By David Gravely
Sometimes you sort of fall into things, and two weeks ago that’s
what happened to me here at The Southwest Times.
I was called to the office to talk about helping to create a
larger presence on the internet for the sports department, and since
then things have taken off. I’ll be honest with you, I was a bit
nervous at first. Could I find enough local sports to fill up the
sports page each day? Could we put together a network of sports fans
to help keep us informed about what is going on around the county?
Would people care enough about our local sports to get involved? I
say the answer to all of those questions is, without question, yes.
In case you haven’t noticed, we have committed ourselves to
providing as much local sports coverage and information as possible.
While there may be items from time to time that are national news, our
main focus will now be on Pulaski County and the surrounding areas.
We will be out and about covering recreation league sports more often.
We will work to provide more coverage of our counties middle schools,
and we will continue our efforts to provide as much coverage as
possible for all of our Cougar sports teams. In addition to covering
Virginia Tech and the occasional University of Virginia story, we will
also provide coverage of the newly forming sports teams at New River
Community College. You can expect to see items of local interest
from Radford University, along with stories to catch up with former
Pulaski County athletes who have moved on to the next level.
In short, we will endeavor to do our best to provide sports
coverage of the teams you know and support, and of the teams that your
friends and family members are involved with. While our print
edition is always going to be our primary focus, we are also currently
working on expanding our coverage with an improved online sports
section. This section will carry news, photos, schedules, scores, and
stats from local teams as they become available. The way I see it,
our kids and our friends work too hard to not receive this coverage.
We will do everything we can to provide it.
If you have a sports story that you think may be of interest, or
if you would just like to make a suggestion, feel free to email me at
[email protected]. You can also visit us on our new sport
Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/
I’ll be using this to post sports updates and photos until we can get
everything set on our new look for the actual website, so be sure to
check it out.
Turner Takes Over At Auburn
As was reported earlier this week, former Pulaski County Head football
coach Jack Turner has been tabbed as the new head coach at Auburn High
School. Turner, who resigned as the head coach of the Cougars in
2010, finished with a 42-33 overall record at Pulaski County,
including a 12-1 finish in 2008 that brought a River Ridge District
and a Region 4 title to the Cougar Den. As a life long fan of Pulaski
County sports, I can’t think of many others who have worked as hard or
shown the dedication that Jack Turner did for the Cougars as both a
player and as a coach. I wish him the best of luck in his new
position, and look forward to seeing him turn the Auburn Eagles into a
force in the Three Rivers District.
Radford University Track
Two members of the Radford University track team have ties to Pulaski
County, and they have been and continue to perform well for the
Highlanders. At the Big South Outdoor Championships, held in Myrtle
Beach recently, former Cougar standouts Nikki Roseberry and Amber
Church placed in their events. In the first round, Roseberry garnered
eighth place in the high jump with a 1.55m/5′ 01.00″ jump. Also in
the first round, Amber Church earned an 11th place finish in the 100
meter hurdles with a time of 14.84 second. Church also assisted in a
fourth place finish in the finals as a part of the womens 4 x 100
meter relay team, helping reach the fourth faster time in the history
of the program with their 48.01 second effort.
Virginia Tech Football
The 2012 Maroon-White spring football game that was scheduled for last
Saturday was cancelled due to severe weather in the area, but Head
Coach Frank Beamer was still left with a good feeling about his squad
as they continue to prepare for the upcoming season. The top
performers were recognized by the coaching staff after the event was
cancelled. The Paul Torgersen Awards, awarded for the top newcomers
during spring practice, were presented to Michael Holmes on offense
and Ronny Vandyke on defense. The Presidents Award, which is awarded
to the players who demonstrate the most outstanding leadership during
the spring workouts, were presented to Andrew Miller on the offensive
side, and Kyle Fuller on the defensive unit. The Dr. Richard Bullock
Award is presented to the players who show the most improvement during
spring workouts, and this years winners were Corey Fuller on offense
and Detrick Bonner on defense. The Frank O. Moseley Award is
presented to the players who exhibits the most hustle during the
offseason and spring workouts. This years winners were Randall Dunn
on offense and Jack Tyler on defense. The Coaches Award is given to
the players who the staff feel had an exceptional spring. This years
winners were David Wang on offense and Alonzo Tweedy on defense. The
George Preas Award is presented to the “MVP’s” of spring practice.
This years selectees were Logan Thomas on offense and Luther Maddy on
defense. The Don Williams “Team United” Award is presented to the two
players who put the team first. This years awardees are Matt Arkema
on offense and Antone Exum on defense. Finally, congratulations to
former Hokie running back David Wilson for being selected in the first
round by the New York Giants. Wilson was the 32nd overall pick in
this years draft. He is the first Hokie to be selected in the first
round since 2008, when the Houston Texans selected offensive tackle
Duane Brown with the 26th overall pick.
Anderson and Emory and Henry Softball
The Emory & Henry College Softball Team earned its first trip to the
Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament since the 2007 season, and
former Lady Cougar softball player Bethany Anderson has been an
instrumental part of the squad this year. As a freshman this season,
Anderson has stepped up to the challenge and performed well for the
Wasps. Her current batting average of .330 is the second best on the
team. She also is second best on the team in on base percentage
(.422), and is tied for second best for scoring with 21 runs scored.
She has the fourth most hits on the team at 29, while the top hitter
has 35 for the season. Bethany has the fifth most RBI’s on the team
at 15, as well as the fifth most bases reached at 31. She is tied for
the most walks this season with 12, and tied at first place for most
steal attempts and steals. Defensively, she has a .889% fielding
percentage and is tied for fifth place for most assists with 29.
The Wasps finished tied for eighth in the ODAC regular season and
earned the number eight seed via the league’s Five-Point Tiebreaker
system over Guilford College. Congratulations to both the Wasps and
Bethany Anderson on this success.