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February 2021 - Vol. 2, No. 2

Sports, sports everywhere

Talk about a complete 180-degree change!

This time last year, we were staring a total sports shut-down square in the eyes.

Now, we have more sports than we can shake a lacrosse stick at!

We still have women's lacrosse and men's soccer going, football just getting warmed up, followed by women's soccer, golf, men's tennis, softball, baseball starting soon.

When it rains, it pours (oh wait, not that analogy). Let's say it's great to see all of the student-athletes back in action.

On top of that, an increase in fan attendance will only add to the atmosphere under the lights no matter what sport is being played.

Forward this email to someone happy for some sense of sports normalcy.

Five-in-a-row!
Lady Vikings earn consecutive conference titles

The Union Pines Vikings continued their dominance of the women's 3A Tri-County 6 Conference, claiming their fifth-consecutive conference title, Feb. 19.

Union Pines (11-1 / 9-1) defeated Western Harnett, 65-30, in claiming the championship. 

Aaliyah Balser led all scorers with 25, followed by Emily Bowbliss with 17.


See more Western Harnett game images here.

So close!
Lady Vikings drop a 46-43 heartbreaker in state play-offs

The Union Pines Vikings hosted the Person Rockets in the first round of the 2021 Women's 3A State Championship Tournament, Feb. 23.

Unfortunately for Union Pines, it was one and done as they dropped a 46-43 heartbreaker in the closing seconds of the game.

Sarah Adams led Union Pines with 10 points.


See more Person game images here.

Boney, Bowbliss earn top Men and Women conference honors

The Union Pines Vikings basketball teams had good showings in All-Conference honors this year.

Union Pines Men honorees
All-Conference:
Stevenson Haskell
Ahmad Jones
Kelby Wright
Sportsmanship Award:
Isaiah Robinson
Coach of the Year:
Nick Boney

Union Pines Women honorees
Tri-County Player of the Year:
Emily Bowbliss
All-Conference:
Emma Ring

Women's lacrosse enters second season

If you were to look up the word "resilient," you might find the Union Pines Women's Lacrosse team as a fine example of that word. Break but never bend should be their team motto.

The team has grown, literally and experientially, having only played three games last year before COVID shut down their inaugural season.

This year, with a roster of 26 (15 of those seniors), they have withstood it all. Cancellations due to weather, other teams being quarantined, more weather, and outright cancellations by other teams.

Sandwiched in between all of this, we did manage to pull off some "blackout sportstraits."


Currently sitting at 2-3 and only two games remaining, they have a chance to finish with a better than .500 season.

See more LAX action against Pinecrest here.

Finally!
Viking football rushes into action with a 47-20 road win

Another team that has been resilient this year is Viking football. It looked like in August, we might get some later games in the Fall. Unfortunately, that did not happen.

But perseverance has paid off for the players, and coaches, as football returned under the lights last week.

Before the Vikings scored the first touchdown of the season, we knocked out some "blackout sportstraits" on Feb. 20 with the 14 Vikings seniors.

The Vikings had outstanding performances on both sides of the ball, traveling to Cummings High School in Burlington, N.C., coming away with a 47-20 non-conference win.

This week is Senior Night, and as a bonus, more fans will be allowed in person to watch the Vikings play under the lights.

See more football action against Cummings here.

Parting Shots:

Has it been a year?

The helmets of Union Pines Vikings players honor the late coach and athletic director, Bobby Wayne Purvis, and current principal, Andy McCormick, and his cancer battle. (Credit image: ©2021 Timothy L. Hale)
Up until a few weeks ago, the last time I saw William Wilhoit Stadium was March 12, 2020. It was at that moment, I wondered if I would ever see it again.

My oh my. Look at how much has changed with how we work, live, and play since then.

In some respect, maybe this craziness has helped us to grow a little closer with those around us.

Then again, some may have realized that maybe they were not as close with each other as they thought.

Regardless, we are still here despite any personal loss we may have been dealt. Yes, even my wife's family in Georgia experienced that last year with the unexpected, non-COVID loss of her sister. A loss that still causes us to ponder the "What if's?"

There have been those close to the Union Pines family we have lost. Most notably, the sudden passing of long-time coach and athletic director Bobby Wayne Purvis in May.

Much has happened to all of us this past year and no one on this little blue marble of a planet knows what will happen next.

But through it all, we have persevered and most likely will continue to do so.

Thank you for supporting Timothy Hale Photography! I'll see you on the athletic fields across Union Pines and the surrounding area soon.

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I sincerely thank each of you for your support and encouragement!

A special "Thank You" to Nikon,
Think Tank Photo, Black Rapid,
and
Camera Bits for making outstanding equipment, gear, and software.

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Opinions expressed in this newsletter are purely my own and are not a reflection of any of the companies, corporations, or entities listed herein.
Copyright © 2021 Timothy Hale Photography.
All rights reserved.



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