Wild Bill Turner’s Sports Roundup

It’s hard to believe we’re only two months away from the opening night of high school football. Teams open Friday night lights August 30th, where fans can be expected to be clad in tank tops and shorts. By the end of the season Daylight Saving Time will be gone and the fashion statements will be more about earmuffs and heavy coats.

All of our great ‘Big-11’ teams will be looking for an outstanding season as the Roanoke Valley continues to provide some of the best high school competition at every level.

I’m waiting on word from the Chief on how I’ll be picking the high school games this year with our print editions only twice a month. My planchette is all tuned up, but I may need to upgrade with a bigger, long-range planchette. (Publisher’s Note: You’ll be doing it weekly Wild Bill for 44,000 plus readers online. But yes, you’ll need to get out your best Ouija board and crystal ball for the two week print forecast!)

This weekend the 4th annual Titan Football Camp invades Dwight Bogle Stadium designed for players ages 8-13. The Saturday camp runs from 9:00 a,m. to noon and day-of-camp registration is available. This is a non-contact camp that teaches offensive and defensive fundamentals as well as team play and sportsmanship. Camp fee is $ 20.

The Salem Red Sox have opened the second half of the Carolina League split-season on a winning note and the Sox entertain Carolina in a three-game weekend set beginning tonight (Friday, June 28th) through Sunday. After a week on the road, Salem returns home Monday July 8th for an eight-game home stand with Myrtle Beach and the Potomac Nationals. Sox game times are 7:05 Monday-Friday; 6:05 Saturday; 4:05 Sunday. From music and fireworks to special promotions, it’s always fun at Salem Memorial Ball Park.

On a somber note, Bill Hancock, father of local basketball standout and NCAA Final-4 Most Outstanding Player, Luke Hancock, passed away Monday morning after battling a long illness. Bill was Luke’s biggest fan, giving neverending support to his son and making the trip to Atlanta in April to watch Luke play. Bill received Luke’s piece of the net cut down after Louisville’s championship victory.

Accordingly, Bill Hancock becomes only the second person ever named as a Wild Bill “Fan-of-the-Year”, following the late Dean Kemp in 2011. Bill will never be forgotten.

Make sure you check the next roundup in two weeks as Wild Bill has been invited to Bristol Motor Speedway to drive the Greg Biffle racecar for a couple of laps. Keep your eyes peeled locally in case I make a wrong turn in turn-three. If this gig works out, I’m hitting the Chief up for a Roanoke Star race car to tour the local racing circuit. (Publishers Second Note: Don’t hold breath.)

Now, to the mailbag where astronomical and lunar photography seems to have grabbed our reader’s curiosity.

Dear Wild Bill: Seems like there’s been some great photo opportunities with asteroids flying by the earth and this week’s oversized full moon. Any tips? (Walter/Floyd County)

Great question, Walter. The oversized (upwards of 18%) supermoon earlier this week gave outstanding photo shoots for even the novice picture taker. Hint:get another object framed with the moon, like a building, mountain or landmark.

The asteroid tail is a totally different matter. Although the P/2010 tail was 620,000 miles long (nearly 3 times the distance from the Earth to the moon) the images were taken by the One Degree Imager camera at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Arizona. This camera is not a walk-up purchase at Ritz…

Good news, though. The Earth will again plow through this asteroid’s stream of meteors, making the meteors readily visible from the Earth’s surface, and a photographer’s delight

So, get your cameras focused and tripods ready. The timelines? The next oversized supermoon: August 10, 2014.

The Earth’s plow-through of the P/2010 tail: about one million years from now.

See, you always learn something when you read this column.

Until next time, keep those camera batteries charged-P/2010 is on its way. Sure hope it’s not cloudy that night.

Send your celestial observations to: info@newsroanoke.com