OK, take it easy on me! It wasn’t a perfect 11-0 performance, but last week’s 7-4 record wasn’t too shabby in a week that saw a number of surprises. And, 7-4 will get you around Vegas wearing a ten-gallon hat.
My biggest blunder was the trifecta of misses on all three of my Southwest County squads; Cave Spring, Hidden Valley and North Cross. I picked them all to lose, but since they all won in dramatic fashion, it eases the pain somewhat.
Oh, well, another Friday night is upon us, so back in the saddle I go. If you see me on the sideline wearing my ‘Lone Ranger’ mask disguise kit, just wave; but don’t shout my name. Those coaches all seem to have good ears.
Week-nine offers eight ‘Big-11’ games with Fleming and North Cross getting the open week. Without further ado, “High-Oh Silver, Away!”
Patrick Henry at Halifax County: The Patriots are in dire straits in the Western Valley District race. Two straight losses have both been the result of late big plays by the opposition. The Patriots will benefit from going on the road and PH will lasso the Blue Comets. Patrick Henry- 28 Halifax County- 13.
Staunton River at Lord Botetourt:
The Cavaliers are one win away from a winning season under first-year coach Jamie Harless. Staunton River visits Daleville at 2-5. Lord Botetourt circles the wagons. Lord Botetourt- 26 Staunton River- 10.
Northside at William Byrd:
Can Byrd repeat after their blowout win at Alleghany? After 3 early losses, is Northside ready to rustle up a bunch of wins in the Blue Ridge? The Terriers may need a big posse to take down the Vikings. Northside- 30 William Byrd- 15.
Blacksburg at Cave Spring: After their huge win over Pulaski, Cave Spring celebrates homecoming at Bogle. With confidence boiling over in the Knight camp, somebody better guard the Blacksburg Security Bank. Cave Spring- 35 Blacksburg- 10.
Christiansburg at Salem: The Spartans remain the only ‘Big-11’ undefeated at 7-0. Can Christiansburg rebound after their 28-0 takedown at Hidden Valley? Never get off a winning horse, even if it’s in the livery stable. Salem- 33 Christiansburg- 13.
Hidden Valley at Pulaski County: The Titans are healthy, big, and have the stagecoach rolling in full gallop. Pulaski is looking for the strongbox robbery, but the Titans should have the guns ready. Hidden Valley- 21 Pulaski County- 13.
Radford at Glenvar: Three teams in the Three Rivers are 2-0 in the district; three are 0-2. That will change when somebody goes to 3-0. Three of a kind is a winner at the Longbranch. Radford holds the best hand. Radford- 28 Glenvar-19.
Fuqua at Roanoke Catholic: The Celtics are coming off their first win last Friday at Vineyard. Fuqua is 2-5, with 2 losses from forfeits. Even Festus couldn’t figure this one out. “It’s a dad-blame toss-up, Matthew.” Roanoke Catholic- 18 Fuqua- 16.
Congratulations go out to Hidden Valley head basketball coach Troy Wells for his induction Monday night into the VHSL Hall of Fame. Wells, a long-time fixture at Martinsville High School before moving to Hidden Valley, has always emphasized the importance of character and integrity in molding student-athletes who have played under him. A very well-deserved honor.
Finally, a somber note in the passing this week of long-time Andrew Lewis head football coach Eddie Joyce. Joyce was the defining force for Salem football in the 1960s and 70s.
A student and letterman myself at Andrew Lewis, Joyce was a great athletic director, assistant principal and my senior homeroom teacher during my heyday at Lewis. He once tested my intellect by asking me how to pronounce a word, spelling it out syllable by syllable, mac-hi-ne. I’ll never forget his laughter after I said it sounded Scottish.
Joyce also offered me sanctuary in the coaches’ offices after a practical joke I pulled on a former Lewis principal. “You better head down there and let me handle this,” he thankfully suggested.
But, Joyce will always be remembered by athletes as a hard-driving winner that demanded commitment, enjoyed success and was a great friend to everyone.
The Wild Bill column salutes Coach Eddie Joyce.