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6-19-22 roundup: Pro basketball, baseball and soccer, Legion baseball, College baseball and football

By Richard Walker The Charlotte 49ers had eight players selected to Phil Steele’s 2022 Preseason All-Conference USA football teams. Charlotte had four offensive players, two defensive players and two special teamers named to Steele’s annual list of the league’s top players. First team selections included junior wide receiver Grant DuBose, who made an immediate impact […]

6-14-22 roundup: Pro basketball, baseball, football and soccer, Legion baseball, College baseball and basketball

By Richard Walker Former East Lincoln and Lincolnton standout Sage Surratt will be a part of the new United States Football League playoffs. A receiver for the Birmingham Stallions, Surratt has helped his team to the No. 1 seed in the South Division and will meet No. 2 seed New Orleans on June 25 at […]

6-13-22 roundup: Pro basketball, baseball and soccer, Legion baseball, College baseball and basketball, Hall of Fame

By Richard Walker In a game that didn’t end until 1:40 a.m. early Monday morning, East Carolina’s storybook baseball season ended in an 11-1 loss to Texas. The defeat gave Texas (47-20) a 2-1 win in a best-of-three NCAA Division I Super Regional Series and denied East Carolina its first College World Series appearance; The […]

6-7-22 roundup: Pro football, basketball, baseball and soccer, High school football, softball and girls soccer, Legion baseball, College baseball and women’s lacrosse, Hall of Fame

By Richard Walker An East Gaston High player and a pitcher and coach that helped Burns to the league title top the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference’s top softball honors in voting by league coaches for the 2022 season. East Gaston’s Maddison York was named player of the year and league champion Burns was selected for […]

2022 Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame wrap-up: Former UNC, ACC leader talks college football as 5 are inducted

By Richard Walker Former University of North Carolina athletic director and ACC commissioner John Swofford talked about the past and the future on Monday night as the featured speaker of the 2022 Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame banquet in which five others were honored. In a ceremony at the Gastonia Conference Center, Swofford was […]

4-7-22 roundup: Pro basketball, golf and soccer, College football, High school baseball and softball, Middle school baseball and girls soccer

By Richard Walker Gastonia’s Harold Varner III is tied for 11th after shooting a one-under-par 71 in the opening round of The Masters on Thursday. It is Varner’s first appearance in the prestigious tournament and the 2008 Forestview High graduate eagled one hole (No. 13) and birdied four others (Nos. 2, 8, 14 and 16) […]

4-5-22 roundup: College basketball and baseball, Pro basketball, golf and soccer, High school baseball and softball, Middle school baseball and girls soccer

By Richard Walker Gastonia’s Harold Varner III will tee off at 1:08 p.m. on Thursday in his first career appearance at the prestigious Master’s golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. A 2008 Forestview High graduate, Varner qualified through his high world golf ranking (currently No. 40) and he is paired with Sergio Garcia and Thomas Pieters. […]

4-2-22 roundup: College basketball, football and baseball, Pro basketball and soccer, High school baseball and softball

By Richard Walker For the 27th time, an ACC team will play for the NCAA championship following Saturday’s 81-77 North Carolina victory over Duke in the Final Four in New Orleans. Duke has advanced to the title game to most (11 times) and won five NCAA tournament titles with six runner-up finishes. North Carolina has […]

GCSHOF 2022: Basketball is life for former Huss standout who battled early adversity and has thrived in the sport

By Richard Walker When Nicole Woods first started playing basketball, she had hopes of playing professionally. Woods did so but her greatest impact on basketball has been in coaching the sport she has loved despite career-threatening injuries as a high school freshman and sophomore player. Now in her late 30s, when Woods reflects on her […]

2021-22 COLLEGE BASKETBALL WRAPUP: Former Belmont Abbey assistant coach leads team to NIT title, other local standouts

