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Football Preview: Independence Patriots

Andrew Stark

Opening Act

The Patriots returned to their dominating form of the early to mid 2000s last year and parlayed their first conference title in years into an undefeated regular season and state championship aspirations. Those dreams were shattered with a second round loss to Hough, but new coach Justin Hardin has a track record of success and inherits a talented roster hungry to prove 2104 was just the beginning.

Offense

The offense returns just one starter in running back Quantavious McGill, but he’s a good one. McGill got stronger as the year went on and became the Patriots’ lead back. As a junior, McGill gained more than 1,000 rushing yards and scored 16 touchdowns despite sharing carries. This year, he likely gets more of the workload and is in line for a huge year.

Quarterback Christian McPhail started one game last year and threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns during the year. The bad news is McPhail threw three interceptions, completed just over 50 percent of his passes and isn’t the runner of Kelvin Hopkins, Independence’s star last year who accounted for more than 2,600 yards of offense and 39 touchdowns in 2014. […]

Patriot Life Line orients incoming IHS freshmen

By Leah Schmalz

Attending Independence High School for the first time this fall? Stop by the school on August 13 from 2 to 5 pm for Patriot Life Line, an orientation event.

“Patriot Life Line is a way for our rising ninth graders to be introduced to the campus,” said IHS history teacher Tamara Babulski. “We just want as many upcoming freshman as possible to come so they’re not overwhelmed.”

Members of the Indy Dream Team and student council will lead games and show groups of ninth graders around the campus. These upperclassmen then act as mentors for the students throughout the year, answering any questions and offering support.  […]

Army’s season falls on hard times

It turns out the third time was not the charm for the Mint Hill Army Juniors American Legion baseball team.

The team used a mid-season push to reel off 11 consecutive wins, turning an unassuming 5-5 beginning into a 16-5 record that had them poised to make a deep run in the legion playoffs.

With its momentum and late-season surge, the Army won the regional championship and was in high spirits as the team headed to Granite Falls to take on Davidson County.

But it didn’t go as planned.

“We had a real good practice three days before we left,” said coach Dan Kerr, who is Queen’s Grant’s athletics director, head baseball coach and guided the 2013 Army to the state title. “We were playing really well, everyone was really high on our chances, we were working as a team and then I’m not sure what happened other than saying we lost those games we didn’t get beat. That’s basically what it boiled down to.” […]

MHAA is thriving, planning for growth

By Andrew Stark

Since 1972, the Mint Hill Athletic Association has been providing kids in the area a chance to play recreational sports and offering all of the benefits that go with teambuilding, competition and good sportsmanship.

This year the association has added boys and girls tennis and wants to add lacrosse at some point in the future, but must first overcome the biggest issue the association faces, which is space.

The association uses the fields at Independence High School, Northeast Middle and Mint Hill Park on Hwy. 218, but is still having to turn away kids in its biggest sports. […]