7-19-21 roundup: Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame, Legion baseball, College football, Pro baseball
By Richard Walker
The Mount Holly Sports Hall of Fame will induct seven new members on Aug. 21 at 6 p.m. during its 14th annual ceremony at the Mount Holly Municipal Complex.
The 2020 event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but 2021 event tickets are available for $20 apiece at Moose’s Pharmacy and David’s Detailing in Mount Holly.
The inductees are Reggie Ballard, Mike Featherstone, Donald Fortner, Scottie Holden, Brooke Wilkinson, Eddie Womack and East Gaston High’s 1992 wrestling team.
Ballard, a 1962 Mount Holly High graduate, was the Gaston County’s leading high school football scorer in 1961 with 104 points before playing at Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tenn. Ballard eventually enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving in Germany from 1964 to 1966 where he also coached youth football. Among his players were eventual award-winning actor LeVar Burton.
Featherstone, a 1982 East Gaston High graduate, was 1981 co-Southwestern 3A Conference player of the year at East Gaston before pitching for Wake Forest from 1983 to 1986 where he was one of ACC’s top strikeout pitchers and a co-captain in 1986. A free agent signee of the Atlanta Braves organization, Featherstone helped a team managed by Charlotte’s Grady Little win the 1986 Appalachian League championship in his only year of professional baseball.
Fortner, a 1948 Mount Holly High graduate who died in 2013, won boxing championships in Mount Holly, Charlotte, Concord, Mooresville and Gastonia from 1948 to 1950 to earn boxing scholarships to Belmont Abbey Junior College and the University of South Carolina. At South Carolina, Fortner was the school’s welterweight champion in 1950, 1951 and 1952. Fortner also is a Korean War veteran.
Holden, a 1985 East Gaston High graduate, was a three-time Gaston County junior high wrestling champion and three-time N.C. state tournament qualifier who won the 108-pound class N.C. state title in 1984. Holden later coached wrestling at Stanley and Mount Holly middle schools, guiding Mount Holly to its first Gaston County wrestling title in the fall of 2002.
Wilkinson, a 2002 East Gaston High graduate, was a basketball, softball and track standout at Stanley Junior High and cross country, basketball and softball standout at East Gaston. A 1,265-point basketball scorer at East Gaston, she played four years at Gardner-Webb before a longtime coaching career at Wingate, Mars Hill, Gardner-Webb, Gaston Day, Lincoln Memorial and UVa-Lynchburg. In 2011 at GWU, she was on the staff when the school made its first and only NCAA women’s basketball tournament appearance.
Womack, a 1968 Mount Holly High graduate, was a standout football and baseball player who later played those two sports at Lenoir-Rhyne before spending 40 years coaching and umpiring local school and recreation sports. A standout on Mount Holly’s 1967 state championship football team, Womack also was a pitcher on four straight league championship baseball teams before coaching for the Mount Holly Recreation Department and at East Gaston and umpiring in area leagues.
The 1992 East Gaston High wrestling team went 14-1 overall and extended the Warriors’ streak of state titles to three straight (1990-92) in the first year under new coach Bryan Lingerfelt. East Gaston avenged its only loss by winning 47-13 at Ashbrook in the Western N.C. 4A finals before defeating Orange 30-25 in the state championship match. Team members included David Laws (103-pound class), Caine Beard (112), Jody Cherry (119), Darrell Stewart (125), Tim Hawkins (130), Brian Anderson (135), Brian Stewart (140), Sean Anderson (145), Shelton Camp (152), Steven Carpenter (160), Brent Harrelson (171), Bart Davis and Jeremiah Brunson (189), Nicer Young (heavyweight).
