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6-22-21 roundup: Prep baseball, Legion baseball, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Could Reilly Hovis’ Gastonia baseball homecoming give him a shot at the major leagues? The Toronto Blue Jays think so after signing Hovis off the Gastonia Honey Hunters’ roster of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball on Tuesday. A 2012 Forestview High graduate who was an ACC champion and an All-ACC pitcher […]

North Carolina to the NFL Part 1: The first NFL player came in 1921 and he came from the state’s winningest high school program

North Carolina to the NFL (This is the first in a series on the North Carolina products who went on to play in the NFL. Here are the upcoming stories:) Part 2: Record-setting Olympic star Jim Thorpe is not a N.C. native but he spent an infamous summer in the state and later recruited some […]

6-21-21 roundup: Prep baseball, Legion baseball, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville and East Lincoln led their respective all-conference baseball teams after each team won or shared their league titles. In the Southern Piedmont 1A Conference, Cherryville’s Dalton Pence was named player of the year and Scott Heavner coach of the in voting by league coaches. Pence also was one of five Ironmen […]

6-20-21 roundup: Legion baseball, Prep baseball and wrestling, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cleveland County American Legion Post 82-155 opened its 2021 season Sunday with an 8-5 road win at Hickory. Colby Humphries picked up the pitching win and Bradley Jordan got the save for Post 82-155 and Luke Reynolds, Porter Hall and Ryan Emery had two hits apiece to lead the offense.     […]

6-19-21 roundup: Prep baseball and track, Legion baseball, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Mountain Island Charter continues its history-setting high school baseball season after the Raptors advanced to the Western N.C. 1A championship with 4-3 win over visiting Lincoln Charter on Saturday. The Raptors (13-2), who had one playoff victory in school history entering this season, have won three postseason games and will seek a […]

6-18-21 roundup: Prep baseball, Legion baseball, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker After winning its third straight Big South 3A Conference baseball title, Crest took two of the top honors in postseason voting done by the league’s coaches. Crest senior pitcher and shortstop Ben Hodge was named the league’s player of the year after hitting .500 and going unbeaten (6-0) as a pitcher. And […]

6-17-21 roundup: Prep baseball, College athletics, Pro football, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker East Lincoln, Lincoln Charter and Mountain Island Charter stayed alive on Thursday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs. East Lincoln routed Thomasville Ledford 11-1 in five innings in Class 2A. And in Class 1A, Mountain Island Charter won 12-9 at top-seeded Hayesville and Lincoln Charter knocked off North Moore […]

6-16-21 roundup: Prep baseball, Legion baseball, College baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Five Gaston and Lincoln county teams remain alive in the N.C. High School Athletic Association baseball playoffs that move into the second round on Thursday night. In Class 2A, East Lincoln will host Thomasville Ledford and South Point will visit R-S Central. And in Class 1A, Mountain Island Charter will visit Hayesville, […]

6-15-21 roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball, Legion baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville scored three runs with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning to take a dramatic 6-5 win over Pine Lake Prep in the opening round of the N.C. 1A high school baseball playoffs. Cherryville was one of five local winners in Tuesday’s opening round; East Lincoln and South Point […]

6-14-21 roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball and Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Former Crest baseball standout Jack Millen was honored Monday as the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy athletic department Julie Berke Rookie of the Year Award male winner for the 2020-21 season. Millen, a 2020 Crest High graduate, also was named the Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year after he helped the Mariners advance […]

6-13-21 roundup: Legion baseball, College track and baseball, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100’s Jerry Hudson was inducted into the North Carolina American Legion Baseball Hall of Fame on Saturday in Raleigh during the annual North Carolina American Legion convention. Hudson, currently the N.C. Area IV commissioner, also is a longtime Cherryville Post 100 athletic officer. Hudson was inducted with Rowan […]

6-12-21 roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball, Prep baseball, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Wingate University completed its comeback run through the NCAA Division II World Series to finish as 2021 baseball national champions. And former Crest standout Logan McNeely was named tournament most valuable player after helping the Bulldogs beat Central Missouri 5-3 in Saturday’s championship game at the USA National Training Complex in Cary. […]

6-11-21 roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball, Prep baseball

By Richard Walker Wingate wasn’t just satisfied with making its first NCAA Division II World Series. The Bulldogs’ fourth straight win at the event at the USA National Training Complex in Cary – an 8-7, 11-inning thriller over Angelo State – will give the school the chance to play for a national championship on Saturday. […]

