By Amy Hope
Moore County is eagerly awaiting the start of the 2021/2022 school year. But along with hitting the books, we are also excited for Fall sports. Moore County is full of athletes that are ready to get the ball rolling. The fall sports to be watching this year are Football, Cheerleading, Volleyball, Cross Country, and Golf. I was able to ask the coaches their thoughts on this upcoming season and it is nothing but exciting.
High School Football kicks off their season on the road against Cascade. Head Coach Kris White is hoping the team will build on their winning season last year. “We went 11-2 last year and made it to the 3rd round of the playoffs.” When asked about the players to watch he stated “Keller Morey, Connor Partin, Alex Copeland, Will Harder, Will Baker, Dawson White, Isaiah Petty, Peyton Martin, Logan Hegwood, Will Parker are all athletes to watch for this season. And Joseph Trice and Hayden Carter have been exceptional leaders through camp so far”. He is impressed with his offensive and defensive lines and knows he has a talented but young team. Overcoming inexperience and using this team to grow is going to make this an exciting season to watch.
Volleyball is a new addition this year. Coach Karen Blankenship is enthusiastic to get the season started. “There was a great turn out of girls that are excited to play”, she said. “There are a lot of good teams in our district so the games will be fun to watch”. Their first game will be at Riverside Christian Academy on August 16th. The girls will be competitive and learn a lot this year.
Cross Country is getting underway on August 25th against Community @ Williams Farm. Head Coach Megan Smith is eager to go. The team finished strong last year winning the Regionals and competing at the State Championship for the first time ever. This built their confidence and they are ready to show what they have again this year. This year we were able to keep most of their previous female athletes, plus five new additions to our crew. Coach Smith explained, “8th graders, Whitney Fanning, Olivia Jolley, and Karli McLaughlin joined the team this year. Freshmen Anna Harder, Audrey Harder, and Emma Sasonov will return in high hopes to lead the team back to the state. Nevaeh Jolley and Chloe Sasonov are returning juniors. Sasonov will continue her role as leader and captain of the team. Gracie Bryan is our only senior. Every member will be a tremendous contribution to the team’s comradeship, drive, and success. “The men athletes are 10th grader, Emery Bryan, and 9th grader, Neal Childress. Everyone is looking forward to seeing what these guys can accomplish together this season.
Middle School Football has begun. With Head Coach Manny Buchanan at the helm, they are looking for a good year. Their opener against Huntland was an 8-14 loss. Buchanan said, “I am excited to see how we bounce back after a tough loss to our rival”. He said they have work to do but he is confident they are almost where they need to be. Coach Buchanan has some great athletes to make this a winning season. “Chris Merical(RB/Safety), Tristyn Gray (WR/Safety), Logan Trussel(WR/CB), and Issac Petty (QB/CB), Buddy Qualls(OL/DL) will all play on both sides of the ball for us as 8th graders. These are all really good returning players that we are leaning on to become leaders on and off the field. 8th grader Carson Bell has been playing tough as a defensive end. Tucker (Lil’ Smitty) (7th) Smith and Dalton Burton (7th), and Luke Stubbafield (7th) make up our young linebacker core this season. We need these guys to grow up fast for our defense to be able to stop the opponent’s run game. Our goal is to get better every snap and be in the playoffs at the end of the year.”
The MCHS marching band has also been putting in their hard practice to make this a great year. Band Director, Greg Jones is looking forward to his first year, especially since last year there were no band activities outside of the school experience anyway. Covid shut everything down. “I have 4 wonderful seniors! Hope Fox is the Drum Major for the year, Kasey Williams is the Woodwind Section leader, and Emily Templeton is the Guard Captain. Gracie Bryan is our other senior and she just moved here this year and she has jumped in like she has always been here. We’re glad to have her.”, Jones said of this year. The students will be marching a different style of show this year that is much more in line with the state of the art in marching band. Jones is pushing them out of their comfort zones and they have been working extra hard. So far the challenge has been met. Jones hopes to return Moore County Band to the competitive stage through local marching contests. The whole band is ready to get marching. “I am excited to experience Marching Band with the students and the wonderful Friday night atmosphere that I have heard so much about surrounding the excellent football program that you have here in Moore County. It should be a fun time.”
Stay tuned for updates on the Cheerleading squad and the golf team. They have been hard at work. This is sure to be an awesome season. We will keep you posted on the results and plenty of pictures.