By Richard Walker Former Belmont Abbey assistant coach Jonas Hayes guided Xavier to Thursday’s NIT championship as an interim head coach. Named interim head coach on March 16 when Xavier fired head coach Travis Steele, Hayes was an assistant coach at Belmont Abbey for five seasons (2007-08 to 2011-12) and has also been an assistant […]

3-30-22 roundup: Pro basketball and soccer, College football, basketball and baseball, High school baseball and softball, Middle school baseball and girls soccer

By Richard Walker The Charlotte 49ers and Gardner-Webb announced their 2022 college football schedules on Wednesday. Charlotte plays a schedule with eight Conference USA games and seven 2021 bowl teams and includes a first-ever home game against a Big Ten opponent (Maryland) and first-ever road game at South Carolina of the SEC. Fourth-year 49ers head […]

3-29-22 roundup: Pro basketball and soccer, College football, basketball and baseball, High school football, baseball and softball

By Richard Walker North Gaston High School has a new football coach. Dan Rothwell, a Michigan native who spent 10 years coaching in his home state, was named North Gaston’s 10th head football coach on Tuesday. Rothwell has coached in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties the past six years, most recently as defensive line coach and […]

3-15-22 roundup: College basketball and baseball, High school baseball, softball and girls soccer, Pro basketball and soccer

By Richard Walker A pair of Huss teammates are a part of NCAA women’s basketball tournament teams this week. For the Charlotte 49ers, 2002 Huss graduate Nicole Woods is a ninth-year assistant coach for a school making its third NCAA tournament appearance in history – and first since 2009. Charlotte is the No. 13 seed […]

3-12-22 roundup: College basketball and baseball, High school basketball and baseball, Pro basketball and soccer

By Richard Walker We’re two weeks into high school baseball season and all leagues will begin conference play this week if they haven’t already. Five teams in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties remain unbeaten – Burns (5-0) in Cleveland County, South Point 3-0) in Gaston County and East Lincoln (4-0), Lincoln Charter (4-0) and North […]

3-11-22 roundup: Hall of Fame, College basketball, High school basketball, baseball and softball, Pro basketball and soccer

By Richard Walker The Belmont Sports Hall of Fame will return this year with a championship-winning football coach as the featured speaker. After being cancelled in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual event that began in 1987 will be held on Tuesday, April 19 and 7 p.m. at Park Street United Methodist Church […]

3-10-22 roundup: Hall of Fame, College basketball, High school basketball, baseball and softball, Pro basketball and soccer

By Richard Walker The N.C. Basketball Coaches Association (NCBCA) announced its all-district high school teams on Thursday. District 10 includes players from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties and other area counties. Kings Mountain senior Zeke Cannedy was named boys player of the year, Shelby junior Maraja Pass was named girls player of the year and […]

3-9-22 roundup: College basketball and baseball, High school basketball, baseball, softball and girls soccer, Middle school basketball, Pro basketball and soccer

By Richard Walker Holbrook Middle School’s girls basketball team completed one of the most dominant championship runs in Gaston County Conference history on Wednesday when it defeated W.C. Friday 51-12 in the 2022 title game at the Ashbrook High School gymnasium. The Lions not only completed a 12-0 season but they outscored their opponents by […]

3-5-22 roundup: High school basketball, baseball and softball, Middle school basketball, Pro basketball and soccer, College basketball, football, baseball and softball

By Richard Walker Charlotte’s Major League Soccer debut drew a record crowd at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday night as Charlotte FC fell 1-0 to LA Galaxy. A MLS-record crowd of 74,749 attended the contest. Efrain’ Alvarez’s goal in the 77th minute was the only score of the contest. Here’s the full Charlotte FC […]

3-2-22 roundup: High school basketball, Middle school basketball, Pro basketball and soccer, College basketball

