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May 18, 2012

May 18, 2012


What’s Up With A Tri-atholon

What’s Up in Local Sports with Calvin

By Calvin Hastings

By Calvin Hastings

If you’ve read this column, I’m not much on running or biking, or really swimming.   But, I know a lot of people are.  After all, the creators of Nike, Adidas, Schwinn and whoever makes wet suits are probably doing very well these days.   I’m sticking with baseball, basketball, football and dirt track racing at the Cleveland County Fairground Speedway.   However…coming to Cleveland County are two Triathlons.   The first is set for Saturday, May 19.  It’s the Over the Mountain Triathlon hosted by the City of Kings Mountain.   It’s the Over the Mountain Triathlon’s 12th year of existence.  It includes a one mile swim in Moss Lake, a 30 mile bike ride across four counties and two states, and then, a ten kilometer run through the streets of Kings Mountain.   Give me a big orange!   And then on June 23rd, it’s the second annual Shelby Sprint Triathlon.  This event will include a 500 meter swim at the Shelby City Park Pool, a 5k run and a 20 kilometer bike ride in uptown Shelby.   Give me another big orange!

Get ready for some great baseball action June 8th, 9th and 10th during the North/South Challenge at Keeter Stadium/Veterans Field.   Three teams from North Carolina and three teams from South Carolina will compete in the event.   Teams include Gaffney, Sumter and Florence along with Shelby, Cherryville and Rowan County.

In first round baseball playoff action last week, Forestview advanced with a 2-1 eighth inning win over Tuscola.  The Jaguars are now 13-11 on the season.

Hendersonville eliminated Bessemer City by a 10-0 score.  The Yellow Jackets finished 6-19 on the season.

The season also ended for the Cherryville Ironmen as they fell 10-6 to North Wilkes.  The Ironmen finished 11-16 this year.

East Rutherford advanced with a 2-1 win over North Lincoln.  The Knights finished 13-14 on the year.   West Wilkes eliminated Lincoln Charter 7-4.  Lincoln-Charter finished 11-6 on the year.

East Lincoln advanced with a 3-2 win over South Iredell.   The Mustangs are now 21-4 on the year.

West Lincoln also advanced with an 8-3 win over Trinity.  West Lincoln improved to 18-9 on the year.

The Burns Bulldogs advanced with a 2-1 win over North Gaston.   The Wildcats finished 13-10 on the year, while the Bulldogs improved to 17-5.

The Crest Chargers advanced with a 13-8 win over St. Stephens.  The Chargers are now 16-6 on the year.

Shelby also advanced with a 2-1 win over Mountain Heritage.   The Golden Lions are now 14-8.

In state soccer playoff action last week, Hickory ended the year for the Crest Chargers with a 1-0 win.   Crest finishes 14-4-3.  The season also ended for the Lady Burns Bulldogs as they lost 2-1 in overtime to Asheville.  The Bulldogs finished 19-3 on the year and set a school record for most wins in a season.  Shelby advanced with a 4-1 win over Bandys.  Shelby’s Chase Thompson had a big game scoring a hat trick in the win.   The Lady Golden Lions are now 17-5 overall.

In state tennis playoff action, Kings Mountain’s Chaney Barnes was eliminated in the first round of the state 3A tennis tournament.   South Point’s doubles team of Sadleer Gensch and Logan Andrew also were eliminated.   Shelby’s Ray Webb Parker was also eliminated along with the Golden Lion’s double pairs of Miles Poage and Joseph Hendrick.

In girls state softball playoffs, Cherryville advanced with a 4-3 first round win over Gray State.  The win was the 16th straight year the Lady Ironmen has won their first playoff game.   They now improved to 15-4 on the year.   The Bessemer City Lady Yellow Jackets won their first playoff game since 1985 with a 15-0 win over Robbinsville.  Highland Tech’s Lady Rams also advanced with a 20-17 win over Monroe Central Tech

Lincoln Charter advanced with a 5-2 win over East Montgomery.   The season ended for East Lincoln as they fell to Chase 5-4.   North Lincoln advanced with a 3-1 win over South Iredell.   West Lincoln advances with a 14-6 win over Trinity.   RS Central beat Ashbrook 4-1.  Franklin downed Kings Mountain 10-0.  St. Stephens ended South Point’s season with a 7-1 win.   East Lincoln advanced with a 7-6 win over Watauga.     Enka eliminated Burns by a 3-2 score.  The Lady Bulldogs finish 9-11 on the year.   Franklin ended the season for the Kings Mountain Lady Mountaineers with a 10-0 win.  Kings Mountain finished 10-8 on the season.

