Vol. 3, No. 15, October 1, 2007 - Play by Play

Vol. 3, No. 15, October 1, 2007 - Play by Play

Vol. 3, No. 15, October 1, 2007 - Play by Play


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<strong>Vol</strong>. 3, <strong>No</strong>. <strong>15</strong>, <strong>October</strong> 1, <strong>2007</strong>

2 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />

Across from the Salem Wal-Mart (Exit 137 off I-81)<br />

<strong>2007</strong> CLEARANCE SALE!<br />

Virginia’s Largest Mitsubishi Dealer<br />

‘07 MITSUBISHI<br />


SALE<br />

$18,995 .00<br />

PRICE<br />

AT, PW, PL, CD, Sunroof, Leather<br />

#3102<br />



TOTAL<br />


$2772<br />


SALE<br />

$20,638 .00 AFTER REBATE<br />

PRICE<br />


Sportronic O/D Transmission, Sun & Sound Pkg,<br />

Sunroof, 650 Watt Rockford-Fosgate Audio<br />

System, PW/PL, Cruise #2987<br />

TOTAL<br />


$2886<br />



‘04 ACURA TSX #1189P LOADED, 33K $23,995<br />

‘04 AUDI A4 QUATTRO #665P WAGON, LTHR, SUNROOF, 22K $24,995<br />

‘02 MERCEDES-BENZ CLK320 #1140P LOADED, 42K $24,995<br />

‘03 BMW 330i #593P LEATHER, LOADED, 40K $27,995<br />

‘05 MERCEDES-BENZ C240 #1017P 4 MATIC, LEATHER, ROOF, LOADED, 25K $29,995<br />

‘03 MERCEDES-BENZ E320 #812P LEATHER, LOADED, 38K $31,995<br />

‘06 MERCEDES-BENZ C230 #780S LEATHER, LOADED, 12K $32,995<br />

‘06 ACURA TL #1071P LEATHER, ROOF, LOADED, ONLY 4K $33,995<br />

‘05 VOLVO XC90 #565P AWD, THIRD ROW, LEATHER, 11K $32,995<br />

‘06 BMW 325Xi #868P LEATHER, SUNROOF, 10K $35,995<br />

‘05 LEXUS RX330 #902A LEATHER, LOADED, 18K $36,995<br />

‘06 BMW X-3 3.0 #886P LEATHER, LOADED, 10K $38,995<br />

‘04 MERCEDES-BENZ E500 #1020P 4MATIC, LEATHER, LOADED, 34K $38,995<br />

‘07 BMW 328xi #863P LEATHER, SUNROOF, LOADED, ONLY 146 MI $38,995<br />

‘07 MERCEDES-BENZ R350 #1077P LEATHER, LOADED, 12K $43,995<br />

‘06 MERCEDES-BENZ CLK350C #919P LOADED, ONLY 8K $44,995<br />

‘06 BMW 525Xi #856P LEATHER, LOADED, 11K $45,995<br />

‘04 BMW 745i #962P LEATHER, LOADED, 32K $47,995<br />

‘06 BMW 530Xi #490P DVD, LEATHER, SUNROOF, 25K $49,995<br />

‘06 MERCEDES-BENZ CLS 500 #990P LOADED, 26K $59,995<br />

Robert Harper<br />

Co-Owner/GM<br />


• REBATES UP TO $5500<br />

• 0% FINANCING<br />


60 MONTHS<br />



The Car Book<br />

“Best Bet” Award<br />

<strong>2007</strong> MITSUBISHI ENDEAVOR<br />


‘05 MITSUBISHI GALANT #2824A AT, AC, PW, PL $16,995<br />

‘04 HONDA ELEMENT EX #799P AT, AC, PW, PL, CRUISE, 32K $16,995<br />

‘05 MITSUBISHI LANCER OZ RALLY #625P AT, AC, PW, PL, CD, ONLY 2K $17,995<br />

‘05 HONDA ACCORD #662P AT, AC, PW, PL, 10K SOLD<br />

‘07 TOYOTA COROLLA #1197P LOADED, 18K $18,995<br />

‘05 MITSUBISHI GALANT ES #701P AT, AC, PW, PL, CD, 21K $18,995<br />

‘07 HONDA CIVIC #1198P SUNROOF, CD, PW, PL, ONLY 7K $19,995<br />

‘05 MAZDA 6 SPORT #640A LEATHER, SUNROOF, 16K $20,995<br />

‘06 HONDA ACCORD #1201P SUNROOF, CD, PW, PL, ONLY 7K $21,995<br />

‘06 MITSUBISHI OUTLANDER SE #3094A LOADED, 8K $21,995<br />

‘06 MITSUBISHI ENDEAVOR LS #1053P AT, AC, PW, PL, CRUISE, 18K $21,995<br />

‘05 VOLKSWAGON BEETLE CONVERTIBLE #1127P 21K $22,995<br />

‘06 SUBARU LEGACY #4<strong>15</strong>P LEATHER, LOADED, ONLY 11 MI $22,995<br />

‘04 NISSAN 350Z #1059A LEATHER, 6SPEED, 18K $24,995<br />

‘07 TOYOTA RAV4 #1086P AT, AC, PW, PL, CRUISE, ONLY 4K $24,995<br />

‘07 NISSAN MAXIMA #1002P AT, AC, LOADED, <strong>15</strong>K $26,995<br />

‘07 TOYOTA CAMRY XLS #3072A LOADED, ONLY 400 MILES! $27,995<br />

‘07 TOYOTA FJ CRUISER #3041A AT, AC, PW, PL $29,995<br />


‘07 NISSAN 350Z #1045P CONVERTIBLE, LOADED, ONLY 2K $37,995<br />

www.dsmitsubishi.com<br />

(540) 302-0099<br />

1830 W. Main Street, Salem<br />

M-F 8:30am-8pm S 8:30am-6pm<br />


‘00 MERCURY COUGAR #3054A SUNROOF, CD, A MUST SEE! 43K $10,995<br />

‘04 PONTIAC GRAND-AM #3008A AT, AC, PW, PL, CRUISE, 58K $10,995<br />

‘02 CHRYSLER PT CRUISER #846A AT, AC, PW, PL, CRUISE, 55K $10,995<br />

‘04 DODGE INTREPID #393A AT, AC, PW, PL, 64K $10,995<br />


‘01 FORD CROWN VICTORIA #616P AT, AC, PW, PL, CRUISE, 47K $11,995<br />

‘03 JEEP LIBERTY SPORT #476A AT, AC, PW, PL $14,995<br />


‘06 CHRYSLER SEBRING #2535A AT, AC, PW, PL, CRUISE, ONLY 2K $17,995<br />

‘05 FORD ESCAPE XLT #884B LEATHER, LOADED, 4X4, 33K $18,995<br />

‘06 DODGE DAKOTA SLT #3035A CLUB CAB, V8, ONLY 6K $19,995<br />


‘06 PONTIAC G-6 GTP #766P LTHR, SUNROOF, LOADED, 22K $21,995<br />

‘05 CHEVROLET TRAILBLAZER #489A AT, AC, PW, PL, 17K $21,995<br />

‘05 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED #1147P LEATHER, V8, 25K $24,995<br />

‘05 CHRYSLER 300 #1131P LEATHER, LOADED, 26K $26,995<br />

‘06 JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED #1121P LEATHER, V8, 16K $27,995<br />

‘05 CHEVROLET TAHOE #1019A AT, AC, 4X4, 21K $28,995<br />

‘04 CHEVROLET TAHOE Z71 #1021P LEATHER, LOADED, 42K $30,995<br />


The Car Book<br />

“Best Bet” Award<br />

<strong>2007</strong> MITSUBISHI GALANT<br />

‘07 MITSUBISHI<br />


SALE<br />

$24,629 .00<br />

PRICE<br />

AWD, PW, PD, CD <strong>Play</strong>er, Keyless Entry, Front<br />

and Side Curtain Air Bags, DEMO #2919<br />

Dave Sarmadi<br />

President<br />



$293/MONTH.<br />





‘06 MITSUBISHI<br />


SALE<br />

$21,995 .00<br />

PRICE<br />

PW, PL, Cruise, 276 Watt<br />

6 CD Changer, Alloy Wheels<br />

#2697<br />

TOTAL<br />


$5190<br />



TOTAL<br />



OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 3<br />

Bill Turner<br />

<strong>Play</strong>book<br />

Opinions<br />

Todd Marcum ........................................... 4<br />

Mike Stevens ........................................... 5<br />

Bob Teitlebaum ...................................... 6<br />

John A. Montgomery ............................ 7<br />

Christian Moody ...................................<strong>15</strong><br />

Mike Ashley ............................................19<br />

Articles<br />

Tiki Barber was Back in Town in September ................................. 10<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthside’s Alexi Staton Stands Tall at VMI ....................................12<br />

Phil Key Brings New Ideas to the Sports Club ................................13<br />

Avs Make <strong>Play</strong>offs, Fall in the Finals ................................................14<br />

Craig Residents Know How to Get the Job Done ......................... 16<br />

Woody Deans, a Legend of the Games ............................................18<br />

Page 10<br />

<strong>by</strong> Bob Teitlebaum<br />

Extras<br />

From the Bookshelf ...............3<br />

Question for the Doctor .......3<br />

Natural Health Tip .................5<br />

<strong>Play</strong>makers ..............................8<br />

Ask A Ref ..................................8<br />

Snapshots of the Season ......9<br />

From the<br />

Bookshelf<br />

Baseball history<br />

and Westerns<br />

Page 14<br />

Gene Marrano<br />


about the history of baseball. I<br />

have been since I was a child.<br />

I am fascinated with old-time<br />

baseball during the dead ball<br />

era.<br />

I’m also interested<br />

in Western films and<br />

when I was writing<br />

for The Roanoke Times<br />

(1970-2000), I’d go to a<br />

Western film convention<br />

nearly every summer.<br />

Most of them were held<br />

within driving distance<br />

of Roanoke and I found<br />

people (including former Salem<br />

High School football coach<br />

Willis White and the late Len<br />

Mosser, the Patrick Henry basketball<br />

coach<br />

in the 1960s<br />

and early<br />

’70s) to go<br />

with me.<br />

So what is<br />

the tie between baseball history<br />

books and Western films<br />

I noticed at the film conventions<br />

held in <strong>No</strong>rth<br />

Carolina that McFarland<br />

Publishing Co. always had<br />

a booth in the dealers’<br />

room where you could buy,<br />

trade or sell old Western<br />

movies, purchase posters<br />

that hung outside the<br />

theaters where the movies<br />

played when they graced the big<br />

screen, and pick up old Hopalong<br />

See BOOK, Page 8<br />

Question for<br />

the Doctor<br />

This month’s question answered <strong>by</strong><br />

Christopher K. John, M.D.<br />

My teenage son sprained his ankle several<br />

times while snowboarding last winter.<br />

Is there anything he can do to prevent future<br />

problems<br />

Absolutely. Snowboarding places a lot of<br />

pressure on your ankles and calves. Ankle injuries<br />

occur mostly from hard lateral impacts,<br />

such as crashes, and are particularly common<br />

after jumping when a combination of compression<br />

and inversion (the ankle turning in)<br />

forces are experienced. This may lead to an ankle<br />

sprain or to a more serious condition called<br />

“snowboarder’s ankle”— a fracture of the lateral<br />

process of the talus.<br />

Dr. Christopher K. John<br />

If your son was just learning how to snowboard last winter, he may have<br />

used softer boots, which are more comfortable and allow more maneuverability.<br />

Unfortunately, they also double the rate of ankle injuries compared<br />

to hard boots. A good option is the new hybrid boots, which balance the<br />

increased stability of hard boots with the increased comfort of the soft<br />

boots.<br />

Another good idea is a general strengthening and flexibility program<br />

for the ankles. There are all sorts of resources for this, including balance<br />

boards, therabands, etc., but one of the easiest exercises is to “draw the alphabet”<br />

with your big toe in the air. This is an excellent way to strengthen<br />

the muscles around the ankle and prevent further injury.<br />

As always, if this becomes a recurring problem, a visit to an orthopaedic<br />

or sports-trained physician to be evaluated is a good idea.<br />

Roanoke Orthopaedic<br />


4 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />

Ferrum players are more than teammates<br />


the men still carry a certain<br />

swagger…the walk of a champion.<br />

In 1968, a group of strapping<br />

lads from Ferrum College (then<br />

Junior College) did something<br />

very few athletes will ever be able<br />

to claim…they won a national championship.<br />

IN MY<br />


<strong>by</strong> Todd<br />

Marcum<br />

It’s safe to say that for most of them some of the most intense joy of their<br />

lives was associated with the game of football — as is some of the most<br />

profound sadness.<br />

After the championship, many players courted offers from larger college<br />

programs. Seven would follow Ferrum assistant coach Rick Tolley<br />

when he took a post as head coach at Marshall University. On <strong>No</strong>v. 14,<br />

