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Ironman Carson Kelly doing what he does so well – shooting a three-pointer at last week’s away huge win over the Eagles of SPC 1A powerhouse, Lincoln Charter.

Ironmen varsity hoops squad gets big road win over Lincoln Charter

Get a home win against PCCS but end regular season with road loss to TJCA Gryphons

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Against Lincoln Charter
Coach Scott Harrill and company got one of the biggest wins in their 2020-2021 season last Tuesday (Feb. 16) as they stunned the Lincoln Charter Eagles in an 80-70 road victory.
Harrill said, via email, “The Cherryville Ironmen men’s basketball team defeated the Number 1 team in the state 1A rankings, the Lincoln Charter Eagles, last Tuesday night.”
Coach Harrill added his Ironmen, who have been improving all year, are the winners of seven of their last eight games. He noted they “…rolled into Lincoln Charter with confidence.”
He noted that from the opening tip, you could tell things were going the Ironmen way as sophomore Numarius Good hit his first two three-pointers from the wing off assists by senior Lavonte Hughes.
“Hughes then attacked the elbow area and knocked down elbow jumpers,” said Harrill, adding, “The Ironmen led after the first quarter 15-12.”
He continued, “The Ironmen got balanced scoring in the second quarter with Carter Spangler, Hughes, Carson Kelly, Austin Thompson, Landon Hahn all chipping in baskets. Noah Abenerthy and Gavin Cease came in and contributed in many ways on both ends of the court.”
According to Coach Harrill, the Eagles didn’t let up and took the lead, up to 14 points.
The Ironmen fought back in the second half after being down 14, to cut the lead to two after the third quarter on hot shooting by Carson Kelly.
Kelly, just a sophomore, noted Harrill, took control of the game in the third quarter, knocking down three, three-pointers in the quarter and getting a floater to go. Kelly scored 10 in the quarter and the Ironmen notched a season high of 27 points in the third quarter.
Hughes continued to put pressure on the Eagles as they tried to trap the point guard, but Lavonte found the open man every time, said Harrill.
Along with Kelly, Austin Thompson had a big quarter, as well as Jack Mulvey, he said.
The fourth quarter started out the same way, with Kelly hitting two more three’s to finish with six three-pointers on the night. Landon Hahn came up with some big steals and layups. Seniors Lavonte Hughes and Austin Thompson iced the game once the Ironmen got the lead hitting six out of six free throws down the stretch to seal the 80-70 victory over the Number 1 ranked team.
Coach Harrill said, “I am so proud of the effort these men have given all year. Tonight (last Tuesday) was a special night. Any time you can go in and win at Lincoln Charter is special, but the heart of these men is awesome. Our seniors, Noah Abernethy, Lavonte Hughes, and Austin Thompson have helped lead us in the way we needed to go. They never stopped believing.
“Aberenthy is the ultimate teammate and true Ironman; Hughes is a warrior on the court that refuses to lose; Thompson is our vocal leader to put us all where we need to be and a physical presence.”
Harrill said he is very proud and knows these seniors will remember this win for a long time.
Leading scorers for the Ironmen were Lavonte Hughes – 21 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds; Carson Kelly – 20 points; Austin Thompson  – 13 points, 8 rebounds; Landon Hahn – 11 points, 4 steals; Jack Mulvey – 7 points, Numarius Good – 6 points, and Noah Abernethy and Carter Spangler – 2 points apiece.
The Lady IM lost to Lady Eagles 17-71.

Against PCCS
The Ironmen got a home court win, 64-41, last Wednesday, Feb. 17, over the visiting Piedmont Community Charter Patriots. Prior to the men’s varsity game, the JV’s, under Coach Franklin Allen, won their game over the JV Patriots by a score of 63-47.
Senior Austin Thompson led the Ironmen with 20 points, followed by senior Lavonte Hughes with 12 points.
Carson Kelly scored nine (9) points, with teammate Landon Hahn getting six (6) points.
Remaining scorers were senior Noah Abernethy and Gavin Cease each scoring five (5) points apiece, while Jack Mulvey and Numarius Good each scored three (3) points apiece. Carter Spangler sunk a free throw for a point.

Against TJCA
The Ironmen varsity men’s hoops squad ended their regular season with a 73-62 road loss to Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy’s Gryphons.
According to Max Preps, the Lady Ironmen lost to the Lady Gryphons 9-56.
The men finished 9-5 overall (Max Preps) and 7-5 in SPC 1A play. The ladies finished at 1-11 overall (Max Preps) and 1-10 in SPC 1A play.
(Additional stats and information by Susan L. Powell)
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CHS Head basketball coach Scott Harrill (fourth from left) during one of the Ironmen’s 2018 basketball games at Nixon Gym. With him are his three assistant coaches: Coach Antonio Griggs, Coach Harrill, Coach Dennis Tate, and Coach Dr. Bud Black. (Eagle/CF Media file photos)

Ironmen basketball coach Scott Harrill breaks county record for most wins

Gets #380 against BCHS on Feb. 5,
passing Coach Marty Hatchell


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Ironmen head basketball coach and CHS Athletic Director Scott Harrill has many accomplishments attributed to him, along with a slew of letters and initials pertaining to his teaching and coaching prowess.
Now he can add a couple more – record breaker and record setter!
Harrill recently surpassed his friend and fellow roundball coach Marty Hatchell, who retired from coaching in 2009, as Gaston County’s all-time winningest men’s basketball coach with 380-plus wins. He got number 380 on Feb. 5, in an away game against the BCHS Yellow Jackets, winning 78-67. His current tally (and percentage of wins) is – with the recent win at Piedmont Community Charter School – 381, against 171 losses for a 70 percentage of wins. Harrill noted the record is for varsity wins only and doesn’t factor in any of his JV wins.
Coach Harrill’s career started as a JV coach at South Point High in 1995, then he came to Cherryville in 1999 as the JV coach with the late Coach David Watkins.
“I took over after Coach Watkins passed away in December of 2000,” he said.
In addition to coaching Cross-Country at CHS, Harrill said he has coached football at South Point and Cherryville for 13 years.
“I have also coached as the head men’s golf coach, and a couple of JV baseball games.”
Harrill, a 1989 CHS grad, received his undergraduate degree from Appalachian State in 1993, then got his Master’s degree from ASU in 2008.
As for how it feels to catch up to and pass Coach Hatchell’s many wins, Harrill was somewhat philosophical.
Said Coach Harrill, “It has been a little overwhelming thinking of the great coaches along the way. This is a team achievement with Coach (Dennis) Tate, Coach (Bud) Black, and Coach (Antonio) Griggs. Those men are just as much a part of this as I am. We work together really well. I will be forever grateful for them taking in a young coach, sticking with him, and being by my side the entire way. Marty is a friend and former coach who I coached against. He had all of his wins at those two schools. I look back at all the great kids we have had the chance to coach and watch grow.”
When asked what was it like to play opposite Hatchell and his teams, Coach Harrill noted, “He was a fiery coach and was always competitive.”
Coach Hatchell, who was 52 when he retired in 2009, coached the Yellow Jackets at BCHS for 13 years, then coached 11 years at Ashbrook, according to Coach Harrill, who noted Hatchell’s record was 379 wins in 24 years.
In addition to thanking his assistant coaches and current and former players, Harrill said, “God and my faith has always been a huge part of my life and coaching philosophy. (My wife,) Teresa has always stood by me and supported me in all that I do. She is amazing at being at all of those games for 25 years.
“She has brought our two boys to games since they were born. Trevor and Lane have always loved being in the gym. It was a joy over the last 21 years to get to spend that time in the gym with them.
“My parents, Howard and Marie, have been to almost every game during my playing and coaching career.  Mom has kept the book a long time, dad has filmed over the years when needed. Thanks again to Coaches Tate, Black, and Griggs for all the years of working with me.  The Ironmen basketball team is family to each of us.
“I am also thankful for Terry Usery and Kathy Abernethy for all the years of keeping the clock and score book for us.
“To the many players over the years who I think of as sons, they are what makes this special. Each one of those players has a special memory that I could share. I also thank Mr. (Steve) Huffstetler, my first principal at CHS; Mr. (Derrick) Jackson; and Mr. (Kevin) Doran, who has been with me the last eight years. We are blessed to have supportive principals like these three men over the years.”
Scott continued, “Wins and losses come and go, but the relationships last a lifetime. From phone calls, to weddings, to new births, to lunches, stopping in the gym, a golf game; those are the memories I will cherish. The long bus rides, the practices, the locker room, those are fun times.”
His wife, Teresa, said, “I am so proud of Scott and the Ironmen basketball staff! Scott loves the game of basketball but he loves his players more. Over the years he has had some amazing athletes that have made this honor possible.
“His coaching staff is like no other. You don’t find better men. They love their Ironmen basketball, win or lose. Having 380 wins is amazing, but the thought of how many lives Scott has impacted over the course of these 380 wins makes my heart smile. Late night ball games, game film analysis, daily practices have been part of our lives for over 25 years. This is an honor he and I are blessed to be part of.”
Friend, mentor, and Assistant Coach, Dr. Bud Black, said of his long-time friend and protégé, “Scott has been an outstanding basketball coach because he treats everyone fairly and is a great communicator. The many years Coach Tate and I have been with him illustrates his belief in the Cherryville High School basketball philosophy.
“The players are taught to first believe in faith and family, second to succeed academically, and third basketball. This philosophy has been a part of the CHS basketball program since 1981 and has led to Coach Harrill being the most successful high school basketball coach in Gaston County.
“He measures success by the players living life as men with character and being a leader in their church, family, and career.”
Coach Dennis Tate said of Harrill, “You have got to have the passion for the game, which Coach Harrill does. You start preparing yourself in the summer. Coach Harrill expects us to help him out if he has other things to do, as he’s the AD, and we can relate to the players, so that makes his job easier, if he needs us to talk with or help out one of them.”
Tate continued, “I feel like I’ve been a part of each and every one of them (the Ironmen wins) since the 80s, with Coaches Black and Watkins, and now Coach Harrill. With win number 380, I want to say congratulations to my long-time friend and coaching companion.”
Assistant Coach Antonio Griggs agreed, adding, “Congratulations Coach on win number 380! As a former player and current member of your staff, I’m beyond thankful for your commitment to the students and our community.
“I know firsthand how tirelessly you work on scouting the opponents and teaching our student athletes life lessons along the way. Thanks for everything you do for all programs. Special thanks to Teresa Harrill for her overwhelming support for our program over the years. We love both of you. #CvilleBasketballFamily.”

(Ed. note: On a sad and personal note – After this was written, it was learned that CHS Ironmen Clock Keeper, Mr. Terry Usery passed away on Feb. 13. Our prayers are with his family.)
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Congratulations are in order for CHS Athletic Director and head basketball coach Scott Harrill (center, sitting down, with clipboard)! Coach Harrill is now Gaston County’s winningest basketball coach ever with 380 career wins. The Ironmen’s 78-67 win over the BCHS varsity men last Friday night gave Coach Harrill his history-making win!