6-10-21 roundup: Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Crest puts the wraps on an outright Big South 3A Conference baseball title with a dramatic 5-4 win over Kings Mountain on Thursday night. The win improved the Chargers to 12-0 overall and in Big South play this season and ensures a home playoff game next Tuesday when N.C. High School Athletic […]

6-9-21 roundup: Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Former Crest standout Logan McNeely had a RBI hit as Wingate advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II World Series with a 5-1 win over Seton Hill on Wedneday at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary. A 2017 Crest High graduate, is now six for 11 at the […]

6-8-21 roundup: Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Lincoln Charter ended Cherryville’s season-opening 12-game winning streak as well as clinching at least a share of the Southern Piedmont 1A Conference baseball title on Tuesday night. The Eagles knocked off Cherryville 5-1 at Fraley Field. It gave Lincoln Charter a 12-1 overall record and 11-1 league record entering its Friday non-conference […]

6-7-21 roundup: Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Former East Lincoln High standout Alec Burleson was honored by the St. Louis Cardinals organization as its Minor League Player of the MOnth for May. A 2017 East Lincoln graduate, Burleson was a second-round pick of the Cardinals in the 2020 draft after a standout three-year career at East Carolina. Burleson didn’t […]

Last original Charlotte 49ers football player dies at 93

By Richard Walker The Charlotte 49ers athletic department announced Monday that the last player from the school’s first football team in 1946 had died. Charlotte’s Carroll York died peacefully on June 2 surrounded by his family. York played on the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina Owls football teams in 1946 and 1947. […]

Sunday’s roundup: Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Crest, East Lincoln, Mountain Island Charter and R-S Central have clinched at least a share of their respective league titles as the regular season comes to a close this week – and Cherryville and Lincoln Charter play a huge matchup that’ll decide the area’s other league title. Crest (11-0, 11-0) will take […]

Saturday’s roundup: Legion baseball, Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Golf

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100 opened its 2021 season in dramatic fashion. Post 100, whose 2020 season was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, played its first game since the 2019 state tournament at home Saturday night in a non-division matchup with Rock Hill, S.C. And Cherryville scored all of its run […]

Friday’s roundup: Prep baseball and softball, College baseball and softball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Crest High School kept its unbeaten season alive with a dramatic 5-4 win at North Gaston on Friday night. The Chargers, who haven’t lost a conference game or regular season game since 2018, scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning before surviving a late North Gaston rally to wrap […]

Thursday’s roundup: Prep wrestling and baseball, College basketball, baseball and softball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker North Gaston took its second straight Big South 3A Conference wrestling title in Wednesday’s league championships held at Kings Mountain High’s Parker Gymnasium. The Wildcats racked up 187 team points to outdistance second-place Cramer’s 121 points. Rounding out the team standings were Crest (98), Forestview (96), Kings Mountain (80 1-2), Huss (76) […]

Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame returns with 2021 class of five and noted speaker

By Richard Walker The Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame will return in 2021 after the coronavirus forced a year off in 2020. This year’s banquet will be held Oct. 16 at the Gastonia Conference Center. National championship-winning college football coach and respected TV analyst Lou Holtz is the featured speaker and Belmont’s Stanley Dudko […]

Wednesday’s roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball and softball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker After a slow start, the Gastonia Honey Hunters are one of the hottest teams in pro baseball. The first-year Atlantic League of Professional Baseball team evened its record at 3-3 on Wednesday with a 7-3 victory over the York Revolution to extend its winning streak to three games. Gastonia started 0-3 before […]

With Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski announcing retirement after 2021-22 season, we look back at when he brought his team to Gaston County

By Richard Walker The college basketball has been shaken twice this offseason by decisions made by legendary ACC coaches. In April, it was the University of North Carolina’s Roy Williams announcing his immediate retirement from coaching. On Wednesday, reports began circulating that Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski would also be retiring. By the end of the day, […]

Tuesday’s roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker In only its second season of high school baseball, Rock Hill’s Legion Collegiate Academy is in the South Carolina High School League state championship series this week. Coached by former Lincoln Charter and Clover High coach Devon Lowery, the Lancers are 21-7 overall after going 13-1 to win the Class 2A League […]

