10-6-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball, baseball and auto racing, College football and basketball, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker

Cramerton Middle School beat visiting Chavis 10-3 on Wednesday to win the 2021 Gaston County Conference championship.

Cramerton Middle School won the 2021 Gaston County Conference championship on Wednesday.

It’s the Eagles’ fourth county title all-time and first since 2013. Cramerton also won in 2001 and 2002.

In Wednesday’s victory that completed Cramerton’s season with a 12-0 record, Kayla Johnson threw a complete game with five strikeouts and had one hit and one run.

Other offensive standouts for the Eagles were Cailey Evans (1 hit, 2 runs), Kaitlyn Baker (2 runs), Madison Bridges (3 intentional walks, 1 run), Taylyn Ledford (1 hit, 1 run), Josie Grimes (2 runs) and Ava Cabe (1 run).

Baker, Cabe, Bridges, Evans, Grimes, Ledford and Addesyn Payseur led the Cramerton defense.

(Gaston County Conference playoffs)
Monday’s games
No. 1 Cramerton 10, No. 4 Mount Holly 0 (5 innings)
No. 2 Chavis 10, No. 3 Stanley 0 (5 innings)

Wednesday’s game
Championship – Cramerton 10, Chavis 3



Hall of Fame

Cherryville restarted its Athletic Hall of Fame last Saturday by inducting 11 individuals and one team.

The 2021 Cherryville Sports Hall of Fame induction. Front row (left to right) Sonja Hoyle, Abby Owens Hawkins, Ebone Johnson, Linda Ballard, Libby Brackett, Back row (left to right) Phillip Bradley, Kenny Poston, Scott Harrill, Trent Friday, Cameron Lovelace, Jamie McSwain, Jay Moss, and Gary Reardon.

Two inductees, recreation and youth sports activist Skeet Brackett and amateur boxer Larry Boyles will be honored posthumously.

Cherryville boys basketball coach Scott Harrill earned a spot in the Hall of Fame in the same year in which he became Gaston County’s career leader in coaching victories. Harrill, a former standout basketball player at Cherryville, has a 384-170 record guiding the Ironmen teams.

Two of Harrill’s top players, Terry Whisnant, Jr., and Thomas Bess, also will be inducted. Whisnant, a 2011 Cherryville graduate, scored a county-record 2,561 points before playing for ACC champion Florida State and East Carolina in college in addition to pro career. And Bess, also a 2011 Cherryville graduate, played on state champion high school and American Legion baseball teams in addition to shining in football and basketball for the Ironmen.

Other individuals to be inducted were Lady Ironmen basketball standouts Ebonee Johnson, Abbey Owens and Sonya Hoyle, three-sport standout Cameron Lovelace and record-setting track athlete Trentavious Friday, who ran at Florida State and professionally after setting state records and one national record while at Cherryville.

Finally, the 1985 Cherryville High boys basketball squad that won the N.C. 2A championship under the direction of the late David Watkins was inducted. The team featured N.C. Shrine Bowl football standout Terry Whisnant, Sr., future ACC basketball champion Kenny Poston (N.C. State) and future championship-winning basketball coach Jay Moss among others.

Another new member, Kenneth Harris, will be enshrined in 2022. Harris, a three-sport standout at Cherryville before playing being one of Matt Stafford’s top targets as a receiver at Georgia, had his induction postponed due to travel considerations.

The guest speaker for the 2021 event was former Duke basketball star and NBA player Gene Banks, who now works at Gaston College as part of their startup athletic program. A member of Duke’s 1978 Final Four team under coach Bill Foster and legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski’s first team in 1980, Banks played for the Blue Devils when Cherryville native Max Crowder was the school’s Hall of Fame trainer.



Former Duke star Gene Banks was the featured speaker at the 2021 Cherryville Sports Hall of Fame banquet.

High school athletics

Crest High School will honor two of its greatest athletes on Oct. 15 when it retires the jerseys of football star Jonathan Bullard and softball star Bailey Smith.

Bullard, a 2012 Crest High graduate who will on his Atlanta Falcons bye week, was a two-time Big South Conference defensive player of the year at Crest before becoming an All-SEC performer at Florida and playing six NFL seasons for the Chicago Bears (2016-19), Seattle Seahawks (2020) and Falcons (2021).

And Smith, a 2010 Crest High graduate, was a two-time Big South Conference player of the year for the Chargers who had a 24-2 pitching record in her senior season as Crest finished 25-3 overall and as N.C. 3A state runner-up. She later played at Spartanburg Methodist and Anderson University.



