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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KM’s Javari Wilson to play football for Fordham Rams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

KM Touchdown Club Annual golf tournament

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

KM Touchdown Club
golf tourney winners

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

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

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

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

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

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

Closest to the pin on #17 – Kenneth Barker.

Closest to the pin on #5 – Jason Bridges.

Closest to the pin on #12 – Austin Black.

Closest to the pin on #8 – Josh Skibo.

Senior longest drive – David “Big Mac” McDaniel.

Women’s longest drive – Sarah Drennan.

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

KMTD auction begins Thursday on Facebook

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

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

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

Mountaineer football “touch” practices begin

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

Tennis lessons, leagues to begin at new complex

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

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

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

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

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

Anyone interested in participating in the tennis league and/or lessons, call Henderson at 704-460-8066 or email
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Seven Mountaineers pre-season All-State 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


How to register to bid on KMTD Club online auction

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

• Gardner Webb University football helmet

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

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

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

• 3 separate very nice vacation packages

• Belize Vacation

• Chetola Vacation

• Willow Valley Resort Vacation

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

• 3 separate golf bags

• Gardner Webb University golf bag

• A Stihl weed eater

• An Echo weed eater

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

• An Outdoor Lighting System

• A 12x15 room of carpet installed by Flooring America

• A diamond necklace

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

• A child’s Nano Balance bicycle

• 2 rounds foursome of golf at Riverbend

• 2 rounds foursome of golf at the

• Dunes Club at Myrtle Beach

• One foursome of golf at Cramer Mountain

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

• A golf foursome Marion Lake Club Golf, Marion

• A golf foursome Red Bridge Golf Club, Locust

• A golf foursome Cowan Ford Golf Club

• Oil and filter change by Leigh’s Automotive

• Oil and filter change by Parker’s Amoco

• Nebo Flashlight

• 2 Copper Top Birdhouses with poles

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

• Western Carolina Ultimate Package

• J T Poston Vineyard Vine Shirt

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

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

• Lickety Lew’s gift package

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information contact Coach Rick Henderson via email ( or text 704-460-8066.

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

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

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

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

Y sports camps begin in July

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

• Saturday: 10 am – 6 pm

• Sunday: 2 pm – 6 pm

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

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

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

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

• Financial Assistance is available upon request.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schools may begin conditioning July 6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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