The Gardner Webb Lady Bulldogs softball season came to an end last week with an 8-0 loss to Charleston Southern.  The Lady Bulldogs finished 28-28 on the year.

Cherryville’s Trent Friday set a state 1A record in the 400 meters posting a time of 48.12 seconds in the championship meet last Saturday at Greensboro.   East Lincoln’s Marcus McDowell won the boys state 3A 400 meters with a time of 48.72 seconds.  And the Mustang’s Allie Castro won the state 3A 3,200 meters with a time of 11 minutes, 18.62 seconds.

The Big South Conference has announced their all-conference soccer team.   Congratulations to Michaela Stowe of Ashbrook!  Stowe was named the Player of the Year, and Melissa Kiwaia of Ashbrook was named the Coach of the Year.

Congratulations to North Gaston’s Jackie Reid!  Last weekend, Reid won three gold medals in the State 3A Western Regional track meet.  Reid placed first in the 100 meters, the 200 meters and triple jump.  Reid also qualified for the state in the high jump finishing fourth in that event.   Ashbrook’s boy’s team won two gold medals in the 400 and 1600 meter relays.   The 400 meter relay team included Jeremy Crawford, Issac Wright, O’Quan Bratton and Darius McKoy.  The 1600 meter relays included Trez Berry, Russell Bess, Tay Otis and Gene Patterson.  Forestview’s Brittnee Roberts won the girls long jump.  South Point’s Jeffrey Lawing won the shot put.  Devon Robbins of South Point won the 100 meters and Justin Watkins of South Point won the 200 meters.  South Point’s 800 meter relay team placed first.   They included William Lawrence, Devon Robbins, Johnny McIlwain and Justus Watkins.

The Forestview Jaguars won the state 3A golf championship this week winning by five strokes over Marvin Ridge.   Forestview’s Will Long finished second in the individual standings.

Believe it or not, American Legion Baseball gets underway next week.   The Area IV Eastern Division teams include Gaston Post 144/266, Gastonia Post 23, Kings Mountain Post 155, Lincoln County Post 455, Charlotte Post 262, Huntersville Post 321, Mint Hill/Union County Post 423.  The Western Division teams include Cherryville Post 100, Shelby Post 82, Asheville Post 70, Burke County Post 21, Caldwell County Post 29, Hendersonville Post 77, Hickory Post 48 and Rutherford County Post 423.

The Shelby Golden Lions tennis team improved to 21-0 on the season with a 5-1 third round state playoff win over Polk County.

Former Gardner Webb wrestling coach, Dick Wince, will be inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame and the State Chapter of North Carolina this Sunday.   Wince will also receive the Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award.

Ryan Howard took first last Friday night at the Cleveland County Fairground Speedway. Howard held off a late charge by two time winner Dennis Williams. Tim Sigmon placed third. There will be no racing this weekend. Relay for Life will be held this weekend at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. Racing will resume on Friday night, May 25th. Gates will open at 5:00 pm with racing at 8:00 pm. For ticket information including box seats call 704-487-0651.


Grizzlies Unveil New Logo

Managing partner Jesse Cole reveals new logo and offers the new waffle burger to fans; new logo merchandise

That’s My Quarterback

Giants Cowboys Footballto-crying1

What’s Up in Hollywood Sports

By Kevin Hastings - Twitter@KevinHastings

There’s been a lot of debate lateley on the Dallas Cowboys’ quarterback, Tony Romo.  It seems like everyone is split on the QB of America’s Team.  About half think he’s terrible, and the other half loves the gunslinger. And I’m not just talking about average fans, I’m talking about Cowboys fans too.  I know Cowboys fans who would rather have any other quarterback in the league than Romo.  Before we go any further, I’m going to make sure you know I’m a Cowboys fan too, and a Romo supporter.

