Saturday, December 6, 2008

James Madison University & Richmond Advance to Final 4 !!!

JMU scored a late TD and then picked off a Villinova pass to defeat the Wildcats 31-27! JMU will be back in action next week at home... More later...
The Richmond Spiders ended the three year run of the Appy State Mountaineers with a 33-13 victory down in Boone, N.C. Appy State was the #2 seed-Congrats Spiders!
Montana won 24-13 to advance as well and the fourth game is tonight with New Hampshire
facing Northern Iowa at 7:00 P.M.

Big Day for Football Around the Old Dominion

JMU - 3 wins away from the Crown!

*Virginia Tech looks to advance to a B.C.S Bowl Game with a victory today in the ACC Championship game down in Florida.

Boston College is the team that stands in the way of the Hokies...

*James Madison University hopes to advance to the National Semi-Finals in D-I AA at home against the Villinova Wildcats...

Kick Off is slated for 3:30 P.M. down in Harrisonburg. If the

top-seeded Dukes win they will play at home again next week.

*12 High School teams pursue their dreams of capturing one of six State Championships on the line today...

Where do we begin ?

Let's toss out Bill Meade's Pigskin Picks for starters...
High School Games (All State Finals)

Class A (Played at Salem, Va.)
Franklin vs. Clintwood -Noon
Gretna vs. Floyd County -4:15 P.M.

Class AA (Played @ Liberty University)
Broad Run vs. Amherst - 4:15 P.M.
Brookville vs. James Monroe - Noon

Brookville (Lynchburg) could ride their bikes to this game!
Boston College (9-3) vs. Virginia Tech (8-4) - 1PM
Alabama vs. Florida - 4:00 P.M.
Pitt @ U-Conn - Noon
Navy vs. Army - Noon
Washington @ Baltimore (Monday)
Dallas @ Pittsburgh
Atlanta @ New Orleans
Tampa Bay @ Carolina-


End of Bill's picks


Action taking place in Lane Stadium in Blacksburg,Va.


Noon : Phoebus (13/14-0) vs. Dinwiddle (12-1)

4:00 P.M. - Osbourn (9-4) vs. Oscar Smith Tigers (14-0)


JMU (11-1) played the Wildcats (10-2) on the road earlier this season and needed a TD pass on the final play of the game to escape Pennsylvania. Last week the stadium was neer capacity despite the students being on break and the game being played opposite of UVA- Virginia Tech. There should be plenty of Purple in the stands for the game today!

Final Year in the Old Gym - Luray Lady Bulldogs host EMHS on Friday Night

Bill Meade (far right) covering his third High School
game of the DAY! LHS golf Coach Chris Mercer is
next to Bill.

I hope they find a way to find the Bulldog a new wall

Luray's Shelby Davis, Christian Judd and Devan Alger
greeting EMHS's Jordan Burns and Anna Berkshire

Coaches before the game -Jeff Smith (EMHS) and Johnny Painter (Luray)

Part of the Friday Night Crowd

Junior Brooke Good at the Free Throw Line

Looks like the Bulldog is about to swollow the officcal

LHS's Jennifer Kelly looking for a pass on the wing

The Bulldog Cheer Squad

Friday, December 5, 2008

Say it Ain't So Greg! Maddux set to announce retirement on Monday...

My one and only baseball hero has decided to retire from the game and will make the decision official with a Press Conference on Monday...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Stonewall Jackson @ Central - H.S Girls Basketball : Falcons hold on 42-39

Stonewall playing man to man "D"
The outcome was in question right down to the final horn

Whitney Wilkins at the Free Throw Line
Stonewall's Jessica Richardson (54) & Central's Breaunna Hinegardner (10)

Central's Shalyn Weaver drawing a crowd of defenders

Central's Cheerleaders & Fans showing their support

Mr. Burner and T.K (right)
You can check out his gamer at

Coach Burner & Coach Mathews working the side lines.

Stonewall Jackson planning their last second strategy...

Senior Lauren Heishman at the Free Throw line in the 1ST Quarter

NVD's Chuck McGill walks us through the struggles facing Area High School Athletic Departments

Every now and then Mr.Mcgill steps from behind the Sports Editors Desk at the Northern Virginia Daily and writes a story or two. This was the case a few days ago when Chuck wrote a feature on the uphill battle the schools in the Valley are facing with the current economy. It is a great read and you can check it out by clicking on the link.

We borrowed a picture of Mr. Mcgill from his blog to accompany the story...

Sights and Sounds from Stonewall Jackson @ Central

The Central Falcon - too cool!
3RD from the left is Foltzie (Woodstock River Bandits skipper) and the gentleman on the far left is Jeff's Walters Dad...

Shenandoah Valley Herald's John Galle and NVD's Jeremy Stafford interviewing Generals Head Coach Sophie Stout after the game. Check out Jeremy's gamer at ...

The court at Central is named after former Coach Jerry Walters.

