Buice column: Stars in the sky matched by those on the field

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 2, 2023

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Ah, high school football on a Friday night in the village…

Pitting rivals West Forsyth vs. East Forsyth…

With the Central Piedmont 4-A Conference regular season championship on the line…

On a perfect late October evening for football…

What could be better? 

Well, perhaps a victory for the home team, but it wasn’t meant to be as East beat West 45-35 in an epic battle of county heavyweights — a disappointing outcome on Senior Night for the Titans.

The game had a little bit of everything in the three-hour shootout with Caman Chaplin, West’s standout record-setting back, running over, around and by East defenders … and the Eagles’ talented quarterback Bryce Baker using his big arm to connect on deep shots to a talented group of receivers and his legs to escape the West defense with timely big gains.

Just for the record, Baker, who is committed to play his college football at North Carolina, threw for a season-high 342 yards by completing 20-of-25 passes with five touchdowns while running for 61 yards.

Meanwhile, Chaplin, finding holes created by a massive offensive line, galloped for 283 yards on 31 carries with three scores and added a pair of catches for 44 yards in an equally amazing performance.

I just hate I missed his game a few weeks earlier when Chaplin steamrolled Davie County with an unbelievable 365 rushing yards on 37 carries with five TDs and another three receptions for 84 yards and a score in a 50-42 Titans’ triumph.

Wow, just wow.

As a former sports writer who spent many Friday nights in press boxes throughout the area back in the day covering prep games, it was fun to be at a high school football game live again, enjoying a sense of community in the stands, and watching two outstanding programs continue a long rivalry.

On a night where a full moon was emerging, the stars in the sky were matched by those on the field.

• • • •

If you’re a certain age, you may remember the television commercial in the early 1990s featuring Michael Jordan at the top of his game and popularity as a professional basketball player. It was called “Be Like Mike.”

Well, our local area can certainly relate to that catchy slogan with next Tuesday’s municipal elections in Clemmons, Lewisville and Bermuda Run with all three mayoral races featuring candidates named Mike.

And like Jordan, their chances of winning are looking good since all are running unopposed in the Nov. 7 election.

Incumbents Mike Rogers (Clemmons) and Mike Horn (Lewisville) are certainly seasoned veterans on the political scene. 

Rogers made his debut in 2011, winning a seat on the Clemmons Village Council as a write-in candidate and served multiple terms on the council before being elected mayor in 2021. On the other hand, Horn goes back even farther in his time in local government, serving in Lewisville for 26 years — with the last 10 years as mayor — but struggled with his decision to seek another two-year term. Ultimately, he did, stating in his Candidates Q&A in last week’s Courier under the occupation category: “Redirected (Not ready for retirement yet).”

Then there’s Mike Brannon (Bermuda Run), who is the newbie in terms of years in the political arena. I recall him being a regular attendee of council meetings each month for quite some time before running for a seat on the board — and winning two years ago. With Rick Cross deciding not to run again in 2023, he stepped up to file for mayor.

Barring any stunning upsets, three guys named Mike will rule in our area of the Triad.

• • • •

For the masses who read this column, I haven’t mentioned any favorite foods in recent editions, but I feel compelled to make my case for what my wife and I consider to be our top pick when we visit the North Myrtle Beach/Calabash area — which we did in October.

It’s called Gravy, which features a most unique name and some of the best seafood you’ll ever eat. I frequently go for the fried flounder and my wife gets the fried shrimp. Then there’s all the comfort foods such as meatloaf, oven roasted turkey and dressing, real mashed potatoes, broccoli & cheese casserole, peach cobbler, caramel pecan bread pudding, etc.

They admit to not being known for being fancy or pricey, but always strive to have great food, including large portions, and service. That’s my kind of place.

On our recent trip to the coast, NCDOT had a signed posted saying that Hwy. 179 between Sunset Beach and Calabash — the road to Gravy — was closed. We thought, “Oh no.”

But a handmade sign attached to the state sign said: “But the road to Gravy is Open.”