Saturday, November 1, 2008

Saturday Night Volleyball : Strasburg captures 3RD straight Bull Run Tourney

The Lady Rams posing with their new Hardware!
A time to catch up with old friends

Judith Smoot and Mr. Doman sharing the moment

Bethany and Mr. D, my bad for not knowing who the little one belongs to...

Coach Wilde and the Lady Panthers

More Hardware for the Rams trophy case

Bull Run District Player of the Year- Jacyln Ayers with her back to the net

RCHS being introduced to the crowd

Rapp's Coach Wilde directing his Lady Panthers

Coach Mathias is inside that Circle somewhere

Pre-game intro's

Another Father / Daughter moment, this time with the Kritter's

Strasburg getting ready before the match

Love seeing four officials calling the same. The line calls are much easier with two extra set of eyes on the floor.

Let's Play Ball !

It is time to go and put out the Sunday Washington Post but I promise there will be more later, including a break down on the upcoming Region B Championships.

Saturday Afternoon in the Valley : Running Updates for Football in the Old Dominion and Duke University

5:30 P.M - Time to head up to Strasburg for the Bull Run Volleyball Finals- 15 Finals in the Books.
10:04 PM - Back Home and time to finish :
Southern Va. 30 - 27 OT win over Kentucky Christian
Wake Forrest 33-30 win over Duke
James Madison 41-7 over Deleware
Averett 33 Shenandoah U 21 Final
Ferrum 46 Greensboro 21 - Middle of 4TH
Still playing - JMU & Duke
7:00 PM - 2 games in the USA

LURAY- There is another full slate of College football around our great state today and we are going to take a shot at bringing you a look at all of the action. A good starting point would be to try and list the games and kick off times...
ACC Action (D-I)
University of Virginia - The Cavilers (5-3) are back at home and welcome the Miami Hurricanes to Scott Stadium for an ACC battle. The action gets under way at High Noon.

12:10 - Virginia kicks FG after Miami muffed a punt - UVA 3-0 (11:42 1ST)
12:35 - Miami scores a TD - Miami 7, UVA 3 (6:51 1ST)
12:42 - UVA answers with a reverse for a 16 yard TD -UVA 10-7 (4:21 1ST)
1:13 - Miami kicks 33 yard FG - Tied 10-10 (9:23 2ND)
1:24 - UVA 2-yard TD pass - UVA 17-10 (5:04 2ND)
1:44 - HALF TIME @ Charlottesville
2:20 - UVA misses FG, still leads 17-10
2:45 - End of 3RD - UVA leads 17-10
2:50 - UVA misses 2ND Field Goal
3:13 - 1:10 left in regulation - Cavs need a stop!
3:19 - Miami scores to tie it up at 17-17 (0:55-4TH)
3:22 - UVA trying to get into FG range - 2 & 10 on Miami's 42- FUMBLE-Lost
Miami completes 30 yard pass...
3:27 - Miami attempting 52 yard FG- Short---Overtime !
3:39- Miami scores in OT & UVA Fumbles on 1ST play - Canes steal one 24-17...


Virginia Tech Hokies - Coach Beamer and his troops are off this week following last weeks loss down at Florida State...

No updates


Duke University Blue Devils - Dare I say that my Blue Devils are playing in a BIG game but after defeating Vandy 10-7 last week Duke (4-3) goes in search of a 5TH win on the season. They travel to Wake Forrest for a 3:30 Kick Off. Two wins in the final 5 games would make Duke Bowl eligible for just the 3RD time in my life.

4:04 - Duke 7, Wake 7
4:20- Wake adds a safety and a FG, lead 12-7 (scores of 1,2,3 & 6)
4:46 - At The Half - Wake 12-7
5:24 - Wake punches in another TD - Lead now 19-7
Colonial Athletic Action -( I-AA)
James Madison University Dukes - JMU (7-1,, 5-0) will play their Homecoming game today in front of a Sold Out stadium in Harrisonburg. Deleware (3-5) is coming to town to try and slow down the #1 ranked team in D-I AA. The action gets under way at 3:30 P.M.

4:00 - Score 0-0 end of 1ST
4:20 - Dukes score first TD early in second 7-0
4:47 - JMU up 14-0 just before half
5:23 - JMU has the offense rolling now, 28-0 (8:23-3RD)


William & Mary Tribe - W & M (5-2, 3-1) will carry a 3 game winning streak with them when the Tribe travel up to Towns0n (3-5,1-3). The streak started with an amazing victory up at New Hampshire. Game time is slated for 1:00 P.M.

2:40 P.M - W & M leads 27-14 (2:58-3rd)
Same score - Now in 4TH Qu
>>> FINAL SCORE ALERT - William & Mary 34 Towson 14 !


Richmond Spiders - Richmond (6-3, 3-2) joins Va. Tech on the side lines this week and will get back to action next Saturday at Hofstra.

No Updates

Big South Action (I-AA)

Liberty University Flames - Liberty (7-1) takes to the road today and will play Presbyterian (3-5) down in Clinton, South Carolina at 1:30 P.M.

> LU leads 14-7 at the start of the 2ND
> Tied 14-14 middle of the 3RD
3:54 PM - Tied up again at 28-28 (7:25-4TH)
4:17 PM- Liberty trailing 31-26 with 1:46 remaining
4:31 PM - Final - Liberty falls for second time this season 31-28


Virginia Military Institute - VMI (3-4,1-1) joins Liberty in heading down to South Carolina. The Keydets play a Big South game at Charleston Southern (3-5, 1-2). CSU fell 42-0 vs. Liberty and will look to rebound at home.

