Posts filed under ‘Mt. Holly’

Lady Raiders kick off Gazette Cup in style

The girls soccer team at South Point HS got a good start at the East Lincoln Invitational last week (one win, one tie, and one losss) and the Gazette Cup this week.

diamond-davis-and-crystal-ocasio.jpg (Gazette Photo)

Currently, the 2-1-1 Lady Raiders, fresh off a 1-0 win last night over rival East Gaston in the opening evening of the annual Gazette Cup, look forward to a level playing field this season.

Kings Mountain, Forestview, and Ashbrook lost a significant number of players to graduation last year, but as normal, just reloaded for this spring campaign.

Don’t count out East Gaston by any means in this spring season, or Hunter Huss for that matter. East Gaston picked up a number of the players to the varsity roster off last spring’s Mount Holly middle school finalist team and they made an immediate impact in last night’s match. More on Hunter Huss at the end of the article.

Red Raider freshman, Diamond Davis, scored the lone goal  of the match on a very quick counter attack by the Red Raiders, blasting past East Gaston midfield standout, Kylie Payne, and defender, Emily Ingle, to send home a goal on sophomore backup keeper Ayanna Reid in the 4th minute of play. Reid normally is a defender and was filling in for senior Sydney Heffner for this match.

After the initial shock of the goal, East Gaston played fundamentally sound soccer throughout the rest of the match. Freshman strikers, Kristen Calhoun and Stephanie Aguilar frustrated the defense of South Point almost all evening. South Point’s back line of Methodist College signee, Christine Ellington, along with Mandy Donaldson,  Elizabeth “Eli” McEwan, and Julia Ratchford had their hands full containing the penetrating runs of the youngsters.

Coach John Miller’s squad used frequent substitutions to apparently rest the legs of his players in this early season test. Seniors Gerry Le and Abbey Gensch ably led the Raider midfield with solid support from 2008 Miss South Point, Kaley Rivera, and a rotating series of wing players.

Freshman, Paige Donaldson, and sophomore, Shannon Holder, rotated in and out all evening giving the South Point women much needed speed and added an interesting element to the attack. Diamond Davis was definitely the story for the Raiders on this evening. The freshman phenom has speed, an aggressive quality, and the desire to shoot every chance down the pitch. She is a raw talent that will need to be nurtured because the frustration element against older, stronger defenders was apparent late in the match.

Junior keeper, Gabby Bevlin, who transferred after last season from Highland Tech, stepped up big time by directing the squad from behind. Her chatter was very professional and kept the SP defense focused. East Gaston’s shooters, Kylie Payne, Sadie Schronce and Kristen Calhoun were met by fast hands and solid physical play by Bevlin.

Probably the biggest standout of the evening was an unassuming player named Crystal Ocasio of East Gaston. She wears number 9 and played in the left defensive back position and midfield wing position. As a sophomore, she displayed a maturity and talent beyond her years given the speed of the SP attack. Several times she stripped Davis of the ball and cleanly cleared along the left touchline.

Ocasio shined inthe final 10 minutes of the match as tempers began to flare between the squads. Julia Ratchford was called for a foul deep in her defensive corner (receiving a stern warning from the referee) about 20 yards from goal. Ocasio placed a perfect direct free kick into the box, which Bevlin saved. Talk about a bit of breath holding by the Raider fans!

Within stoppage time, Ocasio placed another direct free kick smack into an onrushing SP keeper, anybody else, it would have been a goal. Bevlin came up big time with what turned out to be the final play of the match.

On Thursday night, South Point will face defending Gazette Cup champions, Kings Mountain,  who beat an outclassed North Gaston squad, 11-0. KM, last springs 3A regional finalists lost 9 players to graduation, but still remains big, fast, and strong. Kings Mountain has several fast midfielders and strikers, and are not afraid to match up defensively body-for-body. The match will be held at Martha Rivers Park in Gastonia. Admission is $4 and funds from the event go to the Gazette “Newspapers In Education” program.

