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Today's News

  • Festival of Trees is the biggest yet

        This year’s Festival of Trees has brightened the Bedford Welcome Center with 26 decorated Christmas trees.

        “This is the most we’ve had out of all the five years we’ve been doing this,” said Sue Trussell, whose duties include managing the Welcome Center’s events calendar.

  • Girls basketball: Jefferson Forest 38, Staunton River 28

     

    What's the opposite of sibling rivalry?

    Whatever it's called, it was on display Monday night as a pair of Jefferson Forest sisters led the Lady Cavs to victory in their opening game of the season.

    Senior Amber Evans and her younger sis, sophomore Ashley, paced the Lady Cavs to a 38-28 win over visiting Staunton River.

    The game was all you might expect of the first game of the season:  a mixed bag of sharp plays, rusty shooting players trying to get comfortable with new teammates.

  • A new approach

     

    Surprises are rarely neutral:  They can be good or they can be bad.

    For Steve Mills, Jefferson Forest's new head coach of the girls team, his early-season surprises clearly fall in the latter category.

    Mills found out early in his tenure that he would begin his inaugural campaign absent two of the team's best players from last year.  Guards Cassidy Ratliff and Katie Cousins have opted not to play roundball this season.  Instead, the duo will focus on soccer, a sport in which they have proven acumen.

  • Sister act

     

    Teams should be family.

    In the case of the Staunton River Lady Eagles, that is a literal truism.

    If the Lady Eagles are going to make much of a mark on the hardwoods this season, they'll likely be led to do so by two pairs of sisters.

    The Cawley and Stephens sisters should bring that sense of family to the team.

    Britney and Whitney Cawley are twin sisters and are both seniors.  Sydney Stephens is a senior who will be joined by junior sis Asia.

  • What'll it be, Ladies?

     

    Liberty's Seminole foes shall be challenged this year to keep up with the Joneses.

    That would be Mikalah Jones, the Lady Minutemen's preseason candidate for Seminole Player of the Year consideration.

    That would also be Mike Jones, the Liberty head coach, who also happens to be Mikalah's father.

    The good news is Jones has nearly everyone back from last year's team, which finished 12-9 overall (5-7 in the Seminole).  The only one not returning is Lauren Morgan, who is focusing on volleyball.

  • No shortage of talent; just short

     

    They sure don't grow 'em big in southern Bedford County.

    At least when it comes to boys basketball.

    The Golden Eagles open this year's campaign with a roster that has only two players measuring out at over six feet in height.

    Heck, even the girls' team has a taller player.

  • Senior citizens

     

    With age comes wisdom, says the adage.

    New Jefferson Forest Head Coach Paul Redgate has to hope that along with that wisdom comes a propensity to win.

    Redgate switched from coaching the JF girls (which he'd done the previous five seasons) to taking the reins of the lads' team when Paul Smith stepped down following last year's campaign.

    Redgate likely didn't realize he'd have such a senior-laden crew this season.  Of the 14 guys on the roster, 10 are seniors.

  • Liberty boys basketball preview

     

    Who will lead this team? 

    That may well be the biggest question for a Liberty boys team which lost last year's leadership to graduation, including Adam McKinney, Ryan Hensley and Tre'von Lightfoot.

    The team will also deal with the fact that it is laden with five new faces, including a trio of transfers.

  • Sports commentary: The Army Team

     

    Go Army!  Beat Navy!

    Next weekend, I'll get to see if yet another of my accursed streaks might come to an end.

    In case you're keeping score at home, my favorite teams have endured the following strings of bad luck:

    -Minnesota Golden Gopher football – Last won the national title in 1960.

    -Buffalo Bills – Nary a Super Bowl win in the team's history.

    -Chicago Cubs – 106 years since they last won a World Series.

    Added to this ignominy are these nuggets:

  • Is hunter training robust enough?

     

    The undisputed goal for hunting safety is zero.

    Anyone associated with the sport wants zero incidents and zero hunting-related fatalities.

    Of course, such a number will likely always be aspirational.  So the realistic goal is to keep the number of incidents and deaths to as low a number as is reasonably possible.

    A cursory glance at the chart below shows that, by and large, Virginia has a notably low rate of hunting incidents.