> VMI 14-10 with 3:00 left before Half
> CSU scores just before Half - Take 17-14 lead into locker room
> CSU now up 24-14 (11:45 - 3RD)
3:46 - VMI has scored a TD - Trail 24-21 mid 4TH
4:03 - CSU adds a late TD to lead 31-21 (1:35-4)
4:17 - FINAL - VMI falls 31-21

MEAC Action (I-AA)

Norfolk State Spartans - NSU (2-6, 1-4) takes a trip up to the Nations Capitol for a show down with Howard University (1-6, 0-4). The game gets under way at 1:00 P.M.

3:29 PM - Spartans dominating with 35-6 lead at the half
4:05 PM - NSU rolling 49-12 early in 4TH
4:30 PM - Spartans put it in the Books - Final Score 49-12 !


Hampton University Pirates - HU (5-2) is celebrating Home Coming with a 2:00 P.M. contest against Winston-Salem State (1-6). Hampton steps out of the MEAC for the day but will get back to chasing down South Carolina State.

3:30 Hampton trailing 28-10 at the Half
4:05 Hampton now down 35-17 in 3RD
4:31 Hampton pulls to within 35-24 early in 4TH
4:56 Hampton continues to battle back and now trail by just 35-30 (2:19- 4TH)
5:08 Pirates rally falls just short - Final 35-30

Still to Come : Division II, NAIA & Division III

Division II : C.I.A.A Action

All 3 CIAA teams will be on the road today as:
Virginia State University (5-4, 5-2) travels North to face Bowie State (4-4, 3-3)... @ 1:30

4:40 PM - No updates yet...
4:54 PM - Bowie State web page says the Bulldogs protected the home field with a FINAL score of 21-16.
Virginia Union University (5-4, 3-3) travels South to face Elizabeth City State (6-3, 6-0)
4:40 PM - ECSU too much for VUU - Final Score of 36-13
St.Paul's College (4-5) plays a non-conference game at Lincoln (PA) University

4:40 PM - St.Paul's picks up the road win by a Final of 23-20 !

Division III - Old Dominion Athletic Conference ( 5 Teams)
Hampden- Sydney * (7-1, 4-1) has the week off ...
No Updates
Washington & Lee* (4-4, 1-3) @ Bridgewater College* (2-5,1-2) 1:00 P.M.

3:40 - Bridgewater up 29-6 in 4TH
4:35 - Final Score Bridgewater 32-19 !!!
Catholic @ Emory & Henry * (4-3, 2-1) 1:00 P.M.

3:45 - Catholic up 38-23 late in 4TH
4:07 PM - Final Score Alert - E & H fall 38-23 at home
Guilford @ Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets* (3-4, 1-2) 1:00 P.M.

* Guilford leads 7-0 early in 1ST
1:44 PM- Randolph- Macon now leads 13-10 with 9+ left in 2ND
1:51 PM- Guilford marches down for TD - Lead 17-13 with 8+ left (2ND)
2:03PM- R-M runs back punt 65 yards for a TD - Score now 27-17 (3:00+ 2ND)
2:10PM- Yellow Jackets are driving again ! 1:30 left (2)
2:14 PM- Jackets score 5TH TD of 1ST Half - Lead 34-17
3:29 PM- R-M leads 41-24 late in 4TH
3:40 PM- R-M returns interception 80+ yards - 55-24 (2:30 left)
3:50 PM- Celebrating in Ashland - Yellow Jackets 55-24 FINAL
Division III - USA South (4 Teams)
> Averett
>Christopher Newport
>Shenandoah University
>Ferrum College

Averett is at Shenandoah University at 7:00 P.M. in Winchester

Christopher Newport U. @ N.C. Wesleyan at 1:00 P.M.
* NC Wesleyan up 7-0 early in 1ST
* CNU trails 16-14 @ Half
* CNU pulls to within 26-24 midway thru 4TH
> 3:40 - CNU kicks FG to take 27-26 (1:27-4TH)
> 4:08- Great win for CNU 27-26 !!!
Ferrum @ Greensboro at 7:00 P.M.

University of Virginia @ Wise (7-1, 4-0) - hosts Union (6-2, 3-1) at 1:30 P.M. in a Mid-South Conference contest.

**** Anybody who is a fan of the Valley Baseball League and would like to see how the VBL could help themselves should check out what UVA-Wise is doing with their video and stat feeds for this game...Amazing ! Check it out

12:07 (1) Wise connects on a 46-yard TD pass to take an early 7-0 lead!
>Wise makes it 14-0 still early in 1ST
> Union gets 1 TD back to cut Wise lead to 14-7
> Wise finds the End Zone again - Lead 21-7
Half Time - Wise 27 -24
Final - Union rallies for a 37-34 victory. Wise completed a 49 yard pass with 0:06 left but get the FG unit in place...


Southern Virginia University - The Knights hosts Kentucky Christian at Parry McClure High School @ 1:30 P.M. Kentucky Christian is playing its 1ST varsity football season.

5:25 PM - No available updates - you can check out for info later.


Also from D-III - Newport News Appretenice Builders* vs. Webber International

4:00 PM- shows NNA falling 13-10 in Over Time


Please inform us if we missed somebody...

