Burns here Saturday for football scrimmage,
no one other than teams allowed on campus

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain High’s football team will get its first action against another team in over a year when the Mountaineers host Burns in a scrimmage Saturday at 2 p.m. at Gamble Stadium.
Because of COVID restrictions fans will not be allowed on campus or adjoining fields but plans are underway to live stream the event as well as regular season games.
Both the varsity and JV teams will be involved in the controlled scrimmage.
“It’s been a long time since we’ve played,” Coach Greg Lloyd noted. “This will be a chance to get the players used to hitting, blocking and tackling.”
Lloyd said the teams will probably also do some one-on-one and 7-on-7 workouts.
“This will be a good chance to help each other out,” Lloyd noted.
It will also help the two teams get ready for their season openers the following week. Kings Mountain’s JVs are scheduled to open the regular season on Thursday, Jan. 25 at Stuart Cramer and the varsity will host Cramer on Fri., Jan. 26. All JV games will begin at 6:30 and varsity games at 7 p.m.
Athletic Director Matt Bridges said COVID restrictions mandated by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association will be strictly enforced.
“Anyone on campus will be asked to leave,” he said. “There cannot be anyone watching from cars or standing around the fences, or in the parking area behind the baseball field.”
All games will be live-streamed free of charge on the school’s You Tube channel.
Once the regular season begins attendance will be limited to 100 people. Varsity cheerleaders and players will be able to purchase two tickets and JVs one, Bridges said.
“Hopefully, if things open up later and it is approved by the State Association we can allow more people in the stadium,” Bridges said. “We appreciate everyone’s support.”

Shelby sweeps Mountaineers
 

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams fell to Shelby in a non-conference doubleheader Thursday at Shelby.
The KM girls fell 65-45 in the opener before the boys went down 96-75 in the nightcap.
The Lady Lions roared to a 26-9 lead after the first quarter and took a 39-19 advantage at halftime. KM played them on even terms in the second half as each team scored 13 points in both the third and fourth periods.
Saniya Wilson led Kings Mountain with 24 points, five rebounds and three assists. Khalia King had nine points, Monica Head six and Tyasya Bell four points and four rebounds. Aaliyah Byers had two points, 10 rebounds and two blocks, Austyn Dixon four rebounds and Jackie Jarvis three rebounds.
Maraja Pass led Shelby with 25 points. Ally Hollifield scored 18, Yarharia Peeler eight, Brooke Hartgrove and Kate Hollifield five each, and Deja Griffin and Jasmine Gash two each.
Tyler Arrington led the Lions with a game-high 30 points. Isaiah Tate led the Mountaineers with 22, Zeke Cannedy had 19 and Marcus Odums 17.

Football workouts
underway at KMHS

(February 17, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers opened the first day of football workouts Monday with both the varsity and JVs on the turf at John Gamble Stadium. The first hitting practice is set for Saturday. The Mountaineers will begin their season with a scrimmage with Burns on Sat., Feb. 20 at Gamble Stadium, and will host Stuart Cramer on Fri., Feb. 26 in their first Big South Conference game.

Tennis tryouts
to begin

(February 10, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High men’s tennis tryouts will begin Monday, March 1 at 4 p.m. at the new KMHS tennis complex.
All student athletes must have an up to date physical on file before they can participate in tryouts or conditioning. Items to take for practice will be tennis attire, appropriate footwear and a tennis racquet.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions all student athletes are required to wear a mask during practice as well as having their temperature checked prior to practice.
For more information call Coach Rick Henderson at 704-460-8066 or email Rick.Henderson2@duke-energy.com

Patriots whip
Chase 64-29

(February 10, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team finished its regular season last week with a 64-29 win over Chase.
Kings Mountain, 5-2, was scheduled to begin the Tri-County Conference playoffs Monday at Shelby.
The Patriots got off to a blazing start against Chase, opening with a 22-2 run off 12 first quarter turnovers. Caleb Nixon and Tucker Robinette combined for 16 points.
The second quarter saw KM keep up the defensive pressure and extending its lead to 25 before taking a 35-14 lead into the half.
The third quarter saw the trio of Bradley Floyd, Robinette and Nixon score 13 points as the Pats took a 50-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
KM’s second and third units kept the offense going in the final quarter, outscoring the Pirates 14-5.
Robinette finished with eight points, seven assists and six steals. Floyd added six points, six assists and five steals and Nixon had 25 points and two assists.
Max Thompson had our points, six rebounds and five steals; Kee’donn Linney two points, four rebounds and two steals; Kameron Adams six points and three boards; Brayden Mull eight points and two rebounds; Aidan Taylor two points, two rebounds and an assist; Brayden Pearson three points and Charlei Foster two rebounds and a blocked shot.
The Patriots had 17 offensive rebounds, 20 assists and 21 steals.
Players of the game were eighth graders Linney, Adams, Taylor, Jaylen Clinton, Thompson and Kylei Anderson.
Sixth man of the game was Josian Guyon who was a spark off the bench and showed great leadership. Defensive players of the  game were Floyd and Robinette, who combined for 11 steals.
Screen shot 2021 02 11 at 10.57.01 am
Orlando Odums breaks the North Gaston defense for a lay-up in last week’s game at Parker Gym.

KM goes wire to wire
in sweep of Wildcats

(February 11, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s girls and boys led wire to wire in sweeping North Gaston Tuesday night at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
The Lady Mountaineers rolled to a 15-8 first quarter lead en route to a 62-33 victory, and the boys opened the game with two treys by Marcus Odums and won easily 80-54.
North Gaston’s boys rallied after those treys to cut the margin to 19-12 after the first quarter but Kings Mountain got a long three-pointer from Isaiah Tate to end the first half up 40-21.
Freshman Zavian Smith had a steal and lay-in at the third quarter buzzer to put KM up 71-41 going into the final quarter.
Coach Grayson Pierce worked reserves in all game long, and no KM starter was on the floor in the final 7:36 after Matt Toms’ two free throws put the Mountaineers up 75-41.
Tate led five double-digit scorers for the Mountaineers with 21 points. Marcus Odums added 14, Orlando Odums 12, Zeke Cannedy 11 and Toms 10.
Titus Phillips and Smith added five points each and Maddox James scored two.
The Lady Mountaineers got another total team effort as they remained just one game back of league-leading Ashbrook.
Saniya Wilson led the way with 17 points, seven assists and seven steals. Khalia King also hit double figures with 12 points, and she pulled down three rebounds.
KM’s only senior, Kennedy Barnes, had an outstanding night as she was honored for her four years of contributions to Lady Mountaineer basketball. She had nine points and 10 rebounds.
“She is a great leader, both on and off the court for us,” said Coach Nicholas Inman. “She is a four-year varsity letterman in basketball and is also the goalkeeper for the girls soccer team.”
Barnes plans to attend Spelman College in the fall.
Six other Lady Mountaineers got into the scoring act. Monica Head had six points, Austyn Dixon six points and four rebounds, Andrea Melton four points and four steals, Tyasya Bell four points and three boards, Brooke Ferree three points and two assists, and Aaliyah Byers two points and five rebounds.
Mallory Canup and Bailey Perry led North Gaston with 10 points each. Sydnee Walls and Whitney Brown had four points each, Allison Gardner three and Leeza Rhyne 2. 

KM girls roll
over Cramer

(February 10, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain High’s girls basketball team rolled over Stuart Cramer 56-21 in a makeup game Thursday at Cramer. The game had been rescheduled from earlier in the season when there was a COVID case at Cramer.
The Lady Mountaineers jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first quarter and were on top 36-8 at halftime. The game was played with a running clock beginning midway through the third period. KM carried a 54-15 lead into the fourth quarter.
Khalia King led three double-digit scorers for the Lady Mountaineers with 15 points. She hit four of seven three-point attempts and also hauled in four rebounds.
Saniya Wilson had 13 points, six assists, seven steals and two rebounds.
Aaliyah Byers had her best game since joining the team after the volleyball season. She scored 10 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and had three steals.
Andrea Melton added five points and four steals; Tyasya Bell four points and two rebounds; Brooke Ferree three points; Monica Head two points and two rebounds; Kennedy Barnes two points and four rebounds; and Riley Powers scored two points which were her first career points.
Reece Wolfe scored 11 of Cramer’s 21 points. Ranija Hamilton had seven, Madison Lee two and Megan Kimbirl one. 
Screen shot 2021 02 11 at 10.57.14 am
The scoreboard tells the exact time that Kings Mountain junior Saniya Wilson scored her 1,000th career point Friday at Hunter Huss. Wilson is pictured with her head coach, Nicholas Inman. Photo by Michael Kennedy

Wilson tops 1,000
in KM win at Huss 

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High junior standout Saniya Wilson scored her 1,000th career point in Friday’s 66-47 victory over Hunter Huss on the Lady Huskies’ court Friday.
The win kept the Lady Mountaineers alone in second place in the Big South Conference heading into a game last night at first place Ashbrook.
Kings Mountain will travel to Shelby for a non-conference game tonight before hosting Forestview in its final home game Tuesday. The regular season ends Fri., Feb. 19 at Crest.
Wilson finished with 26 points to lead all scorers. She also had six rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
Khalia King and Aaliyah Byers also scored in double figures for the Lady Mountaineers. King had 17 points, including four threes, and Byers added 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
Kennedy Barnes had seven points and four rebounds, Andrea Melton three points and two steals and Brooke Ferree two points, two boards and two steals.
Wilson scored 283 points for the Gaston Day varsity when she was in the eighth grade. Since Gaston Day is a private school, that year of varsity ball will not affect her fourth year of eligibility at KMHS.
The Lady Huskies were led by Jamya Daniels with 16 points, Caitlyn Pettis scored eight, Trinity Swann seven, Lanadia Adams three and James Love and Kenedi Armstrong two each.
In the nightcap, the Huss men gained revenge from an earlier defeat at Kings Mountain with a 73-62 win.
The game was close until the final five minutes when the Huskies pulled away.
Jaylen Moore led the winners with 18 points. Raegan Mackey added 14 and Noah Caulder 12, including 3-for-3 from three-point land.
Bagwell2
Brent Bagwell

