WILD BILL’S SPORTS ROUNDUP!

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Bill Turner
Bill Turner

April showers bring May flowers. UVA, yea, yea, yea. And, while Mount Sentinel proceeds with discretion, I’m ready to answer many a question.

Little doubt I could qualify as The Star’s poet laureate. Now, the only thing I need is for The Chief to buy me a raven that sits and talks outside the window, along with a couple bottles of expensive brandy. The likelihood of all that is best described as “Nevermore.”
Last month’s glitzy Mount Sentinel idea, transforming the face of Mill Mountain into a Mount Rushmore takeoff with five great newspaper publishers sculpted in immortality has definitely brought quite a number of comments, suggestions and questions.
One reader wondered if Mount Rushmore was conceived in a similar, off-the-wall manner. The answer is “Yes.”
Few people would have anticipated in 1884 that Mount Rushmore would eventually become a major tourist destination. It was nothing but a South Dakota rock in those days when a New York City attorney, Charles E. Rushmore, came out to this area to check legal title on properties. After finishing his work, he asked Bill Challis, a local resident and guide, the name of the mountain. Challis replied, “Never had a name, but from now on we’ll call it Rushmore.”
Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.
At this point, I’d like to say I’m not campaigning for this great Roanoke edifice to be named  “Mount Turner”, although the corresponding notion to have the Star Line Trolley transport tourists to the top, before making the return downhill trip through an operating room at Carillon, does have validity in a renaming to the “Wild Bill Trolley and Appendectomy A-Line.” No need to work in my name at the next stop, MacAdo’s, because that great eatery already has a burger named after yours truly.
Virtually all comments about The Chief being one of the sculpted-five have been positive because of his long standing focus on positive news, and one lady (we’ll call her Lillian W.) suggested the neon star currently on the mountaintop be expanded to include a UVA neon logo to celebrate the NCAA basketball champs.
Although, we’re still at the drawing board with all this, let’s stay on track with this month’s sports headlines.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes former UVA basketball player and current color analyst for UVA men’s basketball, Jimmy Miller, as its guest speaker for the Monday, April 15th meeting at the Salem Civic Center. The 5:45 social is followed by dinner and the program. The night also salutes the Lord Botetourt state championship volleyball team and a surprise induction into the club’s prestigious “Legends of the Game.” Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information or go to the club’s website www.roanokevalleysportsclub.com to purchase tickets. From high school volleyball champs to college basketball national champions, an exciting night is in store.
Congratulations go out to four “Big-11” high school basketball teams for advancing to the state championship rounds. Patrick Henry and William Fleming making the Class 5 quarterfinals, Cave Spring making the Class 3 Final-4 and Northside winning the Class 3 championship highlighted this year’s impressive runs.
Now, to our traditional list of “Big-11” players honored by the VHSL on All-State basketball teams.
Class 5 Girls Second Team All-State:
Kensey Ferguson and Taniah Johnson (William Fleming), Serena Lytton (Patrick Henry).
Class 3 Girls First Team All-State:
Miette Veldman (Lord Botetourt).
Class 3 Girls Second Team All-State:
Brooklyn Shelton (Lord Botetourt).
Class 3 Boys First Team All-State:
Crawford Enyart (Cave Spring), Julien Wooden and Kasey Draper (Northside)
Class 3 Boys Second Team All-State:
Parker Huffman (Cave Spring).
Class 3 Boys Player of the Year:
Julien Wooden
Coach of the Year: Bill Pope (Northside).
The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs took a slap in the face when regular season champions Peoria sidestepped the three teams finishing 6th-8th to pick 5th-place Roanoke in the opening round of the SPHL Challenge Round. The Dawgs slapped back Wednesday night at the Berglund Center to win game-1 of the best-of-three series 4-3. One win in either of the next two games scheduled in Peoria will move Roanoke to the next round and guarantee at least one more game in Roanoke.
After a 3-4 road trip to open the Carolina League season, the Salem Red Sox begin a 7-game home stand Thursday, April 11th. Haley Toyota Field will be the place to be this year as top Boston prospects improve their skills.
Finally to the obvious, but at the same time……the absolute best.
Unless you’ve been on a cruise in the Mediterranean Sea, a ski trip to Antarctica or a long haul to Jupiter and back in the last two weeks, you’re surely aware of the miracle run pulled off by the UVA basketball team. A national championship in the rarest of forms. No bums, no miss, no errors. A top-quality team with character, a coach with integrity.
Although all the talking heads have thrown in their two cents, from Kenny’s vision to Charles’ stuffed tiger, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t read The Chief’s article in SPORTS on the Cavalier’s run to the title. I’ve got to admit, The Chief hit a homer. Better yet, let’s call it a grand slam. This may actually get that Star for The Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. (Click Here: http://theroano.wwwmi3-ss14.a2hosted.com/2019/04/09/virginia-basketball-a-lesson-in-four-miracles/
Now, I can just sit back and brag on the ole boy. He carried the baton for the sports department. One great recount of the story behind the story.
I’ll just call for a round of applause while I work on our annual corporate Easter Egg Roll. And, it may be appropriate to rename that trolley The Chief’s Ingenious Choo-Choo Line. But, one thing for sure…..I’m still filling those plastic eggs at our roll with fake prizes.
Until next time, Hail to The Chief.
Bill Turner
(Publisher’s Note: Yes Bill – you can have that raise . . .)