Ironmen get some payback against rival 'Jackets with 78-67 win

CHS’ Coach Scott Harrill sets county basketball coaching record with 380th
career win


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Last Friday night at Bessemer City the CHS Ironmen got to help their head coach celebrate his new record for 380 all-time, coaching wins by a basketball coach by defeating their cross-county hoops rivals, the BCHS Yellow Jackets by a score of 78-67. It was a little payback for a loss in January to the ’Jackets, who came to Nixon Gym and defeated the Ironmen.

Against Piedmont Charter
On Monday night, Feb. 1, the CHS Ironmen basketball teams played the visiting Piedmont Community Charter Patriots at Nixon Gym.
In the first game Coach Franklin Allen’s  JV squad won their game 56-55. This game was followed by the Lady Ironmen, who were just overwhelmed by a fast and furious Lady Patriots team. The CHS women lost by a score of 12 to 55.
Faith Anthony had six points, Ja’marra Wall had four points, and Gabbie McCorkle had two points.
In the third game of the night, the CHS varsity men won, 66-52 over the Piedmont Charter men.
The stats are as follows: Lavonte Hughes – 15 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds, 5 steals; Carter Spangler – 13 points; Carson Kelly – 12 points ; Austin Thompson – 8 points; Landon Hahn – 8 points; Jack Mulvey – 5 points, 7 rebounds; Noah Abernethy – 3 points; and Jaylon Moon – 2 points.
On Thursday, Feb. 4, the JV men and the Lady Ironmen played their makeup games at Nixon Gym, with the ladies losing to the Lady Eagles of Lincoln Charter, 58-17.

Against BCHS
There was no JV game in this Friday, Feb. 5, away matchup, so the CHS ladies took to the court first.
The Lady 'Jackets came out hot and never let up for the entire game, downing the Lady Ironmen by a score of 27-60.
Junior Terayha Bess led the ladies in this one with 9 points, followed by senior Faith Anthony with 8 points. Ja’marra Wall and Ragan Hovis had 4 points apiece and Laila Davis and Gabbie McCorkle each had a point.
The ladies are currently 1-8 overall; 0-7 in SPC 1A play.
When the men’s teams started into action it was evident it was going to be game of speed and hot shooting, which both of these teams have in abundance.
As we said, it was a memorable night at rival Bessemer City, as CHS Athletic Director and head basketball coach Scott Harrill set a Gaston County coaching record with 380 career wins.
Of the game, Harrill said, “The young Ironmen played with great energy and passion as has come to be expected winning four of the last five games.
“Cherryville jumped out to a 21-11 lead in the first quarter paced by two sophomores, Carson Kelly and Landon Hahn. Kelly hit two three-pointers in the opening stanza and got a two-pointer to go in for 8 (points) in the quarter, followed by Hahn chipping in 7 in the first quarter.”
Harrill said the second quarter saw Jack Mulvey get hot, hitting two three-pointers, and scoring 10 points in the second quarter. The half time score was 41-31, Ironmen.  The third quarter saw senior leader Lavonte Hughes step up and take control of the game. Fellow senior, Noah Abernethy contributed in the third quarter as well, hitting two big free throws. 
As BCHS pressed, Hughes sliced the defense with scoring and assists. The 'Jackets made a small run to start the fourth quarter, but senior Austin Thompson scored 8 points and controlled the paint for the Ironmen.
Harrill noted that when BCHS had to resort to fouling to stop the clock, Carson Kelly stepped up and knocked down five of six free throws to seal the win.
The away win at BCHS took Coach Harrill to the top of the all-time coaching career wins list in Gaston County history, with 380.
Said Coach Harrill, “I am proud of these young men for their hard work and dedication. And I am thankful for the defensive game plan Coach Griggs put in this week. Also, Coach Tate has been working on our guards taking good game shots, and it paid off! 380 wins! Wow!”
Hughes ended up with 11 points, 13 assists, 9 rebounds and 6 steals, as Coach Harrill said, “What a player he is, and an even better young man! He makes everyone around him better.”
Leading scorer on the night Landon Hahn led the way with 19 points and 4 steals, followed by Carson Kelly 17 points and Austin Thompson with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Jack Mulvey scored 12 points, and Gavin Cease had 3 points, with senior Noah Abernethy getting 2 points.
The varsity Ironmen are 5-4 overall, and are 3-4 in SPC 1A play.
On Tuesday, Feb. 9, they were away at Piedmont Charter, but are back home Friday, Feb. 12, against Highland Tech, in their last home game. Games start at 4:30 (JV); 6 p.m., for varsity.

(Additional stats and information by Susan L. Powell)
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Senior Lavonte Hughes with his 1,000 point game ball after the game against Christ the King at Nixon Gym last week. With Hughes are CHS head coach, Scott Harrill (left), and assistant coach Antonio Griggs.

Ironmen varsity men’s basketball squad 3-4 overall

Teams get wins all around on Senior Night against Chase

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Against Thomas Jefferson
The Cherryville basketball Ironmen teams took on the Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy Gryphons on Tuesday, Jan. 26, in three home court matchups, starting with the Junior Varsity team on the court first.
The JV men eluded the JV Gryphons in a squeaker of a low-scoring game, winning 17-16.
The Lady Ironmen game followed after the standard COVID-19 cleansing of the gym, and the CHS ladies found the visiting Lady Gryphons a little hard to handle, in spite of many of Coach Carrie Dalton’s players getting back in action after being out. At the end of the game, the Lady Ironmen lost to the TJCA Lady Gryphons 23-56. Scoring for the ladies in this one was as follows: Gabbie McCorkle – 10 points (two of which were three-pointers); Terayha Bess, who was solid under the net, with eight (8) points; Faith Anthony and Ragan Hovis with two points apiece and Ja’marra Wall with one (1) point.
In the third game of the night, the varsity men’s hoops squad defeated the Gryphons by a score of 59-53.
Leading scorers in this one were: Lavonte Hughes, with 22 points; Carson Kelly with 15 points (two of which were three-pointers); Landon Hahn with eight (8) points; Jack Mulvey with seven (7) points; Numarius Good with three (3) points; TJ Thompson with two (2) points; and Noah Abernethy and Teaghan Strutt with one point apiece.

Against Chase
The Ironmen teams played once again at home on Thursday, Jan. 28, and once again all three CHS teams were victorious, though it was a tough fight against the visiting Chase Trojans, in the non-conference game.
Coach Franklin Allen’s JV squad defeated the Trojans’ JV squad 44-32, giving them, at this time in their season, three wins overall.
The Lady Ironmen came next and played a scrappy Lady Trojans team, but hung on to win their first game of the season, 30-23. Gabbie McCorkle was the lead scorer in this one with 10 points (one of which was a three-pointer); followed by Terayha Bess with seven (7) points.
Senior Faith Anthony had five (5) points and Ragan Hovis had three (3) points. Rounding out the scoring for the ladies was Ceniya Powell and Laila Davis, each with two (2) points apiece, and Haley Prince with one point.
Coach Harrill’s squad rounded out the trifecta of wins over Chase as the varsity men defeated the Trojans 60-51.
Leading the scorers was senior Lavonte Hughes with 14 points, followed by Jack Mulvey with 11 points, and Carson Kelly with 10 points. Austin Thompson scored nine (9) points and Numarius Good had seven (7) points. Four Ironmen had two points each: Carter Spangler, Gavin Cease, Jaylon Moon, and T.J. Thompson. Noah Abernethy had one point, off a free throw in the fourth quarter.

Against Christ the King
Coach Scott Harrill said the story of the night was senior Lavonte Hughes reaching his 1,000th career point.  “Lavonte has been a four-year varsity player and one of the best point guards in a long line of great point guards at CHS,” said Harrill, who added Lavonte scored his 1,000th point on a free throw with 6:36 on the clock in the fourth quarter.
Coach Harrill said he was very proud of Lavonte on his accomplishment.
“Lavonte is one of the best young men you could ever be around. He makes everyone around him better,” he said.
Lavonte ended the night with 30 points on 10 of 16 shooting and was 8 for 10 from the free-throw line.
Harrill noted the game started out with Christ the King getting hot from the three-point line, making many early and often. The Ironmen fought back with Hughes scoring seven points in the first quarter and 12 more in the second quarter.
Gavin Cease helped the Ironmen on the defensive end drawing three charges in the first half. Austin Thompson was 3-for-3 shooting in the half, but that was not enough when CTK hit eight (8) three-pointers by halftime.
Harrill said “cold shooting plagued the Ironmen” in the third quarter, going 3 for 17.
Carter Spangler, Hughes, and Jack Mulvey each had four (4) rebounds, with young Carson Kelly leading the team in steals.
Scoring for the Ironmen were: Hughes, 30; Mulvey, 10; A. Thompson, 6; Kelly, 4; Hahn, 2; Good, 4; Moon, 3; and TJ Thompson, 2.
Earlier, the Lady Ironmen lost their game 20-60, to the Lady Crusaders.
The Ironmen played Pinnacle Classical Academy on Monday, Feb. 1, at home. On Friday, Feb. 5, they are away at Bessemer City, with the JV at 4:30 p.m., and the varsity games at 6 p.m.
(Additional stats and information by Susan L. Powell)
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Goalkeeper Quinlan Sanford is one of Coach Jonathan Reed’s returning players. Here he practices moving the ball around as if to pass it to a fellow player.

Ironmen soccer practices, workouts good prep for coach, team

Jan. 26 was opening game for 2021
varsity men


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville Ironmen soccer coach (or “gaffer” for hard-core soccer fans), said their practices have, so far, gone well in preparing them for their Tuesday, Jan. 26, opening game, played at Rudisill Stadium.
Said Head Coach Jonathan Reed, “We have some new faces this year who will bring much needed experience to the team. With the addition of the players, I think we will have a better playing Mid-field and attacking.” He added he is looking “…for a physical, yet smarter defense this season.”
Coach Reed noted, “We have 10 returners from last season and five new players coming on board. Unfortunately, we have seven seniors, which will make the next season a rebuilding year. However, the experience of the seniors and the new lads should help this season.”
Reed’s assessment of last year’s performance in the SPC 1A is simple.
“Last year was a good year for us in Cherryville soccer. We broke a few school records. One being the most wins in school history for boys’ soccer.
“We have a good core of players now who have been together for four years so hopefully that will help the performance of the team.
“The conference is hard since we play all Charter schools (Except for Bessemer City and Highland Tech) and now with the addition of Christ the King for the second year into our conference it will make it that much harder.
“Playoffs are set up different this year so we will keep our heads and continue to learn the great game of soccer and
build from it,” he said.

