Sandhills Classical Christian School (SCCS) held its homecoming football game Sept. 8, as a game changing 31,000 square foot Arts and Athletics Center bricked up its walls. The game was held on the mature green fields at the Whispering Pines campus off Rays Bridge Road.
The new Arts and Athletics Center will offer a full-size gymnasium, a theatrical stage, fine art suites, a music room with practice areas, a weight room, showers, restrooms, lockers and a concession area.
The SCCS Lions challenged Cary Christian Knights.
In the first half, Lion Kevin Jackson made the first tackle on the 40-yard line.
Sandhills Classical Christian School Lions and Cary Christian Knights play football at the homecoming game on Sept. 8, 2022.
With 17 seconds left of the first half, at the 40-yard line, there was an incomplete pass to the Lions on the 60-yard line.
The Lions’ cheerleaders chanted over 500 spectators’ endless encouragement to players.
Spectators chomped down tacos, ice cream, and burgers. Children filled the open field behind the football field with a game of soccer, while toddlers tried to out-scream the cheerleaders.
“Go JJ!” “Get ‘em, son!” “Bear down!” “Suck my toes!” Coaches, families, and players shouted!
Spectators cheer at SCCS’s homecoming game in Whispering Pines.
At the end of the first quarter, the Knights were 28 over the Lions at 0.
In the second quarter, Wyatt Monroe tackled a Knight at the 50-yard line.
At the end of the third quarter, Lion Nick Tuepker scooped up the football and dashed from Knights marching at his heels to the 60-yard line.
SCCS Lions and Cary Christian Knights play football at the homecoming game.
There was a penalty on the field when Lion #17 Ashton Harris made a touchdown and pirouetted airborne in victory.
The Knight’s coach saw the threat and hollered for his wide-shouldered players to get on the field and bear down.
Harris was soon tangled with Lions in a layer of deep defense.
But Harris’ second touchdown was penalty free.
Before the game ended, both teams sent the sixth and seventh graders out to ensure their practice hours were rewarded in a true challenge, and the boys returned to sidelines for back pats and cheers.
The final score was Knights at 34 and Lions at 16, and they all prayed together in the field.
Before the game, Head of School Dell Cook, who also serves as coach, took part in a Q & A.
Q: What hardships has the team overcome this year?
A: Our guys have really worked hard and well over the summer to be in good condition to play during this hot season of the year. It’s a real drain on the body to play football in this climate, and the guys have done a good job of being physically and mentally ready for that.
Q: What is the team’s proudest moment — before this game?
A: I’m so proud of the strong sense of dedication to one another that this team has demonstrated. They are really bonding as a group and buying in to the philosophy of team that football engenders.
Q: Will you step down from coaching since there is a new athletic director, Larry Richardson?
A: I’m still coaching for now. The athletic director doesn’t coach every team, rather administers the overall athletic program.
Q: What is Richardson’s prior experience? Is he from Moore County? Tell us a bit about him.
A: Larry comes to us with a great deal of various experience in athletics at the middle school, high school, and college level. Larry worked with Duke University athletics early in his career. He began the Upwards Basketball program in Moore County. And, he’s officiated a number of sports at both the high school and college level for many years.
Q: Where do you see SCCS in the realm of NC school football right now, and where do you see it in 10 years?
A: We are very much in the beginning stages of building a strong eight-man football program at the JV and, later, the varsity level. I hope that we’ll be able to continue to build an interest in the sport and program and have a strong, competitive team at both levels in the state.
Feature photo: Sandhills Classical Christian School Lions and Cary Christian Knights play football at the homecoming game.
~Article, photos and videos by Sandhills Sentinel Journalist Stephanie M. Sellers. Contact her at [email protected].