Gotta love the art work in the gym...

Central student body backing their Falcons.

Coach Stout and her Generals
Coach Roger Wilkins and his Falcons

Coach Stout working the sidelines

Our good friend Dennis working working the lens for the NVD

Battle on the Boards

WOODSTOCK- Central High School (1-2) earned its first victory of the young season Wednesday night by defeating the visiting Generals of Stonewall Jackson 53-33.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One of the Best Sports Nights of the Year...

Here is a list that will vary from Sports fan to Sports fan; the Saturday at the final four or maybe the Super Bowl, possibly race day at Daytona...
But here at Around The Valley the answer is very simple - opening night for boys and girls high school basketball around the state of Virginia. The number of high school athletes that took to the floor for the first time last night thinking this could be their year. The definition of their year will have a wide range from HS program to HS program.
Some teams will be trying to defend their State Championships while others look to take the next step after falling just short last season. There will be players looking to score their first Varsity points while others dream of getting to play at the next level. Yes, they turned the lights on in High School gyms all across our great state last night and for an evening every team was UN-defeated!
Once again kids playing for the love of the game and the love for their school. Men and Women coaching their teams for their love of trying to make a difference in a young persons life versus the size of their shoe contract. Over the next 60 Days in our Valley the newspapers, television and radio stations will report on the progress of our area teams. Fans will fill the bleachers up and down the Valley from Strasburg to Lexington and every small town in between.
There will be great teams, really good teams and right down the line. For the 15,16,17 and a handful of 18 year olds representing their schools the season will be full of ups and downs. Our goal during that stretch will be to support their efforts, win or lose, boys or girls, big school or little school...
Basketball is one of the few High School Sports where the Boys and the Girls are playing the same game. The tennis teams are another that come to mind along with soccer and swimming but it is basketball that draws the lions share of coverage among that small group.
We will set out in search of ways to put a smile on some athletes and coaches faces during the Winter months and we also welcome pics and notes from our readers about teams that they follow...

Monday, December 1, 2008

In Search of More Home Town Heroes... Luray's Andy Caviness, Juno Carroll and Bill Meade

Juno taking the time to make a face for the camera

Andy Caviness (L) working the 50/50 behind Monte Layman

Ryan and Juno Carroll while helping us with our Sunday Post

Andy is a fine example of a Liberty University grad!