Monday’s roundup: College baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Eight Carolinas teams and six local products will be participating this weekend in the NCAA college baseball championships after the 64-team field was announced on Monday. East Carolina, which won the American Athletic Conference regular season title, is the only top-seeded Carolinas team and the Pirates also have three local products who […]

Sunday’s roundup: College baseball and softball, Prep baseball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Duke set history on Sunday with its first ACC baseball tournament title in a 1-0 win over N.C. State at Charlotte’s Truist Field in the championship game. The Blue Devils, who finished in last place in the seven-team Coastal Division, extended their winning streak to 12 games as coach Chris Pollard guided […]

Saturday’s roundup: College baseball, Summer baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker A pair of North Carolina schools will get a chance to snap long championship droughts on Sunday at noon when Duke and N.C. State play at Charlotte’s Truist Field in the title game of the ACC baseball tournament. Duke, the last place team in the seven-team Coastal Division, gained its berth with […]

Friday’s roundup: College baseball, Prep baseball, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker A pair of North Carolina schools that haven’t won an ACC tournament in years and a pair of teams with titles within the last 10 years square off today in the ACC baseball semifinals. Duke, which has never won an ACC tournament and hasn’t won an ACC baseball title since 1961, meets […]

Thursday’s roundup: College baseball and basketball, Prep baseball and track, Pro baseball and hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Three teams punched their tickets to Saturday’s ACC baseball tournament semifinals with wins on Thursday as Duke, Georgia Tech and N.C. State were victorious in back-to-back-to-back nail-biting finishes. Duke edged Miami, Fla., 3-2 in Thursday’s opener to wrap up the Pool D championship, then Georgia Tech edged Louisville 9-8 in 12 innings […]

Wednesday’s roundup: Prep baseball and track, College baseball and football, Pro hockey, Legion baseball, Golf

By Richard Walker Kings Mountain’s boys and Cramer’s girls claimed the team titles at the two-day Big South Conference track on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Cramer track. Kings Mountain racked up 228 team points in the boys race, to finish ahead of Forestview (133). Cramer (118), Ashbrook (39), Crest (36), Huss (30) and North […]

Tuesday’s roundup: Prep baseball, College baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Local favorite North Carolina was eliminated from championship contention on Tuesday night in the first day of the ACC baseball tournament at Charlotte’s Truist Field. Pitt (23-19), which entered the tournament on a seven-game losing streak, disappointed a partisan crowd of 3,235 as Ron Washington Jr.’s two-run home run in the eighth […]

Monday’s roundup: College baseball and softball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker A former East Lincoln High standout is headed to the NCAA softball super regionals. Kylie Thress, a 2020 East Lincoln graduate, scored one run in each of James Madison’s three wins as a pinch-runner in the Knoxville regional last weekend as the Dukes improved to 37-31 on the season by increasing their […]

Sunday’s roundup: College baseball, Legion baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey

By Richard Walker The pool play schedule has been set for this week’s ACC baseball tournament at Charlotte’s Truist Field. Atlantic Division champion Notre Dame and Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech are the top-seeded teams in the tournament that will be completed next weekend with a four-team, single-elimination bracket to determine a champion. The pool […]

Saturday’s roundup: College baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Pool play has been set for this week’s ACC baseball tournament at Charlotte’s Truist Field. Atlantic Division champion Notre Dame and Coastal Division champion Georgia Tech are the top-seeded teams in the tournament that will be completed next weekend with a four-team, single-elimination bracket to determine a champion. The pools, where each […]

Friday’s roundup: Legion baseball, Prep baseball, Pro hockey, College baseball

By Richard Walker When the American Legion World Series makes its return to Shelby after being cancelled by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Veterans Field and Keeter Stadium will be allowed full capacity. This comes after N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper’s May 14 announcement that most restrictions put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 […]

Thursday’s roundup: Prep baseball and wrestling, Pro hockey, College baseball, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Zane Brockman threw another gem for Kings Mountain as the Mountaineers edged Cramer 3-2 on Thursday night at the Gastonia FUSE stadium in a Big South 3A Conference game. Kings Mountain improved to 7-1 overall and 6-1 in the league. Cramer (3-5, 2-5) has played all of its home games at the […]

1950s BASKETBALL STAR REMEMBERED: Lowell High’s Joe Ladd was Gaston County’s first 2,000-point boys basketball scorer

