by Bill Turner
High school baseball and softball moved into high gear this week as teams are starting to establish their position in district races. In Wild Bill’s baseball Top-3, Hidden Valley remains atop the pack with an impressive 8-1 record. The Titans are showing strength both on the mound and with their bats in the early going. Lord Botetourt (11-3) and Salem (8-3) hold down the other two spots. Breakthrough teams include Cave Spring, with three straight River Ridge wins, and North Cross, at 10-3.
The Wild Bill softball Top-3 got a shake-up this week after William Byrd’s convincing 6-0 win over defending state champion Northside. The Terriers (10-3) take over the top spot, followed by the Vikings (9-2) and newcomer Cave Spring (7-5). The Lady Knights have won four straight games by three runs or less to evidence their fortitude in the close ones.
The sizzling game of the week belonged to North Cross with their 23-0 win over Roanoke Valley Christian. North Cross slugger Thomas Weaver belted three home runs in the game while Craig Hoelzer continues to be one of the area’s leaders in batting average. Interestingly, it was the first loss of the season for RVCS. North Cross has scored 20 or more runs in four of its wins.
It was a big day at Patrick Henry’s Gainer Field last Thursday as new Patriot head football coach Alan Fiddler was introduced to the media and PH players. Fiddler brings a coaching background that includes a seven-year stint in the college ranks at Division II Glenville State, and ten years at the high school level at Moorefield (WV) that includes six state championships.
University of Richmond head basketball coach Chris Mooney had the Roanoke Valley Sports Club laughing Monday night when he told of his early coaching duties as head coach of Division III Beaver College (now Arcadia University). The Pennsylvania institution of higher learning had as its campus centerpiece, Grey Tower Castle. The stone castle was popular for weddings, and Mooney took on the extra duty as wedding coordinator for those wanting to tie the knot at Grey Tower. With the success of the Spiders and his new 10-year contract, I suspect Mooney will be more likely to be throwing cash, than rice, in the future.
Hats off to everyone who braved the elements in the National College Blue Ridge Marathon Saturday. That includes the volunteers and law enforcement who guided the runners. It was a true test of grit for those who completed the entire 26.2 mile course. At the height of the deluge, I had trouble just keeping my car in the road.
Now for a quick look at this week’s mailbox:
Dear Wild Bill- Can I assume you don’t think Tiger Woods is a gentleman golfer? (Gene/Salem)
Answer: Makes no matter what I think. But, earlier this week a Norfolk journalist called Woods a certifiable jerk. Somebody must know something to certify it.
Dear Mr. Wild – When Hokie head football coach Frank Beamer retires in a few years, and Sean Beamer is named the new Tech coach, will Cheryl Beamer retain Bud Foster as defensive coordinator? (Hoos fan/Charlottesville)
Answer- I know you’re pulling my leg, Hoos fan. But it did get a chuckle.
“I never forget a face … but in your case I’ll gladly make an exception” – Groucho Marx
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