Saturday, September 5, 2009

All things Durham - BP with the Bulls & Spiders vs. Blue Devils

Nothing like a 2-for-1 on a Saturday afternoon! The Triple-A Durham Bulls are playing at home on Saturday against the Norfolk (formerly Tidewater) Tides so there will be time to catch BP at one of the more famous minor league parks in the country before heading over to Wallace Wade Stadium for the Duke vs. Richmond game at 7:00 P.M.

Has it really been 20+ years since Kevin Costner and Tim Robbins filmed Bull Durham at the old ball park? 1988 was the year that the Class A (at the time) franchise became bigger than life after the release of the epic film.

BP and seeing the "Bull" will be fun but it will be the Blue Devils that are the focus of our attention tomorrow.

We wouldn't be the only ones on the road as Katie Baker and Bethany Doman and their Bridgewater College Lady Eagles play Volleyball down in the great state of Texas.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Bridgewater College opens with 3-1 victory over Mary Baldwin

Strasburg's Katie Baker led the attack for the Lady Eagles with 9 kills and 4 blocks as BC started the season with a 3-1 victory over home standing Mary Baldwin Tuesday night in Staunton. The Eagles will be jetting off to San Antonio, Texas for a week-end of Volleyball as the team is scheduled to compete in a 2-day tourney.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

In search of six victories - Duke set to open with Richmond

DURHAM- December 15, 2007 was the day that Duke University football named David Cutcliffe the 21ST Head Coach in school history. It was also the day I began to set aside loose change as a way to prepare for a special journey.

I grew up as big of a Duke fan as there was and as I face my 46TH birthday this week that means I was a fan before it was cool to Love or Hate Duke University. Duke was simply a special place back in the 70's, one where I had hoped to attend college someday. Never made it into a single class but I did live in that unique part of Durham, North Carolina for a year and soaked up all of the magic that I could.

Duke basketball was about to go through its last run to the Final Four pre-Coach K back in the late 70's. Jimmy Spanarkle was a junior guard on a team that made it to St.Louis for the Final Four and won the semi-final game before falling to Kentucky in the Championship by a 94-88 score. Jack "Goose" Givens poured in 41 points to lead Joe B. Hall's Wildcats to the title that night (March 27,1978) in the Checkerdome.

But it was more than basketball for me, it was Duke University and that means you love all things Duke, not just the ones that shine the brightest. Yes, I have been a fan of Duke University
football my entire life. I can proudly say that I have attended EVERY Bowl Game that the Blue Devils have participated in during this span. Yes- that does mean both of them.

Steve Spurrier guided Duke to an 8-3 record back in 1989 and that earned the Blue Devils a trip down to Birmingham, Alabama for the All-American Bowl. The opponent that night was a rather large Texas Tech squad that also finished 8-3 but did so playing a much tougher schedule.

Mark Brace and I drove down to Alabama that night at watched TT (James Gray-280 yards & 4 TD's) run up and down the field for a 49-21 victory in what would prove to be the last game coached at Duke by Mr. Spurrier. Steve packed up and headed down to Florida after the loss but he had put the program back on the map or so we thought.

Fast forward to 1994 and Head Coach Fred Goldsmith opens the season with 7 straight victories before heading to Florida State for a showdown. 7-0 went by the boards that day when FSU defeated Duke 59-20 but we were still heading to a Bowl Game at the end of the season. Back to back 1 point losses to NCSU and UNC at the end left the team at 8-3 but on their way to Tampa, Florida for a New Years Day Bowl (Actually played Jan.2,1995) against a talented Wisconsin team.

I was working in Florence, South Carolina at the time so the drive down to Tampa wasn't that bad of a trip and Duke hung tough before falling 34-20 to the Badgers that day. Duke cut the lead to 27-20 late before Wisconsin sealed the deal with a late touchdown. Bob Muffett and I headed back to Florence and I figured in a few years I would be able to make another Bowl Game trek to follow the Blue Devils.

It has now been almost 15 years since that trip to Tampa and I can't wait for the next journey. One that I have been saving up for since the day Cutcliffe left the staff at Tennessee to lead our Blue Devils!

Don't care which post season bowl game or which city will be the host- just want to see it happen once again. Duke was 4-3 last season with five games to play but failed to win again despite playing Va. Tech tough (14-3) and Wake Forrest (33-30) tough down the stretch.

Duke opens play in 72 hours at home against the University of Richmond. The Spiders are a 1-AA school but they happen to be the 1-AA defending National Champions. Six wins earns you a possible trip to a Bowl Game and the bags are packed!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Strasburg improves to 2-1 with sweep of Central Falcons

Rams take opening match in County rivalry.

John Galle of the Shenandoah Valley Herald interviewing Rams Head Coach Suzanne Mathias.

WOODSTOCK - Strasburg took round one of the Shenandoah County Rival series Tuesday night by sweeping the Central Falcons 3-0 (25-11,25-11,25-19). The victory was the second straight sweep following a season opening defeat to Class AA Sherando.
While Stephanie Conde led the attack against Page County last week there were plenty of spikes to go around for the visiting Rams versus Central. Juniors Lauran Agnew and Samantha St. Clair matched kill for kill with Conde and fellow senior Jenna Smoot throughout the contest.
Senior setter Jaclyn Ayers controlled the floor and took full advantage of having four different players to set up at the net. The ability to go in a number of different directions to score kept the Falcons off balance for the duration of the match.

Latest project for Augusta Free Press & Waynesboro Generals

Broadcasting all 10 regular season games of the Waynesboro Little Giants this Fall!

Two former Rams for the price of one - Doman joins Baker @ Bridgewater

Former Strasburg Ram volleyball standout Katie Baker is set to begin her sophomore season at Bridgewater College. This time around she will be joined by fellow former Ram, freshman Bethany Doman.

The Lady Eagles open their season tonight down in Staunton, Virginia on the campus of Mary Baldwin College. The Fighting Squirrels will be the first in a number of non-conference matches before BC begins play in the highly competitive Old Dominion Athletic Conference.

BC will head to Texas for a weekend tournament this week and then follow that up with a trip to Pennsylvania the following weekend. The level of play for BC is what makes a match at Nininger Hall on campus a Must See if you are in the area.

The link to the schedule is here at:

Page County @ Strasburg (Volleyball)

Ready for the serve!

250 Ram Drive is Ram Country!

Mrs. Smoot & Coach Mason

Greg Brill of the Northern Virginia Daily interviewing Strasburg Head Coach Suzanne Mathias. Check out his gamer at

New site in the works for Shenandoah District !

The final stages have yet to be added but the link above will take you to a sister site that is designed to take fans, coaches, players and media types Inside the Shenandoah District.
Click here to check out the new site