KM community mourns loss of Coach Bagwell

(February 3, 2021 Issue)
Kings Mountain sports in general – and football in particular – lost one of its best athletes and coaches last week with the passing of Brent Bagwell.
Bagwell was an all-star athlete in football, basketball and baseball for the Mountaineers, went on to an outstanding playing and coaching career in college and in recent years was a valuable assistant in the KMHS football program.
Bagwell, 51, was buried Saturday at Mountain Rest Cemetery and leaves his wife Shannon, children Paige, DJ and Daniel Bagwell and his mother,  Ruth Bagwell, and many other family members and friends to cherish his memory. He joins his father, Danny Bagwell, in Heaven.
Bagwell had an outstanding career at KMHS in the late 1980s and helped Denny Hicks’ Mountaineers to one of their best seasons in history in 1986 when he joined other future collegiate standouts like Rusty Bumgardner and Aubrey  Hollifield to lead the Mountaineers to an 11-2 season and three rounds in the state playoffs.
Bagwell was a year younger than the above-mentioned players but played football against them in the collegiate ranks – Bagwell at NC State and Hollifield and Bumgardner at Wake Forest.
Bagwell was also a standout hitter and infielder on the Mountaineer baseball team, and a tough scorer and rebounder on the basketball team. He always said his favorite memory of playing at KMHS was his junior year when the football and basketball teams made a long playoff run before losing to future Florida State and pro quarterback Brad Johnson and his Owen High teammates.
“But the main thing I remember is the special relationship between all the players and coaches,” he said years ago when he was inducted into the Kings Mountain Sports Hall of Fame. “That was a real special time.”
Bagwell was one of the first signees by Coach Dick Sheridan when he took over the NC State head coaching duties in 1988. But, before that Bagwell suffered a serious knee injury that threatened his collegiate career.
Between his football season and baseball season his senior year at KMHS, Bagwell and his father Danny were working on a building project at their home when Brent stepped through a weak place in the floor and suffered a serious knee injury. He feared Coach Sheridan would not honor his commitment but Sheridan told him to not worry about, take time to heal and then report to State.
Bagwell decided not to go on to college for the fall semester but put it off until the spring semester to allow for some healing. He was then red-shirted, giving him more time to heal.
Bagwell worked hard to rehab, and started all of the Wolfpack’s games his redshirt freshman season.
He started them all again
as  a  sophomore  but  each
 game  took a toll on his knee which he had to have repaired after both seasons. He was counseled by doctors not to play anymore, so Coach Sheridan put him on the coaching staff and he helped the Wolfpack to a great season.
During a 10-year period, he would later coach at numerous colleges including TCU, VMI, Newbery and Lenoir Rhyne.
After going into business, he had to take a break from coaching for a while but resurfaced at North Gaston High School where he served as offensive coordinator under head coach Bruce Clark. He helped develop the talents of many outstanding players, including current North Gaston coach Justin Clark, and they led the Wildcats to the NCHSAA 3A championship game.
Bruce Clark, who was also one of Bagwell’s position coaches at KMHS, called him one of the finest people he’s ever known.
“When you go into the coaching profession you came across a bunch of great people,” Clark said. “But a few really stand out. He was one of those.
“He was an amazing young boy when I first met him,” he said. “He always had a devotion for anything he wanted to do. I will never forget he started out in the ninth grade as a quarterback. We moved him to tight end. I remember getting a call from the receiver coach from NC State who said ‘we hear you have a big tight end down there.’ He said they were looking for a three-sport athlete who was big and could play at that level. I told him Bags could play anywhere.
“Brent had always wanted to go to NC State and when I told him what the coach said, he said ‘No way!’  From then on we had an amazing friendship. We went to watch him play a lot.”
Clark recalled taking Bagwell to a specialist in Charlotte after his accident. “He said ‘if what we draw is clear, he’s ok, but if it’s blood he won’t be. He drew four viles of pure blood. But God blessed Brent Bagwell with Coach Sheridan. He stuck with Brent. Brent stayed home an extra semester to rehab and then had a position coach, Robbie Caldwell, who was one of the best in the nation.
“When he ended up medically unable to play he stayed at State as an assistant and later coached under some other great coaches like Pat Sullivan (former Heisman winner) at TCU.”
Throughout Bagwell’s career as a college assistant, he and Clark stayed in touch and Clark and his family would go to a lot of games.
Clark said Bagwell could have been a head coach on the high school or collegiate level, “but he and Shannon wanted a family and I certainly understood that.”
But the two did coach together for seven years at North Gaston, with Clark as head coach and Bagwell as offensive coordinator. “It was an amazing time,” Clark said. “He absolutely loved it. High school is so much purer than the collegiate game. Bags just took over the offense and I was coaching the defense, and it was a match made in heaven. You could trust him. He would work a full day but set a schedule so he could make it to practice. The kids loved him and he helped a lot of them get into school.
 “He was an amazing man,” Clark added. “We always had great respect for each other. He was the ultimate daddy and husband. I’ve never seen anyone love each other more than Brent and Shannon. They had the happiest family I’ve ever seen.”
More important than coaching or anything else, Clark said Bagwell loved God.
“When I was in Kings Mountain Brent fell in love with First Presbyterian Church,” Clark recalled. “He became and Elder and just turned into the man that every mom and dad would want their son to be. He was an absolute great guy, one of the few that comes along that you just fall in love with. I’m missing him. I’ve cried every day since he died. Kings Mountain lost a great one!”
KMHS coach Greg Lloyd said Bagwell played a tremendous role in the Mountaineers’ success since he joined the coaching staff in 2014. Since that time the Mountaineers have compiled a 64-19 record with three trips to the Western Regional finals.
“He worked with our skill guys and called the plays for our JV team,” Lloyd noted. “On varsity game nights he was up top for the offense.
“Heaven just got a special man,” he added. “He was a fantastic coach and a great friend. This is a terrible loss and I feel so bad for his family.
 “He was always up top talking to us on the head sets. You’d never find a more knowledgeable coach. He was superb. We won’t be able to replace him. He was a special person and a fantastic coach.”
Basketball
Alayna Patrick works the offense for Kings Mountain in last week’s win over Crest. 

Mountaineers split with Crest 

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams split with Crest last week at Parker Gym with the girls continuing their strong play of late with a 61-52 win and the boys falling for the first time to a very good Crest five, 79-67.
The boys game saw the visitors hand the Mountaineers their first loss to take sole possession of first place in the Big South at the end of first round play.
The Mountaineers slipped into second place while the Lady Mountaineers strengthened their hold on second.
Coach Nicholas Inman got a strong performance from his entire squad with three players scoring in double figures while others were outstanding on defense.
Kings Mountain led the entire way, but their county rivals kept within striking distance. The Lady Mountaineers were up 13-6 after the first period, 26-23 at the half and 44-33 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Mountaineers saw their leading scorer,
Saniya Wilson, on the pine for much of the first half but others like Khalia King, Alayna Patrick, Andrea Melton, Booke Ferree, Aaliyah Byers, Austyn Dixon and Tyasya Bell stepped up.
Wilson still led the KM ladies in scoring with 28 points. She also dished out five assists and hauled in four rebounds.
King and Byers joined Wilson in double figures. King had 15 points, two rebounds and two assists and Byers contributed 10 points and six boards.
Dixon had four points and five rebounds, Bell two points and two rebounds, Patrick one point, three rebounds and three steals, and Melton one point and two assists.
Marshall and Petty led Crest with 15 points each, and Lee added 12.
A dominating first quarter by the Crest men got the Mountaineers down early to a point that they couldn’t climb out of. The Chargers bolted to a 24-8 lead after the quarter break. They increased their lead to 43-26 at halftime before KM rallied to outscore them 25-20 in the third period but still trail by 63-51 going into the fourth.
The Mountaineers were without the services of the Big South’s leading scorer, Isaiah Tate, for much of the game as he collected three early fouls and finished with just three points.
The other four KM starters finished in double-digits with Zeke Cannedy leading the way with 20 points. He pulled down four rebounds and dished out three assists.
Matt Toms added 15 points, two boards and three assists, Marcus Odums 12 points, three boards and four assists, and Orlando Odums 10 points, two rebounds and two assists. Zavian Smith had four points and two boards, and Titus Phillips three points, a rebound and a steal. 

YMCA basketball

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Week one youth basketball results from the Kings Mountain Family YMCA:
7-8 boys:
Hornets 19, Raptors 14
Hornets – Daniel Bullock 10; Raptors – Chase Thomas 6.
Tarheels 38, Dunk-a-roos 19.
TH – Marquis Rodgers 16. DR – Easton Pasour 11.
9-10 boys:
Hornets 16, Heat 10.
Hornets – Kiser Richards 7. Heat – Bryson Ciaschini 7.
Destroyers 23, Buckets 7
D – Yates Toney 9; B – Karter Wills 3.
11-13 boys
Hornets 33, Heat 30
Hornets – Cory’on Gaines 13; Heat – Kingston Moore and Ty Howard 9 each.
Bulls 33, Panthers 18
Panthers – Silas Tate 8. Bulls Aiden Smith 14.
7-9 girls
Lady Bombshells 19, Lady Ballers 14.
Lady Ballers- Kyleigh Gaines 6; Lady Bombshells – Addy Morehead 8.
10-13 girls
Lady Hot Shotz 25, Lady Crushers 8
Crushers – Layla Crowell 4; Hot Shotz – Haper Hollifield 11.
14-16 boys
Tar Heels 33, Kangaroos 58
TH – Darian Lopez 18. K – Kee’Donn Linney 14.

