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home : sports : local sports November 18, 2018

10/17/2018 12:00:00 PM
Willis Named Player Of Week
Seth Willis (center) with Coach Tom Sain (left) and Demery Brewer (right) of First Federal
Seth Willis (center) with
Coach Tom Sain (left) and
Demery Brewer (right)
of First Federal

West Lincoln Rebels
West Lincoln Rebels

Wayne Howard
Staff Writer

For anyone who missed them, there were some exciting football games Friday night. West Lincoln beat Lincolnton 20-14, spoiling the wolves Homecoming, and the North Lincoln Knights did the same at Maiden, beating the Blue Devils for the first time ever 21-19.

The performance of West Lincoln quarterback Seth Willis earned him honors as the First Federal Savings Bank Lincoln County Player of the Week. Willis didn't have a super night passing--he only threw the ball four times, completing one pass for 13 yards and even got intercepted once. He was far from the top rusher for his team: Nakathon Phansook ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns and Brendon Ikard ran for 119 and a TD. Willis had only 23 yards rushing. But he managed the Rebels ball-control offense very well and on defense, he had three solo tackles and an interception.

The Player of the Week award is sponsored by First Federal Savings Bank and presented by Ken Link and Tim Johnson, who do the play-by-play on the Lincoln County Game of the Week on WLON Radio and a Lincoln County preview show Friday evenings before the game.

It's unfortunate that due to a decision based on an incident of a few years ago involving a West Lincoln baseball coach, the school has decided that Johnson is not welcome in their press box. That decision was appealed to the School Board at a meeting a few months ago, and while no substantial information about the reason for it was ever provided, the decision was upheld. For that reason, the local radio station will not broadcast what is certainly the most important game of the week this week when the Bandys Trojans come to West Lincoln for the Rebels Homecoming game.

WLON will instead broadcast the Maiden at East Lincoln game. The North Lincoln home game against the Newton-Conover Red Devils will be broadcast on WNNC, Newton. In addition to the over-the-air broadcasts (WLON 1050AM, 107.5FM; WNNC 1230AM, 101.3FM) both of those games will be available online. The Maiden @ East Lincoln game will be on (choose WLON as the station you want to hear) and the Newton-Conover @ North Lincoln game will be on

This week's full varsity schedule includes:

Lincolnton @ Lake Norman Charter
Bandys @ West Lincoln (Homecoming)
Maiden @ East Lincoln
Newton-Conover @ North Lincoln
Cherryville @ Highland Tech
Forestview @ Hunter Huss
North Gaston @ Crest
East Gaston @ Shelby
R-S Central @ South Point
Kings Mountain @ Burns
Stuart Cramer @ Ashbrook
Bessemer City @ Thomas Jefferson Academy
Mountain Island Charter @ Pine Lake Prep
South Caldwell @ Hickory
Alexander Central @ St. Stephens
Bunker Hill @ West Iredell

The West Lincoln JVs matched what the varsity had done on Friday when they played the Lincolnton JVs Monday evening. The Rebels varsity won Friday night 20-14. The Rebels JVS won their game 26-16. After Hunter Leonhardt put his team ahead 6-0, the JV Wolves took the lead with a TD and a two-point conversion, but after a long run by Leonhardt, Christian Neal scored on a 9-yard run and also ran for the two-point conversion to make it 14-8 and the Rebels JVs never trailed again. Neal ran for another TD in the second half and Grayson Barkley scored one, too. Leonhardt also had an outstanding defensive game with a couple of big tackles for loss. The West Lincoln JVs play at Bandys JVs Thursday evening while the Lincolnton JVS host the Lake Norman Charter JVs.

The East Lincoln JVs would just as soon forget that Monday night game against the Bandys JVs. The final score was 46-6 and that pretty much tells the story. The Trojans JVs have been just as impressive (or moreso) than the varsity. While the Bandys varsity lost one game (to Hickory 28-27) the JVs are undefeated through seven games. The East JVs play at Maiden this Thursday evening. The Bandys JVs host the West Lincoln JVs.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, October 18, 2018
Article comment by: Ned Yates

I don't believe paragraphs 4 & 5 should have been a part of this story.
The headline is about the Player of the Week. Perhaps you should have written two different stories. One, like the previous stories you've posted about why the player was recognized with added commentary about other games and upcoming games. Then a separate story about the problems that may or may not exist between Mr. Johnson, WLON, W. Lincoln High School and/or Lincoln County Schools.
WLON is one part of KTC, who operate 3 different "for profit" radio stations, that play commercials throughout a broadcast. Is it safe to consider that KTC may have any number of part time people that do these games on Friday nights? If they really wanted to broadcast the game, and the only problem is that Mr. Johnson is not allowed in the WL press box, would it really be that difficult to send a different person to do the broadcast?
Your story tells us the decision is based on an incident involving a WL baseball coach, "a few years ago". Did the incident happen at a "baseball" game? Was Mr. Johnson working as an employee of WLON in the "baseball" press box when the incident happened or was he at the game as a fan or perhaps even as the parent of a player?
Also, if he is not allowed in the "football" press box, even tho a "few years" have past, maybe there is more to the story. Read your story again and you will find that there is no comment from anyone at WL or LCS about this decision.
Thank you for allowing me to share that, in my opinion, The Lincoln Herald should have typed two different stories.

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