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Showing posts from August 31, 2008

Let's take a look at the newest community to join the VBL: Lexington / Rockbridge County

It might of taken the Rockbridge Rapids a little longer to officially make it into the Valley Baseball League but I have to believe the wait will prove to be worth it. When the 2009 VBL season kicks-off here in about 9 months, all of the ATV-60 Loopsters will have a new park to add to their list! Rockbridge County will open up a number of possibilities for VBL fans traveling to watch their teams. The beauty of the area will make for some can't miss day trips before the games are to played in the early evening. The first thing that will be appealing to those fans driving to the area is just how accessible the campus of Washington & Lee is from the interstate. Whether it is Covington fans traveling East on I-64 or the balance of the VBL heading South on I-81, the trip should prove to be an easy one. The population of Lexington fits in well with the other big towns/ small cities that form the VBL . Lexington will fit in right about even with Warrenton (6TH & 7TH i

Spending 10 Minutes with Waynesbor's Derek McDaniel

For the second week in a row I was able to interview a Valley Baseball League personality during the Halftime Show of our Augusta County High School Game of the Week on ESPN-1240. Last week I had the opportunity to visit with Wrangler's skipper Mike Bocock during the break of the Stuarts Draft - Wilson Memorial contest and this week I was able to chat with the Generals assistant coach Derek McDaniel. We were covering the Fort Defiance- Buffalo Gap contest Friday night and with his football team (WM Green Hornets) having a bye week Coach Mac was kind enough to sit down and talk about life in Augusta County. We were able to touch on a number of topics during our 10 minutes and to help set the table I should mention all the hats that this very busy Coach wears in a given year. McDaniel spends his summers working along side of Lawrence Nesselrodt as the two team up to take care of business for Generals owner Jim Critzer . McDaniel informed me last night that he

Class A Volleyball :Strasburg closes strong, defeats Luray 3-1

By : Scoop Carter Crystal Clear News LURAY - Strasburg made some adjustments prior to Game 3 of its non-district Volleyball match against Luray Thursday night and those moves led to a 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-18,25-19) road victory for the Rams. " Luray was doing a great job on covering the center of the court early on," Rams coach Suzanne Mathias said. "I asked our girls to start working on the back corners on their kills and that made the difference for us." The opening game could not of been much closer as the biggest string of points was just three. Three times one of the teams tried to create a string of points and the final mini-run came when Strasburg (3-2) turned a 14-12 deficit into a 15-14 lead. The squads continued to trade points until Luray's Katie Cubbage scored a kill to pull the Bulldogs even at 23-23. Strasburg closed out the opener on back-to-back kills from Jacyln Ayers and Lauren Agnew with the final sc

Checking in with the Strasburg Rams VB Team : Strasburg @ Luray Bulldogs

Thursday night was another opportunity for me to accomplish two things at just one sporting event as the Strasburg Rams made the trip down to Luray for a non-district Volleyball match in the Bulldog gym. I will do my best to keep up with Suzanne Mathias and her 2008 Rams each time they venture out of the Northern Virginia Daily coverage area. Those of our readers that have been with us for a while remember the 2007 Rams being the subject of a VB book that Sabrena and I created earlier this season. The NVD does an excellent job of covering the Rams when they play at 250 Ram Drive but they play outside of the coverage area a few times each season. I was able to visit with Suzanne last week as Strasburg made the trip down to Shenandoah for a match with Alan Knight and the Page County Panthers. Once again I was fortunate to visit with Alan after the contest and encourage you to scroll back a few stories for those articles if you are a fan of High School Volleyball. Linda was there

Friday Night Lights with ESPN-1240 The Boss (Week #3)

It is that time of the week again where I head South to team up with Mr. Chip Crabill to call the Augusta County High School Football Game of the Week. The site of this weeks contest is the campus of Buffalo Gap High School in downtown Swoope , Va. The drive to Buffalo Gap is right at 70 miles from the house which makes it the longest of the 7 drives to the schools that make up the Augusta County area. Gap is the defending Class A State Champions and I had the good fortune to do the radio broadcast of the 14TH and final victory in their 14-0 campaign. The Championship contest took place down in Salem and I remember thinking that almost the entire community had made the trip down for the big game. Fort Defiance (0-1) will be hoping to spoil the night for the Bison (1-0) as the two county rivals match-up before beginning their respective district schedules. Fort competes in the Southern Valley District (Class AA) while Buffalo Gap plays in the Class A Shenandoah District. We will be

