Brad King Bowl 2009: Panthers, Wildcats Battle in Classic

BKBowl copyNeighbors mean a lot to the people of Avery County; that is exemplified in the Brad King Bowl.  An annual event started in 1983 as an event to raise money for a young man who was hanging on for life, with a game that meant so much to him – Football.  The meeting between two teams, one from Cranberry and the other from Newland, became the game in which the people of Avery County put aside their differences to join together and raise money for a family that could use the assistance.

Fast Forward to 2009, the teams – the Avery Panthers and the Cranberry Wildcats; the cause – The Chris Laws Family, more specifically, the Trust Fund set up in his memory for his two daughters, Ciara and Carrie Laws.  Thanks to the people of Avery County that showed up for the contest, the Laws girls now have almost $2,500 added to their college fund; and as usual, thanks to the two teams, the crowd that showed up was treated to a classic game in the series.

Over the years, you can probably count on one hand how many times there has been a blow-out.  Last season these two teams met in a shoot-out that saw 102 points put on the board…this season, a far different game in which the two teams only combined for 28 points, but the game was just as good.

Avery opened the game with a sky kick that found its way to the turf and was covered by Chase Buchanan, giving the Panthers possession at the Wildcat 38 yard line.  The Panthers would then put together a 3 minute 21 second drive that was capped with a 13 yard scamper from Buchanan to get the Panthers on the board.  After a failed 2-point conversion the Panthers held a 6-0 lead on the ‘Cats.  The defense for each team would then step in and take over the first half with neither team seeming willing to give in.  Neither team would allow the other to eclipse the 100 yard mark in the first half – leaving it at a 6-0 Avery advantage entering the break.

The Panthers would then take the opening kick of the second half and open with a drive covering 46 yards in nearly 6 minutes of clock that finished with Ty Polsgrove, replacing the injured Chance Watson, sneaking in from 1 yard out to put the Panthers up 12-0.  Avery would add the 2-point conversion with Polsgrove finding WR Wade Smith on a screen to get in for the score.

After kicking, then forcing a turnover near midfield, the Panthers would find the end zone once again as Buchanan would find paydirt on a 48 yard run, getting in with 6.3 seconds remaining in the 3rd quarter.  Polsgrove would then find WR Daniel Childress for the 2-point conversion making it a 22-0 Avery score heading into the 4th and final stanza.

The Wildcats wouldn’t give in, however, as they would battle tough eventually finding the end zone on the legs of RB Jonah Tenge, who scampered in from 11 yards out to cut the Panther lead to 22-6.  That would be as close as the ‘Cats would get, as the Panther defense would stand firm, keeping Cranberry from getting any offense going after the score.

Named as the Most Outstanding Player for each team were Chase Buchanan (Avery), who accumulated 158 total yards (98 rushing and 60 receiving) and 2 TD for the Panthers, and Jonah Tenge who netted 77 yards on 10 carries and scored the lone Wildcat TD.  Congrats to both teams on a great game, and good luck to each team as they open playoff’s next week.  A full story will be available in the October 7 edition of the Avery Post, with more information about the playoffs here online as it becomes available.

Avery may have won the game, but the real winners tonight were Ciara and Carrie Laws, thank you Avery County for making that possible!

Final Statistics – Brad King Bowl
September 29, 2009 – 6:30 PM
MacDonald Stadium – Newland, NC

.                                 |           1          2          3          4          |           F
Cranberry         |           0          0          0          6          |           6
Avery                   |           6          0         16         0           |          22

#7 Stetson Stafford (CMS) – 3 completions   8 attempts   28 yards

#4 Ty Polsgrove (AMS) – 4 completions   6 attempts   61 yards

#2 J. Tenge (CMS) – 10 carries  77 yards  1 TD
#80 C. Clawson (CMS) – 5 carries  34 yards
#12 T. Pittman (CMS) – 7 carries  28 yards

#23 C. Buchanan (AMS) – 9 carries  98 yards  2 TD
#4 T. Polsgrove (AMS) – 13 carries  25 yards  1 TD


#12 T. Pittman (CMS) – 3 receptions  28 yards

#23 C. Buchanan (AMS) – 3 receptions  60 yards

Cranberry – 5 penalties  30 yards
Avery – 1 penalty  5 yards

Cranberry – 35 plays  180 yards 1 TD
Avery – 34 plays  199 yards  3 TD


HOMECOMING 2009: Vikings Harness the ‘Horses

Cole Blackburn's (10) 4th Quarter interception seals the Viking Victory in the Fog (Skip Sickler Photo)

Cole Blackburn's (10) 4th Quarter interception seals the Viking Victory in the Fog (Skip Sickler Photo)

Owen players and coaches left the field with looks of shock and disbelief on Friday night following Avery’s 14-7 victory over the Warhorses.  The shock came after Avery essentially beat Owen at their own game, running the ball and playing smashmouth defense, keeping the Warhorses from being effective on the ground; and in the late stages of the game, the Viking defense stood tall to keep the Vikes on top.

