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Shelby has won 19 state titles in its rich football history: Here’s all of them

By Richard Walker

Shelby High added another state title to growing collection in Saturday’s 55-34 victory over Wallace-Rose Hill.

The first six of their of state titles came in the old Western North Carolina Activities Association.

Another title came in 1984 in the final year of the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s first attempts at expanded playoffs when the Golden Lions won the Western N.C. 3A title of runner-up teams that have been in the playoffs each year ever since.

And their last 12 championships have been NCHSAA titles won in the Class 2A and 3A levels and in the split classifications the NCHSAA used from 2001 to this past spring season.

Here’s a look at each Shelby title team:

1947
Title: WNCHSAA Western
Record: 10-1
Losses: Concord (6-13)
Head coach: Casey Morris
Top players: Quarterback Bill Reynolds, halfback Jack Bridges, end Ken Bridges, tackle Jack Kiser
Notes: Team’s only loss was the postseason Harvest Bowl game played at the school’s old Sumter Street Stadium since WNCHSAA didn’t hold a playoff that season. Ken Bridges went on to play at Wake Forest.

1968
Title: WNCHSAA
Record: 12-0-1
Tie: Chase (28-28)
Head coach: Gerald Allen
Top players: Quarterback Rob Reynolds, halfbacks Mike Haggard and Marcus Mauney, tackle Richard Peeler
Notes: After routing Chase 41-20 in the second of the playoffs, Golden Lions took school’s first undisputed title with a 32-12 win over Thomasville. Reynolds and Haggard both went on to play at South Carolina, Peeler at East Carolina and Mauney at West Virginia.

Shelby’s 1970 state championship backfield was led by Marcus Mauney (far left)

1970
Title: WNCHSAA
Record: 12-0-1
Tie: Huss (0-0)
Head coach: Gerald Allen
Top players: Quarterback Tommy Hamrick, halfback Marcus Mauney
Notes: Mauney set single-season and career rushing records that stood for many years and he also was selected the first-ever Southwestern Conference player of the year.

1972
Title: WNCHSAA
Record: 13-0
Head coach: Gerald Allen
Top players: Quarterback Mike Beatty, halfbacks Tommy London and Larry Eberheart
Notes: The first perfect season in school history featured future N.C. State teammates London and Eberheart. London played defense at N.C. State and eventually played for the Cleveland Browns of the NFL.

1975
Title: Co-WNCHSAA
Record: 9-3-1
Losses: Huss (0-14), South Point (6-10), Burns (18-23)
Tie: North Davidson (21-21)
Head coach: Gerald Allen
Top players: Quarterback Mark Lackey, halfbacks Dockery Youngblood and Hicks Beam, tackle Charlie Holtzclaw and end Neil Robinson
Notes: The tie came in the finale when state championship games didn’t use overtime to determine a winner. And the team started 1-3 before catching fire the rest of the season to win arguably the school’s most unexpected title.

1976
Title: WNCHSAA
Record: 11-2
Losses: Huss (6-14), South Point (7-14)
Head coach: Gerald Allen
Top players: Quarterback Robert Kirkpatrick, halfback Allan Burrus, tackle Kenneth Howell, end Bryan Ferree
Notes: With eight shutouts in 13 games, arguably the best defense in school history sent Allen into retirement as a champion. Burrus and Ferree (North Carolina) and Howell (Georgia Tech) would play against each other in college.

1984
Title: WNCHSAA Western 3A Division II
Record: 12-1
Losses: South Point (8-21)
Head coach: Jim Taylor
Top players: Quarterback Mike Spangler, halfback Robert Robinson
Notes: After losing the fourth game of season, another defensive power (only two teams scored more than one touchdown) helped Shelby win a title one year before the playoffs were officially expanded. Robinson played defensive back at South Carolina.

1986
Title: WNCHSAA 3A
Record: 13-1-1
Losses: Kings Mountain (7-14)
Tie: Huss (0-0)
Head coach: Jim Taylor
Top players: Quarterback Therome George, halfbacks Cedric Surratt, Tony Mauney and Rodney Robinson, tackle Roger Hutchins, kicker Clint Gwaltney
Notes: Shelby’s first recognized NCHSAA title featured future Clemson players Mauney and Hutchins, future Gardner-Webb All-American Robinson and future North Carolina kicker (and current senior assistant athletic director) Clint Gwaltney.

Jim Taylor coached Shelby to state titles in 1984, 1986 and 1987

1987
Title: NCHSAA 3A
Record: 14-1
Losses: Crest (20-27 in OT)
Head coach: Jim Taylor
Top players: Quarterback Therome George, halfbacks Cedric Surratt, Tony Mauney and Rodney Robinson, tackle Roger Hutchins, kicker Clint Gwaltney
Notes: Many of the same players from 1986 helped the first repeat on a team that also had future North Carolina baseball player and college head baseball coach Chad Holbrook as George’s backup quarterback. (Only Burlington Cummings’ record-setting offense in 1988 kept Shelby from a three-peat.)