By Richard Walker The N.C. High School Athletic Association set regional sites and times for Saturday’s regional boys and girls championship games. Here is the full statewide schedule: (West) 1A at Asheville A.C. Reynolds High School 4 p.m. – Girls: (2) Mountain Heritage vs. (5) Bishop McGuinness 6 p.m. – Boys: (1) Hayesville vs. (2) […]

2-23-22 roundup: High school basketball, College basketball and football, Middle school basketball, Pro basketball

By Richard Walker Eight boys teams and four girls teams remain alive as the N.C. High School Athletic Association basketball playoffs continue with second round play on Thursday. Following the first round, trends are already emerging from postseason play. Unbeaten area conferences include Queen City 3A/4A boys (4-0), Western Foothills 3A boys (5-0), Mountain Foothills […]

2-21-22 roundup: College basketball, High school basketball, Pro basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker On a weekend in which Gastonia’s James Worthy was honored as one of the NBA’s 75 greatest players as the league celebrates its 75th anniversary, the Charlotte Hornets’ LaMelo Ball and former Charlotte Christian and Davidson star Stephen Curry big weekends. Ball, a second-year Hornets player, was a reserve for the Team […]

2-19-22 roundup: High school basketball, College basketball, baseball and softball, Pro basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker Twenty-three high school basketball teams from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties found out their N.C. High School Athletic Association playoff pairings on Saturday. Boys teams from Burns, Crest, Kings Mountain and Shelby in Cleveland County, Bessemer City, Cherryville, Cramer, East Gaston, Mountain Island Charter and South Point in Gaston County and East […]

2-17-22 roundup: High school basketball, College basketball and baseball, MMA, Pro basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker Basketball tournament championship game pairings have been set for the Big South 3A, Western Foothills 3A and Southern Piedmont 1A/2A conferences after Thursday’s games. In the Big South, whose semifinals were on Wednesday, Kings Mountain’s boys face Crest and the Mountaineers’ girls meet Ashbrook in title games. In the Western Foothills, East […]

2-16-22 roundup: High school basketball and football, College football and basketball, Pro basketball and football, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker Bessemer City’s Janiya Adams broke her own Gaston County High School girls basketball single game scoring record on Tuesday night in the Yellow Jackets’ 77-27 Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference tournament victory over Cherryville. A junior guard, Adams scored 55 points to break her previous best of 50 points scored against Cherryville on […]

2-10-22 roundup: Pro basketball and football, College basketball, High school basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker Five area high school basketball titles have been clinched while three others remain in contention entering Friday’s regular season finales. Crest’s boys, Shelby’s girls, East Lincoln’s girls and boys and girls teams From Lincoln Charter have wrapped their respective races. Meanwhile, Bessemer City’s boys clinched at least a share of the Southern […]

2-7-22 roundup: Pro golf, basketball and football, College basketball, High school basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker Gastonia’s Harold Varner III has put himself in position to compete the PGA’s biggest major tournament. A 2008 Forestview High graduate, Varner’s Sunday win in the Saudi International improved his world golf ranking to 45th. If Varner is in the top 50 on March 28, he gets an invitation to the April […]

2-5-22 roundup: College baseball and basketball, High school basketball, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker A sellout crowd of 19,420 at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center went home disappointed on Saturday as a huge third quarter lifted the Miami Heat past the Charlotte Hornets 104-86. It was Charlotte’s fourth straight loss to drop its record to 28-26. On a night when Gordon Hayward went zero for seven with no […]

2-3-22 roundup: College baseball and basketball, Pro basketball and football, College football, High school basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker Eighty-six Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln county products begin college baseball seasons all over the country this month, including a preseason All-American and a starting outfielder for nationally-ranked East Carolina, Sophomore left-hander C.J. Mayhue, a 2019 Crest High graduate, was named third team preseason All-American by National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) earlier […]

2-2-22 roundup: Pro baseball, basketball and football, College football, High school wrestling and basketball, Middle school basketball

