Cuthbertson Middle School Soccer Team Gives Back To Community

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The Cuthbertson Middle School soccer team is producing on and off the field.

On the field the Cavaliers is a perfect 8-0 heading into this week’s Union County Middle School tournament. The championship game will be held Friday in Monroe.

The team has scored 21 goals this season and they didn’t allow a goal in the first seven games off the season.

“They have had such an amazing year,” said team manager Juli Spellings. “We have 11 eighth-graders that just have been awesome leaders. They have really brought the team together.”

Off the field, the Cavaliers are also known as blanketeers. Despite games and practice and with school winding down, the team found time May 3 to sit down and make 21  homemade blankets for Project Linus.

Project Linus volunteers, known as blanketeers, provide new, handmade, washable blankets to be given as gifts to seriously ill and traumatized children ages 0-18.

It is Project Linus’ policy to accept blankets of all sizes, depending on local chapter needs. All blanket styles are welcome, including quilts, tied comforters, fleece blankets, crocheted or knitted afghans, and receiving blankets in child-friendly colors.

All blankets must be homemade, washable, free of pins, and come from smoke-free environments due to allergy reasons. The girls provided all the fabric needed to make the blankets.

Spellings said the girls on the team discussed doing a community service project shortly after tryouts and the finally settled on Project Linus. The blankets were made at the school.

“We looked at bringing a charity to us right after school,” Spellings said. “Three women from the charity came in after school and showed the girls how to make them. They then dispersed and the girls made 20 blankets in 90 minutes. They did really well.

“It was a nice team-building exercise.”

Project Linus has chapters all across the country and the Cavaliers partnered with the Charlotte Project Linus Chapter, which serves the entire Charlotte metropolitan area. Since 1995, Project Linus has received nearly 6.4 million homemade blankets and the local chapter has distributed blankets to 41 different groups, hospitals, police and fire departments and other charitable organizations.

Spellings said the girls will deliver their blankets in the next several weeks. Spellings thinks that the team will deliver the blankets to CMC Union Hospital in Monroe.

“CMC Union is right here in our backyard,” Spellings said.

Project Linus also takes monetary donations at There are many expenses involved in maintaining Project Linus. Normal expenses for the  organization are fabric, batting, yarn, other blanket-making supplies, blanket labels, printing, office supplies, shipping, accounting and auditing.

Team members are Addy Benz, Karlee Benz, Marissa Bosland, Summer Brennan, Katie Capuana, Brooke DeRonne, Maureen Garrity, Marisa Gonzalez, Hannah Green, Laura Green, Eva Happel, Ally Hearne, Hayden Hord, Kelsey Jarrett, Miranda Moorhouse, Kate Murray, Rachel Northup, Caroline Palmer, Kelly Poole, Nora Roman, Anna Ryan, Olivia Simon, Caroline Smith, Abby Spellings and Emma Weber.

The team is coached by Mike Yarussi and Jeff Jarrett.

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Paul Nielsen
Nielsen was a sports writer for what is now the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for nearly 32 years before moving to North Carolina in February 2016. At the Democrat-Gazette, Nielsen's primary responsibility was beat coverage for Rogers High School. Rogers is a Class 7A school located in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen, a University of Arkansas graduate, covered the Northwest Arkansas Naturals Minor League Baseball team from 2008-2015. The Naturals are the Double-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.
Nielsen has experience covering University of Arkansas athletics, including NCAA Tournament basketball games and several football bowl games. He also covered amateur and professional golf tournaments in Northwest Arkansas.
Nielsen lives in Matthews with his wife, Susan. He can be reached at