Pro football

The Carolina Panthers continued to try and shore up its defensive secondary with trading for a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Carolina acquired Rock Hill, S.C., native, Stephen Gilmore from the New England Patriots for a 2023 sixth round draft pick.

A former South Carolina high school Mr. Football after leading South Pointe High to the 2008 state title, Gilmore played at the University of South Carolina for three years from 2009 to 2011 before being a first-round pick (No. 10 overall) of the Buffalo Bills in 2012.

After five years in Buffalo, Gilmore signed a 5-year, $65 million free agent contract with the Patriots in 2017 and played four years for the Patriots before being placed on injured reserve in August of this season with a quad injury and isn’t expected to play until later this month.

With the Panthers, Gilmore will join a secondary with veterans Donte Jackson, A.J. Bouye, Rashaan Melvin and Juston Burris and younger players like C.J. Henderson, Keith Taylor, Jr., and Stantley Thomas-Oliver III. Henderson was acquired after 2021 first round pick Jaycee Horn suffered a broken foot in the Sept. 23 win at Houston.

Here is the Carolina Panthers’ 2021 schedule (with results):

Sept. 12 New York Jets (W 19-14)
Sept. 19 New Orleans (W 26-7)
Sept. 23 at Houston (W 24-9)
Oct. 3 at Dallas (L 28-36)
Oct. 10 Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Oct. 17 Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Oct. 24 at New York Giants, 1 p.m.
Oct. 31 at Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Nov. 7 New England, 1 p.m.
Nov. 14 at Arizona, 4:05 p.m.
Nov. 21 Washington, 1 p.m.
Nov. 28 at Miami, 1 p.m.
Dec. 12 Atlanta, 1 p.m.
Dec. 18 or 19 at Buffalo, TBD
Dec. 26 Tampa Bay, 1 p.m.
Jan. 2 at New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Jan. 9 at Tampa Bay, 1 p.m





Pro basketball

On a day the Charlotte Hornets announced information for fans who attend games at Spectrum Center, it also announced two of its starters will be out due to health and safety protocols.

The Hornets asks that fans who aren’t feeling well or have recently been exposed to COVID-19 to stay home. And those who do attend, in accordance with guidance from the CDC and local health officials, are required to wear face masks covering both the nose and mouth for individuals at least 5 years of age at all times while in Spectrum Center. The only exception is where you are actively eating or drinking at the guest’s designated seating location.

Also, with limited exceptions, all tickets will be digital. Tickets for Hornets games can be accessed through the Hornets App, via the “My Tickets” button, which will prompt users to log in to their My Hornets Account or Ticketmaster account.

Additionally, per NBA protocols, all fans seated within 15 feet of the court and/or the player benches must either be fully vaccinated or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from a PCR test sampled within 48 hours prior to the game or a rapid antigen test sampled the day of the game. At-home tests will not be accepted.

As for the Hornets on the court, forward Gordon Hayward and center Mason Plumlee are out for the game due to health and safety protocols and forward Kelly Oubre is doubtful with a right ankle sprain he suffered in Monday’s preseason opener at Oklahoma City.

Here is the full 2021 preseason schedule as the Hornets prepare for an Oct. 20 start to the regular season:

Mon. 4 at Oklahoma City (W 113-97)
Thu. 7 MEMPHIS 7:00
Mon. 11 at Miami 7:30
Wed. 13 DALLAS 7:00





College football

Here’s the Carolinas Division I schedule this week:

Coastal Carolina at Arkansas State, 6:30 p.m.

Charlotte at Florida International, 7 p.m.

Wake Forest at Syracuse, TBA
Elon at Maine, noon
South Carolina at Tennessee, noon
Georgia Tech at Duke, 12:30 p.m.
Furman at Wofford, 1:30 p.m.
Florida State at North Carolina, 3:30 p.m.
Mercer at Western Carolina, 3:30 p.m.
The Citadel at East Tennessee State, 4:30 p.m.
East Carolina at Central Florida, 6 p.m.

Here’s the Carolinas Division II schedule this week:

Newberry at Virginia Wise, noon
Wheeling at UNC Pembroke, noon
Carson-Newman at Catawba, 1 p.m.
Fayetteville at Shaw, 1 p.m.
Tusculum at Lenoir-Rhyne, 1 p.m.
Wingate at Limestone, 1 p.m.
Winston-Salem State at Johnson C. Smith, 1 p.m.
Bowie State at Chowan, 1 p.m.
Barton at Mars Hill, 1:30 p.m.
St. Augustine’s at Livingstone, 1:30 p.m.
Erskine at Savannah State, 6 p.m.
Elizabeth City State at Virginia Union, 7 p.m.
West Florida at North Greenville, 7 p.m.