I love Tony Romo. That’s my quarterback.  Who would you rather have, Romo haters?  Quincy Carter?  Chad Hutchinson? Drew Bledsoe? Jon Kitna? Drew Henson? Babe Laufenberg?  I mean come on guys, it’s tough finding a good quarterback in the NFL.  As Bill Parcells used to say, “Good quarterbacks just don’t grow on trees.”  In fact, Jerry Jones said about Romo, “I think we hit the lottery with him.”

In a recent poll on NFL.com, Romo was rated as the 91st overall player in the NFL.  Ridiculous!  Look, he’s had his ups and downs, but you can’t just base your opinion on how good Romo is based on highlights you see on ESPN or what the talking heads say on the radio.  Romo gets constant disrespect because it’s so easy to do so.

Romo shouldn’t have dated Jessica Simpson.  That opened the doors for the public to lambast him like a celebrity.  You don’t see Donovan McNabb in the tabloids, but you see Romo and Brady though, for dating starlets.  Tony has settled down now, gotten married and has a new son.  His family life has stabilized.

Romo dropped that snap for an extra point in the playoffs versus Seattle.  Yeah, but if the kicker could have put a single finger on the Safety, Romo would have made it into the endzone for a victory instead of a tie.  Don’t forget, Terry Glenn fumbled on the 2-yard line putting Dallas in the situation to have to score in the first place.  Also, how many times have you seen Dan Marino or Tom Brady hold a kick, in the rain, in the playoffs?  None, that’s because most teams don’t make their starting QB’s do that.  I’ve had to hold kicks before, and I thought that was the hardest, most pressurized, nerve racking thing I’ve ever had to do on a football field.  I was quarterback in high school, and I was never more nervous than catching that snap and getting in down with laces out and hoping the kicker didn’t kick my fingers off  or go Ray Finkle and kidnap me.  It’s tougher than you think.

I know Romo is 1-3 in the playoffs and seems to crumble at inopportune times.  Peyton Manning has a losing playof record too.  But ESPN highlights make you think Romo ruins every game when, in fact, if it wasn’t for him, Dallas would be drafting in the Top 5 every year.  Since Romo took over, Jason Garrett has also been in charge of the offense.  The Cowboys’ and Romo’s problems over the years is when they get a really big lead, Garrett has no idea how to use his running game to work the clock and finish off opposing teams.  Dallas lost two games last year in the 4th quarter because if Garrett had called two more running plays in the game, it would have been over.  That’s right, just called two more running plays and the clock runs out, Dallas wins, and the Giants don’t make the playoffs and defeate Tom Brady and the Patriots again.  Now after dealing with Garrett, Romo had also had to deal with absolutely no running game or defense since he’s taken over as starter.

Now, I’m about to give you a stat you might not believe.  Tony Romo is the #2 rated quarterback in NFL History! That’s right, folks.  He’s got the #2 all-time quarterback rating.  Aaron Rodgers is #1, followed by Romo, Steve Young, Tom Brady, Phillip Rivers, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Joe Montana and Ben Roethlisberger.  Only Romo and Rivers are ringless.

You want some more stats? Okay, let’s take a closer look and compare him with other Top QB’s of today:  Romo, Brady, Rodgers, Brees, Manning, Newton, and Rivers.

In the top quarterback categories of yards, completion percentage, touchdowns, rating and yards per attempt.  Here are how those quarterbacks rank in those categories this past season.

Tony Romo:  4, 7, 7, 5, 4

Tom Brady:  4, 2, 2, 4, 3

Aaron Rodgers:  2, 5, 1, 2, 1

Drew Brees:  1, 1, 6, 1, 2

Eli Manning:  14, 4, 5, 6, 7

Phillip Rivers:  7, 6, 9, 8, 11

Cam Newton:  18, 10, 10, 11, 15

How about career 4th Quarter combacks? Tom Brady (25), Eli Manning (21), Drew Brees (19), Tony Romo (13), Phillip Rivers (13), Aaron Rodgers (3) and Cam Newton (0).

