See more photos in October 21, 2020 issue) Page 1B & 2B

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

(October 21, 2020 Issue)

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

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

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

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

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

YMCA golf tournament a success 

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

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

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

KMHS basketball over 100 years old, football should turn 100 in year ‘22

(October 7, 2020 Issue)

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

KMHS Basketball players get in shap

(October 7, 2020)

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

KM Cheerleaders practice 

(October 7, 2020 Issue)

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

KM Family YMCA
Golf Tournament Oct. 9

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

Yetis XC nationally ranked

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

KMHS Sports Schedules

Click on the schedule to view.

KMHS wins Wells Fargo Cup with best mark in Big South

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

Football starts Friday in SC

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

Touchdown Club launches 2020 membership drive

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

Football starts Friday in SC

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

KMHS wins Wells Fargo Cup with best mark in Big South

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

Former KMHS star Alex Goff Kentucky Amateur champion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paysour to Gaffney; Wilsons staying in KM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carl was Kings Mountain’s Champion!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shoemaker agrees that Champion had the perfect last name.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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
7 29 2020 4 18 08 pm 5289971

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