By Richard Walker Former Ashbrook High and Gastonia American Legion Post 23 baseball star Wes Helms will be returning as manager of the Class AAA Charlotte Knights, the Chicago White Sox organization announced on Wednesday. Helms, a 1994 Ashbrook graduate who played 13 seasons in the major leagues, made his managerial debut last year with […]

Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame announces 2022 class

By Richard Walker The Gaston County Sports Hall of Fame has selected five new inductees for its 2022 class that will be honored May 2 at the Gastonia Conference Center. Former University of North Carolina player and administrator John Swofford will be the featured speaker. The induction class is comprised of Cherryville’s Stan Crisson, Cramerton’s […]

1-29-22 roundup: High school wrestling and basketball, Middle school basketball, College basketball, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker Four teams from Gaston County and one from Lincoln will represent the area in the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual team playoffs that begin on Monday. In Class 1A, Cherryville is the highest local seed and will host playoff matches. The Ironmen, in the playoffs for the 14th time in 16 […]

1-22-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro basketball and football, College basketball

By Richard Walker Cleveland County’s Kings Mountain and Shelby sit atop the standings in the Big South 3A boys and girls and Southern Piedmont 1A/2A boys and girls races, respectively, following a week in more games were postponed than played due to inclement weather. Here’s a result from Friday: South Point boys 73, Cramer 71: […]

1-21-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro basketball, football and soccer, College basketball

By Richard Walker After a third straight win and seventh in eight games, the Charlotte Hornets are six games above .500 for the first time since the 2015-16 season following Friday’s 121-98 win over visiting Oklahoma City. In front of 15,835 at Spectrum Center, the Hornets (26-20) lead all but a few seconds behind a […]

1-20-22 roundup: High school basketball, football and wrestling, College basketball and football, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker Bessemer City didn’t have to look far for a new athletic director with the departure of longtime athletic director and football coach Larry Boone. The Yellow Jackets announced on Thursday that girls basketball head coach Billy James will become the school’s athletic director. A 1986 Bessemer City High graduate, James was the […]

1-17-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro basketball and soccer, College baseball and basketball

By Richard Walker Inclement weather has pushed back Tuesday’s high school basketball a day as all schools in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties will be closed on Tuesday. Here’s the schedule of girls/boys doubleheaders that have been moved: (Tuesday) Ashbrook at Huss (ppd., Wednesday) Crest at Kings Mountain (ppd., Wednesday) Forestview at Cramer (ppd., Wednesday) […]

1-15-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro football and basketball, College basketball and football

By Richard Walker A former South Point High football state champion will finish his college career at another school. Matthew Robinson, a 2018 South Point High graduate who was a member of the Red Raiders’ 2016 state championship team, announced on Friday on twitter that he was leaving Gardner-Webb and entering the college transfer portal. […]

1-13-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro football, basketball and soccer, College basketball

By Richard Walker Twenty five years ago today, the Charlotte Hornets were a part of a historic NBA overtime period. A record-low two points were scored in that extra period, as Charlotte guard Tony Smith’s 10-footer with 1:29 left in the extra period was enough to give the Hornets a 102-100 victory over the Denver […]

1-11-22 roundup: High school basketball, Pro football, basketball and soccer, College football and basketball

By Richard Walker Even with a losing overall bowl record, the Southeastern Conference continued its college football dominance since the Bowl Championship Series format was adopted in 1998. The league won its 14th title in the 24-year history of the format that was increased from two teams to four teams in 2014. Georgia’s 33-18 victory […]

1-5-22 roundup: College basketball and football, Pro basketball and football, High school basketball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Coming off its largest win over a power five conference opponent in its last game, Gardner-Webb used that momentum to open its Big South Conference schedule with an 88-63 win at Charleston Southern on Wednesday. The Runnin’ Bulldogs improved to 7-7 overall in their first game since a 77-60 win at Georgia […]

12-31-21 roundup: Pro basketball and football, College football, High school basketball