Week #2 with Bill Meade and the Page News & Courier

When Sports Editor Bill Meade invited me to participate in the PN & C football pics contest he was quick to point out that he was gunning for his boss, Editor Randy Arrington . It turns out that Randy has defeated Bill in each of the past two seasons but I must note that Bill has taken an early lead (7-5) on Randy here in 2008. Bill led the way at 7-5 for week one as the group took some lumps from the East Carolina over Virginia Tech upset among others. It is hard enough after 4 weeks of pre -season NFL games to try and pick Week #1 winners so you can only imagine the degree of difficulty in picking week one of High School seasons! In the NFL you have multiple sights to read and ESPN to help you out but with the high schools you are really just guessing until a few weeks go by. I finished in a tie for second at 6-6 after missing on the UCLA upset over Tennessee Monday night. Generals Sign Guy Mike sent in a set of picks and while he went 4-8 I must say he did call the ECU Pi

Catching up with Strasburg's Katie Baker over at Bridgewater College

The combined efforts of the Baker family and John Galle of the Shenandoah Valley Herald allowed to get some updates on the transition to College Volleyball for former Straburg star Katie Baker. Katie was one of the seven seniors that combined to lead the Strasburg Rams to a 28-0 perfect season and Class A State Championship in the fall of 2007. Larry and Jane Baker were there every step of the way for Katie and I always enjoyed visiting with them and the rest of the Ram faithful. Our paths crossed again at Christopher Newport University when Katie was joined by fellow Ram Kaitlin Smoot for the Virginia All-Star festivities . Kaitlin headed down to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech while Katie signed on the attend Bridgewater College where she will play VB for the Eagles. I was quick to see when the Eagles would be playing at home so I could make the short drive over to the beautiful campus and see Ms. Baker compete at the next level. Bridgewater is under the direction of a n

Rocky Cherry (Turks '01) makes the show : From a different point of view

I just read a note from Teresa Wease about another one of her and Bob's former players making it into the major leagues and it made me smile when she told me how she found out. As I have mentioned in the past, my time in the Valley is limited to the past few years so I lean on both the VBL site and Mr. John Leonard (All Things Valley League) to learn about players from the VBL that have made the SHOW. The news today came from the campus of Mary Washington University where the Wease's son Matt has just begun classes in his freshman year. MWU is located over in Fredricksburg , Virginia and the D-III school has both a beautiful campus and a strong athletic program. The idea that Matt was either listening to an Orioles game or watching one and noticed one of the players that he grew up with playing has to be pretty special. This season I spent some time around a few different young adults (don't want to say kids) that either were fini

45 year old Randy Johnson (294 wins) vs. 42- Year Old Greg Maddux (354 Wins) on Sunday Afternoon

Spending 10 years out in the Pacific Northwest gave me a chance to watch some special baseball players in both the majors (Mariners) and the minors. Ken Griffey Junior, A- Rod (when he has young and still like able ), Edgar Martinez, Ichiro , Mark Langston and this young odd looking lefty with really long hair- Randy Johnson. Mark Langston was a great lefty that never had a ton of run support during his days with the M's but never complained much about it. He teamed with righty Mike Moore for a solid 1-2 punch but the M's had little else. From the days of Spahn and Sain and pray for rain, I created Langston and Moore and hope it will pour. I wasn't comparing the talent level of these four but the sense of little hope when they weren't pitching! Langston came up in 1984 and was 5 years into his career when the M's felt the need to trade him. Langston was due a big contract and he wasn't going to be getting it from the M's ownership group. Montreal was pu

Winchester alum Kevin Kouzmanoff reaches 20 HR mark for 2008

While Kevin is no longer playing 3RD base behind Greg Maddux I still keep an eye on his progress. The amount of fan support Kooz gets out at Petco in San Diego is pretty special for any player so I have to believe a rising newcomer would be thrilled with all the love! Kooz finished the 2007 season (1ST in San Diego) with 18 Home Runs, 74 RBI & a .275 batting average. His home run tonight against the Dodgers in LA put his numbers at 20 Home Runs, 71 RBI and an average at .274. The solo home run brought a bit of an end to a HR drought but he has matched his 2007 numbers with 1 month left to go in the season. The fact that the Friars have had such a down year from the plate makes the numbers from Kooz stand out a bit more. SD has only 1 regular hitting over .280 and Kooz trails only Adrian Gonzales (28 dingers ) on the home run list. Twenty four games remain for Kooz and company to try and crank up the offense while trying to plat spoiler in the NL West...