Big South Conference Outlook 

This spring’s Big South Conference will be an exciting one with what we are terming the most “level playing field” over the past several years. Six of the seven schools have legitimate shots at winning the conference title this season.

Hunter Huss and Ashbrook are the early season favorites, but don’t overlook East Gaston, Forestview, Crest, or South Point. Each squad is loaded with experienced year-around club players.

Huss played a very good match against Highland Tech last week and displayed some defensive moxie and speed along the wings and a super keeper.

Forestview has a good midfield and creative coaches. Ashbrook has a new coach, and a positive attitude along with solid midfielders.

Crest, as always, draws good Cleveland County club players and possess speedy attackers.

Only North Gaston will struggle this season. They had a great corp of freshman last year that seemed to disappear as the season progressed.

Looking forward to the start of a new soccer season, as always, here on the Belmont Front Porch.

March 4, 2008 at 10:16 pm Leave a comment

Headlines sell papers, content brings them back

Often, we are stirred to emotional response by the headlines of a “news” article, opinion page, and yes, even a blog headline.

A current article in today’s Gazette makes us chuckle a bit: “How Liquor Stores Stack Up in Gaston County”.

At first glance, without reading the article, one would think (even the simpletons who edit these pages), that we have stacks of ABC stores in our backwoods lovin’ neighborhoods.

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You could have a stack of books, a stack of boxes, or a stack of pallets, but stacking up liquor stores?

Of course it made us look — you did too if you clicked on the link or read it in the paper.

The content of the story is trying to make a case to combine all the community’s ABC boards into one (Re: Gastonia), and to point out that the smaller towns don’t know how to market their local operations. And of course, the Gastonia ABC general manager points out that people want to shop at larger, well lit stores. (Re: Gastonia –Cox Road or Long Avenue).

Well, we haven’t seen either dirty or poorly lit stores in either Cramerton or Mt. Holly. Yes, the selection of product is smaller, and as most retail outlets will demonstrate, product offerings tend to follow local consumer demand. Certain items that sell well at Cox Road might not do well or even be offered at Mt. Holly. We get a kick out of the fact that a Harris Teeter is nearby the Cox Road store, and “Always Low Prices” Food Lion is next to the Cramerton and Mt. Holly stores.

Hmmm…

Mt. Holly and Cramerton have Belmont’s business depending on which side of town you are coming from. It certainly is more convenient most of the time to shop locally.

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Good for the Gazette trying to imply that the yokels outside of Gastonia don’t know what they are doing. It certainly sold a couple of papers.

February 29, 2008 at 2:36 pm Leave a comment

HOORAY !!! BannerNews Online Fulltime !!

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Congratulations to our local hometown paper the BannerNews on their launch of an online version of the weekly paper. The Belmont Front Porch has added your link under our column of “websites of interest” (below).

We sincerely welcome Republic Newspapers and the reporters and editors of the Belmont Banner and Mt. Holly News to the 21st century and wish them well.

As we have noted before, as subscribers and neighbors, we DO appreciate your efforts to report on the “Good News”, as former editor Dwight Frady would often comment. Your commitment to the communities is evident by this upgrade to your service.  

This particular development, after a few trial and error “semi-launches”, is particularly welcome after the Observer announced continued cutbacks to its service in Gaston County. Recently, the Observer announced that it would only publish the Gaston/Lincoln Neighbors section on Sundays.

The BannerNews, by adding the online edition will fill a small part of the weekly good news void for those people who use the internet on a regular basis. It is a great resource for our children,  former neighbors, and grandchildren who have moved away from the area.

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February 22, 2008 at 10:59 am Leave a comment

Chalk one more up for Mt. Holly – Warriors manhandle rival Raiders

Oh well, for all the fussin’ that goes on at the younger ages through youth developmental sports, South Point just can’t seem to get it together for basketball.