Patriots top .500 mark
in 51-25 win over Burns

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team got over the .500 mark (2-2 conference, 3-2 overall) last week with a 51-25 win over county rival Burns.
Caleb Nixon got the Patriots off to a quick start by making his first two shots off passes from Bradley Floyd to give the home team a lead it would never relinquish.
The Patriots turned up their defensive intensity halfway through the first quarter and held the Eagles scoreless for over six minutes to go up 19-5 with five minutes left in the half. KM finished the quarter on a 17-5 run led by Nixon’s 11 points in the quarter.
The third quarter, led by Kylie Anderson, Aidan Taylor and Kameron Adams, saw the Patriots keep up its strong defense, holding Burns to just 15 second half points as KM took a 46-17 lead going into the final segment.
During the fourth period, Lincoln McDaniel came in and grabbed three big rebounds to keep possessions alive. Adams, Aiden Smith and Brayden Pearson rounded out the scoring for the Patriots.
Nixon led the Patriots with 19 points on 8-for-11 shooting. He also had three assists and three steals.
Bradley Floyd added 10 points, five rebounds, six assists, eight steals and a blocked shot.
Tucker Robinette had six points, three assists and three steals and Brayden Mull had two rebounds and a blocked shot.
Kee’donn Linney had two points, four rebounds and a blocked shot; Max Thompson two points and three boards; Charlie Foster four points, four boards and two blocked shots; Josiah Guyton three assists and a steal; Kylei Anderson three points, two rebounds, and an assist, steal and blocked shot; Kameron Adams two points, two boards and two steals; Aiden Smith two points and two steals; Brayden Person one point; Jaylen Clinton two rebounds and a steal; and Aidan Taylor two steals.
The Patriots grabbed 33 rebounds, including 14 offensive; had 16 assists, 23 steals and six blocked shots.
Floyd was named player of the game; Kameron Adams and Lincoln McDaniel sixth men of the game; and Smith, Taylor and Clinton defensive players of the game. 

Patriots at Shelby Monday
for conference playoff opener

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain Middle’s Patriots will enter Tri-County Conference playoff action Monday at Shelby after defeating East Rutherford 72-37 Thursday. KM goes into the tourney as the #3 seed with a 4-2 overall record.
A Kee’donn Linney pass to Max Thompson got the Patriots off to a quick lead, and 10 points by Tucker Robinette sparked a 20-2 run as the Patriots raced to a 24-6 lead.
The Patriots were able to create 10 steals in the quarter for some easy transition baskets.
The second period saw KM keep its offense going as they ran off 19 points to go up 43-17 at the half. The third period saw a host of reserves get into the action. Led by Kameron Adams and Josiah Guyton, who combined for eight points, KM was able to extend their lead to 57-29 entering the final period. KM’s third unit came out strong, led by Jaylen Clinton’s four points, and outscored East 8-2 for the final margin.
Robinette led the Patriots with 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting. He also had two assists and four steals.
Bradley Floyd added four points, five boards, five assists and five steals and Caleb Nixon had 10 points, two threes and a steal.
Max Thompson had four points and three rebounds, Linney eight points on 3 for 3 shooting to go with six boards, two assists and two steals, and Josiah Guyton four points and an assist.
Charlie Foster had six points and three boards, Brayden Mull four points, five rebounds and two steals, Kylei Anderson two points and an assist, Kameron Adams six points, two boards, an assist, a steal and a blocked shot; Bryden Pearson three points, one assist and three steals, Jaylen Clinton four points and three boards, Coryon Gaines one point and Adian Taylor and Aiden Smith one assist each.
KM hit 54 percent of their shots (32 for 59), and 60 percent from two-point range (29 for 48). The Pats had 33 rebounds, 18 steals, a season-high 17 assists, 13 players scored and 15 different players have scored this season.
Robinette and Linney were named players of the game. Kameron Adams and Brayden Pearson were sixth men of the game and defensive players of the game were Linney, Floyd, Nixon, Robinette, Thompson and Gaines.
Kings Mountain will play at Chase Thursday in the final regular season game.

Mountaineers sweep Cramer

 (February 3, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s varsity basketball teams kept their hold on second place in the Big South Conference Friday night with a sweep of Stuart Cramer at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.
Both the girls and boys led from wire-to-wire as the Lady Mountaineers won 58-25 and the Mountaineers 80-54. The KM girls, 4-1 in the BSC and 5-1 overall heading into last night’s action against North Gaston, will go to Cramer Thursday for a game that was postponed earlier in the year due to a COVID case at Cramer.
The Lady Mountaineers saw seven different players score and Coach Nicholas Inman was able to get three of his JV players – freshmen Desirae Thombs, Riley Powers and Mashalyn Surratt – varsity action for the first time in their careers.
Junior All-Conference star Saniya Wilson continued to lead the KM ladies with 22 points, four rebounds, six steals and four assists. Sophomore standout Khalia King added 19 points, three rebounds and two steals and senior Kennedy Barnes had 10 points and four rebounds.
Monica Head had three points and two boards, Aaliyah Byes two points and three rebounds, Tyasya Bell two points and two rebounds, and Brooke Ferree six rebounds.
Ranija Hamilton led Cramer with 14 points. Dasia Harris scored five, Reece Wolfe four and Brianna McGinnis two.
Kings Mountain jumped out to a 10-4 first quarter lead and was out front 27-11 at the half. The Lady Mountaineers blew the game open with a 17-9 run to take a 44-16 led into the final eight minutes.
The Mountaineers, who bounced back from their loss to Crest in a battle for first place three nights earlier, got another all-around good game from Isaiah Tate with 22 points, eight assists, four steals and three rebounds.
Four of KM’s five starters hit double figures with Orlando Odums scoring 15 points and Marcus Odums and Zeke Cannedy 12 apiece.
Orlando Odums had eight rebounds and two steals; Marcus Odums five assists, four boards and two steals, and Cannedy two assists.
Matt Toms had a good all-around effort with seven points and seven boards, four assists and two steals and Titus Phillips contributed five points, six boards, an assist and two steals.
Zavian Smith had three points and a rebound, Curtis Simpson two points and six rebounds and Maddox James two points and four rebounds.
Mason Craig led the Storm with 12 points.

Football practice to begin

(February 3, 2021 Issue)

Official football practice for North Carolina teams will begin next week.
Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers will take the field Monday at 3:45 p.m. The first two days’ equipment will be helmets only, followed by three days of helmets and pads.
The team can begin contact drills on Saturday.
The Mountaineers will host Burns in a scrimmage on Sat., Feb. 20 and will open their regular season at home against Stuart Cramer on Fri., Feb. 26.
Because of COVID, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association has reduced the regular season to seven games and state playoff games to four. Kings Mountain’s varsity will have only three regular season home games but two of them are against perennial powerhouses Hunter Huss and Crest. Those two teams, along with KM, have decided the Big South championship for the past several years.
Mountaineer Coach Greg Lloyd feels this year’s team will continue to keep the winning tradition going. There are several starters returning from last year’s team that went 12-3 and played for the Western Regional championship for the second year in a row.
“I like the way both lines have looked,” Coach Lloyd notes. “We have good size and experience.”
He said senior quarterback Ethan Reid, who broke most of the school’s passing records last season, is throwing the ball better and last year’s leading rusher, Rayshard Brooks “has put on a little muscle and seems quicker and improved.”
Jalin Mims, a transfer from Forestview who is a running back and slot receiver, has also been impressive. He and others will be counted on to take up some of the slack lost by the departure of the school’s all-time leading receiver, Kobe Paysour, who is now enrolled at UNC.
“We have a good nucleus,” Lloyd said. “Experience is the key and we have 16 or 17 people that started last year and will be good leaders.”
 

Patriots beat Crest,
lose to R-S Central

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team opened its season recently with a 40-34 overtime  win over Crest and a 70-33 loss to RS Central.
Crest led 31-26 in the fourth period before KM came back to force overtime.
Brayden Mull led the KM attack with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Tucker Robinette had nine points, eight steals and three assists; Bradley Floyd eight rebounds and three assists; Caleb Nanney six points on a pair of three-pointers; Kee’Donn Linney three points, and Charlie Foster four points, six boards and a block.
KM had 32 rebounds, 13 steals and nine assists.
KM turned up its defensive intensity in the extra period and held Crest scoreless. Robinette and Linney combined for four free throws to seal the win.
KM started out strong with Nixon’s buzzer-beating three giving the Patriots a 12-8 lead after the first period.
The Patriots extended its lead to six as Guyton’s entry pass found Mull for a quick basket. With 1:44 to go in the half, Robinette hit two free throws to put KM up 18-17. Foster’s offensive rebound and put-back put KM up by three at the half.
The Patriots hit a cold spell in the third quarter as the Dragons went on a 7-0 run to take a 24-20 lead. Mull’s assist to Floyd for a score and Mull’s offensive rebound and pass to Robinette helped tie the game at 24. KM scored just one more basket during the quarter to go down 29-26 heading into the fourth.
Crest built a 31-26 lead before KM mounted its comeback, holding Crest scoreless until the final minute. Robinette’s steal and finish at the basket gave KM its first point of the period and Nixon’s three tied the game at 31-all with 3:30 left. Floyd’s free throw put KM up 32-31 but Crest hit a go-ahead three with a minute remaining before Mull tied the game at 34 to force the OT.
Mull’s double-double earned him player of the game honors, and Foster’s six boards and a block earned him the Sixth Man award. Robinette’s eight steals earned him the defensive player of the game award.
The Patriots ran into a powerful RS Central team in game two, falling 70-33.
KM struggled from the beginning, missing 15 out of its 17 shots. Caleb Nixon’s early goal earned KM a 2-2 tie but RS went on a run that left KM down 16-5 after one period and 37-12 at the half.
KM showed some fight in the third quarter, causing some turnovers that led to easy baskets. Max Thompson did a stellar job on the RS guards.
The fourth quarter saw RS in a full-court press that caused some KM turnovers. With the outcome evident, KM played its entire bench in the fourth quarter to see some glimpses of the future.
Nixon led the Patriots with 11 points, hitting five of six shots from the field. Foster had five points and four boards, Floyd five points, six rebounds and three assists, Robinette four points and four assists, Guyton three points and stellar defense, Mull two points, Adams two and Smith one.
Nixon was named player of the game, Guyton sixth man of the game and Thompson defensive player of the game.
Bb isaiah tate
Isaiah Tate guns one of his record-setting eight three-pointers in Thursday’s non-conference game with county neighbor Burns at Parker Gym.

