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June 2021 - Vol. 2, No. 6

Here's to summer!

The view from the 14th floor of the Holiday Inn Beach Resort in Panama City, Beach, June, 1, 2021. Read more about our visit to PCB in the Parting Shots section at the end of this newsletter. (© Timothy L. Hale)
The high school sports season wrapped up this month. I believe it was a true testament to school administrators, coaches, players, parents, and fans that the COVID-19 sports season is officially in the books.

I can personally say, it was an honor and privilege to be able to document the accomplishments of Union Pines athletics during this unprecedented season.

Away from the field, businesses are opening up and are looking for new hires, a pretty good indication that we may have turned the corner.

So, without further delay, here is a look back at June and the sincere hope you have a safe and glorious summer!

Forward this email to someone ready to soak up the summer sun!

Vikings claim conference title
Drop Western Harnett, 16-6

The Union Pines Vikings put away Western Harnett, 16-6 on June 11 to claim the outright 3A Tri-County 6 Conference championship.

Home runs by Trevor Hilburn, Jack Lange, and a walk-off grand-slam from Micah Monaghan was too much for the Eagles to handle. It was Monaghan's first career prep homer and he did it in grand fashion.

See more game action at the link below.
HSBB-Union Pines v Western Harnett_11June21

Vikings return to state tournament
Faced a familiar opponent from 2018 

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. - June 15, 2021 - Maybe it was fate, or maybe it was just bad luck and timing but #10 Union Pines faced a familiar opponent in the first round of the 3A State Baseball Championship Tournament; #7 Terry Sanford.

The last time these two teams met in the state tournament was in 2018 when both teams were making their first fourth-round appearance in the 3A East Regional. That hard-fought game ended with Terry Sanford winning 1-0.

Hoping for a different outcome this year, the Vikings entered the first round with a 12-1 overall record and the Bulldogs were 13-0.

The Vikings opened up the scoring 2-0 in the first but the Bulldogs answered strongly with 13 runs from the second through fourth innings. The lead was too much to overcome ending the Vikings' hopes for a second-round game.

In a cruel twist of fate, Terry Sanford's offense was non-existent in the second-round against #15 Clayton, June 17, as the Comets hammered the Bulldogs at home, 11-0.

The Vikings finished the season at 12-2 overall and 8-1 in the Tri-County 6 Conference.

See more game action at the link below.
HSBB-Union Pines v Terry Sanford_15June21

Vikings rake in post-season accolades

Union Pines Vikings head baseball coach Eric Marion and four players were selected for post-season Tri-County 6 Conference honors, the most of any team in the conference.

Marion was named Coach of the Year, while seniors Bryson Horney, Ethan McKay, Jack Lange, and junior Chance Purvis were named All-Conference.

Read more about their individual and team stats in this article from Jonathan Bym in The Pilot.

War Horse returns to CHP

Round two of the War Horse Event Series returned to Carolina Horse Park, June 12-13, where I was on assignment for ZUMA Press.

It was a beautiful weekend and now that spectators have returned, it felt like the events of the pre-COVID era had returned.

More than 300 horses and riders competed in multiple classifications across three disciplines - dressage, stadium jumping, and cross-country.

See more action at the link below.
EQU-WarHorseEventSeries_13June21

Parting Shots:

Celebrating mom's 90th birthday

If there is one that COVID should have taught us this past year is that life is so precious, and too many of us (myself included) often take it for granted.

Natalie and I traveled to Panama City in early June for my mother's 90th birthday. My family is geographically separated - brother and his family in Las Vegas and Natalie and I here in Southern Pines. My sister and her family still live in PC. Son Zach and his family are in Indiana (unfortunately, they didn't make the trip but were with us via FaceTime). On top of that, my siblings and I are more than a few years apart in our ages, with me being the youngest at 57.

It is not often that we all can get together, but we all made the trip for a milestone birthday event. The visit was a great time to catch up and see how the nieces and nephews have grown.

You could tell that Mom was happy to see everyone all in one place for a change.

The bonus to the trip was that my brother Bill and his wife, Rose, visited us in Southern Pines on their "scenic tour" of middle America back to Vegas. We gave them the windshield tour of the area and ate local on Saturday. Then, on Sunday, I took him out to Reservoir Park, capped off with dinner cooked on the Big Green Egg (hey, it was Sunday, after all!), and some "porch sittin'" on the screened-in porch as night fell.

It was a great visit that, unfortunately, wasn't long enough. But we have images (of course) and memories to last us until the next time we see each other.


In July, we get to celebrate Nat's mother's 95th birthday in Georgia! We should all be so lucky to reach that age!

So, if there is a lesson to be learned, it would be this. Get out and live your best lives right now. We are not guaranteed another day, but if we make it to our 90s, we should consider ourselves lucky and thankful that we made it that far.

See you next month...hopefully!

 
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A special "Thank You" to Nikon,
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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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