Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.

Clay repeats as SAC champion, qualifies for D-II nationals

Catawba College sophomore runner Madison Clay, a Patton High School graduate, will compete in the womens' 10000 meters event at the NCAA Division II Outdoor Championships in Kansas on May 23.
Catawba College sophomore Madison Clay added to an already brilliant collegiate running career as the Patton High School 2022 graduate defended her women’s 10000 meters title at the NCAA Division …
Members of the East Burke boys track and field team celebrate after winning the NCHSAA 2A West Regional championship on May 10 in Icard.
Senior standout KJ Byrd at his college signing with Louisville in the fall said he preferred team accolades to individual ones. There were plenty of both to go around on May 10 as his East Burke High …
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NCSSM-Morganton falls to eventual state champ Elkin in 1A West Regional final

The NCSSM-Morganton boys tennis team’s inaugural season was one to remember, as the Dragons won the Western Highlands 1A/2A Conference title and maintained an unbeaten record through the first four …
This New Dimensions Warrior waves to attendees as she walks in the opening ceremony parade.

Burke County's 2024 Special Olympics

The Burke County Special Olympics' Spring games saw not only 200 athletes but smiling faces and a day full of fun festivities.  This year's competition was organized with the two new …
Draughn's Yadira Castrejon (4) and goalkeeper Taylor Holder work together on defense during a road game earlier this season. The Lady Wildcats won on the road Monday to advance past the first round of the NCHSAA 1A state playoffs for a third consecutive season.

Wildcats’ baseball season ends in round three of playoffs

Seeking its second straight trip to the fourth round of the NCHSAA 1A state playoffs, the Draughn baseball team took an early lead but couldn’t hold off a gritty Cherryville squad that ultimately …

NCSSM-Morganton boys tennis playoff march continues into 1A West Regional final

Julian Monzavifar and Josh Banchik made quick work in gaining the biggest doubles match win in program history as their 8-0 triumph on the No. 2 line sent the NCSSM-Morganton boys tennis team to the …
East Burke's Nick Newton watches a drive at the Burke County championship match earlier this spring. Newton tied for 16th place at this week's NCHSAA 2A state championships.

Bock betters par again in career-best tie for 5th at state golf championships

Not surprisingly, Freedom senior boys golfer Alex Bock got to this week’s NCHSAA 3A state championships at Longleaf Golf and Family Club in Southern Pines and did what he had done all year: break …

Patton duo named all-conference in softball

The Mountain Foothills 7 1A/2A Conference this week announced its all-conference softball team, as voted on by league head coaches, and two Patton players made the team. The Lady Panthers were …
Pictured (from left to right) are top-three six-mile male elite race finishers Gage Hicks, Kevin Thompson, and Oscar Brautigam.

Runners conquer Bear Crawl

The 2024 Bear Crawl Obstacle Course Run brought runners out to the Bennick Compound, which is also the site of August’s annual Ohana Mud Run, on May 11 for four different competitive races up to …

Pieto retiring after 28 years at Table Rock Middle School

When Phil Pieto and his wife, Joanne, moved from Pittsburgh to Morganton in 1996, they didn’t plan on staying in Burke County for more than five years or so before returning to their …

Post 21 finalizes roster ahead of season opener

The Burke County Post 21 American Legion baseball team is set for its 65th season opener tonight (Saturday, May 18) against Shelby Post 82 at 7 p.m. at Shuey Field, and this week the squad revealed …

Local archers compete at Eastern National events

Burke County high schoolers, middle schoolers, and elementary schoolers competed at the NASP Eastern National Bullseye and IBO 3D Challenge as well as the Centershot Eastern National Tournament …

EB’s Borders caps fabulous freshman season by reaching state semifinals

East Burke freshman Luke Borders became the county's first boys tennis player to win two matches at the state championships in the same season since 2010 as he advanced to the 2A semifinals last weekend near Raleigh.

East Burke freshman boys tennis player Luke Borders burst onto the scene in a big way this spring. In the end, he completed his first season at the high school level by making it to the semifinals in …

Valdese Tigers 10U softball player Layla Campbell beats the throw to home plate to score on a passed ball against the Sawmills Dolphins during Tuesday evening's Foothills Athletic Association contest at Fletcher Park in Valdese.
Hunter McCombs (left) and Colton Makowiec (right) bested the field once again to repeat as champions at Mimosa Hills Golf Club's annual Member-Member tournament, a 36-hole event that was contested …
Eric Shehan had no idea that he would even enjoy coaching lacrosse. So he certainly had no idea how much he would enjoy watching his son, Ryan, coach the same sport at the same school. Ryan Shehan, a …
Sports fans have the tendency to overreact. I understand that everyone wants their favorite team(s) to win every game, but that’s simply impossible. Especially if you’re a Carolina Panthers fan …
The 1998 Freedom state title team
On March 21, 1998, just more than 25 years ago, the Freedom High School boys basketball team wrote a story with an ending that was seemingly ripped from the pages of fiction.It was too good to be …
On March 21, 1998, which was 25 years ago this week, the Freedom High School boys basketball team wrote a story with an ending that was seemingly ripped from the pages of fiction. It was too good to …
On March 21, 1998, just more than 25 years ago, the Freedom High School boys basketball team wrote a story with an ending that was seemingly ripped from the pages of fiction.It was too good to be …
Draughn's Maddie Crouch rounds second base during a home softball game against Mountain Heritage in this April 30 file photo. Crouch on Tuesday doubled, homered, and had four RBIs as the Lady Wildcats won their 1A state playoff opener.

