Photos by Ron Morris
Over the last few weeks, the Independence wrestling team has been picking up wins and adding trophies to its collection. Over the holiday break, the Patriots went undefeated at the Clash at the Creek (5-0) to earn first place. Senior heavyweight Demtree Hardison was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler for his effort in leading Independence to […]
The Independence Lady Patriots basketball team lost in a back-and-forth match against the West Charlotte Lions last Tuesday, December 11.
The high scorer for Independence was Laquisha Taylor, with 21 points. Turnovers were again the Achille’s heel, as Independence started off strong, reaching a 15-6 by the end of the first quarter, and were only down […]
By Frank Smithwick
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.
Last Friday night, two teams about six miles apart met in the second round of the NCHSAA 4AA playoffs: Butler and Independence. It was a home game for Butler, but since their stadium can’t hold the expected numbers, the game was at Memorial Stadium in Charlotte.
This was the second time in three weeks that these two teams met, the first time being to decide the winner of the SW4A regular season conference. Butler came out on top during the first meeting, and Indy was hoping to change the outcome this time.
For nearly 50 years, the Independence Patriots football team has been celebrating every touchdown and field goal with the blast of a cannon, tallying their score on the eardrums of the entire town.
The tradition started in 1966, when Independence High School first opened, and principal Sam Haywood enrolled the school in a contest, one where the prize was a new mascot.
“This was going to be forever, he wanted us to have the opportunity to be part of something great,” said Doug Pressley, former Independence teacher who now manages operations of the cannon.
The contest was held by Lay’s Meats and radio station 61 AM Big Waves Radio, to see which school could collect the most Lay’s Meat labels.