Players to watch
Reed said some players to watch as this season progresses will be Julian Guadarrama, Henry Gil, Chase McNeill and Nate Bookout.
“The four of them will help the movement of the ball and the attacking ability this year,” said Coach Reed. “Some of the players in the shadows currently will, more than likely, come out from them and improve their game the more comfortable they become.”
According to Reed, those players will be Marlon Gomez, Kai Shipley and Kemper Harris.
He added, “The improvements of Ethan Roberts, Will Allen and Dalton Canup will help distribute the wing plays. The Defense, consisting of Ryan Riffle, Ben Hayes, Eli Moss and Xerek Shipley will continue to play a physical but smarter game of football. Quinlan (Sanford) in Goal this season is another blessing for us.”
The men’s first away game is at BCHS, Wednesday, Jan. 27, then they are home again at Rudisill Stadium on Friday, Feb. 1, against the Highland Tech Rams.
All home games start at 4:30 p.m.
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CHS spikers R. Kiser, A. Eaker make SPC 1A All-Conference team

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Two CHS Ironmen volleyball players were named to the SPC 1A All-Conference team this past Friday, Jan. 15, according to AD Scott Harrill.
Cherryville High sophomore setter Rileigh Kiser and junior middle hitter Addie Eaker were named, along with players from six other SPC 1A schools.
Additionally, the SPC 1A also named their Coach of the Year, Highland Tech’s Daniel Poole, and the SPC 1A Player of the Year was Lady Rams player Ashlynn Stephens.
Highland Tech also had Stephens named as an All-Conference player, along with teammates, Lexi West and Ozi Sery.
The remaining volleyball ladies named All-Conference for the SPC 1A were Lincoln Charter’s Kamden Dalton and Maddi Carter; Christ the King’s Abby Hartnett and Kaitlyn Hull; Piedmont Charter’s Peyton Hamlin and Ava Stratman; Thomas Jefferson’s Kathleen Brown; and Bessemer City’s Alec Stinnett.
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CHS senior Lady Ironmen spiker Reese Hoyle hits the ball across the net to the Lady Crusaders of Christ the King at last Thursday’s final volleyball match of the season.

Lady Ironmen volleyball season comes to an end

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Everything eventually ends, though never like we usually want it to.
Such was the case with CHS volleyball head coach Leigh Kiser and her talented teams as their pandemic-shortened season came to a close last week with three matches.  Coach Kiser was philosophical, noting this season has been filled with what she termed, “…many challenges that we’ve never had to face.”
Kiser said on Tuesday, Jan. 5, her ladies traveled to Thomas Jefferson and came away winners by a 3-0 score.  Match scores were 25-18, 25-23, and 25-21. Leaders for CHS in this one were senior Megan Smith with four (4) aces and 12 digs, senior Reese Hoyle with a season-high nine (9) kills; junior Katie Eaker with six (6) kills, and sophomore Rileigh Kiser with 21 assists and eight (8) digs.
Said Coach Kiser, “We played really hard, start to finish, and it felt good to break our losing streak.”
On Wednesday, Jan 6, the Lady Ironmen spikers traveled to Lincoln Charter for a makeup match and were beaten soundly 3-0, by scores of 25-7, 25-11, 25-7.
Kiser said the Eagles were playing for one of the two conference playoff berths and they were ready for CHS.  In this match, Kiser noted that Megan Smith and Rileigh Kiser had eight (8) digs each, with young Kiser having eight (8) assists as well. Senior Reese Hoyle and junior Addie Eaker had three (3) kills each for the offense.
On Thursday, Jan. 7, another playoff contender, the Lady Crusaders of Christ the King, visited Nixon Gym for the season’s final match. It was the last high school game for seniors Hoyle, Smith, and volleyball newcomer Alexis Thomas.
“We really wanted to send our seniors out on a winning note,” said Kiser, “but after a hard fought match, we lost 3-0.”
She noted match scores in this one were 25-15, 25-13, 25-18, with Hoyle once again leading the offense with five (5) kills and Addie Eaker pitching in four (4) for the ladies. Senior Megan Smith and sophomore setter Rileigh Kiser led the defense with 11 digs each, with Kiser also contributing 11 assists.
In JV action the junior ironmen lost all three of their matches for the week, said Kiser.
“At Thomas Jefferson the JV ladies fell 2-0 by scores of 25-23 and 25-8. Taylor Digh had three (3) kills and Payton Cook had two (2) aces.”
Coach also noted that Lincoln Charter’s JV squad made “quick work” of the JV ladies in Match Two by scores of 25-6 and 25-4.
“Gracie Truesdale had two (2) blocks in this one,” noted Kiser.
In the final JV game of the season, the JV Lady Ironmen fell 2-0 to Christ the King’s JV squad as Taylor Digh’s two (2) aces led the stat sheet for the JV ladies.
Coach Kiser said her team would miss its seniors next year.
“Megan Smith and Reese Hoyle have been big parts of our program for many years and it was great getting to see Alexis try a new sport. We will get to work this summer and hope for a full schedule of games next year.
“We will have plenty of experience with our junior and sophomore classes, and we are looking forward to competing in the new conference,” said Kiser.
Final records are: Varsity – 4-9 (overall), and 4-8 (SPC 1A), and JV – 2-11 (overall), 2-10 (SPC 1A).
(Additional stats and information by Brian Kiser)


 
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The 2020 CHS Ironmen Varsity Boys Basketball team are (front row): Carter Spangler, Carson Kelly, Lavonte Hughes, Landon Hahn, Numerius Good, and Noah Abernethy. Back row: Assistant coach Dennis Tate, Jack Mulvey, Teaghan Strutt, Austin Thompson, Gavin Cease, T.J. Thompson, Assistant coach Antonio Griggs, and Head coach Scott Harrill. Absent when photo made was Jaylon Moon.

Ironmen roundball back as JV, varsity teams scrimmage Lincolnton Wolves

First game is at Chase on Jan. 5; first home game Jan. 8, at Nixon Gym

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


As head coach Scott Harrill said recently, “Ironmen basketball is back, and we are happy to see it!”
Harrill said his CHS Ironmen JV and Varsity basketball teams had their first scrimmage of the new basketball year on Tuesday, Dec. 30, at Lincolnton High.
“The JV Ironmen were competitive throughout the contest,” said Harrill, noting that freshmen Ade Anderson, Ethan Honeyman, and Darrian Floyd were standouts during the scrimmage.
Coach Harrill also said his varsity men’s matchup was a long time coming for the Ironmen.
Said Harrill, “The boys’ team has been looking froward to getting back on the court since CoVID-19 has started.  The new look Ironmen are getting used to playing in masks, and getting back in shape.”
The Ironmen were led by seniors Lavonte Hughes and Austin Thompson, Coach Harrill noted, adding Hughes was a “good floor general” and Thompson “did his job in the paint.”
He continued, “Thompson being an undersized center, did a great job of stretching the floor and led the team in three-pointers made. Jack Mulvey, Gavin Cease, and Numarius Good showed some signs of improvement.”  Coach Harrill said the young men have many things to work on, but noted he feels like this group has a great chance to be a very good team.
“We will rely on senior leadership with Noah Abernethy, Lavonte, and Austin. We will have to be a scrappy team and play hard at all times. We are not the biggest team, but will have to be the team that plays the hardest.
“In the scrimmage, we made some mistakes, and were not in the right spot at all times, but these things can be worked out. We look forward to the season ahead,” he said.
Leading scorers for the scrimmage game were Hughes and Thompson. On the defensive end, Coach Harrill noted Cease, Landon Hahn, and Good were all showing signs of excellence. Harrill added that Ironman Carter Spangler did many good things during the scrimmage.
“Carter is a behind the scenes guy, that makes good decisions, gets on the floor, and hustles at all times,” said Harrill.
Coach Harrill noted the Ironmen will watch the scrimmage film and get back to work in practice in preparation for their first game on Tuesday, Jan. 5, at Chase. Their first home game will be Friday, Jan. 8, against Piedmont Charter’s Patriots.
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As her Lady Ironmen teammates Jamarra Wall (#5) and Laura Morgan (#9) look on, sophomore setter Rileigh Kiser puts the ball back across the net to the Lady Rams of Highland Tech.

Lady Rams down Lady Ironmen Spikers 3-0 in rare Friday night match

COVID-19 issues cancel planned Dec. 17 game against Hunter Huss  

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Going into the pre-holiday season week, CHS head volleyball coach Leigh Kiser’s Lady Ironmen were, as she put it, “…set to host Hunter Huss at Nixon Gym on Thursday, Dec. 17, in a non-conference matchup,” but it seems COVID-19 had other thoughts.
The match scheduled that day to be played at Nixon Gym had to be canceled, said Coach Kiser. There is no indication when, or if, it will be rescheduled.
That said, Kiser noted her ladies turned their attention to current SPC 1A conference leader, the Lady Rams of Highland Tech, who they took on in a rare Friday night match, on Dec. 18, at Nixon Gym.
Said Kiser afterwards. “The Lady Rams left no doubt why they are leading the conference,” adding the HT ladies “…have plenty of offensive power and can spread the ball all over the floor. They also have great defense and solid serving.”
Highland Tech walked away with a convincing 3-0 win by match scores of 25-11, 25-11, and 25-12.
For the Lady Ironmen varsity women, junior outside hitter Jamarra Wall led the way, said Coach Kiser, “…with five (5) kills and sophomore defensive specialist Kaitlyn Newsome led the defense with four (4) digs.”
Coach Kiser noted her JV ladies also fell in a hard-fought match by a 2-1 score.
Said Kiser, “Scores in this one were 25-17 (HT), 25-22 (CHS), and 15-6 (HT).
“(Sophomore) Gracie Truesdale had three (3) serve aces and four (4) kills, and (freshman) Laila Davis contributed three (3) aces and four (4) kills.
Kiser noted that after the Christmas break the Lady Ironmen teams will get back into conference play as they head towards the season finale.
The varsity ladies’ current overall record is 3-6; in SPC 1A play, they are 3-5. The JV ladies are currently 2-7 overall, and are 2-6 in SPC 1A play.

(Additional information and stats by Brian Kiser)
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2020 CHS Lady Ironmen Junior Varsity Volleyball team – back row (left to right): Head coach Leigh Kiser, Laila Davis, Makayla Sigmon, Gracie Truesdale, Marisa Moore, Payton Cook, and Assistant coach Brooke Henley. Front row (left to right): Yanet Guardarama, Taylor Digh, Callista Spencer, Nancy Guardarama, and Ceniya Powell. Front and center: Briley Wright.

2020 CHS Lady Ironmen Junior Varsity Volleyball team

Back row (left to right): Head coach Leigh Kiser, Laila Davis, Makayla Sigmon, Gracie Truesdale, Marisa Moore, Payton Cook, and Assistant coach Brooke Henley. Front row (left to right): Yanet Guardarama, Taylor Digh, Callista Spencer, Nancy Guardarama, and Ceniya Powell. Front and center: Briley Wright.
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2020 CHS Lady Ironmen Varsity Volleyball team – back row (left to right): Head coach Leigh Kiser, Reese Hoyle, Skye Reed, Addie Eaker, Katie Eaker, Jamarra Wall, and Assistant coach Brooke Henley. Second row (left to right): Rileigh Kiser, Kaitlyn Newsome, Jessica Martin, Natalie Furr, and Alexis Thomas. Front and center: Megan Smith.

