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Wild Bill’s Fearless Football Forecast

Well, after the 10-0 performance two weeks ago, I came through last week with a not-so-shabby 7-1 record. This runs the season’s winning percentage to .828, which in Vegas would have you driving a Ferrari in a heartbeat. However, being in Roanoke, I’ll have to be content with my AMC Pacer which now sports new curb feelers and 8-track player. I turn quite a few heads when I roll into Bogle Stadium with Perry Como blaring away. Just can’t figure all the pointing and laughing. Oh well, let’s move right to the mailbag.

Dear Wild Bill: I love all the high school mascots and nicknames. How do these get selected and what are the most unusual ones you’ve encountered? ( Tina / Vinton )

Answer: Well, Tina , they typically fall into three catagories:

a) the Esteemed Figure, like the Patriot, the Colonel, or the Knight b) The Vanquishers, like the Vikings, the Raiders or the Titans c) or Animals, like the Bruins, the Terriers or the Cougars.

The one that had me confused for a while was Bath County, where the Chargers hold court. At first glance it seemed this was a great nickname for a towing service. Then, I found out it  referred to a horseman leading a calvary. Suddenly, it seemed Bath County may be my favorite mascot – after all its hard to beat a mounted rider on a beautiful horse leading the team onto the field. What a geat tradition to get the home crowd stirred up before a game; as long as the stallion doesn’t poop on the 20-yard line on its way to midfield. (Known to happen.) But, a phone call to a school secretary this week deflated my balloon. They don’t have a horse; heck, they don’t even have a rider on foot. But, at least they have a good football team.

The one that has me stumped, however, requires a trip into wild and wonderful West Virginia where Bluefield High is the home of the Beavers. Although I think the furry little member of the Castoridae family is quite cute and the inspiration for one of America’s great engineering feats, the Hoover Dam, the mascot thing seems somewhat suspect. Although Bluefield is 7-1 so far, you want your sports teams to be ferocious and fleet of foot – not waddling and gnawing. Plus, I see big problems with the cheering squad, which would also be the Beavers. By nature’s description (as well as the dictionary) the beaver is heavyset with short legs and a big tail. I’m sorry, but I’ve seen the ultra-attractive Bluefield cheering squad and they don’t fit the Beaver mold at all. And, that halftime cheer- Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar. All for the Beavers stand up and holler!

Wow, I think I better move on to this week’s predictions where two teams will most certainly shed goose eggs from their records.

In the Western Valley District, William Fleming (0-8) hosts the Blue Comets from Halifax County. Assuming no suspensions of any magnitude result from last week’s wrestling match with PH, the Colonels bring home their first victory for Lee Johnson. This one is long overdue for a great coach. William Fleming – 28   Halifax – 12

Northside (7-1) travels to Lord Botetourt (3-6) as the Blue Ridge race heads into the last two weeks. Northside was off last Friday, so Botetourt may pay the price in its season finale. Northside – 38   Lord Botetourt – 13

William Byrd (4-4) makes the trip down Rt. 24 to visit Staunton River ( 6-2) where the Golden Eagles are pointing to next week’s game with Northside for the Blue Ridge title. Staunton River has too many guns for the Terriers in this one. Staunton River – 40  William Byrd – 14

Salem (6-2) heads to Bogle Stadium to play winless (0-8) Hidden Valley. The Spartans are relegated to finish third in the River Ridge after losses to Cave Spring and Christiansburg. Hidden Valley continues to improve with a young team, but the Spartans may want to impress its disappointed fans. Salem – 31   Hidden Valley – 13

In the marquee matchup of the week, Cave Spring (6-2) visits undefeated Christiansburg (8-0) for the River Ridge title. This one may seem obvious, given the Blue Demons are the #1 ranked Group AA team in the state. Coming off their win at Salem, Christiansburg may be flying high. But, it may be nothing if the Cave Spring air show climbs into high gear. Cave Spring – 35  Christiansburg – 31

Undefeated Eastern Montgomery (8-0) travels to Glenvar (5-3) in a Three Rivers battle. Glenvar can put points on the board, but the Mustangs can put up more. Eastern Montgomery – 38  Glenvar – 28

Roanoke Catholic (5-2) makes the trip to Richmond to play powerful Blessed-Sacrament. After giving up 59 points to Fuqua last Friday, the Celtics, unfortunately, may be in for more of the same this week.Blessed Sacrament -45  Rke. Catholic – 20

North Cross (6-3) takes its hurry-up offense to Covenant (1-7) where home field advantage in the upcoming playoffs is a factor for the Raiders. Covenant has given up 35 or more points in all seven losses and over 50 in three of those. Get ready for a playoff game at Thomas Field. North Cross – 44  Covenant  – 12

By Bill Turner
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