Friday night’s American Legion annual Christmas celebration awarded its Community Service Award to two very deserving men, Bob Brown and Jack Page.
(Gazette Photo-Benjamin Patton)
The award was given for their long community service records and especially for their leadership in the establishment of the Belmont Historical Society.
Both men were invited to the celebration to introduce the other as the Community Service award recipients. Mayor Richard Boyce and long time legionaire, Art Shoemaker, turned the tables on both by having Mayor Boyce introduce them to the assembly.
The annual Christmas celebration at the Legion Post on Park Drive was attended by current Mayor Boyce, and past mayors, Billy Joye and Kevin Loftin. Newly elected city council member, Ron Foulk was in attendance as well as the re-elected Charlie Flowers and former council members Becky Burch and Arlene Flowers. County Commissioner Mickey Price was present as well.
Joye served as emcee in his own inimitable way introducing honored guests and community stalwarts. Coaches John Devine and Mickey Lineberger were recognized as well as former Belmont Banner editor, Dwight Frady.
Art Shumaker announced that Mickey Lineberger would be the Belmont Braves Legion baseball coach for this upcoming season.
Shannon Angel, a 1991 Red Raider graduate entertained the crowd with several Christmas songs and carols.
Youth leaders from the community were introduced and each spoke briefly about their experiences of the Legion-sponsored event that they had been selected to attend.
Legion baseball player-representative Nick DeMarsico thanked the Legion Post 144 for sponsoring the baseball team each year and how he enjoyed playing through the summer to keep his skills sharp.
Girls State representatives Lindsey Hawkins, Caitlyn Reese, Katie Dare Payseur, Emily Scruggs, and Ashley Baker. The young women had attended the Girls State program at Catawba College this past summer, and each expressed their gratitude for the leadership development opportunity. Boys State Representatives for the summer program were, Trevor Reeves, Matt Crane, Cameron Matthews, Andrew Pierce, and Omar Baroudi.
Another great “away” crowd at Forestview on Friday night saw South Point stay unbeaten and at the top of the Big South Conference.
(Aaron Crumbley makes a run – David Luoto photo for the Gazette)
The football was good, even entertaining when Forestview went up early in the game. This led many to believe that maybe the Ashbrook game took something out of the team.
Then South Point took over — and the Gazette tells a better story than we could anyway.
Next Friday is South Point’s homecoming weekend. South Point will be hosting Charlotte Latin, a state power and ranked in News14’s – “14 to Watch” list. Good competition makes makes for good competitors.
We don’t believe the players or coaching staffs of North Gaston, Crest, or South Point are looking past their next games, but the media and local communities sure are — Phillip Gardner writes a story about the upcoming three weeks of football competition. We agree with him on this one – Can’t Hardly Wait.
The line score:
SP 14 14 7 0 – 35
F 9 0 0 7 – 16
F: Jarkeevus Alexander 88 kickoff return (Kick failed), 11:47
SP: Desmond Lowery 9 run (James Justice kick), 9:12
F: Preston Lyon 27 FG
SP: Aaron Crumbley 15 run (James Justice kick), 3:21
SP: Crumbley 2 run (James Justice kick), 5:13
SP: Brandon Spencer 19 pass from Lowery (James Justice kick), 0:45
SP: Crumbley 4 run (James Justice kick), 0:16
F: Kevin Jeter 6 run (Brant Aldous kick), 0:10
(Chris Lane making a first down – John Clark, Gazette Photo)
The article, written by stringer Bill Hupp, offers the Gastonia paper a lesson in “fair and balanced”. It is a good idea to contract with people who will give the flavor of the event, rather than slant it to the paper’s ultimate interest.
Anyway, South Point beat East Gaston 31-0, taking a measure from last year’s whuppin’. Lowery, Lane, and Crumbly looked good in the effort on the ground. Justice had a struggle kicking last night, but the season is still not to the halfway mark yet.
Reports of “8,000 people” and an “overflow crowd” are a bit exaggerated, even by South Point Booster standards. With this event being called “Black Friday”, the new “PSL” seats keep many people away from the stands, wandering around as if they were in the wilderness. “Black Friday” at South Point is the culmination of a weeklong series of themes, pep rallies, and school spirit activities uniting the student body. The term comes from the tradition of the Black and Red school colors, and wearing all black on the Friday of the East Gaston game. Of course, there are a small number that choose to wear all white on this day, just to stick out. Most of the 1,200 students at SPHS are into the week’s events and participate with enthusiasm. I carried over to the ball game as well. Great spirit in the stands and in the areas outside the fence near the new scoreboard.
Area homeowners and neighbors have taken a page from the homes and businesses that surround Wrigley Field in Chicago. Charge a few buck to park in our driveways, cut down the walking distances to Lineberger Stadium on game days — helps with the ol’ property tax bill.
The still undefeated Red Raider football team is looking good. Keep goin’ boys!
Both the Red Raider fall “ball” teams are doing well enough to draw the attention of coaches, spectators, and colleges from around the state.
The boy’s soccer team is currently ranked #2 in the State in 3A division, and the equally undefeated football team has cracked the state’s Top 10.
Go Boys – Git-R-Dun !
Soccer this week: Home on Monday vs. Ashbrook; Away on Wednesday vs. Forestview — two very tough matches indeed !
Football this week: Home on Friday vs. East Gaston High School
A wet, soggy night greeted football fans around the region on Friday. The rain was a welcome respite for yards and gardens, but not needed on the lush, exempt-from-water-restriction football fields.
South Point overcame a very sloppy first half deficit to beat visting Burns, 28-7. Burns had led 7-0 at the half, but according to Gazette reports, “…there was no worry…”, in the Raider lockerroom.
Desmond Lowery had another good game for the 4-0 Red Raiders, rushing for 127 yards and three touchdowns. Fullback Aaron Crumbly got into the action Friday night with 128 and a TD. Lowery only attempted one pass all evening.
Soggy fields give way to outstanding play in the trenches. Senior offensive lineman, Trevor Reeves, a good friend and neighbor, said in a Gazette interview, “…We felt like we could move it [the ball] because the defense was stepping up.” The defense for SP did just that, keeping Burns from adding to their first half tally at critical moments. The defensive line of Daniel Biggerstaff, Daniel Gillelan, Greg Lancaster, and Weston Lawing were given credit for keeping Burns out of the goal. Daniel Holmes led the defense with seven tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Other area games:
Ashbrook won, North Gaston lost, Forestview won, East Gaston lost, Crest won, and Hunter Huss game was postponed to Saturday due to the rain.
Next Friday at South Point, it is “Black Friday”, a traditional spirit rally for the students and fans, and of course it is East Gaston at home that evening. Just remember, no body paint…