2020 CHS Lady Ironmen Varsity Volleyball team

Back row (left to right): Head coach Leigh Kiser, Reese Hoyle, Skye Reed, Addie Eaker, Katie Eaker, Jamarra Wall, and Assistant coach Brooke Henley. Second row (left to right): Rileigh Kiser, Kaitlyn Newsome, Jessica Martin, Natalie Furr, and Alexis Thomas. Front and center: Megan Smith.
 
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2020 CHS Ironmen Varsity Cheerleaders are (back row, left to right): Anna Leigh Jones, Sydney Abernathy, Lizzie Brannan, Khya Brooks, Rylee-Grace Burgis, Maggie Beam, and Payton Godfrey. Front row (left to right): Lani Philbeck, Izzy Wilson, Kendall Chupp, Sarah Eaker, Abby Burleson, Madison Pruitt, Kylie Reynolds, and Allie Kay Homesley. The varsity squad’s coaches are Wendy Holt and Dr. Heather Porter. The JV squad’s coaches are Tammy Wilson and Casey-Rae Floyd. (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)

2020 CHS Ironmen Varsity Cheerleaders

Back row, left to right: Anna Leigh Jones, Sydney Abernathy, Lizzie Brannan, Khya Brooks, Rylee-Grace Burgis, Maggie Beam, and Payton Godfrey. Front row (left to right): Lani Philbeck, Izzy Wilson, Kendall Chupp, Sarah Eaker, Abby Burleson, Madison Pruitt, Kylie Reynolds, and Allie Kay Homesley. The varsity squad’s coaches are Wendy Holt and Dr. Heather Porter. The JV squad’s coaches are Tammy Wilson and Casey-Rae Floyd.                                                 
  (photos by MEP/The Eagle/CF Media)
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Varsity volleyball player, Addie Eaker (#22), hits the ball back to the host team, the BCHS Lady Yellow Jackets, at last week’s matchup at Bessemer City.

Varsity, JV ladies split a pair of wins last week

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


In last week’s matches, the JV and Varsity Lady Ironmen spikers split a pair of games, according to head coach Leigh Kiser.
Kiser said on Tuesday, Dec. 8, her ladies were on the road in a conference match at Christ the King in Huntersville with Christ the King winning the varsity match 3-0. The match scores were 25-20, 25-9, and 25-22.
Coach Kiser said the varsity ladies hung with the home team Lady Crusaders in Sets 1 and 3, but were outplayed badly in Set 2, suffering the defeat.
“Addie Eaker had eight kills, set up by Rileigh Kiser’s 10 assists, with Kiser’s 10 digs and Megan Smith’s six digs leading the defense,” said Coach Kiser. “Reese Hoyle contributed three serve aces in the loss,” she added.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, the CHS Lady Ironmen traveled to their rival, BCHS, for a match. The ladies came away victorious with a 3-0 conference win.
Said Kiser, “Scores in this one were 25-17, 25-18, 25-18. We got great offensive production from junior Addie Eaker, who had 12 kills. Libero Megan Smith contributed four digs and four kills, and sophomore Rileigh Kiser led with six serve aces and 19 assists.”
Coach Kiser noted she hopes her squad will use the momentum from the win as they host Hunter Huss’ Lady Huskies and Highland Tech’s Lady Rams, who defeated Lincoln Charter’s varsity squad last week.
The Lady Ironmen’s games are Thursday, Dec. 17, and Friday, Dec. 18, at Nixon Gym, starting at 4:30 p.m.
In JV action, the ladies also picked up a win this week for first-year coach Brooke Henley, but first lost a hard-fought match at Christ the King (CTK). Match scores at the CTK loss were 30-28 (CHS), 25-18 (CTK), and 15-7 (CTK).
Gracie Truesdale led the JV action at CTK with three serve aces and six kills, said Kiser.
A quick victory was in order for the junior varsity Lady Ironmen as they defeated host BCHS’ Lady Yellow Jackets JV’s 25-4 and 25-7, for a conference victory.  Freshman Taylor Digh’s 12 serve aces paced the ladies in this one, noted Coach Kiser.
The CHS Lady Ironmen volleyball teams’ current records are: Varsity, 3-5 (overall); SPC 1A, 3-4; and JV, 2-6 (overall); SPC 1A, 2-5.

(Stats and additional information by Brian Kiser)
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The CHS Lady Ironmen 2020 volleyball seniors at Senior Night last Thursday, Dec. 3, before their win over conference rivals, the Lady Gryphons of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy. Left to right are: libero Megan Smith, outside hitter Reese Hoyle, hitter Alexis Thomas, and defensive specialist Laura Morgan.

Ironmen get a conference win on Senior night over TJCA

Varsity ladies are currently 2-4 overall; 2-3 in Southern Piedmont Conference play 

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


In two matches last week, the CHS Lady Ironmen spikers lost one, the won one.
Head volleyball coach Leigh Kiser said her Lady Ironmen teams began the week with a Tuesday, Dec. 1, home match against the Patriots of Piedmont Community Charter, but her varsity squad came up short in the game with a 3-0 loss. Scores in this one were 25-21, 25-14, and 25-14; all going to PCC.
Coach Kiser said that after the first close set her team could never get on the offensive and took the loss.
Said Kiser, “They (the Lady Patriots) have an experienced team and it showed up tonight (Dec. 1).”
For the CHS ladies, Kiser noted senior libero Megan Smith had five (5) digs, senior outside hitter Reese Hoyle and junior middle hitter Addie Eaker had three (3) kills each, and sophomore setter Rileigh Kiser had seven (7) assists and six (6) digs in the loss.
Moving forward to the Thursday, Dec. 3, home game at Nixon Gym against the visiting Lady Gryphons of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy, Kiser noted that in an unconventional time you find yourself having your Senior Night a little earlier in the schedule.
That said, Coach Kiser and the remaining Lady Ironmen, along with some of the CHS sports staff, the recognized the four seniors in festivities prior to the home match with conference foe Thomas Jefferson.
Recognized were Reese Hoyle, Megan Smith, Laura Morgan and Alexis Thomas. Kiser noted of her senior ladies, “These seniors have been with me sine eighth grade. They will be hard to replace next year and I will be sad to see them leave.”
Megan Smith was escorted onto the floor by her parents, Tracey and Rocky Smith. Smith, a varsity starter for the last two seasons, wants to attend the University of Tampa to pursue a career in nursing. She said her best memories of the season are “…the pregame talks in Kaitlyn’s car.”
Reese Hoyle was escorted onto the floor by her parents, Jennifer and Mark Hoyle. Also a varsity starter for the last two seasons, she wants to attend Gaston College for a year, then transfer to NC State to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. She said her favorite memory is beating Bessemer City last year.
Alexis Thomas was escorted onto the floor by her father, Jason Thomas. She has been with the team for one season, noted Coach Kiser. Thomas wants to attend Gaston College next year. Her best memory of the season is being able to play volleyball her senior year.
Last, but not least, is Laura Morgan, who was escorted onto the court by her Aunt Becky. She also has been a varsity player for the past two seasons and wants to attend East Carolina University to pursue a career in psychology. Her best memory of the season is getting those really good digs back into the court when the ball went out of bounds.
Back to the game; the ladies lost set one to the Lady Gryphons, but roared back, said Kiser, to take a 3-1 match win by scores of 25-22 (TJCA), 25-18 (CHS), 25-10 (CHS), and 25-20 (CHS).
Said Coach Kiser, “This was our team’s most complete game of the season to date. Seniors Laura Morgan and Megan Smith had 18 combined digs, and Addie Eaker with 10 kills, Skye Reed and Reese Hoyle with eight (8) kills, and Katie Eaker’s seven (7) kills, led the offense.”
Kiser noted also how sophomore setter Rileigh Kiser contributed 28 assists, 15 digs, five (5) kills and three (3) aces in the varsity Lady Ironmen’s victory.
Kiser reiterated, “This is an experienced senior class,” adding also that she will miss these girls once this season was over.
In JV Lady Ironmen volleyball action, the JV ladies fell 2-0, to Piedmont’s JV Lady Patriots by scores of 25-20 and 25-20. Freshman Laila Davis’ four (4) serve aces led the JV Lady Ironmen, Kiser noted.
The CHS JV ladies fell again on Thursday, Dec. 3, to Thomas Jefferson’s JV Lady Gryphons by scores of 25-14 and 25-13. Kiser said freshman Taylor Digh was the stat leader in this one with five (50 assists and two (2) serve aces.
The ladies were on the road on Tuesday, Dec. 8, visiting Christ the King; then will make the short trip on Thursday, Dec. 10, to play cross-county rival Bessemer City’s Lady 'Jackets, coached by head coach Lindsey Shumaker.
The current record for the varsity team is 2-4 (overall), and 2-3 in SPC 1A play. For the JV ladies, they are currently 1-5 (overall), and 1-4 in SPC 1A play.

w(Additional stats and information by Brian Kiser)
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Lady Ironman sophomore Rileigh Kiser prepares to serve the ball at the Nov. 23 game against visiting BCHS. (photos by MEP/the Eagle/CF Media)

Lady Ironmen volleyball teams get first wins of season

Varsity ladies currently 1-3 overall;
1-2 in SPC 1A play


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Lady Ironmen volleyball coach Leigh Kiser said of her teams, “There’s always more on the line when your rivals from Bessemer City pay a visit to Nixon Gym.”
She was referring, of course, to last week’s Thursday, Nov. 19, matchup when the Lady Ironmen teams (varsity and JV) put together their first complete game of the season, coming away with their first win of the season over the Lady Yellow Jackets 3-0, by scores of 25-12, 25-13, 25-12.
Coach Kiser said her team was ready from the first serve of the game, adding she was able to give all 12 of her players some playing time in the win.
Said Kiser, “Rival games are always fun and our team played like they were ready to win. Juniors Addie Eaker, Katie Eaker, and Skye Reed combined for 15 kills, which were set up by sophomore setter Rileigh Kiser’s 12 assists. Kiser (#31) also led the way with 10 digs and 4 serve aces for the winners.
On Monday, Nov. 23, the CHS ladies traveled to play what Coach Kiser noted may be the most improved team in the conference, the Highland Tech Rams.
Said Kiser, “The Rams have the reigning conference player of the year, along with some other hitters, great defense and great serving.”
The Lady Rams didn’t waste time in sending the Lady Ironmen back to Cherryville with a 3-0 loss by scores of 25-14, 25-19, 25-7.
In this matchup, it was Lady Ironmen varsity players Addie Eaker and Skye Reed each contributing three (3) serve aces, and Megan Smith and Rileigh Kiser leading the defense with five (5) digs apiece.
Kiser said her ladies were back home at Nixon Gym on Tuesday, Nov. 24, facing off against conference powerhouse Lincoln Charter who – surprisingly – dropped their first conference match last week to Highland Tech’s Lady Rams.
Coach Kiser said her teams really played hard, but the Lady Eagles of Lincoln Charter were out to prove they still were one of THE teams to beat, as they blasted the CHS ladies 3-0, by scores of 25-10, 25-9, 25-9.
Senior Reese Hoyle was the stat leader with four (4) kills in this losing effort.
In Junior Varsity action, the Lady Ironmen also picked up the season’s first win 2-0, at home against BC’s JV Lady 'Jackets. Kiser noted the scores in this one were 25-14, and 25-6. For the JV ladies, freshman Taylor Digh was the stat leader with nine (9) serve aces.
At Highland Tech, the JV Lady Rams made quick work of the JV Lady Ironmen 2-0. Scores in this one were 25-8 and 25-18.
Said Kiser, “Briley Wright had four (4) digs to lead our defense.”
In further JV action, Lincoln Charter’s JV squad made quick work (2-0) of the CHS JV’s last Tuesday at Nixon, by scores of 25-8 and 25-11. Again Taylor Digh led the CHS JV ladies with four (4) serve aces.
Coach Kiser noted that (after the Thanksgiving break) both of her Lady Ironmen squads played host to conference opponents Piedmont Charter (Away/Dec. 1) and Thomas Jefferson (Home/Dec. 3).
The two teams’ records are: Varsity – 1-3 (overall); 1-2 (SCP 1A); and JV – 1-3 (overall);  1-2 (SPC 1A).

