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9-18-21 roundup: Pro football, golf and baseball, College football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball

By Richard Walker The Carolina Panthers pursue a rare 2-0 start on Sunday when they host the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. Winning again would put the team in a good historical position since six of the previous 2-0 starts have resulted in postseason appearances. Carolina has started out 2-0 or better in 1996, […]

9-17-21 roundup: High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball, College football, cross country and rugby, Pro football, golf and baseball

By Richard Walker West Lincoln High School is off to its third 4-0 football start in the last four seasons after Mason Avery’s 10-yard touchdown run in overtime lifted the Rebels to a 20-17 win over Bandys in a Catawba Valley 2A Conference opener. West Lincoln hosts preseason league favorite Maiden next week. Here are […]

9-16-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball, College football, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker How important is winning your conference football opener? In the Big South Conference, it’s imperative if you want to win the league championship. How so? With Friday featuring six teams opening their league slate – Crest beat North Gaston 42-16 last week – none of the previous league champions or co-champions have […]

9-15-21 roundup: Middle school football and softball, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, College football and basketball, Pro football, basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Holbrook and Southwest stayed unbeaten in Gaston County Conference middle school football action after wins on Wednesday. Holbrook defeated Mount Holly 36-6 to improve to 4-0 and Southwest edged Southwest 6-0 to improve to 5-0. Grier (3-0) also is unbeaten in the Gaston County Conference. Here are Wednesday’s Gaston County Conference results: […]

9-14-21 roundup: College football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball, Pro football, basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Charlotte is off to its fourth 2-0 start in the school’s nine-year football history. Coach Will Healy said during his weekly news conference that 2-0 won’t mean anything if the team doesn’t finish strong – and that starts with this week’s 7 p.m. game at Georgia State. “Every week I say this […]

Remembering a N.C. basketball icon: Littles dies at 78

By Richard Walker Pioneering basketball player and longtime coach Gene Littles died at 78 on Thursday, Sept. 9. Littles was a pioneer as a one of the first African-American college players to play in the state when he went to High Point University from 1965 to 1969 before playing six years of professional basketball, including […]

9-13-21 roundup: College baseball and football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Former South Point High baseball standout Dawson Gause will be playing on one of the biggest stages in all of college baseball this spring when he pitches for six-time national champion LSU. A 2018 South Point High graduate, Gause will be a 6-foot-4, 215-pound redshirt sophomore for the Tigers after transferring from […]

9-12-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, High school football, College football and cycling, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker They may have started slow – and drew a few boos in the process – but the Carolina Panthers reversed a recent opening-game trend on Sunday with a 19-14 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. Sam Darnold completed 24 ot 34 passes for 279 yards and one touchdown in his […]

9-11-21 roundup: High school football, College football, Pro football and baseball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker There was no letdown for the Charlotte 49ers as they rolled to a 38-10 win over Gardner-Webb on Saturday night at Richardson Stadium. One week after Charlotte’s first-ever home game and victory over a power five major college football conference – the 49ers beat Duke 31-28 – Charlotte never trailed as it […]

9-10-21 roundup: High school football, basketball, girls tennis and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College football and rugby, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker A shootout at Shelby’s Blanton Memorial Stadium between two of the Carolinas winningest programs ended with South Pointe of Rock Hill, S.C., holding off Shelby 51-37 on Friday night. South Pointe scored 34 straight points in the first half to take a 37-7 halftime lead before the host Golden Lions outscored the […]

9-9-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker On Saturday, a former Crest High quarterback will make his head coaching debut against the ACC when Dawson “Tyrone” Odums leads his Norfolk State team into its first game at Wake Forest at noon. Odums, a 1992 Crest High graduate, played quarterback in high school and defensive line at North Carolina Central […]

9-8-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football and women’s soccer, High school football, boys soccer and cross country, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former South Point High standout Tanner Muse has a new NFL home. Muse, a 2015 South Point High graduate, signed to play on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad on Wednesday. It comes two days after the Las Vegas Raiders released Muse from their roster. Muse had made eight tackles with half a […]

