HCA News & Events
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HCA Basketball Coach Named MVP at ACC Barnstorming TouHCA Basketball Coach Named MVP at ACC Barnstor
Beaulaville, NC • April 12, 2017— ACC fans and local players gathered together for the ACC Barnstorming game at East Duplin High School Wednesday night where they were able to watch, and for two Harrells Christian Academy coaches, play against some of the ACC’s biggest stars.
At the end of the night, HCA Athletic Director and Head Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Clayton Hall was named MVP for the East Duplin All Star team, a collection of local players invited to square up against the ACC players, including a handful of recently crowned National Champions from UNC Chapel Hill, in a short game of basketball.
Hall and his brother, Assistant Varsity Boys Basketball Coach at HCA, Nolan Hall, played against the ACC stars as a part of the East Duplin All Star team. Both Nolan and Clayton are proud HCA alumni.
Speaking on the event Clayton Hall stated, “It was truly an honor for my brother and I to play a fun game of basketball against some of the best college basketball players in the country.”
HCA senior Sierra Votaw attended the event as a spectator and was amazed to see some of the hottest names in NCAA basketball up close and personal. “I grew up in South Dakota and we don’t get to experience things like this,” said Votaw. “I don’t think everyone understands how unique it is to be able to see guys like Luke Kennard up close and personal just down the road from your house at a local high school.”
Every Spring the ACC Barnstorming Tour chooses eight different locations around the state to host its ACC Barnstorming All Star Games. The ACC All Star teams consist of seniors and, occasionally, players who have already decided to turn pro from Wake Forest, NC State, UNC Chapel Hill, Duke, and ECU. They are coached by former Tarheel player and former Sacramento Kings point guard Phil Ford.
After the game is over the ACC All Stars hold a 15 minute autograph and picture session so all the fans get to meet their favorite players.
This year’s ACC team included Luke Kennard, Amille Jefferson, and Assistant Coach Nolan Smith from Duke University; Isaiah Hicks, Kennedy Meeks, Stillman White, Nate Britt, and Kanler Coker from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; BJ Anya, Terry Henderson, and Tucker Thompson from North Carolina State University; Trent VanHorn from Wake Forrest University; and Andre Washington and Caleb White from East Carolina University.
“We would like to thank East Duplin High School for allowing us to participate. It certainly is a memory that we will never forget,” added Clayton Hall.
On Friday, January 13, 2017, Harrells Christian Academy’s “Pink Out” fundraiser raised over $16,000 for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund’s Play4Kay program and honored local cancer victims and survivors in a special ceremony.
Under the direction of Holden Quinn, Athletic Prefect, the event began with a simple goal, to beat the money earned the year before. “I knew we had a ton of work to do, so we started brainstorming different ways to make our goal. I knew we had been recognized for our achievements the past three years in a row and I didn’t want to let the school down by not achieving that again,” said Quinn.
The entire K-12 student body took part in this spectacular event which kicked off earlier in the week with a pie a teacher in the face fundraiser. By Friday, students competed for who could wear the most pink and the senior class held a pep rally to get everyone hyped up for the big game and the fight against cancer. From a three-point shootout and dunking contest to a blindfolded makeup application contest, the pep rally was full of fun and laughter and pink.
Friday evening, JV and Varsity basketball teams played their hearts out on the court, surrounded by a whirlwind of balloons, a silent auction, and mini fundraisers throughout the gym. This year Quinn invited Pork City Que, a food truck out of Rocky Point, to provide brisket, barbecue, and chicken to hungry fans.
The night was capped off with a moving halftime ceremony during the varsity boys game, complete with a special appearance by Sampson County’s own Chasity Melvin, a former player under Coach Kay Yow from 1994-98. Fighters and survivors of all cancers were invited out on the floor and a lighting ceremony was held in memory and in honor of all cancer patients. At the end, Quinn presented a pair of pink boxing gloves to Tracy Moore, an HCA mother who is currently in the middle of her fight with breast cancer.
“HCA did an outstanding job with their event as far as their fan and community participation, and a donation that far exceeded expectations,” said Melvin, who currently serves as the Fund’s Director of Communications. “Their half-time celebration of the survivors added a sentiment that everyone in the audience could feel,” she added. “We appreciate all the young adults for their commitment to charitable excellence and the community for exemplifying what the Kay Yow Cancer Fund Play4Kay movement is all about.”
Since 2007, the Kay Yow Play4Kay initiative has raised over $3 million dollars in support of women’s cancer research and related projects. The initiative carries out Coach Yow’s vision to unite coaches, student-athletes and fans in the fight against women’s cancer.
