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9-27-21 roundup: College football, Pro football and baseball, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Local products came away with top league honors on Monday after having impressive efforts in Saturday college football games. At Charlotte, quarterback Chris Reynolds was named Conference USA Offensive Player of the Week. At Gardner-Webb, two players were honored by the Big South Conference. And at N.C. State and Wake Forest, local […]

9-26-21 roundup: Pro baseball and football, College football, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Former South Point High standout Garrett Davila last week won his second minor league championship as a member of the Kansas City Royals’ organization. A 2015 South Point High graduate, Davila was the winning pitcher for Northwest Arkansas in the second game of the Naturals’ three games to none Class AA Central […]

9-25-21 roundup: College football, High school football and boys soccer, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Gardner-Webb trailed at halftime against Western Carolina before its offense got untracked for a 52-34 victory at Spangler Stadium. The Runnin’ Bulldogs (2-2) won their second straight game by scoring the game’s final 28 points – or after trailing 34-24 with 8:09 left in the third quarter. Gardner-Webb quarter B Fisher completed […]

9-24-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer, baseball, volleyball and cross country, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker The first big Southern Piedmont 1A/2A matchup of the season turned into a rout for Shelby as the Golden Lions rolled to a 55-7 win at previously unbeaten Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy on Friday night. Shelby improved to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in league play by scoring the game’s last 49 points […]

9-23-21 roundup: High school football, boys soccer, baseball, volleyball and cross country, Pro football and baseball, College football, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker As the high school football season hits the midway point of the 11-week, 10-game season on Friday, we look at individuals who have shined brighest so far this season. Already, two quarterbacks in Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties have surpassed 1,000 yards passing and many others are having strong seasons. No running […]

9-22-21 roundup: Pro football and baseball, College football and baseball, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker Can the Carolina Panthers’ defense keep it up? And can the offense continue it fast starts? If Carolina can keep doing both, the Panthers will become the first 3-0 team in the NFL this season if they can win Thursday’s 8:20 p.m. game at the Houston Texans. The Panthers also are seeking […]

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

By Richard Walker Several former local products are nearing the end of their professional baseball seasons. Here’s a look at how they are doing with statistics through Monday’s games: Emilio Pagan (former Gardner-Webb and Belmont Abbey): The right-handed pitcher is 4-2 with a 4.50 ERA in 66 appearances for the San Diego Padres. Jeffrey Springs […]

9-20-21 roundup: College football and cross country, Amateur golf, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball, Pro football, basketball and baseball

By Richard Walker During Big South Conference football media day this summer, Gardner-Webb coach Tre Lamb said former Crest standout Jalin Graham would be a future standout in his program. Graham, a 2020 Crest graduate, proved his coach correct on in the Bulldogs’ 56-0 home win over Lincoln, Pa., with a brief but very effective […]

9-19-21 roundup: Pro football, golf and baseball, College football, High school football and boys soccer, Middle school football and softball

By Richard Walker A dominating defensive effort in Sunday’s 26-7 home win over the New Orleans Saints could have the Carolina Panthers thinking big already this season. Not only did it give the Panthers a 2-0 for only the eighth time in the franchise’s 27-year history but it also ended a four-game losing streak to […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]

8-6-21 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 […]

7-16-21 roundup: Legion baseball, College football, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100 will get a chance to increase its record for N.C. Area IV titles after finishing off a three-game sweep in the semifinals on Friday. Post 100 shutout Mint Hill 9-0 as starter and winner Noah Huss struck out five in six innings and Noah Ingle (three hits, […]

7-15-21 roundup: Legion baseball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100 took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five N.C. Area IV semifinal series on Thursday at Fraley Field against Mint Hill Post 555 by making a mid-game comback. Trailing 5-3 after 4 1-2 innings, Cherryville scored four times in the bottom of the fifth to propel Post 100 […]

7-14-21 roundup: Legion baseball and softball, Pro football and baseball

By Richard Walker Cherryville American Legion Post 100 started its N.C. Area IV semifinal series in impressive fashion with a 10-2 win over Mint Hill Post 555 at Independence High School. Cherryville (15-5) got six-hit, one-run, four-strikeout pitching from starter and winner Zach Wilson and Zane Brockman had two of Post 100’s 11 hits. Game […]

Panthers set training camp schedule that includes joint practices with two preseason opponents

By Richard Walker The Carolina Panthers announced their 2021 training camp schedule that’ll include a July 28 start, joint practices with two preseason opponents and the popular Fan Fest that will be held at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium. Returning again to Wofford College’s Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C., the Panthers will open 2021 training […]

Revenge or vindication? Panthers 2021 schedule filled with games that could be both

By Richard Walker When the Carolina Panthers got their 2021-22 NFL schedule on Wednesday, a theme of the season is the number of games that can be considered “revenge” or “vindication” contests. It starts in the Sept. 12 opener when new Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold faces the team that just traded him when Bank of […]

Panthers trade back for extra picks, then choose wide receiver in second round, offensive lineman and tight end in third round

By Richard Walker The Carolina Panthers made four trades on Friday night, then chose the first three offensive draft picks of the Matt Rhule era. The Panthers selected LSU wide receiver Terrace Marshall with the No. 59 selection in the second round, BYU offensive tackle Brady Christensen the No. 70 selection in the third round […]

SURPRISE MOVE? Panthers choose South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Horn

By Richard Walker With a quarterback and two offensive tackles linked to their selection still available when the Carolina Panthers made their No. 8 overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft, the team selected a cornerback from the University of South Carolina. Jaycee Horn, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder, became the eighth straight defensive player chosen in […]

NEXT MOVE? After offseason of roster change, Panthers head into 2021 draft will multiple options (with full list Panthers’ all-time draft picks)

By Richard Walker One year after setting NFL history by selected only defensive players in the 2020 draft, the Carolina Panthers enter the 2021 draft after an offseason full of roster moves. After replacing 16 starters during the 2020 season, including one due to Christian McCaffrey’s injuries, Carolina currently enters the draft with a projected […]

NEW QUARTERBACK? Panthers acquire former Jets first-rounder Sam Darnold and are set to trade 2020 starter Teddy Bridgewater

By Richard Walker One of the worst-kept secrets in the NFL this offseason has been that the Carolina Panthers were seeking a new starting quarterback for the upcoming 2021 season. On Monday, the franchise thinks it has found its man after sending three draft picks to the New York Jets for 23-year-old Sam Darnold. Darnold […]