1998
Title: NCHSAA 2A
Record: 13-2
Losses: Crest (7-14), Kings Mountain (6-7)
Head coach: Chris Norman
Top players: Quarterback Jarvis Harris, halfback Travis Roseboro, kicker Eric Rockhold, linebacker Antonio Ponder
Notes: Shelby’s first 2A title came after 2-2 start that saw losses to 4A second round playoff participant Crest and 3A runner-up Kings Mountain.

2005
Title: NCHSAA 2AA
Record: 13-3
Losses: Freedom (21-28 in 2 OT), Brevard (27-33), East Rutherford (21-23)
Head coach: Chris Norman
Top players: Quarterback Darryl Montgomery, halfbacks Tavorris Jolly, Arsenio Parks and Preston Roseboro
Notes: The East Rutherford loss ended the regular season but Shelby avenged it with a 23-20 overtime third round playoff win. Jolly played at North Carolina and Parks and Roseboro at Wofford.

2006
Title: NCHSAA 2AA
Record: 16-0
Head coach: Chris Norman
Top players: Quarterback Darryl Montgomery, halfbacks Arsenio Parks and Preston Roseboro, lineman Lanston Tanyi, linebacker Corey Brooks, kicker Tyler Rabb
Notes: The school’s first 16-0 team featured future Appalachian State and NFL training camp invitee Tanyi and J.C. Smith all-conference kicker Rabb.

2013
Title: NCHSAA 2A
Record: 12-4
Losses: A.C. Reynolds (42-49), South Point (24-35), Burns (34-38), Crest (14-31)
Head coach: Lance Ware
Top players: Quarterback R.J. George, halfback Raekwon Washington
Notes: After finishing third in the South Mountain 2A/3A, Golden Lions routed all five of their playoff opponents to start the current run of state championships.

2014
Title: NCHSAA 2A
Record: 14-2
Losses: South Point (39-44), Crest (13-21)
Head coach: Lance Ware
Top players: Quarterback R.J. George, halfback Chad Reid
Notes: Losing only to eventual 3A state champion Crest and 3A Western runner-up South Point, Shelby routed all five playoff opponents again in this title run.

Calvin Camp was the Charlotte 49ers leading rusher this season.

2015
Title: NCHSAA 2A
Record: 15-1
Losses: Crest (33-40)
Head coach: Lance Ware
Top players: Quarterback Darquez Lee, halfbacks Xavier Brooks and Calvin Camp, receiver Jayden Borders
Notes: The only loss came against eventual 3AA state champion Crest in a year in which Shelby rolled up 733 total points and scored 34 or more points in all five playoff games.

2016
Title: NCHSAA 2AA
Record: 16-0
Head coach: Lance Ware
Top players: Quarterback Malik Surratt, halfback Juwan Sims, receiver Jayden Borders, linebacker Dax Hollifield
Notes: The only close shave was a 21-19 win at Crest as Shelby beat every other opponent by 15 or more points. Hollfield is currently a standout linebacker at Virginia Tech.

2018
Title: NCHSAA 2AA
Record: 13-3
Losses: A.C. Reynolds (14-17), Burns (14-32), Crest (6-27)
Head coach: Lance Ware
Top players: Quarterback Isaiah Bess, halfback Danye Fuller, receiver Diovanni Daley, linebacker Jaylon Scott, defensive back Dorian Davis
Notes: After starting 1-3, Ware’s last team before he took a job at Appalachian State rolled through the rest of its season. Scott is now one of the top linebackers at N.C. State.

2019
Title: NCHSAA 2AA
Record: 14-1
Losses: Kings Mountain (17-42)
Head coach: Mike Wilbanks
Top players: Quarterback Isaiah Bess, halfback Omar Phillips, receivers Diovanni Daley and Ja’hari Mitchell, linebacker Jack Hollifield, defensive back Tyler Arrington
Notes: Wilbanks first team featured suffocating defense in the playoffs (allowed 35 points) and future collegians like Hollifield (Virginia Tech) and Arrington (Gardner-Webb)

Malaki Hamrick was a driving force behind this year’s Shelby state title team

2021
Title: NCHSAA 2A
Record: 15-1
Losses: South Pointe, S.C. (37-51)
Head coach: Mike Wilbanks
Top players: Quarterback Daylin Lee, halfback Marquis Adams, linebacker Malaki Hamrick, lineman Santana Hopper
Notes: The Golden Lions’ seventh title in nine years featured two top recruits (Hamrick to North Carolina, Hopper to Appalachian State) and 12 underclassmen starters (out of 22).