ESPN RADIO 1240 - Buffalo Gap 21, Riverheads 14 -It lived up to the Hype ! Pics 1ST

Riverheads on offense near mid-field
News-Virginian's Jim Sacco reporting to duty or in this case the U.S. Army sponsored Tail Gate Show on ESPN-1240 The Boss

Chip Crabill visits with Dave Norman before the game. Dave teams up with Mike Bocock on the TV Broadcasts in the Valley while Chip and I handle the radio side.

30 Years in the Circulation side of the newspaper business and this is one of the Coolest things I have ever seen. Kudos to the News Virginian...

Buffalo Gap driving down the field...

Riverheads totals -
Rushing 50/174 yards (3.4 avg)
Passing 3-8-1 30 yards

Individuals- Rushing
Cory Sandridge 19/76, Montana Puffenbarger 17/68, Joseph Cash 6/20, Demetrius Younger 6/8 (1-TD), Cameron Brown 1/6, Team 1/-4 (Fumble)

Passing : Brown 3-8-1-1 30 yards

Receiving- Sandridge 1/9, Cash 2/21 (TD),


Buffalo Gap Individual Totals-

Rushing 37-158 (Avg. 4.2)
Nuckols 24-109 (3-TD), Sheridan 7-29, Huff 5-23, Johnson 1-(-3)

Passing -
Sheridan 4-7-0-1 64 yards

Jones 2-48, Knupp 1-13, Johnson 1-3

More game notes below:

High School Football : A look inside of Riverheads @ Buffalo Gap

It's Pickle Time in the Red Zone & The Radio guys from Rebel 95.5

SWOOPE - Box Score from the game...


Bison 21, Gladiators 14



Buffalo Gap..7...7...0...7-21



1ST Quarter-

Riverheads - Demetrius Younger 2 yard run (Skillman Kick) 10:24

Buffalo Gap- Pickle Nuckols 8 yard run (Rosenfeld Kick) 1:24


2ND Quarter-

Buffalo Gap - Pickle Nuckols 1 yard run (Rosenfeld Kick) 6:08

Riverheads - Joseph Cash 11 yard pass from Cameron Brown (Skillman Kick) :13.4


3RD Quarter-



4TH Quarter-

Buffalo Gap - Pickle Nuckols 5 yard run (Rosenfeld Kick) 6:05


Drive by Drive Break Down:


1ST Half


Gap - Fumbled Opening Kick Off :12 seconds

RH - 4 plays / 16 yards / Touchdown 1:24

Gap- 3 plays/ 3 yards / 37 yard punt 1:20

RH - 11 plays / 40 yards / Interception 5:08

Gap- 5 plays / 26 yards / Touchdown 2:32

RH - 6 plays/ 23 yards / 35 yard punt 3:31

Gap- 8 plays/ 60 yards / Touchdown 3:45

RH - 16 plays/70 yards / Touchdown 5:55

Gap - 1 play / 0 yards / Interception :13



Riverheads- 37 plays / 149 yards / 15:58 Time

Buffalo Gap-17 plays / 89 yards / 8:02 Time

First Downs - Riverheads 12 , Buffalo Gap 5


2ND Half


RH- 7 plays / 19 yards / 33 yard punt 4:03

BG- 3 plays/ 0 yards/ 26 yard punt 1:36

RH- 3 plays/ 5 yards/ 30 yard punt 2:06

BG- 11 plays/ 46 yards/ 4TH Down 5:52

RH - 3 plays / (-5) yards / 21 yard punt 1:22

BG- 6 plays / 36 yards / Touchdown 2:56

RH- 8 plays/ 37 yards / 4TH Down 3:37

BG- 7 plays/ 40 yards / End Game 2:28


2ND Half Totals

Riverheads - 21 plays / 56 yards / 11:08

Buffalo Gap - 27 plays/ 122 yards/ 12:52

First Downs - Buffalo Gap 9 , Riverheads 2


Totals for Game:

Riverheads - 58 plays /205 yards /27:06

Buffalo Gap - 44 plays/211 yards / 20:54

First Downs - Buffalo Gap 14, Riverheads 14


More details than I would normally post from my game notes but I kept thinking that Riverheads played a near perfect first half and the credit goes to Coach Castro and his squad for executing the game plan so well.

37-17 advantage in plays for the Gladiators and 2 to 1 in time . Michael Johnson was the Bison that kept his squad in the game while Coach Maxwell searched for answers. Johnson had two big plays in the first half...


Johnson gathered in a pass that had bounced off the shoulder pad of its attended receiver and by the time that Riverheads could bring the speedy Senior down he had returned the interception 40+ yards.. RHS was driving for a second TD that would of given the visitors a 14-0 lead but MJ gave the Bison a 1ST & 10 at the RHS 26 yard line.


Pickle Nuckols carried it 5 straight times to cover the 26 yards and instead of 14-0 it was knotted at 7-7... Thunder and Lightning at their best... Johnson returned the kickoff following the RHS early TD out to near midfield (33 yards). They should create a separate set of stats for the Amazing Mr. Johnson.


Maxwell and his defense took over the game coming out of the locker room. Did I mention that Johnson spearheads the Bison "D"?. Riverheads first 3 possessions for the second half netted 13 plays and 19 yards. While the Riverheads played a near perfect offensive first 24 minutes, the Bison defense played even better in the second half.


