Overcash is grand marshal of Southern Rowan Christmas Parade; complete lineup for Nov. 22 event
Published 12:05 am Tuesday, November 15, 2022
By Susan Shinn Turner
For the Salisbury Post
CHINA GROVE — If you’ve ever played baseball or softball at the China Grove Little League fields, you’ll see a familiar face at the start of this year’s Southern Rowan Christmas Parade.
Ronnie Overcash, longtime league president, is serving as grand marshal.
He was nominated because of all of his hard work with China Grove youth sports by former events coordinator Patti Price.
Overcash started coaching in 1987 when his son, Micah, now 45, started playing.
“I coached ages 9-13 for three years,” he recalls.
Overcash became vice president of the league in 1992, when it expanded to ages 4-6 coach pitch teams and ages 7-8 machine pitch teams. Girls’ softball was added in 2003.
“We expanded according to need,” Overcash notes.
He became league president in 2016.
“We had three good years, and then COVID came along,” he says. “That was the worst year I’ve ever lived through. There was no sports and no church. It was awful.”
Overcash is a lifelong member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where he’s held a variety of roles over the years.
“We bounced back in 2021,” he says of the league.
This year, the league offered spring ball from April to June, with 350 players, then fall ball from September to the end of October, with 295 players.
“I can’t take the credit,” Overcash says with modesty. “I have a tremendously good board and commissioners. One person can’t do it. I have to give my board and commissioners all the credit in the world.”
The commissioners serve over each age group and serve on the board. They’re all volunteers.
Commissioners include Andrew Deal, Will Frazier, Robert Long, Amber Savage, Michelle Gay, Jamie Morgan, J.R. McMillan, Jason Overcash and Jerald Overcash.
Deal played ball as a kid, and his team played against the team Overcash coached.
“It’s like working with my dad,” Deal says. “Ronnie is organized, and he thinks ahead on everything. He communicates well. He’s brought good life skills to a lot of kids. We’ve been around a long time and we’re still going strong, and it’s because of people like Ronnie.”
“Someone took time and effort when my children were growing up,” Overcash says. “I feel like it’s a calling from God. It’s something I can do to give back to China Grove.”
Overcash gives credit to the town for success in youth sports. Additionally, the China Grove Civitan Club donates half of its concession sales to the league.
“It helps us keep costs lower so families can afford to play,” he says. “We don’t turn anybody away.”
Families who come to the China Grove ball fields can count on a family environment.
“We have a policy that parents and coaches can be banned for a season if there’s any bad behavior,” Overcash says. “In this day and time, you have to be a little strict.”
Deal, who’s police chief, says that he encourages officers to come during games and interact with children, so there’s always a positive police presence there.
Ironically, Overcash didn’t play ball growing up.
“The biggest part of my summers were spent with my grandparents in Landis working in the garden,” he says.
His father, Richard, served as China Grove police chief from 1962 to 1984. His mother, Margaret, worked at Cannon Mills in Kannapolis. Overcash served two four-year terms on the China Grove Town Board. He’s retired from Food Lion after 43 years in the distribution center.
Overcash has four children, 10 grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. He travels often to Winston-Salem to see Micah’s three boys play ball.
His sisters, Linda Hampton and Rita Akers, will likely be sitting at St. Mark’s when their brother passes by on the parade route.
“Linda said she’d be there with bells on,” Overcash says. “She’s more excited than I am.”
It will be a family affair for Overcash. His daughter, Rhonda Martin, will drive him, and granddaughter Taylor will ride with him and help throw out candy.
When he’s not at the ball fields, he’s usually playing golf. His favorite course is Pudding Ridge in Mocksville.
The 2022 Southern Rowan Christmas Parade (44th annual) on Nov. 22 in China Grove and Landis. Here is the lineup:
