from third for what would be the winning run. Two more walks loaded the sacks and Patrick’s grand slam over the left-centerfield fence moved the score to 5-0. Broome was hit by a pitched ball with the bases loaded to make it 6-0. With the bases still loaded, Brockman doubled to run the margin to 9-0. The Mountaineers scored the game’s final four runs in the bottom of the third when they sent nine men to the plate. An error, infield hit by Hamrick and a walk to Broome loaded the bases. Brockman was hit by a pitch to bring Ellis home with the 10th run. Irby’s single to left ran the score to 12-0 and consecutive walks to Mayes and Patrick accounted for the final run. Kings Mountain was scheduled to host Gastonia Ashbrook in their first Big South 3A Conference game for last night’s Hotdog Night. The Mountaineers will go to Ashbrook March 17 and will return home March 21 against the Hunter Huss Huskies for a T-shirt Night. Several T-shirts will be given away.
KMHS track opens seasonwith sweep
Kings Mountain High’s track teams opened their season last week at Gastonia Ashbrook against some of the top teams in the area, and both the Mountaineers and Lady Mountaineers came away as the winners. The Lady Mountaineers took a 10-point win over the host Ashbrook ladies, 109-99. Independence finished third with 84 points followed by Shelby 56, North Rowan 54 and Stuart Cramer 47. The Kings Mountain men finished first with 134 points, 18 better than second place Shelby with 116. Ashbrook ran third with 98 followed by Independence 60, Stuart Cramer 52 and North Rowan 29. Leading the Lady Mountaineers were Janiya Hunt with a first place finish in the 200 and third place in the 100 and long jump, and Divinity Ervin who was first in the 3200, second in the 1600 and ran a leg on the winning 4x800 relay team. Alexis Jackson was second in the high jump and triple jump, and Kamari Odems was third in the 300 meter hurdles. Leading the Mountaineers were Max Thompson with first place finishes in the 800 and 1600, as well as running a leg on the winning 4x800 team Isaiah Watts finished first in the 3200, second in the 1600 and also ran a leg on the winning 4x800 team. Malik Littlejohn was second in the 300 hurdles. Nathan Inthavong was second in the 3200 run. Barry Moore represented the sprinters with a third place in the 200 meter dash. “Overall, it was a great team effort getting points from all areas,” noted Coach Rayvis Key.