Two Patriot wrestlers are champions at county tourney

By Frank Smithwick

Sports Writer
frank@minthilltimes.com

Eighteen schools participated in the two-day Al Kessie Mecklenburg County Wrestling Tournament held at Olympic High School this past weekend. 
The tournament is named after a former coach and athletic director in CMS who started the tournament many years ago. 
From Mint Hill, Independence, Rocky River, and first time participant Queens Grant wrestled. 
Queens Grant came away with one place winner, Connor Day, who took fourth place at 145 lbs. Rocky River had one place winner as well, Seth Johnson, who came in fourth place in the 195 lbs. weight class.
The Independence wrestling team came in third in team points without a full lineup.
Independence entered the tournament with a chance to be in contention for a top two finish. This goal was hindered when Indy began the tournament without three of its regular starters: Robert Merli (126 lbs.), Devin Taylor (138  lbs.) and Charlie Kurtz (220  lbs.). These three wrestlers have combined for 34 wins this year for the Patriots. Missing these wrestlers meant that other Indy wrestlers had to do well over the two-day tournament to make up points lost by not entering a full team. At the end of the second day, Indy had four wrestlers place in the top four. Tashon Risher came in fourth place at 170 lbs. and  Josh Matos came in second place at 182 lbs. Indy did crown two champions: Junior Brian Tiderman(195 lbs.) and senior Demetree Hardison (285 lbs.). This was the third county championship for Tiderman and the second for Hardison. 
Share

A player, a teacher, and a flyer: Bill Hanna

Bill Hanna plays the trombone at his home in Mint Hill. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

He was born in Louisville, Ky., the only place his father could find textile work during the Great Depression. After living there for only one year, the family made their way back to North Carolina, living in 36 different addresses in cities across the state: Burlinton, Shelby, Rutherfordton, Mooresville, Rockingham, and others. 

In those days, Hanna had no intention of becoming a musician. He had started playing the piano in first and second grade, but did not start playing again until he was 25. He picked up the trombone in the sixth grade, but after three different schools in three years, all without a band, he fell out of practice.
Back in Mooresville in the tenth grade, he joined the band, having to play catch-up with his friends, who had been playing since the sixth grade.
After high school, Hanna wasn’t sure on a career, and was accepted at Davidson College, where he began business school.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to study,” Hanna said. “I didn’t want to be a preacher, and I didn’t want to be a doctor, so the only thing left was to be a businessman.” 
By the end of his junior year, Hanna’s grades weren’t up to snuff, and in 1954, he was drafted into the army.
At Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., Hanna got started in the army band, avoiding heavy weapons or infantry duty. And one night, he heard some music.
“I got inspired one night, because I heard some fellows playing in the barracks, they were jamming you know, playing jazz,” Hanna said.
Share

Ravens drop heartbreaker to Sun Valley, 49-46

In a see-saw battle, the Rocky River Ravens boys’ basketball team was beaten on their home court by the Sun Valley Spartans last Friday night 49-46. These two teams met just nine days earlier on the Spartans’ home floor with Sun Valley prevailing 45-42. Although the margin of victory for the Spartans was the same the second time around, the Ravens nearly came out with a win this time. This was an evenly matched game from the start.

The Ravens and Spartans both played stingy, albeit different, zone defenses. New head coach Jason Buzzard’s Ravens periodically switched from a standard 2-3 defense to a trapping 1-3-1. Both types were effective at times.  Sun Valley stayed in an active matchup 2-3 zone that the Ravens had a hard time penetrating.  The defenses really dictated the flow of the game, that is to say, there wasn’t any.  Most of the scoring in the first half was from loose balls and turnovers.  The two teams’ zone offenses had their moments but for the most part were ineffective.  The Ravens lead at the end of the first quarter 13-10 and 27-24 at the half.

Both teams made adjustments at the half.  Sun Valley was able to get the ball inside the Ravens’ zone in the first two minutes of the half and grabbed the lead 30-29.  Rocky River was intent on pressing the Spartans, hoping for some turnovers which would lead to easy buckets.  It worked to a degree but the Ravens also committed more fouls in the frenetic pace. The Spartans outscored the Ravens 15-7 in the third quarter and led 39-34 to start the fourth quarter.

Continue reading

Share

Rocky River girls dominate Sun Valley, 49-36

By Kevin Baker

Sports Writer
kevin@minthilltimes.com

The Rocky River Ravens girls’ basketball team defeated the game but overmatched the Sun Valley Spartans last Friday night 49-36 on the Ravens’ home court. This was the second time the Ravens and Spartans have played this year. The Ravens won the first meeting, at Sun Valley, 39-36.
The Raven girls had to come from behind in that game to pull out the win. There was no such drama this time around. The final score was not indicative of the Ravens’ dominance.
The Ravens were intent to set the tempo from the beginning. They won the tap and immediately went inside the lane. The shot was missed, but the strategy was apparent. Rocky River wanted to push the pace. In fact, both teams came out of the locker room pressing full court. This seemed to play right into the Ravens’ girls hands as they shot out to a 16-5 lead. Sun Valley fought back to 16-10 in the last minute of the first quarter. Rocky River had the ball last and worked the clock down for the last shot. Senior Center Aliyah Hason scored on a pretty inside move at the buzzer and the quarter ended with Rocky River leading 18-10.
Share

Two Patriot wrestlers are champions at county tourney

By Frank Smithwick

Sports Writer
frank@minthilltimes.com

Eighteen schools participated in the two-day Al Kessie Mecklenburg County Wrestling Tournament held at Olympic High School this past weekend. 
The tournament is named after a former coach and athletic director in CMS who started the tournament many years ago. 
From Mint Hill, Independence, Rocky River, and first time participant Queens Grant wrestled. 
Queens Grant came away with one place winner, Connor Day, who took fourth place at 145 lbs. Rocky River had one place winner as well, Seth Johnson, who came in fourth place in the 195 lbs. weight class.
The Independence wrestling team came in third in team points without a full lineup.
Share

UPDATED: Mint Hill teen’s body found

The body of missing Mint Hill teen Kayla Campbell was recovered from a pond near Mint Hill approximately 12:15 am Thursday.

The pond, on Sable-Cap Road, is where her bicycle, helmet, and cell phone were found earlier. Investigator’s accepted a local contractor’s offer to drain the pond, installing four pumps on Wednesday, December 12.

The cause of death is still being determined and investigators are still working to find out what happened.

Ten extra counselors were on hand at Independence High School, where Kayla was a student, to help students grieve.

Anyone with information about Campbell, or who could have seen her Sunday, is asked to call the Mint Hill Police Department at 704-545-1085.

For earlier stories and links, click “continue reading.”

Continue reading

Share