Wednesday, July 16th, 1997

Beamer Goes on Sportstalk With John Hale ... and Says Nothing Important

There's a sports radio call-in show on 710 A.M. here in the New River Valley every weekday from 5:00 to 7:00. The show is called Sportstalk with John Hale, and it's fun to listen to for one main reason: it's anti-UVa and pro-Tech. That's right, you heard me - I've discovered a mainstream media outlet, albeit a small one, that likes the Hokies and dislikes the Hoos.

Mostly, that's John Hale's doing. John is a local boy - I believe he grew up in Christiansburg and then went to ETSU before returning to the NRV, although my "facts," as usual, might be a little off. So he's got a built-in anti-Wahoo bias, referring to them derisively as "Charlottesville High School."

As a sidebar (and actually, this whole piece has been a sidebar so far), I first heard Bill Roth's famous call of the Druck to Holmes TD on John's show. He put together a little audio tape that started out playing "Eye of the Tiger" from one of the Rocky movies, with an overlay of that country singer singing "I like it!" from that song, "I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!"

The music would fade into Bill calling the Druck to Holmes TD, followed by the Banks INT for a touchdown. Then John would follow that up with "Tech Triumph." Talk about chills going up your spine! John Hale would play this tape at the same time every day on his show, at one of the half-hours (either 5:30 or 6:30, I can't remember which). And every day, I would tune in at that time and get goosebumps.

So anyway, what was I talking about? Oh, yeah....

Frank Beamer did a phone interview with John yesterday, so I tuned in and caught that part of the show. As usual, Frank said a lot without saying anything, which is a talent he has. I listened to the whole interview, and here are the, uh, highlights:

  • Beamer stayed at VT when he was receiving other offers because (1) hey, it was his alma mater!; and (2) he liked the idea of being able to take a school to "the next level." I think Frank sees Virginia Tech football as a building project that is a heck of a lot of fun. Uh, up until the last year, anyway.
  • This year's "Al Clark" offense will utilize the same plays as last year's "Jim Druckenmiller" offense, but some plays will be run more often, while others will be run less often. Tech will run the option a little more and move the QB around a little more, but the basic philosophy of mixing it up and using the whole field will not change.
  • Sean Sullivan, Greg Myers, and a couple of freshman will see playing time at tight end. Myers is a 1996 recruit who is listed as a 6-2, 205 wide receiver in last year's media guide. When questioned about Robert Adams, Beamer was very vague, saying, "Robert Adams will be okay in time, he just needs to keep developing." In my opinion, it was very telling that Beamer didn't even list the former defensive lineman when talking about who would play tight end.
  • Beamer likes Steve Tate at Mike (middle linebacker), Jamel Smith at Backer (Myron Newsome's old position), and Korey Irby at Whip (Brandon Semones's old spot). Irby, as a senior, is expected to set an example for the next wave of whip linebackers. Beamer mentioned Sean Ruffing and Cory Bird as backups. Note that if Bird was part of the 1996 recruiting class and is listed as a 6-0, 185 wide receiver, so that's a switch for him. Beamer also said that redshirt sophomore Michael Hawkes will see playing time.
  • Beamer likes the schedule, noting that we've got Miami and Syracuse at home, and he thinks the key is for Al Clark to stay healthy, because "we've got a couple of redshirt freshmen behind him, there." He's being diplomatic.

So, as you can see, he didn't say anything earthshaking. But I thought you folks would appreciate it hearing what he did say.


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