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Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!

Bill Turner

I knew if I hung around long enough, this moment would arrive.

As one of the “Original-4” at the Star (The Roanoke Star Sentinel) in 2007, the 12-year cycle has returned. On the Chinese calendar, 2019 is the Year of the Pig.
Accordingly, or as accordingly as I can get, I hereby dedicate my 2019 columns to one of my favorite television actors, Arnold Ziffel.
Before the criticism begins, let me remind you a few facts on Arnold. He was a Chester White piglet breed that could communicate with virtually everyone in Hooterville on the popular show “Green Acres”. Arnold could change TV channels, sign checks, carry his lunchbox in his mouth, play the piano and was an abstract painter. He was a hard worker who delivered newspapers as a “paper-pig”.
That newspaper job in itself should be enough to land Arnold a spot at The Star. Maybe, as the Chief’s butler. Can’t you just picture Arnold in a derby, carrying the Chief’s attache case? Arnold also won first prize out of 2,000 entries in an art contest when he painted “Nude at a Filling Station”. Yes, you always learn some thing when you read this column.
Hopefully, the Chief and I can visit the original Arnold’s final resting place one of these days when we head to Hollywood to accept our STAR on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Now, to local sports, where I’ll keep the Chief’s wishes for this column to have a natural flow, by announcing some high school pigskin awards and volleyball awards. We’ll also get you up to speed on a local sports club, dial in some ice hockey, check out local basketball events, give out the 2018 Wild Willies for the best moments in sports and take a peek in the mail bag.
First, to “Big-11” high school football VHSL All-State selections, a tradition in this column.
Class 2 Defensive First Team All-State:
Maxx Philpott (D–lineman) and NIck Kastners (linebacker), Glenvar.
Class 2 Offensive Unit Second Team All-State:
Maxx Philpott (O- lineman) and Brady Loder (running back), Glenvar.
Class 3 Offensive Unit First Team All-State:
Ryan Dowdy (center), Jesse Hanson (O-lineman), Colston Powers (O’lineman), Trey Rice (kicker), Hunter Rice (running back), Lord Botetourt.
Christian Fisher (receiver), Northside.
Class 3 Defensive Unit First Team All-State:
Evan Eller (D-back) All-State Defensive Player of the Year, Lord Botetourt.
Class 3 Offensive Unit Second Team All-State:
Jalen Jackson (quarterback), Ethan Blank (O-lineman), Princeton Hall (running back), Northside.
Jake Dewease (receiver), Lord Botetourt.
Class 3 Defensive Unit Second Team All-State:
Jesse Hanson (D-lineman), Jake Dewease ((D-back), Evan Eller (punt returner), Hunter Rice (linebacker), Lord Botetourt.
Gavyn Preston (D-lineman), Jacob Elliott (linebacker), Northside.
Class 3 Volleyball First Team All-State:
Miette Veldman and Jordyn Kepler (Lord Botetourt), Meg Coolbaugh and Marley Willard (Hidden Valley, Taylor Robertson (Cave Spring). Player of the Year- Miette Veldman. Coach of the Year- Julie Conner (Lord Botetourt).
Class 3 Volleyball Second Team All-State:
Kenleigh Gunter (Lord Botetourt), Frannie Sine (Hidden Valley).
The Roanoke Valley Sports Club welcomes former Martinsville High School, UVA consensus All-American and NFL quarterback Shawn Moore as its guest speaker at the Monday, January 14th meeting at the Salem Civic Center. The social begins at 5:45 with dinner at 6:15 and the program starting at 7:00. Contact  Maggie Drewry at 540-353-1103 to purchase tickets or visit the club’s new website at www.roanokevalleysportsclub.com.
January brings four home dates for the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs. Macon visits the Berglund Center  Saturday, January 5, with Fayetteville following on Friday, January 11. Fayetteville returns one week later on the 18th and Knoxville hits the Star City for a rare Monday night contest on the 21st. For those who like to plan ahead, the Dawgs open February with 6 straight home games spanning the first three weekends before hitting the road for 11 straight game on foreign ponds that leave Roanoke away from the Berglund Center for over a month.
Local basketball tournaments, with many “Big-11” entries, remain on the horizon. The Chance Harman Classic goes January 4-5 at Floyd County High School, followed by the Leas Winter Classic at the Berglund Center January 12. The Roy Stanley Classic plays out January 19 at Roanoke College and the Adam Ward Classic at Salem High School on February 2nd. Get out and support these great tournaments.
Next, to the 2018 Wild Willies, the best  from area sports in the past 365 days.
The Best of 2018 goes to the UVA football team. A turnaround season, rejuvenated atmosphere in Charlottesville and huge 28-0 win in the Belk Bowl  over South Carolina. That’s playing defense.  Close in consideration was the amazing run by Cavalier basketball despite the stunning first-round loss in the NCAA tournament, as the UVA basketball team had a constant Top-10 ranking and won the ACC championship.
Following were the third straight state football championship for Roanoke Catholic, local broadcaster Dave Ross being awarded the VHSL Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award and Lord Botetourt athletics flexing their muscle with volleyball and basketball state titles along with a semifinal run in football.
Finally, to the mail bag where a disgruntled Hokie wants answers.
Dear Wild Bill: Virginia Tech’s 6-7 losing season was a bummer. Any suggestions going into 2019? (Vern/Roanoke).
Yep, Vern, quit bragging about your “”lunch-pail defense”. Tech gave up 299 points in the 7 losses. That’s just short of 43 points per game. Not a winning formula to boast about.
Until next time, keep your eyes peeled for Arnold in our online edition.
Bill Turner

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