By Richard Walker Before Lowell’s Holbrook High School combined with Gastonia’s Ashley High School in 1970 to form Ashbrook, the fortunes of Lowell basketball were limited to the mid-1950s. On Wednesday, the person most responsible for the Lions’ greatest basketball success died at 85. Joe Ladd, a 1955 Lowell High graduate, died with his family […]

Wednesday’s roundup: College baseball, Middle school sports, Pro hockey, High school baseball, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Former West Lincoln High and Cherryville American Legion Post 100 standout Brett Eurey received first team All-Region 10 outfield honors on Wednesday as part of a record number of Catawba Valley Community College honorees. One of six team captains for the Red Hawks this season, Eurey finished his final season at CVCC […]

Tuesday’s roundup: Pro hockey, High school baseball, softball and track, College softball and baseball, Legion baseball

By Richard Walker Bessemer City’s Savannah LaCount set Cleveland Community College history on Tuesday when she was named to the All-Region X team LaCount, a 2020 Bessemer City High graduate, is the first spring sports athlete at CCC to earn all-region honors. A pitcher, third baseman and outfielder, LaCount hit .229 with four home runs […]

Monday’s roundup: Pro basketball, baseball, hockey and golf, High school baseball, College football, soccer and baseball

By Richard Walker Gastonia’s Nate Hinton not only made his NBA debut this season but he’s playing for a playoff team as the Dallas Mavericks finished fifth in the Western Conference and will open their playoff series against the No. 4 seed Los Angeles Clippers later this week. Hinton, a 2018 Gaston Day School graduate […]

Sunday’s roundup: Pro football and hockey, High school baseball, College football, soccer and baseball

By Richard Walker It was NFL rookie mini camp weekend and three former local products participated for their respective teams – Lincoln County brothers Chazz and Sage Surratt and former Crest High standout Tre Harbison. Chazz Surratt, a third round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings and 2016 East Lincoln High graduate, will be No. […]

Saturday’s roundup: High school baseball, soccer, softball and tennis, Pro hockey, College football and soccer

By Richard Walker As local teams prepare for the end of the first round of the abbreviated 2021 high school baseball schedule, five local teams remain unbeaten: Cherryville in the Southern Piedmont 1A Conference, Crest and Kings Mountain in the Big South 3A and East Lincoln in the South Fork 2A and Mountain Island Charter […]

Charlotte 49ers baseball history features eight conference championship years and five NCAA tournament appearances

By Richard Walker UNC Charlotte was more than a century old before it added a baseball program. But the 49ers, who moved to an on-campus stadium shortly after their birth in 1979, quickly became a championship-winner that produced professional baseball talent under four head coaches – and new coach Robert Woodard certainly hopes to add […]

Friday’s roundup: Pro baseball, High school football, baseball, soccer, softball, tennis and wrestling, College football and soccer

By Richard Walker Jake Buchanan’s hometown pro debut got put on hold Friday afternoon when the Los Angeles Angels signed the former North Gaston High standout to a minor league contract. Buchanan had signed with the first-year Gastonia Honey Hunters of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball on March 4. But on Friday, the Los […]

Thursday’s roundup: High school football, baseball, soccer, softball and wrestling, College baseball, football, soccer and cross country

By Richard Walker Two local coaches and nine players have been invited to participate in the North Carolina Coaches’ Association East-West All-Star football game this summer. The contest, which began in 1949, will be held on July 21 at Greensboro Grimsley’s Jamieson Stadium this summer after the coronavirus cancelled the 2020 event. Local coaches for […]

Wednesday’s roundup: Pro baseball, College baseball, football and soccer, High school soccer, softball and baseball

By Richard Walker Former Burns High and Cherryville Legion Post 100 standout Christopher Proctor is one step away from the major leagues after being promoted to Class AAA Toledo on Wednesday. Proctor, a 2015 Burns High graduate, had been playing for the West Michigan Whitecaps of the High Class A Central League where he was […]

Tuesday’s roundup: College baseball, football and soccer, High school soccer, softball, golf, baseball and track, Middle schools

By Richard Walker West Lincoln High School won its first state title in girls golf behind balance as the Rebels beat Pine Lake Prep by a 10-shot margin in the Class 1A/2A state championships played at Pinehurst No. 8 on Tuesday. Other state champions were Freedom in Class 3A and Pfafftown Reagan in 4A. Leah […]