ADVANCING AGAIN: Draughn baseball, softball win openers on no-hitters

The three-time defending Western Highlands 1A/2A Conference champion Draughn baseball team made its way back to the second round of the NCHSAA 1A state playoffs for a third consecutive season on a …
Former Burke County natives and prep state athletes of the year Tyler Shatley and Ali Ford (pictured here) went on to enjoy standout collegiate careers, with Shatley still playing in the NFL with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Ford having been inducted into the Elon University Athletics Hall of Fame and having represented the U.S. at the international level in women's basketball.

15 years ago: Ford, Shatley earn unprecedented NCHSAA double

This past Tuesday, May 7, marked the 15-year anniversary of a pair of star Burke County prep athletes making the kind of history that has not been duplicated since. East Burke senior Tyler Shatley …

Burke County Post 21 announces 2024 baseball schedule

The boys of summer will soon take the field once again, as the Burke County Post 21 American Legion baseball team has announced its schedule for the 2024 season, its 65th season on the diamond. …

Big Dawg 2024 prep football schedule announced

The Big Dawg WMNC 92.1 FM this week announced its coverage schedule for the 2024 high school football season. All 11 weeks of the regular season will feature a Burke County squad on the local air …

Peaches are only all-female team in Morganton’s adult softball league

More than 80 years ago, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was established, with the Rockford (Illinois) Peaches proving to be the most successful team by winning four of …

More high school youth summer camps announced

In addition to the free East Burke youth football camp (June 7, 6 p.m.) that was already announced in The Paper, details on several other Burke County high schools’ 2024 youth summer sports camps …

Two baseball teams, trio of softball squads to represent Burke County in state playoffs

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association on Monday released its state playoff brackets for baseball and softball, with a total of five Burke County teams receiving postseason bids. …

WEEKLY SPORTS CALENDAR

SATURDAY, May 11 HIGH SCHOOLS TRACK AND FIELD Draughn, NCSSM-Morganton at NCHSAA 1A West Regional (time TBA, at Montreat College) Freedom at NCHSAA 3A West Regional (time TBA, at A.C. Reynolds) BOYS …
Draughn's Ava Aldridge makes contact at the plate during Tuesday's home softball game against Mountain Heritage.

Draughn baseball earns 3rd straight WHC title

Senior Blake McElyea pitched another gem, and Gavin Johnson’s sacrifice fly to left field scored Tate Jensen in the bottom of the seventh inning as the host Draughn baseball team clinched a third …

NCHSAA defines new 8A classification

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) this week set the parameters for its soon-to-be new largest classification starting in the 2025-26 school year, the biggest move from its …
Heritage's Reagan Webb bunts the ball during Monday's FAC softball tournament semifinal contest against East McDowell in Valdese.

Table Rock wins 1st FAC baseball title in 30 years

Not undefeated No. 1 seed West McDowell. Not defending champion East Burke in a second Foothills Athletic Conference tournament road game in as many days. And not four home runs by that East Burke …
Dream Team's Adam Townsend takes a cut at the plate during Wednesday night's game against reigning champion Stidham's Axe Throwing in a Morganton Recreation Department adult softball open league contest at Catawba Meadows Park. Games in the league take place Mondays and Wednesdays at both Catawba Meadows and Shuey Park (depending on the week), and church league games are ongoing each Tuesday and Thursday evening at the same venues. The first round of regular-season play for both Morganton spring leagues ends the third full week of May.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SOFTBALL

Curtis Bristol of Stidham's Axe Throwing makes a defensive play on the outfield grass on Wednesday.

Former star player Bostian named Patton boys basketball head coach

Fourth-year assistant coach Dax Bostian is Patton’s new varsity boys basketball head coach, PHS principal Dillon Sain announced on Wednesday afternoon in a press release. Bostian, who is the Patton …
Alex Bock prepares to putt from just behind the green on the par 5 12th hole at Silver Creek Golf Club during the Burke County high school boys championship match on April 24.

Alex Bock enjoying the best stretch of his golfing life

Freedom High School senior Alex Bock had accomplished more in his first three years than most prep golfers do in four years. But he’s taken his game to a whole new level this spring. Bock on Monday …

Bock wins Mimosa Hills junior club championship

Alex Bock won Mimosa Hills Golf Club's 2024 Frank Bowers Junior Club Championship on Sunday, finishing as the only golfer under par in the 11-player boys field (ages 14-18). Bock continued an amazing …

McGinnis ‘excited’ to be part of Valdese Rec Department

Chipper McGinnis grew up in Rutherford County, but is hoping to make Burke County his long-term home after recently becoming the new athletic programs supervisor at the Valdese Parks and Recreation …