Independence outlasts Rocky River in Mint Hill football showdown

The Independence Patriots and the Rocky River Ravens faced off on Friday for an important 4A Southwestern Conference game. The Patriots came into the game with an overall record of 7-1 and 4-0 in conference. The home-standing Ravens were 6-2 and 3-1. Both teams appear headed for the playoffs, and this game would play a part in future playoff match ups.

This game was a back and forth affair between two evenly matched teams.

Independence kicked off and the game was on. After a first down, Ravens senior quarterback Andre Rice attempted his first pass. The pass was promptly picked off by the Patriots’ sophomore defensive back Cordell McMurray who returned it to the Rocky River 33 yard line.

The Patriots wasted no time taking advantage of the sudden change of possession. On the first play senior quarterback Jason Connella connected with wide receiver Jamar Jenkins, only a sophomore, on a deep pass down the right sideline for a gain of 29 yards.

From four yards out, the Patriots were able to pound the ball into the end zone. Connella scored the touchdown on a quarterback sneak. The extra point was blocked but the Patriots led early 6-0. The teams exchanged punts until the Ravens offense exploded. After a first down, senior running back James House burst through a big hole on the left side and juked his way through the Patriots’ secondary for a 41 yard touchdown run. The extra point was missed and the game was tied 6-6.

The excitement in the first quarter was far from over. After the Ravens’ kickoff, Connella hit Patriots’ senior wide receiver Dequan Barnes on a 65-yard bomb. Barnes had gotten wide open behind the Ravens’ secondary and Connella hit him in stride for the score.

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Resident works to bring new sport to Mint Hill

 

Mark Guion is bringing a new sport to Mint Hill: paddle tennis.

Mark Guion explains paddle ten- nis at the demonstra- tion at the park on Wilgrove, October 14. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Paddle tennis is a variation of its classic namesake, played with wooden paddles, a deadened ball, a smaller court, and a shorter net.

Guion, a resident of Mint Hill, discovered the game while on vacation in Venice Beach, California, started playing, and “absolutely loved it.”

Upon returning to Mint Hill, Guion couldn’t find any courts in the area, but started to play at the Park on Wilgrove, marking off

the smaller courts from the regular tennis courts.

Today, Guion is working to replace the old, unused basketball court at the park with two paddle tennis courts, circulating a petition, which has more than 300 signatures.

The goals were removed from the court years ago, the asphalt is weathered and cracked, and the dimensions are ideal for two paddle tennis courts.

Guion has been in contact with town commissioners and lions club and will be presenting the proposal to the parks and recreation committee at its November 13 meeting.

According to Guion, there are no paddle tennis courts in the area, and the United States Paddle Tennis Association has shown interest in coming to the Charlotte area to host clinics and promote the game.

“I’d love for Mint Hill to be the place where people would have to come to play,” Guion said. “If anybody knows of or wants to try it out, they would have to come here, because there is nowhere else available.”

Guion is optimistic about the success of the proposal, based on the interest and feedback from the community.

Mark Guion hopes Mint Hill will become a new paddle tennis location for enthusiasts of the sport.

“The amount of people I’ve talked to, the number of signatures I’m getting, the level of interest from those folks, I think there’s a pretty good shot,” Guion said.

Guion hosted a demonstration of the sport at the park on Wilgrove Sunday, October 14, explaining the game and showing attendees how to play.

Tom Campbell, a resident of Matthews, attended the demonstration, and while he has never played paddle tennis before Sunday, he supports replacing the basketball court with paddle tennis courts.

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News Notes & Happenings

FREE HOCKEY DAY FOR CHILDREN

The Charlotte Metro Hockey Association invites boys and girls ages four to nine years old to the Extreme Ice Center Saturday, November 3 from 1:30-3 pm for a Try Hockey for Free clinic to experience ice hockey for the first time and learn the basics of the sport in a fun and safe environment. To register for one of the 500 plus Try Hockey for Free opportunities, visit www.tryhockeyforfree.com or contact Brandy Mills at marketing@xicenter .com.

HONOR RIDE

On Saturday, October 20, the Military Family LifeStyle Charitable Foundation is hosting the 3rd Annual Honor the Warriors Bike Ride at the park on Fairview in Mint Hill, 8850 Fairview Road. The ride will benefit soldiers and their families, and will include barbecue and music. There are three routes for riders, at 15, 34, and 66 miles. The entry fee is $30.00 per rider for early registration and $35.00 on race day, and start times for the races are 8, 9:30, and 10:30 am.

GOLF TOURNAMENT

The Mint Hill American Legion Baseball Team will host a golf tournament Monday, October 29, at 9 am at Olde Sycamore. The cost is $400 per team with the $100 hole sponsors. For more information, call Steve Baucom at 704-507-1526 or Bryan Bunn at 704-264-9273. Register online at www.mhlegion.com.

BILL JAMES TO SPEAK AT LIONS MEETING

Mecklenburg County Commissioner Bill James, who is run- ning for reelection to represent district 6 will be the guest speaker at the October 23 meeting of the Mint Hill Lions Club. The Mint Hill Lions meet the second and fourth Tuesday evenings at Jimmies Restaurant. Meeting begins at 7 pm, space will be limited. Those who plan to attend, email the Lions Club at minthilllions@gmail .com.