Bill Meade (far right) visiting with Luray fans during
a break in the action of the Lady Bulldogs VB game.
LURAY - Our journey over, through and Around The Valley has led us to a number of very special people. Over the past 13 months I have taken the time to write about some of these folks and today I want to add three more to the list. All three of the gentleman have ties to Luray and I wanted to share a thought or two about each of them.
We will start out my talking about Mr. Bill Meade of the Page News & Courier. Bill is the Sports Editor for the PN&C and it is his job to cover both Page County High School and Luray High School as well as all other sporting events in Page County.
Bill attended R.E. Lee High School in Staunton, let's just say a few years ago and went on to graduate from William & Mary. A life long Sports fan, I have had the pleasure of visiting with Bill on a number of occasions and each time come away knowing a little more about how much pride he takes in his work.
The typical Weekly newspaper Sports Department is a 1 man band and the Page News & Courier is no different. Two High Schools separated by just a few miles in some ways but worlds apart in others, the most pressing thing for Bill is to make sure neither school feels slighted in their coverage. If the job doesn't sound difficult enough yet we have to factor in that the area daily newspapers coverage tends to stop at the County line. This means that the coverage that Bill brings to the table is the only coverage the student athletes get in some instances.
Bill not only finds a way to balance the task at hand he does it with a certain amount of flair. You can't go to a sporting event without seeing three or four kids from the schools walking by and giving Bill a fist pump. Despite being almost 40 years older than the athletes themselves, Bill finds a special way to close the gap with almost everyone he covers.
"You always know that he is always there for you," said recent LHS graduate Ryan Carroll. "He always does a good job with his coverage, especially the baseball team."
The Pigskin Picks that Bill Meade runs in his Sports section is a great deal of fun for those who follow it in the newspaper as well as though that participate in it. Most of the area newspapers have a Football picks section that involves the staff of that newspaper. Now with Bill having no staff, he is forced to include outsiders to have a panel but he doesn't just go grap the first five or six folks he could find.
Bill wants to have the entire County represented with his panel so in addition to Bill and Randy Arrington (Editor & Chief of PN&C), there are four more "Pickers". One from Luray, one from Stanley, one from Shenandoah and one wild card. To add a little more fun each week Bill searches the County for a "Guest Picker" each week. Just another way of trying to take a situation and make it more enjoyable for everyone.
To borrow a line from Huey Lewis and the News - It's Hip to be Square... No grandstanding, no- look at me now, just Bill Meade doing his best to shine a positive light on kids from both of the tracks/er, County Line. A Giant Tip of the Cap to one hard working Sports journalist...
Andy Caviness -
To the naked eye Andy Caviness is the Farm Bureau Agent here in the town of Luray. But to those of us you know Andy, that is just a cover for him. I do have to mention that Andy captured the New Agent of the Year Award for both of the years he was eligible. I did have to ask Andy just how it was he managed to win the equal to Rookie of the Year award two years in a row.
Andy did take the time to inform me on the breakdown and that is where our conversation began. As the Valley Baseball League went on this past summer you could not go to a Wrangler work function without seeing Andy in the middle of the action. Whatever Bill Turner and Diane Buckley needed a hand with Andy and Juno (we will get to him in a minute) were two that would immediately ask when and where...
Andy graduated from Liberty University down in Lynchburg and that goes a long way in explanning his give first, take later outlook on life. Whether it was selling the 50/50 tickets at the actual ball games or building the shelves that line the press box or just being a really good listener to the Worlds problems...Andy is the Man for the Job.
Mr. Juno Carroll -
Don't know where to start with the man I call "The Nicest Man in Page County". Juno is a life long resident of Luray and if there something going on in the area there is a good chance you will find Juno near the action...
Juno and his son Ryan both serve on the Board of Directors for the Luray Wranglers and they team up again on Saturday night &/or Sunday morning when they come down and help us put out the Post. Mr. & Mrs. Carroll find the time to support ALL Things LHS and not just when the Bulldogs are playing at home.
Father & Son team up most Friday nights when LHS is playing at home. You can find them working the First Down Chains on the side lines or somewhere else where the school is short handed. I would be writing until tomorrow if I tried and list all the ways Juno helps out with the Wranglers as well. The smile on his face is just a bonus to all of the kind acts.
Why write about these three men today ? Let's see - the Sports World is celebrating the 1ST anniversary of the death of Sean Taylor, Plexico just shot himself in the leg in a night club, Rich Rodregious just told the Michigan fans to get a life after he took the "Dream Job" and posted a 3-9 record. The man had the "perfect" job and friends that would take a bullet for him and he traded it all away for a night with a fashion model of a job.
Then after bolting town to take the new job, he actually has the nerve to complain the new fans are too demanding. Oh stop, we could talk about Mike Vick coming back to the NFL or Marbury and the New York Knicks $21 million...
On a day where there are so many things that are wrong (and we didn't even talk about the BCS), I would rather talk about some of the things that are right...Bill Meade, Andy Caviness & Juno Carroll are just a great place to start...
None of the trio will sign a six figure shoe contract but each one of them spend a great deal of energy trying to make Page County a better place to be!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Winter Sports Schedule : Luray High School Bulldogs

Luray High School - Luray, Virginia (Class A - Shenandoah District)

The Varsity Schedule for the Boys Basketball team is as follows:

12/02 - @ Eastern Mennonite HS
12/04 - vs. Eastern View
12/09 - vs. Madison County
12/12 - vs. William Monroe
12/13 - @ Eastern View
12/16 - @ Manassas Park
12/19 - @ Madison County
12/27 - @ NVD Tourney (Strasburg) (4:00 P.M.)
12/30 - @ NVD Tourney (Strasburg)
01/03 - vs. Eastern Mennonite (1:00 P.M.)
01/09 - @ Page County ***
01/12 - @ William Monroe
01/13 - vs. Manassas Park
01/16 - vs. Wilson Memorial ***
01/20 - vs. Buffalo Gap ***
01/23 - @ Stonewall Jackson ***
01/28 - vs. Page County ***
01/30 - vs. Riverheads ***
02/03 - @ Wilson Memorial ***
02/06 - @ Buffalo Gap ***
02/10 - @ Riverheads ***
02/12 - vs. Stonewall Jackson *** (Senior Night)
Feb. 17,19 & 20TH - District Tourney
*** - Shenandoah District Contest

The Lady Bulldogs schedule is as follows :
12/02 - @ William Monroe
12/04 - @ Eastern View
12/05 - vs. Eastern Mennonite
12/11 - @ Madison County
12/13 - vs. Eastern View
12/16 - vs. Manassas Park
12/22 - vs. William Monroe
12/27 - NVD Classic (Strasburg) (2:00 P.M.)
12/29 - NVD Classic (Strasburg)
01/03 - @ Eastern Mennonite (1:00 P.M.)
01/05 - vs. Madison County
01/08 - vs. Page County ***
01/13 - @ Manassas Park
01/16 - @ Wilson Memorial ***
01/20 - @ Buffalo Gap ***
01/23 - vs. Stonewall Jackson ***
01/27 - @ Page County ***
01/30 - @ Riverheads ***
02/03 - vs. Wilson Memorial ***
02/06 - vs. Buffalo Gap ***
02/10 - vs. Riverheads *** (Senior Night)
02/12 - @ Stonewall Jackson ***
Feb. 16,18 & 20 - District Tournament
*** Shenandoah District Contest