Haywood scores touchdown on stadium capacity limits

It’s not something that happens all that often, but a late fourth-quarter drive by Western North Carolina’s state and local elected officials helped them find pay dirt in the end zone — in this case, raising the coronavirus-related capacity limits on outdoor high school athletic events.

Hottest ticket in town: Capacity limits for rivalry game ‘make no sense’

It’s a rivalry that runs as deep as the waters of Lake Logan and as wide as the Pigeon River that snakes its way through this county of 60,000, but this year the annual Pisgah-Tuscola football game has already taken on a significance that extends far beyond the borders of Haywood County. 

Opportunity knocks: Western takes on ‘Bama

For nearly all of its 128-year history, the University of Alabama’s football program has been synonymous with gridiron excellence. Thousands of young men have gone there to play the game they love, and played it to win. 

Boasting a 73 percent winning percentage over almost 1,300 games, Alabama has laid claim to 14 division titles, 31 conference titles and 17 national championships while producing legendary NFL stars like Joe Namath, Ozzie Newsome, Cornelius Bennett and Derrick Thomas, along with at least one legendary coach — Paul “Bear” Bryant. 

Tuscola still seeks ‘level playing field’

In January, Haywood County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte told The Smoky Mountain News that HCS would engage in a “long haul process” to exhaust every “reasonable and legal thing that we can do” in the fight to reassign Tuscola High School’s athletic programs to a more appropriate division. 

THE MILL VS THE HILL: Small town high school football in the rural South

Doug’s in Clyde is a typical manifestation of a stereotypical small-town barbershop in the rural American South. 

Its wooden walls are lined with knick-knacks, claptrap and faded family photos of people and places long gone. Three men stand behind three vintage teal and steel barber’s chairs, while three men sit in them. Others wait on red vinyl couches next to checkerboards beneath the watchful gaze of Andy Griffith and Floyd Lawson. 

Falling into photography: the art of Bill Killillay

When you take in the totality of photographer Bill Killillay’s work, you might think it comes as the result of intensive schooling at some fancy film or art school. But you would be wrong. In fact, you might say he just fell into it.

Keil Nathan Smith - Friday Night

It's gameday in Haywood County! Here, for the first time anywhere, is Canton-based singer/songwriter Keil Nathan Smith's ode to one of the most intense high school football rivalries anywhere - the Black Bears of Pisgah High School versus the Tuscola High School Mountaineers. Scroll below to listen. 

 

 

Friday night lights, then and now

I took my first baton lesson when I was 3 years old. My sister had been twirling for a while, so baton practice and competitions were the norm for our family. Four of our baton teachers were Clemson Tiger majorettes and my parents grew up in Greenville, S.C. We frequented many a football game in Death Valley wearing purple and orange and hearing “Tiger Rag.” 

Speir, Cats excited about 2018

By Todd Vinyard • Special to The Smoky Mountain News

Taking over a football program coming off five wins in the previous three seasons before you arrived as coach would certainly require a plan and changing the culture. Mark Speir has relied on both in his past seven years as the head coach at Western Carolina University.

Pride of a nation: Cherokee wins first-ever state football championship

Pride-filled pandemonium reigned in Cherokee Saturday night, Dec. 8, as the victorious Cherokee Braves football team returned to town. Police cars and fire trucks from the Cherokee Police Department and Jackson County Sheriff’s Department flashed their lights and blared their horns in an escort that had met the buses all the way back at Balsam, and fireworks filled the air as fans already tired from the five-hour drive back from Raleigh cheered till they were hoarse.

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