Mount Holly’s Sports Hall of Fame history:
Roster of inductees:
April 21, 2007 at Tuckaseege Sports Center — Robert Black, Delmer Wiles
Aug. 23, 2008 at MH Municipal Center — Arthur Davis, Bearl Davis, Max Davis, Wilbern Davis, Bertha Dunn, George Fincher, Neb Hollis
Aug. 15, 2009 at MH Municipal Center — Vivian Laye Broome, Ray Campbell, Don Killian, Dick Thompson, Tommy Wilson, 1963 Mount Holly High School football team
Aug. 21, 2010 at MH Municipal Center — John Farrar, Joe Huffstetler, Joe Spears, Johnny Wike, 1990 East Gaston High School wrestling team
Aug. 20, 2011 at MH Municipal Center — Bruce Bolick, Wayne Bolick, Frank Love, Jim McManus, Samuel “Dink” McManus, T.L. McManus, Scott Stewart, Perry Toomey
Aug. 18, 2012 at MH Municipal Center –- Ronnie Harrison, Larry Hartsell, Dawn Moose, William “Chink” Outen, Freddy Whitt, 1967 Mount Holly High School football team
Aug. 17, 2013 at MH Municipal Center — 1945, 1946 and 1947 Mount Holly High School girls basketball teams, 1967 and 1968 Mount Holly High School girls basketball teams, Charlie “Poss” Drumm, Doug Smith, James Browning “J.B.” Thompson, Shane Trull
Aug. 23, 2014 at MH Municipal Center — Tracy Leroy Black, Richard Dill, A.C. Hollar, Larry George Lawing, Lois Herring Parker, George Edward Wilson
Aug. 15, 2015 at MH Municipal Center — Zeb McDowell, Phil Roberts, Max Sherrill, Laura Randall Woodhead, 1954 and 1955 Mount Holly High School baseball teams, 1968 and 1969 Mount Holly High School boys basketball teams
Aug. 20, 2016 at MH Municipal Center — Jerry Brooks, Barry Grice, Stephanie Frazier, Derek Spears, 1991 East Gaston High School wrestling team
Aug. 19, 2017 at MH Municipal Center — Carmen Baker, James Ford, Grant Hoffman, Eddie Wyatt, 1977 East Gaston High School golf team
Aug. 18, 2018 at MH Municipal Compex — Sue Carlton Whitley, Jeff Lee, John Logan, Tony McConnell, Phil White and the 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1967 Mount Holly High baseball teams
Aug. 17, 2019 at MH Municipal Complex — Tyler Berg, Sam Brown, Howard Horton, April Sigmon, 1941 Mount Holly High School football team, 1978 East Gaston High School football team
Aug. 21, 2021 at MH Municipal Complex — Reggie Ballard, Mike Featherstone, Donald Fortner, Scottie Holden, Brooke Wilkinson, Eddie Womack, 1992 East Gaston High School wrestling team.
The N.C. Area IV championship series schedule between Cherryville Post 100 and Rutherford County Post 423 has been pushed back one day.
The best-of-three series will now begin Thursday at 7 p.m. at Cherryville’s Fraley Field. The second game (also in Cherryville) is Friday at 7 p.m. with a third game (if necessary) played at Cherryville on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Junior Legion baseball
The Area IV tournament began July 12. Here are the results and schedule with Cherryville taking the No. 1 seed and Matthews the No. 2 seed in the upcoming N.C. Junior Legion state tournament at High Point:
Cherryville 14, Caldwell County 7
Burns 3, South Caldwell 1
Burns 8, Cherryville 7 (8 innings)
South Caldwell 5, Caldwell County 1 (Caldwell County eliminated)
Cherryville 4, South Caldwell 1
Cherryville 5, Burns 3
Cherryville 3, Burns 2, 9 innings (Cherryville advances)
East Rutherford 13, Cramer 1
R-S Central 6, Matthews 4
East Rutherford 10, R-S Central 5
Matthews 14, Cramer 4 (Cramer eliminated)
Matthews 2, R-S Central 1
Matthews 6, East Rutherford 3
Matthews 9, East Rutherford 5 (Matthews advances)
For the second straight year, Charlotte 49ers quarterback Chris Reynolds is one of the nation’s top 80 players named to the National College Football Awards Association’s Maxwell Trophy Watch List. The Maxwell Trophy is presented annually to the college player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club.
Reynolds, the 49ers’ starting quarterback for the last three years, is second in program history with 5,042 career passing yards and 36 career passing TDs. The former walk-on owns single-season school records with 22 passing TDs and a 153.60 passing efficiency in 2019. His 445 yards of total offense at UTEP in 2019 are also a single-game school record.
The Maxwell Award has been presented to the College Player of the Year since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert “Tiny” Maxwell who was a former standout at the Swarthmore College and a renowned sports writer and football official.
The Gastonia Honey Hunters were off Monday before starting a seven-game road trip that begins on Tuesday at Southern Maryland.
Gastonia (20-25) is in third place of the South Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and trails first-place Lexington (29-15) and second-place High Point (23-24).