April 2021 - Vol. 2, No. 4

Spring sports are in the pollen

April was quite busy with Spring sports appearing like, well, you know, Spring flowers, and I did my best to cover it like pollen in the wind.

So, before I come up with another horrible Spring analogy, let's get started!

Forward this email to someone ... no one in particular, just do it.

Union Pines Women run the table
Complete 13-0 overall, 9-0 conference dominance

The Union Pines women's soccer team rolled through April, knocking off Tri-County 6 Conference opponents on the road and at home.

When the dust settled, Union Pines stood alone undefeated in the regular season and the conference (13-0/9-0), the first time since 2015 when they went 16-0 and 12-0 in the Cape Fear Valley Conference.

The Lady Vikings knocked off Southern Lee and Western Harnett on the road 9-0. They returned home April 12-13, hosting Lee County and Triton, dispatching both teams 10-1.

April 19 and 21, Union Pines was on the road at Lee County, then back home against Southern Lee with final scores of 1-0 and 4-0, respectively.

They rounded out the month with conference foes Harnett Central on Apr. 27 and finished at home Apr. 28 with Western Harnet.

HSSOC-W-Union Pines v Western Harnett-28Apr21
HSSOC-W-Union Pines v Lee County-13Apr21
LATE BREAKING:  Union Pines is the #4 seed in the NCHSAA 2021 Women's Soccer Championships. Union Pines hosts #13 seed Fike, Monday, May 3 in the first round. See the complete 2021 Women's Soccer Championship bracket here.

Lady Vikings softball swings away
Score wins against North Moore, Harnett Central, and Southern Lee

In what had to be the shortest of the shortened Spring sports, Union Pines softball started on March 22 and ended on April 29, a mere six weeks.

Seniors Sam Allred, Gracie Jolly, and Kennedie Westbrook, finally were able to finish what they started last year before the pandemic abruptly ended their season.

Union Pines recorded wins against Harnett Central, Southern Lee, and North Moore.

Congratulations to Sam, Gracie, and Kennedie, and good luck in your future endeavors.

UPHSSB Senior "Blackout Sportstraits"
HSSB-Union Pines v Triton_07Apr21
HSSB-Union Pines v North Moore_21Apr21

Vikings baseball returns
Hosts Pinecrest scrimmage,
Drop 17 on Montgomery Central

The "Boys of Summer," or in this case, the "Boys of Spring," are back in action on the Union Pines diamond. 

The Vikings hosted Pinecrest in a "no scoreboard" scrimmage on April 22. It was a time for both teams to solidify player positions and gave them a chance to work on some situational baseball without the pressure of keeping score. While Pinecrest did score more runs at the end of the night (don't ask me, lost count for both teams), each team ended the night the way they started 0-0.

The Viking opened the season at home with a 3-1 victory over Anson on April 27th.

Union Pines followed up with another home game on April 30th with Montgomery Central. The visiting Timberwolves looked like they might squeeze out a win trailing 7-6 into the top of the 4th. However, the Viking bats sizzled in the bottom of the 5th, sending 10; yes, TEN runs across the plate for a 17-6 mercy-rule win.

The Vikings have two more non-conference games with South Johnston (on May the 4th be with you day) and North Davidson (May 7th). The conference season begins at home on May 11th, with Harnett Central at home. The regular and conference season ends, June 11th, at home again Western Harnett.

HSBB-Union Pines v Pinecrest Scrimmage_22Apr21
HSBB-Union Pines v Montgomery Central_30Apr21


Vikings split final two games
Cox departs after three seasons,
search for replacement begins

A split with Triton and Western Harnett coming down the stretch doomed the Union Pines Vikings' chances for a shot at the post-season. Add to that the unexpected resignation of three-year head coach Lonnie Cox and the Vikings football team would prefer to put this year behind them.

Triton came to Wilhoit Stadium on April 1st, and it was Homecoming '21 for Union Pines. That being said, Triton had no intention of being anyone's bad Homecoming date or an April Fool's joke, handing the Vikings a stunning 60-27 defeat.

On a more positive note, Emily Bowbliss and Ethan McKay were named Homecoming Queen and King. Natalie McCullough and Kishon Davis were named Ms. and Mr. Union Pines.

The following week, the Vikings took out their frustrations from the Triton loss on the unsuspecting Western Harnett Eagles on the road. The Vikings at least ended the season on a positive note with a 49-12 win.

The rising seniors will regroup once again, looking to the future and the new head coach. As of this newsletter, no replacement for Cox has been announced.

HSFB-Union Pines v Triton_01Apr21

Parting Shots:

Going back to work is exhausting

So, this past month, I finally went back to my headquarters building at Bragg for two weeks straight for the first time since...well, um...., I really don't remember.

On the one hand, it was fun, exhilarating, and great to actually see people, instead of little avatars of themselves on MS Teams and body-less voices on a headset.

On the other hand, traffic on the way to Bragg is what I remember from the pre-pandemic days. The workload is the same whether you are at home or in your actual workplace.

Add in the nearly every day of the week Spring sports schedule, and it makes for a daunting balance of work, sports, and home life. Let's hope this positive trend continues, and we continue to be able to get back to a normal sports schedule for the 2021-22 school year. At least, that's what fall sports coaches are working towards with workouts underway.

Be safe, and we'll see you next month!
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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.
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