“It was an awesome feeling,” remarked Coach Darrell Brewer, following the Viking win at Homecoming.  “I’ve got to give credit to the coaches, James Condrey and the offensive coaches really had a great game plan.”

That game-plan might have been altered a little as the night began, however, with the weather playing havoc on the region.  A cool, rainy night was on tap, but the braved that braved the elements were treated to a spectacular game on both sides of the ball, with neither team really willing to give on the defensive end.  Avery set the tone opening the night with the Viking defense when Nathaniel Buchanan planted the Owen RB Andy Coleman in the backfield for a 1-yard loss on the first play from scrimmage.

Nathaniel Buchanan (32) cuts back through a huge hole provided by the great up-front blocking (Skip Sickler Photo)

Nathaniel Buchanan (32) cuts back through a huge hole provided by the great up-front blocking (Skip Sickler Photo)

“Roo set the tone for the game,” quipped Brewer, “I don’t know how many people saw it, but that hit set the standard for the defense all night.”

On the second play the Viking defense would respond with Kenny Hicks forcing a fumble from Brennan Kirby that was recovered by Taylor Potter at the Owen 31 yardline.  The Vikings would take over, but the Warhorse defense would battle back, taking the Vikings backward 7 yards in 3 plays, forcing the Vikings to punt.  Dylan Aldridge, senior Punter, placed a beautiful punt inside the Warhorse 15 to give Owen possession for their second drive.

On Owen’s second drive of the night the Viking defense would battle, but the Owen front line would make key blocks and the ‘Horses would finish off a 5 play, 87 yard drive with a 23 yard rush from RB Kirby, as he was able to drive down and get on the board first against the Vikings.  On the ensuing kick Keith McKinney would take the ball and return it close to mid-field, but a huge penalty would deflate hopes for a while, as an illegal block was called against the Vikings, bringing the ball back 31 yards to the Viking 16 to start their second drive of the evening.  The Warhorses would force the Vikings to punt again, getting the ball back with just over 5 minutes remaining in the first quarter.

Villanueva getting across for his first of 2 TD for the Vikings on the night (Skip Sickler Photo)

Villanueva getting across for his first of 2 TD for the Vikings on the night (Skip Sickler Photo)

Owen would drive the ball down the field, but the Viking defense would stand tall forcing the ‘Horses to punt, and then pinning the Vikes at the 1 yard line, leaving the Vikings 99 yards to travel for a score.  The Vikes would move the ball 40 yards, but were unable to move the ball and were forced to punt again.  Aldridge would boot a 58 yard punt, returning the favor, pinning the ‘Horses on their 1.  The Warhorses would get a first down, but the Vikings would hold them at the 16, forcing another Kirby punt, and getting the ball back for the Viking Offense.

The Vikes would start the drive at the 47 with QB Alex Villanueva completing a pass to WR Andy Gonzalez for 9 yards.  Colton Blackburn, RB, would then take the ball and run 18 yards to earn a Viking first down.  The Vikings would then eat away at the clock, and with 5:33 remaining on the first half clock the Vikes would get the score, when Villanueva would sneak across the goal line, tying the game.  The score would remain tied going into the half, thanks to the stellar defensive play by the Viking front line, forcing the Warhorses to a 4 and out at the Viking 20, keeping the game tied and giving the Vikes possession.  Owen’s defense would then stand firm, keeping the Vikings from moving the ball, closing the half by sacking Villanueva around mid-field to end the Viking threat.

At the half the crowd was treated to a downpour and the Homecoming festivities.  Serving on homecoming court for 2009 were: Freshmen – Bryce Pittman and Carson Clark; Sophomores – Logan Sluder and Gary McFee, Arden Stanley and Dustin Clark; Juniors – Sara Monogue and Casey Mitchell,  Kayla Greene and Joey Potter, Kasadee Blackburn and Joey Gragg; and Seniors – Hayden Blackburn and Dushin Leiniger and Hayden Blackburn, Ethan Sluder and Lauren Avery, Hunter Gossett and Ariel Franklin and Jared Clack and Leah Powell.  With Hayden Blackburn and Hunter Gossett taking home King and Queen Honors on Friday evening.

