Top 2021 county sports stories

Here are 10 notable Randolph County-related sports stories for 2021:

• Randleman’s baseball team wins the Class 2-A state championship behind a no-hitter from Ryan White in the decisive game in the best-of-3 finals against R-S Central. Randleman has a big fan turnout for the championship series at Burlington Athletic Stadium.

• Southwestern Randolph’s volleyball team claims the Class 2-A state title, knocking off previously unbeaten Camden County in the championship match at Reynolds Coliseum on the North Carolina State campus in Raleigh.

• Eastern Randolph’s football team holds the No. 1 ranking in the state in Class 1-A, going unbeaten until an upset loss in the third round of the state playoffs in November.

• Providence Grove and Wheatmore are selected to be the host venues for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association basketball championship games after usual sites on college campuses are unavailable during the pandemic.

• The Asheboro girls’ basketball team reaches the state final in Class 3-A, falling to Carson.

• Another cycle of conference realignment begins in August for the NCHSAA, and seven schools from the county are in the same Class 1-A/2-A circuit. That includes Uwharrie Charter Academy, which hadn’t previously been in the same league as other schools in the county.

• Randleman drops its season opener in football to Asheboro, ending a string of three straight undefeated marks in regular-season play (so that’s the first regular-season defeat for the Tigers since 2017). It turns out to be the only victory of the season for the Blue Comets.

• Southwestern Randolph has its best football season in school history and is host for a state-playoff game for the first time. The Cougars finish with an 8-3 record, with success including the first-ever road win against Asheboro. Providence Grove excels as well with an 8-3 mark, including a triumph in a late-season showdown with Southwestern Randolph.

• Faith Christian School’s girls’ cross country team repeats as state champion in the North Carolina Christian School Association. This includes individual state titlist Karrie Gaines.

• The Asheboro Copperheads return to action after their 2020 Coastal Plain League baseball season was canceled because of the pandemic. After the season, renovations begin at McCrary Park.

By Bob Sutton

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