Interceptions last season:  Phillip Rivers (3rd Most in League), Cam Newton (6th most), Eli Manning (7th), Drew Brees (10th), Cam Newton (15th), Tom Brady (18th), Tony Romo (23rd), and Aaron Rodgers (33rd).

So there are some stats for you ‘Boys fans out there who support Romo like I do. Troy Aikman admitted Romo was better than himseft. But nobody said it better than Terrell Owens did though (photo below), “That’s my quarterback, sniff, that’s my quarterback, man.”  Go Romo!

CHAPTER 7: Haley Boo goes to dance class!

What’s Up with Howard Black

By Howard Black

By Howard Black

When you have lost a spouse, your first thought is to stay busy.

One of my things was to take Haley (Boo), my granddaughter to dance classes.  While this may sound like the simple task of delivering and picking up a short, blonde-haired munchkin, it has far greater implications.

It is my responsibility on each Tuesday evening to deliver Haley to Tammie McSwain’s On Stage Productions.  Tammie is a wonderful dance teacher and does great things with these kids.

The first night that I pull up to dance class, there were about 5 to 10 women standing outside with their little dancers.  There were no other males within two miles, and I felt like a chicken wing being dropped into a pack of hungry dogs.

My first thought was to drop her off and beat a hasty retreat back to my truck.

While hurriedly dashing for the rear lines, I bumped into a friend and her daughter.  I sat and talked with her while Haley was in class, and it didn’t take long to realize that dance class might have been one of my best decisions.

Now, I look forward to sitting and talking with these women.  Most are married and have children, so there is no pressure.  It’s like a training course full of female drill instructors to teach me how to talk and interact with women again.  I have found that most of these women are very outspoken and will let me know quickly how to behave as a single person.  I consider it an advanced study class in how women think, how men should behave and what really ticks them off.

Over the weeks, I have learned that these women hold very little back.  I will admit that I have heard some conversations that no male should probably ever hear, and I’ve learned things about friends that I probably shouldn’t know.   But, the education I am receiving is priceless.

Women today are much different; they are more independent and are quick to say that they will never depend on a man for existence.  I’ve spent a large portion of my life depending on another person, and that person depending on me.

After 32 years of marriage, the concept of being independent, for either a man or woman is hard for me to accept and understand.

As time moves forward, I’m finding the concept of living by myself and dependent on no one else as comforting.  Sometimes I don’t make my bed or I eat something that I shouldn’t, but now I know that is my choice.  At first, the thought of independence scared me, but as the weeks and months pass, it is become more of my lifestyle.

Carrie is my other granddaughter, and I’m trying to get her to enroll in karate classes.  Somehow, though, I don’t think karate classes will be as much fun as dance.

*  Listen to Howard on BrightStarRadio.com or stop by for a chat and a burger at Bright Star Grill in Mt. Holly

History for Hendricks

Rubbin’s Racing in NASCAR

By Clint Spencer

Rick Hendrick finally captured his elusive 200th win that he has been chasing since October 9, 2011.  It was on that day that Jimmie Johnson won at Kansas giving Hendrick his 199th career win.  The 200th win was inevitable, but still the question remained.  Who, where, and when will the trademark win come?  The question was answered this past Saturday night, when Johnson took the checkered flag for the Bojangles Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.  The winning move came with 42 to go when Johnson took the lead and never looked back.  The victory marked Johnsonís 56th career win and 1st of 2012 but the number he will always remember is 200.  Richard Petty accomplished the feat as a driver and now Rick Hendrick has done it as an owner.  The tally will only go up from here as Jimmie Johnson still has many good years ahead of him.  Jeff Gordon will add a few more before his days are over and Kasey Kahne will soon start.  And hopefully Earnhardt Jr. will add a few even though just one will do for me at this point.

This weekend the festivities kick into high gear in and around Charlotte Motor Speedway.  As I always like to do, here is a short list of places to go.  I will only cover up to Thursday May 24th.  Next weekís paper will include another list.

Thursday May 17th:  Pit Crew Challenge at Time Warner Cable Arena.  Tickets start at $15. Several truck series drivers including Todd Bodine will be dropping by Camping World in Statesville starting at 11 a.m.  All fans that stop by can also pick up a free lunch.

