DSC_8975 12 Coleman Bryson 5 Cain Early.jpg

TACKLE — Tuscola’s Coleman Bryson looks to bring down Pisgah’s Cain Early during the Haywood County Clash.

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant major changes for the high school sports calendar. With the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s Revised calendar, the first sports (volleyball and cross country) won’t start contests until Nov. 16, and football won’t start until February.

This has created a fall sports void to be filled. Paula Barton, head of marketing and advertising at The Mountaineer, has organized a photo contest with pictures to be displayed on the newspaper’s website.

“Sports are very important to us,” Barton said, “but for now, this is something we can do and make a fun contest out of it.”

There will be three categories to honor the traditional fall sports of football, volleyball, cross country, girls tennis, boys soccer and cheerleading: best local individual photo, best local team photo and best historic team photo.

Submissions will only be accepted via email to photocontest@themountaineer.com, and submissions are limited to three total photos per person. The contest is being sponsored by Mast General Store. The Mountaineer’s staff will choose a first ($50 Mast gift card) and second ($25 gift card) place winner for each category.

“It’s a way to get different generations involved in sports,” Barton said. “Not just the kids involved but their parents, people who have played for the local schools in the past. The contest is going to get everybody involved. Our sponsor is Mast General, and we’re giving away gift certificates from them to the photo winners. So it’s just going to be a lot of fun.”

The Mountaineer will begin accepting photos on Aug. 19. Winners will be selected Oct. 5, and the submissions will remain live on the newspaper website until Nov. 25.

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