Wainwrights of Mint Hill meet Obama

The Wainwright family of Mint Hill was visiting the Mast General Store in Banner Elk on Monday when they got a surprise visit from President Obama. The president arrived as they were in the store.
“The Secret Service were scanning customers and their bags. A PR man was advising everyone that the president would be there in five minutes. He said we should shop normally,” Casey Wainwright said. “Photographers lined one wall as the president came in, smiling and shaking hands. Everyone gathered around to see him.”
The family consisted of Mason (13 months), grandparents (Suzanne and Buddy), and great-grandmother (Onetta Black).
Suzanne was holding Mason as he held out his arms to the president and Obama took him in his arms. “Immediately cameras started clicking and President Obama asked how old Mason was. He said he was a good looking boy as I managed to tell him that Mason was one-year-old,” Casey explained. The chief White House photographer gave Casey his card and told her to e-mail him for photographs.
“After the president was gone, we were barred from leaving the store until Obama had left the area,” Casey said. “He boarded a big black bus with many other black vehicles following him. What a day!”
Story and Photo by Casey Wainwright


Football Previews

Rocky River Ravens

3-5 (1-3, Southwestern 4A)


Independence Patriots

7-1 (3-1, Southwestern 4A)

Patriot Stadium in Mint Hill

Friday at 7pm


It’s Homecoming for Independence High School as the Patriots host cross-town rival Rocky River Friday night.  The Patriots will try to keep pace with Butler and Ardrey Kell in the Southwestern 4A Conference race.

Rocky River is coming off a dominating 35-0 win over East Meck.  Look for the Ravens to utilize Junior Quarterback Andre Rice on offense.  His six touchdown passes and three scores on the ground lead the team in both categories.  Rice’s mobility and versatility will be a challenge for the Patriot defenders.

Watch for Indy’s utility-man Jason Connella on their side of the ball.  Connella has been used as a quarterback, tight-end, running back, and punter this season.  He is also the holder on field goals and extra points, which creates more opportunities to fake those kicks when needed.

Last week Head Coach Bill Geiler talked about why Connella is being used in various positions.

“We had to get him on the field.  He’s one of the best athletes out there.  We tried him on defense, but he’s not a defensive guy.  At tight-end he could do it, he’s 200 pounds.  He’s gained weight and he’s strong.  We said, ‘Let’s get him on the field and see what he can do.’”


Butler Bulldogs

6-1 (4-0, Southwestern 4A)


Providence Panthers

1-6 (1-3, Southwestern 4A)

Eagles Stadium in Charlotte

Friday at 7pm


Butler goes to Providence High School on Friday with sole possession of first place in the Southwestern 4A Conference.  The Bulldogs are coming off a thrilling 43-40 win over Ardrey Kell last week.  Quarterback Riley Ferguson orchestrated a game-winning drive in the final two minutes, hitting brother Zach for the game winning touchdown from the 12-yard line.

Providence has some play-makers, but the two-time defending state champions should be in full control of this game by halftime.


Southwestern 4A Conference Standings

Butler 4-0

Ardrey Kell 3-1

Independence 3-1

South Meck 2-2

Myers Park 2-2

Providence 1-3

Rocky River 1-3

East Meck 0-4


By Jamie Jamison