Charlotte 49ers provide skills to Mint Hill players

U-7 Mint Hill soccer players scrimmage at the MHAA fields. Photo courtesy of Colleen Moss.

The Mint Hill Athletic Association has partnered with the University of North Carolina at Charlotte to provide skill sessions and summer camps for young soccer players. Keenan Harward, known to MHAA players and parents at Coach K, is the soccer coordinator and a UNCC alumnus. He contacted the Charlotte soccer team for a partnership last spring.

The soccer coaches at MHAA are volunteers and usually parents. They are able to coach children, but may not have the skill set to show players how to maneuver the ball. The UNCC men’s soccer team can provide professional demonstrations and instruction, and the kids love it.

“These kids light up when they see it,” said Coach K. It is exciting for them to learn from advanced players.

Sessions are broken up into age groups. Players rotate stations to learn a variety of skills, and then they scrimmage each other.

“We’re getting the kids to use those skills. Now you’ve learned them, lets use them in a game,” said Coach K.

Kyle Gookins, assistant head coach for the Charlotte 49ers, said he and his team enjoy providing skill sessions for the Mint Hill community. Athletic teams at UNCC are expected to provide a minimum number of community service hours.

“Almost all of our guys surpass that. Our guys are active in the community almost every week,” said Gookins. “We usually donate the most community service hours for athletics.”

The Charlotte soccer team’s philosophy is that discipline in all areas of life will maintain a discipline on the field. Not only are the players active in their community, but they have a team GPA of 3.3 and they played in the NCAA championship game, coming in second to UNC Chapel Hill 0-1.

Mint Hill’s green and white colors match UNCC’s, making trips to Charlotte games fun for MHAA players. Coach K organizes game nights for Mint Hill players and families.

The 49ers are offering a summer soccer camp the last week of July. Players of all ages are invited to sign up. For more information visit


Mint Hill 10-11 year old baseball all stars win state championship

Mint Hill Mustang pitcher. Photo by Roger Harding at

Mint Hill Mustang pitcher. Photo by Roger Harding at

The Mint Hill Mustangs beat North State tonight 6-2 in Greenville, NC to win the state championship in baseball. The 10-11 year old team lost in the previous game to North State to force the deciding championship game. To read the story, go to the Greenville Reflector. To see photos of the state championship games by the Mustangs, check out Roger Harding’s photos.


MHAA boys win Babe Ruth league


The Mint Hill Boys 14-15 year old baseball won the Union County Babe Ruth League this season with a record of 13-2. They were facing other teams such as Piedmont,Weddington, Indian Trail, and Parkwood. This is the first time any Mint Hill team has ever won this league.

Pictured: Back row left to right: Coach Steve Baucom, Cody Lekavich, Mitch Otis, Aaron Bevis,Ross Rushing, John Teague, John Hickes, Asst. Coach Jerry Otis. Front row left to right: Cameron Baucom, P.J. Sardinia, Austin Biddy, Kyle Ferrebee, Lane Polk. Not Pictured: Malachi Hanes, Asst Coach Ted Sardinia.


MHAA Mavericks win state championship


The Mint Hill Mavericks 9U All Star Team won Nations Baseball NC State Championship June 14th by defeating the Carolina Prowlers 6 to 4 in the final game. Front Row: Sean Donoghue, Nicki Melton, Nathan Brown, Mason Stickney, Garrett Losaw. Second Row: Ryan Ruettgers, Kyle Devine, Noah Mathis, Conor McGee, Christian Bailey, Charles Johnson.
Third Row: Coaches Dave Ruettgers, Jay Stickney, Mike Bailey and Lee Bailey. Not Pictured: Michael Leary.