(Stats and additional information by Brian Kiser)
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The CHS Cross Country team for 2020-2021 is comprised of runners (left to right): Ben Hayes, Noah Abernethy, Chase McNeill, Scott Stroupe, and Jackson Owens. They are coached by Scott Harrill. (photos provided)

CHS Cross Country team has strong first outing for 2020 season

Ironmen runners finish third in Tryon Park meet

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Ironmen Cross Country coach Scott Harrill said the CHS Cross Country team had their first meet of the 2020 season on Monday, Nov. 18, at Tryon Park.
Said Harrill of the meet, “We had a strong showing and finished third in the meet. Thomas Jefferson (Classical Academy) finished in first place, followed by Highland Tech in second place, Cherryville in at third, and Bessemer City in fourth place.
“Cherryville was only two points out of second place and I feel like they can finish strong in the next meet, which is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, also at Tryon Park.”
Coach Harrill noted the Ironmen have one returning runner in senior Noah Abernethy, adding, “Noah has been a great leader for our program. He has shown the way of hard training and dedication.”
Harrill noted also that Thomas Jefferson runner Carson Gilliam set a blistering pace, coming in first at 16.53, on the grass course for 3.1 miles.
Leading the CHS crew was Ironman Scott Stroupe, who finished ninth overall in the meet with a 21:28 time, Coach Harrill said.
“Coming in right behind Scott was Ironman Jackson Owens at 21:57. Chase McNeill was right on his heels at 21:58.
“Also, Ben Hayes, who has been a track star for CHS, came in at 22:21, and Noah Abernethy had a time of 23:20, in the first race of the season.”
Harrill said the Ironmen will be off for the Thanksgiving holiday, and then be back in action, as was mentioned earlier, on Wednesday, Dec. 2, at Tryon Park.
At that time they will compete against Bessemer City, Highland Tech, and Piedmont Charter.


 
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CHS’ Dalton Pence, with mom, Lisa, and dad, Mike, at a table at the Roadrunners Training Facility. Standing, left to right, are his Post 100 American Legion coaches, Bob Reynolds and Drew Reynolds; travel ball coach, Ron Treadway; CHS Athletic Director, Scott Harrill; and CHS head baseball coach, Scott Heavner. Sitting beside him and his parents, is his brother, Ryan, who played football at CHS. Also in the photo are Dalton’s grandparents, Lois Pence and Randy Peel (left, standing), and Carolyn and Glenn Wilson (right, standing). (photo provided by Lisa Pence)

Tar Heels fan Dalton Pence’s baseball dream comes true

CHS senior signs LOI to play baseball for his favorite college team

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Inking his name on the line, CHS senior Dalton Pence knew it was the culmination of a dream come true, ever since he was a wee lad.
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, amongst family, friends, and not a few of his coaches and mentors, young Pence signed a letter of intent (LOI) to play baseball for the UNC-Chapel Hill Tar Heels baseball team – his favorite team since he was old enough to… well, have a favorite team.
Pence, along with mom, Lisa, and dad, Mike, sat at a table at the Roadrunners Training Facility on Hwy. 150, surrounded by his Post 100 American Legion coaches Bob Reynolds and Drew Reynolds; CHS head baseball coach, Scott Heavner; his travel ball coach, Ron Treadway; as well as CHS Athletic Director, head basketball coach, Scott Harrill. Sitting beside of him were his parents, and his brother, Ryan, who played football at CHS. Also at the signing were Dalton’s grandparents, Lois Pence and Randy Peel, and Carolyn and Glenn Wilson. Many of Dalton’s fellow CHS Ironmen and Post 100 Legion baseball players were there for him as well.
Pence, 18, said he will be a pitcher for the team, so far as he knows right now, and will be heading to Chapel Hill in July of 2021. While there, he plans to major in history.
Pence, always a man of few words, said, “This feels great! This is a dream come true for me.”
Pence, a hard-throwing lefty, said he has been playing baseball since he was four, playing in Cherryville’s Little League, then at John Chavis as a Wolverine, then at CHS for Coach Heavner, and also playing for Coaches Bob Reynolds and son, Drew, for the Post 100 American Legion, as well as the already-mentioned travel ball with Coach Treadway, a family friend and mentor.
Coach Heavner said of Pence, “It’s always good when kids can realize their dream, especially ones they’ve had since they were small.
“I’ve coached Dalton since age 12. He played ball with my son, Ty, and we knew he was special from an early age. He’s gotten consistently better every year and he is going to continue to get better. We are happy for him. The Pence’s are a great family, and just good people.”
Legion head coach Bob Reynolds said of Dalton, “In every game we had last summer, Dalton has pitched well and seemed to handle situations, exceeding our expectations.
“He has had lots of offers from many colleges, and Dalton has taken it (his playing) to another level or two, moving his game up every time. He has been solid all fall as well and he has a lot of good days ahead.”
Treadway said of Pence, “Dalton is a special young man and is always respectful to his coaches. He has wanted to be a Tar Heel since he was a little boy. I am super proud to see him accomplish his goals. Our family loves him and wishes him the best of luck in his future.”
Parents Lisa and Mike both said, “Since he was little he’s always liked the Tar Heels and baseball. We are proud of him and what he has accomplished in his hard work.”
Dad Mike added, “When he was eight he got an opportunity to go into Carolina’s baseball locker room. He looked around and said, 'I’ve got to play here!' Now his dreams have come true!”


 
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Senior Lady Ironmen hitter Alexis Thomas looks on as setter, sophomore Rileigh Kiser sets up the shot for her teammates, in the CHS/Lincolnton scrimmage.

Volleyball, high school sports are back, in a reduced form

Kiser is the winningest coach in school’s
volleyball history


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Any reason for Cherryville High School sports fans to find their way back into a CHS gym or stadium is cause for celebration and yelling for the home team at the top of your lungs.
Even if it is COVID-19-shorthened season and only a handful of parents and fans can be there in some form of social distancing or other.
As CHS head volleyball coach, Leigh Kiser said, “Finally!”
That was the answer Coach Kiser had when asked about the upcoming season.
Kiser and company noted that after a lot of worry about the possibility – any possibility, really – for an upcoming season, the Lady Ironmen were, on Thursday, Nov. 12, the first CHS sports team to hit the court for the fall sports season.
Kiser, who is entering her 11th season as coach of the Lady Ironmen spikers, said her team has been working out for weeks under the guidelines of Gaston County and the NCHSAA.
“Our athletes are all ready to compete after the long COVID-19 layoff,” she said. “We will have a shortened 14-game season, which will be comprised of 12 conference matches and two non-conference matches.”
Their first time back on the VB court was a JV and Varsity scrimmage with the Lady Wolves of Lincolnton.
Said Kiser, “We have an experienced varsity team that will have to be ready to go right away with the short season.
“Defensively we will lean on seniors Megan Smith and Laura Morgan, and sophomore Kaitlyn Newsome to lead the defensive effort.”
She continued, “All-Conference setter, sophomore Rileigh Kiser is back to set up experienced hitters, senior Reese Hoyle, and juniors, Skye Reed, Addie Eaker, and Katie Eaker.
“We also have some newcomers that should provide some quality points as the year goes on.”
Coach Kiser said she was “excited for the season” and added that she likes her teams’ experience, but noted it will be tough not having the full non-conference schedule to get ready for conference play.
In the conference, Lincoln Charter, Christ the King, Highland Tech, and Piedmont Charter have deep and talented rosters, which should make for a competitive conference season, Kiser said.
It should be noted Coach Kiser is the winningest coach in the volleyball program’s history with a record of 130-122 at Cherryville High.
She will also have a 14-game JV season as well.
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The foursome of Post 100 American Legion baseball head coach Bobby Dale Reynolds, Beam Hauling owner Scott Beam, Mr. Billy Cease, and Mr. Owen Wilson finished First in the Carolina Federal Credit Union’s 13th Annual Jack Jenkins, Joel Wallace, and Don Starling Memorial Golf Tournament, held Friday, Sept. 25. (photos provided)

13th Annual CFCU Memorial Golf Tournament raises $35,000 for scholarships for seniors

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Anytime you can have some fun, get some exercise, and raise thousands of dollars doing it for a worthwhile cause is always a “win-win” scenario.
Such was the case when on Friday, Sept. 25, Carolina Federal Credit Union, along with the host club, Dan Arthurs Cherryville Golf and Country Club, once again hosted another successful CFCU golf tournament.
This one, the 2020 13th Annual Jack Jenkins, Joel Wallace, and Don Starling Memorial Golf Tournament, drew a good field of golfers and sponsors, noted CFCU COOO Chad Cash, who said he and the CFCU and CG&CC crew were pleased with how it all went, especially in this time of a pandemic.
Said Mr. Cash, “We want to say a special thank you to our sponsors, golfers, staff, volunteers, and the Cherryville Golf and Country Club for their participation in our 13th Annual Jack Jenkins, Joel Wallace, and Don Starling Memorial Golf Tournament. This tournament allows us (CFCU) to continue to gift scholarships to local high school seniors.
“Also, thanks to a group of fantastic and numerous sponsors, (as) throughout the years, CFCU has been able to give over $30,000 in scholarships to local seniors.”
Cash noted earlier, in a media release, CFCU was hoping the upcoming year would be their biggest year yet.
Simply put, Chad noted, “We couldn’t do it without all of our members’ support; thank you all so much!”
By way of background on the ubiquitous tournament, Mr. Cash said of the tournament, “Jack Jenkins was the first and longtime CEO of Carolina Federal Union, and both Joel Wallace and Don Starling were longtime board members of Carolina Federal Credit Union.
“During our 13 years we have given over $35k in scholarships to local high school students. All the funds are not possible without our sponsors and players.”
Cash noted that First Place in this year’s tournament went to the foursome of Post 100 American Legion baseball head coach Bobby Dale Reynolds, Beam Hauling owner Scott Beam, Mr. Billy Cease, and Mr. Owen Wilson.
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Sports