Mountaineers sweep Burns
In non-conference twinbill

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s basketball teams swept Burns Thursday at Parker Gym with the girls winning 53-47 and the boys 89-65.
The Mountaineers had a spectacular game from Isaac Tate who scored 35 points and tied a school record with eight three-pointers. He also contributed 10 assists, four rebounds and three steals.
The Mountaineers got an overall strong performance from everyone as three other players hit double figures and others just missed.
Marcus Odums continued his strong play with 11 points, four boards and three steals, and Matt Toms scored 10 points, grabbed six boards, dished out eight assists and stole the ball twice.
Zeke Cannedy added nine points, two boards, five assists and three steals
Titus Phillips, playing his first game after undergoing surgery, had a strong night with five points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Maddox James had seven points, Orlando Odums five points and a steal, Zavion Smith four points and an assist and Curtis Simpson three points and three rebounds.
The visiting Bulldogs stayed with the Mountaineers for the first half. The teams were tied at 16 after the first period and KM led by 36-32 at intermission. But the Mountaineers outscored the Bulldogs 28-18 in the third quarter and 25-15 in the fourth to win going away.
The girls game was close throughout with the Lady Mountaineers gaining the advantage in the second half. Burns broke out to an 11-10 first quarter lead and was on top 24-17 at the break. KM came back to take a 40-38 lead going into the fourth quarter and held on for the victory.
Sophomore Khalia King led the Lady Mountaineers with 19 points and four rebounds. KM’s leading scorer Saniya Wilson scored all of her 14 points in the second half. She   dished out two assists and stole the ball seven times.
Aaliyah Byers, playing in just her second game after joining the team after the volleyball season, had a good all-around effort with eight points, five rebounds and two steals.
Kennedy Barnes added six points and five boards, Andrea Melton four points and two steals, and Austyn Dixon two points.
Tishonna Strong of Burns was the game’s top scorer with 26 points. Mya Crosby had eight, Maggie Earl six, Esynce Howze and Robyn Whitworth three each and MaKaiyah Ross one.
The KM girls’ scheduled game at Forestview Friday was postponed because of COVID concerns at Forestview. An earlier game at Stuart Cramer that was postponed because of COVID will be played at 6 p.m. February 4 at Cramer.

Mountaineers
rout Forestview
to go 5-0 in BSC

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s Mountaineers ran their Big South 3A Conference record to 5-0 Friday at Forestview with an 84-44 rout of the Jaguars, setting up a battle for first place with the 5-0 Crest Chargers last night at KM’s Parker Gym.
Kings Mountain’s girls, 3-1 in the BSC, did not play because of a COVID issue at Forestview and they now have two games – one with Forestview on a date to be determined and another with Stuart Cramer on February 4 – to make up.
After just a brief exchange of baskets early on, it was Mountaineers all night long at Forestview. The Mountaineers finished the first quarter up 19-9 and then turned the game into a rout by leading 46-21 at the half and 61-33 going into the fourth quarter.
Isaiah Tate had another spectacular scoring night for the Mountaineers with 29 points. He also dished out six assists and stole the ball four times.
Zeke Cannedy added 17 points, two rebounds, six assists and one steal, Marcus Odums 10 points, 16 rebounds, four assists and three steals, and Matt Toms 10 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals.
The Mountaineers also had great production from their bench as reserves added 18 points. Titus Phillips, who just joined the team after having surgery, had eight points, a rebound, an assist and two steals; Maddox James eight points and six boards, Amari Smith two points and a rebound, Zavion Smith four assists, a rebound and a steal and Curtis Simpson six boards and an assists.
Kings Mountain will begin second half BSC action Friday at home against Stuart Cramer. They will also be home on Tuesday, Feb. 2 against North Gaston before heading to Hunter Huss February 5 for a rematch with a very strong Huskie five.

KMMS beats Burns
but loses to Shelby

(January 27, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain Middle’s boys basketball team defeated Burns and lost to Shelby in Tri-County Conference play last week.
The Patriots defeated Burns 51-39 Wednesday on the road.
Caleb Nixon led the Patriots with 21 points on 8 of 16 shooting. He also grabbed four rebounds, stole the ball five times, had three assists and one blocked shot.
Bradley Floyd hit all five of his shots from the field and finished with 11 points. He also had seven rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot.
Charlie Foster had seven points, six boards and two blocks; Brayden Mull nine points, seven rebounds and two steals; Tucker Robinette four points, two steals and two assists; and Kee’donn Linney three steals and three assists.
The Patriots had 15 steals and 29 rebounds.
Floyd and Nixon were selected players of the game as they combined for 31 points, 11 rebounds, eight steals and six assists.
Charlie Foster, who played tremendous defense to go along with his seven points, was named Sixth Man of the Game.
Kee’donn Linney was cited for his outstanding defensive play.
The Patriots fell to a good Shelby team 55-50 Thursday on the KM court.
Linney’s layup and Nixon’s three got the Patriots off to a quick start to keep the game at 5-5. The teams exchanged baskets before Shelby took a 13-10 lead into the second quarter.
KM went cold before Robinette’s three put them within one point at 17-16.
The teams combined for 68 points in the second half. Shelby built a 37-23 lead going into the fourth period. KM made three of its season-high nine three pointers as Robinette, Nixon and Aidan Taylor all connected from downtown to keep KM in the game.
Led by Floyd and Robinette with a combined 15
 points, the Patriots pulled to within two points before Shelby clinched the win.
Robinette led the Patriots with 17 points, including three 3-pointers.
Nixon scored 11 points.
Floyd had nine points, four rebounds, four assists, four steals and two blocked shots.
Linney contributed five points, four rebounds, a steal and a block; Brayden Mull three points, six boards and a block, Aiden Smith three points and Foster two.
Robinette was named Player of the Game and Taylor was Sixth Man of the Game. Floyd and Kylei Anderson were the Defensive Players of the Game.
The KMMS girls lost to Burns 40-14 and Shelby 34-17.
Against Burns, London Brown and Kenzlie Morris scored five points each. Farri Martin scored two and Kaydence Smith and Saniya Porter one each.
Brooklyn Whitlock led the Lady Patriots against Shelby with four points. Kaydence Smith, Kaliyah Watson and Farri Martin scored three each and London Brown and Kenzlie Morris two each.

KM second to Cramer
in Thursday swim meet

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s swimmers finished a close second to Stuart Cramer in a three-team meet with Crest Thursday at Neisler Natatorium.
Cramer won the girls meet with 144 points, with KM second at 122 and Crest third at 121. Cramer also won the boys meet followed by KM and Crest.
The KM girls’ finish was highlighted by a win in the 200 medley relay (Madison Asycue, Callie Stimpson, Trinity Price and Sydnie Hay) as well as a win by Asycue in the 200 IM and Stimpson in the 500 free.
KM had two swimmers finish in second, Stimpson in the 200 free and Trinity Price in the 50 free.
The KM girls also finished second in both freestyle relays, the 200 (Trinity Price, Halie Towery, Stimpson and Sydnie Hay) and the 400  (Price, Asycue, Hay and Vanyah Roberts.
The KM Ladies also had strong third place showings by Hay in the 50 free and Ayscue in the 100 free.
The boys were led by Dalton Messenger who was first in the 50 free, Alex Barr first in the 500 free which was the race of the evening with Barr edging out a Cramer swimmer by a half-second.
The boys also won the 200 free relay (Alex Hayes, Carson Buchanan, Dalton Messenger and Alex Barr). Barr finished second in the 200 free.
Fast swims were also by Buchanan in the 50 free by finishing third, and by freshman Turner Brown in the 100 backstroke.
Buchanan, Messenger, Barr and Hayes finished second in the medley relay and Messenger, Nash Bachman, Brown and Andrew Dangelo were second in the 400 free relay.
The KM swimmers competed Monday in the Cleveland County meet and will host North Gaston and Ashbrook in the final regular season meet on Thursday.

