Vandals caught at MH athletic fields

Two groups of teenagers have been caught vandalizing MHAA soccer fields, causing over $6,000 in damages. 

Teenagers were caught vandalizing the Mint Hill Athletic Association fields.  They agreed to community service at the fields to avoid criminal charges.  Last week, another group was caught vandalizing the fields, and their parents will pay thousands of dollars for the repairs.
The MHAA fields have seen some level of vandalism the last three summers, but the association says it is not going to put up with it any longer.
The juveniles rolled over picnic tables and did doughnuts on the U6 and U7 soccer fields.  In a span of eight days the fields were vandalized three times.  The police have been involved and are not releasing any names, since it is a civil matter.  The damages are estimated at over $6,000, and the association is considering putting up fences.
“It’s never been this bad,” said Keenan Harward, soccer commissioner at MHAA.  “It means fees go up and fewer kids can play soccer.”
Harward wants the community to be aware of what is happening.  “I think the community needs to know because MHAA serves the community.  We raise money from the community.”  The soccer program is accepting charitable donations to help repair the fields.  For more information, email


Fall sports registration

Mint Hill Athletic Association fall sports registration ends this month.  Soccer is available for children ages three to 16, football for ages six to 13, and baseball for ages five to 16.  Registration end dates vary from August 14 to August 24, depending on the sport.  Parents can register online at


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


No Little League World Series for MH this year

Myrtle Grove Optimist bounced Mint Hill little league from the state tournament last night. Team Mint Hill was one game away from going to the Southeast Regional in Gulfport, Fla., and from there a  trip  to Williamsport, Pa. for the Little League World Series.

Getting to the state championship game is an accomplishment, so nothing to hang their heads about. You’ll get’em next year!