NFL pros from N.C. high schools

By Richard Walker As we prepare for the start of the 2021 NFL season, a large number of North Carolina high school products are again on team rosters. Seventy-four players who attended N.C. high schools are on league rosters as the season begins. That’ll included six players who will participate in Thursday’s Dallas Cowboys at […]

9-7-21 roundup: Pro basketball, football and baseball, College football, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former Forestview and Gaston Day standout Nate Hinton has a new NBA team. Hinton signed a contract with the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday. Indiana’s new head coach is Hinton’s former Dallas Mavericks’ coach Rick Carlisle. A 2018 Gaston Day graduate who was an undrafted free agent signee out of the University of […]

9-6-21 roundup: College football, High school football and boys soccer, Pro football and baseball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Quarterbacks at Charlotte and Gardner-Webb, a Gardner-Webb receiver and Gaston County’s all-time leading high school football rusher were among those honored with top conference awards for their play in the opening week of the 2021 college football season. Charlotte’s Chris Reynolds was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week after he […]

9-5-21 roundup: High school football and athletics, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former North Gaston High standout Blake Brown was promoted by the Philadelphia Phillies to its Class AA affiliate on Sunday. A 2016 North Gaston High graduate, Brown went 2-1 with eight saves with a 3.15 ERA in 33 appearances for the Class A Jersey Shore Blue Claws before being promoted to the […]

What to expect from 2021 Panthers? Second-year coach, first-year GM have completely reshaped the team in hopes of postseason run

By Richard Walker When the Carolina Panthers made four postseason appearances in five years from 2013 to 2017, many of the team’s fans expected playoff football to be an annual enjoyment. But, as the cliche’ about the real meaning of the NFL goes, “Not For Long” has led to three straight seasons of struggles as […]

9-4-21 roundup: High school football, Pro football and baseball, College football and men’s soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Gardner-Webb put a scare into traditional power Georgia Southern in the 2021 college football opener for both teams. The visiting Bulldogs scored two fourth-quarter touchdowns and drove to the Georgia Southern 29 in the closing seconds before losing 30-25 at Paulson Stadium. Gardner-Webb quarterback Bailey Fisher completed 27 of 45 passes for […]

9-3-21 roundup: High school football, girls tennis, boys soccer and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker The Charlotte 49ers set history Friday night. The 49ers scored late and survived a Duke rally for a 31-28 victory in front of 14,125 fans at Richardson Stadium. It marks Charlotte’s first win over an ACC school in the 49ers first home game against an ACC opponent. In a game with six […]

9-2-21 roundup: High school football, soccer and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College football and soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker High school football’s third week continued Thursday with non-conference games that include rivalry matchups like Burns-Kings Mountain, Cramer-East Gaston and East Lincoln-Lincolnton. There’s also been four game cancellations – Blacksburg, S.C., at Cherryville, Central Cabarrus at Huss, Foard at West Lincoln and South Point at R-S Central – with South Point picking […]

9-1-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football, High school football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker After the COVID-19 pandemic completely disrupted high school football in the 2020-21 school year, it continues having an impact on the 2021 fall schedule. On Wednesday, the Crest at Shelby game that was scheduled for Friday will be postponed with school officials saying they are “working to reschedule.” It is the fourth […]

8-31-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football, High school football, cross country and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker The Carolina Panthers roster is at 53 after a flurry of moves on Tuesday. On Tuesday, the team waived linebacker Josh Bynes, wide receiver Omar Bayless, running back Spencer Brown, quarterback Will Grier, defensive lineman Frank Herron, offensive lineman Mike Horton, cornerback Jalen Julius, wide receiver Keith Kirkwood, outside linebacker Christian Miller, […]

8-30-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football, High school football and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Four local high school products are currently on NFL rosters following the 2021 preseason – former Crest standout Jonathan Bullard, former South Point standout Tanner Muse, former East Lincoln standout Chazz Surratt and former East Lincoln and Lincolnton standout Sage Surratt. Here is a look at how each player is doing: Bullard: […]

8-29-21 roundup: High school football and cross country, Pro football and baseball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker High school football teams into the third playing date of the season this week. One game, South Point at R-S Central, has been cancelled due to COVID issues at R-S Central but South Point is trying to find another opponent. Here is Friday’s current schedule for schools from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln […]

