WILD BILL’S SPORTS ROUNDUP!

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Bill Turner

Pucker up those lips. Kiss me, Nancy.

February is upon us. It’s the love month.

I’ve been trying to select nice Valentine gifts for the girls around corporate headquarters, but admittedly it’s been hard to focus on romance around here with all the distractions from the world of politics.

Even Punxsutawney Phil got blindsided on Groundhog Day when he came out of his hole to check for his shadow, and was scared back underground by the ramblings of all the politicians in Washington as they go after each other in lieu of working together on the real problems our country faces. Actually, Phil was out long enough to realize there was no shadow, meaning we’ll have an early spring.

Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.

It was also a bit  of a chaotic week at corporate headquarters when The Chief’s team played in this year’s Super Bowl in Miami. Rumor has it the ole boy wagered heavily on his team and loaded up on a couple Super Bowl proposition bets, including whether it would take Demi Lovato over or under two minutes to sing the National Anthem.

Apparently he took the under, which was the winner, but I’m confident his choice had little to do with Lovato’s singing prowess, but more about wanting to watch replays of her performance. Can’t say I blame him on that front and his pick to win the game came through with flying colors. In case you haven’t figured it out……his namesake is, after all, the Kansas City Chiefs.

Now, before I get flagged for targeting or roughing the politician by my faithful readers from the left, let’s move on to local sports.

We begin be picking up on the final group of VHSL All-State football selections that were still to be released last month among our “Big-11” high schools.

Class-2 First Team All-State Offense: Matthew Harris-Glenvar (center).

Class-2 First Team All-State Defense: Colby Street-Glenvar (linebacker).

Class-2 Second Team All-State Offense:Nick Sebolt-Glenvar (receiver).

Class-3 First Team All-State Offense: Troy Everett (O-lineman), Gage Basham (O-lineman), Colston Powers (O-lineman) and Hunter Rice (running back)- Lord Botetourt. Christian Fisher (running back)- Northside.

Class-3 First Team All-State Defense: Xavier Stephens (D-lineman) and Isiah Stephens (linebacker) -Lord Botetourt.

Class-3 Second Team All-State Offense: Ethan Blank (O-lineman) and Christian Fisher (All-purpose)- Northside. Kelly Mitchell (tight end)- Hidden Valley.

Class-3 Second Team All-State Defense: Ethan Blank (D-lineman), Zach Horton (end) and Jacob Elliot (linebacker and All-purpose)- Northside. Kyle Arnholt (D-back) and Mikey Rago (punter)- Lord Botetourt.

The Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs hit the final stretch of their SPHL regular season with road games dominating the February and early-March schedule except for a three-game-in-three-night set on February 20,21 and 22 at the Berglund Center against the Peoria Rivermen. Roanoke finishes the regular season campaign with seven straight home contests beginning March 19, 20 and 21 versus Quad City, March 27-28 against Evansville and April 3-4 against Huntsville.

Mark your calendar now for the Salem Red Sox opening night on April 9th against the Lynchburg Hillcats in what will begin a stretch of 14 home games in 18 days to start the Carolina League season. Season tickets, ticket packages and individual game tickets are on sale at the Red Sox office adjacent to Salem Memorial Stadium.

Congratulations go out to the superstar of high school broadcasting, the incomparable Dave Ross. High School Playback Game of the Week has now transitioned from football to basketball, with weekly games played back in their entirety each Saturday afternoon on Channel CW5 (Cox Cable 5). Dave is joined by color commentators Steve Myers and Ed Green in bringing the top teams throughout the area for the weekly telecasts expected to run through the playoffs.

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club puts a new twist on its annual Media Night when three newcomers join the panel to talk about the latest in sports. Recent Virginia Sports Hall of Fame inductee and long-time WSET anchor Dennis Carter, WFXR Fox-8 anchor Jermaine Ferrell and Brian Hoffman, sports editor for the Salem Times Register and dean of Roanoke Valley sports writers will join others to answer questions on any and all sport topics. The social begins at 5:45 with dinner at 6:15 and the program to follow. Visit the club’s website at www.roanokevalleysportsclub.com to make reservations and purchase tickets.

Now , a quick visit to the mailbag where an ACC football fan gets to the point on the league’s lack of Power-5 performance in 2019.

Dear Wild Bill: ACC football seemed to struggle all season. Do you see a turnaround in the near future? (Nick/New River Valley).

Good observation, Nick. It’s easy to say the ACC is not at the top of its game, and not coming close. to meeting the expectations of a “Power-5” designation. Take Clemson out of the equation and possibly an upstart UVA program that made great strides in winning the Coastal Division, and you’ve basically got little left other than a group of mid-level college teams.

The bowl season made things look worse, where the ACC  went 4-7, including Clemson’s loss to LSU in the CFP championship game. Some of the ACC losses were glaring: Virginia Tech’s meltdown against Kentucky where the Hokies gave up 13 points in the last 15 seconds to lose by 7, Boston College losing by 32 to Cincinnati and the granddaddy of the group, Miami getting skunked 14-0 by Louisiana Tech.

You can make a good argument that many ACC teams need to beef up their schedules and get away from worrying about consecutive bowl streaks, the most insignificant stat in college football.

Until next time, send your questions to [email protected] I hear The Chief calling the staff; he wants to caucus.

Bill Turner