Nila Goodson (at left), Folline Williford (redhead, at right) and cheerful colleagues celebrate a HHS Bearcat touchdown with a mountain flourish. Photo by Pete Zamplas.
By Pete Zamplas- Henderson County high school athletic spirit was very colorful at football games — in red, green, purple and blue hues with much motion and verbal splash — and continues entertainment and inspiration into the basketball season.
Cheerleaders had much to cheer about in the past three months. Fans roared, bands tooted their teams’ horns and dance teams celebrated afoot.
North Henderson at 7-5 registered its first winning varsity football season in a decade and a half — since the onset of the new millennium. Coach Jason Dinwiddie’s crew made the postseason (in 3-A), after several impressive triumphs. All-WNC Athletic Conference senior Knights are QB Trevor Craft, RB Jacob Garrett, receiver Ashton Woodring; LB Cole McCarson, and safety Austin Vanhoy.
The East Henderson Dance Team synchronizes frolic. The troupe performs tonight. Photo by Pete Zamplas.
West Henderson (9-4) was dominant as an encore to a 2014 turnaround season under head coach Paul Whitaker. The Falcons flourished behind a veteran defense, and by reloading for its rushing onslaught. They tied with Pisgah for second-most (seven) all-WNCAC stars. These are RBs Tanner Bullock and Peyton Frisbee; DL Davis Fisher, safety Landon Owen, and LBs Stephen Perron and Shaq Rospel.
The Falcons knocked off perennial power Franklin, again finished third in the WNC Athletic Conference, and were a lofty third regional seed in 3-A playoffs.
Hendersonville (in 2-A) like West hosted two playoff games, and finished 7-6 in Eric Gash’s second year at the helm. The Bearcats turned it on in pivotal conference games behind WNC’s top passer Michael Schmidt; RB Terrold Gary, and receivers Michael Cook, Leon Cooks and Tykel Landrum.
Kendall Williams whoops up a dynamite West season, with The Falcon. Photo by Pete Zamplas.
East Henderson was much better than its one-win mark indicated. Linebacker Nick Lyons is Coach Mac McMillan’s all-WNCAC Eagle. The Eagles like local rivals have a sterling band, cheerleaders and fans and also a precise and flamboyant dance team that entertained at some halftimes.
That troupe entertains tonight/Wednesday, Dec. 2 at the half of the varsity boys’ basketball game. That contest follows girls’ varsity, and starts about 8 p.m. The Eagles won at Polk, in their opener. The dance team played at halves of boys and girls games Tuesday, Dec. 1, against Hendersonville.
North Henderson sophomore Bethany Lee Jones gets her kicks, in cheering on the Knights. Photo by Pete Zamplas.