Appalachian Animal Rescue Center Presents 'SUPER ADOPTION DAY' :: Saturday, April 25 from 11am to 4pm at The West Gate Shopping Center :: click here for more info!

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The Macon County Soccer Club launched a new Academy Program this fall, for boys and girls under 10 years of age. In the first season, the Macon County Academy players met opponents from eight different clubs altogether, and for many of them, it was the first opportunity to travel and play outside of the county. Players are grouped into girls, boys, or coed teams for game days, to create the best possible experience for the players.

The Academy Program focuses on skills development and building solid fundamentals in youth players. In North Carolina, the Academy program began in 2007 and has grown to more than 70 clubs statewide. In the west, there are just four neighboring clubs with Academy teams within an hour drive, but larger clubs like ABYSA in Asheville host invitational tournaments each season, which draw a couple dozen regional clubs. The Macon Academy players plan to attend the state Academy showcase in the spring, where they will compete against some of the best clubs in the state.

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LAS VEGAS - As the culmination of a calculated risk that led to a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championship, the NASCAR industry joined together last Friday night at the Wynn to honor 2014 titleholder Kevin Harvick, who claimed stock car racing’s most coveted prize in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing.

In his speech at the Sprint Cup Awards Banquet, Harvick revealed just how much of a risk he took in changing teams after the 2013 season.

“After 13 seasons at Richard Childress Racing, I made the move to Stewart-Haas Racing,” said Harvick, who joined forces with long-time friend and SHR co-owner Tony Stewart this year. “And I have to admit, I was scared to death. I tried to play it cool, but it was a pivotal moment in my career. I was venturing outside my comfort zone, and I had to make it work. Tony, I consider you to be one of my best friends. You promised me if I came to Stewart-Haas Racing, we would win a championship, and we did just that. You are a man of your word.”

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Panthers head to Denver N.C. for the fourth round of playoffs against undefeated team.

The Franklin High School varsity football team faced their toughest test yet last Friday night when they took on the Monroe Redhawks, a team that entered the contest with an 11-4 record, its only losses coming from bigger schools. In fact, some pundits were calling for a dominant win by the Redhawks while others were leaning towards Franklin by a small margin.

Monroe had speed on their side and big players filling their offensive and defensive lines, but Franklin proved exactly why they have made it so far without a blemish on their record. The packed out home crowd quickly realized the type of back and forth affair it was going to be when Monroe drove easily down the field on the first drive of the game only to be picked off when going for it on fourth down.

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The Franklin Panthers' varsity football team is heading to the third round of the 2A state playoffs next week. To make sure of it though, they had to get through a tough West Stokes Wildcats team on Friday night at the Panther Pit.

The Wildcats entered the contest with an 8-4 record, a record that looked quite a bit better than what the teams in the WNCAC had. It looked to be a close game according to pundits and they appeared to be right in the opening quarter. Neither team was able to get an offensive game going and it looked as though it could very well be decided by the defenses and in a way it was.

Franklin's Jeremiah Young forced a turnover about halfway through the first quarter to give the Panthers a short field to their end-zone. Capitalizing on the fumble, Franklin scored the first touchdown of the game.

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