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Today's Sports

  • Less than stellar - commentary

    With baseball?s All-Star game upon us, please allow me to rant a bit on how the selection of starting players takes place.

    In essence, my case is that you, the fan, should lose your right to vote.

    Look at the situation in the American League. Boston Red Sox players were in the top four in popularity at every single position. Some of this is justified. I?d certainly vote for Big Pappy and Jason Varitek.

    But, Julio Lugo?

  • DC United's Carroll hits...

    Jedd Zaring has one major goal, among others, for his annual Blue Ridge Soccer Academy summer camp. ?I like to bring in guys who can demonstrate what a good player looks like,? said the head coach of the Jefferson Forest boys? program.

    This year, the coach?s wish came through in spades with the appearance of Jeff Carroll at the camp, held last week at Sweet Briar College.

    Carroll is a member of the Major Soccer League?s DC United, one of the premier teams at the nation?s highest level of soccer.

  • A diamond is forever

    I don?t mind growing old.

    I?m just not used to it.

    ?Victor Borge, pianist (1909-2000)

    The ballplayers on the Bedford County Parks and Recreation Department?s 50-plus year-old softball team are doing what they can to avoid getting used to entering their autumn years.

    The team, which consists of 25 players, can be found smacking the ball, diving for line drives and snagging long fly balls during their games on Tuesday evenings at the county fields.

  • Summer's bummers: beach...

    While Mike and I were sitting on our balcony at Virginia Beach last week, watching the breakers and some really poorly-played volleyball, it occurred to me that time spent at the ocean brings a bumper crop o’ bummers. Since Mike was all sad about the less-than-impressive response to my plea for guest writers, once again, I am rescuing him (and me) from the resultant bad mood. Please, PLEASE help me!

  • Wanted: rec league umpires

    Wondering how you might be able to stay connected to a sport you love beyond lying on the couch while watching Baseball Night on ESPN? Feel you’re not quite ready to go all-in for beer-league softball?

    Perhaps umpiring is the ticket.

    “I would like to have more umpires,” stated Harry “H Tee” Thompson, who is in charge of athletic programming for Bedford City Parks and Recreation. “You cannot have too many of them.”

  • Commentary: Food fight

    Let’s suppose you’re a farmer, if you already aren’t.

    Let’s further suppose that you are having difficulty getting water for your farm. Because the creek that ran past your land was diverted or the water table dropped, you are not able to get that precious H2O anymore. Trucking it in is cost prohibitive.

    You are reduced to watching helplessly as your crops wither in the fields. Even your livestock are threatened.

  • Commentary: I'm not...

    Are you having as hard a time getting excited about the upcoming summer Olympics as I am? What’s worse, I doubt that when the games kick off on August 8, I will have shed my cloak of disinterest.

    If you’re in the same boat as I am, I’d like to share with you the three reasons for my Olympic-sized doldrums.

    First, there is no villain here to root against. Many of you recall the good old days of cheering against the Russians or, as they were known back then, the Soviets.

  • River alum LaBrie taken by...

    While many new college graduates are finding themselves starting out in a cubicle, a laboratory or a hospital, one local college grad will start out his new career in a place where many of us dream: third base.

    Ronnie LaBrie, a recent graduate of Lynchburg College, hopes to make his mark in the ranks of professional baseball following his being selected by the Washington Nationals in this spring's draft.

  • Future stars queue up for...

    Just because schools are out doesn't mean learning has to come to an end.

    Area youth converged on sports camps last week in an effort to fortify their knowledge, skills and abilities by picking the brains of local coaches and high school players. Baseball, basketball and soccer camps had folks hopping all week.

    One of the Minutemen coaching the lads was Aaron Lafon, Liberty's catcher. "I want to help the little kids get better and get better myself," said Lafon, himself an attendee at the same camp many years ago.

  • Forest-heavy Post 217 starts...

    You might be excused if you confuse this season's Big Island Post 217 American Legion ball club with the Jefferson Forest squad that just wrapped up its Seminole run a couple of weeks ago. Both teams feature many of the same faces. Given that the Cavs won both the District regular season and tournament titles means that's not such a bad thing. Layer in some top-notch talent from Liberty and sprinkle in some college-level players and the team looks to be a strong one.