1970, the eight would perish in a plane crash that claimed the lives of<br />

75 Thundering Herd players, boosters and coaches, as well as the flight<br />

crew.<br />

Eventually, the teammates decided it would be a good idea to start<br />

coming together once a year to remember the old times. For the <strong>2007</strong> reunion,<br />

held Sept. <strong>15</strong>, the team decided to travel north to visit Huntington,<br />

W.Va., the home of Marshall. (As a proud Marshall alumnus, I happened<br />

to be in attendance and got the opportunity to hear their story.)<br />

They could take in a game, see the sights, visit the memorial…as a<br />

bonus, they would get to see Renso “Rock” Perdoni’s kid play for New<br />

Hampshire. The co-MVP of the 1968 Ferrum team was later an All-American<br />

at Georgia Tech and the runner-up for the Lombardi Trophy. His son,<br />

Matt, is a senior and a team captain for the New Hampshire squad.<br />

The trip to West Virginia was slated for about 25 former players and<br />

their spouses as well as legendary coach Hank <strong>No</strong>rton. When the grillers<br />

of Smokin’ Thunder — unofficially the most hospitable tailgate in college<br />

football — caught wind of the visit, they made the team guests of<br />

<strong>Play</strong>ers in this Issue<br />

Publisher/Editor<br />

Graphic Designer<br />

Contributors<br />

John A. Montgomery<br />

Donna Earwood<br />

Mike Ashley<br />

Robert Blades<br />

Rod Carter<br />

Donald Earwood<br />

Tommy Firebaugh<br />

Sam Lazzaro<br />

Todd Marcum<br />

Gene Marrano<br />

Joyce Montgomery<br />

P.O. Box 3285, Roanoke, VA 240<strong>15</strong><br />

(540) 761-6751 • E-mail: jmonty@cox.net<br />

On the Web: www.play<strong>by</strong>playonline.net<br />

Christian Moody<br />

Dan Smith<br />

Mike Stevens<br />

Bob Teitlebaum<br />

Bill Turner<br />

©Copyright <strong>2007</strong>. All rights reserved. <strong>No</strong> part of <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> may be reproduced<br />

<strong>by</strong> any means or in any form without written permission from the publisher.<br />

<strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> is published every fourth Monday. Deadline for submissions<br />

for the <strong>October</strong> 29 issue is <strong>October</strong> <strong>15</strong>.<br />

Todd Marcum<br />

honor at the pre-game eat and greet.<br />

There the years rolled back as players spun stories with the locals about<br />

the 1968 Panthers gridiron squad that recorded a perfect 10-0 season, including<br />

an upset over defending national champion <strong>No</strong>rtheastern Oklahoma<br />

A&M. They topped it off with a 41-19 win over Phoenix College in<br />

the Shrine Bowl in Savannah to bring the title back to Franklin County.<br />

“We were simply afraid to lose,” said John Cougill, as his teammates<br />

nodded in agreement. Unlike the athletes of today, the team, which often<br />

journeyed hundreds of miles for its seven road games, traveled in the<br />

“luxury” of the “Golden Goose,” a 1939 standard-issue school bus. The<br />

pre-game spread often consisted of a pack of bologna and a loaf of bread.<br />

The coaches pushed the players to their very limits. It was, the players<br />

said, a tough place to<br />

play. And it’s apparent<br />

that nearly 40 years later,<br />

they wouldn’t have<br />

had it any other way.<br />

Dan Danko said that<br />

the 1968 Panther team<br />

was something special.<br />

Closer than teammates,<br />

more like brothers. He<br />

said that many times<br />

they have called on one<br />

<strong>Play</strong>ers from the 1968 Ferrum team still wear<br />

rings that prominently feature a ‘7’ in tribute<br />

to their fallen teammates<br />

another and that a teammate<br />

is always there to<br />

help.<br />

The group wore memorial<br />

shirts with the<br />

Ferrum Panther on the front along with photos of Tolley and the others<br />

who were lost in the crash. On the back was a picture of the 1970 team<br />

and the Marshall logo.<br />

Cougill recalled hearing news of the plane crash. He was coming back<br />

from Richmond to Randolph-Macon when he picked up a report on the<br />

radio. He couldn’t believe what he heard. In a state of shock, he waited<br />

through the wee hours of the night for a convenience store to open so he<br />

could buy a paper. He says he still has that paper to this day.<br />

Roanoker Horace Green was a student at Western Carolina when the<br />

plane went down and he had never had a chance to see the community<br />

where his former teammates were laid to rest. In the hearts of the people<br />

of Huntington, his lost friends will forever be young, noble and an honored<br />

part of the community’s heritage.<br />

“This has been 37 years coming,” Green said. “I didn’t have the opportunity<br />

to come when it happened. We were playing. I’m finally here. After<br />

seeing the fountain and gravesite, I figured out what it’s all about.”<br />

Rock Perdoni admitted it had been an emotional weekend.<br />

“When I look at these guys I think, ‘This is my brother,’” said Perdoni.<br />

“My son looks at me and says, ‘Dad, I want what you have with your teammates.’”<br />

As he headed off to the football game to watch his son face off against<br />

the heavily favored Thundering Herd, Perdoni said, “This has been a perfect<br />

day. <strong>No</strong> matter what happens at the game, we can’t lose.”<br />

Perdoni got an unexpected treat as he watched the younger Perdoni<br />

and his New Hampshire teammates best the Herd in a 48-35 offensive<br />

shootout.<br />

“It was a great weekend to be at such a wonderful place,” said Cougill.<br />

“For about 25 years after the accident, I thought about the tragedy every<br />

day. I personally had reservations about coming to Marshall. I had never<br />

been to the cemetery and seen the memorial.<br />

“Having now been there I can see that we Ferrum guys are not alone in<br />

either our loss or our memory of that terrible event. While we were at the<br />

cemetery, someone unknown to us who was a citizen from Huntington<br />

brought flowers and put them on the memorial. Candles were there from<br />

someone’s recent visit. I couldn’t help but notice the numbers of fans who<br />

were stopping to pay respect to the beautiful and moving memorial at the<br />

entrance of the stadium.<br />

“All of these things helped me understand that my friends that died<br />

that night are OK, that so many people will always remember the many<br />

lives that were cut short.”

OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 5<br />

Bridgewater star wants to shine at home<br />


commerce and economic development<br />

gurus, I’ve got the<br />

poster boy to lead your campaign<br />

for keeping young, talented professionals<br />

from leaving the Roanoke<br />

Valley.<br />

Meet Jeff Highfill, Jr.<br />

He’s smart, athletic, handsome and has experience when it comes<br />

to striking a pose. His image already is front and center helping to<br />

sell Bridgewater College to prospective students in a slick promotional<br />

brochure.<br />

Oh yeah, did I mention he’s actually interested in returning home<br />

to begin his life in the working world<br />

“I definitely could see myself back in Roanoke teaching and<br />

coaching after this year,” he says.<br />

Highfill is off to a strong start on the football field this season. In<br />

late September, the Eagles were 4-0. Their senior starting quarterback<br />

had thrown seven touchdown passes, had completed nearly 70<br />

percent of his passes and was averaging more than six yards a carry<br />

on the ground.<br />

Highfill is a<br />

throwback to<br />

the days when<br />

athletes didn’t<br />

expect a free<br />

pass from society,<br />

worked<br />

hard and took<br />

their textbooks<br />

as seriously<br />

as their<br />

playbooks. He<br />

currently has<br />

a 3.95 grade<br />

point average.<br />

“I am competitive<br />

on the<br />

football field<br />

and in the<br />

classroom, so<br />

whatever challenge<br />

there is, I<br />

want to do the<br />

best that I can,<br />

and class is no<br />

different,” he<br />

says.<br />

His major is<br />

mathematics,<br />

his minor is<br />

With movie idol good looks and impressive statistics on<br />

the field and in the classroom, Highfill is a school model<br />

business, and<br />

his passion is solving logic-defying word problems. Highfill fully comprehends<br />

the numbers associated with the young professional flight that<br />

has been widely reported in the area media in recent times.<br />

But more than being an addition to the community’s census figures,<br />

Highfill wants to be a positive role model and follow in the footsteps of his<br />

father, longtime William Byrd coach and educator, Jeff Highfill, Sr.<br />

“I’ve seen the positive effect that my dad has had on so many young<br />

men, and I’ve seen how you can reach people through football that you<br />

can’t connect with in the classroom,” he says. “I just have so much respect<br />

for the things that my dad and his coaching staff have done that<br />

being a part of that would be truly special.”<br />

But before he drops off his application at the Roanoke County School<br />

Administration building on Cove Road, he needs to take care of some<br />

unfinished business at Jopson Field in Bridgewater.<br />

In 2006, the kings of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference fell flat on<br />

their faces. They lost not one, but two conference games, and watched<br />

helplessly as their streak of five straight ODAC championships came to<br />

Courtesy of Bridgewater College<br />

an abrupt halt.<br />

<strong>No</strong> rings, no playoffs, nothing.<br />

“If we can’t get focused after what happened last year, then we have a<br />

problem,” Highfill, Jr. says. “Everybody has their heads on straight and<br />

many of us stayed up here over the summer and worked out, so the dedication<br />

is there and we just have to make it happen.”<br />

But that will be easier said than done. Since Bridgewater nearly won<br />

the Stagg Bowl in 2001, every single team in the ODAC has stepped up<br />

its financial and competitive commitment<br />

to catch the Eagles. When Washington<br />

& Lee won the title last year, it<br />

sent a message to the entire league.<br />

“It’s getting tougher and tougher<br />

every year and teams that you used<br />

to think of as not being very good can<br />

now get you in a dogfight every week,”<br />

he says.<br />

The former William Byrd Terrier<br />

knows a thing or two about dogfights<br />

and he also knows that the real world<br />

is fast approaching.<br />

“Football and athletics have been<br />

such a huge part of my life and now<br />

here I am with my college career getting<br />

ready to end, and it’s tough,” he<br />

says.<br />

“I’m going to have to move on and<br />

figure out what I’m going to be doing<br />

Jeff Highfill connected on more<br />

than two-thirds of his passes in<br />

Bridgewater’s first four wins<br />

Dan Smith<br />

next year.”<br />

Hopefully, it won’t take a math genius<br />

with a job opening here in the valley<br />

to solve that problem.<br />

Natural Health<br />

Tip of the Month<br />

From Dr. Jeffrey Barker, DC, CCSP<br />

With its warm, sunny days and crisp, cool nights, fall is a great time<br />

to start an outdoor exercise program. Walking, jogging, or hiking<br />

are great fitness activities. To avoid injuries, a proper warm-up is<br />

essential...<br />

1. First, make sure your doctor okays you to start exercising<br />

2. Light walking/jogging and calisthenics are a good start<br />

3. Sport-specific stretching is the next step<br />

4. Start out slowly and increase the intensity as your muscles loosen<br />

and warm up

6 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />

Ahhh…Vandy, Vegas, widescreen and brew<br />

A FEW NOTES:<br />

The people who write for <strong>Play</strong><br />

<strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong>, and its predecessor, the<br />

