Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!

Bill Turner

It’s time to celebrate America’s Independence, and what better way than with the Wild Bill Fireworks Edition.

There’s been a lot of whispering around corporate headquarters on whether The Chief is going to put on one of his elaborate firework displays this year. That led one of our interns to ask when fireworks first became part of the Fourth of July celebration.

Well, it was back in what I’d call the infancy days of The Star, especially if you remember our original banner included the word “Sentinel.” The Chief finally dropped that word after I spelled it wrong six straight months.

For the record, John Adams came up with the idea for fireworks on The Fourth back in 1776, with the first display occurring on July 4, 1777. They reportedly shot off 13 fireworks including serpents, cherry wheels, table rockets and fountains. Pretty much the same stuff you can still buy at Myrtle Beach. (Which are probably leftovers from Adams’ show.) Yes, you always learn something in this column.

If The Chief buys fireworks this year, I’ll honor John Adams by bringing several cases of Samuel Adams, being the historian at heart that I am. Until The Chief mulls that proposal over, let’s get to this edition’s look at sports, and a peek at the good, the unfortunate and a sports Spelling Bee that will test anyone’s patience.

We open with our long standing tradition of honoring the VHSL spring sports All-Stars from the “Big-11.”

Group 5A Boys Lacrosse First Team: Brice Johnson, Kyle Mollica, Nick Pace, Andrew Hamilton and Ikie Smith from Patrick Henry. Ikie Smith-Player of the Year; PH head coach Josh Wilkinson-Coach of the Year.

Group 5A Boys Lacrosse Second Team: Brooks Waskey and Kenyon John from Patrick Henry.

Group 4A Girls Lacrosse First Team: Lilly Blair (Salem).

Group 4A Girls Lacrosse Second Team: Millie Kidd and Kacie Hansen (Hidden Valley), Makenzie Redding and Maddie Bowman (Salem).

Group 4A Boys Lacrosse Second Team: Zach Mason, Evan McMillon and Karak Paisley (Salem).

Group 3A Baseball First Team: Cody Boone (Hidden Valley).

Group 3A Baseball Second Team: Evan Parks (Northside), Nelson Stanley (Cave Spring).

Group 5A Boys Soccer First Team: Irazoke Donasiyano, Endjick Albert and Sam Knisely (Patrick Henry).

Group 4A Girls Soccer First Team: Evyn Magenbauer and Hannah Couling (Salem).

Group 4A Girls Soccer Second Team: Mallory Edwards (Salem)

Group 3A Boys Soccer First Team: PJ Allen and Nick St. Pierre (Northside).

Group 3A Boys Soccer Second Team: Isaac Wolf (Hidden Valley), Daniel Pereira and Bailey Poff (Northside), CJ Poulsen (Cave Spring), Blake Johnson (Lord Botetourt).

Group 3A Girls Soccer First Team: Sara Bane (Lord Botetourt)

Group 3A Girls Soccer Second Team: Jordyn Sadler and Izabelle Thompson (Hidden Valley), Hannah Bane and Hallie Catron (Lord Botetourt), Jessica Lachowicz and McKinley Polard (Cave Spring).

Group 2A Girls Soccer Second Team: Kelic Horner (Glenvar).

Group 3A Softball Second Team: Taylor Loving (Cave Spring), Madison Via (Northside), Hannah Mundy (Lord Botetourt).

Congratulations to all first and second team All-State picks by the VHSL, and because of the commitment and time invested, The Star names every spring sports player to our 2017 All-Star team. Good work gals and guys.

A reminder to all area sports fans that the new year kicks off July 31st for the Roanoke Valley Sports Club. Here’s your chance to hear many of the top names in area sports at the club’s monthly dinner meetings. Contact Maggie Dreary at 540-353-1103 for information on becoming a member.

Now, to the unfortunate, where the Salem Red Sox managed to give away the first half championship in the Carolina League Northern Division after losing their final four games to Wilmington, thus allowing the Lynchburg Hillcats to take the top spot via a tiebreaker. After a great Carolina League All-Star game in Salem that coincided with Salem’s 50th year in the league, the Salem Sox must now regroup to make a push in the second half.

Finally, to the short and long of things on the LPGA Tour, where sportswriters have been subjected to getting their spelling in order. Su Oh leads the list of short names, easy even for the most clueless of spellers. But, it’s a whole different matter with LPGA pros Pannartat Thanapolboonyaras (25 letters) and Sherman Santiwiwatthanaphong (27 letters). Better have your game on when those two hit the leader board.

Until next time, have a great 4th and I’m off to ice down the Samuel Adams. And, to think, I couldn’t spell “Sensentual?”

Bill Turner