Football Season Rolls On

Grier middle school football players celebrate their 8-0 win over Southwest in the Gaston County middle school football championship game at Hunter Huss High School on Tuesday October 28.

I shot no less than three football games this week; two high school games that were rescheduled (due to rain that never came) and the Gaston County middle school football championship.

If I had gone to the Panthers NFL game on Sunday I could have made it four days straight, but that probably would've sent me to the nuthouse! Besides, I had a fun and better-paying assignment on Sunday--more on that later.

In any event, I thought I'd blog my favorite photo from each game. Enjoy.

A member of the Bessemer City High School color guard (above) performs during halftime in a game between Lincolnton and Bessemer City on Monday October 27. Below: Brandon Stamey looks to evade North Lincoln defender Pat Sykes (#26) as he returns a kick off for Cherryville High School during game action on Saturday October 25.

Softball Champs!

Softball Champs!

Chavis pitcher Paige Wyont, above on right embraces catcher Eli Warlick after Chavis defeated Cramerton to win the Gaston County middle school softball championship game at Cherryville High on Thursday. This was the last middle school game for the eighth-graders. 

Softball championship

Cramerton runner Haley Caskey is forced out at second base by Caroline Stroupe of Chavis to put up the final out in the game.

A Cold Welcome for McCain

Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain waits in a vehicle with wife Cindy after arriving at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on his "Straight Talk Express" campaign jet on Friday October 17, 2008. McCain will be making a speach in Concord on Saturday.

The Gazette received a press release from the McCain campaign on Friday that lead us to believe the Senator would be speaking briefly after arriving at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport that evening.

My evening assignment to shoot a high school homecoming parade had been rained out, so with nothing else to do I was eager to shoot some national news.

As it turns out, the only thing I shot was McCain walking down the steps of is jet, getting in an SUV, and being whisked away in his motorcade without so much as a glance or a wave! I felt like some sort of paparazzi!

Apparently, the vague press release was simply notifying media when and where McCain would be arriving so we could get shots of him doing just that. A simple phone call probably would have cleared things up, but instead I waited ignorantly in the cold, rainy darkness in front of a Wilson Air terminal for basically nothing.

I sent in all of two pictures in case they wanted to preview his speech in nearby Concord on Saturday, but--not surprisingly--none ran.

The truth is, I was getting up very early the next day shoot McCain's speech, so I was thrilled to be getting out of there earlier than expected. While the other Gazette photogs were out shooting prep football in the cold rain I was relaxing at home!

High School Cross Country Action

Runners take off at the start of the men's event, above, in the Big South 3A/4A Conference Cross Country Championship at Ashbrook High School on October 14. Forestview runners, below, rub dirt from their school in their hands in an effort to gain a bit of home-field advantage prior to competing in the race. Bottom: North Gaston runners relax after the meet.

Forestview runner Brandon Rouse catches his breath after crossing the finish line in the men's event.

Muni Monday

Mountain Unicyclist
Top and bottom: Josh Taylor rides his mountain unicycle--MUni for short--on the trails at George Poston Park in Lowell on Monday. Below left: Taylor poses for a portrait with his unicycle.

It's a safe bet, I believe, that most people in Gaston County wouldn't know what a MUni is. That is until they pick up their Sunday paper this week.

Yesterday, Gazette reporter Bernie Petit and I met up with Josh Taylor at George Poston Park in Lowell where Taylor and others have worked hard to build some truly outstanding mountain bike trails. It wasn't mountain biking that I was there to shoot though, but mountain unicycling--MUni for short.

They aren't as fast as a bike, topping out at a whopping 6-7 miles per hour (a fast walk speed), but they don't lack for fun or excitement. If the potential for whipeouts equates to excitement then unicycles may even have an edge over their two-wheeled brethren.

So is mountain unicycling the next big outdoor sports phenomena? Who knows, but already there's a dedicated handful in the greater Charlotte area getting together for rides. Pick up this Sunday's edition of The Gaston Gazette or go to to read more about Taylor and his new sport.

Mountain Unicyclist 2

Lending a Helping Hand at As One Ministries

As One Ministries

Rick Barnett, left, receives a donated coat at As One Ministries, inc. in Gastonia on Saturday. Boy Scouts Jon Edmund, Robbie Gamble, Justin Cobb, and Chance Branham, in background, were dropping off the coats they had collected as a service project.

As One Ministries, inc.--an organization helping the less fortunate through a day shelter for the homeless and other services, was also putting on a neighborhood cookout Saturday, offering free haircuts, eyebrow waxing and manicures. Leon Byrd, left, reacts as he gets a haircut from Betty "Beejay" Jones at a community cookout.



With the fans reflected in his visor, Carolina running back DeAngelo Williams runs through the end zone for a touchdown in the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday October 5, 2008. The Panthers defeated the the Chiefs 34-0.

Monday Night Football--High School Style

Ashbrook v Crest

Asbrook High School's Jheranie Boyd carries the ball in game action against Crest at home on Monday September 29, 2008.