The second half got underway with the Vikings taking the opening kick and piecing together a 19 play, 89 yard drive.  The Vikings used a well rounded run attack to successfully run the clock, while running the ball right at the Warhorses.  Condrey and his boys methodically took close to 9 minutes off the game clock on the drive, keeping the Owen offensive attack off the field, and wearing down the ‘Horse defense to get the go ahead score, putting Avery up 14-7 when Villanueva stepped across the goal line for his second score of the night.

Tyler Long's (22) smothering defense helped the Vikings to a 14-7 Victory for Homecoming 2009 (Skip Sickler Photo)

Tyler Long's (22) smothering defense helped the Vikings to a 14-7 Victory for Homecoming 2009 (Skip Sickler Photo)

Owen would then attack, pushing their way down the field inside the Viking 5 to the 3 yard line; but the Viking defense would stuff the Warhorses there, keeping them out of the end zone, and keeping the game at a 14-7 advantage for the Vikes.  Owen would again hold the Vikes at a three and out, forcing Aldridge on the field to punt again.  Dylan again would boom a monstrous punt over 50 yards, booting a 52 yard punt in the fog that was downed before the crowd and most of the players on the field even knew the ball had been snapped.

The Fog would become almost unbearable for those in attendance, who were unable to see much of the 2nd half due to the heavy cloud cover that almost hovered over the field in an ominous fashion.  On the ensuing drive the Warhorses were driving down the field, and using the cloud cover to their advantage, driving the ball down the turf until Cole Blackburn stepped in and picked off Fowler’s pass at the Viking 15 yard line ending the Owen hopes, returning the pick to the 40 yardline before fumbling, but Taylor Potter was there to recover his second fumble of the night.

Owen would get one last shot, forcing Avery to another three and out, but the Vikings would fight right back, forcing a punt with 3:26 remaining in the contest.  The Vikings would then run the clock to seal the victory and leave MacDonald Stadium leaving the Homecoming crowd cheering from all they had just seen.  The night belonged to the Blackburn family with Hayden taking Homecoming Queen and Cole taking the hearts of the Avery fans, running the ball down the throat of Owen, and sealing the game with his 4th quarter interception.

“Anytime you can beat Owen it’s a big win,” explained Brewer, “I really wouldn’t have thought we’d have a chance with Alex only throwing for 40 yards; but on both sides of the ball we did a great job.  Owen’s only chance was to get outside with the ball and we didn’t let them.  I was really proud of our effort on both sides, especially the offensive and defensive lines.

“Looking back to where we started,” continued Brewer, “these boys have grown leaps and bounds.  This team is getting better every week and as a coach that is all you can ask for.  This team is a team and in all phases of the game tonight, we won the battle.  They’re a great group of kids, they really like each other and it’s awesome to coach a team like that.”

The win boosts the Viking record to 3-2 on the season, 1-0 in conference play.  Friday night they will take on the Gryphons of Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy on the turf at MacDonald Stadium.  The game was moved due to a field scheduling conflict for the Gryphons who are slated to be the home team in the contest; the game will start at 7:30 PM.  Go Vikings!!

Final Box

Final Box

Brad King Bowl Tonight!!

BKBowl copyThe 27th Annual Brad King Bowl will take place tonight on the turf at MacDonald Stadium on the campus of Avery High School.  The game was started in 1983 as a way to raise money for those in need in the area in honor of Brad King.  This year’s recipient of the gate and donations will be Ciara and Carrie Laws, the daughters of Chris Laws who passed away tragically a few weeks ago.  Game time will be at 6:30 PM – the game will be tape delay brodcast tomorrow as part of the Viking Sports Network on Glory1130, WECR in Newland.

Vikings Look to Tame the ‘Horses – Homecoming 2009

AV Home copyThe Avery Vikings (2-2) will look to tame the Warhorses when they come to town on Friday night for Homecoming.  Avery enters the game coming off a huge victory over the Cloudland Highlanders, followed by a week off, giving them time to relish in the victory.  Owen (2-2) comes into the contest following a huge victory over Enka last week, beating the Jets 35-7 on the road.

Owen and Avery have had some spirited contests over the past few years.  Last season the Vikings were able to befuddle the Owen troops during the first half, coming out and surprising Kenny Ford’s team with a fairly quick 14-0 lead.  Owen would then rattle off 23 unanswered points to take the victory 23-14 in Black Mountain.