Friday May 18th:  Darrell Waltrip, Glen Wood, and Cale Yarborough will be participating in a Q&A at the hall of fame from 11:15-11:45.

Wednesday May 23rd:  Bobby Labonte will be at the Wal-Mart in Salisbury from 4:30-5:30. Tony Stewart will be at the Office Depot on JW Clay Boulevard in Charlotte at 3:45.  There are only 300 wristbands available for this session.  Get there early. For those of you who do not want to drive to Charlotte, Jack Roush will be signing autographs at Keeter Ford in Shelby between4-8 p.m.  Call in advance before you go.  I could not find a definite time.

Thursday May 24th:  Roush fan day at Roush-Fenway Racing in Concord will start early at 8 a.m.  Drivers are scheduled to sign before noon.  They will be handing out wristbands in advance.  Get there early.  Visit their website for more details.

Prediction for the All Star Race this Saturday night:  22 drivers are eligible for the Sprint Showdown including Dale Earnhardt Jr.  The winner and runner-up of this event will move on to the All-Star Race along with the fan vote.  Jamie McMurray will race his way in along with Truex.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. will get the fan vote.

20 drivers are eligible for the All Star Race.  Add in two Showdown drivers and the fan vote and there could be a total of 23 racing.  That number also includes Mark Martin, who is eligible as a past winner.

Look for Matt Kenseth in victory lane Saturday night..

Win $50 in NASCAR PICK'EM! Congratulations to last week's winner Bob Hull of Shelby

Win $50 in NASCAR PICK'EM! Congratulations to last week's winner Bob Hull of Shelby

Mt. Holly Man & Woman of the Year


Bob Blankenship and Hazel Lutz

Life! Celebrating Life! That’s What We’re All About!

What’s Up with Cleveland County Hospice

Choosing hospice means choosing to live life to the fullest. The hospice focus is on quality of life. With the help of our wonderful community, Hospice Cleveland County recently created special memories for three patients and their families.

Little Claire

Little Claire is absolutely the sweetest child. Her smile is infectious and her laughter is captivating. She shares both often! Claire is a lively seven years old. She and her sister, Delaney, have a special bond between them that is beautiful to witness. Delaney turned eight in November, however, with mom and Claire at Duke Hospital, there was no chance to celebrate her birthday. Now Claire was turning eight and her hospice team members decided this was a perfect time to celebrate both birthdays! What a celebration it was! With a few phone calls, the celebration was planned. Thanks to Cecil Burton and the use of his brand new limousine, mom and daughters were taken to Jammin J’s Pizza Factory where Jeff Walker, owner, graciously donated the use of his restaurant, pizza, and game room tokens for the sisters and their friends. Hospice Social Worker, Priscilla Brooks, arranged the Hello Kitty Birthday party, including a cake for each girl, donated by Ingles. Area businesses donated gifts and party favors. A Face Painter and Balloon Artist who also did a special Magic Show provided entertainment. For a few hours, there was complete focus on fun and frolic, no medications, no doctor appointments. Little girls, ALL little girls need to celebrate each and every birthday in style!


Randy and Sylvia celebrated 35 years of marriage. Randy and Sylvia Reep met at the Bar-B-Que King in Lincolnton when it was a “curb hop”. Sylvia’s eyes glistened when she told about seeing Randy pull up the first time on his motorcycle. Until a few years ago when Randy’s health declined significantly, the couple celebrated their anniversary by going out to dinner. This year, to help celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary, Alston Bridges Barbeque donated ‘ribs and all the fixins’ for the couple to enjoy at their home. Randy’s Hospice team members surprised the couple with a cake and balloons. VA-room, van-room, love was in the air!


Thirty-two year old Robert Francis is battling Melanoma. In business for himself with 3 small children, one under the age of 1, life has become significantly more hectic and difficult. Medical expenses mounted and the family eventually had to move in with relatives. This year, they were not planning to celebrate their 12th anniversary. Robert was physically unable to make or shop for an anniversary present for his wife, Jennifer. When contacted, Smoke on the Square agreed to host the couple with a candlelight dinner in the private dining room; a dozen red roses from Holly’s Flowers decorated the table; national champion mountain dulcimer player, Joe Collins, provided entertainment; Victorian Rose Photography Studio took pictures and completed a photo album for the couple; Lowery’s Jewelers donated diamond earrings and Arnold’s Jewelers donated a necklace for Robert to give Jennifer at the restaurant. With the help of our community, this anniversary is one they will never forget.