Nuckols punched the ball into the end zone for the 3RD time with 6:05 remaining in the game but Riverheads still had time to answer. Montana Puffenbarger returned the kick off 21 yards to give RHS a 1ST & 10 from their own 36. But after 3 more plays the Gladiators were facing a 4TH & 1 and still in search of their second first down of the half.


Cory Sandridge gave the large RHS gathering hope when the Junior broke through the line and scampered 21 yards. A new set of downs at the Bison 34 yard line and still 4 minutes on the clock. Gap's defense tightened up once again and RHS faced another 4TH down but this time it was 4TH & 3. The Gladiators had run 20 other second half plays besides the Sandridge run had but 35 yards to show for it so Castro knew he needed a big play.


Cameron Brown rolled out and looked for Joseph Cash but the ball fell to the ground and the Gap defense headed back to the sideline. The clock read 2:28 and Riverheads had all 3 time outs remaining. I figured Gap needed 3 first downs to finish off the contest and that meant it was Pickle time...


1 & 10 (27) Pickle 18 yards

1 & 10 (45) Pickle 2 yards

2 & 8 (47) Logan Huff 4 yards

3 & 4 (49^) Pickle 6 yards

1 & 10 (43) Pickle 6 yards

2 & 4 (37) Pickle 5 yards

1 & 10 (32) Ryan Sheridan takes a knee... Game Over ... Gap 9-0


Four things to take from the Game-

1. Riverheads played a near perfect game in the first half

2. Zero personal fouls committed by either side, just a minimum of 5 yard flags

3. Pickle didn't have his biggest #'s game but he netted 3 TD's and when he had to run out the clock he protected the ball (5/37 yards)...

4. Michael Johnson is Scary Good - Perfect for a game that proved to be a Halloween Treat !


Check out the gamers at and (By: Steve Cox) and I am sure that Mr. Jim Sacco will have something interesting to say on his Blog at the News Virginian...

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Wall to Wall Volleyball on a Thursday Night : Southern Valley District, Strasburg, Wilson vs. Luray and much, much more!

Lets start the Party by checking in at Eastern Mennonite University. EMU was the site for the Shenandoah District finals between #2 seed Luray and #1 Wilson Memorial. Wilson defeated the Lady Bulldogs 3-1 to add the Tournament trophy to the one the Green Hornets collected for the regular season. Luray took the opener 25-14 but WMHS stormed back to take Games 2 & 3 by scores of 25-16 and 25-12.

Luray didn't fold up and go home just yet though as Julie Rothgeb's squad rallied behind Senior Katie Cubbage. Cubbage scored the first two points of the game with Blocks of Kala Guy and Taijha Jones to give Luray a 2-0 lead. Guy (5'8) and Cubbage (5'9) would then spend the middle of the game beating the ball of each other.

A rare Guy miss hit gave Luray a 21-17 lead and the LHS crowd was getting ready for a 5TH and deceiding game. But Luray gave the ball back by committing their 5TH service error of the game and that was the crack in the door that Guy needed. Back to Back Blocks by Guy pulled WMHS to within 21-20 but Luray's Amber Turner made it 24-21 with a"placed kill".

One point away from forcing a deciding game but that point would never make it to the scoreboard. Guy scored four kills sandwiched around an Ace from Jones to allow Wilson to add one more trophy to the overflowing case back in Fishersville...

Shaun Cox was covering the game for the News-Leader ( and the News Virginian has solid coverage as well at

Chuck McGill of the Northern Virginia Daily gets the credit for updating the Final Score from the Bull Run Semi-Final up at Strasburg. The top seeded Rams (19-2) swept #4 Clarke County but not before being pushed to 31-29 in the close out game. The first two were a touch easier with the final score being 25-17 in both games.

Strasburg will now host the Bull Run District Championship for at least the third time in a row on Saturday night at 7:00 P.M. Head Coach Suzanne Mathias and her squad will return to action on Monday night when Luray heads up to 250 Ram Drive for the Region B opener.

Head over to to check out the gamer...

Let's head South to the Sports Desk of Mr.Sisk down at the News Virginian ( ) and we will find out that both of the Southern Valley District semi-finals are in the books...

Stuarts Draft clinches a spot in Region play as well as a spot in the Championship game with the Lady Cougars 3-0 (25-10, 33-31, 25-14) victory over Rockbridge County. Those two schools will be back at it tomorrow night on the football field in what should be a must-see game.

Fort Defiance needed 5 games to get past the up-start Waynesboro squad in the other semi-final match. Trailing 2-1, Fort rallied to take Games 4 (25-22) and 5 (15-6) and now will face Draft for the Tourney Crown.

Waynesboro will need to get past Rockbridge County in the 3RD place game if they hope to advance to regional play.

Still searching for info on the other Bull Run District Semi-Final between Rapp and Madison County

While we wait : We can take a look at the Shenandoah District Volleyball Awards

Regular Season Champs - Wilson
Tourney Champs - Wilson
Coach of the Year - Wilson's Kim Claytor
Player of the Year- Wilson's Kala Guy

1ST Team All District:

Kala Guy - Wilson Memorial
Katie Cubbage - Luray
Heather Stout - Stonewall Jackson
Christine Coffield - Wilson Memorial
Niki Zwanzig - Page County
Noel Bartley - Wilson Memorial

2ND Team All District :

Molly Beall - Stonewall Jackson
Alison Wilkins - Buffalo Gap
Megan Hilliard - Luray
Brittany Wolfe - Page County
Kristen Moody - Riverheads
Tiffany Crosby - Wilson Memorial

Congrats to All 12 Young Ladies and Coach Claytor !

