What’s Up In Local Sports?
Several are high school football teams landed in the final Association Press Poll. In the 3A division, Crest finished second to Southern Durham with an 11-0 mark. Freedom was 7th at 10-0-1. East Lincoln finished the state’s top ranked 2A team with a perfect 11-0 mark. Shelby was sixth at 9-2.
Local teams from Gaston, Lincoln and Cleveland Counties get set to move on this Friday night. Games this week include Starmount at Bessemer City. Winston Salem Carver at Shelby. West Rowan and Crest. RS Central at East Lincoln. South Point at Concord. Parkwood at Lincolnton. Pisgah and Forestview.
Our broadcast games this week includes Starmount at Bessemer City on WCSL. Winston Salem Carver at Shelby on WOHS. RS Central at East Lincoln on WLON and West Rowan at Crest on ktcbroadcasting.com.
Gastonia’s Chris McSwain set state and local bowling history. The 34 year old McSwain rolled back to back 300 games at Gastonia’s George Pappas Liberty Lanes and then rolled a 290 in his third game of the night. The 890 is a state record and broke a 13 year house record at Liberty Lanes. McSwain averages 235 in league play. He rolled all strikes with the exception of the third frame in game three when he picked up a spare. The 890 state record broke a record of 886 that was set by Lee Bowlin of Huntersville.
Burns Bulldog Christoper Proctor is heading to Duke to play baseball. The Bulldog catcher signed a letter of intent last week.
Gastonia’s Sylvia Hatchell has made it official. She will return on the sidelines to coach the North Carolina Lady Tarheels after being away last year in her fight against leukemia. Hatchel has won three national women’s basketball championships and is a member of six athletic hall of fames. This will be her 29th season at Chapel Hill as the head coach. Hatchell is a 1970 graduate of Hunter Huss.
Ashbrook’s Xzavier Robinson has signed a national letter of intent to run track at Appalachian State University.
Highland Tech’s Madison Armstrong has signed a national letter of intent to play softball at Western Carolina University. Armstrong hit .536 last season for the Lady Rams. She also added four home runs and 32 RBIs.
Hats off to Hunter Huss quarterback Andrew Jordan. Jordon became Gaston County’s fifth player to pass for more than 5,000 career yards. The four others are Logan Bradley of Forestview, Cameron Lovelace of Cherryviille, Jadarian Moore of East Gaston and A.J. Blue of North Gaston.
Cherryville quarterback Grant Henderson set a new single season passing record for the Ironmen. Henderson passed for over 2200 yards this season. He also ranks fourth on Cherryville’s all time passing quarterbacks trailing Cameron Lovelace, Ben Lastra and Kent Bowen.
Butch Blalock is calling it a career announcing that he is stepping down as Highland Tech’s basketball coach. In his 22 year career, Blalock amassed over 300 wins at Hunter Huss and Highland Tech. His career record is 328 wins versus 224 losses.
What’s Up Prep Football?
HOME! WHERE THE WINS ARE!
By Andrey S Bush / @AndreySBush
There’s no better place than at home in front of your home crowd. This was a proven fact last week in the first round of playoffs for local area teams who were lucky enough to earn a first round home game. This week competition gets tougher, as the field was cut down from the first round. Good luck to the remaining teams and lets get ready for some Friday Night Football. For those of you who are active social media buffs and have any disagreements with my picks or analysis in my predictions week to week tweet me at @AndreySBush and lets go back and forth with reasons for victory. Below, you will find my predictions for this week’s games, winners in BOLD/ALL CAPS!
Carver Yellow Jackets @ SHELBY GOLDEN LIONS
In typical Golden Lions fashion Shelby came out to another cold start to the game but warmed the engines up real fast running the Trinity Bulldogs up out of the Jungle with their tails tucked between their legs. The offense came out passing the ball which lead to two early interceptions thrown by RJ George. George, being the warrior and competitor that coaches dream about didn’t let those turnovers freeze his focus. Once that focus was dialed back in the Golden Lions were on their way to a 52-6 victory, and also extended their home playoff win streak to ten in a row. This week the Lions will be back in action against Carver Yellow Jackets in the second round. Carver’s 62-31 first round victory over Hendersonville should have the Golden Lions aware that this team can score so limit the turnovers and opportunities for the Yellow Jackets.
KEY TO VICTORY: Put the ball in the hands of Chad Reid. Reid last week had 139 yards on the ground with a couple of big breakout touchdown runs.