Sports Journal, seem to have favorite<br />

subjects that routinely creep<br />

into their space.<br />

According to the editors and<br />

the designer, my regular topics include<br />

DirecTV, gambling, Vanderbilt University, Nashville and beer. This<br />

seems totally ludicrous to me but that’s what they say.<br />

In Mike Ashley’s case, he likes to write about food, his wife, Radford<br />

University, food, his daughter and the Texas Tavern (food).<br />

Columnist Mike Stevens often tells inspirational stories, writing about<br />

people who have overcome difficult obstacles or who have left an indelible<br />

impression.<br />

Gene Marrano covers the local pro beats — and has had quite a few<br />

teams disappear on him in recent years, including the RiverDawgs (soccer),<br />

the Wrath (soccer), the Steam (arena football), the Express (hockey),<br />

the Vipers (hockey) and the Dazzle (basketball). Good news, Gene. I<br />

think you’re safe writing about the Salem Avalanche baseball team for a<br />

long time to come.<br />

Chris Moody loves to focus on golf, officiating and playing surfaces.<br />

If new surfaces go down, Chris will tell you all you want to know about<br />

them and maybe a little bit more.<br />

So how come I am the one who wrote a story for the Sports Journal on<br />

Salem native Murray Cook He is regarded as the greatest groundskeeper<br />

to come from this area, having put together fields in softball Olympics<br />

and given advice when new stadiums were put in at certain major league<br />

venues. Chris, how did this subject escape you<br />

I also wrote about former Yankees, Expos and Reds GM Murray Cook<br />

when he came to Salem as a scout for the Boston Red Sox. How many<br />

writers can say they’ve profiled two different men named Murray Cook<br />



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I have to admit that sometimes these topics seep into our copy without<br />

us even realizing it. I could have sworn beer was nowhere to be found in<br />

my Sept. 3 contributions, but designer Donna Earwood pointed out that<br />

it found its way into my copy yet once again.<br />

Sure enough, my column about the ghost players from Field of Dreams<br />

related the story about the team doing shows for U.S. forces stationed in<br />

the Pacific and how after their performance, they shared a brew.<br />

It seems innocent enough, so I guess my streak continues for writing<br />

about favorite subjects. Anyway, I’ll try not to mention any of my other<br />

tried and true topics in this issue. But don’t bet on it.<br />

THE JOBS I WOULD LEAST LIKE TO HAVE: I wouldn’t want to be<br />

the commissioner for any major league professional sports organization.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w these guys have to deal with far-ranging topics like NFL football<br />

coaches illegally videotaping opposing coaches and stealing signals (see<br />

New England’s Bill Belichick); dogfighting (former Virginia Tech quarterback<br />

Michael Vick); gangsters (numerous suspects, some of who have<br />

been suspended and fined); steroids that taint baseball; Tour de France<br />

records; baseball owners crying poor; and much, much more.<br />

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came down on Belichick <strong>by</strong> fining<br />

him $500,000 and docking the Patriots $250,000 and draft choices next<br />

year. Most members of the media considered this punishment to be too<br />

lenient seeing that Goodell often throws players out of the league for a<br />

year because of their transgressions.<br />

Given the way pro football teams make money, the fine won’t hurt the<br />

Patriots. Belichick’s hefty salary as the NFL’s best coach will more than<br />

cover his infractions. To him, it will be more like a speeding ticket.<br />

Belichick’s character is so cold that it probably doesn’t embarrass him<br />

to be caught. In fact, he said early on that it was an interpretation of the<br />

rules even though Goodell used the King’s English and told him to stop<br />

taping defensive signals <strong>by</strong> the other team.<br />

I remember when the NFL’s head man had the plushest job in the<br />

world. Pete Rozelle would hold a press conference at every Super Bowl<br />

and tell you how smoothly things were running. And they were…because<br />

Rozelle never had to (or never chose to) deal with cheaters, dope addicts<br />

or players torturing dogs. Every winter, it was business as usual. Most of<br />

the press conferences were snoozers.<br />

BIG MARKET OR NOT: <strong>No</strong>w let’s look at baseball money losses. Outside<br />

of Boston, New York and Los Angeles, all teams are headed to the<br />

poor house, if you believe the hype.<br />

Yeah, they can’t make it because their attendance averages something<br />

like 30-40,000 sold seats for each of 81 playing dates; plus concessions,<br />

luxury boxes, TV contracts and the sale of team products.<br />

Some teams say they can’t compete with the big-market teams. So<br />

what is a big-market team Philadelphia says it’s not a big-market team<br />

and can’t afford to pay players the same prices they can earn in New York,<br />

Los Angeles or Boston. In my mind, this is a good excuse for losing.<br />

Philadelphia has a very large metropolitan population. I’ll admit that<br />

certain teams have huge advantages over others in baseball. <strong>No</strong> one has<br />

TV deals like the Yankees, Cubs and Braves. Heck, the Yankees even have<br />

their own television network. Of course, their salaries are out of sight.<br />

Luckily all of New England backs the Red Sox or they wouldn’t be able<br />

to compete. In fact, USA Today recently asserted that Boston has moved<br />

ahead of the Yankees in national popularity. I remember when the Braves,<br />

not Boston, were America’s team. Atlanta is now crying poor.<br />

TOM JOYNES: Former VMI athletics mainstay Tom Joynes passed<br />

away last month. This was one funny dude. When he served as sports information<br />

director, Joynes regaled the writers with his never-ending wit.<br />

However, he might have been too nice a guy. He was moved up to athletic<br />

director at VMI and that began the end of his career. For a time, the<br />

Keydets prospered thanks to a couple of strong college basketball teams<br />

led <strong>by</strong> Ron Carter in the late 1970s, one of which came within one game<br />

of making the NCAA Final Four.<br />

Football competed because Bob Thalman’s teams often came close to<br />

Virginia Tech and even beat the Hokies some years. However, the end was<br />

near as VMI’s program slipped through the ranks to the bottom of Division<br />

I-AA football, falling behind one of its biggest rivals, The Citadel.<br />

As the program slipped, Joynes took the blame. He never complained.<br />

He simply faded from the field, faithful to the VMI alumni that faulted<br />

him for trying to run a program that had little chance to compete.

OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 7<br />

<strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> : third down, many years to go<br />


of <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> is <strong>No</strong>. 45,<br />

a significant number only in<br />

that we publish <strong>15</strong> times a year<br />

and this marks the completion of<br />

the third full rotation. The inaugural<br />

issue hit the streets at the end<br />

of <strong>October</strong>, 2004.<br />

Business forecasts often include three-year plans. It’s a good time to<br />

take stock of exactly where we’ve been and let our readers know where<br />

we’re headed.<br />

<strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> is largely patterned after its predecessor, The Sports Journal,<br />

a logical progression since most of the players are the same. This<br />

magazine was initiated only because previous corporate ownership<br />

decided the Sports Journal’s profit margin was inadequate.<br />

That decision launched a new opportunity. <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong><br />

was started just a few days after the SJ ceased, and except for the<br />

name change, there is relatively little difference in the publications.<br />

The transition was practically seamless.<br />

Our base of writers, advertisers and distribution outlets remains<br />

the same, although we’ve added to our numbers in all categories.<br />

The SJ editors, its original designer, the sales team and the photographers<br />

have all joined <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong>. We’ve also added some new<br />

features which we think have improved the end product, including<br />

our Web site, play<strong>by</strong>playonline.net, which allows those who so<br />

wish to read our entire issue online.<br />

Before we take a moment to celebrate…let’s review the path we<br />

took to get here.<br />

When we began <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong>, we were optimistic that it would work.<br />

The following passage appeared in Issue 1: “We are banking that a large<br />

segment of the Roanoke Valley is sufficiently interested in local sports<br />

to support an independent publication dedicated to the subject. After<br />

all, the word ‘fans’ is short for ‘fanatics,’ and sports fans are notorious<br />

for soaking up information and expressing their pleasure or displeasure<br />

accordingly.”<br />

Advertising support is critical to the magazine’s success, something<br />

those close to the operation never forget. Our ad dollars have grown each<br />

year, and we know our advertisers are not buying ads just because they<br />

like us.<br />

We also enjoy hearing from our readers regularly, often with story<br />

ideas, occasionally with corrections, but mostly to share their love of<br />

sports. In the past few days, we had one reader tell us he played baseball<br />

for Radford University’s Chuck Taylor, who was profiled in September,<br />

and another let us know that Red Sox baseball great Bob<strong>by</strong> Doerr, who<br />

was prominently mentioned in the same issue, played in an exhibition<br />

game at Roanoke’s Maher Field in the late 1940s.<br />

It’s interesting to peruse that first issue, which was put together in home<br />

offices in short order. “What are we going to do with Victory Stadium”<br />

was one topic. Other stories included pieces on golfer Chip Sullivan,<br />

then-new women’s Virginia Tech head basketball coach Beth Dunkenberger<br />

and Jack Bogacyzk, the former Roanoke Times sportswriter who<br />

now works in West Virginia.<br />

Our column lineup included Mike Stevens, Bob Teitlebaum, Mike<br />

Ashley and Chris Moody. Forty-five issues later, those columnists are<br />

still with us. And the ubiquitous Gene Marrano continues to generate<br />

a flurry of stories, just as he does for several other local publications and<br />

broadcast outlets. We’re grateful that Gene still finds time to be part of<br />

the <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> team.<br />

Realize that the local sports landscape has changed in three years.<br />

Hockey is gone (again). The Dazzle pro basketball franchise folded after<br />

five seasons. The wrecking ball dismantled Victory Stadium last summer.<br />

Of course, Salem continues to host NCAA championships three or four<br />

times a year, and the Spartans’ high school football team has gone 42-2<br />

since we set up shop, so not everything is temporary.<br />

New arenas are popping up everywhere (witness the new complex in<br />

Botetourt, Patriot Stadium at Patrick Henry, and Spartan Field at Salem<br />

High School) and old ones are being renovated (Bogle Field, Salem Stadium).<br />

In a couple of years, William Fleming High School will have its<br />

own stadium, too.<br />

In three years, 10 high school state titles have been won <strong>by</strong> area teams:<br />

Salem (football, twice); Cave Spring (volleyball, twice); Fleming (boys’<br />

basketball); Hidden Valley (girls’ basketball and girls’ soccer); Glenvar<br />

(wrestling and volleyball); and Roanoke Catholic (boys’ basketball).<br />

Some of our homegrown athletes continue to distinguish themselves<br />

on the national stage, including J.J. Redick, Tiki and Ronde Barber, and<br />

Angela Tincher. But we also publish plenty of stories about people you<br />

may not know. We’ve carved a niche covering sports stories you won’t get<br />

somewhere else.<br />

Somehow, we always find plenty of news to bring you month in and<br />

month out. We’ve never filled the paper with wire stories or fluff. It’s always<br />

completely locally generated. The quality of the content and design<br />

is a direct reflection of the work <strong>by</strong> those whose names<br />

appear in the staff box on page 4.<br />

Some readers are interested to know how a publication<br />

works. <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> is not typical; it functions in a<br />

style reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. We believe the<br />

product is professional, but when you pull back the<br />

curtain, the infrastructure is not complex.<br />

We’re blessed to have an array of contributors<br />

who are creative and diligent. They recognize the<br />

importance of deadlines. They continue to submit<br />

their work not because of the enormous compensation<br />

they receive, but simply because they enjoy<br />

what they do, and seeing their work in print is<br />

gratifying.<br />

We try to maintain a sense of humor in our operation and<br />

we also try to keep the stress level low. Usually, we succeed.<br />

About 80 percent of the 10,000 issues we distribute every 28 days is<br />

picked up. That percentage is growing.<br />

Thank you for continuing to read us. We couldn’t continue to deliver<br />

the product without you.