Veterans Memorial Stadium on Last Legs... Schedule says end is near of historical ball park

HARRISONBURG: This is the month that the old ball park is scheduled to be demolished... Check back for more details- We will pass them on as they become available...

Five minutes about EMU's Seth McGuffin (Luray Wranglers)

One of the more exciting things about this past summer was the amount of time I spent working with Mr. Seth McGuffin and Mr. Ryan Carroll up in the booth at Bulldog Field. While young Ryan just graduated from Luray High School, Seth has been there and done that for a number of years. Some folks have asked me why there is more fans stories involving the other teams then Luray and there is a very simple answer. Each and every night I am at Bulldog Field I am up in the box with Ryan and Seth. While this is a great deal of fun it does keep me away from spending more time with the Wrangler fan base or for that matter, the Wrangler players. I wanted to take a few minutes and talk about both all of the things that Seth takes care of at Bulldog Field and his role over at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg . The toughtest job in any VBL press box is to keep the computerized score book while playing the role of official score keeper. Toss in the

Birthdays and Weddings: Life outside the lines in the VBL

Now that August 2008 is in the books we can take a look back at some more of the sacrifices that are made by the families and friends of the people running the VBL each season. One of the things I noticed this season was how many people celebrated their birthdays at a ball park during the season. The second thing I noticed was how many times it was business as usual for most of them. In Luray I remember sharing my thoughts on Donnie Middleton spending the night of his 70TH birthday cleaning up Bulldog Field after that nights game and Diane Buckley (Wranglers GM) spending her special night trying to keep the nights efforts on course. Teresa Wease shared with me that her son Matt has spent each and everyone of his 18 birthdays with the Turks. Some have been road games and some have been home games but all 18 have been celebrated at a baseball diamond with his extended family. The Turks nation did get to celebrate a special birthday this season up at Haymarket when Lisa

Here is a non-baseball story to Funny to pass up- Just how close are UNC and Duke?

It turns out that Butch Davis and his UNC - Tar Heels wanted to do something special for their home opener this past Saturday against McNeese State. A great deal of time is spent on the fact the schools are located just 8 miles apart on US-15/501 but what happened this week-end was too funny. UNC hired a company out of Virginia (Aerial Adventures) to have someone (2 men) jump out of a airplane with the game ball just before kick off. I would have to imagine that seeing that happen would be pretty cool from a football fans perspective. The good folks sitting at Keenan Stadium in Chapel Hill were waiting for just that to happen Saturday afternoon. The good news for UNC is they avoided a repeat of the scene in George Clooney's " Leatherheads " movie by having another football or two around so they didn't have to forfeit the game when their jumpers landed 8 miles down the road at Wallace Wade Stadium where James Madison University was preparing to

Maddux pulls even with Roger Clemens after collecting win #354 !

It took a little longer than it should of for my hero Greg Maddux to capture his 7TH win of the season but he did just that Monday night when the LA Dodgers defeated San Diego 5-2. EVERY FIFTH DAY : Greg Maddux defeats ex-mates... The 7TH win gives Maddux 354 for his brilliant career and lands the righty in a tie for the #8 spot ALL-TIME with Roger Clemens. Maddux is now within 10 wins of moving into 5TH place overall... Overall : Cy Young (511), Walter Johnson (417), Grover Clevland Alexander (373), Christy Mathewson (373), Pud Galvin (364), Warren Spahn (363), Kid Nichols (361), Maddux & Clemens (354)... Dodgers 5, Padres 2 San Diego 100...001...000-2/7/1 Los Angles 121...000...10X-5/9/0 WP- Greg Maddux (7-11) * Added a RBI single to help his own cause