Saturday, January 17, 2009

Former Turner Ashby Triple Threat Athlete now working the sidelines for Eastern Mennonite

HARRISONBURG - Last night during the Stonewall Jackson @ Page County girls basketball game some one from the stands stopped by to say good night to the Coach Knight and Coach Comer. After they exchanged pleasantries I stopped and asked them whom they were just talking to.
The answer was Jeff Smith and I was quick to remember having watched Smith coach his Lady Flames earlier against both Page & against Luray. Smith had been in the gym Friday night to scout Stonewall Jackson as the two teams were going to play their postponed game on Saturday afternoon.
Coach Knight mentioned that Smith had been somewhat of a track star in his playing days @ Turner Ashby. Smith looked to be in good enough shape that he might could be a track star now, let alone a few years ago. It turns out that our paths were going to cross on Saturday afternoon when EMHS hosted the Generals.
After the game was over I approached Coach Smith to let him know that there were some pics of his team on our site from the three times I had watched them play. It turns out that Smith is a banker by day and an avid reader of multiple newspapers/sports sections. After explaining to Coach about the site and its purpose, Smith shared some thoughts about his playing days as a Knight.
Smith will tell you that he is so old that he played his high school basketball during an era where there was no dunking or 3-point line. The lack of a 3-point line did not prevent Smith from averaging an amazing 25.1 points per game his senior season. But his adventures didn't end with hoops, he played football well enough to go on to the University of Richmond and play for the Spiders.
A 3RD knee injury ended his football playing days but not his career. Smith transfered back home and finished up by playing basketball for Bridgewater College. Don't forget the track thing that Coach Knight brought up on Friday night. Smith excelled in the Hurdles at TA as well before graduating back in 1976.
You never know who might be coaching or officiating a local high school or small college game here in our Valley. Last night it was Eddie Clark, today it was Mike Smith. On my way out the gym Smith shared a thought on days gone by...
"Even today I will have people stop and ask me, aren't you the Mike Smith that played basketball at Turner Ashby," Smith said. "My response is how do you remember that from so many years ago. It's been so many years that I barely remember it."
Congrats on the playing career and even more importantly on giving back to the community through coaching high school basketball.

Great Hoops Action on a cold, cold winter night in Shenandoah, Va.

Generals hang on to win a 58-54 thriller

Bill Meade interviewing Generals Coach Jeff Burner

Check out Meghan's eyes just before her free throws. Her routine includes a quick glance at the score board just before the shot. The senior connected on 8 of 11 for 74%.

One of the 4 VBalls that Coach Knight has in the trophy case in the lobby.

The score heading into the 4TH quarter after Page closed on a 5-0 run.

Heather Stout (22) and Amanda Moyer (34) looking for a rebound

Brittany Wolfe (10) and Molly Beall (33)

PCHS's Rachael Breeden

Coach Knight claiming his 50-50 winnings!

New Market Rebel fans will notice the Barbs.

It is me or does the Carolina Panther look a bit like the Page Panther?

The Page Dance team performing at the half.

Coach Knight and Coach Comer kept me company all night.

All tied up at the break...

The scorers table is All in the Family. Coach Viafora's Wife in the middle and Coach Burner's Father on the right.

Taylor Jenkins and Molly Beall

Put me in Coach

Ms. Barb sharing a moment

Lutz from the charity stripe in the 1ST half.

Coach Comer was telling me this young man spent 6 years in the Cleveland Indians organization as a pitcher. I believe his name is Eddie.

The score at the end of 1ST

The PCHS welcoming committee. They were great hosts!

Coach Viafora working the sidelines

Coach Burner doing the same.

Liked the motion of the ref's arm in this one

The gym was packed!

Got to love the atmosphere in the gym

PCHS Cheer Squad working their routine.
Below- the Generals preparing for the tip.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Another Close Call for the Strasburg Rams Hoopsters

BERRYVILLE - For the 6TH time in their first 14 games Strasburg played a basketball game that came down to the final possessions. Just 2 nights after a 3 point victory on the final shot vs. George Mason, the Rams fell 65-63 at Clarke County. Clarke improved to 3-9 overall and 1-2 in the Bull Run while Strasburg fell to 7-7 and 1-1.
There should be a gamer or two coming soon as both the Northern Virginia Daily and the Winchester Star should have stories from the Eagles gym. Check them out at or .

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

High School Hoops with a distinct amount of VBL flavor: Central @ Warren County

VBL Board Member Linda Keen sitting with Karen and husband Bob just inside the pic. Bob shares the same profession as I (newspaper circulation) and we have both been at it longer than we would care to admit.

Mr. Logan working the JV game. Big fan of this man for a number of reasons. The biggest one being my daughter Rebecca credits his teaching as to how she made it to 3RD year at UVA.
On a seperate note, his daughter Jenny has some serious hoops skills and son Willie is the QB @ Luray.

Front Royal Cardinals supporter Mrs. Karen Moxie
in thr gym to watch her son Jeff play for the Wildcats.

One of the cooler Mascots in the Valley

Warren County JV Coach Patrick North working the sidelines

Final score of the JV game. Congrats Wildcats

Heading to the Lawrence M. Shiflett Hall of Fame in hopes of finding the plaque honoring my Rebel broadcast partner Mr. Charlie Dodge. Always have the time to mention someone that has given so much of his life to make things better for others!
Now to the basketball game and the VBL