Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!

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PLAY BALL !

Baseball is upon us – from the start of our high school nines last week to spring training in the major leagues now in full force, in Florida’s Grapefruit circuit and Arizona’s Cactus League.

The Roanoke Star will keep you on top of high school baseball results and the fast-pitch girls softball games from all of our Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ teams beginnng this week and continuing through the road to the VHSL Jubilee in early June.

Our on-line coverage will offer game stories and pictures from area games and assorted spring sports each week. Check daily to see if your favorite squad is highlighted on our sports pages.

No better time than to feature week-one’s Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ baseball Top-3.

#1 William Byrd- The Terriers look strong in all departments, from hitting and fielding to speed on the basepaths. There appears to be excitement gathering at Gary Walthall Field for those famous Byrd night games.

#2 Northside- The Vikings opened with a strong start and Northside will clearly be a factor in the Blue Ridge race. Clutch play is always a trademark of any Northside team.

#3 Hidden Valley- Jason Taylor’s teams typically excel in fundamentals, so expect the Titans to be at the top of the River Ridge. A late-March tournament in South Carolina will give Hidden Valley the upper hand in development.

March Madness began this week, and the ACC was left behind on selection Sunday.

While Louisville, Kansas, Indiana and Gonzaga earned the top seeds in the 68-team shootout, the ACC only managed 4 entries, with a pair of No. 2 seeds and two more in the No. 8 spot.

Let’s face it Tobacco Road diehards, the ACC isn’t the giant killer league of the 1970s, and didn’t fool anyone on the selection committee. It’s a scary thought, but ACC basketball is heading the same direction as ACC football in national dominance. (Publisher’s note: The publisher is not in full agreement with this statement and would encourage readers to watch how far the 4 ACC teams go verses the 8 teams out of the Big Lea . . . err, East.)

The addition of Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Louisville will bring the ACC a much-needed boost. There’s also a good chance  it will also bring a move for the league tournament to New York City.

The current tournament contract in Greensboro runs two more years through 2015. Madison Square Garden should be a virtual sellout for the event in the city that never sleeps. Greensboro has been a snoozeout in recent years, with plenty of empty seats in evidence during the first two rounds. In the good-ole days, that was unheard of.

As I’ve often pointed out, the Chief always wants us journalists to be on the cutting edge of regional news, so the late-night fire on March 9th at a Giles County roadside motel more than caught my eye.

Fortunately, no one was seriously injured when the Rendezvous Motel on Rt. 460 in Pearisburg burnt to the ground. An unknown number of people were able to get out, the fire obviously interrupting everything going on at the Rendezvous.

Pearisburg Volunteer FD Chief Richard Stump, in a statement said, when doors were knocked on and guests alerted of the blaze, “they just kind of scattered.”

I would surmise, as a member of our city desk, that this is normal activity when you intermingle a fire and a rendezvous, catching everyone off guard.

Reports indicated some rooms were occupied by two people, others by three. For you out-of-state readers looking for sports in this part of the column, the latter of those two is often referred to as a golf foursome, less one…

An on-line review of the motel by an October, 2011 guest noted the rooms had concrete floors, a strong smell of cigarette smoke, with smokers ‘hanging around’ outside. No further info was given on whether the ‘hangers-around’ were male or female.

The same reviewer said her room had a microwave and fridge on a dresser, but the cords wouldn’t reach the outlet, so she moved the oven into the sink to plug it in. Just another way to keep your buns warm at the Rendezvous.

No information was available at press time if another local motel had stepped up to handle the rendezvous shortage in the county.

Until we rendezvous here next time, send your inquiries to: [email protected]