8-28-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, High school football and volleyball, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Shelby honored the greatest football player the city has ever produced on Saturday with “Bobby Bell Day.” Bell, a 1959 graduate of the old Cleveland Training School, went on to become an Outland Trophy winner at the University of Minnesota, a Super Bowl winner for the Kansas City Chiefs and was inducted […]

8-27-21 roundup: High school football, volleyball and girls tennis, Middle school football and softball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker South Point was challenged for a half at rival East Gaston. Then the Red Raiders scored 28 straight points in the second half for a 35-7 non-conference victory. It gives South Point its 25th win over the Warriors in their last 25 meetings. Tyson Riley scored two second half touchdowns and Cam […]

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. Here’s a look at each of the matchups in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties: Alexander Central at North Gaston […]

8-25-21 roundup: Middle school football, High school football, cross country, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Wednesday’s inclement weather played havoc on the first Gaston County Conference middle school football games in two years. Only two games were played long enough to be completed as Cramerton won 24-8 at W.C. Friday and Grier defeated visiting Stanley 8-0. In Cramerton’s win, Tristan Holt had three touchdowns and L.J. Watson […]

8-24-21 roundup: Middle school football, High school football, girls tennis and volleyball, Pro football

By Richard Walker After a year or disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, middle school football returns to the area with conventional schedules for both area leagues. In the Gaston County Conference, action begins on Wednesday in its 11-school league with five games. Gaston County didn’t play any football in the 2020-21 school year. And […]

8-23-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, High school football and boys soccer

By Richard Walker After two seasons off, the Gazette Cup boys high school soccer tournament returned last week. And a familiar champion, South Point, enjoyed the event more than anyone else as the Red Raiders won their ninth title in 11 championship game appearances for a tournament that began in 1993. Tony Baker scored two […]

8-22-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, High school football

By Richard Walker Four local high school products are currently active on NFL rosters in the 2021 preseason – former Crest standout Jonathan Bullard, former South Point standout Tanner Muse, former East Lincoln standout Chazz Surratt and former East Lincoln and Lincolnton standout Sage Surratt. Here is a look at how each player is doing: […]

8-21-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, High school football and boys soccer

By Richard Walker Carolina Panthers fans got their first preseason look at new starting quarterback Sam Darnold but the Baltimore Ravens kept alive one of the most confounding streaks in NFL history with a 19-3 win over the Panthers on Saturday in the team’s preseason home opener. Carolina closes out the 2021 preseason on Friday […]

8-20-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, College basketball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker After two straight losses to its oldest rival, Shelby High opened the 2021 high school football season with a vengeance – and a 37-14 victory – at Kings Mountain. In the earliest meeting of the 98-year-old series, Kings Mountain scored first before Shelby took charge of the game with 23 straight points. […]

Charlotte Hornets release 2021-22 schedule

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets announced their 2021-22 regular season schedule on Friday. And they’ll start the new season with a chance for some revenge as they’ll host the Indiana Pacers team that routed Charlotte 144-117 in the 2021 play-in tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 20 at 7 p.m. at Spectrum Center. Other highly-anticipated home […]

8-19-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, college athletics, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker Gaston College has a nickname, a logo and school colors for its startup athletic program. The school unveiled its blue and yellow colors, its “Rhinos” nickname and its logo during a Thursday outdoor party at the campus. Gaston College’s Rhinos will return to athletic competition this fall for the first time since […]

8-18-21 roundup: Youth softball, Legion baseball, High school football, boys soccer and volleyball, Pro football and baseball, College cycling

By Richard Walker Cherryville’s Dixie Angels All-Star softball recently won both the North Carolina state and the Dixie World Series tournament titles. In the N.C. state tournament held in Cherryville from July 9-13, Cherryville routed three opponents by a 33-0 cumulative score and yielded only one hit. In the Dixie World Series (Angels Division) held […]

8-17-21 roundup: Legion baseball, High school football and boys soccer, Pro basketball and football

By Richard Walker Inclement weather wreaked havoc on the 2021 American Legion World Series for the third straight night Tuesday as the championship game matching defending champion Idaho Falls, Id., against Honolulu, Hi., will be played on Wednesday at a time to be determined. Here is the full schedule of games for the 2021 American […]

