Meet the Vikings Night Set for Thursday
Union Pines High School is holding its annual Meet the Vikings night Thursday in Cameron.
The event gets started at 6 p.m. at Woodrow Wilhoit Stadium and, according to athletics director Bobby Purvis, it serves as an excellent way for the community, fans and supporters to get ready for the upcoming fall sports season.
“This thing really boils down to out with the old and in with the new,” said Purvis. “It is a celebration of the new athletic year, which always brings with it a lot of excitement and anticipation.
“More than anything it is a good community event that everybody can share in, and we encourage people to come out. It is a great night and is a kickoff to our fall sports season and our entire athletic school year. It also gives people a chance to see all of our teams and all of our players, as well as our coaches for the fall.”
Starting with the cheerleaders, each player from every team will be introduced at midfield before each squad then poses for a photograph that will go in this year’s Union Pines fall sports program. In total, seven sports teams will be meeting the crowd, including volleyball, boys’ soccer, cross country and girls’ golf.
“In a few days (after Thursday), the games are going to begin,” Purvis said. “The teams are going to start playing and the coaches are going to start coaching when it counts, and there is nothing better than that.
“Last year’s teams and results were last year’s, and this year’s teams are what counts now. So we could not be more thrilled to get the ball rolling.”
According to Purvis, concessions, Union Pines season athletic passes, along with Viking spirit clothing and accessories, will be on sale.
The featured event of the evening will be a Blue-White scrimmage for the Union Pines Viking football team. Kickoff for the intra-squad practice contest is set for 6:45 p.m.
“It is always exciting for our community to see the team and get a taste of it and what our guys might look like on the gridiron for the upcoming season,” Purvis said. “In a way this is a chance for our players and teams to take the veil off for the first time and truly show our fans and parents what we got.
“At the same time this night is a rewarding one for our athletes,” added Purvis. “Many of them have been working extremely hard throughout the summer, so it is nice for them to have this sort of recognition and interaction with our fans before there are any wins or losses in the record books.
“Because a few days from now it will all start coming together, and that is what you work so hard for — to play regular season games.”
The Viking football team will be participating in a four-school jamboree at Lee J. Stone Stadium in Asheboro on Friday that includes Lee County, Wheatmore and the host Asheboro High Blue Comets.
Scrimmages start at 6 p.m., with each team facing off in abbreviated sessions against the other three schools in attendance.
The 3-A Vikings officially open their football season Friday, Aug. 17, on the road back in Asheboro against the 3-A Southwestern Randolph Cougars at 7:30 p.m.
Union Pines officially sets sail on the seas that comprise its fall athletic season Monday, Aug. 13, as the Lady Vikings volleyball team travels to Rockingham to meet the 4-A Richmond Raiders, and the Vike girls’ tennis team travels to Chapel Hill for a dual match with the 3-A Tigers.
The Union Pines varsity boys’ soccer team takes the field in its season opener, two days later, on Aug. 15 in a cross-county clash at 4:30 p.m. with the Falcons at The O’Neal School.
For those interested in multiple sponsor-vendor tents, the Union Pines’ booster club promises several will be up and ready for business starting at 5 p.m. on Meet the Vikings night, prior to the actual introduction of teams.
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