Wild Bill’s Weekly Sports Roundup

by Bill Turner

As Alfred Hitchcock would say—- “Gooood evening.” Sorry, I don’t have a shadowy side-profile with my tongue sticking out to grace today’s column, but jump on board for this week’s, as ole Alfred would say, “bizarre story from the Cassell of Blacksburg.”

Virginia Tech basketball offered a week of twists, turns and strange comments from the pundits iin Hokie Hoopland, many of whom need to have their crystal ball confiscated for non-performance.

It’s been a whirlwind, so what better way to offer the week in review than with a Wild Bill Bottom-Line Quick Ticker.

Hokies end the season with a losing record, thus no post-season bid; Tech pundits say Tech Head Coach Seth Greenberg needs to be given another year to develop freshman recruits; grumblings indicate some players may bolt due to Greenberg, as had happened previously; assistant coaches, including James Johnson, leave Hokieland for other programs; Tech panics, tells Johnson they will match his new salary at Clemson; Johnson says “no”, saying leaving had nothing to do with money (Wild Bill Tip #1-read between the lines on that one); Jim Weaver fires Greenberg; reported morning incident at Blacksburg restaurant in which more than eggs were fried; Tech goes on coaching search; Tech pundits have everyone from VCU’s Shaka Smart (Wild Bill Tip #2- you’ve got to be kidding) to Dean Smith (probably makes more sense than Shaka Smart) as the new coach; SMU, which was supposedly rumored to be looking at Greenberg, hires Larry Brown; Tech hires James Johnson as head coach (Wild Bill Tip#3- if they hadn’t done this, there wouldn’t have been enough players left to have a good game of HORSE); basketball upheaval takes away uproar of cancelling the spring football game.

 For the record, I’m in the James Johnson corner. He saved the day for what could have been, taking from a Hitchcock classic, a ‘Psycho’ episode that would have made Cassell Coliseum look like The Bates Motel.

Johnson has energy and enthusiasm. If anyone watched the hilarious Weaver/Gabbard  performance, Johnson surely brings a ray of hope to the Tech program. Give him a chance – everyone deserves one.

Now, to the local scene where there was a big shakeup in the Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ baseball Top-3. With its convincing 5-0 win over previously unbeaten Northside, Lord Botetourt (14-1) takes over the top spot, heretofore occupied by the Vikings (14-1) since week-one. The Vikings host the Cavaliers in a Blue Ridge rematch May 15th.

HIdden Valley (9-4-1), despite a 10-9 loss to Cave Spring Tuesday afternoon, holds on to third place after their walkoff win over potential pollbuster William Byrd on Saturday.

In the Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ softball Top-3, Northside (15-1) firmly stays in the #1 spot, followed by William Byrd (13-3) and Glenvar (11-3). Northside visits Byrd this Friday, May 4th, for a key Blue Ridge showdown and ‘Big-11’ supremacy.

Track and Field enthusiasts should flock to the new William Fleming track Thursday, Friday and Saturday for the annual COSMO Track Meet. The 47th event will showcase the area’s top track and field athletes, while returning to its orginal site in 1966.

It’s only two months until the PGA TOUR’s Greenbrier Classic returns to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. To support First Tee Roanoke Valley, weekly badges can be purchased by calling Jennifer Blackwood at First Tee (540-312-5111). Badges, now priced at $189, include daily admission to the tournament, parking, and admission to all of the Greenbrier Concert Series, which in 2012, includes Lionel Ritchie, Rod Stewart, Bon Jovi and Toby Keith. Best deal in sports for the July 2nd-8th week.

One quick look at the mailbag, where cancelling the Tech spring game made no matter to one reader.

Dear Wild Bill: Our spring game being called off was no-count. Wait ‘til we break-er-out in the fall. It’ll be a fifty-five gallon drum of ass-whup thrown on somebody. (Junior/ Marion)

You got it, Junior. I’m putting my helmet on already.

As, Hitch would say, “see you next week for another intriguing story.”

Meanwhile, if you don’t have Vertigo, send your comments to : info@newsroanoke.com