8-26-21 roundup: High school football, volleyball and girls tennis, Middle school football and softball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker

High school football moves into its second week highlighted by three of the oldest rivalries in the area when Crest visits Burns, South Point plays at East Gaston and West Lincoln visits Cherryville.

East Gaston, shown celebrating after last week’s 52-0 win at North Gaston, hosts longtime rival South Point on Friday night.

Here’s a look at each of the matchups in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties:

Alexander Central at North Gaston
Series: Tied 1-1
Storyline: The teams are meeting for the first time since the 2007 and 2008 seasons with North Gaston eager to bounce back from a season-opening 52-0 home loss to East Gaston.

Bessemer City at Cramer
Series: Cramer leads 2-1
Storyline: The first meeting between the teams since 2016 comes with both teams eager to bounce back after season-opening defeats; Bessemer City lost 34-28 at Community School of Davidson and Cramer lost 29-18 at Bunker Hill.

Crest at Burns
Series: Crest leads 40-14-1
Storyline: The oldest series for both schools started in their first seasons of 1967. This year’s matchup features a Burns team coming off an 8-6 win over Forestview in its opener and Crest playing its first game of the season after two scheduled games were cancelled last week.

East Lincoln at Forestview
Series: Forestview leads 6-4
Storyline: Former league rivals meet for the first time since Forestview won back-to-back matchups in 2017 and 2018. East Lincoln is coming off an impressive 39-7 win at Hibriten, while Forestview lost an 8-6 heartbreaker to Burns.

Hickory Grove at Highland Tech
Series: Hickory Grove leads 2-0
Storyline: The teams meet for the first time since Hickory Grove blowout wins in 2009 (51-6) and 2010 (49-6). Highland Tech was idle last week so this is the Rams’ season-opener.

Kings Mountain at Asheville
Series: Kings Mountain leads 1-0-1
Storyline: The teams meet for the first time in Asheville after a 1926 tie and 1998 Mountaineers’ playoff win both played in Kings Mountain. The Mountaineers will be eager to bounce back after a disappointing 37-14 home loss to rival Shelby to open the season.

North Lincoln at Lincolnton
Series: Lincolnton leads 12-5
Storyline: The Wolves may lead the series by a comfortable margin, but North Lincoln won by a cumulative 127-45 margin in the last three matchups. Both enter the game after season-opening road defeats – North Lincoln 14-7 at West Lincoln and Lincolnton 46-7 at South Point.

Shelby at A.C. Reynolds
Series: Shelby leads 5-2
Storyline: A longtime rivalry resumes with teams going in opposite directions; Shelby won 37-14 at county rival Kings Mountain while A.C. Reynolds lost 37-7 at West Forsyth.

South Point at East Gaston
Series: Belmont/South Point leads 41-24-6, with South Point leading East Gaston 37-9-2
Storyline: A series that started in 1923 when the schools were named Belmont and Mount Holly resumes for the 50th straight season. South Point has won 24 of the last 25 matchups, losing only in 2006 when East Gaston’s Jas Hopkins rushed for 229 yards in a 35-14 home win.

West Lincoln at Cherryville
Series: West Lincoln leads 26-17
Storyline: A series that began in 1977 and immediately became a hotly-contested rivalries resumes after a year off. West Lincoln has won eight straight games in the rivalry that includes a 69-6 win in the last meeting that is the Rebels’ all-time single-game scoring record.

Other games in the area:
Bandys at Foard
Berry Academy at West Meck
Bunker Hill at St. Stephens
Charlotte Latin at Hickory
Chase at Owen
Cuthbertson at Kell
Freedom at East Burke
Hickory Ridge at Catholic
Hopewell at East Meck
Hough at Mooresville
Independence at Marvin Ridge
Myers Park at Clover, S.C.
Newton-Conover at West Iredell
North Iredell at Lake Norman
North Meck at Garinger
Richmond at Butler
Rocky River at Olympic
South Caldwell at Hickory, cancelled
South Iredell at Statesville
South Meck at Providence
Thomas Jefferson at Pine Lake Prep
Watauga at Maiden
West Caldwell at R-S Central, cancelled
West Charlotte at Harding
York, S.C. at Clover, S.C., cancelled


High school football standings

Conference record listed first followed by overall record:

South Point 0-0, 1-0
Ashbrook 0-0, 0-0
Crest 0-0, 0-0
Cramer 0-0, 0-1
Forestview 0-0, 0-1
Huss 0-0, 0-1
Kings Mountain 0-0, 0-1
North Gaston 0-0, 0-1

East Lincoln 0-0, 1-0
Statesville 0-0, 1-0
Foard 0-0, 0-1
Hickory 0-0, 0-1
North Iredell 0-0, 0-1
North Lincoln 0-0, 0-1
St. Stephens 0-0, 0-1
West Iredell 0-0, 0-1

Bandys 0-0, 1-0
Bunker Hill 0-0, 1-0
East Burke 0-0, 1-0
Maiden 0-0, 1-0
West Lincoln 0-0, 1-0
Lincolnton 0-0, 0-1
Newton-Conover 0-0, 0-1
West Caldwell 0-0, 0-1