NCHSAA amended
sports guidelines

Governor’s “Phase 2.5” going into effect changes numbers of indoor, outdoor
gatherings


by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


According to a media release from the North Carolina High School Athletic Association sent out last week, Commissioner Que Tucker said amended guidelines for sports have been sent out to its member schools.
Commissioner Tucker noted in the release that, “NC Phase 2.5 went into effect Friday, Sept. 4, at 5 p.m.
“In this phase, mass gathering numbers have increased. Effective today, (Tuesday) Sept. 8, NCHSAA member schools can abide by those numbers: a total of 25 persons in an indoor venue; a total of 50 persons in outdoor venues.”
She continued, “All other sport-specific guidelines remain as indicated in the Modified Skill Development document. As always, your school/LEA may be more restrictive with guidelines and regulations.”
Tucker also added, in the release, that the NCHSAA Board of Directors has also been busy reviewing the recommendations from staff and the Ad Hoc Committee relative to the 2020-2021 Sports Calendar.
By way of background, she said, “In a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020, Modified Sports Regulations and an updated calendar, to include playoff dates, were unanimously approved by Board members.
In addition to playoff dates, the following changes were approved, increasing season limitation from 10 to 14 meets for Swimming, Cross-Country, and Track & Field; and changing the date for the cheerleading invitational from May 1, 2021 to May 22, 2021.
CHS Athletic Director Scott Harrill said, of the Phase 2.5 numbers increase and its effect on workouts, “We are excited that we can have a few more student athletes working out per the NCHSAA and Gaston County Schools new guidelines. Our student athletes and coaches are looking forward to the day they can compete again in the Royal Blue and White uniforms. There is something about that Ironmen pride that brings out the best in all of us!”
The CHS Ironmen’s head football coach, Tim Pruitt, said of Commissioner Tucker’s media release to all member schools, “We’re excited to get to have all of our players available to workout at the same time. We will still be dividing them in pods with protocols still in place for being inside and sharing equipment.
“We will be working out at Rudisill Stadium with check-in for players and coaches beginning at 4 p.m., on Tuesday’s and Friday’s.
“We are still working to get into shape and will be doing more skills development and scheme installation in the coming weeks. We are treating our Friday afternoons like a game day as our sessions will be longer and will have everyone in cleats and on the field.
“We are also working to create a game day atmosphere with workouts by playing music daily on the PA system at Rudisill. Every day is a great day to be an Ironmen!”
Harrill and Pruitt also added the school’s athletics department is selling neck shields and face masks to help out. If anyone would like to help the department out by purchasing one or more of them, they said to call the school’s office at (704) 836-9605.
Regarding the NCHSAA release, Ms. Tucker noted that all linked documents are available on the NCHSAA’s  2020-2021 Modified Guidelines webpage.
Tucker closed by noting, “We are looking forward to fully resuming sports in November. As always, we will continue to monitor health and safety guidelines to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”


 

The combined Cherryville Dixie Girls Softball teams that traveled to the 2020 DGSB World Series in Alabama in July and August.

The teams were the Angels and the Debs, who are shown here with their coaches.
(photos by MEP/CF Media)
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The combined Cherryville Dixie Girls Softball teams that traveled to the 2020 DGSB World Series in Alabama in July and August. The teams were the Angels and the Debs, who are shown here with their coaches. (photos by MEP/CF Media)

Cherryville High School Holds Socially Distances Practices

Here are a few more photos of the CHS football coaches and some of their prospective Ironmen 2020-2021 team members who are seen here at the Aug. 10, socially distanced and safety ruled practices at Rudisill Stadium. Though unable to play just yet, they are all hard
at work to stay fit, safe, and healthy while honing their skills for the gridiron. They are all looking forward to the day when they can get back out on the field! Go Ironmen!
(photos provided)
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Former CHS Ironmen and American Legion Post 100 pitcher Noah Eaker goes into his windup as he prepares to work on getting a save for the Mooresville Spinners. Eaker was a pitcher on the CHS 2016 state championship team.

Cherryville product Eaker helps
the Spinners during SCBL playoffs

Looks forward to academics; playing ball at Coastal Carolina

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


The SCBL (Southern Collegiate Baseball League)
Mooresville Spinners (2018 SCBL Champions) ended their summer playoffs 21-15 overall, and 17-11 in the SCBL, with a little help from CHS Ironmen and Post 100 product Noah Eaker.
Eaker, formerly a player at Catawba Valley Community College, has committed to play baseball at Coastal Carolina University for the 2020/2021 season.
Eaker’s stats for the Spinners were 4 wins against no losses in 13 games played. His ERA was 1.64, with one save, 28 strikeouts, 4 base-on-balls, and 13 hits.
Said dad, Allen Eaker, “Noah had a great summer working out of the bullpen totaling up great numbers in his relief role for the Mooresville Spinners.
“Noah’s team ended up in third place for the regular season and the SCBL Tournament where Noah had two of his team’s three wins. Noah had four wins out of his last five appearances and one of the lowest ERA’s in the league at 1.64.”
Noah said he took on the role of reliever because he said he feels that he will be asked to do that same job this coming spring 2021 at Coastal Carolina.
Noah said. “It was just great to be at the ballpark with my teammates and coaches with everything going on with COVID-19.
“I knew a lot of the guys on my team and the other teams from playing in high school and college but met a lot of new guys and made great friendships to last a lifetime.
“I would like to thank the Mooresville Spinners, SCBL, my coaches and my (Spinners) teammates for their support and awesome memories this summer of 2020.”
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CHS Athletic Director and head basketball coach Scott Harrill was the celebrity chef at Medical Center Pharmacy one day last week. Harrill and MCP were on a fund-raising mission for CHS Athletics. (photo provided)

Harrill a ‘celebrity chef’ for the day at Medical Center Pharmacy Grill

Mission was to cook some great food while raising funds for CHS athletics; event raised $1,600 overall

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Medical Center Pharmacy manager Brian Kiser said their famous pharmacy grill had a “celebrity chef” for one day last week, and it was none other than CHS head basketball coach and Athletic Director Scott Harrill.
Kiser said he had the idea to do the celebrity chef thing in order to try and bring in some monetary support for the CHS sports department, of which he and his wife, Leigh, are a big part, as coaches.
For his part, Harrill said he enjoyed his turn at the grill, but noted it can be hot work.
“My hat is off to those who work at it full-time,” he said.
Coach Harrill noted his general reason for being the celebrity chef for the day (Friday, Aug. 7, from 8 to 10:30 a.m.) was basically the old ‘kill two birds with one stone’ aspect; that is, to stay busy during the seasonal hold-up from the NCHSAA due to COVID-19 restrictions, and to raise funds for the school’s sports department.
“With the delay of Fall sports, this helped the (CHS) athletic department generate some funds for general cost to start a school year,” he said.
Harrill continued, “This was for the overall athletic department. It was an amazing day with many giving great tips. Overall, we raised over $1,600.”
Though Coach Harrill said there were no “true sponsors”, but rather just “whoever wanted to come and eat”, some folks did both: came in and ate or just called in donations.
“Of course, my mom and dad are always big supporters of anything we do at CHS and they ate AND gave a donation,” Harrill said.
He continued, “Some former players called in donations. (2004 CHS graduate) Chris Harris, who is now an Athletic Director in south Florida, called in and gave a great donation and treated his mother, Barbara Ann Harris to lunch. Terry Usery, a school board member, and long-time clock operator for the Cherryville Ironmen basketball team, gave a very generous donation and had lunch with us. Pat and Debbie Kelly came in and showed support. Many coaches, teachers, and general fans of the Ironmen came in. Several companies ate with us on take-out orders, and Carolina Federal had a large order. They are always great supporters in our community. CFCU is always a part of the Ironmen family. 
“Beam Construction and The Great Outdoors both had big orders to come in for take-out and support the Ironmen!”
Coach Harrill said he was very grateful for the help he got during his time in front of the MCP grill as celebrity chef from their crew.
“I want to thank (cook) Paula Black, (manager) Brian Kiser and (head cook) Mark Allen. They were all big in helping me behind the counter,” he said.
The true “tale of the tape”, in “sports-speak” though, is the number of burgers and ‘dogs, and what-not cooked, and if Coach Harrill did anything special to them or added his own special seasonings.
Said Harrill, in answer to that question, “I probably made over 300 hamburgers and hotdogs and many club sandwiches. I did give my own special touch to some of the breakfast items. My omelets were a big hit.”
Harrill said he wanted to especially thank Medical Center Pharmacy manager Brian Kiser for all his hard work and having a great idea to support Cherryville High School.
As for how he felt it all went, Harrill said, “I thought it went great. We were able to raise a good amount of money and have fun while doing it.
“Thanks again to MCP for their generosity and the community of Cherryville for always supporting CHS.  Go Ironmen!”
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Celebrating their medals at the 2020 DGSB World Series in Oxford, Alabama, are the Angels and their coaches. They are (in no particular order): Tori Ladd, Blair Culberson, Oakley Herring, Georgia Cruise, Hailey Vance, Addy Morehead, Jenny Brown, Avery Cruise, Zoe Culberson, Livi Harmon, and Addy Carpenter. Their coaches are: Wes Brown, Matthew Anthony and Wes Culberson. (photos provided)

Dixie Youth Angels team finish third at DGSB World Series

The Angels 10u division of Cherryville Dixie girls’ softball team represented the state of N.C. in the Dixie World Series July 31-Aug. 4, in Oxford Alabama.
Coach Wes Brown said, “We faced some adversity in Game One and lost to Paxton, Florida, 11-1. The calls just didn’t go our way.”
The girls bounced back in Game Two, he noted, winning 5-0 over Belleview, Florida. Pitchers Avery Cruise, Jenny Brown and Zoe Culberson combined for a complete game no hitter.
In Game Three, against Wahneta, Florida, the girls got off to a hot start scoring eight runs in the first two innings, led by a grand slam by Livi Harmon. Coach Brown said Cherryville continued to pile on the runs, winning by the run mercy rule, 17-2.
Said Brown, “We would then play Game Four against Ward 10, Louisiana, with the winner advancing to the championship game. After being down 3-0 after the first inning, we battled back to tie the game on another 3-run home run by Livi Harmon and eventually take the lead, 4-3.”
The game would stay close until the end but Cherryville would end up losing 12-4. The loss would result in Cherryville finishing third in the World Series.
“To say I’m proud of the girls is an understatement,” head coach Wes Brown said. “They played their hearts out. We told them before we left, let’s have fun, make memories and win. We accomplished all three! Very few girls have the opportunity to play in the Dixie World Series. This was something these girls will never forget.”
In addition to head coach Brown, the team was also coached by Matthew Anthony and Wes Culberson.
Brown continued, “On behalf of Cherryville Dixie Softball, we can’t thank the community enough for the support given to these girls. We would like to thank all the sponsors, donations, fundraiser participants and many throughout our area for making this truly a dream come true for these girls.”
Coach Brown noted the team will be celebrated in their hometown by riding on a CFD fire truck down Main Street Cherryville on Wednesday, Aug. 12 at 6 p.m.
The Angels are: #2 Tori Ladd; #4 Blair Culberson; #7 Oakley Herring; #8 Georgia Cruise; #9 Hailey Vance; #11 Addy Morehead; #13 Jenny Brown; #14 Avery Cruise; #19 Zoe Culberson; #20 Livi Harmon; and #22 Addy Carpenter.


