Basketball coaching great John Wooden once pointed out, “Flexibility is the key to stability.”
Accordingly, around corporate headquarters at The Star, you better be flexible. Especially since I haven’t seen the first glimpse of that raise The Chief gave me a month or so back.
After last month’s column when it looked like we had it all figured out to name our proposed Mount Rushmore copycat monument honoring newspaper publishers on the side of Mill Mountain, “Mount Star”, The Chief unexpectedly sent me a message that he had another idea.
“Let’s name it Mount Chief,” he proclaimed. “I think I like the ring of that better.”
The gang in the sports department wondered what he had in mind, although it was fairly unanimous a couple snifters of high-shelf brandy may have come into play.
In the end, we decided to regroup and show flexibility; thus, instead of pairing The Chief with four other newspaper publishers, aligning him with four of the best known Indian Chiefs. This may also benefit the Roanoke tourist economy, because virtually everyone can connect to Indians, not to mention the potential for souvenir sales of items like drums, feather head dresses and wigwams atop “Mount Chief”.
So, I’ve identified our four top prospects for “Mount Chief” to join our own great leader in granite.
Crazy Horse, a great warrior who fought to the last, and Sitting Bull, a hero who lived his life defending the rights of his people, head up the list. Admittedly, those names alone seem to ring out an uncanny resemblance to our ole boy.
Rounding out the monument will be Chief Pontiac, for no other reasons than he was leader of the Ottawa Tribe and forerunner of a popular car, along with Geronimo, leader of the Apache Tribe, and the code word used at The Star to announce The Chief has pulled into his parking place and everyone needs to quit goofing off.
Yes, you always learn something when you read this column. More on Indians later, as I’m starting to see smoke signals rising.
Now, let’s move to local sports where we check out All-State high school picks, take a peek at baseball and ice hockey schedules, plus give last call on a big sports club meeting.
Our traditional salute to “Big-11” high school All-State selections hits a speed bump from the recent heavy rains that delayed tournament games. Here’s the list that have been released through Friday, June 14. The rest will appear in next month’s column.
VISAA Division II All-State Lacrosse First Team:
Midfielder Geist Pollock, long-stick midfielder Austin Zappia, goalie Piers McGinn (North Cross). Defender Steven Clark (Roanoke Catholic).
All-State Lacrosse Second Team:
Bryant Guilfoyle and Parker Harnack (Roanoke Catholic).
Jordin Pollock and Gabe Zappia (North Cross).
VISAA Division II All-State Girls Soccer Team:
Julia Brown and Adoria Sanders (North Cross).
VHSL Class 4 All-State Baseball First Team:
Outfielder Parker Stallard (Salem).
VHSL Class 3 All-State Baseball Second Team:
Outfielder Andrew Neighbors and Designated Hitter AJ Cacciatore (Cave Spring).
Outfielder Brae Farrell (Lord Botetourt).
VHSL Class 2 All-State Softball Second Team:
First baseman Lydia Taylor (Glenvar).
VHSL Class 4 Girls All-State Lacrosse First Team:
Madison Caldwell, attack; Libby Bowman, midfielder; Alla Daniel, midfielder; Mae Kennedy, defender (Salem). Ally Weneta, goalkeeper (Hidden Valley). Alla Daniel: Player of the Year.
VHSL Class 4 Girls All-State Lacrosse Second Team:
Caroline Miko, attack; Kacie Hanson, midfielder; Natalie Martin, defender (Hidden Valley).
VHSL Class 3 Boys Soccer All-State First Team:
Marc Sharrer, forward (Cave Spring); Zach Durham, forward and Nathan Rich, defender (Lord Botetourt); Daniel Pereira, midfielder and Shane Padgett, defender (Northside).
Daniel Pereira Player of the Year.
VHSL Class 3 Boys Soccer All-State Second Team:
Trey Rice, forward; Kyle Wood, midfielder and Collin Ewers, goalkeeper (Lord Botetourt); Jeremy Lachowicz, midfielder and Brian King, defender (Cave Spring).
VHSL Class 5 Boys Soccer All-State First Team:
Ndayizeye Bonere, midfielder (Patrick Henry).
VHSL Class 3 Girls Soccer All-State First Team:
Makayla Metzler, forward (Hidden Valley); Brianna Myers, midfielder (Lord Botetourt).
VHSL Class 3 Girls Soccer All-State Second Team:
Paige Sanchez, forward and Lily Poff, defender (Hidden Valley)
VHSL Class 4 Softball All-State First Team:
Jada Karnes, pitcher; Megan Grant, shortstop and Sydney Burton, outfield (William Byrd)
Megan Grant Player of the Year
William Byrd’s Greg Barton Coach of the Year
VHSL Class 4 Softball All-State Second Team:
Lexi Powell, designated player/ flex (William Byrd).
On to baseball where the Salem Red Sox get back into action at Haley Toyota Field for the second half of the Carolina League schedule. The Red Sox take on Fayetteville for a three-game set June 24-26, followed by four against Winston-Salem June 27-30. A three-game set against the Down East Wood Ducks kicks off Independence Day and goes through July 6, while Wilmington comes to town for a Sunday, July 7 matchup and rare Monday, July 8 day-night doubleheader at 11:05 AM and 6:05 PM.
In other Red Sox news, right-handed pitcher Kutter Crawford, first baseman Pedro Castellanos and shortstop Ryan Fitzgerald will all play in the Carolina All-Star Midsummer Classic at Nymeo Field in Frederick, Maryland on June 18. Salem outfielder Jarren Duran will also be honored as an All-Star following his promotion to AA-Portland earlier this season.
Summer isn’t officially here, but the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs ice hockey schedule is out for the 2019-2020 campaign. Roanoke opens at home on Saturday, October 26. Four November home dates and five in December, including New Years Eve, follow in the 28-game home schedule that continues through April.
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes new Virginia Tech basketball coach Mike Young as its guest speaker Tuesday, June 18 at the Salem Civic Center. Seats are available for the gathering that begins with a 5:45 social, followed by dinner at 6:15 and the program at 7:00. Contact Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 for information or go to the club’s website www.roanokevalleysportsclub.com to purchase tickets.
Now, back to the drawing to determine how we’re going to sculpture all these Chiefs. Yep, that’s what I’m saying….HOW!!
– Bill Turner