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Coach Barkley certainly doesn’t have to worry over his job performance. Of course, basketball at the high school level in North Carolina is not the revenue-producer of the football programs. But can’t we try at least to develop some basketball players in the area?

Not to take away from the valiant players that make the commitment to play for South Point, but they just can’t play this sport too well. We cheer, we wince at shots taken, we watch a bit of hot-dogging and ball-hogging, but synchronicity is not a hallmark of SP basketball. It is not as if South Point is without talented athletes. We have seen them on the soccer field, football field, and baseball field. They run track/cross country, and play golf.

The middle school teams seem to perform well year after year, why does this not translate to performance at the high school level? Several players on this year’s squads, JV and varsity, even have given up participation in other sports and activities to focus on basketball (their words).

It can’t be lack of gym time at any level. Nobody is allowed on courts except for the gym classes.

Since this season is a wash-out, we can always turn to next season. Maybe the coach could spend some time on the fundamentals and read a thing or two about recruiting from the hallways.

February 20, 2008 at 2:23 pm Leave a comment

CaroMont, YMCA partner for healthier community

Here is a good community investment:

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CaroMont Healthcare, the for-profit management group which owns Gaston Memorial Hospital, and the Gaston County Family YMCA have partnered to offer wellness program opportunities to the communities.

Each of the YMCA branches will be hosts to a Nurse Practioner to provide health screenings, classes, and other programs as part of the overall Activate America program.

The YMCA  and CaroMont are two of the partners in the Gaston Community Health Care Commission and the Get Fit! Gaston program.

This is a good use of community reinvestment dollars and brings together two leading providers of critical need services to Gaston County.

January 13, 2008 at 2:10 pm Leave a comment

Grier wins MS boys soccer 3-0

Ok, so we were off by a goal.

Our prediction for the season only missed Belmont being in the final 4 and Mt. Holly’s success this season.

Great season, Grier !

Gazette Article

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December 20, 2007 at 11:02 am Leave a comment

$2 Billion in construction and payrolls and 14,000 jobs projected for Montcross by 2035

Bill Monroe of WGM Design of Charlotte addressed a crowded Belmont Chamber of Commerce function at The Haid on the campus of Belmont Abbey College tonight.

Monroe shared the vision and master plan of the Montcross project that is expected to cost over a billion dollars to construct and provide jobs for 14,000 people, with an additional economic impact of almost $1 billion by 2035. Steelwood Solutions assisted with the impact study of the overall project.

steelwood-property-development-case-study.pdf

The meeting was attended by local politicians, real estate agents, small business owners, homeowners, and “other interested parties” – namely four members of the BFP editorial staff.

The Abbey, represented by Dr. Thierfelder, Abbott Placid, Monte Monteleone, and  the college development staff welcomed the visitors and updated everyone on the recent successes of the College. Dr. Thierfelder reported that the Abbey enrollment had exceeded 1,300 students this school year. Applications for the coming year will push enrollment up to 1,600 for the fall of 2008. The goal of the college is to reach a maximum enrollment of 2,500 students in the next twenty years.

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Monroe reviewed the 17-year history of WGM Design’s relationship with the Abbey, by noting that the master plan has continually changed and evolved over the years. The partnership with the Stowe-Pharr-Parkdale was reviewed and how the Montcross Development came to be known.

He described each parcel of the plan in pretty good detail.

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Yes, Cracker Barrel is interested. Recent changes in Cracker Barrel management have caused the operation to seek the property behind the Bi-Lo instead of next to the Hampton Inn. A medical office complex is planned for that parcel, explained Monroe. But there have been managerial changes so the Abbey is just waiting to see what they will decide to pursue.