8 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />

PLAY<br />

Book<br />

From Page 3<br />

Makers<br />

Cassidy<br />

Salem High School<br />

The Spartans’ football team defeated<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthside, 34-13, on Sept. 21 to<br />

run their <strong>2007</strong> record to 4-0 and retain<br />

their top ranking in Timesland.<br />

Since Stephen Magenbauer<br />

became head coach at the<br />

start of the 2004 season,<br />

the Spartans are 42-2,<br />

with the losses coming<br />

to Christiansburg (36-35)<br />

and Amherst (25-21) <strong>by</strong> a<br />

total of five points. They<br />

won Group AA state<br />

titles in 2004 and 2005.<br />

<strong>Play</strong>makers is sponsored <strong>by</strong> Professional Therapies of Roanoke<br />

or Roy Rogers lunchboxes.<br />

McFarland Publishing opened<br />

its business in 1979 in Jefferson,<br />

N.C., and in a short time<br />

became one of the country’s<br />

leading publishers of scholarly<br />

and reference books.<br />

It published more than<br />

3,200 titles in its first 10 years<br />

and set a goal to maintain<br />

a similar pace thereafter.<br />

Some of McFarland’s titles<br />

are biographies of the old Western<br />

heroes such as Buck Jones.<br />

McFarland also publishes on<br />

topics such as the performing arts<br />

(especially film), sports and leisure<br />

(especially baseball), military<br />

history, popular culture and<br />

automotive history.<br />

In general, its baseball books are<br />

well-written and well-researched.<br />

Most of the authors are members<br />

of the Society of American Baseball<br />

Research (SABR) who have<br />

written numerous articles about<br />

baseball history.<br />

McFarland claims to be the<br />

leading publisher of serious books<br />

on baseball and I won’t dispute<br />

that assertion. Some of my favorite<br />

books from McFarland include<br />

a biography of Pepper Martin<br />

from the old St. Louis Cardinals’<br />

Gashouse Gang; a biography of<br />

the famed Chicago<br />

Cubs’ double play<br />

combination of Tinker<br />

to Evers to Chance;<br />

Jimmie Foxx, probably<br />

baseball’s most<br />

famous slugger in the<br />

1930s other than Babe<br />

Ruth and Lou Gehrig;<br />

New York Yankees’<br />

pitcher Waite Hoyt;<br />

New York Hall of Fame infielder<br />

Tony Lazzeri; and Baseball and<br />

Richmond.<br />

That last book, a gem, has added<br />

to my knowledge of the game. Most<br />

anyone who studies the history of<br />

baseball knows that Jack Chesbro<br />

holds the record for most wins in a<br />

single season in modern baseball<br />

(after 1900). He won 41 games for<br />

the New York Highlanders in the<br />

early 20th century.<br />

What you probably don’t know<br />

is that Chesbro played minor<br />

league baseball in Richmond and<br />

also in Roanoke — during the 1896<br />

season.<br />



<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Q.<br />

Ask A Ref<br />

In an effort to inform fans of the finer points of the rules of the<br />

games, <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> regularly publishes the feature “Ask A Ref,” a<br />

chance for fans to ask a question about specific sports rules, preferably<br />

those related to high school or the NCAA. We ask officials to answer<br />

these questions and, depending on the number, print some or all<br />

of the responses.<br />

Questions can be sent to Ask_a_Ref@yahoo.com.<br />

In this issue, we ask our question to veteran high school football<br />

official Christian Moody, a contributing editor to <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong>.<br />

Can one team’s coaches use headphones if the other team<br />

has none, or if the other team’s are not working<br />

Sure. Rules that govern play below the pro level make no re-<br />

A. quirements on such communication, so each team is responsible<br />

for its own equipment. Likewise, monitoring the use of<br />

such is outside the purveyance of the game officials, to quote the<br />

NFHS rule book.<br />

There is a rule in professional football that prohibits this, and<br />

football fans have likely seen where the referee makes an announcement<br />

that one team must disconnect their headphones because of<br />

a malfunction. I’m not sure why this is announced over the PA or<br />

how it’s enforced, but in pro football it’s up to the home team to<br />

provide the connections and hardware to make headphones work<br />

(although they do not provide the headphones themselves, because<br />

I’m sure each team wants to keep its encrypted frequency a secret)<br />

so there would be an advantage if the home stadium staff could<br />

cause a disruption of communication for the visitors.

OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 9<br />

Snapshots of the season<br />

Roanoke College <strong>Vol</strong>leyball<br />

Caitlyn Long, a sophomore from Cave<br />

Spring High School, scores a point for<br />

the Maroons in recent action.<br />

<br />

<br />

D-III emotion<br />

Dan Smith<br />

When Emory & Henry’s football team<br />

thrashed Ferrum, 50-7, on Sept. 1, among<br />

those suiting up for the Wasps were Joey<br />

Daniels (above), a junior defensive back<br />

from Salem High School, and Matt Assenat<br />

(46, below), a senior defensive end from<br />

Lord Botetourt. Assenat was celebrating a<br />

touchdown that developed from a fake field<br />

goal attempt.<br />

<br />

Jim Hickam<br />

Dan Smith<br />

The Ferrum assistant defensive coach<br />

(above), who made a name for himself<br />

as head coach for more than 30 years at<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthside High School, was not happy<br />

with Ferrum’s performance against<br />

E&H.<br />

Thanks to our sponsors<br />

for making our event a winner!<br />

Dan Smith<br />

Tommy Firebaugh photos<br />

Senior Tour Golf<br />

At Blue Hills on Sept. 4, the big winners<br />

were C.B. Sink (left) and Bill Mann<br />

(above). Sink was the Division 1 net<br />

winner with a 59, matching cards; Mann<br />

was the Division 2 net winner with a 64.<br />

Mann also was the Division 2 gross winner,<br />

shooting a 79.<br />

Title Sponsors: WSLS Newschannel 10, Outback<br />

Steakhouse. Gold Sponsors: Fleet Feet Sports,<br />

Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Life Fitness,<br />

<strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong>. Silver Sponsors: Pepsi Bottling Group,<br />

The Redwoods Group, Robertson Marketing Group,<br />

East Coasters Cycling & Fitness. Bronze Sponsors:<br />

Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group, Mariners Landing/<br />

East Lake Real Estate, Tudor’s Biscuit World of VA,<br />

Brandon Animal Hospital of Roanoke.<br />

Donor: Mann & Associates, Inc.

10 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />

Still at the<br />

TOP<br />



<strong>by</strong> Gene Marrano<br />

of<br />


in his new autobiography,<br />

Tiki, My Life in the Game and<br />

Beyond, that former Cave Spring<br />

High School valedictorian Tiki<br />

Barber knows how<br />

to write with flair<br />

and articulation.<br />

In one six-page sequence,<br />

he describes<br />

a simple run from<br />

scrimmage, detailing<br />

all of his thoughts as he<br />

looks for daylight and<br />

follows blockers before<br />

sprinting off into the end zone.<br />

It reads like a graceful description<br />

of ballet choreography.<br />

In another chapter, Barber, who<br />

went on to star at the University of<br />

his<br />

game<br />

Virginia before<br />

a stellar National<br />

Football<br />

League career<br />

with the New<br />

York Giants, vividly<br />

describes<br />

the fine art of<br />

putting on the<br />

too-tight uniforms<br />

favored<br />

<strong>by</strong> football<br />

players who do all they can to<br />

appear like fierce warriors.<br />

Barber appreciated the athletic<br />

skills he honed at Cave<br />

Spring, but would prefer to mention<br />

first the education he received<br />

there as a foundation for his success<br />

outside the game of football.<br />

He’s written several children’s<br />

books with his twin brother —<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

<br />

Tiki Barber was the keynote speaker at a Sept. 13 Valley Forward forum.<br />

Roanoker and former UVa teammate Walt Derey (right) brought Barber in<br />

Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde<br />

Barber — and may turn them into<br />

an animated television series. He<br />

and Ronde have hosted the satellite<br />

football wrap-up show, The<br />

Barber Shop, for years; he was a<br />

Fox & Friends morning show cohost<br />

and an off-season sportscaster<br />

for the CBS-TV affiliate in New<br />

York at one point.<br />

My Life in The Game and Beyond<br />

(Simon & Schuster) is a good read<br />

from a man who was always looking<br />

ahead, even at an early age,<br />

when both he and Ronde were<br />

being raised <strong>by</strong> single mother<br />

Geraldine Barber. Their father,<br />

J.B., a one-time Virginia Tech tailback,<br />

has never been a part of the<br />

family.<br />

Barber didn’t entirely warm to<br />

football until well into his high<br />

school years, according to the<br />

book, and stayed lighter than he<br />

should have been as a ball carrier<br />

until his junior season at the<br />

University of Virginia.<br />

Before the 1995 season<br />

at UVa, an assistant coach<br />

asked him what he wanted<br />

to be: an Olympic track<br />

star — one of Barber’s<br />

dreams — or a successful<br />

tailback. The<br />

ex-sprinter’s name<br />

can still be seen at<br />

Cave Spring High<br />

School on a tote<br />

board that lists track<br />

records. Barber bulked up, adding<br />

weight and muscle, and two years<br />

later was drafted <strong>by</strong> the Giants in<br />

the second round. The rest is history:<br />

originally thought of as a<br />

Bill Turner photos<br />

third-down back, the 5’9” dynamo<br />

eventually became a starter and<br />

all-purpose yards monster, rushing<br />

for more than 10,000 yards,<br />

catching passes for 5,000 more.<br />

Barber says he feels “not a tinge”<br />

of regret about walking away<br />

from the game after a 2006 season<br />

where he felt like he was slipping,<br />

despite impressive numbers.<br />

The shadow of Willie Mays, Jerry<br />

Rice, Evander Holyfield and others<br />

who stayed far too long in the<br />

arena was always on his mind.<br />

“That was part of it,” says Barber,<br />

quick to add that there were<br />

no “simple answers,” as to why he<br />

walked away from the game at age<br />

31. “I knew that in little ways, I was<br />

losing a step. It did bug me.”<br />

Ex-football running back stars<br />

like Barry Sanders, Robert Smith<br />

and Jim Brown that walked away<br />

near the top<br />

of their game<br />

were ins<br />

p i r a -<br />

tions.<br />

Barber’s high school football coach was Steve<br />

Spangler, now the principal at Cave Spring<br />

Barber appears to burn some<br />

bridges in the book, especially<br />

where now-embattled Giants<br />

See BARBER, Page 16

OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 11<br />

Who says the<br />

Roanoke Valley<br />

isn’t a hotbed<br />

for sports<br />

We talk your language. Every fourth<br />

Monday. Available at Kroger, Wal-Mart<br />

and <strong>15</strong>0 other outlets.<br />

<br />

P.O. Box 3285, Roanoke, VA 240<strong>15</strong><br />

(540) 761-6751 • E-mail: jmonty@cox.net<br />

On the Web: www.play<strong>by</strong>playonline.net

12 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />

Earning her stripes<br />

<strong>by</strong> Mike Ashley<br />

Alexi Staton stands tall at VMI<br />


Staton had never really<br />

thought about a military<br />

career.<br />

Too bad, because it turns out she<br />

excels on defense, although privately<br />

she still has a hankering for<br />

offense. That combination of skills<br />

is helping the versatile sophomore<br />

from Roanoke earn her stripes at<br />

VMI while the Keydets move up<br />

the ranks in women’s soccer.<br />

“Alexi’s ball-handling ability and<br />

her offensive strength<br />

were very attractive<br />

when we recruited<br />

her,” says third-year<br />

Keydets coach Bryan<br />

Williams, who had<br />

the team off to the fastest<br />

start in its five-year<br />

history at 3-4-1. “Alexi<br />

is playing an outside<br />

back for us this year<br />

and the back line has<br />

really come together.”<br />

The Keydet kickers have never<br />

won more than seven games in a<br />

season, but they already had three<br />

Alexi Staton<br />

wins <strong>by</strong> mid-September this year,<br />

including two shutouts. Staton, returning<br />

to some old habits despite<br />

playing defense, scored the gamewinner<br />

in a 1-0 win over The Citadel,<br />

VMI’s archrival.<br />

“I had just come into the game<br />

in the first half and I really hadn’t<br />

even touched the ball,” says Staton.<br />

“I was in the right place at the<br />

right time.”<br />

Staton made that synchronistic<br />

trait a staple of her game at<br />

<strong>No</strong>rthside High School, where she<br />

graduated in 2006 as the Vikings’<br />

all-time leading scorer<br />

with 46 goals and<br />

28 assists under coach<br />

Shawn Duff. A twoyear<br />

captain, Staton<br />

helped lead <strong>No</strong>rthside<br />

to the Blue Ridge District<br />

title as a senior.<br />

She also starred for the<br />

Roanoke Star and Valley<br />

AFC soccer clubs,<br />

and that’s where she<br />

developed her true<br />

love for the sport and began to realize<br />

how that passion could have<br />

an impact on her future.<br />

Photos courtesy of VMI Sports Information<br />

Alexi Staton (4) is one<br />

of less than 100 female<br />

students enrolled at VMI<br />

“Mike Thorrel was one of my<br />

coaches and he made me want<br />

to play college soccer,” she says.<br />

“During the summertime he gave<br />

me extra lessons and really helped<br />

me with a lot of the little things,<br />

helping improve my skills.”<br />

That’s important because Staton<br />

says one of her biggest influences,<br />

her mom, Tamela Morgan, never<br />

knew a lot about the game until<br />

Staton started playing and turned<br />

her mother into the classic “soccer<br />

mom.”<br />

“My mom grew up in the Lexington/Fairfield<br />

area and she<br />

didn’t even know there was soccer<br />

until she got to college,” Staton<br />

laughs. “She only played basketball,<br />

but she’s really into sports.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w she watches me and gives me<br />

good advice. She pushed me and<br />

my brothers and sisters to play.”<br />

Good thing, too, because <strong>by</strong> her<br />

senior season at <strong>No</strong>rthside, Staton<br />

was fielding offers from several<br />

Division II programs and contemplating<br />

a career in medicine where<br />

soccer would help her get her foot<br />

in the door with some scholarship<br />

aid.<br />

And that’s about when a letter<br />

from Williams and VMI arrived at<br />

her home.<br />

See STATON, Page 17<br />

<strong>October</strong> 27, <strong>2007</strong><br />

8:30am<br />

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Greenway<br />

Memory Miler<br />

10 Mile Run 4 Mile Run 1 Mile Run<br />

Age Group <br />

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Entry Fees<br />

<br />

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All proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association<br />

and Virginia Amateur Sports<br />

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711-C 5th St., NE, Roanoke, VA<br />