 
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At Aaron Moss Park at the Dr. Floyd Wright Softball Field dedication on Thursday, July 30. Left to right are: Cherryville City Councilmen Jon Abernethy, and Malcolm Parker; Mayor H.L. Beam, III; Dr. Floyd Wright, Councilwoman Jill Parker-Puett and Joe Kelly Chapman, who was one of the first workers from the high school that worked at the recreation department when the ball field was built. (photo by Jeff Cash)

Aaron Moss Park softball field
named in honor of Dr. Floyd Wright

by MIKE POWELL
Special to the Eagle


CHERRYVILLE – One of Cherryville’s pioneers in recreation was honored Thursday, July 30, in a dedication ceremony at Aaron Moss Park.
Dr. Floyd Wright was the special guest as city officials unveiled a sign proclaiming one of the two ballfields at the park as “Dr. Floyd Wright Softball Field” in perpetuity.
The naming of the facility for Wright recognized the re-tired educator’s contributions to Cherryville sports and recreation over the decades.
According to Cherryville Mayor H.L. Beam, III, who presided over the gathering of about a dozen people, Dr. Wright became the city’s first director of recreation in 1966 at the age 28. Over the course of his four-year stint, Wright established the infrastructure and culture that made Cherryville a mecca for amateur softball, Beam said.
Dr. Wright organized softball leagues that attracted church, industrial and city-sponsored teams from a number of surrounding counties. The program continued to grow and reached its height of popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, bringing in big crowds of fans five nights a week at City Park.
Dr. Wright left city recreation to continue his career in education, but the important groundwork in youth and adult recreation had been done. Since the pioneering days of City Park, now known as Aaron Moss Park, the city has added more recreational structures over the years, the most recent being Ballard Park, a youth baseball complex, greenway and picnic area near the city swimming pool.
Dr. Wright spoke briefly to the assemblage and directed personal comments to a number of those gathered, exchanging stories about the construction of the first soft-ball park and the friendships that were forged.
“I had a lot of help doing the hard work to get this started, and a number who helped are here today,” Dr. Wright said. “I remember when this place was packed every night and we had to bring in extra police to handle the crowd.”
Dr. Wright rose through the ranks of education to be an administrator, a professor, and in his final stint prior to retirement, he served as Dean of the Lincoln Campus of Gaston College, spearheading the growth of that campus from its first home at the Lincoln School of Technology to its present location on South Aspen Street in Lincolnton.
However, Dr. Wright has remained a fan of sports and recreation throughout his retirement years in Cherryville. One of the city’s most faithful fans, Dr. Wright is a regular at Cherryville High School football, basketball and baseball games, and he is an ardent supporter of the Post 100 American Legion baseball program.
In addition, Wright and his family have for years been a sponsor and underwriter for Cherryville High’s annual holiday basketball tournament at Nixon Gym. Wright also contributes his time to the tournament, having worked the gate and handed out programs at numerous yuletide events.
Mayor Beam said the impetus to honor Dr. Wright in some official way launched when Jon Abernethy, son of American Legion legend and softball enthusiast Bill Abernethy, joined the Cherryville City Council two years ago.
Beam also said the city wanted to have the ceremony before the 81-year-old Wright goes in for surgery and the rehabilitation that will follow.
“I am glad we were able to get this done now,” said Beam.  “You want to give something back to the people who have been important to our town.”
In addition to the mayor, several members of City Council attended, including Jill Parker-Puett, Malcolm Parker and Abernethy. City manager Jeff Cash also spoke at the event.
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CHS Class of 2020 senior Jenna Sherrill recently signed to play golf for Pfeiffer University’s Falcons. With Jenna (center, front) are (left to right, in front) her dad Vince Sherrill, Jenna, and her mom, Melanie Sherrill. Standing in the back are, left to right, her brothers and sister, Ethan Sherrill, Kevin Sherrill, Colin Sherrill, Lilah Sherrill, and her grandfather, Forrest Ross. Jenna’s Lady Ironmen golf coach was Matt Powers, and the CHS Principal is Kevin Doran, and the CHS Athletic Director is Scott Harrill.

Sherrill signs to play golf for the Pfeiffer University Lady Falcons

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville High School Lady Ironmen golfer Jenna Sherrill signed last week to play college golf for the Lady Falcons of Pfeiffer University.
The signing took place at First Baptist Church and on hand was her family: dad and mom Vince and Melanie Sherrill; siblings, Ethan Sherrill, Kevin Sherrill, Colin Sherrill, and Lilah Sherrill; and her grandfather, Forrest Ross.
Sherrill said what made her choose Pfeiffer was the fact she had been visiting Pfeiffer since the beginning of eighth grade.
“I absolutely fell in love with the campus and the community,” she said. “It just felt like home. Although my parents made me explore different options, I could not ignore the fact that Pfeiffer was the place for me. In fact, every time I came back to the campus I knew I was where I belonged.”
Jenna is a double major in Journalism and English with a minor in History. At CHS, she helped bring back the school newspaper, “The Cherry Leaves”, and was one its writers and editors. She was also the editor of the school’s yearbook, “The Chenoca”.
She continued, “I have been blessed with many great opportunities at Pfeiffer. I have a close relationship with the head softball coach, Monte Sherrill. He has been a lifelong mentor and friend. He is the reason that I first visited campus for softball camps. He had been my batting coach, but has remained as one of my biggest supporters through the years. In fact, when I told him that I was not going to play softball, he introduced me to the golf coach, David Gianferante. And, the rest is history.”
Coach Gianferante is assisted by Austin Withrow at Pfeiffer.
The university is a USA South Conference school, and is a Division 3 school. It is the conference with 18 other colleges and universities, most notably Brevard.
Mom, Melanie said she and dad, Vince are extremely proud of Jenna.
“She has remained true to who she is, honored God and proven her determination and willingness to work hard. We are blessed to be her parents. It is with great anticipation that we await all the great things she will do in service to others.”
Sherrill’s signing to play golf with Pfeiffer is, to head coach Matt Power’s knowledge, a “first”, in that, so far as is known, Sherrill may be the first Lady Ironmen golfer to sign to play the sport at the collegiate level.
Additionally, coach, Matt Powers said of Jenna’ signing with Pfeiffer, “You know, when we started this program back a few years ago, we really did not know what was going to come of it.
“All of the young ladies that have come through the program have worked really hard to help promote girls golf in our school. Jenna was a sophomore on the original team and really worked hard on her own to develop her game.”
He continued, “Jenna is a young lady that does not accept defeat and she worked hard every off-season to improve for the upcoming season. Jenna has only been playing golf for three years and her growth is phenomenal. I cannot wait to see how much she grows as a college golfer.
“Jenna has been a part of a team conference championship and is a regional qualifier. She set her goals and worked to accomplish them. We will miss her leadership and dedication on the upcoming season but are excited to see her put CHS women’s golf on the collegiate map.”
Ironmen Athletic Director Scott Harrill, agreed, adding, “We are really proud of Jenna and the hard work she has put in to improving as a golfer.
“Jenna is the true definition of a student athlete. She is well-rounded in so many areas and will represent Cherryville well in all aspects! We wish her the best in all her future endeavors.”
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The 2019 CHS Ironmen football team practice their moves at the CHS practice field beside the high school on Aug. 6. (Eagle file photos by Michael E. Powell)

Gaston County Schools: Athletic workouts scheduled to begin Monday, July 20

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info


Cherryville High School Athletic Director Scott Harrill said that according to Gaston County Schools’ Director of Athletics, Chad Duncan, the start of workouts for the county’s high school fall sports teams has been changed from Monday, July 6, now to Monday, July 20.
In an email sent out to all county ADs, Mr. Duncan noted that, based on current COVID-19 data and the then-extension of Phase Two restrictions until July 17, “it is in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, and others involved in our sports program to delay the start of workouts.
“In consultation with the Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services, the delay is believed to be a good decision for our schools.”
Based on this information, and as Harrill noted, that, as per GCS guidelines, “Above all else, Gaston County Schools will follow the advice of our local and state health officials to ensure the safety of everyone involved in high school sports.
“We look forward to having our student-athletes back on campus on Monday, July 20, to prepare for the upcoming fall sports season.
“Please know that our school athletic directors/coaches will keep student-athletes and their parents updated on any additional information or changes.”
Harrill also noted that further information from Gaston County Schools and its guidelines for getting back to practicing for Fall sports, “That all coaches and athletes must wear face masks.”
Coach Harrill added that, as per GCS guidelines, “Student athletes have to wear masks until their workouts begin, and they must stand six feet apart during the practices.”
Further guidelines stipulate that all field houses, weight rooms, and locker rooms are off limits, and that athletes who don’t have a successful check in will have to leave the practice immediately and cannot return until medically cleared. Also, there are to be no middle of the day workouts due to heat concerns.
Coach Harrill also noted there will be no more than 25 people allowed in outside practices and 10 inside, in groups, or “pods” of 5 to 10 athletes, who he noted will stay with the same “pod” each day, as per GCS guidelines.
“Also, as per the GCS guidelines, athletes must also bring their own water bottle and hydration fluids with them when they come to practice,” he noted. The bottles must be marked with the athlete’s name.
“No water bottles or fluids; no access to workouts,” Harrill added, citing the GCS guidelines.
The county’s guidelines also noted there is to be no “high fives”, fist bumping, or hugging so as to lessen the possibility of any COVID-19 contamination, and the coaches are asked to be “fully aware to acclimatize (their) athletes to a slow return to physical fitness” due to the athlete having been away from workouts for the past three or more months.
Harrill also noted that the July 20 start date could also be adjusted and moved back even further, depending on how things go with the state’s attempts at pushing the virus back.
For more information, please call CHS at (704) 836-9605.


