N.C. Legion state tournament will be coming to Cleveland County in 2021

By Richard Walker

Kings Mountain High School’s Lancaster Field is set to become a first-time host of the North Carolina American Legion championship tournament

The facility was granted the 2020 tournament before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled all Legion tournaments locally, regionally and nationally.

And the 2021 event is based on COVID-19 conditions and has to be officially approved at a N.C. Legion meeting next month.

Kings Mountain will become the 16th city to host the event that began in 2000 and will mark the fifth time it’ll come to Cleveland or Gaston counties; Shelby hosted in 2004, Cherryville in 2005 and 2019 and Gastonia in 2008.

Kings Mountain Post 155 and Shelby Post 82 jointly sponsor Cleveland County Post 82-155 and, as host, it will be guaranteed a berth in the eight-team tournament.

This year’s event will begin with a July 27 banquet followed by round-robin competition on July 28, July 29 and July 30. Semifinal games will be played on July 31 and the championship game is slated for Aug. 1.

Area IV teams can begin play on May 15 and an area champion that will join Cleveland County in the state tournament must be determined by July 23.

National American Legion officials had previously announced dates and sites for their national tournaments.

North Carolina’s state tournament winner will advance to the Mid-Atlantic Regional hosted Aug. 3-8 at Asheboro’s McCrary Park and eight regional winners will advance to the Aug. 12-17 American Legion World Series in Shelby.

Shelby has hosted the ALWS every year since it was named permanent home of the event in 2011.