College basketball

The CIAA announced its 2021 preseason all-conference men’s and women’s basketball teams in addition to a preseason poll as voted on by league coaches and sports information directors.

The CIAA resumes play after the 2020-21 season was cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Here is the preseason men’s basketball team followed by the preseason poll:

Cameron Campbell, Winston-Salem State
Bernard Lightsey, Lincoln (PA)
Zach Hobbs, Elizabeth City State
Antwan Miles, Virginia State
Tyriek Railey, Virginia Union

Jordan Peebles, Virginia Union
Jalen Seegars, Fayetteville State
Zahrion Blue, Lincoln (PA)
Francis Fitzgerald, Virginia State
Navar Elmore, Livingstone
Darian Dixon, Fayetteville State
Raemaad Wright, Virginia Union

Overall order of finish (with first place votes in parentheses)
1. Fayetteville State (4)
2. Winston-Salem State (4)
3. Bowie State (2)
4. Virginia State (2)
5. Virginia Union
6. Johnson C. Smith
7. Claflin
8. Elizabeth City State
9. Livingstone
t-10. Lincoln (Pa.)
t-10. Shaw
12. Saint Augustine’s

Northern Division
1. Bowie State
2. Virginia State
3. Virginia Union
4. Elizabeth City State
t-5. Lincoln (Pa.)
t-5. Shaw

Southern Division
1. Fayetteville State
2. Winston-Salem State
3. Johnson C. Smith
4. Claflin
5. Livingstone
6. Saint Augustine’s

Here is the preseason men’s basketball team followed by the preseason poll:

London Thompson, Fayetteville State
Bryanna Brown, Lincoln (PA)
Nyasia Blango, Elizabeth City State
Dionna Long, Claflin
Amaya Tucker, Winston-Salem State

Kaaliya Williams, Virginia State
Lezarea Bowens, Johnson C. Smith
Talanya Hutton, Bowie State
O’Shea Hatley, Winston-Salem State
Naterria Luster, Elizabeth City State
Shenell Shaw-Davis, Fayetteville State
Victoria Onozie, Livingstone

Overall order of finish (with first place votes in parentheses)
1. Fayetteville State (8)
2. Bowie State (2)
3. Johnson C. Smith (1)
4. Lincoln (Pa.)
5. Virginia Union
6. Winston-Salem State
7. Elizabeth City State (1)
8. Virginia State
9. Livingstone
t-10. Shaw
t-10. Saint Augustine’s
12. Claflin

Northern Division
1. Bowie State
2. Lincoln (Pa.)
3. Virginia Union
4. Elizabeth City State
5. Virginia State
6. Shaw

Southern Division
1. Fayetteville State
2. Johnson C. Smith
3. Winston-Salem State
4. Livingstone
5. Saint Augustine’s
6. Claflin




High school football

Two games were moved up to Thursday due to concerns about inclement weather. Here are their previews:

Ashbrook at Cramer
Series: Ashbrook leads 4-3
Storyline: Both teams enter the contest coming off a victory and both teams have shown the ability to score so a high-scoring affair may be in order in a series in which Ashbrook has won the last two games.

Bessemer City at East Gaston
Series: East Gaston leads 11-4
Storyline: East Gaston seeks its first four-game winning streak since 2006 and is only two wins away from wrapping up the school’s first winning record since 2015.

Here are standings through Oct. 5 with conference record listed first followed by overall record:

Crest 4-0, 4-1
Kings Mountain 3-0, 5-1
South Point 2-1, 4-2
Forestview 2-1, 3-3
Cramer 1-2, 3-3
Ashbrook 1-2, 1-3
Huss 0-3, 0-4
North Gaston 0-4, 0-7

Statesville 3-0, 5-0
North Lincoln 2-1, 4-2
Hickory 2-1, 3-3
North Iredell 2-1, 2-3
East Lincoln 1-2, 4-2
West Iredell 1-2, 1-3
St. Stephens 1-2, 1-4
Foard 0-3, 0-5

Bunker Hill 3-0, 6-0
Maiden 3-0, 6-0
Newton-Conover 2-1, 2-3
Lincolnton 2-1, 2-4
West Lincoln 1-2, 4-2
East Burke 0-2, 1-3
Bandys 0-2, 2-2
West Caldwell 0-3, 0-5

