Saturday was absolutley non-stop as with John Leonard gone for a pretty cool father & son trip and Kevin back at the VBL office down his assistant- I tried to position myself to be a little more serious than normal. Most of the time I spend my time and energy looking for stories of hero's behind the VBL and let the reporters report and then both Kevin and John do all the things they do.
So at the mid-point of my 12 hour loop I bumped into Donna Settle and Warren County Volleyball coach Cathy Brill up in the Cardinals press box. I had just finished my nightly collecting of the VBL scores and was headed to the press box to share them with the PA announcer and Cathy's husband Greg Brill who was doing the web cast for the Cards. The first question was asked- What game were you doing tonight? My response was this was game #3 of the evening for me.
Cathy responded with another question- How do you do three games in the same evening? If my Dad is reading this down in Knoxville he would probaly ask WHY would you do 3 games in 1 evening?
Let me take a shot at both of those questions- The day (#50) started out with a to-do list of things as it always does. They are broken down into slots of A-B-C-D with A=Must happen, B=Needs to happen, C= Want it to happen and D=Wish List.
The list included :
1.Preping for the Sunday Post route
2.Continuing my lenghty search for our friend Austin's magazine feature on the VBL.
3.Finding a copy or two of the Warren Sentinel because Kip had put together a story with some of our pics from Buck & Jacob.
4. Being there to greet Generals Sign Guy Mike & Chuck when they crossed the finish line over in Warrenton.
5.Figure out a day to make it back up to Haymarket so I could finish my second loop of Around The Valley.
6. Get as many copies of the New Dominion magazine distributed to as many teams as possible because we are heading into the final week of the season for 3 of the 11 squads.
7. Meet my Zone Manager from the Post to collect some time sensitive material and he lives in Northern Virginia.
8. Find Teresa Wease- Why? Two reasons- she had already put the story on her web page and I wanted her to have copies for her fans. I must mention that there was only room for one of the two features up top and the other had to go below. John Leonard made the headline and we went down in the notes- I always said Mom loves him more than me but if you have to play second fiddle at least it is to someone that works as hard as John.
What was the second reason for finding Teresa? My day hadn't started out so great and it doesn't matter how busy either one of is/are, there is always a smile to be had!
9. Get an invoice to ESPN-1240 Chip Krable for the things he needed to be able to finish his broadcast the other night in Waynesboro.
10. Make a business bank deposit at United Bank- offices in Woodstock, Front Royal, Winchester
Now mix that together (that was just the A/B portion of the day) and then compare notes on the VBL schedule page. The only way you can get three games in is if they are within 30 miles of each other and hopefully connected by interstate. You have 5 games to choose from and normally the map will tilt one way or another. That was the case tonight- Fauquier, Haymarket and Front Royal were all at home.
The next step is choosing the order and that takes some thinking. You have to figure on the trends of the teams. Luray is prone to extending games due to offensive explosions and Fauquier tends to play quicker and lower scoring games. The map says Haymarket has to be in the middle so there it is- Fauquier/Haymarket/Front Royal and hope for some luck.
Head out to Warrenton (car loaded with all the necessary items and the puppy) early enough to catch BP and infield practice because the amount of game time will be limited to a couple of innings. Arrived really early so I was able to leave for a spell and head over to the Borders book store where I struck PAYDIRT! I found an entire stack of the July edition of Virginia Living so I picked up four copies because I knew other people that had been looking for them as well.
Back to the ball yard and as I pull back in I notice that I am following Beverly, Tabatha, Mike & Chuck into the parking lot. Two early ATV-60 finishers car pooling with the newbies and I hear they all have a story to tell about the ride over! Chip is there broadcasting from the bleachers so I have been able to take care of 2,4,9 and part of 6. Mike brought Diamond some treats and I stumbled onto a bonus finisher-Keron Hutchinson. Ms. Hutchinson drives the Generals bus to their road games so it was just a matter of collecting some stamps. Next Tuesday night we will be back down in Waynesboro (4TH Time) so that we can celebrate with our newest arrivals.
The game still hadn't started yet so I went in search of new and neat things happening at Fauquier High School/ Athey Memorial Stadium. I didn't have to look very hard before I stumbled into Mr.Bill Steele. Bill was there with his camera, some pics he had already taken and then a fancy looking printer where he can print out the photo you like. Bill let me pick out one and then charged me just $1.00 and went on to mention that he donates the money back to charity.
We continued to talk while he set up his work area for the night. His son Mathew went to high school there in Warrenton and now plays for the Gators. Mathew is on his way into the Air Force and has spent part of this season doing field training. I asked Bill where I could send readers to see some of his work and he mentioned the Gators web site has a number of his photos available to view at http://www.fauquiergators.org/ . It is amazing who you will meet at the park if you take the time to start a conversation.
The next person I bumped into was Gator GM Gerry Henson. I was able to leave them their 50 copies of the magazine and Gerry asked me about sending them a copy of the pic I took down at the All Star game of what I called the Gator Brain trust. I let him know that I would be happy to send a copy to the club for them to have.
Next stop- Generals skipper Lawrence Nesselrodt. Big fan of this man and the way he leads his team on and off the field. Asked Skip if it was okay to send copies of the magazine back with him on the team bus and another 50 copies were heading in the right direction!
Still not done- as the play began I started a conversation with the young lady working the front table-Whitney Pezza. I asked Whitney what was new on her end and she started telling me about the Gators campaign for "Strike Out Cancer". The club is shooting to make it an annual event and they had partnered last night with the good folks from Relay For Life to get the project rolling. One thing is for sure where the Gator family is concerned, they are always looking for ways to give back to their community. When you have a few minutes just look closer at their web site and it will paint you a picture of how dedicated they are to the town and the county.
P.S- No score after 2 innings. Great visits, Austin's article, greet the newest Loopsters and meet some neat folks. That is what I call working a ball game!
Time to head over to Haymarket- Quick drive, possibly as quick as any between 2 parks. I was able to call Dan from the Post and he agreed to meet me at the game (#7). I headed inside with two arms full of copies of the New Dominion for both Harrisonburg and Haymarket. I added a copy of Austin's story to the pile of things for Teresa (#8). My daughter warns me about making one story to long to digest so we will pick back up from here later...