CHAMBER MEETING

The annual Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce meeting will be October 25, from 11:30 am to 1 pm at Pine Lake Country Club. The keynote speaker will be Colonel Quincy Collins, USAF, Retired. RSVP required, $20 at the door. Email sandymint hillmad@yahoo.com.

FALL BASEBALL CAMP

The Mint Hill American Legion Baseball Team program is hosting a fall Baseball camp October 27 and 28 from 9 am until 3 pm at Butler High School. The cost of the camp is $40 per player per day. Contact Steve Baucom at 704-507- 1526 or Bryan Bunn at 704- 264-9273 for more informa- tion. To register online, go to www.mhlegion.com.

GOLF TOURNAMENT

The Mint Hill American Le- gion Baseball Team is posting a golf tournament Monday, October 29 at 9 am at Olde Sycamore. The cost is $400 per team with the $100 hole sponsors. Contact Steve Baucom at 704-507- 1526 or Bryan Bunn at 704- 264-9273 for more information. To register online, go to www.mhlegion.com.

BARBECUE

Stallings United Methodist Church will have a barbecue Friday, October 19 for lunch and dinner from 10 am until 8 pm. The barbecue will be eat in or carry out. For $8 the choices are a BBQ plate (chicken or pork, slaw, roll, beans, dessert, and drink), three BBQ sandwiches, or bulk BBQ weighing approximately one pound. For more information, call 704-821-8820.

LYME SUPPORT GROUP

The Central North Carolina Chapter of the National Lyme Disease Association holds support group meetings the second Saturday of each month from 1-4 pm at Queens Grant High School, 10323 Idlewild Road, Matthews N.C. 28105. Anyone with experience with Lyme or who would like to learn more about the disease is invited to attend.

INDY CLASS REUNION

The Independence High School class of 1967 class reunion will be October 20 at Jimmie’s Restaurant. Social hour is from 6-7 pm, followed by dinner. For more information, contact Regena Brown at brownregena@yahoo.com.

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Independence students compete to feed the hungry

This fall, the Academy of International Studies at Independence High School is competing to feed the hungry.

The competition is the Student Hunger Drive of the Carolinas, a competition among more than 20 schools to donate food to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

This is Independence’s first year competing in the hunger drive, which started in 2010 with 12 schools, but has since grown, serving Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, Lancaster, and surrounding counties.

Syndie Fleener is director of AIS at Independence, a school within a school that focuses on global education, a part of that being community service and this year, the hunger drive.

“This whole hunger drive is so fantastic,” Fleener said. “To see these teenagers get so involved in this.”

The school that donates the most will receive $2,500, and the runner-up $1,000. Other awards are given for most improved and student MVP, and each school that donates 5,000 pounds is given a $200 cash prize.

To date, the competition has donated 150,000 pounds of food in its two-year history, and last year, Ardrey Kell won the competition, donating 18,000 pounds. The competition kicked off with a talent show at Second Harvest, with hundreds of students attending and watching the other schools perform.

“It was fantastic to see hundreds of kids at the Second Harvest Food Bank—teenagers you know, really caring about the community,” Fleener said.

The competition lasts until November 14, when all the food will be weighed, and the winners announced. To date, Fleener says Independence hasn’t weighed their donations, but they’ve got 10 boxes of food, and the barrels that they use for donating are already full again.

“The kids have been wonderful,” Fleener said. “They’ve gone out into their communities and asked for donations—we have gotten so many donations. So far, it’s been really a big success.”

To donate, bring food to Independence High School anytime, preferably canned goods, or send the food in with a student.

To stay up to date on the hunger drive, follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hungerdrivecarolina.

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Chamber says thanks for successful Madness

Thank you from the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce.

The Mint Hill chamber would like to say “Thank You” for all the support it received from the Town of Mint Hill and the various committees that made this year’s Mint Hill Madness a great time and was thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Special thanks to Town Manager Brian Welch, Mayor Ted Biggers, the commissioners, police and fire departments and especially Tim Garner and the entire maintenance department.

The chamber has received very positive feedback from the many attendees, local business owners, and sponsors as well.

This year was the 30th anniversary of Madness, and it’s incredible to see how much it has grown over the years.

Thank you for helping to make it a success.

Rich Ferretti President Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce

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Clear Creek Animal Hospital hosts fourth open house

A poodle is dressed as “Doose,” a cross between a duck and goose, for the dog costume show. PHOTOS BY DEREK LACEY

On Saturday, Clear Creek Animal Hospital hosted their 4th annual open house.

Events and festivities included tours, a dog costume show, demonstrations by Dog Training in Your Home, Tails of Hope Rescue, adoptable pets, and representatives from Royal Canin Dog Food and C-Vets.

“It’s been really good for us,” said Dr. David Gallagher, veterinarian at Clear Creek. “People get to come by and see the hospital, see what we do in the back, areas where they don’t normally get to go, and we try to have some fun events for people.”

Nena Boon, office manager at Clear Creek, said that every year, the open house gets a little bigger, and meeting people is one of the best aspects of the event.

“Just getting to know people in the neighborhood is always wonderful,” said Boon.

The main difference between this year’s open house is that it was held in the fall instead of the spring, and the weather turned out just right.

Also, being closer to Halloween, better costumes showed up for the dog show,

with attendees’ dogs dressed as anything from college mascots to lizards. Continue reading

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