24016 • 540-343-0987

OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 13<br />

<strong>by</strong> Bob Teitlebaum<br />

The Key to success<br />


ideas.<br />

Because he doesn’t mind<br />

sharing them, the Roanoke<br />

Valley Sports Club is a thriving organization.<br />

While club membership is<br />

somewhat less than the 300-plus it<br />

once enjoyed, the club has grown<br />

financially. Its bank account,<br />

which it draws upon to compensate<br />

guest speakers, has increased<br />

a few thousand dollars due to<br />

Key’s vigorous participation on<br />

the club’s executive board.<br />

He joined the club when Dick<br />

Williams became the president in<br />

2000; soon thereafter, he became<br />

a board member who has developed<br />

a reputation for promotional<br />

ideas.<br />

A Roanoke native, Key’s employment<br />

with IBM took him away<br />

from the valley for 22 years and<br />

when he returned, he was ready to<br />

be proactive.<br />

“We don’t promote the club<br />

enough,” says Key, who stepped<br />

into the role of changing that.<br />

Current club president John<br />

Montgomery has benefited from<br />

Key’s promotions. “He’s been a<br />

tremendous help to the club in two<br />

areas,” says Montgomery, who is<br />

also the publisher of <strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong>.<br />

“He’s helped with programs — doing<br />

the legwork to bring in former<br />

NFL stars Carroll Dale and Alex<br />

Hawkins, among others — and<br />

<strong>by</strong> helping us generate additional<br />

funds to pay for such programs.”<br />

The club, which was founded in<br />

1993 <strong>by</strong> Dan Wooldridge, Charlie<br />

Moir, Joe Thomas, Sr. and others,<br />

holds approximately 10 meetings<br />

a year. That’s nearly <strong>15</strong>0 meetings<br />

since it began, most of which have<br />

been held in the Community Room<br />

at the Salem Civic Center. Average<br />

attendance is approximately 100.<br />

The attendance has a dramatic<br />

spike if people from Virginia Tech,<br />

the University of Virginia or VMI<br />

come to speak.<br />

The best attended meetings take<br />

place late in the summer when<br />

Tech football coach Frank Beamer<br />

and his counterpart at Virginia,<br />

Al Groh, give interested fans previews<br />

of their respective teams.<br />

Traditionally, the two coaches<br />

appear at the same meeting,<br />

bringing on a night of fellowship<br />

and friendly rivalry from members<br />

associated with each school.<br />

This past year, the coaches could<br />

not make it on the same night and<br />

there were two separate meetings<br />

at Hidden Valley Country Club because<br />

the civic center was tied up<br />

with other bookings.<br />

Longtime sports fan invigorates club<br />

Phil Key (left) procured former<br />

Baltimore Colt Alex Hawkins as a<br />

sports club speaker in 2006<br />

Beamer, however, had to cancel<br />

because he was honoring<br />

another speaking engagement.<br />

Beamer was originally set to be in<br />

Lynchburg on April 16, the day of<br />

the mass shootings, and then that<br />

event was rescheduled for July 26,<br />

the night he had intended to be in<br />

Salem. He was replaced <strong>by</strong> defensive<br />

coordinator Bud Foster, who<br />

was equally well-received.<br />

The sports club has been popular<br />

with its base, but innovation<br />

in recruiting has not been its<br />

strength.<br />

Enter Key. He played football and<br />

basketball for old Jefferson High<br />

School and made all-Western District<br />

and Roanoke City-County before<br />

entering the Marines in 1951<br />

and taking off for California before<br />

he could finish high school.<br />

“They were expanding the Marine<br />

Corps,” says Key, who was 17<br />

when he left school. “They had two<br />

divisions at the time, one on the<br />

East Coast and one on the West<br />

Coast.”<br />

Key entered the new West Coast<br />

division and completed his tour<br />

a year-and-a-half later. At 6’4”,<br />

195 pounds, he was big enough to<br />

play college football and earned<br />

a scholarship to the University of<br />

Richmond.<br />

“All my buddies went to Hampden-Sydney.<br />

I didn’t have a car, so I<br />

decided to go with them to Hampden-Sydney,”<br />

Key recalls, instead<br />

of Richmond.<br />

With the Tigers, Key played four<br />

years of football and basketball<br />

while being named to Who’s Who<br />

in American Colleges.<br />

In spite of his early achievements,<br />

Key says at that age he<br />

wasn’t particularly assertive.<br />

“I developed late in life,” he<br />

adds, which helps explain how his<br />

late entry to the Roanoke Valley<br />

Sports Club has coincided with a<br />

flood of new ideas.<br />

First, he hounded The Roanoke<br />

Times to write an article on the<br />

sports club in hopes that it would<br />

be seen <strong>by</strong> people who might decide<br />

it would be a good thing to<br />

become a member.<br />

“The Danville [sports] club is always<br />

covered in their paper and I<br />

thought, ‘Why not us’” he asks.<br />

Key set up a meeting with reporter<br />

Evelio Contreras, providing<br />

him with considerable background<br />

and detail.<br />

The story appeared<br />

in Neighbors in December<br />

of 2005.<br />

Key’s efforts didn’t<br />

stop with a story in<br />

the newspaper. He<br />

came up with another<br />

idea of selling sponsor<br />

tables, appealing<br />

to club members who<br />

were willing to pay for<br />

the privilege of having dinner with<br />

guest speakers.<br />

Of course the speakers had to<br />

be significant enough to carry out<br />

this idea and it was a natural for<br />

the Beamer-Groh meetings.<br />

It has worked whenever one<br />

of Tech’s basketball coaches appears,<br />

as well as when the speaker<br />

has VMI connections.<br />

“It made sense to put members<br />

with speakers and make some<br />

money for the club,” Key explains.<br />

“My mind is always percolating<br />

John A. Montgomery photos<br />

with ideas.”<br />

This particular idea has added<br />

a few thousand dollars to the club<br />

treasury.<br />

Prominent speakers can command<br />

high dollar, but the sports<br />

club has never paid more than<br />

$2,500 for a meeting. Most programs<br />

cost $500 or less.<br />

(Charlottesville’s Howie Long,<br />

an NFL Hall of Famer and prominent<br />

broadcaster on the Fox network,<br />

has been known to receive<br />

$40,000 for a single appearance.)<br />

Key reasons that with betterknown<br />

speakers, the membership<br />

rolls might increase.<br />

“We have a lot of money; why<br />

not bring in a [well-known] speaker<br />

and maybe charge a little more<br />

for a ticket” Key asks.<br />

The club’s current dues are $30<br />

a year. A family membership costs<br />

$40. Dinner is an additional $12.<br />

Key wasn’t finished, though. His<br />

next original thought was a special<br />

achievement award to honor<br />

sports people in the Roanoke Valley.<br />

“I thought there are a lot of<br />

people in the club with interesting<br />

backgrounds and achievements<br />

and everyone would be interested<br />

in knowing what they had done,”<br />

Key says.<br />

“I like to make people feel good<br />

and do something for them.”<br />

So far, Jim Lugar, Dave Osborne,<br />

Carlton Waskey, the late<br />

Len Mosser, Wooldridge, Moir,<br />

Don Divers, Bill Shrader, Dave<br />

Ross, this writer, Harry Bushkar,<br />

Carroll Moffit, Galen Conner,<br />

Ned Baber and Wallace Coffey<br />

are among those who have been<br />

honored.<br />

Each one received a certificate<br />

and a place on the permanent<br />

Key with former Green Bay Packer Carroll Dale<br />

(center) and sports club board member Jim Lugar<br />

plaque displayed at each club<br />

meeting.<br />

Perhaps Key’s most touching<br />

subject turned out to be the late<br />

George Preas, a great football<br />

player at Virginia Tech and for the<br />

Baltimore Colts during their best<br />

days under Johnny Unitas. Preas<br />

was honored in the fall of 2006, not<br />

long before his death.<br />

“We had [former Colts star] Alex<br />

Hawkins as the main speaker and<br />

See KEY, Page 17

14 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />

Bridesmaid finish placates Avalanche<br />

Salem surviv roster turnover to lace as league runner-up<br />

<strong>by</strong> Gene Marrano<br />


after the Salem Avalanche<br />

lost the fourth and deciding<br />

game of the Mills Cup Championship<br />

Series to the Frederick Keys<br />

on Sept. 11, players were packing<br />

up to head to their respective<br />

homes.<br />

In fact, there were equipment<br />

bags and trunks already sitting<br />

in the hallway. Some were on cell<br />

phones with wives, girlfriends or<br />

family members — if those people<br />

weren’t in town already to watch<br />

the Carolina League finals.<br />

The post-game meal was a quieter<br />

affair than usual. Even though<br />

the Avs struggled at times in <strong>2007</strong><br />

as injuries and call-ups played<br />

havoc with the roster, it’s never<br />

easy to lose a championship.<br />

Some players, many of whom<br />

will not return to Salem Memorial<br />

Baseball Stadium next year, lingered<br />

first in the dugout to watch<br />

the Frederick Keys accept the Mills<br />

Cup trophy from league president<br />

John Hopkins. That came after<br />

the Keys gathered for picture-taking<br />

in front of the visitors’ dugout<br />

and doused each other with cheap<br />

champagne.<br />

There were bright spots for the<br />

Avalanche this year, which finished<br />

the season earning its wildcard<br />

playoff berth with a re-made<br />

roster. Outfielder Billy Hart, one of<br />

those who actually stayed around<br />

for the duration of the year, got hot<br />

in the second half and made a late<br />

run to win the Carolina League<br />

batting crown with an average of<br />

.305.<br />

The former USC football and<br />

baseball player beat out another<br />

Californian, teammate Mitch Einertson,<br />

on the last day of the sea-<br />

son. The center fielder also hit .305,<br />

a fractional point or two behind<br />

Hart — and settled for the league<br />

MVP trophy with his 87 RBI.<br />

“Who would have thought Billy<br />

Hart would have been a batting<br />

champion <strong>No</strong> one worked harder<br />

than Billy all year long,” said<br />

manager Jim Pankovits, who also<br />

praised Einertson for taking advantage<br />

of the opportunity when<br />

other players got hurt or were promoted.<br />

“[Einertson] just took off — from<br />

the middle of May until the end of<br />

the season he was <strong>by</strong> far the most<br />

consistent hitter and deserving<br />

of the MVP, no doubt of that,” the<br />

manager said.<br />

Pankovits hailed the work of<br />

pitcher Chris Blazek, thrust into<br />

the closer’s role after the All-Star<br />

break. Blazek came up big in the<br />

postseason.<br />

Infielder Wladimir Sutil “will<br />

play at a higher level” after shining<br />

in the postseason as well.<br />

From where he was at the beginning<br />

of the year as a returning<br />

player and a sub, stuck behind<br />

people like the touted Eli Iorg<br />

— who later went down with an<br />

injury — Hart said he learned it<br />

was all about getting through the<br />

grind.<br />

“Every at-bat and every game<br />

counts,” said Hart. Being in the<br />

playoffs was the icing on the<br />

cake. “It’s all about winning ball<br />

games.”<br />

He hopes to move up next<br />

spring. Hart was confident all year<br />

