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Wild Bill’s Sports Roundup!

Tickets, tickets, get your tickets!

That’s the new battle cry around our corporate headquarters as The Chief has embarked on one of his most exciting endeavors ever.

The Chief has been mesmerized by the pioneering spirit of Richard Branson and his Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two’s recent ride into space with three fellow employees, along with the plans of taking civilians along on future flights.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos quickly followed with a flight by his space company, Blue Origin. The Chief has decided he wants to be a player in space rides and will be in discussions to lease one of the available space ships to promote The Star. Our space vehicle will be named “StarCosmos CPR250K”.

StarCosmos reflects our paper’s name and travel to the cosmos, CPR refers to “Chief Piloted Rocket,” and 250K acknowledges the going price of a civilian ticket at $250,000. The Chief has hinted to associates that Wild Bill and our new intern, Babs, as our first two employess to make the maiden voyage. The third is still up for grabs.

Oh, brother. I’ve been chosen and I don’t even own a space suit or helmet.

This whole thing seems quite whimsical, especially after Babs noted she was holding down expenses on the inflight beverage and food service by limiting each passenger to two Bloody Marys and a single bag of circus peanuts. Plus, she emphasized most passengers would be looking out the windows and she was not going to clean up from Bloody Marys or circus peanuts after they floated around in zero gravity weightlessness. One thing Babs has definitely got right…..this will be a circus, peanuts notwithstanding.

However, before we start laughing, further analysis makes The Chief look like a genius with this project. Branson has around 600 passengers committed at $250K each for a future flight. If StarCosmos CPR250K can book only 400, that’s a nifty $100 million gross profit for The Star. That kind of money is right up The Chief’s alley, not to mention a little push to our employees’ annual profit sharing plan.

Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.

It only leaves my final comment: “Tickets, tickets, get your tickets.”

Now. let’s get back down to earth with a look at the top local sports stories and events.

High school football returns to fall play with a full slate of games set to begin in late-August. Mark your calendar now for another year of CW5 Playback Game of the Week with Hall of Fame broadcaster Dave Ross and his color commentator sidekick Steve Myers. This year’s lineup kicks off with perennial West Virginia state champions Martinsburg visiting current VHSL Class-4 state champs, the Salem Spartans, on August 27th.

The following week Northside travels to Cave Spring for a Thursday night game, Salem visits William Fleming on week-three and Fleming travels to Patrick Henry in a week-4 matchup for City bragging rights. Playback games take place on Saturday afternoons following each game at times yet to be announced.

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club has its monthly meeting on August 19 with a special softball program and exceptional opportunity for all high school and youth softball players. Virginia Tech head softball coach Pete D’Amour and All-American pitcher Keely Rochard will be the guest speakers for the 5:45 meeting at the Salem Civic Center. Virginia Tech softball journalist and beat writer Chip Grubb will be on hand to introduce the duo. D’Amour has orchestrated a remarkable turnaround for the VT program including advancing to the NCAA Super Regioinals this year. Rochard has won 71 games at VT, including 31 shutouts and 7 no hitters.

ALL softball players 18 and under can attend at the special price of $10.00 that includes the meeting, meet and greet, plus dinner. Coaches can attend at the regular member price of $17.50. Register to attend at the club’s website and register with the price category mentioned above with a comment in the registration area of your team affiliation to secure the special price.

The Salem Red Sox continue their season of summer family fun with a six-game set at Salem Memorial Stadium against Lynchburg August 3-8. Following a two week road trip, Salem returns home for a six-game set against Delmarva August 24-29 and the penultimate six-game set of the season August 31-September 5 versus Fredericksburg.

With the (British) Open now in the books, it’s time to move the next big tournament back across the pond. The Cave Spring Knights annual basketball fundraiser golf tournament is set for Saturday, August 28 at Hunting Hills Country Club. The annual extravaganza still has openings available for foursomes in a captain’s choice format. Create your team and join in the fun. The Wild Bill column is proud to be one of the tournament sponsors where fashion is always in style with a wide selection of prizes up for grabs. Contact [email protected] for information to sign up your team.

Did old time ice hockey fans of the Salem Rebels make the connection in this year’s Stanley Cup Championship between the Montreal Canadians and Tampa Bay Lightning? Montreal sensation Cole Caufield is the grandson of former Salem Rebel Wayne Caufield who played in the 1969-70 season. Wayne Caufield, who passed away in July, 2018 at age 75, was remembered by former Rebel Claude Piche, who had just arrived in Salem that season.

“Wayne had red hair and was a pretty good player and teammate that season,” Piche noted in a phone interview during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Wayne Caufield, a left winger, tallied 33 points for the Rebels on 13 goals and 20 assists in 69-70.

Lastly, a reminder that Christmas is less than five months down the road. And what better present for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list than a ticket on the StarCosmos CPR250K.

See you next time amongst the stars.

– Bill Turner


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