It’s a new year and I hope all my readers had an awesome holiday period.
This is a busy time for sports, and there’s no word if The Chief is enjoying his Bowl Light, although an array of colors have been reported coming from the executive washroom.
That being noted, we’ll head right to some well-deserved awards in the high school ranks, awards honoring baseball contributors, trivia on a new baseball team headed to the area, some highs and lows of The Belk Bowl and an update on the Rail Yard Dawgs.
We’ll pick up where we left off last time with recently announced VHSL All-State selections.
Group 4A All-State Football First Team:
Offense-Salem’s Noah Beckley (QB), Josie Staples (offensive lineman), Viante Tucker (receiver), Nate Craft (kicker); William Byrd’s Larry Basham (running back).
Defense-Salem’s Riley Fox (linebacker), Kionte Burnette (D-back); William Byrd’s Devon Kasey (defensive end).
Offensive Player of the Year-Noah Beckley; Defensive Player of the Year-Riley Fox and 4A Coach of the Year-Salem’s Stephen Magenbauer
Group 4A All-State Football Second Team:
Offense-William Byrd’s Devon Kasey (offensive lineman) and Salem’s Luke Owen (kick returner).
Group 5A All-State Girls Volleyball Second Team:
Patrick Henry’s Taylor Eichelberger
Group 3A All-State Football First Team:
Offense-Hidden Valley’s Ryan Mitchell (receiver) and Chris Daniel (tight end); Lord Botetourt’s JT Turner (offensive lineman).
Group 3A All-State Football Second Team:
Offense-Hidden Valley’s Kole Bridgers (offensive lineman).
Defense-Lord Botetourt’s Noah Overstreet and Northside’s Phillip Bartkiewicz
Group 3A All-State Girls Volleyball First Team:
Hidden Valley’s Drew Freeland and Annie Clark; Northside’s Katelyn Dilcher
Coach of the Year-Hidden Valley’s Carla Ponn.
Group 3A All-State Girls Volleyball Second Team:
Lord Botetourt’s Miette Veldman.
Congratulations go out to Buddy Bolding, Chad Beagle, Jason Anderson and Scott Smith for their upcoming induction into the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame (see today’s feature article).
We’re only three months away from the Salem Red Sox opener, but can you name their April 6th opening home opponent? How about the Down East Wood Ducks. Yep, the Carolina League is expanding to 10 teams and the Wood Ducks are the visitors. For the record, that nickname edged out Eagles, HamHawks, Hogzillas and Shaggers for the Texas Rangers affiliate. What else can you say? Play ball!
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club presents Media Night at its January 16th meeting at the Salem Civic Center. Get all the scoop with the 5:45 social and 6:00 dinner meeting. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 to purchase tickets.
The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs continue their SPHL chase in January with home games Jan. 12 and 13 vs Mississippi, Jan.20 vs Knoxville and Jan.22 vs Fayetteville.
Lastly, to the mail bag where a reader tests my college bowl savvy.
Dear Wild Bill-With all those bowl games what were the highlight and lowlight this year? (Nathan/Roanoke).
Well, Nathan, Virginia Tech’s amazing come-from-behind 35-24 win over Arkansas in the Belk Bowl is tops. On the down side, the Arkansas player who was arrested for shoplifting after getting a $450 gift card to use at Belk, then hiding an extra $200 in his bag of booty.
Until next time, wood duck decoys notwithstanding, send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.