that even with the call-ups and injuries,<br />

the Avalanche could make<br />

it to the second season.<br />

“We had a lot of good players<br />

on this team throughout the year<br />

[and] we had a lot of really good<br />

players move on to Double A. It’s<br />

Bill Turner<br />

Bill Turner<br />

Billy Hart (left) won the batting title<br />

Bill Turner<br />

MVP Mitch Einertson<br />

always a good accomplishment to<br />

go to the finals,” said Hart as he<br />

loaded a plate with his post-game<br />

meal for the last time. “It was<br />

fun.”<br />

“You can’t really look at it as<br />

a disappointment,” said hitting<br />

coach Chuck Carr of losing in the<br />

championship round. “The way we<br />

started, even in the second half [of<br />

the season], it didn’t look like we<br />

were going to come this far. They<br />

just have to look at it as another<br />

chapter in the book.”<br />

During Carr’s three seasons in<br />

Salem, the Avs went from a onegame<br />

playoff, to the first round last<br />

season, and the Mills Cup championship<br />

series this year.<br />

In the second half-season, with<br />

several key pitchers called up to<br />

AA Corpus Christi, “the offense<br />

really knew they had to go out<br />

there and put up some numbers,”<br />

said Carr.<br />

Being in a pennant chase will<br />

help these young players down<br />

the road, the former major leaguer<br />

said.<br />

It’s all about focus.<br />

“That hard work all season…<br />

that’s when it pays off. The thing<br />

is, who focuses the most [in the<br />

postseason].”<br />

As for Hart coming on strong<br />

and capturing the batting title,<br />

Carr indicated it was “more of a<br />

confidence thing as he started<br />

progressing. [Hart] has the ability<br />

to make it, but he’s going to have to<br />

cut loose that shyness.”<br />

Pankovits doesn’t know where<br />

he will be next year after completing<br />

his second season as manager<br />

in single-A Salem. Such is life with<br />

a big league organization like the<br />

Houston Astros, which fired manager<br />

Phil Garner and general<br />

manager Tim Purpura in August<br />

— just two years after the Astros<br />

were in the World Series. Purpura<br />

was director of minor league development<br />

when Pankovits was a<br />

roving instructor.<br />

After the last game against Frederick<br />

and his good<strong>by</strong>es to players,<br />

the former major league utility<br />

player appeared to be a bit redeyed<br />

as he looked back on a long<br />

season. “We spend six months together;<br />

it’s like a family,” said Pankovits<br />

as he sat in the manager’s<br />

office. Home is not far way for the<br />

Richmond-area resident.<br />

“It’s a long haul but it happens<br />

every year. Fortunately a lot of<br />

these guys have a bright future<br />

and will be playing a long time. I’ll<br />

see them a number of years in the<br />

future.”<br />

Did he see the Avalanche making<br />

it to the championship round<br />

earlier in the season<br />

“I didn’t even see this team,” he<br />

said. “This is a brand new team<br />

except for a few players that we<br />

started with. That’s a tribute to the<br />

organization. All the new guys we<br />

plugged in did a great job. That’s<br />

very unusual that we could continue<br />

to have such a consistent<br />

season from start to finish with all<br />

the changes.<br />

“A great year [with] a disappointing<br />

finish…but a lot of fond memories,”<br />

said Pankovits about <strong>2007</strong>.<br />

“I think I’m pretty demanding in<br />

how much I asked them to work,<br />

but they never complained.<br />

They showed up every day and<br />

worked their [butts] off.”<br />

There was plenty to be learned<br />

from chasing the Mills Cup trophy,<br />

about preparation and performing<br />

in stressful situations<br />

— “which it seemed like every<br />

game we were in,” according<br />

to Pankovits. “They will benefit<br />

from those experiences the rest<br />

of their careers.”<br />

Having finished two games<br />

short of a Carolina League title<br />

despite a season full of upheaval<br />

won’t look bad on the managerial<br />

résumé of Jim Pankovits, either.

OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY <strong>15</strong><br />

On the surface, field value underestimated<br />


Bob Teitlebaum says that I have<br />

a tendency to write about playing<br />

surfaces. That’s true, because<br />

I’m writing about facilities. That’s<br />

the old news guy in me. New facilities<br />

mean improvements within<br />

the community. They often mean<br />

more economic impact for sports<br />

and happier residents.<br />

The number of people who actually see an improved quality of life with<br />

artificial surfaces on football fields is fairly small, limited mostly to those<br />

souls who had to try to get mud out of white jerseys and pants after rainy<br />

nights on the field.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w they just have to sweep their homes and automobiles to get out<br />

the hundreds of little rubber grains that get in shoes, socks and cling to<br />

uniforms.<br />

I also love new golf courses. Actually, I like all golf courses, and I love<br />

to play golf. For some reason I’m just not very good at it. This fact used to<br />

make me angry, but I realized a mad golfer isn’t a better golfer, he’s just<br />

more miserable.<br />

In this issue on page 16, I’ve<br />

included a story about a new<br />

facility in Craig County that’s<br />

somewhere between the stages<br />

of hope-for-someday and opening-day-is-scheduled.<br />

Craig County is an amazing<br />

Salem<br />

Stadium<br />

place in that the people who<br />

want things like new fields and<br />

facilities make plans, figure out<br />

what they need, decide how to<br />

get it, then go do it. I love the spirit. I wonder how that would work on this<br />

side of Catawba Mountain.<br />

There’s a new golf course being built in Mt. Pleasant called Ballyhack. I<br />

wrote about it some 18 months ago, but there were delays in finishing another<br />

project, so groundbreaking was delayed until this summer. <strong>No</strong>t to<br />

worry, very few of us were going to get to play it, anyway. It’s for big-money<br />

out-of-towners who don’t mind dropping large sums of cash for large<br />

homes they will rarely visit, located around an expensive golf course they<br />

will rarely play. But still, there are worse things to do with land than build<br />

golf courses — trees and grass don’t hurt much.<br />

Mt. Pleasant residents should hope that Roanoke County officials don’t<br />

notice them sitting out there with open land around…or there will be<br />

a permit to build a Wal-Mart issued so fast they’ll never know what hit<br />

them.<br />

This is offensive<br />

There was an interesting scene on the sidelines of the Virginia Tech vs.<br />

Ohio football game on Sept. <strong>15</strong>. Athletic Director Jim Weaver, fresh off issuing<br />

his ridiculous injunction on the Marching Virginians’ percussion<br />

section for a cheer that one or two people may (or may not) have complained<br />

about, stood there while from the front row, just behind his left<br />

shoulder, some maroon-clad moron shouted absolute profanities toward<br />

opposing players and game officials.<br />

Rewind a bit: The Tech band plays a drum beat when the offense gets<br />

inside the opponent’s 20-yard-line, known as the red zone, exhorting the<br />

team to score a touchdown. The beat plays three repetitions, followed <strong>by</strong><br />

a chant among Hokie faithful of “Stick it in! Stick it in! Stick it in!”<br />

Granted, they mean stick the ball in the end zone, and granted as well,<br />

it is a kitschy little double entendre, as college students often seem to enjoy.<br />

Big deal. It’s a college football game. The phrase is not dirty unless<br />

the listener chooses to interpret it that way. It’s not profane and it is not<br />

disrespectful to the opponent.<br />

I was all for Weaver’s attempt to quell booing. Booing is classless.<br />

Chanting to your own offense is not.<br />

But the things the fan at the Ohio game was shouting were classless,<br />

vulgar and offensive. There were children just a few feet from him. Yet no<br />

one did a thing about it.<br />

If Weaver wants to cut out offensive behavior, he needs to address real<br />

jerks like that — and there are plenty in every stadium I’ve ever been to<br />

for a game — and stop worrying about a band’s chant.<br />

Things in sports I could do without — a continuing series<br />

OK, show of hands, how many of you are going to scream the next time<br />

you hear “threw him under the bus”<br />

Fill in the pronoun of choice. It could be “threw you under the bus,” or<br />

“her,” “me” or even a proper or common noun.<br />

Enough with the bus. It’s played.<br />

It wasn’t that good of a quip when it was first coined, but it quickly became<br />

a cliché, and now it’s just a tired old remark. If that’s all the talking<br />

heads of television and radio can think to say, they need to have their<br />

creative license revoked.<br />

Coolspeak phrases like that usually come and go, fads of the moment,<br />

like the length of athletic shorts. So when is this thing going to go the way<br />

of the Britney Spears’ relevance and disappear<br />

Also on the list of things that were never as interesting as intended,<br />

but are now just uberannoying, are those robot graphics Fox Sports uses.<br />

They are supposed to look like the Terminator, or something similar, and<br />

look like cyber warriors. Of course I’m speculating on what they’re supposed<br />

to be and why. It’s just guesswork, really, because I don’t know why<br />

a television network as big as Fox uses such cheesy graphics. It makes no<br />

sense.<br />

Why not just get old video of cylons in Battlestar Galactica and superimpose<br />

them with a football or hockey stick. That blue light going back<br />

and forth would look pretty cool in a cage-style goalie helmet.<br />

Memo to 3 Daughters Media<br />

I’ll be happy to continue to listen to ESPN Radio on the stations you<br />

now own, but could you please make this possible <strong>by</strong> maintaining a<br />

signal without constant eruptions of static or those strange, rumbling<br />


16 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />


Rural community knows how to get it done<br />

<strong>by</strong> Christian Moody<br />


to be done in Craig County,<br />

people figure out if they’ve<br />

go the wherewithal to do it. Do<br />

they have the location The resources<br />

The money<br />

About <strong>15</strong> years ago, a track was<br />

built behind Craig County High<br />

School — in one day. All of the labor,<br />

all of the material and all of<br />

the equipment were donated. The<br />

track cost the school nothing.<br />

Craig County residents know<br />

not to ask the county government<br />

for favors. The budget is small, the<br />

tax-base smaller, and paying for<br />

the school system, landfill and the<br />

few other services takes up most of<br />

the money left in a county with no<br />

stoplights, one incorporated town<br />

of less than 300 residents, millions<br />

of trees and two-thirds of its land<br />

belonging to the U.S. Forest Service,<br />

which pays no property tax.<br />

So when residents wanted a<br />

place for their kids to play ball that<br />

was similar to sports complexes<br />

in Salem and Botetourt County, it<br />

was up to them.<br />

Thus the Craig County Recreation<br />

and Conservation Association<br />

was born.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w, the “Field of Dreams,” as<br />

