Piedmont Online 2–28–2022

One Corner At A Time

The little building at the corner of Garnet Street and Andrews Avenue has stood the test of time, and now it’s getting a new lease on life.
Gerson Argueta, owner of United Tire Shop, has completely remodeled the building since closing the tire shop at this location. His plan is to open a new dealership at the site. He hopes to be fully operational in April.
In addition to the facelift, the building was also completely remodeled on the inside. The rear attachment, formerly used as auto repair garages, are now gone and the entire lot is now paved.
United Tire Shop is still operating at the Oxford Road location.

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Inside today’s edition, you’ll find the daily schedules for area high school baseball, softball and soccer. I did not have track & field or golf schedules in time to publish.

A note to parents and students: I do not generally cover baseball or golf because of conflicts with my disability. However, I will try to cover a few baseball games, and as always, you are welcome to submit photos.

Please keep in mind that schedules are subject to change at any time. Also, it is unclear at this time if all schools will field teams.

The stand-pipe as it looked from Water Street in November, 1963.

Bus Fire Strands Louisburg College Team

A fire left the Louisburg College softball team without wheels near Aiken SC this week. The fire reportedly began when a rear tire blew out. Twenty players, two coaches and the driver were all able to escape without injury but many personal items were destroyed. Much of the equipment was removed but was basically unusable. The coach of the team has set up a “GoFundMe” page on social media to help the girls replace lost equipment.
Part of Interstate 20 was shut down for awhile and a charter bus took the students back to Louisburg. They had been scheduled to play a tournament game in Alabama.
The photos were provided by an unnamed Louisburg player.

The Falls Lake Academy girl’s basketball team receives their trophies after winning the Super Six tournament. (photo by Madison Primm Media)

Coming Soon

In the near future, we will be doing a photo gallery saluting our military. If you would like to contribute a picture, send it to gillclopton@outlook.com. All pictures must me received by March 11.


Photo Gallery

As another season came to a close, the Vance Charter girl’s basketball team spent a few minutes after the game to share smiles and take pictures with family and each other.
This team has faced a tremendous amount of adversity, and they have had to work extra hard for everything they earned.
It all ended Thursday against a very strong Perquimans team 58–38.
For seniors Bailey Daeke, Kyiah Simmons, Kayla Simmons and Allie Bliss, this was the end of the road… but they’ll all be together next week on the softball field.

One Basket Short; NRCA Falls To Rabun Gap

When North Raleigh Christian Academy lost Mckenna Snively for the year, they never took their eyes off the grand prize. It was a state title they were after and that didn’t change. And they almost got it.
The Knights missed the title by one basket when they lost to top seed Rabun Gap 36–33 Saturday at Wingate University for the NCISAA 1A Championship. (photo courtesy of Chip Snively)

HC Falls In Third Round

There will be a new representative from the east in this year’s 1A title game. Defending champion Henderson Collegiate fell to Kipp Pride Saturday at Aycock Rec Center 48–46.
HC Coach George Marshall voiced his gratitude to the community for supporting his team in the post season. He said the Pride played what he believes was the toughest schedule in the state and it showed at tournament time.

Come out & shop Saturday March 5 for all your Spring decor, also getting you ready with summer attire & all the sparkly bling, we have you covered from scents to boutiques …..local crafters, bake sale, VENDORS WANTED!!! This is our 6th Annual Spring Fling located @ Shooters Tavern 2915 Norlina Road Henderson NC 27537….come out & support all your locally owned businesses!!! Come hungry, the grill will be open serving breakfast & lunch!!! Questions call Lesley @ #252–425–7834

Senior Spotlight

The first Vance Charter girls’ basketball team I saw was loaded. All three of the Simmons sisters were there, and Margaret Bobbitt was one of the most underrated players in North Carolina. But the one who really got my attention was a girl who came off the bench, a scrappy little guard named Allie Bliss. As long as she was in the game, she affected every play, offense and defense. She could literally alter the game without scoring a single point.
This year, Allie became the floor general for VCS, and she did not disappoint. But then again, I don’t think anyone ever doubted her.
Allie’s sport is softball, and her VCS team is primed for a state title run. The second round loss to Perquimans in basketball was probably her final stand in the sport where she got my attention. She hasn’t announced her college plans (and I’m not telling), but her focus will be on academics.
But don’t be surprised if she pops up on a basketball floor. Based on what I’ve seen since she was just a high school freshman, she’ll be a welcome addition to most teams.

Falls Lake Takes Down Perquimans In Overtime

Kennedy Teasley took a rebound from the grasp of a Perquimans player with 1.9 seconds remaining in overtime and then calmly sank two free throws to seal a 64–59 victory for Falls Lake Academy in the 3rd round of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 1A basketball playoffs.
The game was a back and forth affair with both teams able to build leads, but neither was able to put their opponent away. The game was tied at 54 when regulation ended. Falls Lake scored the first six points of overtime. Though it wasn’t the largest lead of the game, it was the only one Perquimans could not recover from. A three point attempt with five seconds remaining fell short, as did a follow up shot from under the basket, leading to Teasley making the play of the game.

