High School Highlights

Scholar Athletes of the Week: 9/23/19

20 01 Marissa Morris copyMarissa Morris
Terry Sanford• Cross country, track • Junior
Morris has a weighted GPA of 4.375. This is her third year on the varsity cross country and track teams. Her activities include National Honor Society, Tri Chi and Key Club. She attends dance practice and is in her 11th year of dance. When she is not running or dancing she likes to hang out with friends.
20 02 Morgan WilliamsMorgan Williams
Terry Sanford• Volleyball, track• Junior
Williams has a weighted GPA of 4.235. This is her first year on the varsity volleyball team and will be her second year on the varsity track team.  She is the junior class secretary, member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and in the global studies program. She aspires to be a Kentucky Wildcat.

Shrine Bowl advances date for announcing teams

19 Jimmy TeagueThe Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas announced rosters for this year’s game last week, a move that caught some people by surprise. In past years, the announcement has been held until closer to the end of football season.
Ronnie Blount, who is general chairman of the game and lives in Cumberland County, said there was logic behind the decision to move the announcement date up a month.

Nominations were opened on July 15 this season and closed on Labor Day he said.

The main reason for the advance was because of challenges getting football uniforms to fit an assortment of players. This year’s Shrine rosters have players as short at 5-foot-9 and as tall as 6-foot-7.

Blount said the Shriners had encountered problems getting equipment delivered in time with the late announcement date. The vendor who provides the uniforms needs 90 days to turn the orders around he said.

Another plus of moving the date up was that coaches had some free time over the summer to work on nominations, resulting in more nominations than in past years.

This year’s game is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 21, at 1 p.m. at Wofford College’s Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, S.C.

The head coach for the North Carolina team has Cumberland County ties. Jimmy Teague, veteran coach at Reidsville High School, is a former assistant coach at Pine Forest High School.
• Lacrosse continues to grow in Cumberland County and the region. The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has announced the new conferences for boys and girls lacrosse and county schools will no longer be in the same league with teams from the Raleigh area.

The new league for boys includes Jack Britt, Cape Fear, Pinecrest and Terry Sanford.

For girls, the league members are the same four schools plus Union Pines.

Lacrosse practice begins Feb. 12, 2020, with the first matches on March 2.
• The next Region 4 Emergency Fund Golf Tournament will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, at Gates Four Golf and Country Club. Rain date is Oct. 20.

The tournament raises money for the coaches and officials emergency fund, which provides monetary support to individuals and families in the area during a time of crisis.
There are slots for as many as 32 teams in the fall tournament.

Those registering before Oct. 6 pay $75 per golfer. After Oct. 6, the cost rises to $85 per golfer.

For more information on the tournament, including how to register, visit www.regionfour.org.

Pictured: L-R Former Pine Forest assistant football coach Jimmy Teague, Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas general chairman Ronnie Blount and Dean Boyd of York Comprehensive High School in York, South Carolina announce this year's Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas teams live on Facebook. Teague is head coach at Reidsville High School and North Carolina head coach this year. Boyd is the South Carolina head coach.




Cheerleaders put on probation for displaying Trump banner

17 Que TuckerReprinted with permission from The Stanly News & Press

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has put the North Stanly High School cheerleaders on probation for the rest of the football season for their part in holding up a Trump banner during the Aug. 30 game against Piedmont.

The Aug. 30 incident happened before the game began, when some of the North cheerleaders and a couple other individuals gathered for a photo. A cheerleader and a young male held up a banner that read “Trump 2020 ‘Make America Great Again.'” The photo circulated on Facebook after a North teacher posted it.

After talking with the central office, and since the incident appeared on social media and caused people to feel uncomfortable, the NCHSAA took a greater look at it.

“One of the rules we have is that every contest should be conducted in a wholesome, athletic environment,” North Carolina High School Athletic Association Commissioner Que Tucker said. “We take that to mean that it’s in an environment where good sportsmanship is shown, where people feel safe … that respect for all people participating is being shown.”

Due to the fact the incident caused concern for many and helped create a negative athletic environment, according to Tucker, the NCHSAA decided to reprimand the cheerleaders by putting them on probation.

Superintendent Dr. Jeff James said Dean Shatley, of Shatley and Campbell law firm, reviewed the NCHSAA’s decision and felt it was appropriate.

James said the school system did not discipline any of the students because there were no violations of the student code of conduct. He said school officials will likely update the code to include rules against political campaigning on school campuses during sporting events.

Following multiple media reports about the North Stanly incident and a letter sent to the NCHSAA from Congressman Richard Hudson regarding the matter, Que Tucker, NCHSAA Commissioner, released the following clarification:
While the NCHSAA does not have a specific policy prohibiting the display of political advertisements at athletic events, the behavior was contrary to the NCHSAA’s “Philosophy of Cheerleading” in the NCHSAA Handbook. This philosophy emphasizes the cheerleader’s important role in representing the school to its fans and others in attendance in a positive manner, while eliciting appropriate support for their team in accordance with the spirit and letter of NCHSAA and local school policies and expectations.

It is our understanding that Stanly County Schools has a policy against political advertisements on campus or at school events. It is also our understanding that Stanly County Schools does not make political endorsements. As the district officials related in their release yesterday, ‘Because the cheerleaders were in uniform and were acting as representatives of the school, the display of the sign could be perceived as the school or school system endorsing a political campaign."

