Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties can boast of 8 ACC football recruits on national signing day

By Richard Walker

Shelby’s Jack Hollifield signs a football scholarship with Virginia Tech. Seated on the front row (Left to Right): Ellie Hollifield (sister), Aubrey Hollifield (dad and coach), Jack Hollifield, Jenny Hollifield (mom), JoJo Hollifield (sister), Belle Hollifield (sister),. Standing (Left to Right): AD/Coach Mike Wilbanks, Jim Reid, Dale Hollifield (Grandfather), Dianne Hollifield (grandmother), Coach Justin Hawn, Principal David Allen.

Several local high school athletes signed college scholarships before or during Wednesday’s national signing day.

In Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties, ACC football was the biggest benefactor as eight players signed or committed to play for schools in that league.

North Carolina picked up Hunter Huss’ Dontavius Nash, Mountain Island Charter’s Gabe Stephens and former Kings Mountain standout Kobe Payour; Paysour played at Kings Mountain for his first three high school seasons, then played this fall at Gaffney, S.C., High School after the N.C. High School Athletic Association moved its season to the spring.

N.C. State signed North Lincoln’s Travali Price and Jayden Tate in addition to adding Hunter Huss’ Zo Wallace as a recruited walk-on candidate; Wallace graduated from Huss in June 2020.

Virginia Tech added Shelby’s Jack Hollifield.

Tyler Arrington signed a football scholarship with Gardner-Webb. Seated (Left to Right): Timothy Arrington, Tyler Arrington, Torrian Arrington, Tonya Arrington; Standing: (Left to Right): Coach Larry Raper, AD/Head Football Coach Mike Wilbanks, Principal David Allen

And Wake Forest signed Hunter Huss’ Nick Sharpe.

North Carolina’s class is ranked No. 13 nationally by the 247sports.com recruiting website, with Paysour ranked the No. 4 player in South Carolina and Stephens and Nash ranked 14th and 18th, respectively, in North Carolina. Nash is listed as a defensive back, Paysour a wide receiver and Stephens an athlete who is being recruited to play linebacker by the Tar Heels.

N.C. State’s class is ranked No. 32 nationally, with Price and Tate ranked 22nd and 92nd, respectively, in N.C. Price is listed as a defensive end and Tate a defensive lineman who is being recruited as a long snapper by the Wolfpack.

Virginia Tech’s class is ranked No. 43 nationally, with Hollifield ranked 32nd in N.C. Listed as a linebacker in recruiting rankings, he was recruited as a tight end by the Hokies.

Mountain Island Charter’s Gabe Stephens (holding the football) signed with the University of North Carolina.

Wake Forest’s class is ranked No. 67 nationally, with Sharpe ranked 63rd in N.C. Listed as a defensive tackle in recruiting rankings, he was recruited as an offensive lineman by the Deacons.

Also signing NCAA Division I football scholarships were Burns defensive lineman Dorien Starnes (with VMI), Kings Mountain linebacker Dameon Wilson (Missouri), Kings Mountain defensive lineman Javari Rice-Wilson (Fordham) and Shelby defensive back Tyler Arrington (with Gardner-Webb).

Wilson is ranked the No. 26 player in N.C.

Here’s an updated list of college signees from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties:

Ashbrook: Jesse Coleman (Belmont Abbey soccer)

Burns: Dorien Starves (VMI football)

Nick Sharpe of Hunter Huss signed a scholarship with Wake Forest.

East Gaston: Emma Kuproski (Catawba Valley Community College softball)

East Lincoln: Kaitlynn Crowe (Appalachian State softball), Katie Hogue (Central Florida softball), Payton Baker (USC Aiken softball), Kaylee Spees (Concord, W.Va., volleyball), Cade Doolittle (Surry Community College baseball), Sam Brooks (Mars Hill swimming)

Gaston Christian: Cody Chapman (Coker baseball), Grayson Guy (Maryville baseball), Ryan Thornburg (Montreat cross country)

Hunter Huss: Dontavius Nash (North Carolina football), Nick Sharpe (Wake Forest football), Zo Wallace (N.C. State football as walkon)

Kings Mountain: Javari Rice-Wilson (Fordham football), Dameon Wilson (Missouri football)

Former Kings Mountain: Kobe Paysour (North Carolina football)

Dontavius Nash of Hunter Huss signed a football scholarship with the University of North Carolina.

Lincoln Charter: Davis Hutchinson (St. Bonaventure diving), Anna Grace Terrell (Lynchburg College softball), Troy Fulton (Hood College basketball)

Mountain Island Charter: Gabe Stephens (North Carolina football)

North Lincoln: Travali Price (N.C. State football), Jayden Tate (N.C. State football)

Shelby: Tyler Arrington (Gardner-Webb football), Jack Hollifield (Virginia Tech football)

Anna Grace Terrell of Lincoln Charter signs a softball scholarship with Lynchburg College.

College women’s basketball
Presbyterian 69, Gardner-Webb 60: Ten straight third quarter points helped Presbyterian pin a loss on the visiting Bulldogs in their Big South Conference opener.
Gardner-Webb (0-5, 0-1) led 26-23 at halftime but 10 unanswered points and a 17-5 Blue Hose surge helped Presbyterian improve to 2-1, 1-0.
Alexis Hueston paced the GWU offense with 12 points off the bench. Ki’Ari Cain added 11 points and was 3-of-5 on 3-pointers.
The teams meet again on Thursday at 5 p.m.