Starmount Rams @ BESSEMER CITY YELLOW JACKETS
It was a great first round victory for the Bessemer City Yellow Jackets and a big night night for Senior running back, Cedric Mackey who was instrumental for his team’s success rushing for 169 yards on 26 carries along with three touchdowns. Just a typical outing for Mackey. The Yellow Jackets and North Moore played a tight game up into the third quarter when Bessemer City established the margin of victory with two big touchdown runs by Mackey. The Jackets will need another repeat Friday night against the Starmount Rams. Starmount advanced past the Cherryville Ironmen last week 75-27.
KEY TO VICTORY: Defense! The Yellow Jackets will have their hands full stopping the Rams run game. Lead by Trey Lomax (201 yards) and John Johnson (149 yards) the Rams offense rushed for 433 yards on just 29 carries and 11 touchdowns.
West Rowan Falcons @ CREST CHARGERS
Just another day at the office last week at Sid Bryson Stadium for the Crest Chargers. It didn’t take but four minutes off the clock and Boom! The Chargers were up 14-0, and never looked back. The balance of the Crest Chargers has been their staple on the season. They come out every week as the best team and to back that up they let that show through their play on the field. This week they will have the West Rowan Falcons to deal with. The Falcons defeated North Buncombe in the first round to lead up this second round matchup against the mighty Crest Chargers.
KEY TO VICTORY: Control the tempo, the Chargers all year have come out and set the tempo on the opposition starting with their smothering defense controlling field positions and bottling up offenses.
RS Central Hilltoppers @ EAST LINCOLN MUSTANGS
Apart from the Crest Chargers the East Lincoln Mustangs are the considered the “Best of the Best” in the area. Paced by a very talented offense and a defense capable of protecting the lead East Lincoln is favoured to make it all the way to the State Title game. They handled Smoky Mountain last week in a dominating fashion. Team leader and offensive play caller, Chazz Surratt had an incredible first half throwing for five touchdowns with addition to Coleton Banks 39 yard touchdown run gave a East Lincoln a controlling 42-0 halftime lead. The Mustangs went on to win 55-7.
KEY TO VICTORY: Simple key for the Mustangs and that will be trust the decision making of Chazz Surratt. Coach Byus has an on field captain that has a great understanding for the game and what it takes for his team to win, a gem for any coach.
OTHER LOCAL AREA GAMES
Parkwood Rebels @ LINCOLNTON WOLVES
Pisgah Bears @ FORESTVIEW JAGUARS
South Point Red Raiders @ CONCORD SPIDERS
HOLLYWOOD’S NFL REVIEW
By Kevin Hastings / @KevinHastings
Brian Billick is an offensive genius. So is Chip Kelly, Steve Spurrier and Mike Martz. Bill Belichick, Bill Parcells, Rex and Buddy Ryan, Dick LeBaeu and Mike Ditka are defensive geniuses. NOT! None of them are geniuses folks. They’re just football coaches. They make plenty of mistakes each week that make you say “What the heck are they doing?” And it’s not just NFL coaches, it’s all of them. I transferred high schools in part because of coaches who think they’re God’s gift to whatever sport they’re coaching. Remember, those that can do, and those that can’t teach or coach. Bill Belichick isn’t a genius. He hasn’t won a Super Bowl in 10 years now. The only 3 he won, you could argue he was cheating and only won by 3 points.
Nick Saban and almost all college coaches are stealing money from the taxpayers of their state. Saban bought a house for $2.7 million and three months later the school buys the house for $3.1 million and doesn’t charge him a dime of rent. Guess he might be a genius.
Florida’s coach was just fired and taxpayers are still on the hook for his giant salary. If you coach at a state school, you shouldn’t get to blatantly steal from the taxpayers of your state.
It’s ridiculous how we allow football coaches at big schools to be the highest paid state employees in their states while players aren’t allowed to make a dime on their own likenesses. I’m sorry but when the mostly white head coaches makes millions bossing around majority black players and poor kids. If they don’t do their jobs or try to make money themselves, they’re names are run through the mud and even kicked out of school sometimes. If that’s not at least part of the definition of indentured servants or even slavery, I don’t know what is. It’s just sickening the money those in charge rake in while the workers are paid little to nothing. Sounds like our usual American corporatism at its worst.
At the high school level, some AD’s can’t even attach a file to a document. Some act like they get paid a commission on every ticket fans buy. Most high school football coaches are also chicken and always punt on 4th down and never kick onside kicks. Some still run the veer and the option. These offenses have become the way of the dodo bird in today’s football but you still see staffs of 20 on the sidelines on Friday night, discussing whether or not to call the fullback dive on every play or just 99% of the plays. Some coaches even think if someone records their team on video, he will lose part of his soul. I made that last sentence up, but it’s really not that far off of a description.