Just checked and found TK's gamer on the thrilling 5 set battle for the Northwestern District Crown. Millbrook rallied to capture games 4 & 5 over James Wood and the Pioneers will now advance to Regional play on Tuesday. Check out the gamer - TK is as good as they get on covering Volleyball.

Still no word from Rapp...
7:30 A.M. Friday - Rapp over Madison County 3-1
Next up : Rapp @ Strasburg 7:00 P.M. Saturday
Bull Run Championship !

Completing the Bridgewater College Pick Six : BC Senior Night for Brittney Wittmer

Coach Spector and Brittney Wittmer after the match
Brittney on the cover of the 2008 BC Volleyball Guide

Coach and his squad during a break between games

Another pic of the Lady of the Evening

Shot of the crowd for the final home match - Love seeing so many people in the stands...

BRIDGEWATER - I was a little late arriving at Eastern Mennonite University for the Shenandoah District Finals because there was a stop to make on the way. When Strasburg's Katie Baker deceided to play Volleyball at Bridgewater College last summer I went in search of a schedule to see how many home matches I could attend. It turned out that BC was to play six home matches as well as hosting the BC Invatational, with all of the action taking place in Niniger Hall.

Thursday night was the final of the six home matches (Went 6 for 6!) as the Squirrels of Mary Baldwin College made the trip up from Staunton for a non-conference match against Coach Greg Spector's Lady Eagles. Final home match of the season means one thing - Time to Honor the Seniors or in the case of the very young BC team - Senior. Brittney Wittmer is the lone senior on this years squad and that makes it time to shine the spotlight on Ms. Wittmer.

Brittney played all four seasons at Bridgewater after coming to the ODAC from Robert E. Lee High School in Springfield, Virginia. The outside hitter played her first three seasons under Mary Frances Heishman and her senior season under the guidance of Coach Spector and his staff. Wittmer finished her junior season with 232 kills and has played a major role in the Lady Eagles success this year. The total for this season was at 179 heading into the match with MBC.

BC swept the match 3-0 (25-17, 25-15, 25-23) to improve their overall record to 21-7 and will try and capture #22 tomorrow night at Mary Washington University in their regular season finale. BC will compete in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament on November 7TH & 8TH at Hollins College.

The biggest difference in the Gym at Niniger Hall last night versus opening night back on September 9TH (vs. Randolph) was the number of folks in the stands. For the first time last night I had to look for a seat in the stands! Kudos to Coach Spector for his efforts in his 1ST season and Best Wishes to Brittney Wittmer in her future endeavors...
Notes from the Match : Junior Erika Dirnagl led BC with 9 kills and fellow junior Mandy Hill joined Baker with 8 kills each. Tricia Davis collected 27 assists for the match...

ESPN's FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS : Take #11 - Augusta County Game of Games (Riverheads @ Buffalo Gap)

SWOOPE - Just finished reading Jim Sacco's piece on the BIG GAME and must admit I am looking forward to heading down Virginia Highway 42 for the High School Game of the Week with Chip Crabill.

The fall of 2006 ended with Riverheads capturing the Class A State Championship down in Salem. The Gladiators spent the entire 2007 season with a Bulls Eye on their jerseys but the State Championship still made it back to Augusta County in November. Just one catch though, it was Buffalo Gap that brought the title to the neighborhood the second time around.

Two schools that are separated by just over 20 miles of beautiful countryside have managed to claim back to back State Titles and now Buffalo Gap (8-0, 3-0 Shenandoah District) is trying to make another run at a trip down to Salem. Riverheads (6-2,3-0) is hoping to knock the Bison express of the tracks and in doing so set their own sites on a deep playoff run.

There is plenty of talk about how early someone will have to make it out to Gap in order to claim a parking space on BGHS property. Both Chip and Sacco are guessing between 3:30 and 5:00 P.M. to be safe. After seeing how many Gappers made the trip down to Salem last year I wouldn't doubt it...

Bill Meade's Football Picks for the week:


Wilson Memorial (3-5) @ Luray (4-4)

Page County (2-6) @ Stonewall Jackson (3-5)

Rockbridge County (6-3) @ Stuarts Draft

Riverheads (6-2) @ Buffalo Gap (8-0)


Miami (5-3) @ Virginia (5-3)

Florida (6-1) @ Georgia (7-1)

Texas (8-0) @ Texas Tech (8-0)

Florida State (6-1) @ Georgia Tech (6-2)


Pittsburgh (5-2)@ Washington (6-2)

Dallas (5-3)@ New York Giants (6-1)

Green Bay (4-3) @ Tennessee (7-0)

New England (5-2) @ Indianapolis (3-4)

Region B Volleyball : Things are starting to take shape!

We now know that Luray will be heading to Strasburg on Monday
Madison County is one of two teams searching for the 2ND Bull Run playoff spot. A trip to Fishersville to play at Wilson Memorial awaits the 2ND Bull Run team.

But they will have to get past Coach Wilde and his Rappahannock Panthers in the Bull Run Semi-Finals on Thursday night at Rapp.

Wilson Memorial's Coach Claytor and her Green Hornets have their ticket punched already!

The Strasburg Rams will be at home on Monday evening but still have a semi vs. Clarke County and a possible finals vs. Rapp or Madison County

The Luray Lady Bulldogs earned a trip up to Strasburg on Monday night by defeating Buffalo Gap 3-1 Wednesday night in the second Shenandoah District Semi...

