Thursday, December 11, 2008

Central High School - Coach Jerry Walters & The Falcons Family Tree- Pics 1ST


After spending a couple of hours with Mr. John Galle of the Shenandoah Valley Herald in Woodstock I made the two mile drive over to Central High School. The Lady Falcons were playing Broadway and one thing you can always count on at Central is the chance to visit with some folks that will make you feel right at home.
Tonight was no different, except the opportunity to trade stories with none other than Valley Coaching Legend Jerry Walters. On our site Jerry is also known as Jeff''s Dad but for tonight we will call him Coach. Coach spent 34 years working the sidelines at Central until his retirement following the 2004-2005 campaign.
While I have known Coach for a few years, it wasn't until Thursday night that I was able to spend what I would call one on one plus time. See, Coach is a magnet to folks in the gym and each one of them brings another couple of stories to the forefront. I can honestly say that I felt privileged to get to spend the evening with such a quality person that has given so much to Shenandoah County and its residents.
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I have to flash back to the afternoon when I found myself discussing my efforts with Galle. The site is just a not-for-profit way to shine a light on some good doers that happen to play a part in the local sports scene. I felt myself trying to explain part of the beauty is you never know where the next conversation will lead you. In this case in led me to the Dean Smith of the Shenandoah Valley. I am going to sneak in a couple of pics from the night here and there ...






























3. The basketball marking the 500TH career victory for Coach in his 33RD season.

4. Coach with Foltz and current Falcon football Coach Mike Yew

5. Coach and his right hand man Roger Wilkins. Wilkins coached with Walters for 24 of his 34 years and now works the sidelines of Jerry Walters Court.

6.The Walters and Foltzie (Coach Donn Foltz)


7.Jeff Walters (for tonight he will revert back to Jerry's son) and his two sons.
The top two pictures are of the State Championship Trophy that Roger & Mickey won with the Lady Falcons back in 1996-1997. The next picture is of that very team and I have to smile about how young both Mickey & Jeff look. In that same photo you will find current Lady Falcons Head Coach Stephanie Mathews.
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Roger Wilkins was the starting guard as a junior for the very first of Walters 34 seasons on the bench. Mickey Clinedinst played on the JV squad that same season and then joined Roger on the Varsity squad that next season. Mickey would go on play basketball at Bridgewater College while Roger would attend James Madison University where he was a team manager for the basketball team.
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After graduation they both headed back to work with Coach and as they say the rest is history. The story just continues to get better with each person that walks in and sits down next to Coach and myself. The VBL fans that follow our site might remember Coach by one of his other titles - he is listed as General Manager of Stu Richardson's Woodstock River Bandits.
This brings us to the man I call Foltzie. I first met Foltzie while covering a VBL game for the Northern Virginia Daily a few years back. Foltz is another member of the Central/River Bandits family as he doubles as the Head Coach for both teams. Wilkins does the PA work for Stu and Mickey works the scoreboard. Add in Larry Smoot to the mix as he doubles as Kaitlin Smoot's Dad and holds a seat on the Board of Directors for the River Bandits. Smoot played baseball down at Virginia Tech after his days in the Valley.
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Foltzie was a junior on the Falcons squad back in 1979-1980 that made a run at the State Championship. Central ran into a Ft. Defiance team that was led by one Dell Curry. Foltz tells the story well about scoring an early basket on Curry and then Curry scored 44 back on him and his fellow Falcons. Both Foltz (Class of '81) and Walters were quick to point out that Curry was even more dominant as a pitcher on the Indians baseball team two years later.
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Mike Yew ('86-'88) and Jeff Walters ('84-'88) were two of the basketball players in the next group that stopped by. Walters would go on to play college ball at USC-Aiken where he would cross paths with a local promoter/Domino's Pizza Supervisor that ran events for the Pacers basketball team. Jeff and I were on the same court many a night back in 1990-1991 but wouldn't realize it until some 15 years later. Talk about a small world...
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Now trading this many stories in one night, all while watching Mathews coach her team against Broadway, is why I/we continue to travel Around The Valley in 60 Days. There are so many stories that are all good natured and are there for the taking. Have you heard the one about how strong of a Quarterback Mike Bocock was in his playing days? Or that Larry Smoot's Hokie team set a record that still stands today?
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Coach says we should do a book and I think he might be on to something...

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