Some coaches are smart. Some coaches are good men. Some aren’t. None are geniuses. Please don’t insult Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking. Now onto the poll! Each week we countdown each team’s chances of making it to, and winning the Super Bowl. It’s NOT a power poll. Top 12 teams are current playoff teams. We also say goodbye to a team each week, eliminating them from the poll.
This week we say goodbye to the Buffalo Bills. Why? Well they’re the Bufalo Bills and nobody circles the wagons like the Bills. For the past two years they’ve planned to play EJ Manual at quarterback. A few games into the season, they changed to Kyle Orton. Do I even need to write anymore? Goodbye Buffalo!
ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN
18. Miami Dolphins (6-4) The Dolphins have outscored their past two home opponents 59-9
17. San Diego Chargers (6-4) The Bolts are slipping and the AFC is getting more competitive by the day!
16. Baltimore Ravens (6-4) Karma has this team out of the playoffs right now. I think they stay there.
15. Cleveland Browns (6-4) I’m predicting something will happen to Hoyer soon and we will get to see Johnny Football. I hope it’s during the playoffs!
14. San Francisco 49ers (6-4) The 49ers may be the team no one wants to play at the end of the season.
13. Seattle Seahawks (6-4) The Hawks are slipping and their remaining schedule is the hardest left.
THE NFC SOUTH TOILET BOWL
12c. Carolina Panthers (3-7-1) I told all my Panthers fans friends that I didn’t think they could win more than 5 or 6 games with their roster and their schedule. Who knew they would be competing for a division title if they could only win 5 or 6 games?
12b. New Orleans Saints (4-6) It’s just dang pathetic in the division. At 2-8, the Buccaneers are two games out of first in the NFC South.
12a. Atlanta Falcons (4-6) Ladies and gentlemen, the 2014 NFC South leading Dirty Birds!
IN THE PLAYOFFS, FOR NOW
11. Arizona Cardinals (9-1) The Cards will possibly have home field advantage in the playoffs through the Super Bowl.
10. Philadelphia Eagles (7-3) Don’t forget ladies and gentlemen, Mark Sanchez is the quarterback.
9. Kansas City Chiefs (7-3) Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt has more touchdown receptions than all Kansas City wide receivers combined.
8. Cincinnati Bengals (6-3-1) All four teams in the AFC North would be first in the NFC South.
7. Indianapolis Colts (6-3) In the last two meetings, the Colts allowed New England 478 yards rushing. Not good for a potential playoff matchup.
6. Detroit Lions (7-3) Getting beat by Drew Stanton is not conducive to winning a Super Bowl.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (7-4) Squeeked by the Titans on Monday night. That sums up their season.
4. Green Bay Packers (7-3) Green Bay has outscored all home opponents by 219-85.
3. Dallas Cowboys (7-3) How ‘bout them Cowboys! After the bye week, they don’t play on Sunday afternoon for four weeks! Two Thursday games and two Sunday night contests.
2. Denver Broncos (7-3) How can you lose to the Rams? How? I mean, Peyton? How? What?
1. New England Patriots (8-2) They still haven’t won a Super Bowl in almost 10 years.
WILD CARD ROUND PREDICTIONS
6. COWBOYS @ 3. Eagles / 5. PACKERS @ 4. Falcons
6. STEELERS @ 3. Bengals / 5. Chiefs @ 4. COLTS
DIVISIONAL ROUND PREDICTIONS
6. COWBOYS @ 1. Cardinals / 5. PACKERS @ 4. Falcons
6. STEELERS @ 1. Patriots / 4. Colts @ 2. BRONCOS
CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND PREDICTIONS
COWBOYS @ Packers / STEELERS @ Broncos
SUPER BOWL PREDICTION
COWBOYS vs Steelers
$50 NFL PICK’EM
Pick the games below for a chance to win $50.
Entry deadline is Sunday at noon
ALL CAPS is Hollywood’s game pick!
** Indicates The Game Of The Week ** = 3 Pts.
Plus indicate total points in this game for tiebreaker
Online or by email email@example.com
BROWNS @ Falcons / Titans @ EAGLES
Lions @ PATRIOTS / PACKERS @ Vikings
Jaguars @ COLTS / Bengals @ TEXANS
Jets @ BILLS / Bucs @ BEARS
Cardinals @ SEAHAWKS / Rams @ CHARGERS
Dolphins @ BRONCOS / Redskins @ 49ERS
** COWBOYS @ Giants **
Last Week’s Winner:
Lillian Wright of Gastonia
Scored 21 total points!