Many “national chain restaurants” have inquired about the strip of land next to Nyoshi back toward the Wal-Mart. From the drawings, it appears that 5, maybe 6 parcels for restaurants are available in this strip. One restaurant chain was insisting on a parcel along Wilkinson Boulevard, next to the Handy Lube. However, that would involve rezoning the property from Business Campus to Highway Business. One of the main battlefronts during the Wal-Mart “debate” was the zoning ordinances and ultimate process of rezoning that was predicted.

Looks like this prediction will be coming to fruition in the coming months. Monroe commented that they would be talking to city officials in the near future about this rezoning application.

Monroe gave a polite tip of the hat to former council member, Becky Burch (who wasn’t present) by confirming that a cafeteria chain had inquired about the old Harris-Teeter section of the Abbey Plaza. That confirmation allowed a fist-in-the-air celebration by none other than Dot Martin, wife of council member Charlie Martin. Seems that someone’s agendas are going to be completed. Monroe pointed out that nothing has been finalized.

Rose’s was discussed briefly. Apparently Rose’s renewed their lease and business has actually increased since Wal-Mart’s opening. Monroe described that Rose’s prices are lower than Wal-Mart’s and that has led to a resurging sales tally for the retail anchor in Abbey Plaza.

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Dunkin’ Donuts will be opening a section in the Exxon structure on the corner of Wilkinson and Park. Not a stand alone building.

He discussed the north section of the plan – the Parkdale section – the old Acme Mill village and Woodlawn Avenue area will become home to two and three story office complexes. The first is scheduled to have plans presented to city council in the first quarter of the New Year. Guess that means no park in North Belmont after all.

The far western section, the Pharr-owned area (just east of “The Slide”) will become a site for multi-family (apartments) and another nearby section needs to be re-designed after it was revealed that some of the land was once used for a landfill. Gee, anyone who has lived here for more than a few years could’ve told you what was in that area before you made pretty drawings of houses.

The section of Stowe land just west of The Oaks will house 4 and 5 story office buildings similar to the Ballantyne project and will be visible from I-85. So long green forested interstate buffers.

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Land to the Northeast of the expanded campus will become a medical park, a senior retirement community of apartments and assisted living centers. The final jewel in the plan is a section at exit #27 of 4 story office buildings. This section alone will draw $400,000,000 of investment and develop about 7,000 jobs. Monroe explained that developers and the Abbey will build a road that would traverse the area from Hwy 273 to Belmont-Mt. Holly Road. He hinted that the Gaston County Economic Development Commission could also find funding for this road.

Monroe entertained several questions from the audience. Deposed council member, Irl Dixon was concerned over the A&W property and the Nyoshi/Burger King building. Yum! Brands, Inc. holds a long-term lease of the former Long John Silver/A&W building and is still paying rent to the Benedictines.

Sindy Maxwell of the Belmont Planning & Zoning Board asked about the land area within the Belmont City limits. All but the western section in McAdenville and a small 40-acre section in Mt. Holly below the Mt. Holly water tower, Monroe responded.

He noted that one additional small strip of land east of the Arby’s in Belmont toward the river would be used for small “incubator” types of office structures. There is space for about ten small buildings in this section.

A homeowner living near the now-closed Stowe Spinning Mill was concerned about what would be replacing the Spinning Mill. Monroe said that section was not part of the project and he didn’t know what was planned.

Overall, it was a good presentation, factual and to the point. Reporters for the Gazette, Observer and Banner were represented so we should be reading their take of the meeting in a day or so…These folks were seen sidling up to the principals after the meeting concluded, so we met in the parking lot to share notes. Thought about meeting at the Holy Grounds coffee shop, “serving Starbucks products”, as Mr. Monroe described, but decided that our identities were more important than hob-knobing.

Congratulations to Ted Hall and the Belmont Chamber of Commerce for exceeding their goal of making it to 300 memberships for 2008. They will have 304, and as Chamber Board Chair Paul Lowrance noted, “the fastest growing Chamber in the Southeast”.

December 13, 2007 at 11:26 pm 1 comment

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