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Around the Hardwoods With Wild Bill

By the time you faithful readers see this week’s piece, Ole St. Nick will have his flight plan filed and be on his way to our area. Merry Christmas to all of our readers and a Happy New Year to everyone from the Wild One. I talked briefly to Santa last Friday night when I caught him practicing a landing or two at Dickens of a Christmas. It looked like he is planning on carrying a lot of great toys on his sleigh this year, so hopefully all you kids have been extra nice.

The snow slowed down the hoops schedule last week, but after the Christmas weekend there will be the eight-team K-Guard Classic at the Salem Civic Center starting Tuesday, as well as the Northside Tournament being played the same three nights in the Viking  gym. So there wil be some great matchups during the holiday break.

I’m going to venture into the college ranks where a couple of announcements hit home hard for the Wild One. One of the best players I have ever seen at the high school level, Ben Boggs, formerly of Hidden Valley, said he was leaving Virginia Tech to play elsewhere, citing the desire for more playing time. Interestingly, Tech Head Coach Seth Greenberg commented after the announcement that Boggs a) “has been a valuable member of our team,” and b)”has been a model student-athlete”. Seems to me with these credentials, this would be the guy you’d want as the cornerstone of your program – not heading out the door. Boggs rarely got significant playing time, which is ironic since this year’s Tech team could hardly be called world-beaters. A prediction here on Boggs. He’ll land on his feet and be a key player in another program.

Two days later another Hidden Valley product, Abby Redick, decided to depart the women’s program at VT, likewise looking for more playing time. Abby is too good to not be seeing action. Big winner here- Redick. She’ll play a key role in another program.

Back to football, where the ACC is clearly showing it’s in turmoil. After giving him a contract extension, Miami canned head coach Randy Shannon after the Canes lost to the University of South Florida. Not to be outdone, Maryland showed its stuff by firing Ralph Friedgen. Friedgen only led one of the biggest turnarounds in football this year when the Terps went from a 2-win to an 8-win team. I guess being the ACC coach-of-the-year isn’t enough these days. It’s all a little whacky in Maryland football; do you think the Terps saved on travel expenses on their bowl game this year? You know, the game that rewards your successful season. Maryland can hop the Green-line Metro on campus, and via a transfer at L’Enfant Plaza, take the Blue-line to RFK, the site of their bowl. Total cost per player- $4.00 one-way.

In high school football, congrats go out to three Cave Spring standouts who made the 2010 All-Region IV first team- Josh Woodrum, Michael Cole and Adam Anderson. This brings us to the Wild One’s Unsolved Mystery case. Woodrum is committed to Liberty and Cole to Virginia Tech. Here’s a chance for all you guys who have close ties to your college programs to get a bunch of brownie points with the head coach. Anderson, one of the best defensive players I saw this year and a quality prospect off the field, hasn’t been given an offer yet. What an opportunity there for the taking. Believe me, all you coaches, if I’m running out of the backfield, the LAST guy I want to see coming at me is Anderson. Let’s watch to see who nabs the bounty.

The unusual high school basketball game of the week goes to the Dayspring-Parkway Christian girls matchup on Dec. 7th  which Dayspring won 39-37. Dayspring pulled out the win by scoring zero points in the third quarter, then outscoring Parkway 20-6 in the fourth. That’s doing it the hard way.  Now, we go to the mailbag, where last week’s visitor was unhappy with my answer and wants to know more, plus we straighten out basketball sizes.

Dear Mr. Smarty Pants: Thanks a lot for bursting my husband’s bubble after telling him Haley’s Comet won’t arrive until 2061. And, I’m out all that camera equipment. Can’t you come up with something he can shoot during December of THIS year? (Loretta/Floyd)

Answer: Sure, Loretta!! We have a winter soltice total lunar eclipse, the last of which occurred in 1638. This is great for a beginner like your husband because it lasts for over an hour, so a lot of shots can be taken. Get the tripod ready, it’s going down on , uh-oh, last Tuesday.

Dear Basketball Expert: Are men’s basketballs and women’s basketballs the same size? (Harvey/Lexington)

Answer: Believe it or not, they are not. Men’s are 29.5 inches in circumference, women’s are 1 inch smaller. A couple of weeks ago a men’s college game accidentally started with a women’s ball, and when neither team could find the basket they discovered the error. This predictor says they should put a big M or W on the ball, since in most cases one inch is hard to detect.

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