Monday’s roundup: High school golf, soccer, softball and baseball, College football and soccer, Middle schools

By Richard Walker Three Mecklenburg County high schools and hometown Pinecrest took the championships in the 2021 N.C. High School Athletic Association golf championships on Monday. Community School of Davidson won Class 1A, Lake Norman Charter Class 2A, Charlotte Catholic Class 3A and Pinecrest Class 4A in a one-day event played at Foxfire Village, Pinehurst […]

Before integration Part 2: The N.C. High School Athletic Conference produced basketball stars, legends and Hall of Famers

Before integration (A series on the football, basketball and baseball exploits of African-American athletics before full integration came to North Carolina in the 1970-71 school year) Part 1: The NCHSAC began crowning state champions in 1928 and featured memorable teams, coaches and players and 28 eventual NFL players, among them a cultural icon depicted in […]

Sunday’s roundup: Pro golf, High school soccer, softball and football, College football and soccer

By Richard Walker Rory McIlrory entered the 2021 Wells Fargo Championship PGA tournament at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Country as the event’s only two-time winner. After a strong finish on Sunday, he became the only three-time Wells Fargo Championship winner. McIlrory, who won in 2010 and 2015, shot 72-66-68-68 to win by one stroke over second-place […]

Gaston Braves made the most of their first state tournament appearance in 2014

By Richard Walker The Gaston Braves American Legion baseball team has been successful since it was born out of the combination of Belmont Post 144 and Stanley Post 266 in 1997. But the Braves’ greatest success came in the summer of 2014 when it advanced all the way to the N.C. state tournament championship game […]

Saturday’s roundup: High school soccer, softball, football and baseball, Pro golf, College football and soccer

By Richard Walker The softall teams from East Lincoln and Mountain Island Charter high schools and South Point High’s girls soccer team will play on Tuesday in Western N.C. championship games. Only East Lincoln has ever been this far – and that was 40 seasons ago and the rules of softball were different than they […]

Friday’s roundup: College basketball, football and soccer, High school soccer, softball, baseball and football

By Richard Walker Matt Wallace, Gary Woodland and Patrick Rodgers enter the weekend atop the Wells Fargo Championship PGA tournament leaderboard with 6-under-par scores at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Country Club. Gastonia’s Harold Varner III missed the cut by one shot as he finished with a two-day score of three-over-par 145. A 2008 Forestview High graduate, […]

Thursday’s roundup: High school soccer, softball, baseball, football and wrestling, College football and soccer, Middle schools

By Richard Walker Crest High School’s first girls soccer championship team since 2011 took three of the top honors on the 2021 All-Big South 3A Conference team this spring. The Chargers, who won the league with a 11-1 record, took offensive player of the year (Madison Setzer), defensive player of the year (Olivia-Claire Wall) and […]

Wednesday’s roundup: Pro baseball and golf, High school football, soccer, softball, baseball, College football and soccer, Middle schools

By Richard Walker Thirteen players and two coaches highlight the area’s professional baseball players for the 2021 season. Last month, former Gardner-Webb and Belmont Abbey standout Emilio Pagan and former South Point and Appalachian State standout Jeffrey Springs began their seasons as pitchers for the San Diego Padres and Tampa Bay Rays, respectively, in the […]

Former Crest standout will return to college football at Clemson

By Richard Walker After announcing on Feb. 24 that he was stepping away from football following complications related to asthma and COVID-19, former Crest High standout Justin Foster will be back on the football field in the fall for Clemson. Tigers coach Dabo Swinney announced Wednesday that Foster “has indicated his intention to return to […]

Tuesday’s roundup: Pro golf, High school football, soccer, softball, baseball and wrestling, College football and soccer, Middle schools

By Richard Walker Gastonia’s Harold Varner III tees off at 12:32 p.m. Thursday on the first hole tee as he tries to improve on what has so far been his best year on the PGA tour. A 2008 Forestview High graduate and former East Carolina University standout, Varner is current ranked 56th in the FedEx […]

Monday’s roundup: College volleyball, football, baseball and soccer, Pro baseball, High school football, soccer and softball

By Richard Walker Belmont Abbey College’s historic men’s volleyball season came to an end Monday as the Crusaders fell three sets to none decision to two-time NCAA champion Penn State in the opening round of the NCAA championships in Columbus, Ohio. The Abbey, which won its first Conference Carolinas championship to advance, ends its season […]