Cross country finishes season

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Jackson Park in Hendersonville was the site for this year’s 3A West Cross Country Regional Meet.
Even though the temperature was 34 degrees with snow intermittently falling, the Kings Mountain High teams endured the conditions to finish their final meet of the year that started with workouts on July 6 and ended on January 16.
For the boys team, Parker Key finished 52nd with a time of 19:14. Key was followed by Kohen Johnson at 19:41, Hunter Cruise 19:54, Marty Lovingood 20:10, senior Wyatt Wilson 21:32, Nathan Inthavong 22:11, and Elliot Habel, who ran in the place of Nick Horn, with a 23:34.
The men’s team finished 12th out of 28 schools.
For the women’s team, which finished ninth, there was a photo finish with teammates Thalia Kushman and Divinity Ervin finishing at 45th and 46th, both in 22:55.
Ashley Gural was the only Lady Mountaineer running a personal record in the cold at 23:55. She was followed by Parker Wilson 24:26, Nicole Poston 25:21, Emily Phelps 28:02 and senior Emma Herndon 30:09.
Marcusodums

KM rallies late to edge Wave

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

 Kings Mountain’s boys came on strong in the fourth quarter to edge a winless Gastonia Ashbrook five 52-43 Friday night at Parker Gym and remain in a tie for first place in the Big South 3A and the young Lady Mountaineers gave pre-season conference favorite Ashbrook a tough battle before falling 69-62.
Playing their third game of the week probably played a part in the Mountaineers’ slow beginning, but their pressing defense in the fourth quarter that forced numerous Ashbrook turnovers played a much bigger part in the final outcome.
Neither team could find the bucket early as Ashbrook held leads of 7-5 after the first quarter and 19-15 at the half.
Behind the scoring of Marcus Odums, who would finish with his best game with 20 points, KM managed to overtake take the Green Wave 33-32 after three periods.
The Mountaineers opened the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to go up 40-32 and they never trailed again. Their biggest leads (50-39) came with 1:56 on an old-fashioned three point play by Orlando Odums, and (52-41) with 22 seconds left on a free throw by Zeke Cannedy.
Cannedy joined Odums in double figures with 10 points. The Ashbrook defense held KM’s and the Big South’s leading scorer, Isaiah Tate, to eight points.
In addition to his best scoring effort of the year, Odums also led the Mountaineers in rebounds with 10.
Kings Mountain’s girls got another outstanding scoring effort from their 1-2 punch of Saniya Wilson and Khalia King, who combined for 55 of their 62 points.
Wilson led the way with 32 and also had five rebounds, three assists and three steals while being knocked to the floor numerous times during the highly-contested first place battle.
King supplied 23 points and two assists.
Junior Aaliyah Byers, playing her first game after finishing her junior volleyball season three nights earlier, added four points and four boards. Kennedy Barnes had three points and four rebounds and Aystyn Dixon, also an addition from the volleyball squad, pulled down four rebounds.
Kennette Bess led the Lady Green Wave with 32 points and Aaliyah El scored 15.
Ashbrook led most of the way but KM was always within striking distance. The Ashbrook ladies led 19-15 after one quarter, 35-31 at the half and 51-48 going into the fourth period.
King’s three-pointer off an assist from Wilson gave KM the lead at 59-58 with 3:31 left, but Ashbrook responded from the foul line to regain the lead at 60-59 and they never trailed again.
Kings Mountain will host neighboring Burns in non-conference action Thursday before resuming BSC play Friday at Forestview. A big battle looms Tues., Jan. 26 when the undefeated Crest Chargers come to town.
GIRLS GAME
KM (62) – Wilson 32, King 23, Byers 4, Barnes 3.
AB (69) – Bess 32, El 15, Mason 6, Cole 6, Portee 5, Smith 3, Jones 2.
AB (69) – Bess 32, El 15, Mason 6, Cole 6, Portee 5, Smith 3, Jones 2.
BOYS GAME
KM (52) – M. Odums 20, Tate 8, Toms 7, Cannedy 10, O. Odums 7.

 
Volleyball

KM places six on BSC
All-Conference team

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team was rewarded big time for its undefeated season with all six starters being named All-Big South Conference and two players as well as Coach Heather Pasour sweeping the top individual awards.
Pasour was selected Coach of the Year. The conference’s top individual player awards went to junior Aaliyah Byers, who was named Offensive Player of the Year, and senior Kyann Crocker who was selected Defensive Player of the Year.
 Joining Byers and Crocker on the All-Conference team were Paige Bagwell, Emma Goff, Lily Gold and freshman Meile Songaila. Goff and Crocker are the only seniors in that group.
Byers was by far the conference leader in kills with 210. Songaila added 105.
Crocker was second in the league in digs with 138. Bagwell was third in assists with 244.
Others making All-Big South were Addie Beaver, Emma Langley, Catherine Pate, Kamryn Spangler and Sara Rose Warlick of second place Crest; Camryn Faggart, Madeline Hope and Brenna Hux of Stuart Cramer, and Lilly Harmon, Emma Thornburg and Anna Townsend of Forestview.
Kings Mountain went 12-0 in the Big South, winning all of their matches 3-0. Their only losses were to 4A power Audrey Kell in a non-conference game and a powerful Marvin Ridge team in the NCHSAA playoffs. 
Km saniya

It’s never easy, but KM
swept Huss Wednesday

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

When the Kings Mountain and Hunter Huss men meet on the basketball floor you can always count on a fast, furious and down-to-the wire battle.
On Wednesday night at Parker Gym, it was the same in the girls game as the Lady Mountaineers had a tough fight as well before pulling away for a 63-49 victory before the Mountaineers survived a late Huss rally to win 55-54.
The visiting Lady Huskies started both halves on a tear, but couldn’t contend with the KM ladies in the second and fourth quarters.
Huss, behind the hot hand of Jamya Daniel who led all scorers with 29 points, led 18-13 at the first quarter break but was outscored by the KM five 23-4 in the second period and the Lady Mountaineers went into halftime up 36-22.
Saniya Wilson, who would finish with 28 points, six boards, four assists and three steals, led the comeback with plenty of help from Khalia King and all-around good play from all other KM ladies. King finished with 17 points and three rebounds.
KM also got good efforts inside from Tyasya Bell with six points and six boards, and Kennedy Barnes with five points and four boards. Austyn Dixon had two points and five boards, Jacie Jarvis scored two and Alayna Patrick provided three steals.
KM overtook the Huss ladies 19-18 early in the second quarter on King’s two free throws and didn’t trail again. But Huss got hot again in the third period and narrowed the gap to 47-42 heading into the final eight minutes.
The Lady Huskies pulled to within 47-44 early in the fourth quarter and was still within striking distance at 51-48 with just under four minutes remaining.
After that, neither team could find the bucket until the 2:42 mark when King stole the ball and put the Lady Mountaineers up 53-48. KM ended the game on a 10-1 run to nail down their second straight win to open the season.
In the nightcap, the Mountaineers opened with a 12-0 run as the Huskies misfired every trip down court and KM swept the boards.
But, you just don’t hold the Huskies down forever. With 1:01 left on the first quarter clock, JJ Moore hit a free throw for the first Huss point and they quickly got field goals from Kendall Corry and Noah Caulder to end the first quarter down 12-5.
The Mountaineers were able to rebound and go up 20-7 and were up 28-17 following a pair of free throws by Isaiah Tate with 4:30 on the clock. Then, Huss got busy and got a 3-point field goal from Glue Phillips at the buzzer to go into the break down just 33-30.
The Huskies got a three from Corry just 45 seconds into the third quarter to tie the game at 33-all. KM was able to get the lead back to 10 (45-35) at the 2:30 mark but Huss rallied again to end the third period down 47-41 after Phillips’ goal with 21 seconds on the clock.
Early in the fourth quarter a KM player was hit with a technical foul, and Moore went to the line and hit three free throws to pull Huss within 49-47.
KM’s Zeke Cannedy hit a pair of freebies 18 seconds later to put KM up 51-47.
After a timeout, Phillips canned a jumper to bring Huss back to within two, 51-49, at the four-minute mark. KM was still up by two (53-51) when time was called with 2:48 remaining.
With the Mountaineers up 55-52 with 2:25 remaining, they double-dribbled and then lost the ball out of bounds on two straight possessions and the clock was down to 1:34.
The visitors seemed to be in the driver’s seat when Smith’s basket cut the margin to 55-54 and KM was whistled for a five-second violation at the 1:11 mark.
With 16.6 seconds left, Huss got the ball after a KM walking violation and was holding the ball for a final shot, which missed. KM rebounded and got the ball out to Tate who was streaking toward the KM goal as the game ended.
The ending was great for the Mountaineers, but not for the Huskies’ Phillips as he crashed into the metal goal support and suffered what appeared to be a severe wrist injury. He was transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Tate had his third super season-opening game, leading the Mountaineers with 26 points on 8-for-14 shooting and 10-of-11 from the foul line. Toms added 16 points, including a pair of threes. Fourteen other KM 3-point attempts missed.
Huss was led by Moore with 24 points and they hit 5 of 22 threes but only 7 of 16 free throws.
For KM, Orlando Odums pulled down 12 rebounds, Marcus Odoms eight and freshman Curtis Simpson six.


GIRLS GAME
KM (63) – Wilson 28, King 17, Bell 6, Barnes 5, Jarvis 2, Dixon 2.
HH (49) – Daniels 29, Love 7, Harris 4, Adams 4, Swann 3, Armstrong 2.
BOYS GAME
KM (55) – Smith 4, Cannedy 4, M. Odums 5, Tate 26, Toms 16.
HH (54) – Moore 24, Adams 4, Corry 10, Scott 2, Caulder 4, Love 4, Phillips 6.

 

Cramer here to open
men’s soccer season

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s men’s soccer team will open its season next week under new head coach Dillon Richards.
Stuart Cramer will be coming to town at 6 p.m. Mon., Jan. 25 for the Big South 3A Conference opener and the Mountaineers will travel to North Gaston the following Thursday before returning home on Mon., Feb. 1 against the Hunter Huss Huskies.
Coach Richards was head coach of the JV team last year but did not have enough players come out to field a JV team this year. Last year’s head coach, Erik Price, chose not to return this season but will continue to coach girls soccer.
Coach Richards said his players got in shape for a fall season in 2020, but that season was cancelled due to COVID and they just resumed workouts recently.
They officially started practice last week and Richards feels good about their chances of improving this season.
“I’ve been impressed,” he said. “Rylie Washburn and Dillon Messenger are back and we’re looking for them to be leaders and get everybody going. We have two freshmen that look good, Anthony Anselmo and Devon Dorsey.
 They have a lot of skill and are really competing for a starting spot.
“We have bunch of juniors that played JV last year,” he noted. “They’re good kids and need to step into leadership roles. We have a good bunch of kids this year.”
Both the varsity and JV teams finished just under .500 last year, so Richards is confident they can have a winning season this time around.
“I think we can be pretty good,” he said. “It will come down to conditioning. We tried to do a lot of that over the summer before it got shut down. We hope to push for second or third place in the conference. The competition is tough. Ashbrook and Forestview are tough to hang with.”
Kings Mountain will play a 14-game regular season schedule, which includes home and away games with all Big South schools and a single game with non-conference opponents Burns and Shelby. The Mountaineers play at Burns on Feb. 9 and host Shelby on March 3. All games are at 6 p.m.
THE ROSTER
Seniors – Riley Washburn, Dillon Messenger, Landon Phillips, Alex Nivens, Noah Crocker, Calen Buchanan.

