Wild Bills Sports Roundup!

Bill Turner

April is here. This month’s showers bring May flowers and April 1st celebrates what most of us are the other 364 days, but, the two top questions around the water cooler are whether The Chief will hold an Easter Egg hunt with cash hidden in the eggs, and exactly when Easter falls this year.

Although I wouldn’t bet on the former, I am, being employed during my college days by a Myrtle Beach motel that opened on Easter, qualified to answer the latter.

The date of Easter is normally the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the March Equinox. On the Gregorian calendar, this means the earliest Easter date is March 22nd and the latest possible Easter date is April 25th. This year it’s April 16th. Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.

On to additional headlines, where we honor some All-Stars, get you on board with a sports club meeting, open up the Salem Red Sox season and wonder a bit about the ACC.

First, a look at our VHSL “Big-11” All-State basketball selections released to date.

GROUP 4A Boys Second Team All-State: Devon Kasey (William Byrd).

GROUP 3A Girls First Team All-State: Drew Freeland (Hidden Valley) ; Second Team: Brooklyn Shelton (Lord Botetourt).

GROUP 2A Boys Second Team All-State: Hank Connor (Glenvar).

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes noted college basketball referee Roger Ayers as its guest speaker for the April 24th meeting at the Salem Civic Center. A 5:45 social is followed by the 6:00 dinner meeting. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information or to purchase tickets. Guests and potential new members are cordially welcomed to attend.

Get ready for another great season of Carolina League baseball when the Salem Red Sox open things at the newly named Haley Toyota Field April 6th with a four game series against the Down East Wood Ducks. The stadium will have a new video board for 2017 that is sure to amaze, and the Carolina League brings its All-State game to Salem this summer in connection with Salem’s 50th year in the league.

ACC basketball dominance in the college game? Well, North Carolina won it all, but the rest of the ACC laid a big egg. The conference got 9 bids to the Big Dance and eight were gone by the Sweet Sixteen. Let’s face it ACC purists, the top teams in the SEC, Pac-12, Big-12 and Big-10 aren’t intimidated by the ACC. To make things worse on Tobacco Road, if you bet on the ACC teams in the Big Dance, not only did you lose the tobacco farm, but also three outhouses in the West-40. The ACC was a woeful 4-14-1 against the spread, and UNC was the winner in 3 of those 4.

That brings us to the ACC tournament comedy in New York City where even the television cameras couldn’t hide the empty seats in the first two rounds. New York is the mecca of basketball, and the greatest city in the world, but the ACC fans failed to show up at the Brooklyn Center and New Yorkers were waiting for the real party across the East River when the Big East tournament held court at Madison Square Garden.

That led Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim to say the ACC should continue to play its tournament in the big media centers, and Greensboro NC had little value as the tournament site. The Tobacco Road media went off on Boeheim, but was he right?

Let me know your thoughts on the matter at info@theroanokestar.com.

Bill Turner