it’s called, is a goal the CCRCA is<br />

trying to achieve. It will be a new<br />

complex of athletic fields that will<br />

coach Tom Coughlin is involved,<br />

calling him a tough “one-size-fitsall”<br />

coach that wouldn’t cut him<br />

any slack in practices when his<br />

body began aching more as an aging<br />

veteran.<br />

“It got played up in New York<br />

that I retired because of Tom<br />

Coughlin…or because I was tired<br />

of being beat up. It’s a confluence<br />

of a lot of things,” Barber says.<br />

But football was never going to<br />

be all that Barber was about and<br />

he turned in his uniform after the<br />

2006 season following a 10-year<br />

NFL career. He lives in Manhattan<br />

with his wife, Ginny, his sweetheart<br />

since college, and their two<br />

young sons. Barber’s elaborate<br />

“crib” was featured on a halftime<br />

show last year. He’s now a correspondent<br />

for NBC’s Today show<br />

and a studio host on that network’s<br />

Sunday Night Football telecast.<br />

Craig County has no stoplights, millions of trees, and<br />

two-thirds of its land belongs to the U.S. Forest Service<br />

allow recreational teams from<br />

Craig to practice and host home<br />

games.<br />

The CCRCA’s complex is in the<br />

final planning stages. The last permits<br />

were expected to be approved<br />

and signed in late September. All<br />

that’s left to do is build it.<br />

Problem is, that might be the<br />

hardest part. It’s certainly the<br />

most expensive, and money is not<br />

exactly lying around. There are no<br />

large treasure chests of cash waiting<br />

for a good project.<br />

Tracy Surface, the chairwoman<br />

of the CCRCA, said the overall<br />

cost of the project, if fully funded,<br />

would be between $600,000 and<br />

$700,000. That’s if everyone who<br />

works on the project is paid.<br />

Barber<br />

From Page 10 One of his first assignments for<br />

Today was at Virginia Tech after<br />

the April 16 shootings.<br />

Even though the Barbers have<br />

no formal ties here any more<br />

— Geraldine moved out of the<br />

valley after she retired from her<br />

Roanoke County administrative<br />

job a few years ago — Barber came<br />

back in the middle of September<br />

at the behest of his friend and former<br />

UVa teammate, Walt Derey,<br />

who is part of the Valley Forward<br />

movement.<br />

That group — led <strong>by</strong> local businessman<br />

John Lugar — wants to<br />

keep more young professionals<br />

here in the valley and held a Sept.<br />

13 forum where people could<br />

mingle with local government<br />

and civic leaders, asking questions<br />

about the valley’s future.<br />

Barber came in as keynote<br />

speaker to talk about how the Roanoke<br />

area had shaped him, how<br />

important it is to build a sense of<br />

But in Craig County, volunteerism<br />

is not only alive and well, it’s<br />

essential. Plans are in place for<br />

heavy equipment to be used to<br />

clear the site, near the campus the<br />

three county schools share about<br />

two miles east of New Castle on<br />

Virginia 6<strong>15</strong>.<br />

The land is already deeded to<br />

the CCRCA, purchased from Glen<br />

Whitlow.<br />

<strong>Vol</strong>unteers have agreed to clear<br />

the land, grade it and prepare it to<br />

be ball fields.<br />

Like other sports complexes,<br />

four diamonds will radiate from a<br />

central hub.<br />

One will be a regulation baseball<br />

field with 90-foot baselines<br />

and a grass infield. Another will be<br />

community here.<br />

One of those looking on at a news<br />

conference before the forum was<br />

Steve Spangler, now<br />

the principal at Cave<br />

Spring High School.<br />

He was Tiki and<br />

Ronde’s head coach<br />

at the Southwest Roanoke<br />

County school in<br />

the early ’90s.<br />

“Any time he comes<br />

home it brings back<br />

memories,” Spangler<br />

says. “Those guys have<br />

Bill Turner<br />

amazed me from when<br />

they were in high<br />

school,” he recalls of<br />

the Barber twins. “The<br />

sky was the limit. Every time you<br />

thought they got to one plateau<br />

they moved it up another notch.”<br />

Spangler remembers Barber as<br />

being “very highly motivated” in<br />

high school. “I’m just as proud as<br />

I can be of them. I knew they were<br />

Donna Earwood<br />

a regulation softball field with 300-<br />

foot fences, while the other two<br />

will be for t-ball or little leagues<br />

with 200-foot fences.<br />

A football field will be laid out in<br />

the outfield of the baseball field.<br />

Gene Hannah is heading an action<br />

committee that’s selling firewood<br />

as a fundraiser. Hannah’s<br />

group will raise money earmarked<br />

for fuel for the heavy equipment<br />

that will be donated.<br />

The CCRCA raised money the<br />

past two years raffling off a new<br />

Ford pick-up truck. The drawing<br />

this year will be at the Craig County<br />

Fall Festival on Oct. 13.<br />

The CCRCA is also looking for<br />

sponsorships and grants. The state<br />

has offered a $25,000 matching<br />

grant.<br />

Still, it’s a long way from the<br />

total amount needed to build the<br />

fields, the fences, the central tower<br />

and, ultimately, the lights that will<br />

stand over the fields.<br />

Surface said while the work of<br />

Hannah, Mac McCaleb and other<br />

volunteers is beyond value, the<br />

money trickles in. The project<br />

will be a pay-as-you-go effort that<br />

might take years to complete, but<br />

it’s going to be done with sweat,<br />

with community, with volunteerism,<br />

and without debt.<br />

Craig County residents know<br />

how to get it done, even if they<br />

have to do it themselves.<br />

special athletes.”<br />

Being considered a special<br />

athlete obviously meant something<br />

to the proud<br />

and ambitious man<br />

known simply as Tiki<br />

to many in the game.<br />

Single-name athletes<br />

like Tiger, Peyton and<br />

Michael are in a separate<br />

category from the<br />

mainstream.<br />

“I didn’t want to be<br />

the guy who not only<br />

was hearing from other<br />

people but was saying<br />

to myself, ‘I’m not<br />

Tiki Barber the same anymore.’ So<br />

I walked away while I<br />

still could, at the top of my game.”<br />

After all, whether it’s broadcasting<br />

or another profession — Barber<br />

hints in the book that politics<br />

are one future possibility — there<br />

are plenty of playing fields left to<br />


OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 17<br />

Staton<br />

From Page 12<br />

“It was late in the spring of my<br />

senior year and I got a letter from<br />

Coach, and I decided I might as<br />

well look at VMI,” she recalls. “My<br />

dad and my uncle both graduated<br />

from VMI so I knew a little about<br />

it already. I went there and I liked<br />

it the most of all the schools I had<br />

seen.”<br />

And Staton took to the lifestyle,<br />

so much in fact, that she now plans<br />

on commissioning in the Navy after<br />

she graduates. Ultimately, she<br />

would like to go to flight school,<br />

and that goal is within her reach<br />

as long as she keeps her grades up<br />

and keeps building on the foundation<br />

VMI establishes in all cadets.<br />

It’s particularly tough on women,<br />

though, with less than 100 females<br />

among the 1,300 total Keydets.<br />

A lot of the women there are<br />

athletes, too, trying to build VMI’s<br />

fledgling women’s programs<br />

against great odds at the Division<br />

I level.<br />

“We have to recruit student-athletes<br />

that are strong academically<br />

and interested in what VMI has to<br />

offer,” says Williams, who seems<br />

to be getting pretty good at finding<br />

those recruits. He has five sophomores<br />

and six freshmen among<br />

his small, 16-player roster, part of<br />

the team’s challenge going against<br />

larger programs with many more<br />

experienced players.<br />

“VMI teaches you to keep at it<br />

and never give up,” says Staton.<br />

“I’m really glad to be part of this<br />

team. We only have two seniors<br />

but I think everyone has picked up<br />

a leadership role at times to make<br />

it work.”<br />

Staton is learning about leadership,<br />

too, already an Echo Company<br />

corporal in the Corps of Cadets.<br />

Like all the cadets, she went<br />

through the Rat Line her freshman<br />

season, the baptism of fire<br />

that makes or breaks a VMI man<br />

or woman.<br />

“That’s the toughest thing I’ve<br />

ever gone through,” she says. “It<br />

was pretty hard. That and getting<br />

used to so many new things can be<br />

overwhelming. Just learning the<br />

rules like how to wear a uniform,<br />

how to march, just the military<br />

lifestyle.”<br />

Staton says being part of a team<br />

within the corps helped, but despite<br />

what outsiders might think,<br />

she says her fellow females at the<br />

Institute are tougher on each other<br />

than even the men.<br />

“Most of the girls give each other<br />

a harder time at VMI,” she says.<br />

“I guess because it’s so hard for us.<br />

If one of us messes up, then the<br />

corps kind of looks at us as one so<br />

we have to make sure that the girls<br />

remain in good standing.”<br />

But Staton’s freshman season<br />

was tougher for other reasons, too.<br />

An ankle injury kept her out of all<br />

but seven games and the competitor<br />

in her ached. She hurt more this<br />

preseason — a recurrence of the<br />

ankle injury and a chronic stomach<br />

problem sidelined her for the<br />

season-opening win over Howard,<br />

and she came off the bench against<br />

The Citadel.<br />

Ultimately, one in a long line of<br />

doctors finally figured out Staton<br />

had developed lactose intolerance.<br />

Dairy is out of her diet, the ankle is<br />

better and Staton has been back in<br />

the starting lineup ever since.<br />

With her back on the backline<br />

and with a big assist from the<br />

freshmen goalkeeping duo of Angela<br />

Redmond and Heidi Beemer,<br />

the Keydets allowed just two goals<br />

in the next four games, Williams’<br />

plans are coming together. He<br />

loves Staton using her offensive<br />

skills from the backfield to bring<br />

the ball forward and initiate offense.<br />

Mom, becoming quite the soccer<br />

aficionado, enjoys Staton’s<br />

game, too. She rarely misses a VMI<br />

contest, and all that while she and<br />

Staton’s stepfather, Kirk Morgan,<br />

coordinate the sports schedules<br />

of Staton’s younger sister and two<br />

brothers.<br />

Key<br />

From Page 13<br />

“I never really realized how<br />

much work they had to do getting<br />

me everywhere all the time until I<br />

got to college,” Staton says. “They<br />

come to every single one of my<br />

home games and most of the away<br />

games they can get to.”<br />

Staton has extensive future travel<br />

plans, too. She’s planning on naval<br />

flight school, and that makes<br />

sense. Her career is just starting to<br />

take off.<br />

it made sense to honor George,”<br />

says Key. Hawkins and Preas were<br />

once teammates.<br />

Unfortunately, Preas was in<br />

poor health and unable to attend.<br />

He was represented <strong>by</strong> his wife,<br />

B.J. Preas, who accepted the honor<br />

for her husband. It was <strong>by</strong> far<br />

the most touching meeting ever<br />

held <strong>by</strong> the sports club. B.J. Preas’<br />

acceptance speech was from the<br />

heart, Key says, and she still get<br />

accolades for the words she uttered<br />

that night.<br />

Key’s son, Phillip, Jr., like his<br />

father, played football at Hampden-Sydney<br />

where he started at<br />

running back.<br />

His daughters, Rachel Boyer<br />

and Shelley Blackwell, live in<br />

Danville. Blackwell was a teen<br />

tennis star with a state ranking.<br />

He has four grandsons, all of<br />

whom have played the violin since<br />

they were 5 years old. The oldest,<br />

Delos Boyer, plays in a concert<br />

orchestra using a violin that belonged<br />

to his great-great-grandfather.<br />

Key’s granddaughter, Lucy<br />

Blackwell, “is only 4 and has her<br />

own violin,” Key says proudly.<br />

Delos, who stands 6’5”, is projected<br />

to grow another three inches<br />

and wears a size-16 shoe. He<br />

might be a major player in Division<br />

I athletics.<br />

Boyer plays on the George Washington<br />

High School junior varsity<br />

football team in Danville. He also<br />

will play basketball, probably on<br />

the varsity level. Amazingly, in<br />

this day of early recruiting, Boyer<br />

has received no attention despite<br />

making excellent grades.<br />

Though Key is beyond conventional<br />

retirement age, he’s still one<br />

of the busiest men in Roanoke.<br />

After a 36-year career working for<br />

IBM, he retired in 1992 and entered<br />

into a partnership with an<br />

associate in Florida.<br />

“We have computer software<br />

that permits large manufacturing<br />

companies to use energy more effectively,”<br />

he says. “It’s like getting<br />

better gas mileage.”<br />

With the new sports club year<br />

just getting underway, it’s going<br />

to be interesting to see what else<br />

Key comes up with for the board<br />

to consider.<br />

It’s safe to assume he’s not out of<br />

ideas.<br />

(Bob Teitlebaum is also a member<br />

of the Roanoke Valley Sports<br />

Club’s board of directors.)<br />

Deans<br />

From Page 18<br />

two states,” he ticks off effortlessly.<br />

Deans, now 59, was once a backup<br />

guard for the Patriots, who went to<br />

the state AAA final in 1966 when<br />

he was a junior. Coming back to<br />

coach his alma mater was always<br />

a goal. “Patrick Henry’s been my<br />

life.”<br />

Deans has never looked back<br />

and says he knew when it was time<br />

to quit coaching. The only time he<br />

misses it is while he is watching a<br />

game and formulating strategy.<br />

“How I would have liked to have<br />

done things, in order to stop one<br />

great player, like a J.J. Redick.”<br />

Deans says he was the master<br />

of “junk defenses” when he was<br />

coaching.<br />

In 1988, the Patrick Henry Patriots<br />

played and beat Washington,<br />

D.C., powerhouse DeMatha at the<br />

Roanoke Civic Center, in front of<br />

the largest crowd ever to see a high<br />

school game in Virginia. The attendance<br />

was “9,632 fans,” recalls<br />

Deans. That game led to a series<br />

of basketball extravaganzas that<br />

he helped organize for years at<br />

the Salem Civic Center. In recent<br />

times, a game between Oak Hill<br />

and Redick’s Cave Spring Knights<br />

packed the arena.<br />

<strong>No</strong>w Deans has jumped back<br />

in the fray with next February’s<br />

Member One Valley Shootout,<br />

which features Hidden Valley<br />

High School boys’ and girls’<br />

teams, Salem High School and a<br />

pair of military academies. Local<br />

amateur coach and scout Steve<br />

Myers, whom Deans knew when<br />

both worked for the Dazzle, enlisted<br />

his help.<br />

“I really wasn’t looking to get<br />

back into it, [but] he’s a basketball<br />

nut,” he says of Myers, who has<br />

contacts that helped recruit teams<br />

for the first Shootout.<br />

“I’ve known him for years,” says<br />

Myers of Deans in return. “His experience<br />

with putting on tournaments<br />

has been a big plus.”<br />

The Salem Kiwanis Club is pitching<br />

in and West Virginia attorney<br />

Scott Long is a co-sponsor. Long’s<br />

son plays for Hargrave Military,<br />

which battles Massanutten in the<br />

last game on Feb. 2.<br />

“I’m the kind of guy that likes<br />

to stay busy,” understates Deans.<br />

“I’m just loving life right now.”

