Up & Coming Weekly

September 24, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 24 of 32

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 24 UCW SEPTEMBER 25-OCTOBER 1, 2019 HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWSports@gmail. com. 910-364-6638. Reprinted with permission from The Stanly News & Press The North Carolina High School Athletic Association has put the North Stanly High School cheerleaders on probation for the rest of the football season for their part in holding up a Trump banner during the Aug. 30 game against Piedmont. The Aug. 30 incident happened before the game began, when some of the North cheerleaders and a couple other individuals gathered for a photo. A cheer- leader and a young male held up a banner that read "Trump 2020 'Make America Great Again.'" The photo circulated on Facebook after a North teacher posted it. After talking with the central office, and since the incident appeared on social media and caused people to feel uncomfortable, the NCHSAA took a greater look at it. "One of the rules we have is that every contest should be conducted in a wholesome, athletic environment," North Carolina High School Athletic Association Commissioner Que Tucker said. "We take that to mean that it's in an environment where good sportsmanship is shown, where people feel safe … that respect for all people participating is being shown." Due to the fact the incident caused concern for many and helped create a negative athletic environment, according to Tucker, the NCHSAA decided to repri- mand the cheerleaders by putting them on probation. Superintendent Dr. Jeff James said Dean Shatley, of Shatley and Campbell law firm, reviewed the NCHSAA's decision and felt it was appropriate. James said the school system did not discipline any of the students because there were no violations of the student code of conduct. He said school officials will likely update the code to include rules against political campaigning on school campuses during sporting events. Following multiple media reports about the North Stanly incident and a letter sent to the NCHSAA from Congressman Richard Hudson regard- ing the matter, Que Tucker, NCHSAA Commissioner, released the following clarification: While the NCHSAA does not have a specific policy prohibiting the dis- play of political advertisements at athletic events, the behavior was con- trary to the NCHSAA's "Philosophy of Cheerleading" in the NCHSAA Handbook. This philosophy empha- sizes the cheerleader's important role in representing the school to its fans and others in attendance in a positive man- ner, while eliciting appropriate support for their team in accordance with the spirit and letter of NCHSAA and local school policies and expectations. It is our understanding that Stanly County Schools has a policy against political advertisements on campus or at school events. It is also our understanding that Stanly County Schools does not make political endorsements. As the district officials related in their release yesterday, 'Because the cheerleaders were in uniform and were act- ing as representatives of the school, the display of the sign could be perceived as the school or school system endors- ing a political campaign." NCHSAA probation, in and of itself, is not a punishment. It serves as a notice of behavior or action that is against NCHSAA Handbook Policy or con- trary to expectations of sportsmanship and proper behavior. Should infractions occur during a probation period at a member school or within a team at a mem- ber school, additional sanc- tions such as fines or suspen- sions could be implemented. In the aforementioned instance, opportunities for participation were neither eliminated nor limited. The decision to place the cheerleaders on proba- tion was made to highlight the NCHSAA's philosophy of cheerleading as well as Stanly County Schools' local district policy on political endorsements by individuals representing the school. The NCHSAA has no comment on the letter released by Representative Hudson." Editor's Note: Late Friday afternoon, the Stanly County Schools announced that because of new safety concerns in the wake of the school's cheerleaders being placed on probation, Friday's Sept. 20 home football game with China Grove Carson was postponed to Saturday morning, Sept. 21. Que Tucker Cheerleaders put on probation for displaying Trump banner by CHRIS MILLER Westover linebacker Taurienne Freeman was the only Cumberland County football player chosen to this year's Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas. The annual all-star football game, the oldest of its kind in the United States, is scheduled Saturday, Dec. 21, at Wofford College's Gibbs Stadium in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. The game annually pits the top senior football players from North Carolina and South Carolina to benefit the Shriners Hospitals for burned and crippled children. Freeman, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior, is being recruited by numerous major and mid-major colleges according to Westover head coach Ernest King. He has yet to make a commitment to play for any school. King called Freeman both a hard-work- ing player and a good student in the classroom. As far as his playing style, King said Freeman is an old- school, downhill type of player who reminds him of stars he coached at E.E. Smith High School like Aaron Curry and Jordan Stocks. "He's very aggressive, doesn't take any plays off,'' King said. King coached in the Shrine Bowl last year as an assistant coach and said it's an honor to have Freeman representing Westover High School, Cumberland County and the state of North Carolina in this year's game. Freeman said he was shocked at first to hear he had been chosen for the North Carolina team but said he is ready to compete for a chance to start and play in the game as one of seven linebackers chosen. "I know how to compete,'' he said. "I can read the offensive line. I feel I can get the starting spot if I work hard enough.'' Freeman said he may try to add a little weight before the game in December and continue eating healthy and keeping in top shape. "It's a big honor for me,'' he said. "I know I'll represent the area well.'' King said he was surprised Freeman was the only player from Cumberland County picked for the game. "We have a lot of talent in this county,'' he said. "I think it's kind of being overlooked.' Westover's Freeman picked for Shrine Bowl by EARL VAUGHAN JR. Taurienne Freeman Ernest King

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