Avery will open conference play with Homecoming on Friday Night at MacDonald Stadium; Game Time is 7:30 PM.

HCSA Weekend Update

McKenzie Domske (Ashe) moves ball for the Avalanche in Saturday's U-17 Girls Action (Courtesy HCSA)

McKenzie Domske (Ashe) moves ball for the Avalanche in Saturday's U-17 Girls Action (Courtesy HCSA)

September 19-20

Saturday, September 19

The U14 Girls played host to Charlotte Soccer Academy.  After an uneasy initial 20 minutes, the Avalanche settled in and took control of the game and came away with a 3-0 victory.  Brittany Brown scored off a corner kick one minute before halftime, and two minutes after the restart Tori Derrick put in a rebound from a Madi Critcher free kick to double the lead.  The Avalanche were able to control possession the rest of the game and Kat Welsh capped the scoring with a powerful strike just minutes before the final whistle.  Brooklin Carroll played well to earn her third shutout of the season.

TheU17 Girls faced a setback in their quest for a league championship, suffering a 1 – 2 road loss to North Mecklenburg Soccer Club.  NMSC Red quickly gained the scoring their two goals in the first ten minutes. The Avalanche were able to settle the game down and started to control the flow of play.  At the 27th minute, the Avalanche was able to get on the board with a goal by Hallie Hilliard (Caldwell).

The second half was very physical, with a brief interruption due to a pair of yellow cards being doled out, one to each team. Keeper Mary Kate Huffman (Watauga) was called on to make several fantastic saves keeping the Reds scoreless during the second half. The offense, led by Hilliard, Christina Call (Wilkes) and McKenzie Domske (Ashe) made several runs on goal but came up short in the end.

The HCSA U18 Girls hosted the HSA Rage from Hendersonville.  The Avalanche turned in a complete team performance and came away with a deserved 3-0 win; it was their second consecutive shutout to open the season.  Sydney Atkinson (Watauga) had a huge game as she scored the opening goal and assisted on the two others which were scored by Caitlyn Soukup (Watauga) and Alix Cline (Wilkes).  Katherine Mayhew (Watauga) made an acrobatic save with 3 minutes left to preserve her second shutout in goal.

Sunday, September 20

The U16 Girls got back on track with a dominating 5 – 0 win over the Wolverines from Waxhaw.  With goals from Kendyl Baird (Watauga) and Skylar Hicks (Watauga) the Lady Avalanche were able to cruise to an easy victory.  A strong performance by Hannah Suddreth (Catawba) on the outside kept the Wolverines on their heels throughout the second half.

The U18 Lady  Avalanche traveled to Clemmons to face league leaders TASC.  The Avalanche ran into a buzzsaw against a very skilled TASC team, and combined with the energy expended the night before it was a rough afternoon as TASC eased to a 7-0 win.  Despite the lopsided score the Avalanche had some chances on goal and played hard to the final whistle, including goalkeeper Mayhew saving a penalty kick late in the second half.

The U14 boys traveled to Clemmons to face their archrival TASC.  Back in March the Avalanche gutted out a tight 1-0 win, but on Sunday they showed the distance that has been put between the two teams, as the Avalanche completely overwhelmed TASC on their way to a 5-1 victory.

Miguel Ramos (Ashe) netted a hat trick to lead the scoring charge with Alex Magner (Watauga) and Eli Gailes (Watauga) also contributing goals.  The centerback pairing of Cam Linnville and Carson Williams completely shut down TASC’s star center forward and main scoring threat the entire match.

Upcoming Matches

Saturday, September 26

U11 Boys vs Charlotte United              12:00pm           @CUFC
U14 Boys vs North Meck Soccer Club            12:00pm           @NMSC
U12 Girls Red vs Kernersville               1:30pm @KSA
U12 Girls Navy vs Twin Cities (TCYSA)          4:30pm @TCYSA
U16 Girls vs Iredell County (ICRD)                  12:00pm           Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex
U17 Girls vs FCCA                                          2:00pm Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex
U18 Girls vs SCSC                                          4:00pm @Statesville

Sunday, September 27

U12 Boys vs Greensboro                                 1:00pm             @Greensboro
U16 Girls vs Lake Norman Soccer Club           1:00pm @Statesville

On the Trail Again! Avery XC Kicks Off Season

Joey Potter, Dyllon Greene, Timmy Stewart and Gary McFee in the Early Stages of Saturday's Race (Serena Smith Photo)

Joey Potter, Dyllon Greene, Timmy Stewart and Gary McFee in the Early Stages of Saturday's Race (Serena Smith Photo)

Cross country is a sport that tests the endurance and overall mental toughness of the athletes involved.  Getting up early on a weekend to hit the trail and run 3 miles before many of their classmates even roll over for the first time is a weekly occurrence in the fall for the Avery High Cross Country team.  This season’s team not only has the mental toughness, but the talent to go with it.