8-16-21 roundup: Bessemer City Hall of Fame, Legion baseball, Pro football, High school football and boys soccer

By Richard Walker On Saturday night, Bessemer City inducted its inaugural Sports Hall of Fame class. In a ceremony held at First Baptist Church of Bessemer City, a class of four individuals and one team were officially inducted – Mike Mahaffey, Kevin Millwood, Jackson “Ace” Parker and Shameka Smith and the 1959 Bessemer City High […]

8-15-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball and baseball, High school football, Legion baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker The Indianapolis Colts scored 11 points in the final 7:43 on Sunday afternoon to ruin the Carolina Panthers preseason opener. The Colts, who got six of those points on a 1-yard touchdown run by former Charlotte 49ers running back Benny LeMay, won the contest on Eddy Pinero’s 30-yard field with seven seconds […]

8-14-21 roundup: High school football and volleyball, Pro basketball, football and baseball, Legion baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker Area high school football teams have completed preseason practices and scrimmages. And on Friday, the 2021 regular season will begin. Here’s the schedule for opening games for teams from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties: Bessemer City at Community School of Davidson Burns at Forestview Cherryville at Avery County Cramer at Bunker Hill […]

8-13-21 roundup: Pro basketball, football and baseball, Legion baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets announced a four-game preseason schedule that features two home games at Spectrum Center. Charlotte opens its 2021-22 preseason at the Oklahoma City Thunder on Oct. 4 at 8 p.m. before returning home to play the Mamphis Grizzlies on Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. After visiting the Miami Heat on […]

8-12-21 roundup: Pro basketball, football, Legion baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets fell to 0-3 in the Las Vegas Summer League after losing a 106-105 shootout to the San Antonio Spurs. Tre Jones scored 34 points to lead the Spurs to the win. Charlotte was led by James Bouknight (23 points, 8 assists), Vernon Carey, Jr. (19 points, 8 rebounds), Grant […]

8-11-21 roundup: Middle school football, Legion baseball, Pro basketball, football and baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker After the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the Gaston County Conference football schedule and altered the Tri-County Conference football schedule, both leagues will run full slates for the 2021 season. In Gaston County, it’ll mark the first action since the 2019 season. And in Cleveland and Lincoln counties, the teams will play a full […]

8-10-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, Legion baseball, High school football, College athletics

By Richard Walker During Tuesday’s offseason media session, Charlotte Hornets president and general manager Mitch Kupchak said his team had finished its offseason roster decisions, had high hopes for the upcoming season and felt the contract extension the team gave head coach James Borrego indicated he would be able to meet those expectations. Charlotte added […]

8-9-21 roundup: Legion baseball, Pro basketball and baseball, College athletics

By Richard Walker The schedule has been set for the 2021 American Legion World Series that returns for the 10th straight time and 11th time overall to Shelby’s Keeter Stadium at Veterans Field. Defending champion Idaho Falls, Id., and runner-up Fargo, N.D., are two of the six teams who will comprise the eight-team field. Midland […]

8-8-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, college football and athletics

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets lost their 2021 Las Vegas Summer League basketball opener on Sunday night. The Portland Trail Blazers led most of the way in a 93-86 victory. Antonio Blakeney’s 27 points off the bench led Portland. For Charlotte, rookie James Bouknight had a team-high 19 points and LiAngelo Ball had 16 […]

8-7-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, college athletics

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets’ busy summer continued Saturday with three more transactions and an ESPN report that the team and head coach James Borrego are finalizing a multi-year contract extension. Borrego has one year left on the three-year, $6 million contract he signed with the Hornets in May 2018. He’s guided Charlotte to […]

8-6-21 roundup: Pro football, basketball and baseball, college football and athletics

  By Richard Walker After a year off, Carolina Panthers Fan Fest returned on Friday night at 7 p.m. as the team got to show off its new players and the new field turf at Bank of America Stadium. More than 20,000 fans attended to make it the largest crowd at the stadium since the […]

8-5-21 roundup: College athletics, Pro basketball and baseball, College men’s soccer

