Monday, March 25, 2013 —
Recognizing his enthusiasm for sports and his organizational skills, Kermit Young was often asked to form new leagues, especially for youth athletic programs. His enthusiasm was contagious, and soon many others followed his example and began volunteering their time and talents as coaches, umpires and financial supporters.
In 1951, Young pulled the Norwood community together and organized a youth baseball program for boys ages 13 and under. Three teams participated in this first program and at the end of the season an all-star team was selected to participate in a state tournament at the Durham Bulls’ Stadium in Durham. The following season, Young led the effort for Norwood to join the official national Little League program. He and a few other community leaders led a fundraising effort and constructed a regulation Little League ballpark in Norwood. In 1953, Norwood hosted the area Little League tournament. The Norwood Little League all-star teams enjoyed great success in tournaments over the next several years, and Young served as league president for most of these years. During this time, Young often came straight from work in his white shirt and tie to drag the local Little League ball field on his company’s Ford tractor.
In the 1950s, the Stanly County school system did not fund football programs at the individual high schools. The Albemarle City Schools had a special city school tax that enabled Albemarle High and Kingville High to support football programs. Funding from ALCOA allowed football to be played at Badin High School and West Badin High School. But none of the other county schools had a football program. Through the organized fund raising efforts of Kermit Young, the town of Norwood raised enough money to build its own football stadium at the high school, and to furnish a team with football uniforms and equipment. Young called upon his friend, Bear Knotts in Albemarle, and a few volunteers recruited by Knotts to assist newly hired football coach, Hugh Giles, and high school football was begun in Norwood.