 
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A North Carolina girl and her father prepare to go hunting together. (photo by Thomas Harvey/NC Wildlife Resources Commission)

Sunday hunting may be in works for NC in 2021

by JACK IGELMAN
Carolina Public Press


The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is a step closer to implementing Sunday hunting on public game lands.
In early June, the state’s wildlife agency convened stakeholders at three virtual focus group meetings to discuss the future of Sunday hunting. The goal of the meetings was intended to frame potential alternatives to open some game lands for Sunday hunting by 2021.
“They were productive meetings, and people seemed willing to compromise,” said Brian McRae of the WRC. The participants of the focus groups were invited by the WRC and included a diverse range of game land users, including hunters, environmental organizations and recreational users, such as horseback riders, hikers and birders.
Last winter, a survey of game land users was conducted by a third-party organization that received over 30,000 responses. In addition, the WRC hosted eight public meetings held across the state to assess the public’s tolerance for expanding Sunday hunting opportunities.
The results of the survey revealed that 74 percent of hunters support, or somewhat support, Sunday hunting. Nonhunters are less supportive of opening public game lands for hunting on Sunday. Among the respondents, only 22 percent of nonhunters support or somewhat support Sunday hunting.
Despite the difference, a large majority of the respondents said their concerns about Sunday hunting could be addressed. McRae said that a compromise for Sunday hunting on game land is possible.
“It seemed like the consensus is to start with some game lands that don’t have other amenities and see how this could work,” he said.
In 2010, the WRC opened Sunday hunting with archery equipment on private land. In 2015, the Outdoor Heritage Act lifted the ban on Sunday hunting with firearms on private land. A revision in 2017 removed several exceptions and transferred the regulatory authority of Sunday hunting on public lands from the General Assembly to the WRC
In all, the state agency regulates wildlife and habitat on 2 million acres owned by the WRC and other state agencies, as well as tracts of game land owned by land trusts and the federal government for public hunting, trapping and inland fishing. The rule change, if enacted, would not impact state or federal public holdings that are not game lands. For example, a decision to open game lands within a U.S. national forest would still be left to the U.S. Forest Service.
The chair of the North Carolina chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, Luke Weingarten, attended one of the focus group meetings and said the discussions were civil.
“Everyone is interested in a constructive dialogue with other user groups,” he said.
His organization favors treating hunting on Sunday as any other day.
“If you have the money and social connections, then you have the opportunity to hunt on private land on Sunday,” he said. “Yet on public land, you aren’t allowed.”
Many hunters, Weingarten said, rely on public land to hunt, and Sunday prohibitions limit access for most hunters who hunt on weekends and don’t have access to private land.
Non-sportsmen have plenty of concerns about Sunday hunting. Among them are potential conflicts with other users such as hikers, birders and horseback riders. Nonhunters are also concerned about safety.
However, Weingarten said that the “facts simply do not support that nonhunters are at risk. It’s not Fallujah out there,” said Weingarten. “You’re going to be OK.”
Kate Dixon, executive director of the Friends of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, said that while safety concerns may be overstated, “less experienced hikers are nervous, and it’s hard to make them feel comfortable.” The MST has several sections of footpath that traverse game lands.
Dixon said her organization is willing to compromise to open some areas for Sunday hunting.  She also said the public process conducted by the WRC has been “useful and sincere.”
“I understand that it can be a barrier to entry if people feel in danger,” Weingarten said. “But I see that as an opportunity for education from hunters and groups with those concerns. We’re all in the woods together.”
He said some rural game lands “seem like no-brainers” to open, in which the primary users are hunters. However, he also wants Sunday hunting allowed on game lands near urban areas.
“Most hunters live in cities, and we want to make sure access and opportunity is equitable among all North Carolinians,” he said.
McRae indicated that urban areas may be considered, in particular units that have other public land units nearby, such as state parks that prohibit hunting but provide other recreational activities.
However, he said that the WRC is “far away from a final proposal.”
One area of agreement among hunters and nonhunters is shared concerns about urbanization, habitat fragmentation, quality of habitat, access to wild and scenic lands, and solitude. However, hunters said they share a greater burden among other users for acquiring and maintaining state game lands.
John Culclasure of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation advocates opening Sunday hunting throughout the nation and said game lands are “largely purchased and managed with their dollars through the American System of Conservation Funding.”
“The law (in North Carolina) changed three years ago, and hunters are eager to have seven-day access,” he said.
For fiscal year 2020, North Carolina was apportioned $16.6 million from an 11 percent federal excise tax on arms and ammunition used for wildlife restoration and habitat management as mandated by the Pittman-Robertson Act.
McRae said the “vast majority” of land acquired by the WRC has been purchased using public dollars or donations. However, he said, maintenance and management have “truly been at the expense of hunters.”
According to McRae, users’ fees were a topic of discussion during the focus group meetings.
“It is a separate issue but loosely tied,” McRae said. “It takes money to provide access to land by providing parking lots, roads, gates and signs. We heard from a range of users that they would be willing to pay for access.”
Dixon said she is open to the possibility of a user fee. However, if other users, such as hikers, pay for use, then the WRC “has to think more broadly about its constituents and how they manage their land.”
For now, North Carolina remains just one of four states that do not allow Sunday hunting on public land.
In 2018, West Virginia opened Sunday hunting on public land and has completed two Sunday hunting seasons. Both West Virginia and North Carolina have large tracts of public land managed by the federal government and state lands that include wildlife management areas.
Dave Truban, a retired West Virginia Department of Natural Resources commissioner, said the opening of Sunday hunting there was uneventful.
“It was a long process that took several years, and there was plenty of opposition,” he said, but “it has died down as an issue, and to my knowledge, there have been no issues.”
McRae said that over the next several months, the WRC will review the comments and public input. In October, the WRC will decide whether to propose a rule change to the commissioners of the WRC. If approved by the commissioners, the public will have the opportunity to comment in January before a final vote by commissioners in February.
If approved, Sunday hunting on some public game lands could open by August 2021.


 
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Medical Center Pharmacy of Cherryville store manager, Brian Kiser (left) stands with CHS Athletic Director and head basketball coach Scott Harrill with the MCP donations. For Harrill and the Fall Sports coaches and athletes, these medical supplies were a God-send! (photos provided)

CHS gets donation of medical supplies from Medical Center Pharmacy

by MICHAEL E. POWELL
Editor
michael@cfmedia.info

A generous donation of medical and testing supplies from Medical Center Pharmacy will go a long way to helping the school and its athletics program come Fall.
Cherryville High Principal Kevin Doran and Athletic Director and head basketball coach Scott Harrill were surprised and greatly blessed by the generous donation from the pharmacy’s manager, Brian Kiser.
They were a much-needed boost for morale, especially in light of the fact that based on NCHSSA rules for Fall Sports to begin, much cleaning needed to be done, and continued on a daily basis in order to make things safe for the coaches, student athletes, and other ancillary staff and trainers, as well as teachers, and other  CHS employees and staff.
Said Harrill, via email, of the MCP largesse, regarding how the supplies would be allocated, and between what departments, “Mr. Doran and I have always had a great working relationship.
“Many times with CHS and the athletic department we share things such as walkie talkies, tents, supplies, and such. With athletics being after school, we will share most of the thermometers and other supplies. 
“The thermometers and Clorox wipes are very hard to come by, so this is a major contribution to our school and athletic department!”
As for getting started in using the supplies and in what capacity, Coach Harrill noted, “We hope to start back with summer workouts on July 6, and using the supplies then.
“Our coaches will all have masks on, the Clorox wipes will help with equipment, the temperature checks will be done for every athlete and coach that comes each day. Sanitizer will be available for all to use. The athletic department has also purchased some other cleaning supplies to use before, during, and after all the workouts,” he said.
When asked if the MCP donation came as a surprise to him and Mr. Doran, Harrill said, “We were surprised and very thankful for Medical Center Pharmacy. MCP has always had a long-standing relationship with CHS and the community of Cherryville.
“This is our first donation of supplies for anything related to COVID -19. Brian Kiser, the Allen Family, and Medical Center Pharmacy goes above and beyond to serve the community and this is just another way that they have helped. Over the years, MCP has employed many students from CHS and they take great pride in making sure the citizens of Cherryville stay as healthy as possible.”
He continued, “We are very thankful for all that Medical Center Pharmacy does for CHS. As an athletic director, I know our student athletes will be in much better hands because of this donation.”
Principal Kevin Doran agreed with AD Harrill, adding, “Cherryville High School is very thankful for the community partner that we have with Medical Center Pharmacy. It is comforting to know that we work in a community that thinks of us in times of need.
“Brian Kiser, the Allen Family, and Medical Center Pharmacy are fantastic examples of community members that are always there for the Ironmen.”
Kiser, MCP’s manager, said he was able to purchase many of the products donated before school is slated to start as many of the products now are hard to find.
Kiser continued, “For Mr. Doran, the digital thermal thermometers can be used to check students when they come back to class. They are 'touch-less’ and work great for that sort of thing.
“Disposable masks were included as well as the highly desirable N-95-type masks. Another hard-to-find thing was the Lysol wipes, and we included some hand sanitizer for the front office.”
Being a coach himself (baseball and volleyball), Kiser understands how important it is to be prepared for all contingencies.
“Right now, I understand there can only be 25 people at the practices (which are scheduled to begin July 6) and 10 inside at any time. For us at Medical Center Pharmacy, we try to give to the school throughout the year. My family and the Allen Family has a vested interest in the school. My wife, Leigh, teaches and coaches there, our daughter attends school there and plays on the volleyball team, and we have other family members who work there and have kids who go there,” he said.
Kiser noted the school was glad to get the supplies and added how they is still going to need community support throughout this pandemic.
Said Brian, “They’ll gladly accept what they can get. And MCP will continue to donate other items as soon as they become available.”
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CHS Ironmen Wrestlers

The following CHS Ironmen Wrestlers were awarded Sports Awards at the Monday, June 1, event held at CHS: Jayden M. Blanton – 2019-2020 SPC 1A Wrestler of the Year, and Ironmen Wrestling MVP; Brady Buchanan – Ironmen Wrestling MVP; Ryan Riffle – Ironmen Wrestling Coaches Award; and Chase Miller – Ironmen Wrestling Award.

 
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2020 Lady Ironmen Soccer Season

Jonathan Reed CHS Men’s and Women’s Soccer Coach
 
To my seniors, this season came to a sudden end and I’m truly sorry you could not finish out your 4-year soccer career. It has been a pleasure getting to know all of you over the last three years.

I hope you take with you all the memories and fun times we had together. I hope you all stay true to who you are. These last few months have taught us all many things in life. Each of you have determination in you and a great personality. Never lose that.
A favorite memory from this short season was the proof how much this season meant to you all. You went out there with determination to make it a good season. That last game against Piedmont I could see how important it was also knowing the fact that it could be your last game.
One of my favorite things about coaching soccer in high school is the connection and the laughter we all have together.
Life lessons – During life we are faced with many obstacles. How you approach them and handle them will vary from situation to situation. With each obstacle please remember to never give up. Patience is always a key.
A couple of lessons to learn from in the past few months are to cherish those around you and the importance of communication.