What’s Up with Dr. Bo
By Dr. Bo Wagner is pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church of Mooresboro, NC, and author of several books. His books are available at www.wordofhismouth.com
We are entering what is, to me, one of the most wonderful times of the year. Thanksgiving is just right around the corner, and Christmas is to follow. And while the birth of Christ certainly and rightly receives the greater share of attention, Thanksgiving should certainly be no slouch in out attention. George Washington declared “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor. . . . Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789 . . . that we may all unite to render unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.”
Abraham Lincoln followed in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November, declaring:
We are prone to forget the Source from which the blessings of fruitful years and healthful skies come. . . . No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God. . . . I do, therefore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States . . . to observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father Who dwelleth in the heavens.”
Truly, giving thanks to our God has been a wonderful part of the American DNA from our earliest days, and has been acknowledged all the way from the White House right on down to your house and my house. And that certainly fits with scripture:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
May I then, please, give you a partial list of things for which I am thankful, some deeply spritual, some down right practical?
I am thankful for the family unit: Husband/father to lead and provide, wife/mother as heaven-sent helpmeet and to be the heartbeat of the family, children to follow and to grow in the way they are led. This arrangement is as orderly and beautiful as the solar system.
I am thankful for salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, secured by the blood He shed on Calvary.
I am thankful for the Bible, the perfect word of God from cover to cover.
I am thankful for the church, the very thing that Jesus himself said that he would build. Count me among those who love going to the house of God!
I am thankful for laughter and humor. In Psalm 126:2 God filled the mouth of his people with laughter, and most days he does the same for me!
I am thankful for the internal combustion engine, and the bigger the better!
I am thankful for weight lifting, scuba diving, and football playing.
The list is not even close to being done, I may just finish it up in next week’s column. In the mean time, what are you thankful for?
Dr. Wagner can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
What’s Up with Thinkin’ ‘Bout It
With Vince Hefner, Pastor First Baptist Church, Cherryville
How many times have you watched someone else do something and told yourself, “Why, I can do that!” To be honest, I have spent a good deal of time watching other people doing things that looked easy and exciting and wishing I had the chance to give it a try. Let me tell you, I have tried all sorts of activities such as catching a swarm of honey bees, attending a professional wrestling school so I could wrestle Ivan Koloff (the Russian Bear), white water kayaking ( I almost drowned in a swimming pool when I was upside down practicing escaping from the kayak), catching snakes to make them pets, raising farm animals to make them pets, water skiing while holding the bar with my teeth (don’t try this one!), playing the harmonica, banjo, bag pipes, trumpet, and any other instrument that I thought I could play. These are just a few things that I thought looked easy from a distance, but looks can fool you!
I would like to share with you my top three things I thought looked easy from a distance, but I have never been able to master or enjoy them. The number three activity is driving a convertible car. I owned a ’68 corvette in college and it was a “hard top/rag top.” When I saw someone else driving a convertible I would tell myself, “Now that person has got it made!” I have found the opposite to be true. First, the sun or the rain is directly on you, depending upon the weather. This is not a fun way to travel the highway of life. Not only that, but I couldn’t hear the person talking that was riding with me. I proposed to my wife while I was driving my ole’vette and she had to ask me a couple of times what I was saying. It’s a good thing my wife didn’t misunderstand me and thought I was saying, “Are you hairier than me?” instead of “Will you marry me?”
The second thing is riding a motorcycle. It looks great when you pass a motorcycle on the road and the riders look like they are having the time of their lives. I have ridden motorcycles most of my adult life and I have been hit by a car, a bird, and a bee. The bee flew into my shirt stinging and biting me at the same time. I have seen my best friend lay his motorcycle down on the road while going at a good rate of speed. It did not kill him, but he still has the scars and memories of a good afternoon gone bad. Still, every once in a while I get the “itch” to buy another bike and take to the roads, telling myself I will be alright if I just watch the traffic around me. Lucky for me, the “itch” goes away and I go back to my normal way of thinking.
The number one thing that looks easy at a distance but is seemingly impossible and heartbreaking is parenthood. When my children were small, they were so well behaved and would follow our directions to the letter. Strangers would come up to us and tell us how blessed we were to have such well mannered children and how they were so respectful to adults. I would swell with pride and tell myself how this would continue until my dying day, when all my well behaved children had grown into responsible adults with their own perfect families. I was well on my way to my “Deathbed scene” in the distant future when my children reached the teenage years. It’s not that they were terrible, but when kids grow up they have minds of their own, which means they do and say things that I would not do. Now I look at my four grandchildren and plan out their future for them. Stay tuned! Even in challenging times, I am reminded of the promise in God’s Word about families. Psalm 127:3-5 says, “Children are a gift from the Lord; babies are a reward. Children who are born to a young man are like arrows in the hand of a warrior. Happy is the man who has his bag full of arrows.” I keep telling myself that even though parenting, and grand parenting is not as easy as it looks, it is a blessing from God!
