The Kings Mountain Herald | www.kmhegald.net
Photo by Alan Hodge
Gastonia Gargoyles rugby player Allen LeCroy gets a lift from teammates to show how one rule of the British sport allows
passes to be made over the heads of opponents in an manner not seen during’American football games.
Want to play rughy?
Get ready to taste some turf!
When most folks think of
team sports inl our area, its
football, baseball, and bas-
ketball that come to mind,
~ but there’s also a group of
local lads who enjoy a rough
and tumble sport that can
trace its roots back to the
1400s in Great Britain.
The game they play is
rugby and to those unfamil-
iar with the rules it looks.like
two teams clad only in t-
shirts and shorts chasing an
egg-shaped ball and engag-
ing in a brawl for its posses-
Rugby takes its name
from the Rugby School in
England where it was played
as early as 1750. Back then,
there were no limits to the
number of players on each
side and sometimes hun-
dreds would fill a field with
what was called “an enor-
mous rolling maul”. Perhaps
due to the large number of
injuries, Rugby School fi-
nally wrote a rulebook in
1845 that toned things
* These days, rugby is en-
joyed by tens of millions of
fans in over 100 nations
around the world, but is still
relatively rare in the United
The Gastonia Rugby
Football Club Gargoyles
(GRFC) is our area’s link to
the game. The club’s call to
action pretty well sums up
whit it takes to play rugby
with the motto “wimps need
The GRFC got started in
2004 and draws members
from a wide area including
Belmont, Mount Holly,
Cherryville, Kings .Moun-
tain, Morganton, Hickory,
and Clover. The club plays
teams such as the Charlotte
Socialites and the Greenville
Griffons in games that are
action-packed and body
The idea in rugby is to
score points by passing,
kicking, and grounding the
oval ball that’s used. The
game is uncomplicated with
only 22 rules of play.
The fact that the action is
more or less continuous with
few stoppages or time outs
adds to the “rolling maul”
sense one gets from watch-
ing or playing the game, but
that doesn’t mean it’s a free-
for-all. In rugby you can’t hit
anyone that isn’t catrying the
ball, and that eliminates a lot
of blindside injuriés such as
The lack-of padding also
makes rugby play less force-
ful since the mass of a per-
son is reduced when all they
have on are shoes, a shirt,
and shorts. 1 ;
The, GREC practices on
Wednesdays at North Bel-
mont Park on Hickory Grove
Rd. and puts as much effort
into each “scrum” as the
plays are called as possible.
The practices are. held in ali
sorts of weather and after-
ward club members often re-
tire to a ‘pub to nurse their
hurts with a pint of Guin-
Bill Blackett of Belmont
is president of GRFC and
says members come from a
variety of backgrounds and
“I'am an IT project man-
ager,” he said. “We also have
former East Gaston High
students, a City of Gastonia
employee, a music distribu-
tion company owner, a po-
liceman from Stanley, and a
doctor that all participate.
Player ages range from
eighteen to forty-nine
What draws a person to
rugby? For Rick Itsari of
Cherryville, it was about
“I had back surgery and
people said I would never be
the same,” Itsari said. “I
“William Blake Lovell,
Former Kings Mountain
pee wee football assistant
coach Allen LeCroy also felt
rugby offered him a new and
interesting outlet for his own
athletic urges. ¢
“I was bored with jog-
ging,” LeCroy said.
As for Blackett, the fact
that his father was a native of
New Castle, England in-
stijled a love of rugby at an
early age. .
“I had relatives that
played rugby over there,” he
The GRFC is interested
in expanding its player and
fan base. Potential players as
young as age 16, depending
on size, can come out and
give rucking and scrumming
a shot. Blackett says he has
even contacted several local
schools about forming
“We are especially inter-
ested in starting a high
school team,” he said.
If you think you have
what it takes to play rugby,
or to get a schedule of when
and where the Gargoyles’s
play, visit the club’s website
at www.gastoniarfc.com and
get ready to taste some turf.
of Angel Hamrick, Victoria
Grace Lovell, middle, first
grader, and her brother, =
second grader, children
of Jill and Terry Lovell,
won the East School
“Color the Mayor" contest
sponsored by the city ~~
during Public Energy Week.
The students won a $25 gift
certificate to Toys R Us and
their photograph taken with
Mayor Rick Murphrey.