NCHSAA probation, in and of itself, is not a punishment. It serves as a notice of behavior or action that is against NCHSAA Handbook Policy or contrary to expectations of sportsmanship and proper behavior. Should infractions occur during a probation period at a member school or within a team at a member school, additional sanctions such as fines or suspensions could be implemented. In the aforementioned instance, opportunities for participation were neither eliminated nor limited.

 The decision to place the cheerleaders on probation was made to highlight the NCHSAA’s philosophy of cheerleading as well as Stanly County Schools’ local district policy on political endorsements by individuals representing the school. The NCHSAA has no comment on the letter released by Representative Hudson.”

Editor's Note: Late Friday afternoon, the Stanly County Schools announced that because of new safety concerns in the wake of the school’s cheerleaders being placed on probation, Friday’s Sept. 20 home football game with China Grove Carson was postponed to Saturday morning, Sept. 21.

Pictured: Que Tucker

Westover’s Freeman picked for Shrine Bowl

18 01 TaurienneWestover linebacker Taurienne Freeman was the only Cumberland County football player chosen to this year’s Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas.

The annual all-star football game, the oldest of its kind in the United States, is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 21, at Wofford College’s Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Kickoff is at 1 p.m.

The game annually pits the top senior football players from North Carolina and South Carolina to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for burned and crippled children.

Freeman, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior, is being recruited by numerous major and mid-major colleges according to Westover head coach Ernest King. He has yet to make a commitment to play for any school.

King called Freeman both a hard-working player and a good student in the classroom. As far as his playing style, King said Freeman is an old-school, downhill type of player who reminds him of stars he coached at E.E. Smith High School like Aaron Curry and Jordan Stocks.

18 02 Ernest King“He’s very aggressive, doesn’t take any plays off,’’ King said. King coached in the Shrine Bowl last year as an assistant coach and said it’s an honor to have Freeman representing Westover High School, Cumberland County and the state of North Carolina in this year’s game.

Freeman said he was shocked at first to hear he had been chosen for the North Carolina team but said he is ready to compete for a chance to start and play in the game as one of seven linebackers chosen. “I know how to compete,’’ he said. “I can read the offensive line. I feel I can get the starting spot if I work hard enough.’’

Freeman said he may try to add a little weight before the game in December and continue eating healthy and keeping in top shape.
“It’s a big honor for me,’’ he said. “I know I’ll represent the area well.’’

King said he was surprised Freeman was the only player from Cumberland County picked for the game.
“We have a lot of talent in this county,’’ he said. “I think it’s kind of being overlooked.’

Pictured from top to bottom: Taurienne Freeman, Ernest King 


Earl's weekly predictions 9/19/19

earl vaughan srForgive me for a personal indulgence today, but it’s a milestone moment in the life of someone extremely special to me.
I’d like to take a few moments to wish a happy 90th birthday to my father, the Rev. Earl Vaughan Sr. There is not enough space in all the databanks everywhere to thank him for everything he’s done for me through the years.
The United States Army brought him to Fort Bragg from his native Missouri. During his Army days he met and eventually married my mother, the late Peggy Blount Vaughan, a hometown Fayetteville girl. I joined the party in 1954 and nine years later dad decided to enter the ministry. He earned his ministerial credentials at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. We returned to North Carolina where he served pastorates in Bryson City, Cleveland, Leland and Warsaw before retiring and moving back to Fayetteville with mom.
He’s still preaching every so often and loves finding bargains, interacting with people and doing the Lord’s work.
Thank you dad for being there for me everyday I’ve been on this earth. Have a super birthday.
The record: 23-7
I survived Friday the 13th with a 5-2 record, which is far better than it could have been given the difficulty of the predictions. The season total is 23-7, 76.7 percent. 
Cape Fear at Terry Sanford - The Battle of the Blues is a big Patriot Athletic Conference matchup for both teams. I’m worried about Cape Fear being a little rusty. The Colts are coming off an open date and have only played two games this year since their opener with Clinton was canceled by the weather.
But Terry Sanford lost to Jack Britt and had a tough time with E.E. Smith after an open date the previous Friday.
This will be the first “home” game for the Bulldogs as they move to their temporary headquarters at Reid Ross Classical High School’s John Daskal Stadium. I’ll be interested to see just how homey things are for the team and its fans.
Cape Fear 21, Terry Sanford 20.
South View at Douglas Byrd - The Eagles got a big win against Westover last week but they will face a stiff test from the versatile South View offense Friday night. 
South View 28, Douglas Byrd 14.
E.E. Smith at Overhills - The Golden Bulls came close against Terry Sanford last week but weren’t able to seal the win.
I’m worried about an emotional letdown against Overhills this week after getting up for a big rival like the Bulldogs.
Overhills 22, E.E. Smith 17.
Pine Forest at Gray’s Creek - The big concern here is which Pine Forest team is going to show up. The Trojans have been a little inconsistent early in the season and defense has been a problem. Gray’s Creek is much improved, but I think the Bears will have a tough time containing Pine Forest’s offense.
Pine Forest 24, Gray’s Creek 18.
Goldsboro at Westover - Here’s hoping home field will give Westover enough of a boost to get its first win of the season.
Westover 22, Goldsboro 20.
Jack Britt at New Hanover - Call me crazy, but after three weeks Brian Randolph had me drinking that purple Jack Britt Kool-Aid. I think the Buccaneers are for real and they’ve got a chance to make a statement Friday against a solid New Hanover team.
Jack Britt 28, New Hanover 27.
Open date: Seventy-First.
Other games: Fayetteville Christian 14, Rocky Mount Academy 12; Trinity Christian 21, Metrolina Christian 14.

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