1. Town of Landis Police
2. Town of Landis Police
3. Town of Landis Police
4. China Grove Police
5. China Grove Police
6. Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten
7. Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten
8. Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten
9. China Grove Fire Department Ladder 43
10. China Grove Fire Department Engine 431
11. Town of Landis Fire Engine 1
12. Town of Landis Fire Ladder 58
13. Town of Landis Fire
14. JCHS HOSA Club
15. South Rowan High School Army JROTC
16. Grand Marshall Ron Overcash
17. Bostian Heights Fire Department
18. Bostian Heights Fire Department
19. Rowan County Emergency Services
20. Rowan County Emergency Services
21. Rowan County Emergency Services
22. Rowan County Emergency Services
23. Rowan County Emergency Services
24. Rowan County Emergency Services
25. Rowan County Emergency Services
26. Rowan County Emergency Services
27. Enochville Fire & Rescue Dept, Inc.
28. Landis Alderman / Mayor
29. Landis Alderman
30. Rowan County Rescue Squad Truck
31. Rowan County Rescue Squad Airboat
32. Atwell Township Volunteer Fire Department
33. Atwell Township Volunteer Fire Department
34. Locke Township Fire Department
35. China Grove Town Council – Vintage Fire Truck
36. Tribute to Officer Kara Alsup EOW 12/12/2020
37. Rowan County Board of Commissioners
38. Carl Ford NC Senate
39. Sheriff Elect Travis Allen
40. Orange and Blue Crew JCHS
41. Carson High School Marching Cougars
42. Jesse C Carson High School Homecoming Queen Bailey Zino / Homecoming King Ian Kirchbaum
43. State Employees Credit Union
44. Rowan County Homeschool Association
45. Center Stage Dance Company
46. Center Stage Dance Company
47. Kristina Cook – State Farm
48. Brooks Brothers Home Improvement LLC
49. Trinity UMC Pre-K / J.R. Ritchie Electric
50. Prosale Motors Inc
51. Daimler Truck Group Military Truck
52. Daimler Truck Group Military Truck
53. 704 Powersports
54. Amvets Post 565 Queen Kate Carter
55. RSYFL- Raiders Cheerleaders
56. China Grove Middle School
57. Rowan Little League Softball 8u All Stars – State Champions
58. Team Carolinas Dominos
59. Embellish Boutique/ Brooke & Brooke
60. Legion post 185 Post Commander
61. Dimensions Dance Arts
62. Dimensions Dance Arts
63. S.A. Sloop Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.
64. Truth Ministry
65. Blast Zone
66. Boogerwoods for the cure of Cystic Fibrosis
67. Max Cooper’s 1966 Chevelle
68. Lora Belle Baby/Imagination Clubhouse
69. South Rowan High School Cheerleading
70. South Rowan Raider Regiment
71. South Rowan Homecoming Queen Audrey Weaver
72. South Rowan High School HOSA
73. South Rowan Baseball 2022 3A State Champions
74. Genesis Baptist Church
75. Legion Post 185 Queen Sara Victoria Pierce
76. Jenkins All Terrain
77. Town of China Grove Park Advisory Board
78. Corriher-Lipe Middle School Cheerleading
79. Cornerstone Church of Salisbury, Inc.
80. Rowan Wrestling Academy
81. Barrel Cars
82. Key Real Estate
82A. Key Real Estate
83. Grove Cartel Brewing Company
84. Triple Threat Dance Studio
85. Triple Threat Dance Studio
86. Miss Rowan County Veteran 2022 Rachel Webster
87. National Fleet Management
88. Rowan Republican Party
89. Sport Clips Haircuts of Salisbury
90. Old Town Soap Co
91. First UMC China Grove
92. Highest Praise Kidz Church
93. Southern Style Cloggers
94. Willowbrook Builders Inc
95. Willowbrook Grounds
96. Carolina Farm Credit
97. F&M Bank
98. Camp Gladiator
99. Friendship Baptist Church
100. VFW Post 3006 Auxiliary Kenley Miller Poppy Queen
101. Fletcher and Gaines Salon
102. Cici’s Pizza
103. Kannapolis Pediatric Dentistry
104. Cornerstone Baptist Church
105. Elevation Cheer Co.
106. Goodman Farm Supply
107. Highest Praise Music Department
108. Morgan Well & Pump, Inc.
110. Rowan Relay for Life
111. The Candy Shoppe on Main
112. East Rowan FFA
113. Josh Lyles Photography
114. Salisbury Dance Academy
115. Salisbury Dance Academy
116. JR. Miss North Carolina McKinlee Long
117. The Forum of Salisbury
118. Cub Scout Pack 301
119. Maze Of Terror
120. N.C. Transportation Museum
121. Laci Cummings 2022 Sparkler Supreme Miss Kannapolis Trey Bostian 2022 Mr. Kannapolis
122. Aiyanna Bostian 2022 Director’s Choice Miss. Concord Cydney Livengood – 2022 Teen Miss. Concord
123. Heritage Carports
124. Rowan Public Library – South Branch
125. First Baptist Church China Grove
126. Southern Faith Riders