18 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong><br />


Deans: ‘Patrick Henry’s been my life’<br />

<strong>by</strong> Gene Marrano<br />


commercials with actor<br />

Dennis Hopper, declaring<br />

that retirement isn’t just about riding<br />

off into the sunset anymore,<br />

sitting in a<br />

rocker on the<br />

front porch as<br />

the rest of the<br />

Legends of<br />

the Games<br />

Thirty-eighth in a Series<br />

world whizzes<br />

<strong>by</strong> at a faster pace.<br />

Woody Deans has taken that to<br />

heart: since he retired three years<br />

ago, the former two-time Group<br />

AAA state championship basketball<br />

coach at Patrick Henry High<br />

School has stayed very involved<br />

with athletics there. He announces<br />

football and basketball games on<br />

the public address system, along<br />

with handling some supervisory<br />

chores, the five-year part-time<br />

work that comes<br />

with an early retirement<br />

package.<br />

That’s not all<br />

Deans has been up<br />

to. He works parttime<br />

in the golf<br />

pro shop at Hanging<br />

Rock with his<br />

friend, Billy Mc-<br />

Bride, Jr., and also<br />

helps out former<br />

Roanoke Catholic<br />

basketball player<br />

Kevin Dill at the<br />

p r o m o t i o n - o r i -<br />

ented Adventures<br />

in Advertising in<br />

downtown Roanoke.<br />

Local recreation<br />

teams and schools are among his<br />

clients.<br />

“Very flexible, that’s why I like<br />

working here,” says Deans of the<br />

Franklin Road firm. “If I want to<br />

go play golf, I go play golf.”<br />

That job at Hanging Rock allows<br />

Deans to play three to four rounds<br />

of golf a week. He’ll only admit that<br />

his handicap “has come down”<br />

since he left PH.<br />

A growing passion and the extra<br />

time to practice golf have led to his<br />

participation in the Roanoke Valley<br />

Senior Tour, now in its second<br />

year. Deans has notched one win<br />

(gross score) and a second place.<br />

“I was very proud [of the win at<br />

Draper Valley],” he adds. <strong>No</strong>t having<br />

to put in “those 13-, 14-hour<br />

days,” like he did at Patrick Henry<br />

has been good for his game.<br />

Basketball has never strayed far<br />

from Deans’ heart; he spent two<br />

years on the game-day staff of the<br />

Roanoke Dazzle, calling the action<br />

for others that recorded the stats.<br />

“It was a perfect fit for me because<br />

I knew basketball,” says<br />

Woody Deans retired as Patrick Henry’s AD three years ago and now<br />

handles PA duties for football and basketball, among other activities<br />

Deans of working with the nowdefunct<br />

professional team. Last<br />

year he operated the clock on<br />

games at Roanoke College and<br />

he may do that at the Salem Civic<br />

Center this winter. And he’s now<br />

the co-founder of a high school<br />

basketball event, the Member One<br />

Valley Shootout, which debuts in<br />

February.<br />

His eyes well up easily when<br />

thinking about the time his wife,<br />

Suzy, baked brownies for the PH<br />

basketball teams — when they<br />

won. Brownies in part fueled state<br />

titles when future NBA player<br />

George Lynch was there (1988) and<br />

when Curtis Staples helped shoot<br />

the Patriots to the championship<br />

four years later. “If I’d known I was<br />

going to be so successful I’d have<br />

bought stock in Duncan Hines,”<br />

Deans laughs.<br />

Thinking about their daughters,<br />

Jenny and Kristie, also brings out<br />

the sentimentality in Deans. It<br />

probably doesn’t hurt that Kristie<br />

works at the Congressional Country<br />

Club in Maryland, which hosted<br />

Tiger Woods’<br />

invitational tournament<br />

this summer.<br />

She got her father<br />

tickets to the<br />

event after Deans<br />

had seen Woods<br />

perform at Pinehurst<br />

previously.<br />

Ironically, the<br />

Deans family lived<br />

in the Cave Spring<br />

area while their<br />

daughters grew<br />

up; one time he<br />

encouraged Jenny<br />

Bill Turner photos<br />

to go sit with the<br />

Knights’ faithful in<br />

the student cheering<br />

section when<br />

he coached against them.<br />

“I will, but I really want you<br />

to win,” she told him under her<br />

breath.<br />

Of the new PH football stadium<br />

and gymnasium,<br />

which he<br />

helped design<br />

with architect<br />

Richard Rife,<br />

the former health and physical<br />

education teacher declares, “I am<br />

so thrilled that Roanoke City has<br />

finally done something first class<br />

in the area of athletics and facilities.<br />

I’m happy for the kids and the<br />

teams.”<br />

In the new gym, Deans worked<br />

with Rife to design space behind<br />

the player benches so people won’t<br />

walk in front of them (a pet peeve<br />

while he was coaching) and suggested<br />

where the officials’ locker<br />

rooms should be placed.<br />

“It’s first class,” reiterates Deans,<br />

who sat down with Rife a halfdozen<br />

times or more to go over the<br />

plans. “He came back and came<br />

back. What we talked about…it’s<br />

in there.”<br />

That includes new weight-lifting<br />

and training rooms, more space<br />

in locker rooms and extra storage,<br />

plus an indoor running track.<br />

Deans was athletic director for<br />

seven years after ending his run of<br />

25 years as a basketball coach and<br />

PE teacher.<br />

“You just couldn’t handle both,”<br />

he says about the prospect of<br />

coaching and being athletic director<br />

at the same time. “<strong>No</strong>t at a<br />

Triple A school.”<br />

He started coaching at Jackson<br />

Middle School, then coached the<br />

last-ever Jefferson junior varsity<br />

team in 1973-’74. When Jefferson<br />

High School varsity coach Dick<br />

Kepley went to PH, he took Deans<br />

along. Deans coached the JV team<br />

for nine years and then the varsity<br />

for 13 after Kepley left.<br />

“Six districts, four regionals and<br />

See DEANS, Page 17

OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong> PLAY BY PLAY 19<br />

Headlines you’ve missed that I will miss<br />


<strong>by</strong> Mike<br />

Ashley<br />


I have been remiss in not<br />

mentioning the passing of<br />

the Weekly World News, a longtime<br />

staple of the grocery-store checkout<br />

experience.<br />

The WWN printed its last issue<br />

in late August (though it’ll continue<br />

online, but that doesn’t help me while I’m on line at the grocery<br />

store). And I would have brought this up sooner but I was temporarily<br />

kidnapped <strong>by</strong> aliens who looked like Bigfoot but gave me a wondrous<br />

diet plan imparted to them four years ago <strong>by</strong> Elvis, who is alive and well,<br />

and living in Tazewell.<br />

I already miss the WWN, if for no other reason than I can only take so<br />

many checkout publications with Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears and<br />

Paris Hilton on the cover. Them, I’ve heard enough from. Give me more<br />

Loch Ness Monster stories or tales of bat-boys or half-humans or enchiladas<br />

that look like The Pope. Come to think of it, I had a burrito at El<br />

Rodeo last week that looked just like The Pope’s hat.<br />

Fortunately, I had been looking ahead to this sad time in the Fourth Estate<br />

when the WWN was snatched away from us. See, I collect headlines<br />

and story ideas from many publications because I never know when the<br />

<strong>Play</strong> <strong>by</strong> <strong>Play</strong> <strong>October</strong> deadline is gonna sneak up on me and I can’t write<br />

another word about Barry Bonds or Michael Vick or Bill Belichick or<br />

Tim Donaghy.<br />

So I reached into that musty desk drawer this week and unearthed<br />

some gems I had been saving from all over, and some of them even have<br />

something to do with sports. Let’s go chronologically and add a WWN<br />

headline:<br />

Schools <strong>No</strong>t For Swingers Anymore<br />

Schools in Broward County, Fla., have posted “<strong>No</strong> Running” signs on<br />

their playgrounds. Swings, merry-go-rounds and any other equipment<br />

with moving parts have been eliminated as a result of $561,000 paid out<br />

to settle 189 claims of playground injuries. What does that leave on the<br />

playground Grass<br />

Maybe I was a more diligent kid than those we have today but I always<br />

assumed the risk of hopping on the Jungle Gym or parking my carcass<br />

in the swing. Have you looked at kids today We need them to step away<br />

from the Happy Meal and get out and run.<br />

Ba<strong>by</strong> Born with Soccer Ball for Head<br />

Nine months after Germany hosted the World Cup, births were up 10 to<br />

<strong>15</strong> percent in the country. The event, described as a month-long party in<br />

the (now literal) Fatherland, was more than the soccer-crazed Germans<br />

could handle. “The excitement they felt during the matches seems to have<br />

lasted and been employed in other ways after the final whistles.”<br />

The German team was a surprise, reaching the semifinals before<br />

Italy gave them the boot. But not before the happy Germans got their<br />


Introducing Mountain<br />

Dew Game Fuel,<br />

the same Mountain Dew flavor<br />

with a blast of citrus cherry<br />

and 30% more caffeine for<br />

a unique and invigorating<br />

taste.<br />

<br />

corner kicks.<br />


In April, the Texas legislature planned to “make it easier for the blind to<br />

hunt with guns.” As good an idea as this sounds on paper, what it means<br />

is that Texas is easing a ban on laser-sights on high-powered rifles, “a hindrance<br />

to blind hunters, who generally ‘sight’ their targets <strong>by</strong> having a<br />

friend tell them where to aim.” There’s a Dick Cheney joke in here somewhere,<br />

but I don’t play partisan punch lines.<br />

Rep. Edmund Kuempel said this measure “will get more blind people<br />

back into the outdoors,” something I don’t have a problem with as long as<br />

they’re not pointing a gun my way.<br />

Sales of Braille orange jackets are said to be brisk in the Panhandle.<br />

Trappist Monk Little League Team Wins Local Title<br />

Cincinnati Little Leaguers have been banned from traditional baseball<br />

“chatter” unless it’s “positive in nature.”<br />

“<strong>No</strong> batter, no batter” and “Saaa-wing, batter” have been banned on<br />

the playing fields because, well, some kids can’t hit a baseball. Which is<br />

probably the reason I’m sitting here typing this instead of playing in the<br />

big leagues. I don’t blame the host of outfielders who crept in closer and<br />

the third basemen who heckled me, but apparently I could now contact<br />

my attorneys and seek legal action against them.<br />

To help, though, here’s a new politically correct cheer for Cincinnati<br />

Little Leaguers: “We want a pitcher, not an underwear-stitcher…unless of<br />

course you aspire to a career in high fashion or something like that, and<br />

then it’s just fine with us, Hey.”<br />

Dancing While Seeing Stars<br />

A Chicago woman plans to sue her dance partner for “negligent dancing.”<br />

The woman was apparently grabbed <strong>by</strong> the arms and tossed in the<br />

air <strong>by</strong> an “overenthused” co-worker at an office party, and she suffered a<br />

fractured skull.<br />

Reportedly, the man has counter-sued Arthur Murray.<br />

I knew I was in trouble the last time I was in a club and I asked a girl to<br />

dance, and she had me sign a release form.<br />

Attorneys for Britney Spears are monitoring the situation closely, too,<br />

after her negligent dancing effort on MTV’s Video Music Awards show.<br />


Virginia’s new tourism campaign, “Live Passionately,” was accompanied<br />

with a logo featuring a pair of hands with thumbs and forefingers<br />

forming a heart. Unfortunately, this sign is already known widely as the<br />

symbol representing Chicago’s notorious gang, the Gangster Disciples.<br />

To make it up to the street gang-bangers, they’ve been invited for a<br />

weekend in Williamsburg to hang with the colonials, walk the meancobblestone<br />

streets and sell Jimmy Crack Corn to the locals.<br />

I tell you, a couple of hits of Jimmy Crack Corn, and I don’t care.

20 PLAY BY PLAY OCTOBER 1, <strong>2007</strong>

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