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Didja hear about last weekend’s 2nd annual Cougar-Raider Golf Tournament?
“We had horrible weather,” admits organizer Andre Cannon, “and everybody showed up.”
All told, the event raised about $10,700 to be divided equally between Carson and South Rowan high schools. The money will benefit each school’s athletic program.
Checks were still coming in Thursday, according to Cannon.
The event was begun by a large contingent of Carson and South parents intent on improving relations between the two schools.
Almost immediately, Cannon says, a rivalry developed. It was mainly between parents ó and it was not pretty.The idea for the golf tournament came about one day after Cannon and friend Joe Miller, a South parent, had just finished a round of golf.
“It was after Carson opened,” Miller says. “Our kids were separated. We said, let’s do something to bring them back together again.”With Patterson Farm as the major sponsor, the tournament plans were off the ground.
With Carson being a new school, it still has some needs for its athletic programs. The same goes for South, an established school.
Parents admit that both athletic programs have suffered with kids going from Carson to South.
While Carson is in a building phase, South faces rebuilding.
That’s caused some bitterness.
“It’s gonna take awhile to build both athletic programs up,” says Rosie Snow, a Carson parent.
The first year, the Principal’s Cup went to Carson. This year, trophies were awarded to both schools, to further cement the bonds of friendship.
“We don’t want this thing to be too competitive,” Cannon points out.
“Plus we’ll have a presence at both schools,” Miller adds.
“I had no trouble last year finding people to sponsor the tournament,” Cannon says. “It’s all about the kids. You’re helping both schools. This is too small a community to get people to pick sides. I don’t have anything against South Rowan. That’s where I went to school.”
“It really doesn’t get to the kids,” Miller says. “They still spend time together on their off time. We want to keep it friendly.”
A positive rivalry is good, points out Rusty Bostian, a South parent. “It builds character and pride within a school. A lot of athletes can leave the rivalry on the field. We want to see the kids and parents leave it on the field and move on and it’s over with.”
No matter where you look in Rowan County, Bostian says, such rivalries exist.
“We welcomed the new school,” Cannon says. “We needed the new school.”
Snow calls the tournament a good time with good food.
Every golfer received a door prize, Miller notes.
Students from Carson and South art departments drew sponsorship signs.
It’s one school tradition Cannon hopes to continue ó although next year, it may be a little later in the season.
“It was wicked, let me tell you,” Cannon says of the weather.

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