by Bill Turner
High school baseball and softball district play is in full swing this week with numerous teams looking to advance to next week’s regionals.
Most local district baseball action will require a road trip for area fans. Glenvar plays Thursday at Kiwanis Field in Salem in the Three Rivers tournament, while Blue Ridge contenders fight it out at Casey Field in Covington. The River Ridge showcases its final-four at Calfee Park in Pulaski.
On the softball side of district play, area fans have plenty of options. The Blue Ridge contenders play at Northside Wednesday and Friday, while the River Ridge teams invade the Moyer Complex in Salem on the same two days. Glenvar and schools from Three Rivers move to the Botetourt Sports Complex for their Thursday/Friday, semifinal/final lineup.
In the Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ baseball Top-3, Lord Botetourt rules the number-one spot with an 18-1 record after their second win of the season over Blue Ridge rival Northside. The Vikings stay in the second spot at 17-2. Hidden Valley, after claiming the River Ridge regular season title last Thursday with a win over Cave Spring, holds down third at 13-5-1.
In the ‘Big-11’ softball Top-3, Northside is the runaway leader at 19-1. William Byrd follows at 15-5, with Glenvar coming in third at 16-5.
Girls tennis gets attention this week as Cave Spring, led by #1 player Lauren Sledd, stayed undefeated heading to regional play. North Cross, led by Amherst College-bound Lara Min, finished the season 13-0 although being denied a state tournament berth because other VIS schools play tennis as a fall sport. Congrats to Min, a five-year varsity #1 player, and the entire Raider team.
Now, to last week’s column, and the excitement evoked by our noted publisher. As you may remember, it was questioned (I will mention it did not come from me) if people don’t have any idea they’re being watched on the Mill Mountain web-cam by those in Taipai?
Apparently, our readership is more widespread than thought, so word quickly spread to Taipei that Roanoke does indeed have an isolated mountaintop web-cam and that untold numbers of Taiwanese citizens have been observing our late-night overlook shenanigans. Now rumor has it that Roanoke has become the latest must-see destination among the populous Chinese island tourist crowd. Why go to New York, Washington or California, when, as the web-cam evidences, you can flock to Roanoke for the guarantee of excitement?
I look for the Taiwanese tourist influx to hit the Star City by late-July, so in order to be prepared for our welcomed visitors, I offer the following ‘Know Your Taiwanese Facts’.
1)Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, despite what you saw last week from my editor, is spelled with an ‘e’. (Editors note: Taipai is traditionally fermented food . . . Who knew Turner was on top if his far-east capital city spellings?)
2)The Taipei Financial Center is the second tallest building in the world.
3) Feel free to refer to Taiwan, while being friendly to our guests, as Formosa, meaning ‘beautiful island’.
4)There are 29.55 Taiwan dollars to a US dollar. That means if you’re working at a restaurant and there’s a $10 check, you need be hospitable and collect $295.50 Taiwan dollars. Taiwanese are typically technologically advanced and whizzes at math. We Americans should at least act like we can count money.
Finally, a quick peek through the mailbag, where one reader wants an opinion on a recent Hokie quote and Indians get their credit.
Dear Wild Bill: Any thoughts on new Tech basketball coach James Johnson’s comment that losing recruit Montrezl Harrell wasn’t a big deal since he hadn’t scored a point at Tech or gotten a single rebound? (Steve/Radford)
Answer: Real shocker. I saw the 6’8” Harrell play a couple times and he’s impressive. As far as not scoring a point or getting a rebound- I guess you could have said that about Larry Bird at Indiana State, Magic Johnson at Michigan State, or Michael Jordan at North Carolina before any of those three played their first game.
Dear Future Telecaster: Since you brought it up last week, why did television test patterns have Indians on them? (Louise/Rocky Mount)
Answer: I checked with my TV connections on this one. Apparently it all began in 1938. The Indian test pattern had a specific purpose. It offered the keen-eyed studio technician, after the midnight national anthem signoff, an opportunity to adjust perspective, linearity, frequency response and framing for all cameras. It also gave the late-night movie viewer, after falling asleep during the film, the satisfaction of waking up with someone looking back.
No. I’m not auditioning for a test pattern. But, in the meantime….. HOW.