By Richard Walker One of the greatest legends in basketball has died as Sam Jones passed on Thursday evening at 88. Jones played his entire 12-year NBA career with the Boston Celtics and won 10 titles between 1957-69. Jones, Bill Russell and K.C. Jones were the only three players to be a part of Boston […]

12-29-21 roundup: High school basketball and baseball, Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball

By Richard Walker Championship games will be held at Lincolnton, East Lincoln and Kings Mountain involving high school basketball teams from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties. In the People’s Bank Holiday Classic at Lincolnton High School, defending champion Cramer meets host Lincolnton for the boys championship and two-time defending champion Bandys meets West Lincoln for […]

12-22-21 roundup: High school basketball, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball

By Richard Walker Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule announced his starting quarterback for Sunday’s regular season game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but added he would use two quarterbacks in the game. Cam Newton will get the start at quarterback and Sam Darnold is expected to see some playing time after missing the last […]

12-20-21 roundup: College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, High school basketball

By Richard Walker Former North Lincoln High standout Travali Price made the most of his redshirt freshman season at N.C. State. Price, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive end, was named the Wolfpack’s Defensive scout team player of the year. A 2021 North Lincoln High graduate, Price was a two-time all-conference player for the Knights and helped […]

12-17-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball and soccer, College football, women’s soccer and softball, High school basketball, Middle school volleyball

By Richard Walker Wake Forest’s Isaiah Mucius hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer for an 82-79 Deacons’ victory over the Charlotte 49ers on Friday to cap the inaugural Basketball Hall of Fame Shootout at Charlotte’s Spectrum Center. The Deacons (11-1) had led by as many as 19 points before Charlotte (5-5) rallied to tie the […]

12-15-21 roundup: College football and basketball, High school basketball, Pro football and basketball and soccer, Middle school volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Three major college recruits from Cleveland County highlighted Wednesday’s national signing day as Crest’s Eli Hall signed with Wake Forest and Shelby’s Malaki Hamrick signed with North Carolina and Santana Hopper with Appalachian State. Additionally, Charlotte and Gardner-Webb added several players to their respective programs. At Charlotte, coach Will Healy signed 12 […]

12-11-21 roundup: High school football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, Middle school wrestling

By Richard Walker In an offensive shootout against North Carolina’s most prolific high school rushing attack in history, Shelby downed Wallace-Rose Hill 55-34 to win the 2021 N.C. 2A title at N.C. State’s Carter-Finley Stadium on Saturday. It was Shelby’s 19th state in school history – and seventh championship in nine years. Even after falling […]

12-7-21 roundup: High school football, basketball and wrestling, Pro football and basketball, College football, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Cramerton will be hosting both the boys soccer and volleyball Gaston County Conference championship games on Thursday. Since both games are being played at Cramerton and a 3:30 p.m. school dismissal, all fans are encouraged to park at Life Church. The game time for boys soccer is 3:45 p.m. with volleyball slated […]

12-4-21 roundup: College football and basketball, High school football and basketball, Pro football and basketball

By Richard Walker After 42 points were scored in the game’s first 21 1-2 minutes, Pittsburgh used defense to sew up its first ACC football championship Saturday night at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. The Panthers held Wake Forest scoreless for 13 possessions, even aiding its offense with a score of its own in a […]

11-30-21 roundup: Legion baseball, Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, High school football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker One of the most popular American Legion baseball regular season events will return in 2022 after two seasons off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Cherryville’s Fraley Field will be the site of the 14th North-South Challenge that pits three teams from North Carolina against three teams from South Carolina on June 24 […]

11-29-21 roundup: Pro football and basketball, College football and basketball, High school football, basketball and volleyball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Lincoln County schools found out their all-conference award winners on Monday and all four schools are well represented in the Western Foothills 3A and Catawba Valley 2A conferences, respectively, in voting done by those league’s coaches. In the Western Foothills 3A, North Lincoln’s Kyle Kovalchuk and East Lincoln’s Ben Cutter came away […]