Burns 0-0, 1-0
Cherryville 0-0, 1-0
East Gaston 0-0, 1-0
Shelby 0-0, 1-0
Highland Tech 0-0, 0-0
Thomas Jefferson 0-0, 0-0
Bessemer City 0-0, 0-1

Berry Academy 0-0, 1-0
Harding 0-0, 1-0
Olympic 0-0, 1-0
Kell 0-0, 0-0
Myers Park 0-0, 0-1
South Meck 0-0, 0-1

Catholic 0-0, 1-0
Providence 0-0, 1-0
Independence 0-0, 0-0
Butler 0-0, 0-1
East Meck 0-0, 0-1
Garinger 0-0, 0-1
Rocky River 0-0, 0-1

Chambers 0-0, 1-0
Hough 0-0, 1-0
Mallard Creek 0-0, 1-0
West Meck 0-0, 1-0
West Charlotte 0-0, 0-0
Hopewell 0-0, 0-1
North Meck 0-0, 0-1

Chase 0-0, 1-0
Clover 0-0, 1-0
Mtn Island Charter 0-0, 0-0
R-S Central 0-0, 0-1




Middle school football

Holbrook 28, Bessemer City 6: Jacaro Jones rushed for 118 yards and three touchdowns on five carries to lead the Lions to victory. Josiah Berry and Savion Lindsay also had Holbrook touchdowns and A.J. McClain and Dominick McCorkle two-point runs and Jones, Zaire Crommarty, Keola Ondayog and Gavin Robinson led the Holbrook defense.

Southwest 22, Belmont 8: The Roadrunners offensive and defensive line led the way in a game that was resumed after weather suspended the game on Wednesday.

Next Wednesday, Chavis visits Holbrook, Belmont plays at Grier, Bessemer City is at Cramerton, York Chester visits Southwest and W.C. Friday plays at Mount Holly.





Middle school softball

Cramerton 12, Stanley 0 (4 innings): Kayla Johnson struck out eight for the pitching win and also hit a two-run home run for Cramerton. The Eagles’ offense also got hits and runs from Cailey Evans, Kaitlyn Baker and Madison Bridges.

Belmont 17, Bessemer City 5

W.C. Friday 15, Southwest 3

Mount Holly 15, Grier 0

On Monday, York Chester visits Belmont, Bessemer City plays at Stanley, Southwest is at Chavis, Cramerton visits Mount Holly and Holbrook plays at W.C. Friday.







Pro football

The Carolina Panthers conclude their 2021 preseason against the organization they’ve played the most in their preseason history when they host the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Carolina is 0-2 in its three-game preseason and is one loss away from the its fourth winless preseason in the team’s 27-year history.

Being winless hasn’t ruined Carolina’s regular seasons as they went 7-9 in 1997 and 2000 and 8-8 in 2009 after going 0-4 in the preseason.

However, in each of the team’s eight playoffs seasons, they never had a losing preseason record – and went 4-0 in the 2003 preseason that preceded the franchise’s first Super Bowl appearance.

As for Friday’s 2021 preseason finale, Carolina will meet Pittsburgh for the 22nd team in team history with a battle for the team’s placekicking position after Joey Slye’s struggles in this preseason; Slye has missed his only extra point attempt and missed two of seven field goal attempts (63 and 37 yards) in the first two games.

On Wednesday, the Panthers signed free agent kicker Dominik Eberle for practice drills and on Thursday the team traded a conditional seventh-round draft pick to the New York Giants for Ryan Santoso before later announcing they had cut Eberle.

Head coach Matt Rhule said earlier in the week he wanted to see improvement from Slye and expected many starters with the exception of running back Christian McCaffrey to play as much as a half in Friday’s preseason finale.

Here is the Panthers’ full 2021 schedule:


Aug. 15 at Indianapolis (Lost 18-21)
Aug. 21 Baltimore (Lost 3-20)
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




High school JV football

Burns 48, Crest 6

Chase 56, Cramer 8



High school volleyball

Cherryville 3, Shelby 0 (25-18, 25-13, 25-12): Rileigh Kiser (4 aces, 17 assists, 6 digs), Taylor Digh (5 aces), Terayha Bess (6 kills) and Skye Reed (5 kills) led Cherryville (3-3, 1-0) in its Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference opener. Shelby won the junior varsity match 2-0.





High school girls tennis

North Lincoln-Shelby: Emma Carver, Caitlin Simcox, Meghan Restino and Natalie Gore won singls matches for North Lincoln in a 4-2 victory over Shelby on Aug. 19 and Emma Goforth and Caroline Curtis won singles matches for Shelby.

North Lincoln-Mooresville: Emma Carver, Anna Gore, Meghan Restino, Natalie Gore and Rachel Fink won singles matches and Carver-Restino and Fink-Madison File won doubles matches for North Lincoln in Wednesday’s 7-1 win over Mooresville.






Pro baseball

A 10-9 loss to High Point on Thursday leaves the Gastonia Honey Hunters one game out of first place in the second half standings of the South Division of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Gastonia (39-39) hosts Lexington in a three-game series that begins on Friday at 6:50 p.m.