Luray takes it to the Next Level - Returns to Region B Play

HARRISONBURG- It was Halloween night last year when Luray took the floor in the Shenandoah District Semi-Finals with the hopes of earning a berth in Region B Play. Julie Rothgeb and her Lady Bulldogs returned to Eastern Mennonite University Wednesday night to try and take the next step once again.

Luray was expecting to face #3 seed Stonewall Jackson but #6 seed Buffalo Gap upended the Generals 3-1 in the Quarter-Finals Monday in Quicksburg. Both Gap and Luray sat through a 5 set Marathon between Page County and Wilson Memorial that kept the night cap from starting until 8:52 P.M.

Gap did a better job of getting regrouped at the start of the match. The Lady Bison jumped out to a 7-1 lead but consecutive kills from Luray's Danielle Montgomery trimmed the lead to 11-10. Katie Cubbage scored her 1ST point of the match to get Luray within 17-13 but Gap put the opener away with a 5-0 run that led to a 25-18 victory.

The points that Cubbage didn't score in the opener came in groves during the remainder of the match. Trailing 3-2 in the second game Cubbage took five straight sets from Amber Turner and the senior converted on all five attempts. Turner and Cubbage remained on top of their games throughout the balance of a 25-17 win that evened the match.

Cubbage finished the second game with 8 kills and Turner closed out the victory with a kill of her own from the back row. LHS didn't slow down in Game 3 as Cubbage posted 4 blocks and 3 kills during the 25-18 victory. Cubbage had plenty of help in this one as Montgomery tallied 4 Aces and Alison Ross added 3 blocks and 1 kill to the attack.

Gap continued to battle the favorites but once again Cubbage dominated game 4. The totals during the 25-20 clincher: 9 Kills and 2 Blocks and for the match - 22 kills and 6 Blocks. Turner added five key kills to go with a truck load of assists, including one struck underhanded.

Cubbage and Turner spent four years together trying to take Luray back to the Promise Land and Rothgeb couldn't of been prouder of her seniors and her team.

"This is a very big win for our program," Rothgeb said. "It has been a while since our school has advanced to the Regionals. Our girls worked very hard and it has been a while since we have been taken seriously."

The next two games for Luray will be against Wilson Memorial and Starsburg, both District Champs but Rothgeb knows her team will be able to do what they have done all season.

"They have worked very hard all year," Rothgeb added. "This is a great group of kids that we have here."

Luray will play Wilson Memorial Thursday night at 7:00 P.M. back at EMU...

Region B Play starts on Monday night @ Starsburg. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday night but was moved to Monday due to the Strasburg gym being used as a Polling Place for the Presidential election.

Shaun Cox covered the match for the News Leader and you can check out his gamer at .

Bill Meade was court side and you can check out his work in the next edition of the Page News & Courier...

Some Pics from the Shenandoah District Semi Finals

Page News and Courier's Bill Meade with the PCHS cheer squad
The view from behind the scorers table at EMU

Luray Head Coach Julie Rothgeb as she greets the Green Hornets

Buffalo Gap made it to the Semi's with an upset at Stonewall Jackson but fell short against Luray

The Lady Bulldogs getting loose before their match...

PCHS Head Coach Alan Knight and his Lady Panthers during a time out

Kala Guy (#1) is one Cool Customer...

TV-3's Damon was hard at work and then later his Phillies won some type of baseball game.

Great shot of Head Coach Kim Claytor with her Green Hornets in the back ground.

PCHS nearly pulled off the comeback of a life time but Wilson closed the match in Game 5.

Shenandoah District Semi-Finals : Kala Guy and Company defeat Page County 3-2

HARRISONBURG- Page County had momentum on their side as the Lady Panthers traveled over to Eastern Mennonite University for its Shenandoah District Semi-Final against #1 seed Wilson Memorial. PCHS captured four straight matches that took Alan Knight and his squad from a tie for sixth place all the way to the match with WMHS.

While Page had momentum on their side, Green Hornets Head Coach Kim Claytor had Kala Guy on her side. The 5'8 senior has the ability that so few athletes at her age have- the ability to take her game to another level when her Coach or team needs her to do so.

Early in the match there was little reason to believe that Kala would have to rally the regular season Champions...
Game #1 Highlights : PCHS took a 9-6 lead when Rachel Breeden scored an Ace but Wilson scored the next seven points. Guy led the charge with a block and one of her 6 Game 1 kills but Page refused to surrender.

Anissa Price and Niki Zwanzig took turns keeping the Lady Panthers in the opener as both seniors scored 3 kills. Price pulled PCHS to within 22-21 with her 3RD kill but Guy pushed the lead back to two at 23-21 and Wilson closed out the win at 25-22.

Guy - 6 kills / 1 Block

Game #2 Highlights : Guy started the second game on fire and collected her fourth kill to push the lead out to 7-2. Kori Jenkins brought PCHS back with a pair of Aces during a 6-0 run to trim the lead to 9-8. Wilson helped the run with four errors but rebounded behind the efforts of Noel Bartley.

Bartley mixed in 2 blocks and a kill during a key stretch that pushed the lead back out to 17-10. Bartley did the rest of Game 2 damage from the service line as the junior put the game away with 2 Aces during her 4 service point run. Guy was there at the end with the final two points coming on a block and a kill in the 25-16 victory...

