Don’t you love history? And when you can combine history and sports that’s even better for me. Remember when Paul Harvey would tell you “the rest of the story.”
A story or two behind the photo. Havis McDonald and Joe Mills were in our office Monday morning to make sure we knew that Edward Lockhart was the #41 for the Mount Pleasant Tigers hurdling over a Cleveland defender in the Lawson Bonds photo on page A2 in Sunday’s paper. I knew somebody would recognize him.
Lockhart moved to Mount Pleasant when his dad started working at the prison (now home to Southern Grace Distillery). Mills said he was an offensive end, defensive back and punter.
“We had a great team in 1955 and won the conference championship,” Mills said.
The Tigers were scheduled to play Cleveland from Rowan County in the opening game on the then brand new field on N.C. Highway 49. Heavy rains came and the decision was made to push the game back to the end of the season. Prior to 1955, Mount Pleasant played home games at Webb Field.
“(The Principal) Coach (Luther) Adams and Coach (Charles) Harrill didn’t want to mess up the brand new field for the whole season for one game,” Mills said.
Tuesday night football in Mount Pleasant. The Tigers rolled into the final game of the season with Cleveland on a Tuesday night. They were sporting a 7-2 record including a 19-18 win over Hartsell and a 7-6 win over Dallas. The lone setbacks were losses to Winecoff and Granite Falls.
Mount Pleasant came into the game a little too confident, Mills said, and at the half it was either tied or very close.
“Coach Harrill was not happy and instead of letting us rest at halftime, he took us over to the baseball field where there was barely any light and made us practice and do calisthenics. It was a good lesson because we came out in the second half and took care of business,” Mills said.
The Tigers won 20-0 and were conference champs.
With little rest and practice, Mount Pleasant headed to the mountains that Friday for a playoff game at Jonesville. It wasn’t the result Coach Harrill’s team hoped for.
“Those boys from Jonesville were big and a really good team. They mopped up the field with us,” Mills said.
The final score was 38-13. The Tigers finished 1955 with an 8-3 record and lessons learned.
Community leaders. Look on page 2 for the team picture. Many of you will recognize someone from the team. I saw Whit Moose (Moose Pharmacy) and Max Cruse (the meat packing plant in Rimertown).
“High school at Mount Pleasant was a great time in my life. The lessons learned have lasted a lifetime,” Mills said.
Mills went on to college in Boone and then the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Oriskany and went on to a career in medical computers and electronics.
The late U.S. Sen. John McCain and the late James Stockwell (Ross Perot’s vice presidential running mate in 1992) served on the USS Oriskany. So did Thomas “Tommy” Krimminger, a member of the 1955 Tigers football team who later became a pilot.
Just throwing this out: We’re still looking for information about the old Kindley Tavern in Mount Pleasant. Mitchell Kindley has provided us with interesting details and we’re hoping to collect more.
These old photos that Mike Anderson is sharing with us from the Lawson Bonds-Oxford Studios are a treasure trove of Cabarrus County history.
Putting on my hypocrite hat. A couple of weeks ago I ranted about hating cigarettes and vaping. Today I’m going lament about the loss of millions of dollars in business for North Carolina tobacco farmers. We’re really got to find a replacement for this poison.
The latest edition of Business North Carolina features an article entitled “Tobacco’s Tearful Tale.” Larry Wooten of North Carolina Farm Bureau gives Chinese tobacco export figures from North Carolina farmers: $162 million in 2017; $4 million in 2018; and likely $0 in 2019. Tariffs and the trade war is largely to blame.
Wow that’s a lot of lost business. What will take its place?
Better news. Congratulations to the voice of the Kannapolis Intimidators Trevor Wilt on a new gig for the basketball season.
The Jay M. Robinson and UNC Charlotte graduate will be the color analyst alongside long-time voice of the Charlotte 49ers Matt Swierad for the 49ers basketball broadcasts this season.
The games can be heard on ESPN 730 AM in Charlotte and on the TuneIn app on your smart phone.
Trevor wrote the Intimidators Insider column for our sports section throughout the minor league baseball season.
The Big Reveal. Don’t forget Kannapolis baseball will announce the new name for the Intimidators on Oct. 23.
The new team name, logo and mascot will be shared with fans at an event at the historic Gem Theatre in the heart of downtown Kannapolis, where the new Sports and Entertainment Venue (SEV) will be located.
This free event will start at 5 p.m. with a street festival on 1st Street in front of the Gem Theatre and wrap around the corner along the new West Avenue Streetscape. The outdoor celebration will include inflatable games for kids, circus performers, a DJ and live music. A viewing deck overlooking the SEV will offer an exclusive sneak peek into the new ballpark – and maybe a chance to shake the new mascot’s hand. Food and beverage vendors will sell snacks, dinner and drinks.
Doors to the Gem Theatre will open at 6 p.m. and the main event will start at 7 p.m. THE BIG REVEAL will be for ticketed guests due to limited seating capacity inside but will also be simulcast from the street fair outside.
Fans who want to experience THE BIG REVEAL from inside the Gem Theater should pre-register for complimentary tickets at KannapolisBallpark.com. At the beginning of October, the team will share more information with everyone who submitted a ticket request online.
If you’ve got a Friday Five, story suggestion or something I can rant about email firstname.lastname@example.org.