8-19-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, college athletics, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker

Gaston College has a nickname, a logo and school colors for its startup athletic program.

The school unveiled its blue and yellow colors, its “Rhinos” nickname and its logo during a Thursday outdoor party at the campus.

Gaston College’s Rhinos will return to athletic competition this fall for the first time since the 1970s.

The school was nicknamed the Rebels from 1965 to 1969 and the Warriors from 1969 to 1972 before the school ceased its athletic programs.

This fall, the Rhinos will compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Region 10 in baseball, beach volleyball, esports, men’s basketball, softball and women’s cross country.



High school football

After a 2021 winter and spring high school football season, the conventional fall season will begin on Friday for the 2021 fall campaign in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties.

The opening weekend is highlighted by the earliest matchup in history between the oldest local rivalry – Kings Mountain and Shelby – and several intriguing matchups between former league rivals.

Here’s a look at each of Friday’s matchups:

Bessemer City at Community School of Davidson
Series: Bessemer City leads 7-0
Storyline: The visiting Yellow Jackets will look to bounce back against a former conference opponent they have never lost to after a 1-6 season in the spring.

Burns at Forestview
Series: Forestview leads 7-6
Storyline: Former league rivals will meet for the first time since 2018. Burns is the favorite to win the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference while Forestview is picked to finish in the middle of the Big South 3A Conference.

Cherryville at Avery County
Series: Tied 1-1
Storyline: The teams met in the 1995 and 1996 season with the home team winning each matchup. Both are coming off losing spring seasons as Avery County was 2-3 and Cherryville 2-5.

Cramer at Bunker Hill
Series: First meeting
Storyline: Coming off a 1-6 season in the spring, Cramer takes on a Bunker Hill team coming off a 6-2 season that marks the school’s best record since 1987.

East Gaston at North Gaston
Series: East Gaston leads 28-21
Storyline: A rematch of last year’s exciting finale won 28-25 in overtime by East Gaston at the same Trudnak Stadium field where they meet again. East Gaston has also won 16 of the last 20 meetings in the rivalry that began in 1972.

East Lincoln at Hibriten
Series: Hibriten leads 8-0
Storyline: East Lincoln’s 15-year playoff streak ended last year after the Mustangs finished 5-2 and the playoff field was shortened. Hibriten poses a stiff opening challenge as the Panthers have made 19 straight playoff appearances and won five straight league titles.

Huss at Hickory Ridge
Series: First meeting
Storyline: After four straight winning seasons, including a school-best 13-1 in 2018, the Huskies look to bounce back from the spring’s 2-4 season against a Hickory Ridge program that has made the playoffs 12 times in its 15-year history.

Lincolnton at South Point
Series: Belmont/South Point leads 34-28-3
Storyline: One of the area’s oldest rivalries resumes after being a casualty of the shortened spring season. They had played 29 straight seasons before the spring in a series that began in 1925 when it was Lincolnton against Belmont; Belmont and Cramerton formed South Point in 1969.

Mountain Island Charter at Anson County
Series: First meeting
Storyline: Both teams are looking to bounce back after uncharacteristic losing seasons; Mountain Island Charter went 2-5 in the spring and Anson County 2-3.

North Lincoln at West Lincoln
Series: Tied 8-8
Storyline: North Lincoln has won three straight in a rivalry that will be a non-conference matchup after West Lincoln remained 2A and North Lincoln grew to become 3A.

Shelby at Kings Mountain
Series: Shelby leads 72-20-7
Storyline: Arguably the most thrilling finish of the spring season – a 36-35 Kings Mountain victory – will be the season-opener for both teams in the earliest matchup between the rivals in their series that began in 1923. Kings Mountain has won two straight games in the series and has won three straight only once – from 1934 to 1936.

Two teams had their games cancelled, one team twice as the Concord at Ashbrook game and Pisgah at Crest games were cancelled. Earlier, Crest was originally scheduled to host Freedom before arranging a replacement game with Pisgah.






High school boys soccer

The Gazette Cup began on Monday at Stuart Cramer High School as six teams were split into two pools to determine Saturday’s championship competition.

Here is the schedule for all games that are being played at Cramer:

Pool A: West Charlotte (0-2), Stuart Cramer (2-0), Highland Tech (1-1)
Pool B: East Gaston (0-2), Forestview (2-0), South Point (1-1)

Monday’s games
Stuart Cramer 8, West Charlotte 1
Forestview 3, East Gaston 1: Devin Gutierrez scored two goals and Josh Martin one for Forestview.

Tuesday’s games
Stuart Cramer 4, Highland Tech 0
Forestview 1, South Point 0

Wednesday’s games
Highland Tech 9, West Charlotte 0
South Point 5, East Gaston 3

Saturday’s games
Pool A 3rd place (West Charlotte) vs. Pool B 3rd place (East Gaston), 4 p.m.
Pool A 2nd place (Highland Tech) vs. Pool B 2nd place (South Point), 6 p.m.
Pool A 1st place (Stuart Cramer) vs. Pool B 1st place (Forestview), 8 p.m.




High school volleyball

Gaston Day: The Spartans improved to 4-0 with a 3-0 victory (25-8, 25-5, 25-13) over Charlotte Country Day. Gaston Day, which on Saturday competes in the Nation Ford Invitaional, was led by Megan Brown (14 kills, 6 aces), Mary Kate Hurst (17 digs), Anne Bradley Bing (34 assists, 11 digs), Camryn Massey (10 kills) and Drew Brown (12 kills).

Cherryville: On Thursday, Cherryville’s varsity fell to 1-2 after a 3-2 loss (25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 16-25, 14-16) loss to West Lincoln. The Ironmen were led by Rileigh Kiser (31 assists, 18 digs), Terayha Bess (11 kills) and Skye Reed (10 digs). Cherryville won the junior varsity match 2-1.

On Wednesday, Cherryville split a junior varsity/varsity doubleheader. The Ironmen varsity won 3-2 (26-14, 24-26, 25-19, 19-25, 15-12) behind Rileigh Kiser (7 aces, 24 assists, 13 digs), Terayha Bess (13 kills), Taylor Digh (22 digs), Addie Eaker (7 kills) and Katie Eaker (7 kills) to even its record at 1-1. In the junior varsity match, Chase won 2-0 with Krista Davis (7 digs) and Lexi McSwain (5 kills) leading Cherryville.





Pro basketball

The Charlotte reportedly have signed guard Terry Rozier to a four-year, $97 million contract extension. The guaranteed deal puts Rozier under contract through the 2025-26 season.





Pro football

Here is the Carolina Panthers’ full 2021 schedule:


Aug. 15 at Indianapolis (Lost 18-21)
Aug. 21 Baltimore, 7 p.m.
Aug. 27 Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

(Regular season)

Sept. 12 New York Jets, 1 p.m.
Sept. 19 New Orleans, 1 p.m.
Sept. 23 at Houston, 8:20 p.m.
Oct. 3 at Dallas, 1 p.m.
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