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Today's News

  • 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.

  • Safety switch

     

    When Beth Bays took a hunter safety course earlier this fall, she came away from the training feeling less than thrilled.

    "I wasn't impressed with the information," said the Huddleston resident.  "I was disappointed in the curriculum."

    The course Bays took is a relatively new one.  Just a few years ago, the mandatory training shifted from a course mandating 10 hours of class time to one that had the student do some preparatory work at home prior to a six-hour classroom session.

  • Girls rule!

     

    It was all you might expect it to be.

    There was no winner.  Times were not kept.  All the entrants wore the same bib number.  There was no team champion.

    And they had a ball.

    The Girls on the Run Celebration 5K took place at Sweet Briar College this past Saturday.  A total of 495 young ladies, assisted by 125 coaches and cheered on by hundreds of family and friends, successfully navigated the course at the Amherst County school.