Shelby 3-0, 5-1
Burns 2-0, 4-2
East Gaston 2-0, 4-2
Thomas Jefferson 1-2, 3-2
Bessemer City 1-2, 2-5
Cherryville 0-2, 1-5
Highland Tech 0-3, 0-6

Myers Park 2-0, 5-2
South Meck 1-0, 5-1
Olympic 1-0, 4-1
Berry Academy 1-2, 2-3
Kell 0-1, 3-2
Harding 0-2, 2-5

Catholic 3-0, 5-1
Butler 3-0, 4-2
Independence 1-1, 2-3
Rocky River 1-1, 2-4
East Meck 1-2, 1-6
Providence 0-2, 2-4
Garinger 0-3, 0-6

Hough 3-0, 6-0
West Charlotte 2-1, 5-1
Mallard Creek 2-1, 3-2
Chambers 1-1, 5-1
North Meck 1-1, 3-2
Hopewell 0-2, 1-5
West Meck 0-3, 3-4

Chase 0-1, 5-1
Clover 0-0, 1-3
Mtn Island Charter 2-1, 5-1
R-S Central 1-2, 1-4

This week’s games Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln county games:

Mountain Island Charter 41, Pine Lake Prep 12

Ashbrook at Cramer
Bessemer City at East Gaston

Crest at Shelby
Huss at Forestview
Kings Mountain at South Point
Foard at East Lincoln
St. Stephens at North Lincoln
Lincolnton at West Caldwell
West Lincoln at Newton-Conover
Cherryville at Highland Tech
Thomas Jefferson at Burns

This week’s other area games:

Providence 33, Mooresville 13

North Iredell at Hickory
West Iredell at Statesville
Bandys at Maiden
Bunker Hill at East Burke
Hopewell at Chambers
West Charlotte at Hough
West Meck at North Meck
Berry Academy at Olympic
Harding at Myers Park
South Meck at Kell
Butler at Rocky River
Catholic at Garinger
Independence at Providence
Fort Mill, S.C. at Clover, S.C.
Brevard at Chase
Patton at R-S Central








High school boys soccer

Here are the standings through Oct. 6 with conference record listed first followed by overall record:

Cramer 8-0, 14-2
Ashbrook 6-2, 8-3
Forestview 6-2, 9-4-1
South Point 5-3, 9-6
Huss 2-5-1, 5-5-1
Kings Mountain 2-5-1, 3-8-1
North Gaston 2-6, 4-8-1
Crest 0-8, 0-12

Shelby 7-0, 12-1-1
Highland Tech 5-1, 7-3
Burns 4-3, 7-3-1
Thomas Jefferson 3-3, 3-5
East Gaston 3-4, 4-11
Bessemer City 1-5, 2-8
Cherryville 0-7, 1-9-1

Gaston Christian 2-3, 4-7
Gaston Day 5-0, 11-2
East Lincoln 5-2-1, 7-5-2
North Lincoln 2-5, 6-8
Lincolnton 7-0, 9-0-2
West Lincoln 0-8, 2-13
Lincoln Charter 1-4, 5-8-1
Mtn Island Charter 0-6, 3-9
Piedmont CC 6-1, 8-2

This week’s schedule:

Ashbrook 2, Huss 0
Kings Mountain 6, Crest 1
Cramer 4, Forestview 2
South Point 6, North Gaston 1
North Iredell 5, East Lincoln 3 (OT)
North Lincoln 6, West Iredell 0
Lincolnton 3, West Lincoln 0
Pine Lake Prep 6, Lincoln Charter 0
Christ the King 7, Mountain Island Charter 2

Burns 3, Bessemer City 0
Highland Tech 3, Cherryville 2
Shelby 5, East Gaston 0
Concord Academy 7, Gaston Christian 1
Lincolnton 1, East Lincoln 1
Piedmont Community Charter 2, Bradford Prep 1

Ashbrook 9, Crest 3: Jackson Thomas (2 goals, 1 assist), Fidel Medina (2 goals), John Francis (1 goal), Hilario Aguirre (1 goal), Chevis Seigle (1 goal), Kyo Burgos (1 goal), Amari Speid (1 goal) and Duvier Gomez, Sanders Zendejas, Carlos Lopez and Zach Laxton (1 assist each) led Ashbrook.
Huss 0, Kings Mountain 0 (2 OT)
Forestview 4, North Gaston 0
Cramer 2, South Point 1
Gaston Day at Asheville Christian, no report
East Lincoln 3, North Lincoln 2 (OT)
Bunker Hill at Lincolnton, no report
Bandys 6, West Lincoln 1
Langtree Charter 7, Lincoln Charter 1
Pine Lake Prep 9, Mountain Island Charter 0