By Richard Walker Gaston College will return to athletic competition this fall for the first time since 1975. The school is holding a Block Party from 3-8 p.m. on Aug. 19 to unveil the school’s new nickname, logo and colors. Gaston College was nicknamed the Rebels from 1965 to 1969 and the Warriors from 1969 […]

8-4-21 roundup: Pro basketball and baseball, Legion softball

By Richard Walker Gastonia’s current three NBA products have had big summers. Former player and longtime coach Darrell Armstrong will remain with the Dallas Mavericks after new head coach Jason Kidd kept him on his new staff. Former Ashbrook, Forestview and Huss student Hassan Whiteside will be joining his fourth NBA team in four years […]

8-3-21 roundup: High school athletics, Legion softball, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker East Lincoln and Crest are among the Wells Fargo Conference Cup award winners for conferences with Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties. The Wells Fargo Conference Cup award, sponsored by Wells Fargo and the N.C. High School Athletic Association, is a companion to the statewide Wells Fargo Cup. The Conference Cup is […]

8-2-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, College athletics, Pro basketball

By Richard Walker After a year off due to the coronavirus, American Legion baseball begins national playoff competition on Wednesday with start of regional play among 64 teams in eight regions across the country. Those 64 teams came out of 3,045 teams that registered to play this season. All state champions will participate along with […]

8-1-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, High school football, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Fuquay-Varina scored early, survived a rain delay, then held off Wilmington 8-6 to take its first N.C. American Legion state tournament championship on Sunday afternoon at Fraley Field in Cherryville. Post 116 scored once in the bottom of the first, then scored four times after a 20-minute rain delay in the second […]

7-31-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, High school track and field, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker It’ll be a repeat matchup for the North Carolina American Legion baseball state championship game on Sunday at 3 p.m. Fuquay-Varina knocked off Rowan County 12-5 in the first semifinal on Saturday at Cherryville’s Fraley Field, then Wilmington rallied past host Cherryville 17-10 in the second semifinal. Wilmington defeated Fuquay-Varina 11-5 in […]

7-30-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, High school football, College football, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Rowan County meets Fuquay-Varina at 4 p.m. and Cherryville meets Wilmington at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Cherryville’s Fraley Field in the semifinals of the North Carolina American Legion state baseball tournament. Saturday’s winners will advance to Sunday’s championship game that sends its winner to the Mid-Atlantic Regionals in Asheboro that starts […]

7-29-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, College football, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville and Fuquay-Varina clinched their spots in Saturday’s semifinals with wins on Thursday in the N.C. American Legion baseball state tournament at Cherryville’s Fraley Field. Cherryville routed Rowan County 17-1 in six innings by the 10-run mercy rule in the final game of pool play. It came a few hours after Fuquay-Varina […]

Hornets 2021 NBA Draft: Team adds 5 players, including highly-rated UConn guard and Texas center and acquires former Duke standout

By Richard Walker The Charlotte Hornets entered the offseason knowing two centers and two shooting guards were potential free agent departures. On Thursday, the team found replacements at both positions. A pre-draft trade with Detroit brought in former Duke center Mason Plumlee from the Detroit Pistons and the No. 37 overall pick in the draft. […]

7-28-21 roundup: Legion baseball, High school basketball, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker The top seeds won all four games on the opening day of the N.C. American Legion baseball state tournament at Cherryville’s Fraley Field. Area III champion Rowan County scored in the fifth inning and held on to beat Port City 3-2 in the opening game. The No. 1 Area II seed Wilmington […]

7-27-21 roundup: Legion baseball, College football and baseball, Olympics, Pro basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker Perennial North Carolina American Legion baseball powers will descend on Cherryville’s Fraley Field this week for the 21st state championship tournament. All-time N.C. state championship winner, state tournament participant and area champion Wilmington (12-0) is one of two unbeaten teams in the eight-team field. Wilmington 10 has won 12 state titles, 13 […]

7-26-21 roundup: Legion baseball, College football, Pro baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100’s baseball program has long been successful. On Monday around 5 p.m., Post 100’s Junior American Legion team added to that history by wrapping up its first N.C. state title. Cherryville rallied from deficits of 2-1 and 3-2 with an eight-run top of the sixth inning as it […]