Vance Charter Girls Eliminated

Vance Charter’s Rollercoaster season came to an end in the second round of the NCHSAA 1A playoffs. A stingy Perquimans defense contributed to a barrage of turnovers and the Pirates went on to a 58–38 victory. The game was much more competitive than the final score indicated.
The Knight’s season was filled with setbacks, beginning in the pre-season when all-star point guard Camryn Stancil opted not to play basketball. By year’s end, three key players were lost to injury. Despite the obstacles, VCS posted a 19–5 record and won the TNAC regular season and tournament championships.

Broke Down Buses:
Where Memories Are Made

I took a ‘shortcut’ through South Henderson. But I knew it wasn’t a shortcut; it was an excuse to let my mind wonder to bygone days. Much of it looks the same, but the old buses are gone.
On the corner of Edwards Street and Debman Avenue, there remains a small embankment just high enough for kids to sit on and barely have their feet off the ground. Suddenly in my mind, I was sitting there talking to Darlene Atkinson.
It’s odd what one can or cannot recall from childhood. There were people whom I knew for years (or so they tell me) that I just can’t remember. But I remember Darlene as if it were yesterday.
Darlene actually lived in Richmond. She spent a few weeks that summer with an aunt who lived near the embankment where I was sitting. We probably talked for a couple of hours that night. That was the days when I could come home after dark without mom going too far berserk, as long as she knew I was in the neighborhood.
To say I was infatuated with Darlene was an understatement. She was a skinny little squirt with a bad attitude and a mouth to match, and I thought she was God’s gift to mankind. And I wasn’t the only one.
But I probably was the only one afraid to talk to her. It took me all summer to work up the nerve for that night. But it was worth it; those two hours under a street light at a South Henderson-style PLP are among my favorite memories.
In hindsight, I guess I did a decent job in my first attempt at talking to a girl. After all, the conversation did last a couple of hours. For that, I credit my cousin Donna who lived next door to me.
Donna’s brother was not only a cousin but a best friend. We did everything together. Separating our houses was an old wooden garage and a broke down church bus which my dad had left behind the garage for reasons known to no one except him. At night, years before I learned to be afraid of snakes, I’d sit on a pile of planks beside the bus and talk to Donna through the fence where her family German Shepherd was kept.

I can’t honestly say Donna and I were very close back then, but for some reason she knew me like a book. She knew I had an eye for Darlene before I realized it myself, and she elected herself to be my coach on how to approach her.
I don’t know what the grown folks obsession was with old, broke down buses. About half way between my house and Darlene’s aunt, there was another bus that was backed into a lot where JC Roberts worked on cars. On nights when it was too cold or wet to just be walking around, we’d go in the old bus and hang out, telling each other the lies that 13 year old boys are known for. I’m sure at some point I told my bus-mates that Darlene and I were a hot item, knowing full well that she didn’t know me from a grasshopper.
It seems that every night we sat in the old bus, a car would turn the corner with his lights on bright and creep slowly up the street. It’s like he knew we were in the bus. It was TJ who was driving the car, and I’ll bet he knew exactly what he was doing. TJ had a habit of playing pranks on us. Unlike the other older kids who picked on us, TJ’s pranks were fun and harmless.
Riding through the old neighborhood today is really cool; all the houses look the same. But the buses are gone. Yet I can still hear little Allison coming around the corner of her house “Donna, what are doing outside? Come on in with me.”
Another day over, another lesson in the books.
A few years later, Darlene’s aunt gave me a wallet size picture of Darlene. She was in high school by then and I was about to graduate. That’s the last I ever heard about her and I never saw her again. Twenty years later I drove a weekend route to Richmond and would catch myself keeping an eye out for her.
TJ died in November. Everyone from the old neighborhood was shocked; not TJ… it just wasn’t possible. Then this past week, Donna passed away.
I never tried to imagine what Heaven looks like; I’m only human and I know my mind can’t comprehend Heaven. But for some reason, I have a feeling there are two old, broke down buses parked beside those golden streets.

Faces In The Crowd

Sports Extras

The end of basketball season means the end of cheerleader season for most squads. The Vance Charter team won a state title this year with only one senior on the squad.

With Emerson Thompson playing hurt, everyone on the Falls Lake girls’ team had to step up. In the end, it was Kennedy Teasley who made the game’s biggest play.

Henderson Collegiate’s reign as Eastern 1A Champion ended in a closely contested game against KIPP Pride in the 3rd round.

Allie Bliss sank 5 three pointers, all in the first quarter, in Vance Charter’s 1st round victory over Eno River.

Your Page: From Sunrise To Sunset

photo by Allie Bliss
photo by Blake Wright
photo by Cara Gill
photo by Brooke Grissom
photos by Carol Tant
photo by Cely Hernandez
photos by Londyn Whitehead
James River; photo by Tasker Fleming
Kerr Lake; photo by Jae Dickerson
Weldon; photo by Allen Harris
photo by Jillian Haith
photo by Tracy Atkinson
photo by Vangie Mitchell
photo by Jamie Clopton
photos by Kezia Iqbal
photo by Megan Vaughn
photo by Grace Stovall
photo by Sandra Reavis
photo by Heather Taylor
photo by Madison Primm
photo by Hailey Crowder

Piedmont Online is a free blog and e-paper designed to serve the community, especially the young people, in a fair and positive manner.
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