October 24, 2012
Tips For A Safe Halloween
Soon our streets will be scattered with
little ghosts, goblins and witches trick-or-
treating this Halloween. "Halloween
should be filled with surprise and enjoy-
ment, and following some common sense
practices, can keep events safer and more
fun," said Sheriff Alan Norman of Cleve-
PR aa The Sheriff reminds all Cleveland County
- residents to follow these safety tips:
» Watch for children darting out from between parked cars.
* Watch for children walking on roadways, medians and
* Enter and exit driveways and alleys carefully.
* At twilight and later in the evening, watch for children in
* Make sure that an adult or an older responsible youth will
be supervising the outing for children under age 12.
+ Check the sex offender registry at www.ncdoj.gov when
planning your child's trick-or-treat route. You can view maps
that pinpoint registered offenders! addresses in your neigh-
borhood, and sign up to get. email alerts'when an offender
* Plan and discuss the route trick-or-treaters intend to follow.
Know the names of older children's companions.
* Make sure older kids trick-or-treat in a group.
* Instruct your children to travel only in familiar areas and
along an established route. ,
* Teach your children to stop only at houses or apartment
buildings that are well-lit and never to enter a stranger's
* Establish a return time. :
* Tell your youngsters not to eat any treat until they return
* Review all appropriate trick-or-treat safety precautions, in-
cluding pedestrian/traffic safety rules.
* All children need to know their home telephone number and
how to call 9-1-1 in case of emergency.
* Pin a slip of paper with the child's name, address and tele-
phone number inside a pocket in case the youngster gets sep-
arated from the group.
Costume Design: ;
* Only fire-retardant materials should be used for costumes.
» Costumes should be loose so warm clothes can be worn un-
* Costumes should not be so long that they are a tripping haz-
* Make sure that shoes fit well to prevent trips and falls.
« If children are allowed out after dark, outfits should be
made with light colored materials. Strips of retro-reflective
tape should be used to make children visible.
Face Design: 4
* Do not use masks as they can obstruct a child's vision. Use
facial make-up instead.
* When buying special Halloween makeup, check for pack-
ages containing ingredients that are labeled "Made with U.S.
Approved Color Additives," "Laboratory Tested," "Meets
Federal Standards for Cosmetics," or "Non-Toxic." Follow
manufacturer's instruction for application.
« If masks are worn, they should have nose and mouth open-
ings and large eye holes.
* Knives, swords and other accessories should be made from
cardboard or flexible materials. Do not allow children to
carry sharp objects.
* Bags or sacks carried by youngsters should be light-colored
or trimmed with retro-reflective tape if children are allowed |
out after dark.
+ Carrying flashlights with fresh batteries will help children
see better and be seen more clearly.
While Trick-or-Treating: ;
+ Do not enter homes or apartments without adult supervi-
sion. : :
* Walk; do not run, from house to house. Do not cross yards
and lawns where unseen objects or the uneven terrain can |
present tripping hazards. !
» Walk on sidewalks, not in the street.
+ Walk on the left side of the road, facing traffic if there are
no sidewalks. nats RE
* Give children an early meal before going out. Gr
+ Insist that treats be brought home for inspection before any-
thing is eaten. :
* Wash fruit and slice it into small pieces.
+ Throwaway any candy that is unwrapped or partially
wrapped, or has a strange odor, color or texture.
* Keep candles and Jack 0' Lanterns away from landings and
doorsteps where costumes could brush against the flame.
* Remove obstacles from lawns, steps and porches when ex-
* Keep candles and Jack 0' Lanterns away from curtains, dec-
orations and other combustibles that could catch fire.
* Do not leave your house unattended.
. The Cleveland County Sheriffs Office will be able to scan
your child's candy for any metal objects on Halloween night
from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Parents should accompany their
children through the front doors of the Courthouse. Once in-
side, officers will use our scanner, which we normally use to
check bags before allowing people to enter the courtrooms,
to scan their candy.
"Halloween is a fun time in Cleveland County," Sheriff
Norman concluded, "but let's make it a safe time as well. The
major dangers are not from witches or Spirits but rather from
falls and pedestrian/car crashes. Sorel
HOW TO REACH US
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700 E. Gold St.; call 704-739-7496, fax 704-
739-0611 or Email firstname.lastname@example.org