Juniors – Evan Briggs, Ethan Capps, Chandler Dodgen, Ryan Carr, Cameron Petti, Silas Edmondson, Brayden Garris, Kohen Johnson, Junior Boakye.

Sophomores – Connor Washburn, Jaden Ellis.

Freshmen – Anthony Anselmo, Devon Dorsey.

THE SCHEDULE

JANUARY

25 – Stuart Cramer

28 – at North Gaston

FEBRUARY

1 – Hunter Huss

4 – Ashbrook

9 – at Burns

11 – at Forestview

15 – Crest

18 – at Cramer

22 – North Gaston

25 – at Huss

MARCH

1 – at Ashbrook

3 – Shelby

8 – Forestview

10 – at Crest

NC PLAYOFFS

MARCH

16 – First round

18 – Second round

20 – Third round

23 – Regionals

27 – State championship
Vb kyann

KM spikers lose
playoff opener

(January 21, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team ran into a powerful Marvin Ridge team in the opening round of the state 3A playoffs last Tuesday at the KMHS gym and ended their season with a 3-0 defeat.
The Lady Mountaineers had swept all of their Big South Conference opponents 3-0 during the regular season but had an uphill battle from the get-go against Marvin Ridge.
The visitors jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the first set and ended up winning 25-23, 25-20 and 25-21.
Kings Mountain never got the lead in the first set, but rebounded from the early deficit to keep it close throughout.  The Lady Mountaineers battled back to tie it on several occasions, the last time at 16-all following a powerful kill by junior standout Aaliyah Byers.
Marvin Ridge jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the second game and was up by 16-5 before KM rallied to make a game of it. KM trimmed the margin to 23-20 late before the visitors closed it out.
The Lady Mountaineers got off to a quick 2-0 start in game three. The lead changed hands several times and was tied at 12 all before the visitors built a 17-12 advantage. The closest KM could get after that was 18-16.
The Lady Mountaineers got a great effort from all of their players. Byers led the way with 17 kills, 17 digs and 11 serve receptions. Freshman Meile Songaila added 10 kills, 13 digs and 14 serve receptions. Kyann Crocker had 18 digs and 37 serve receptions, Paige Bagwell 17 assists and Ashlyn Wood 10 assists.
Despite the loss, the Lady Mountaineers finished with an overall 12-2 record which included a perfect 12-0 record in the Big South.  They will return most of their players next season.

Mountaineers sweep ‘Cats,
host Hunter Huss, Ashbrook

Kings Mountain’s Lady Mountaineers got their basketball season underway Monday with a 52-34 win over North Gaston in Dallas.
The Mountaineers made it two in a row with an 83-53 win in the nightcap.
The Lady Mountaineers had their scheduled opener with Stuart Cramer postponed because of COVID in the Cramer program, and KM’s head coach Nicholas Inman missed the North Gaston game due to COVID protocols for exposure.
Assistant coach Darrel Wilson took charge of the team and with the help of his daughter, Saniya, and all of her teammates saw the ladies get off to a great start.
Saniya Wilson, a junior standout, led all scorers with 22 points and also contributed 10 rebounds, seven steals and four assists.
Khalia King added 17 points and three boards. Kennedy Barnes had six points and five boards, Austyn Dixon four points and two rebounds, Tyasya Bell two points and Brooke Ferree one point, five steals and three rebounds.
Kings Mountain jumped out to a 10-6 first quarter lead and was on top 23-16 at the half. They began breaking the game open in the third period with a 16-8 advantage to take a 39-24 led into the final chapter.
Whitney Brown led the Lady Wildcats with 14 points.
The boys game was close for a while with the Mountaineers leading by just 19-18 at the first quarter break and 36-32 at the half. But they began breaking the game open in the third period and carried a 61-43 lead into the final eight minutes.
Junior star Isaiah Tate again led the offense with 31 points and six assists. He also contributed four steals on defense.
Matt Toms also had a good night with 19 points, and Zeke Cannedy contributed 13.
Kings Mountain will host Hunter Huss Wednesday in a Big South game that was originally set for last night but rescheduled because of KM’s opening round state tournament volleyball match.
The KM teams will face two good Ashbrook teams Friday night at home. They will host county rival Burns in a non-conference game January 21.
Sports swim
Nash Buchanan

KM boys win opening meet

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain’s boys defeated Forestview and Crest and the girls finished second to Forestview in their opening swim meet last week at Neisler Natatorium. The Crest girls were third.
The Lady Mountaineers were led by Madison Ayscue, who won both the 50 and 500 free.
Trinity Price won the 200 free and was second in the 100 backstroke.
Freshman Callie Simpson finished second in the 100 fly and 100 breaststroke.
All other Lady Mountaineers set new personal records, including Mallory Camp in the 50 free and 100 free.
Vanyah Roberts finished fourth in the 200 free and set her new personal record, and Hallie Towery competed in the 100 breaststroke and 50 free where she set a new personal record.
The boys were led by Alex Barr who won both of his events, the 50 free and 100 backstroke.
Dalton Messenger won both of his events, the 200 free and 100 breaststroke.
Carson Buchanan was second in the 500 free and 100 backstroke.
Alex Hayes finished second in the 100 free and freshman Turner Brown was third in the 500 free.
Nash Bachman set a new personal record in the 200 free and 100 backstroke.
Andrew Dangelo set a new personal record in the 100 free.
The KM guys team – Alex Barr, Turner Brown, Carson Buchanan and Dalton Messenger -  won the 400 free relay.
Volleyball
Aaliyah Byers serves the ball in last week’s victory over Forestview at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium.

Lady Mountaineers sweep BSC volleyball title, were to open state 3A playoffs Tuesday night

(January 13, 2021 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team finished off the Big South 3A Conference championship run last week with victories over Forestview and Crest, and were scheduled to open the state 3A championship playoffs last night at home against Marvin Ridge.
The KM ladies not only went undefeated through the conference season, but won all of their matches in straight sets. Their only loss this was to 4A power Ardrey Kell in a non-conference game.
But, those accomplishments didn’t help their seeding for the state playoffs as they went into the post-season as the sixth seed among 16 Western 3A qualifiers. Marvin Ridge is seeded 11th. A KM victory would move the Lady Mountaineers into a Thursday meeting against the winner of #3 North Iredell and #14 Weddington.
Crest, which finished second in the BSC to the Lady Mountaineers, drew the 10th seed and was to face #7 TC Roberson last night.
The Lady Mountaineers closed out the regular season with a 25-14, 25-11, 25-14 win over Forestview on Tuesday and a 25-19, 25-12, 25-17 sweep of the defending BSC champion Crest ladies on the road Friday.
 In the win over Forestview, freshman Meile Songaila continued to make her mark on KMHS sports with nine kills, 16 service points, two blocks and eight serve receptions.
Junior Aaliyah Byers, who leads the Big South in kills with 193, continued her outstanding play with 15 kills, nine service points and two blocks.
Emma Goff supplied 11 service points, three kills and three digs.
Kyann Crocker had seven service points, 11 digs and 14 serve receptions and Paige Bagwell provided 19 assists.
At Crest, Byers continued her excellent play which should lead to a host of post-season honors. She had an incredible 25 kills to go with 12 digs, 10 serve receptions, two blocks and seven service points.
Songaila contributed 10 kills, 15 digs, 11 serve receptions and 13 service points.
Goff had eight kills and nine service points.
Bagwell had an excellent game with 44 assists, eight digs and four blocks.
Crocker contributed two assists, 12 digs, 17 serve receptions and six service points.
Coach Heather Paysour said she was extremely pleased with her team’s effort at Crest.
“That’s the best I’ve seen us play,” she said. “I would say it’s been a while since we went an entire conference season without having a match go more than three sets. This is my 18th year in coaching and I’ve never heard of anyone doing that. We’re really excited.”
Kings Mountain’s JVs also ran the table in the BSC. In their final two matches they defeated Forestview 25-18, 25-14 and Crest 25-9, 25-16.
Against Forestview, Mary Grace Hogue had five kills and Mary Quay Moss three. Jessie Ozmore dished out 11 assists and Alayna Patrick did a great job serving and on defense.
At Crest, Moss had six kills and two blocks and Ozmore had 18 service points and eight assists.