Avery opened their season traveling to Swannanoa to take part in the Owen Invitational last Wednesday, September 16th, with some great performances from the team in their first test of the season.  The team was without Mary Chesnut Smith due to an injury to her ankle, but Caroline Crenshaw stepped in and put together a 24 minute 58 second time to take top honors for the Avery squad, finishing 55th overall in a race that saw more than 150 runners take the course.  Finishing second for the Lady Vikings was Taylor Lacey who notched a time of 28:11 with two other Lady Vikings on her heels – Arizona Clawson (29:18) and Teddy Jablonski (29:42).

Mark Polsgrove in the early stages of Wednesday's meet at Owen (Serena Smith Photo)

Mark Polsgrove in the early stages of Wednesday's meet at Owen (Serena Smith Photo)

The guys would follow suit by putting together a great showing in their first real action of the season.  Mark Polsgrove put together an outstanding run, finishing the course in 21 minutes 25 seconds crossing the line in 68th position overall.  Polsgrove was followed to the line by Gary McFee, who put up a time of 23:21 for the Vikings, and just on his heels was the tandem of Joey Potter (23:55) and Dustin Clarke (23:56) who matched each other step for step with Potter edging Clarke at the line.  Following them was Timmy Stewart (24:22), Thomas Dellinger (24:52), Dyllon Greene (24:52), Dillon Nelson (25:51) and Jordan McClellan (25:52).

Avery’s team then hit the road early Saturday morning headed to Freedom High School to compete in their second meet of the 2009 Cross Country season.  Avery took 10 athletes to the event in hopes of getting the program in top shape as the season pans out in preparation for Conference competition.  It was a warm, muggy morning in Morganton, but the teams seemed to settle in, and put up better times in their second competition.

Mary Chesnut Smith using the hill to overtake an opponent during the Freedom meet. (Serena Smith Photo)

Mary Chesnut Smith using the hill to overtake an opponent during the Freedom meet. (Serena Smith Photo)

In the Ladies competition the Lady Vikes were only fielding four of the five needed for the team score to factor in the rankings, but of the four that went it was good for Avery to see Smith back on the trail after nursing an ankle injury.  Smith took the course and finished 4th overall putting up a time of 21 minutes 57 seconds in the 5K.  Crenshaw improved her time by 7 seconds, turning in a 24:51 time finishing 29th for the Lady Vikes.  Lacey (26:33 – 41st) and Clawson (26:49 – 49th) finished out for the Lady Vikes.

For the Viking runners, Polsgrove took nearly a full minute off his time from Wednesday, finishing 37th in a time of 20 minutes 38 seconds. McFee made a huge improvement on his time, putting up a 21:35 time to finish 47th, just in front of Greene (21:36 – 48th), who made a three minute jump from Wednesday’s meet.  Nelson (22:48 – 58th), Potter (24:02 – 65th) and Stewart (24:09 – 67th) were the other three finishers for the Vikings.

The Viking Cross Country Team will be on the trail in Boone on Saturday morning taking part in the High Country Classic this weekend.

Woolly Worm Woad Wace and One Mile Fun Wun

Woolly Worm Woad Wace

5 mile Woolly Worm Woad Wace and One Mile Fun Wun

October 17, 2009

Lees-McRae College Track- Banner Elk

Woolly Worm Woad Wace- 10:00 a.m.

Woolly Worm One Mile Fun Wun- 10:00 a.m. stars shortly after the Woad Wace

Registration starts at 9:00 a.m. and race begins at 10:00 a.m. Pre-register by going to or call the Avery County Chamber at 898-5605 for your application. Chamber is open daily 10-4.

Description of Course: This 5 mile race takes runners on a cross country/ road course through the back roads and country side of Avery County, challenging runners to elevation changes and showcasing the majestic beauty of our county.

(Pavement, graveled stone paths, run past creeks and ponds)

Advanced cost is $20               race day $25

Not a runner? Woolly Worm One Mile Fun Wun Wace starts at 10:00 a.m.

Cost is $10

Preregistered participants are guaranteed a commemorative t-shirt that day.