Guy - 6 kills / 1 Block

Game #3 Highlights : This one turned out to be one for the Ages ! The game was tied at 5-5 when Guy went to the service line. The run was 12 points from the line which included 3 Aces. PCHS trailed Wilson 2 games to zero and now 17-5 in what would be the clincher.

Travel back in time a couple of weeks to the ALCS when Tampa Bay led Boston 7-0 in the clinching game that would send the Rays to the series. Down 2-0 and 17-5, it was as if Alan Knight and his Lady Panthers had Wilson right where they wanted them.

Brittney Wolfe went to the service line and proceeded to collect 3 Aces of her own during an 11-2 run that brought Page back to within 19-16. Guy tried to right the ship and her block pushed the lead back to 22-17. Jenkins went back to the service line and her two Aces sparked an 8-1 run that pushed Page to an amazing 25-23 come from the grave victory.

20-6 was the rebound score as Page went from down 17-5 to up 25-23 in one of the greatest comebacks I have ever seen. Just like with Boston, Page would still need to capture to more games to make the comeback complete...


Game #4 Highlights : This time it was Page that jumped out to an early lead at 5-2. Taijha Jones scored a kill to give Wilson a 7-6 but there was no way to know that it would be their final lead of the game. Price finshed off the 25-19 victory with a Kill as the Lady Panthers never allowed Wilson to get closer than 4 points the rest of the game...


Tied Up at 2-2 and looking to complete the comeback, a Zwanzig kill off of Guy gave PCHS a 3-2 lead and that is when Wilson Memorial's All-Star took her game to the next level. Guy wasn't alone though as Tiffany Crosby scored 4 early kills, including 3 straight during the 8-0 knock out run. Zwanzig slowed the run with her final kill of the match to make it 13-6 but Bartley closed it out with a kill and a block... Final Score- Wilson 15, Page 6


I was able to spend a few minutes with PCHS Head Coach Alan Knight after the match:

"I am not happy with the way we played in Games 1 and 2," Knight said. "But when it is a #4 seed playing a #1 seed, alot of teams would of quit. Tonight was typical of our season in that we played real well at times. We didn't quit and came from way behind to make a game of it."

Alan did mention at the end of our talk that even when his squads that captured State Championships back in the late 80's and early 90's that he was never satisfied with the results and that he always was looking for ways his team could play better...

A great coach that led a team with no hitter taller than 5'7 to within a few key points of recording a victory that would have grown each time the story was re-told...

A thought or two from Wilson Memorial Head Coach Kim Claytor...

I had noticed that during the comeback Kim had called just 1 time out and appeared very calm during the back half of the match... To borrow a line from ESPN's Stuart Scott - She is as cool as the other side of the pillow. It helps when you have Kala Guy wearing a Cape, I mean one of your uniforms...

Congrats to Coach Knight and his Lady Panthers on their season

Best of Luck down the road for Coach Claytor and her Lady Green Hornets

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's Tourney Time for Valley High School Volleyball

The posts below will get you up to date on the matches being played in the Northwestern, Bull Run, Shenandoah and Southern Valley Districts. There is a tournament under way in each of the 4 Districts with multiple Playoff bids at stake...

H.S Volleyball - Shenandoah District Final Four @ EMU Tonight

HARRISONBURG- One of the neater things about the Shenandoah District is the format it uses for the Volleyball and Basketball Championships. The teams are seated 1-6 for the event with the top two teams receiving a bye for the opening round. The 3 vs. 6 and the 4 vs. 5 are played in the gym of the 3RD and 4TH seed but then all 4 remaining teams head over to Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg.

The gym at EMU is located in the center of the District and it gives the High School players that won't be playing at the next level an opportunity to play their sport on a college campus in front of a sizable crowd. That should be the case tonight as both match-ups are Augusta County vs. Page County. A few more fans from the early game will stick around and some of the fans from the second match will arrive early to catch some more of the action with their neighbors playing in the other contest.

The semi-finals get under way tonight at 6:30 P.M. with #1 seed Wilson Memorial playing #4 seed Page County High School. PCHS enters the night on a 4 match winning streak while Wilson Memorial has already clinched a spot in Region B play by capturing the regular season championship.

The second match will get started 20 minutes after the end of the Wilson-Page tilt with #2 Luray playing #6 Buffalo Gap. Gap advanced on Monday night with a big upset over #3 Stonewall Jackson up in Quicksburg. Luray can clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win and having Wilson defeat Page. The number two team out of the Shenandoah opens play at the #1 team from the Bull Run District while the #2 Bull Run squad will travel down to Fishersville to play at Wilson.

The atmosphere promises to be electric for both matches and it will make for a Fun night of Volleyball Around Our Valley.

H.S. Volleyball - Higher Seeds hold serve in Bull Run Quarter-Finals

BERRYVILLE / MADISON - #4 seed Clarke County swept #5 seed Manassas Park 3-0 Tuesday night and you can read all about the match by heading over to . Clarke County now advances to play Thursday night at #1 Strasburg in one of the two Bull Run Semi-Finals.

#3 seed Madison County also advanced with a 3-0 sweep with the Mountaineers getting the best of #6 seed George Mason. Notes about the match are available at the MCHS web site. The next step for MCHS will take place Thursday night when they travel over to #2 seed Rappahannock County.

The semi-final winners will square off on Saturday night at the highest remaining seeds gym.

