by Bill Turner
Well, July is upon us and things in the world of sports are just heating up for area fans. There’s a lot to digest, so let’s make a run through the area happenings.
This column may be the weekly roundup, but certainly no roundup will be bigger than the July 20-21 Monkey Rodeo during the Salem Red Sox games at Lewis Gale Field. Have you ever seen a monkey in cowboy garb riding a dog? If you haven’t, come out to the ball park to see what you’ve been missing.
I’ve got my cowboy hat dusted off for this one, and Wild Bill will offer full coverage of the proceedings. Specific events and names of pro rodeo monkey riders have yet to leak out, but I’m hoping a couple talented monkey ropers will lasso in a Saint Bernard or two.
Speaking of the Salem Red Sox; they return home for a 3-game series against the Potomac Nationals Thursday through Saturday (June 28-30). On Thursday, I’ll be on the concourse to carefully observe, as many of you already know is now tradition, the opposing team’s outfield alignment.
The Greenbrier Classic gets underway Monday, with the actual four-round tournament Thursday through Sunday.
Tuesday, July 3rd, is Youth Day at The Old White TPC in White Sulphur Springs and rising Salem High School senior Alex Hart will represent First Tee Roanoke Valley in the First Tee Scramble. Hart will be paired with a yet-to-be-named PGA pro in the four-hole skins format to compete for the $ 10,000 first prize benefitting a First Tee chapter.
Wednesday will be the Greenbrier Classic Pro-Am where gallery members get their best chance to see the players up-close and potentially grab an autograph. Once play begins Thursday for the $1.08 million first prize, things dramatically change.
The 23rd anniversary of the Commonwealth Games will hit the Roanoke Valley July 20-22 with the main games, opening night ceremonies and the Washington Redskins 80th Anniversary Thank You Tour on tap. The Commonwealth Games continue to grow, now attracting 10,000 athletes in 60 sports, as well as providing significant economic impact to the area.
The Wild Bill column is ready to move on to new horizons after Franklin County Speedway owner Whitey Taylor extended an invitation this week for yours truly to view an upcoming Saturday night race from the infield and pit row at the Callaway track.
I took Taylor up on the offer and will be reporting from trackside next month. Quite frankly, I’m excited about seeing the guys trade paint at FCS. I’m bringing a couple of cans of light blue to hopefully swap for some flat black.
Finally, after a week off, we revisit this week’s swelling mailbag.
Dear Wild Bill: You opened a Pandora’s Box with all the Mill Mountain web-cam talk. Have you ever been up there yet for your remote broadcast?
Answer: I’m waiting on my FCC Indian test-pattern. Don’t laugh- there may be more truth to this than you think.
Dear Bookie Bill: Will you be predicting high school football scores again this fall? (Wayne, Elliston)
Answer: Absolutely. And, here’s my first pick of the season – Grundy over Twin Valley by 24 in the Golden Wave’s season home-opener.
Until I get the crystal ball cobwebs swept away, send your inquiries to: [email protected]