KM volleyball team 
sweeps Green Wave

(December 30, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s volleyball team closed out its pre-holiday schedule last week with a 25-5, 25-7, 25-8 sweep of the Ashbrook Green Wave.
The Lady Mountaineers went into the break with perfect 9-0 Big South Conference record. They resume play Tuesday, Jan. 5 at home against Forestview.
Aaliyah Byers led the Lady Mountaineers with 13 kills and also added seven service points and six serve receptions
Meile Songaila had four kills, seven service points, two digs and three serve receptions.
Paige Bagwell also had an outstanding all-around effort with two kills, six service points, four digs and 27 assists.
Kyann Crocker added seven service points, four digs and four serve receptions.
Emma Goff had four kills and 20 service points.
In JV action, the KM ladies improved to 7-0 in the Big south with a 25-8, 25-8 win.
Mary Grace Hogue and Mary Quay Moss stood out on offense. Jessie Ozmore had numerous assists and did a good job serving.
Womensbasketball

Lady Mountaineers much improved, hope to be contender in Big South 3A

(December 30, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s men’s basketball team is used to fighting for conference championships and going deep in the state playoffs but slipped to a 12-15 record last year and fourth place in the Big South Conference.
With some young players and a few transfers things just didn’t jell right, but veteran coach Grayson Pierce feels he has the athletes with the talent and desire to turn things around in 2021.
Kings Mountain opens its regular season Tues., Jan. 5 at Stuart Cramer. The Mountaineers go to North Gaston on January 8 and play their first home game against always-powerful Hunter Huss on January 12.
Pierce predicts that Hunter Huss and Crest will again be the powerful foes they always are, but he feels like the Mountaineers have the kind of talent that could put them in a good position to greatly improve their standing in the Big South.
The veteran mentor says he will likely have a nine-man rotation with everyone getting a lot of playing time.
“We are bigger, stronger, faster and more experienced than we were last year,” he says of a current squad that should be strong on offense and defense. “We have a chance to be very good.”
Pierce has a veteran team that he thinks can make a run in the BSC and state playoffs.
“We haven’t been practicing in about two weeks,” he noted. “We had some Covid contact tracing and they shut us down. We had four total practices before stopping.
“But we have faith that those guys can catch on quickly and we’ll have a good year. We have faith that we can make a run. Last year we relied heavily on sophomores and juniors to get the job done, plus we had two transfers come in. That’s tough when you don’t have leaders.
“But our chemistry looks good this year. The players are in a different mindset and I think we will make a run in the conference and playoffs.”
Heading the list of returning starters is Isaiah Tate, who is one of the best shooting guards around. But, he’s not the only one that can put points on the board.
“Zeke Cannedy also returns and he scores in bunches,” Pierce noted. He’s a very good shooter.”
Another returner is 6-4 Orlando Odums. “He can hold down the paint and rebound for us,” Pierce said.
Matt Toms, who played a lot last year, will probably crack the starting five. “When he’s on he can shoot with the best of them,” Pierce said. “And he’s a good defensive player.”
Weston Hughes is another returner that could crack the starting five. Pierce said. “He can get down the court very well and get into the paint.”
Senior Titus Phillips, who is also a good football  player, will be joining the team soon after having surgery.
“We hope to get him back in about a week,” Pierce said. “He will help us on the boards. He’s a tremendous athlete.”
Some younger players should also make their mark on KM basketball.
Maddox James, who is 6-4, is a good rebounder and is very strong, Pierce said. “He can do a little bit of everything.”
Pierce said Curtis Simpson, a 6-5 freshman, will be a welcomed addition to the varsity. “He has a chance to be as good as anybody we’ve had here,” Pierce said. “He’s a shot blocker and gets rebounds. He could be 6-8 before he’s finished.”
Although KM should be the team to challenge Huss and Crest at the top of the standings, Pierce says the Mountaineers have to play at their highest level every night.
“The thing about this conference is that if you have a bad night, anyone can beat you,” he noted.
Pierce will again be assisted by Randy Drennan, Matt Bradley and Matt Carpenter. New to the staff is former KM player DJ Byrd, who is working with the post players.
“DJ will really help us,” said Pierce. “He was as good a rebounder as we’ve had and he will get them where they need to be.”
Mountaineerbasketball

Mountaineers plan to return
to their winning ways in BSC

(December 30, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s men’s basketball team is used to fighting for conference championships and going deep in the state playoffs but slipped to a 12-15 record last year and fourth place in the Big South Conference.
With some young players and a few transfers things just didn’t jell right, but veteran coach Grayson Pierce feels he has the athletes with the talent and desire to turn things around in 2021.
Kings Mountain opens its regular season Tues., Jan. 5 at Stuart Cramer. The Mountaineers go to North Gaston on January 8 and play their first home game against always-powerful Hunter Huss on January 12.
Pierce predicts that Hunter Huss and Crest will again be the powerful foes they always are, but he feels like the Mountaineers have the kind of talent that could put them in a good position to greatly improve their standing in the Big South.
The veteran mentor says he will likely have a nine-man rotation with everyone getting a lot of playing time.
“We are bigger, stronger, faster and more experienced than we were last year,” he says of a current squad that should be strong on offense and defense. “We have a chance to be very good.”
Pierce has a veteran team that he thinks can make a run in the BSC and state playoffs.
“We haven’t been practicing in about two weeks,” he noted. “We had some Covid contact tracing and they shut us down. We had four total practices before stopping.
“But we have faith that those guys can catch on quickly and we’ll have a good year. We have faith that we can make a run. Last year we relied heavily on sophomores and juniors to get the job done, plus we had two transfers come in. That’s tough when you don’t have leaders.
“But our chemistry looks good this year. The players are in a different mindset and I think we will make a run in the conference and playoffs.”
Heading the list of returning starters is Isaiah Tate, who is one of the best shooting guards around. But, he’s not the only one that can put points on the board.
“Zeke Cannedy also returns and he scores in bunches,” Pierce noted. He’s a very good shooter.”
Another returner is 6-4 Orlando Odums. “He can hold down the paint and rebound for us,” Pierce said.
Matt Toms, who played a lot last year, will probably crack the starting five. “When he’s on he can shoot with the best of them,” Pierce said. “And he’s a good defensive player.”
Weston Hughes is another returner that could crack the starting five. Pierce said. “He can get down the court very well and get into the paint.”
Senior Titus Phillips, who is also a good football player, will be joining the team soon after having surgery.
“We hope to get him back in about a week,” Pierce said. “He will help us on the boards. He’s a tremendous athlete.”
Some younger players should also make their mark on KM basketball.
Maddox James, who is 6-4, is a good rebounder and is very strong, Pierce said. “He can do a little bit of everything.”
Pierce said Curtis Simpson, a 6-5 freshman, will be a welcomed addition to the varsity. “He has a chance to be as good as anybody we’ve had here,” Pierce said. “He’s a shot blocker and gets rebounds. He could be 6-8 before he’s finished.”
Although KM should be the team to challenge Huss and Crest at the top of the standings, Pierce says the Mountaineers have to play at their highest level every night.
“The thing about this conference is that if you have a bad night, anyone can beat you,” he noted.
Pierce will again be assisted by Randy Drennan, Matt Bradley and Matt Carpenter. New to the staff is former KM player DJ Byrd, who is working with the post players.
“DJ will really help us,” said Pierce. “He was as good a rebounder as we’ve had and he will get them where they need to be.”
Kmspikers
Aaliyah Byers, left, and Myracle Davis go up to block a shot in last week’s KM victory over Crest at Parker Gym.

KM spikers sweep Lady Chargers,
take sole possession of BSC lead

No Big South teams have been able to take Kings Mountain’s volleyball team past the required three sets this season, but the Lady Mountaineers’ chief rival and defending conference champion Crest came close in Wednesday’s match at Donald L. Parker Gymnasium that closed out the first round of conference play.
The Lady Mountaineers prevailed 28-26, 25-10, 28-26, leaving them as the only undefeated team in the Big South Conference and the favorite to end the season as conference champions.
The Lady Mountaineers got a good all-around game from all of their players.
Senior star Aaliyah Byers, the leading candidate for Big South Player of the Year, had her typical great game with 16 kills, 15 service points, 10 serve receptions and 11 digs.
Freshman Meile Songaila continued her outstanding play with 15 kills, 12 service points, 19 serve receptions and 12 digs.
Paige Bagwell did her usual good job of setting up her teammates and recorded 16 assists and six digs.
Ashlyn Wood provided 18 assists and 11 digs.
Emma Goff showed great leadership on the court to go with her three kills and seven assists.
Kyann Crocker provided  five service points, 13 digs and 13 serve receptions.
Kings Mountain’s JVs continued their unbeaten ways as well with a 25-12, 25-17 victory over a good Charger squad.
Austyn Dixon’s offense was one of the key factors in the KM win.
Jessie Ozmore had eight service points and did a good job running the offense, and Addi Peeler had 10 service points.
The Lady Mountaineers began second round BSC play Friday with a 25-13, 25-11, 25-12 victory over Stuart Cramer in Belmont.
Byers had 17 kills, 13 service aces and 11 digs. Songaila had 16 aces and five kills, Gold and Goff four kills each, Crocker seven digs, and Bagwell and Wood 13 and 10 aces, respectively.
Kings Mountain will host North Gaston Thursday and travel to Hunter Huss Friday. The Lady Mountaineers will host Ashbrook Monday, Dec. 21 for their final pre-Christmas game.
Their final two regular season games will be against BSC teams Forestview at KM on January 5 and Crest away on January 7. NCHSAA playoffs begin on January 12. 

