This week in history we look back 10, 25 and 50 years to see what was happening in eastern Wake County. Spring is here, bringing competition on its coattails. Ten years ago, Knightdale High School’s new softball team pulled off their inaugural win against the Overhill Panthers in Fayetteville. In 1990, the Mudcats were opening their season and planning a new stadium near Zebulon. And in 1965, seven young women competed in the Zebulon Beauty Pageant.
Brand-new Knightdale High School’s softball team took their first win against the Overhill Panthers in Fayetteville 10 years ago.
The Knightdale High varsity softball squad put it all together, then prevented falling completely apart last week upon recording the first victory in program history.
The Knights caved in Overhills, 18-16, under the footsteps of 23 total steals, the punch of 10 base hits and the meteoric impact of pitcher Jordan Moose (16 strikeouts vs. just five enemy base knocks over seven innings).
Those guests gusted onto their first-year squad’s turf and pasted six-quick sticks. Though they allowed five in the first, they continued their combating with six more runs in the second to build a 12-8 gap. The Panthers crept within 12-11 after three, but Knightdale’s one in the fourth and four in the sixth and one in the seventh re-established 18-12 breathing room going into the seventh.
There, the defense threatened to choke by coughing up four of its eight accumulated errors until clumsily closing the door. That final bout with nerves barely tainted the celebration of prior execution. “The girls got flustered, then pulled themselves together and pulled off the win,” Coach Guy Blough said.
Moose proved especially bull-headed in the comeback attempt as she ended the jeopardy with two whiffings and a coerced squibber to the mound. She also came through at the plate (3-for-5), three RBIs, homer, two runs, three steals) as well as on the mound.
... “We showed tremendous improvement in every aspect of the game – hitting, fielding, base running,” Blough added. “Though the game was sloppy at times, it was fun for fans to watch as two equally matched teams slugged it out. I personally am very proud of our girls for how they played, how they rallied together and the total team effort it took.”
Twenty-five years ago, the Carolina Mudcats’ opening week was overshadowed by plans for a potential home stadium.
It was a rainy night in Georgia Friday when the Columbus Mudcats opened the 1990 baseball season, but team owner Steve Bryant says he sees nothing but clear skies ahead for his Double A franchise.
Bryant met with the board of directors of Triangle East of North Carolina Inc. yesterday (Wednesday) in Tarboro to discuss the establishment of a sports authority for ownership of a new stadium near Zebulon. A Triangle East press release said the board was expected to set up “a working group to examine the feasibility of a regional sports authority to construct and operate a stadium to be the home of the Mudcats.”
Bryant is close to announcing the initial members of the sports authority which would own and manage the stadium.
An endorsement supporting professional baseball in eastern Wake County was also anticipated from the board of directors.
“...Everyone here is just excited about the season opening,” Bryant said Friday from Columbus. He said some of the fans in Columbus have organized a booster club to demonstrate their support for the Mudcats but, Bryant added, “I think they realize the team is leaving.”
During this week 50 years ago, Zebulon was preparing for the Miss Zebulon parade and pageant, which included a four-page spread about the contest and seven contestants, including:
Judith Gwendolyn Wilson, Contestant #1: Judy is the 22-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Haskins Wilson of Wilson, N.C. She is a 1961 graduate of Ralph L. Fike High School, has attended Atlantic Christian College and Hardbarger Business College in Raleigh and is presently attending peace College in Raleigh.
Judy has had four years of clarinet, two years of piano and two years of dancing. She was State FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) contest winner in 1961, winner of the State Lions Club Talent Contest in 1962, has been a majorette, and has been an outstanding member in several extracurricular activities in school.
With brown hair, Judy stands at 5’6 1/2”, weighs 130 lbs. and has hazel eyes.
For her talent Judy will do a song and dance routine.
Brenda Ann Worthington, Contestant #2: A senior at Middlesex High School, Ann resides at the Free Will Baptist Children’s Home of Middlesex, N.C. Her guardians are Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Johnson.
Ann has had special training in voice and would like to further her education at Hardbargers Business College in Raleigh.
At the age of 19, Brenda stands 5’3” tall, has blue eyes, medium complexion and light brown hair. For her talent Ann will sing a song selection.
Patsy Hales, a 17-year-old senior at Wakelon High School, won the contest.