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Thunder, Mouth of the South face off in Apple Ugly contest

By Nathan Hardin
nhardin@salisburypost.comFAITH ó Things are going to get ugly in Faith today.
Apple Ugly.
And Rowan County residents will have one of their own to cheer in an epic rematch of last year’s first Apple Ugly Eating Contest.
Keatin “Thunder” Shelton is looking for a little sweet revenge against Dale “Mouth of the South” Boone.
It all goes down ó and the competitors hope it all stays down ó at 12:30 p.m., just after the parade at the Faith Fourth of July celebration.
Though they won’t be the only two competing to see who can eat the most Apple Uglies ó a local pastry made by Apple Baking Co. ó in 10 minutes, Shelton is focused on Boone.
That’s because the 6-foot-3, 330-pound Shelton finished second in last year’s contest, downing 14 Apple Uglies. Boone won the competition by eating 17.
“Yeah, it’s kind of a rivalry,” Shelton said this week. “I want to win. Apple Baking Co. is from my hometown and I want to hold the record.”
Last year was Shelton’s first attempt at competitive eating. He has since become a member of the World League of Competitive Eating (www.wloce.com), which ranks him fifth.
Boone is the organization’s top-ranked competitive eater. And he says he’s looking forward to today’s contest.
“Thunder better be ready,” Boone said by telephone Friday. “He pushed me last year.”
Shelton, who works full time as bar manager at Salisbury’s Club Liqwid, said he’s learned a “few tricks of the trade” over the past year and is hopeful he will break the record.
“I’ve learned little tips like how to dunk the Uglies and what to dunk them in,” Shelton said.
Shelton is concerned about the time of the competition time being changed. Last year, it was held in the evening.
“I’m on pace to break my record, but the competition being during the day, with the heat, is a big concern to me,” said Shelton.
Although the heat may be a concern, one thing that’s not is the quality of the Uglies.
“Apple Uglies taste so good, I just wanna slow down and enjoy them,” said Boone.
Boone, who is driving to Faith from a competition in Washington, D.C., said this year’s contest will be even more exciting because it will include four superstars from the World League of Competitive Eating, including Suzanne French and Larry McNeil.
Boone participates in as many as 150 eating competitions a year, while Shelton only participates in the Faith Apple Ugly contest.
“It’s just fun, as long as you enjoy doing what you’re doing,” Shelton said.
The competition will take place immediately following the parade in Faith at the main stage. More information can be found at www.faithnc.com.

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