The people of Cleveland County know the value of helping one another in times of need. Without the community’s support and willingness to give, there is no way we could provide the level of compassionate care and support to our patients and families. In all three of these celebrations, all it took was a few phone calls. We are sincerely grateful to everyone that made a difference in the lives of these patients and their families. Your support means more than you can imagine!

Life, celebrating life, that’s what Hospice Cleveland County is all about!



Boy Scout Troop  101 of Aldersgate Methodist Church held a flag retirement  ceremony at American Legion Post 82 in Shelby on Monday,  May 14th. Scouts and Legionnaires stood at attention as worn out American flags were burned  in  a  portable container  brought for  the  occasion. Scoutmaster Robert Ledbetter explained that the troop had shredded the old flags into three  colors — red, white–and  blue, and each were  disposed of separately.  He read a tribute to  the flag  as  part of the ceremony. A fire truck and members of the Shelby Fire Department were present for safety reasons.

After the event, the scouts joined members of the legion post for a  hot dog supper.  The program for the evening was provided by Benjamin Schaeffer, winner of the local post oratorical contest.   He finished in  third place in regional competition.  Benjamin is the son of Ron and Patty Schaeffer of Boiling  Springs.  He plans to attend college to study history and political science upon graduation.

Photo attatchments: Scouts and American legionnaires stand at attention as   worn out American flags are retired.

“Learning Courtyard” Built

james school

James Love School “Learning Courtyard” Built


On Saturday, May 5th, over 50 volunteers, that included members of the James Love School PTO and teachers, the Cleveland County Girl Scouts, and Keep Shelby Beautiful members, came together to build a “Learning Courtyard” at the school.

The “Learning Courtyard” was a dream of the James Love School PTO, who wanted to provide an outdoor classroom setting to help expand young minds.

The volunteers worked for several hours planting wild flowers, giant Reed Grass, Blueberry bushes and Holly bushes. Future projects for the “Learning Courtyard” include a brick-paver walkway, a bird garden, an insect garden, and individual teacher planting areas. The “Learning Courtyard” was designed by local landscape architect, Fred B. Blackley, ASLA, who donated his time, talent and expertise for this project.

Keep Shelby Beautiful hosted a pizza party for all the volunteers at the school after all the planting and watering was completed.

Also to enhance the James Love School campus, Keep Shelby Beautiful started a “Sustainable Landscape” which includes planting a pine forest with a mixture of hardwoods. Not only does it enhance the campus, it will also help decrease the grounds maintenance cost for the Cleveland County School system.

Keep Shelby Beautiful knows that when volunteers come together for the betterment of their community, they provide a better place to raise a family, start a business, or go to school. Service to the community is the ultimate declaration of love for where you live and for the people you share it with. Volunteer service is an important way that anyone can contribute to improving the quality of life in the community.

To find out more about how you can help keep Shelby beautiful, contact Keep Shelby Beautiful Coordinator, Mary Byrnes at 704-484-6829 or email mary.byrnes@cityofshelby.com.

Taylor Sweat - Essay Contest Winner



Taylor Sweat, a junior at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, is the state - wide winner of the North Carolina Celebrate Liberty Essay Contest, sponsored by Lions Clubs. The Shelby Club held the contest in cooperation with Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy.

Eleventh grade students were invited to write about a quote from Thomas Jefferson, “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those willing to work and give it to those who would not. It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes.”

At a Shelby Lions meeting in October, Lion Gerald Weathers presented Taylor with a plaque and a check for fifty dollars. Her winning essay advanced to district Competition. Heather and her parents, Holly and Dan Sweat of Boiling Springs, traveled to a district cabinet meeting in Asheville in November, where she read her essay and received another cash prize. She is invited to read her essay at the Celebrate Liberty seminar during the Lions State Convention at Mariott Executive Park in Charlotte Saturday, May 19th, where she will receive her award.