Remember, Don’t Give
In To Sin. Think About It!
LOCAL SPORTS WITH CALVIN
The pairings are set for the North Carolina High School Football Playoffs. Here’s what it looks like for our local teams. In 3AA play, Ashbrook at 5-6 will be on the road to meet Cuthbertson who are 8-3. In 3A play, Southwestern Randolph at 5-6 will be at 11-0 Crest. East Gaston at 5-6 will be at 9-2 Forestview. Fred T. Foard at 6-5 will be at 7-4 South Point. Kings Mountain at 8-3 will be at 7-4 West Henderson. In 2AA play, Smokey Mountain at 2-9 will be at 11-0 East Lincoln. RS Central at 7-4 will be at 8-3 Bandys. Newton Conover at 7-3-1 will be at 9-2 Lincolnton. Parkwood at 6-5 will be at 4-7 Hunter Huss. Maiden at 5-6 will be at 9-2 Ashe County. In 2A West play, Trinity at 5-6 will be at 9-2 Shelby. In 1AA play, Cherryville at 4-7 will be at 8-3 Starmount and North Moore at 6-5 will be at 8-3 Bessemer City. Again we’ll have plenty of action on the radio and www.ktcbroadcasting.com. Don’t forget, we cannot show video of the playoff games because of an agreement between Time Warner Cable and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association. Our coverage includes Cherryville at Starmount on WCSL-1590 AM. Trinity at Shelby on WOHS-1390 AM and Newton-Conover at Lincolnton on WLON-1050 AM. Those games along with East Gaston at Forestview and Southwestern Randolph at Crest will be available on www.ktcbroadcasting.com.
Shelby’s Nautilus/Phoenix power lifting team brought home 35 trophies and a team first place trophy in the North Carolina bench press, push pull, dead lift and strict curl championships in Concord. Dalton Young and Drew Rogers were top lifters in the middle school and college teen divisions. D’Monte Wright took first in four events. Daniel Roberson won the high school teen division winning five events. Laura Todd was the top female wrestler winning four adult division events. Bill Putnam also won four adult division events. Coach and Team Captain Jim Putnam won first in seven adult events.
Lincolnton’s Darian Roseboro has been selected to play in the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl on January 4th in Carson, California. Roseboro will also participate in this year’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas December 20th in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
The South Mountain Athletic Conference handed out its Conference tennis awards. Joe Scism of Crest was named the league’s top coach and Lauren Scism of Crest was named the Player of the Year. Morgan Price of Crest was named to the All-SMAC team. Other team members included Nancy Bridges and Keri Price of Shelby. Candace Gold and Brittany McMurry of Burns and Morgan Lutz of Kings Mountain.
The Big South Conference has handed out it’s All Conference Volleyball Awards. Georgina Diaz of North Gaston was named “Player of the Year” and Carolyn Houser of North Gaston was named “Coach of the Year”. All Conference team members included Sydney Edwards, Erin Edwards and Shelby Dulin of North Gaston, Lauren Franklin, Leah Smith, Emonni Reid and Chidubem Sery of Forestview. Lauren Abernethy and Haley Hovis of East Gaston. Chelsea Houser and Kayla Karr of South Point. Laura Trull and Annelle Grealis of Stuart Cramer. Callie Hatley of Hunter Huss and Cheyanne Johnson of Ashbrook.
Kings Mountain’s Kayla Bolt was named the South Mountain Athletic Conference Volleyball Player of the Year and Mountaineer coach Ashley Pridgen was named the Coach of the Year. The All Conference Team included Gracie Hunter, Angel Peterson and Sara Pasour of Kings Mountain. Kori West of Shelby. MiKaila Linnons of Crest and Ashlea Houston of Burns.
The South Mountain Athletic Conference has handed out its All Conference Awards. Nate Kennedy of Crest was named the Offensive Player of the Year. Omar Jimenez of Chase was named the Defensive Player of the Year and David Steeves of Shelby was named the Coach of the Year. Local All Conference Team members included Steven Pate, Tyler Cowan, Richard Wright, Steven Hill, Aaron Assad and Luke Groves of Shelby. Nate Kennedy, Bradley Keller and Justin Wright of Crest. Robbie Lysek, Tyler Batchler, Arrick Rithiphong of Kings Mountain and Elijah Anderson of Burns.