Northwestern District Volleyball : Semi's are in the Books

NVD's Tommy Keeler and Tim Tassa supply the coverage for the Final Four in the Northwestern District on line at . The matches took place last night with Millbrook sweeping the leagues newest member Kettle Run 3-0 (25-20, 25-21, 25-16) and James Wood pulling off a surprising sweep of Sherando 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-19).

James Wood finished the regular season as the fourth seed in the highly competitive District but managed to come in to the gym of #1 seed Sherando and escape with the victory.

Millbrook (#2 seed) will now host the Championship on Thursday night in what promises to be an exciting match. Both matches received a great deal of coverage from a pair of Ace reporters so please click on the link for the details...

Congrats to Millbrook and James Wood..

H.S. - Southern Valley District Volleyball Tourney

Stuarts Draft, Fort Defiance and Waynesboro each completed their regular season with a 6-2 mark and the three teams will share the regular season crown in the Southern Valley District.

The Cougars defeated Rockbridge County to join the Little Giants and the Indians as Tri-Champions and now Rockbridge County will join them to round out the four team tournament that begins on Thursday night.

Both matches begin at 7:00 P.M. on Thursday with Fort traveling to Waynesboro and Rockbridge traveling to Draft. Three of the four teams will advance to the Region III playoffs.

For gamer on the Draft match check out the and for more info on the Southern Valley District check in with the .

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Strasburg, Kaitlin Smoot and Katie Baker - Now the story has come full circle

BLACKSBURG- Our recent trips down to Blacksburg had one simple purpose. Linda and I wanted to share in the week end with the Smoot family as Kaitlin was making her debut on the Virginia Tech Club VB Team. Larry and Judith Smoot had played such a huge role for us in the Strasburg Rams Volleyball Championship and through these efforts we had became very close to their family.

After the Saturday night in Richmond when the Rams finished off their 28-0 season and the final congrats and hugs were over it left me to wonder if and when we would get the opportunity to watch Kaitlin Smoot and Katie Baker to play Volleyball again. I knew that Suzanne Mathias would be back to coach the Rams the following season and that Bethany Doman, Jenna Smoot as well as the remaining underclassmen would be back but that the 7 seniors would move on.

The next opportunity to watch Katie and Kaitlin play volleyball occurred on Wednesday July 2ND , down on the campus of Christopher Newport University. The East-West All Star Games were being hosted by VHSCA and both Katie and Kaitlin were invited to play. We made the trip down to Newport News and back to watch the match and visit with the families. Katie was going to play at Bridgewater College in the fall and Kaitlin was going down to Blacksburg to attend Virginia Tech.

Bridgewater College is 44 miles each way from the house so I have been able to watch Katie and her Lady Eagles team on a number of occasions. A number of home games at Niniger Hall and a handful of road games as well have given me plenty of time with the Baker's. Every time I have seen Katie play she has looked so comfortable on the floor and both Mom and Dad say she is really enjoying school.

The school has a new coach in Greg Spector and the team has already reached 20 wins for the season. The Lady Eagles play one final home game this week on Thursday night against Mary Baldwin College and then it is on to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament down at Hollins College in Roanoke.

It was great to know that one half of the dynamic duo was back playing Volleyball and enjoying life after Strasburg. Katie is the same kind, considerate student-athlete she was while leading the way back at 250 Ram Drive.

One down and one to go and the VT tourney dates of 10/24 & 10/25 have been circled on our calender for quite a while. Checking of the web site at in hopes of finding out more information about the event. It was a need to know basis and I needed to know.

Anybody that has ever written a story about sports has done it with the help of an editor. Sports Editors and Sports Writers have a unique relationship and that is no different for me. You develop a bond with your editor that stays with you for a long time. This is where the bond between the Smoots and the Carters gets a little deeper. When we went looking for someone to make the Volleyball book right we didn't have to ask Judith Smoot twice.

Judith went to the trouble of first gathering as much of the information as possible. The second thing Judith did was take the UN-edited version of the book and make the changes needed. You can't overlook the role she played as Mother of the All-Time Assist Leader in Virginia VB history. The Smoots are as special as they come and the opportunity to travel down to Va Tech to be there for the big event was too much to pass on.

As I stated in the book, every writer is looking for a story to tell and I had found mine. The story of the Bakers and Smoots plus the Strasburg community was the Story of a Lifetime about a Season of a Lifetime. Getting to spend the big week end with the family simply put icing on the cake. The "Orange " VT team won the Championship after a pair of close calls in the semi-finals and then the finals against Colorado State. If you have followed the story you know by now that the winning of the final match is not the story, the amazing folks in the story are the story.

Kaitlin couldn't have seemed happier and the decision to attend Mr. Smoot's Alma mater (Class of 1978 - I believe) has come up Aces (Volleyball term) for her. Kaitlin is also set to begin working with the VT varsity coach to continue toward her goal of following in her Mother's foot steps as a VB Coach.

The current Rams are preparing to compete for the Bull Run District Tourney crown to go with their regular season title. Coach Mason and Coach Mathias have the program heading in the right direction with this years addition of a Freshman team.

Katie and her new team is finishing off a solid season with just one senior on the squad. The future is looking bright for the folks over at BC.

Now I can add that Kaitlin is enjoying life at Virginia Tech and feel that the story has come full circle for the 2007-2008 Strasburg Rams Volleyball program.The two amazing young women, with some help from their class mates made a run that the school and the town will not soon forget, are both doing just fine.

As Paul Harvey would say - Now you know the rest of the Story!