Realignment first draft has KM in BS 3A

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its first draft of the 2021-25 realignment plan Thursday and Kings Mountain will remain in Conference 50 (which should still be called the Big South 3A).
The league will be the same as it is currently, with the exception of Hunter Huss which will be moving to the 2A level, and South Point which is coming back to 3A after a four-year stay in 2A.
Other teams in the Big South are Crest, Ashbrook, North Gaston, Forestview and Stuart Cramer.
Hunter Huss will move to a split 1A/2A Conference 40 which also includes 2A teams Burns, East Gaston and Shelby and 1A teams Bessemer City, Cherryville and Highland Tech. That league will probably be called the Southwestern Conference.
Schools will be given several opportunities to oppose their placement before it becomes official, but Kings Mountain athletic director Matt Bridges said he is confident that the proposed Big South will not change.
“It worked out pretty good for us,” he said of the first draft. “The Big South is a good conference and it’s good travel-wise. Community support is very important and Big South Conference teams bring a lot of fans.”
Beginning in the fall schools will only play 10 regular season games. Kings Mountain will definitely keep county rivals Shelby and Burns on their schedule giving them two other non-conference games, one of which will be an endowment game. Bridges said he has already contacted some schools about possible playing dates and hopes to at least get a rough draft of a schedule in the next couple of weeks. But nothing can be set in stone until the realignment is official.
“We feel really good about our situation,” he said. “I would be shocked if it changes. Some of the split conferences are concerning, and they might change some.”
He said there are still some questions to be answered, one of which is the length of a JV season since the varsity season will be reduced to 10 games as well as the start date for JVs since varsity can’t begin until August 28. He said the season-ending date must be addressed because, as it appears right now the state championship game would be on the same date as the Shrine Bowl.
 “But, as far as the Big South schedule, we hope that we can put South Point on the date that we have Hunter Huss now and just move on,” Bridges said. “Kings Mountain and South Point had a long rivalry (before the Raiders dropped to 2A) and we look forward to renewing it.”
The Big South athletic directors were meeting Monday to discuss realignment and their possibilities.
While short travel distances are good for the Big South, other teams in the area face a lot of long trips. The proposed 1A/2A conference that includes Cleveland and Gaston teams isn’t expected to change any, but several schools in other split conferences will have miles to go on Thursday and Friday nights. Rutherford County 2A teams Chase, East Rutherford, RS Central and Thomas Jefferson will be playing in a split 1A/2A conference that includes mountain teams Brevard, Hendersonville, Polk County, and Rosman.
*(A side-note: Many former KM opponents will be moving to 4A in the fall, including AC Reynolds, TC Roberson, AL Brown, Weddington and Charlotte Catholic).
Kmcrosscountry
Kings Mountain High runners making the All-Big South Conference team were, front row, left to right, Nicole Poston, Ashley Gural, Parker Wilson, Thalia Kushman and Divinity Ervin. Back row, left to right, Parker Key, Marty Lovingood, Hunter Cruise and Kohen Johnson. 

KMHS women’s cross country
comes within point of BSC title

(December 16, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s young men’s and women’s cross country teams fared very well in last week’s Big South Conference championship meet at Gastonia Ashbrook.
The heavily-favored Forestview women’s team got a big scare from the Lady Mountaineers as the Lady Jaguars won by just one point, 34-35.
And, the perennial champion Forestview men surprisingly came in second to the Stuart Cramer Purple Storm. It was Cramer’s first cross country championship in its history. Kings Mountain came in third.
Kings Mountain placed five women and four men on the All-Big South Conference team.
KM women gaining the honor were Thalia Kushman, Divinity Ervin, Nicole Poston, Ashley Gural and Parker Wilson.
KM men selected were Parker Key, Marty Lovingood, Hunter Cruise and Kohen Johnson.
Kushman, a freshman, put up an amazing 2.5 mile fight going stride for stride with Forestview senior Emma Hughlett. The Forestview runner finally put some distance on Kushman to pull off the victory. 

Kushman’s time was 23:05.
Ervin finished fifth, Wilson seventh, Gural 10th and Poston 11th.
Rounding out the KM lineup were Emma Herndon and Emily Phelps, who finished 21st and 22nd respectively.
Parker Key led the Kings Mountain men with a seventh place finish at 18:42. Stuart Cramer’s Nick Willer finished first in 16:16.94.
KM’s Hunter Cruise came in 11th, Marty Lovingood 13th and Kohen Johnson 14th.
Other KM finishers were Nicholas Horn 21st, Nathan Inthavong 23rd and Wyatt Wilson 26th.
Both Kings Mountain teams qualified for the Western Regional meet on January 16. The site has yet to be determined.
Kings Mountain will host Burns, Crest and Shelby in its final home meet on Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 3:45. The Mountaineers will then break for the holidays and will resume action against the same four teams in the annual Cleveland County championship meet at Shelby High at 3:45 on Wed., Jan. 6. If that meet should be cancelled because of bad weather, today’s meet at KMHS will decide the Cleveland County champions.

KM, Crest to stay
in Big South 3A

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its first draft of the 2021-25 realignment plan today and Kings Mountain will remain in Conference 50 (which should still be called the Big South 3A).
The league will be the same as it is currently, with the exception of Hunter Huss which will be moving to the 2A level, and South Point which is coming back to 3A after a four-year stay in 2A.
Other teams projected for the Big South are Crest, Ashbrook, North Gaston, Forestview and Stuart Cramer.
Hunter Huss will move to a split 1A/2A Conference 40 which also includes 2A teams Burns, East Gaston and Shelby and 1A teams Bessemer City, Cherryville and Highland Tech.
 
Crosscountry
AND THEY’RE OFF

Mountaineer runners sweep
Crest to go 2-0

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

Perfect weather led to another perfect run for the Kings Mountain High School cross country teams in a sweep of Crest and Hunter Huss last week.
Both teams had five of the top seven runners.
The men were led by Parker Key in 17:52.20, followed closely by Hunter Cruise in 18:50.05. It was their second straight 1-2 finish of the season.
Kohen Johnson and Nicholas Horn finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in 19:42.50 and 20:30.12. Wyatt Wilson came in seventh in 21:09.51 and Elliott Habel was ninth in 21:19.03. Nathan Inthavong of the Mountaineers rounded out the top 10 in 21:25.33.
Marty Lovingood finished 12th in 21:56.70 and Marcus Williams 13th in 24:30.16.
Ben Kimmell of Huss, who ran third, and Rex Hoard and Colt Goodrum of Crest, who finished sixth and eighth respectively, were the only other top ten finishers.
Kings Mountain’s women claimed the top three spots, led by Thalia Kushman in 21:47.87. Like Key, it was her second straight #1 finish of the young season.
Lady Mountaineers Divinity Ervin and Ashley Gural were second and third, respectively, in 22:48.92 and 24:25.18.
Jillian Hux and Emma Harrill, both of Crest, crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth, respectively. The final five top ten finishes belonged to the Lady Mountaineers with Nicole Poston sixth, Parker Wilson seventh, Emily Phelps eighth, Emma Herndon ninth and Hannah Crawford 10th.
Both KM teams will face their toughest test of the season December 1 when they travel to Forestview. The Forestview men are the defending Big South 3A Conference champions. They will follow that up in the conference championship meet on Tuesday, Dec. 8 at Gastonia Ashbrook.
Kings Mountain will not have another home run until Wednesday, Dec. 16 when they host county rivals Burns, Crest and Shelby at 3:45 p.m.

SPORTS THIS WEEK

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

Thur., Dec. 3

4:30 – High school volleyball, Kings Mountain at Forestview (JV/V DH).
Fri., Dec. 4
4:30 – High school volleyball, Kings Mountain at Ardrey Kell (JV/V DH).
Tues., Dec. 8
3:45 – High school cross country, Big South Conference championship meet at Gastonia Ashbrook. Teams KM, Ashbrook, Forestview, Stuart Cramer. Hunter Huss, North Gaston and Crest.
4:30 – High school volleyball, Crest at Kings Mountain (JV/V DH)
Volleyball
Lady Mountaineers take a timeout in sweep of Hunter Huss.

Lady Mountaineer volleyball
dominates Huss and Ashbrook

(December 2, 2020 Issue)

Kings Mountain High’s women’s volleyball team entered the Thanksgiving break last week with a pair of victories that ran their Big South Conference record to 4-0.
The Lady Mountaineers and Crest are tied for first place at the break. Those two teams will meet on December 8 at KMHS.
Before then, though, the Lady Mountaineers will travel to Forestview for a BSC game on December 3 and Ardrey Kell for a non-conference contest on December 4.
The Lady Mountaineers haven’t lost a game yet, sweeping all of their opponents 3-0. Against Ashbrook they rolled to a 25-8 win in the first set before Ashbrook made it interestingw and fell by 25-15 and 25-22 in the final two.
Aaliyah Byers had another spectacular outing with 19 kills, five service points and eight digs.
Lily Gold provided seven kills and five service points.
Paige Bagwell dished out 19 assists and had eight service points.
Ashlyn Wood added 13 assists and 11 service points.
Kyann Crocker had nine digs, 16 serve receptions and nine service points.
 The Lady Mountaineers rolled over Hunter Huss Monday at Parker Gym 25-11, 25-5, 25-7.
Byers had her usual strong outing with eight kills and 16 service points.
Wood provided 17 assists and five service points.
Emma Goff had four kills and 16 service points.
Bagwell contributed nine assists and 13 service points.
Freshman Meile Songaila was again strong on the nets with seven kills.
Ron massey

BLAST FROM THE PAST
(October 21, 2020 Issue)

Coach Ron Massey talks with his Mountaineers after the 1998 state 3-A championship football game at UNC’s Kenan Stadium. The Mountaineers fell to a strong Winston-Salem Carver team 33-28 to finish with a 14-2 overall record. This was the first time in KM football history that the team won over 12 games in a season.
 
1993 nchsaa champions

BLAST FROM THE PAST
(October 21, 2020 Issue)

1993 NCHSAA CHAMPIONS – The Kings Mountain High men’s swim team won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championship in 1993. First row, left to right, O’Brian Wilson, Jay Speight and Bergen Hall. Second row Chuck Kaylor, Antonio Budia, Israel Angeles and Nathan Mayse. Back row Dan Messenger, Rick Clary, Lindsay Suber and Dave Messenger.
 
1973 kings mountain babe ruth

BLAST FROM THE PAST
(October 21, 2020 Issue)

The 1973 Kings Mountain Babe Ruth all-star team won the North Carolina state championship over Greenville at St. Stephens High School in Hickory and competed in the Southeast Regionals in Clearwater, Florida. Front row, left to right, are Steve Southwell, Kenny Baliles, Frank Hovis, Mark Thornburg and Jeff Reynolds. Second row Mike Sisk, Monte Falls, Jimmy Parker, Gary Proctor and Chris Johnson. Back row coach Tommy Pruett, Kevin Ford, Joel Burgess, Andy Bridges, Jeff Carroll and coach Tony Leigh.
 
Basketball2
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.”
Team
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.”
Ymcagoff
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.
Goff1
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.
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.

BLAST FROM THE PAST
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.”
Kmhstrack

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
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 emailkosborne@clevecoymca.org
   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.