Cherryville at Bandys
East Gaston at Burns
Highland Tech at Bessemer City
Thomas Jefferson at Shelby
Gaston Christian at Hickory Grove Christian
Carolina International at Piedmont Community Charter

Christ the King at Lincoln Charter
Mountain Island Charter at Gray Stone Day




High school volleyball

Standings through Oct. 5:

Kings Mountain 10-0, 14-2
Crest 6-1, 13-1
South Point 7-2, 8-7
Forestview 6-4, 11-5
Cramer 4-6, 8-9
North Gaston 2-6, 3-12
Ashbrook 1-8, 1-10
Huss 0-9, 1-11

East Gaston 9-0, 13-3
Highland Tech 6-0, 11-2
Cherryville 6-4, 9-12
Burns 3-4, 6-6
Thomas Jefferson 3-6, 5-9
Bessemer City 1-6, 1-12
Shelby 1-9, 1-14

Cherryville 3, Hunter Huss 0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-12): Rileigh Kiser (14 aces, 16 assists, 4 digs), Addie Eaker (6 kills), Terayha Bess (5 kills) and Skye Reed (4 kills) helped Cherryville improve to 10-12 overall.




Middle school football

Gaston County Conference standings through Sept. 29 with division record listed first followed by overall record:

(Division I)
Southwest 4-0, 6-0
Holbrook 3-1, 5-1
Grier 2-2, 4-2
Cramerton 1-3, 3-3
Mount Holly 0-4, 0-5-1
(Division II)
Belmont 5-0, 5-2
York Chester 4-1, 4-2-1
Bessemer City 3-2, 3-4
Stanley 2-3, 2-4
W.C. Friday 1-4, 2-5
Chavis 0-5, 0-6

Wednesday’s games
Holbrook 28, Cramerton 0: Savion Lindsay (6 carries for 117 yards rushing with 2 TDs and 2 XP runs), Jacaro Jones (5 carries for 75 yards rushing with 1 TD), Derrell Leach (3 carries for 28 yards rushing with 1 TD) led Holbrook’s offense and Jones, Leach, Lindsay, T.J. Armstrong and Nakaya Hale led the defense.

Southwest 28, Grier 0: Anthony Tate (65 yards rushing), Elijah Littlejohn (78 yards rushing with 1 TD), Martino Smith Jr. (40 yards rushing with 1 punt return TD), Jakelan Littlejohn (65 yards passing with 1 TD, 40 yards rushing with 1 TD), Chandler Grayson (45 yards receiving with 1 TD) and Ian Dunham (47-yard TD interception return) for Southwest.

Belmont 14, York Chester 0: Chris Wurster and Zeke Pruitt scored touchdowns for Belmont.

Bessemer City 18, W.C. Friday 6

Stanley 40, Chavis 0

Oct. 13
(County championship game)
Belmont at Southwest

Tri-County Conference standings through Oct. 6 with division record listed first followed by overall record:

East Lincoln 4-0, 5-0
Kings Mountain 3-1, 3-2
North Lincoln 2-1, 3-1
Burns 1-2, 1-2
Lincolnton 0-3, 1-3
West Lincoln 0-3, 0-4
Shelby 3-0, 5-0
Crest 3-0, 3-1
R-S Central 1-1, 2-1
East Rutherford 1-1, 1-2
Thomas Jefferson 1-2, 1-3
Chase 0-4, 0-5

Monday’s game
Crest 38, East Rutherford 6

Tuesday’s games
Kings Mountain 33, Lincolnton 0
East Lincoln 14, West Lincoln 0

Wednesday’s games
Shelby 53, Chase 0
North Lincoln at Burns, no report

Thursday’s games
Crest at Thomas Jefferson
R-S Central at East Rutherford





Pro baseball

The Gastonia Honey Hunters won 5-1 over Lexington on Wednesday in a seven-inning game shortened by weather.

The win improved Gastonia to 51-65 on the season and they’ll concluded their three-game home series with Lexington on Thursday before closing their season with a three-game home series against West Virginia on Friday through Sunday.




Pro auto racing

The Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course is the site of Sunday’s 2 p.m. Bank of America ROVAL 400.

Denny Hamlin is the current NASCAR Cup Series points standings leader and has two wins and 16 top five finishes this season.