11-27-21 roundup: College football and basketball, High school football, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker It’ll be Wake Forest against Pittsburgh in next Saturday’s 8 p.m. ACC championship game at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. Wake Forest (10-2, 7-1) clinched the Atlantic Division title on Saturday with a 41-10 win at Boston College. Pittsburgh (10-2, 7-1) wrapped up the Coastal Division title last week and closed its […]

11-26-21 roundup: High school football and basketball, Pro basketball and football, College football

By Richard Walker South Point won a thriller and Shelby dominated the top seed in the playoffs to highlight Friday’s area high school football action. South Point scored late in regulation to force overtime, then won 34-27 at Crest to advance to next week’s Western N.C. 3A championship game. The Red Raiders (11-3) avenged an […]

11-25-21 roundup: High school football, Pro basketball and football, College football

By Richard Walker Cleveland County will host two Western N.C. semifinal playoff football games on Friday with teams that share levels of familiarity. In Class 3A, South Point visits Crest in a rematch of a regular season game. And in Class 2A, Shelby hosts Reidsville in a matchup of the state’s two winningest programs for […]

11-24-21 roundup: High school soccer, golf, volleyball, football and basketball, Pro basketball and football, College football and basketball, Middle school soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Several area players made the N.C. Soccer Coaches Association all-state teams, including one player each from the state championship teams of Shelby (David Twiggs) and Gaston Day (Marco Wright). Also honored from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties were Joseph Bravo and Jack Matz from Cramer and Zach Zagorski from Lincolnton. Here are […]

11-23-21 roundup: High school football, basketball and volleyball, College football and basketball, Middle school soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Highland Tech’s Ashlynn Stephens has been named North Carolina’s Class 1A high school player of the year by the N.C. Volleyball Coaches Association. Stephens, a senior, helped the Rams finish 19-4 overall, 10-1 in the Southern Piedmont 1A/2A Conference and to a historic playoff run as Highland Tech advanced to the third […]

11-22-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball and soccer, High school football and basketball, College football and basketball, Middle school soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker After the COVID-19 pandemic limited last year’s high school baskeball season, it has returned with a full schedule for this season. While many games have already been played, the most common opening date is Tuesday for Gaston and Lincoln counties. Cleveland County’s first basketball game isn’t scheduled until next week. Five doubleheaders […]

11-21-21 roundup: Pro football and basketball, High school football and soccer, College football

By Richard Walker The excitement of the 73,350 fans who came to Bank of America Stadium on Sunday and many more who watched on television was the return of quarterback Cam Newton to town as the Carolina Panthers starting quarterback. Newton had a solid game but it was the return of three members of the […]

11-20-21 roundup: High school football and soccer, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball

By Richard Walker Shelby won its third N.C. High School Athletic Association soccer championship in dramatic fashion on Saturday. After Shelby and Greene Central went 120 minutes of regulation and overtime play with a scoreless tie, Shelby won the championship 5-3 on penalty kicks at Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park. Golden Lions keeper Eli Wilbanks, who […]

11-19-21 roundup: High school football, soccer and basketball, College football and basketball, Pro football and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Crest, Shelby and South Point will be practicing on Thanksgiving Day. All three perennial local high school football powers took convincing playoff wins on Friday night to advance into next Friday’s regional semifinal round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association playoffs. Crest scored the first 21 points of the game before […]

11-18-21 roundup: High school football and soccer, College football and basketball, Pro football, soccer and basketball, Middle school boys soccer, volleyball and wrestling

By Richard Walker Six teams from Cleveland and Gaston counties remain in the N.C. High School Athletic Association high school football playoffs in Friday’s third round. The four games include a pair of regular season rematches as South Point hosts Forestview in Class 3A and Shelby hosts East Gaston in Class 2A. In the other […]