by Bill Turner
High school spring sports finally reached its conclusion last weekend with the VHSL Spring Jubilee at Radford University.
Here’s a look at how the Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ teams fared in all the various spring sports during the final stretch.
Cave Spring lost in the Group AA State Baseball Semifinals, 4-3, to eventual champion Powhatan at historic Calfee Park in Pulaski on Friday in a game that started only two hours after the Cave Spring graduation ceremonies were completed at the Salem Civic Center.
Great effort by Head Coach David Dunstan and the Knights in a hurried road trip that saw mortar boards switched to baseball caps before manning the first base dugout.
Hats off to Powhatan starting pitcher Andrew Corbitt, who throws for the Indians despite having only one hand. Corbitt positions the glove on his left arm, fires to the plate with his right before quickly juggling the glove back to his right hand to gain the ability to field. Great example of how perseverance and determination can overcome an obstacle.
In the Group A boys tennis team final, Glenvar fell to George Mason 5-0. The Highlanders were eliminated by a Mason team that won its third straight state title and who have provided Glenvar’s only loss for two consecutive years.
It’s only mid-June and the start of the high school football season is over two months away, but area standouts take to the gridiron next Friday (June 22nd) at William Fleming for the Southwest/Central Virginia All-Star Classic.
“Big-11’ players picked for the Southwest All-Stars include Ryan Gerhardt and Tyler Francis (Cave Spring), Marty Bishop (Salem), Jacob Mabry (Glenvar), Gino Saunders and Adam Hardister (Northside), Keith Jennings and Joe Barton (William Byrd), and Nick Conte (Patrick Henry).
The head coach for the Southwest squad will be Tim Fulton of Cave Spring, while Heritage’s Brad Bradley will lead the Central. Bradley should be a familiar name to Roanoke high school football fans. He was head coach at Patrick Henry before moving to Amelia County two seasons ago, leading to the arrival of Alan Fiddler at PH.
Monday night’s Stanley Cup final saw the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Kings dispatch New Jersey 6-1 to take the best-of-seven series 4 games-to-2. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick was named MVP of the Finals, garnering the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Another prior Kings netminder has some connections to the Roanoke area. Former Roanoke Express goaltender and current Smith Mountain Lake resident Daniel Berthiaume was the Kings goalie during the 1990-92 seasons. Berthiaume, known even then as ‘The Bandit’ first took to the pipes for LA in October 1990 against Vancouver, before going 27-21-5 in his stint with the Kings.
In Major League Baseball, the upstart Washington Nationals are atop the National League East heading into this weekend’s interleague matchup at Nationals Park against the New York Yankees. Expect record crowds in DC for anyone making the 4-hour trip for Friday night’s game or the afternoon contests on Saturday and Sunday.
The NBA Finals between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder should be a dandy, as the Thunder starting five should give plenty of challenges to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
It’s just over two weeks until the much-anticipated Greenbrier Classic PGA TOUR stop at the Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. With Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson and Tom Watson among the pros in this year’s field, along with Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Toby Keith and Lionel Richie on the Greenbrier Concert Series stage, record crowds are expected.
At press time, tournament badges priced at $189 were still available through Friday, June 15th at First Tee Roanoke Valley and area high schools, where part of the proceeds are returned to the local organizations. The badges include admission to each day of golf and all concerts.
Finally, we conclude this week with a correspondence that took me to task over the now-famous Mill Mountain web-cam. Arlene, from Roanoke, blasted me that she has enjoyed the web-cam and the views it offers of the overlook and vistas of the Roanoke Valley. “I’ve never seen anyone displaying their fanny, nor can I see the first sign of a flag or flagpole. You shouldn’t put that stuff in.”
Well, Arlene, a prior week reader’s comment referred tongue-in-cheek to the hilarious Fannie Flagg, a long-time co-host of the old Candid Camera show. It was not intended to reference buttocks or the stars and stripes.
Until next week, I’ve got to regroup. I see the Absolut . . . Now if I can just find the Bloody Mary mix.
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