Since 2014, Harrells has been named a division winner, contributing more to the Play4Kay program than any high school in North Carolina.
HCA teacher Meredith Horne added, “We have to give credit to Debbie Campbell, the HCA parent who started our Pink Out games. And this event’s success wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors who gave so readily and so generously. We are so blessed to live in such a giving community.” Sponsors for the event included: Star Communications, Performance Automotive, Duplin Winery, Deacon Jones Automotive of Clinton, The Beach Shop and Grill, Bill Carone Chevrolet, GMC, Buick of Wallace, Black, Chesnutt, & Johnson PA, Southern Bank of Kenansville, Hobbs Auto Sales, Lee Graham - Farm Bureau of Wallace, and South End Outfitters.
Junior Miranda Wells of Rose Hill has won HCA's Poetry Out Loud recitation competition, receiving a $100 prize and the opportunity to compete for the state championship title in Greensboro this March.
All HCA Upper School students memorized and recited a poem of their choice in the classroom round of this national competition. The twelve finalists who won their classroom rounds prepared a second poem for recitation in the schoolwide competition. A panel of four outside judges awarded 1st place to Miranda Wells, 2nd place to junior Lucas Thornton of Wallace, and 3rd place to freshman Aidan Kunst of Clinton. "It was amazing to see these young people performing great poetry at such a high level," said Mark Cox, a widely published poet and UNCW professor who helped judge the contest.
A total of $50,000 in scholarship awards and school stipends will be awarded at the Poetry Out Loud finals, with a $20,000 college scholarship awarded to the national champion in Washington, DC this spring. The Poetry Out Loud program is designed to encourage youth to learn about great poetry through memorization and performance, and help students master public speaking skills, build self-esteem and internalize an appreciation for American literary heritage.
Thank you to HCA English teacher Mrs. Natalie Pope for organizing and administrating this new Harrells tradition!
Cooperstown Dream Park Experience
by Ayden Fussell
Lou Presutti, Sr. once said, “Every kid should have an opportunity to play baseball in Cooperstown.” This was once said to Lou’s son and grandson during an annual trip his family took at The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. In 1992 Lou Presutti, Sr. passed away and the dream grew in the hearts of Lou’s son and grandson which made the dream become an addiction. In 1994 the family made plans to build a park that consisted of 22 baseball fields and a championship field where only opening and closing ceremonies for the tournaments took place, and the main event of the week, the championship game. In 1996, the construction was finished. This park also offered a cabin for each team participating in the tournament, an arcade so the players don’t get bored during free time, and a huge tent where the park can serve food and drinks for every breakfast, lunch, and diner. The park has twelve tournaments each week in the summer with 96 to 104 teams participating. Their dream truly became a reality.
Thankfully that dream gave me an opportunity to play baseball in Cooperstown. On August 5, 2016 I arrived at Cooperstown Dreams Park after a long twelve hour ride. There was a long line to drop off the 1,127 players at the cabins. It took at least thirty minutes to get through the traffic and finally arrive at the cabin where I would stay the rest of the week. My family told me to have fun and they would see me the next day. They soon left after talking to the coaches while I ran to find my team.
One thing you may need to know about Cooperstown is that at each tournament there is a tradition of trading team pins for other team pins and that is what I found my team doing. I got my pins and I ran to get other teams’ pins. After a long night of pin trading, my team went back to our cabin to wind down. A lot of the teams were exhausted from the long drive or flight. Others were not because it was about 7:00pm or 8:00pm in their time zones and they were loud. At about 10:00pm a staff member told us it was lights out and he told my coach to please turn off the lights and that is when our night ended.
In the morning our coach woke the team up and told us to put on our jersey because we had team pictures. We walked to the picture studio and took our picture, then we headed back to our cabins and put our casual clothes on to go to lunch. At about 7:30 the opening ceremony began with the crowd cheering as the National Anthem and the Canadian National Anthem were sung. Yes, there were teams from Canada at Cooperstown too. After the Opening Ceremony we went to our cabins and started to get some rest before our first game.
Our first game we won 16-1 and I hit my first home run. I was very happy in my accomplishment and I was ready for my next and final game of the day. The rest of the week was a blur. My team finished out 4-4, ranking #35 out of 104 teams, and I got the most home runs on my team with four! I was very happy with my team’s results because we had great talent playing against us from around the nation every day. On the way back home all I could do was talk about Cooperstown. It was one of the best trips of my life. I totally agree with Lou when he says, “Every kid should have an opportunity to play baseball in Cooperstown.” It is an opportunity you cannot miss.