Monday, April 19, 1999

White Tops Maroon in Spring Game ... Sort Of

Spotted 14 points, the second-team White Team held on to beat the Maroon team in Tech's annual Spring Game, 20-17.  The key play for the White squad was a halfback option pass from former high school QB Andre Kendrick to redshirt freshman receiver Terrell Parham (dubbed "Terrible Pariah" by the Richmond Times-Dispatch.  The RT-D appeared to be having fits with its spell-checker, which also dubbed Tech's opponents "Teat's opponents."  See the link below).  The play came after backup defensive end Derrius Monroe sacked Michael Vick, who coughed up a strange fumble/interception that was picked off by the White team.

The game was the usual Chinese fire drill of substitutions, making it difficult for either side to develop any consistency.  There were a number of players who stood out, anyway, and I'll have all the details in a Spring Game report, which I'll post late Monday night for your Tuesday morning consumption.  Sorry I don't have it yet, but baby HokieCentral is just way too cute, and I spent Sunday playing with him after not seeing much of him Friday or Saturday.  Plus, I'm waiting for Vip to send me his depth chart...

The Tech Athletic Department somehow pegged attendance at the seemingly arbitrary number of 11,125 - I'm guessing that's how many roster cards they passed out, or something like that, because I think there were somewhere between 15,000-20,000 fans there.  In any event, there were lots more fans there than usual at this historically water-logged event.

The weather was passable - partly sunny, about 55 degrees, but windy as all heck.  My face is beet red from a combination of sun and wind that was pretty severe to be exposed to all day long.

The HokieCentral tailgate went well.  I think we had about 50-100 people there, and the tent managed to not blow away, although the wind was too strong to hang my HokieCentral banner.  Thanks to everyone who helped out, and the highlight for me was being presented with a framed version of the March 12th "Happy Birthday, HokieCentral" newspaper ad that included a list of contributors to the ad.  Thanks, guys, and I'll hang onto it forever.

There was $230 left over from the ad money after the bill was paid, and that was contributed to the VT Athletic Fund in the name of HokieCentral and its many contributors.  Also, I brought my 1995 Marcus Parker jersey and auctioned it off for over $100 (sorry, Arizona Hokie, you didn't get it), half of which will also go to the VTAF.  So it was a good day for HokieCentral and the VTAF.

As I said, I'll return late Monday night with a Spring Game report.  Until then, here are links to newspaper articles:

Vick finally gets chance to show off - Randy King, Roanoke Times
Spring blooms another winner in Blacksburg - Jack Bogaczyk, Roanoke Times
Vick quick to learn in first live game as QB - Jeff White, Richmond Times-Dispatch
Vick makes his debut -

I thought we received excellent coverage of our Spring Game from the print media in the state.  I bought a copy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch (yes, you can get it here in Radford), and Tech had a full-blown three column article from Jeff White, including an AP photo of Michael Vick, whereas UVa had a little five-inch report on their Spring Game.

Likewise, in the Roanoke Times, their UVa "Spring Game report" was really an article about Patrick Henry (Roanoke) grad Shannon Taylor, with a few spring game notes thrown in at the end.  When you throw in the fact that Jack Bogaczyk's column on Sunday was a very positive piece on Tech's Spring Game and future prospects, I think it's safe to say that the Hokies received better coverage from the RT and the RT-D than UVa by far.

As a sidebar, the Roanoke Times had four - FOUR - NASCAR articles written by Dustin Long in Sunday's paper.  Either somebody with the initials DL can type really fast, or he's got voice recognition software.


Friday Night at Greg Roberts Sports Club

The gathering at Boomer's / Greg Roberts Sports Club on Friday night was well-attended.   Although not jam-packed, it was full to capacity.  The featured speakers were Voice of the Hokies Bill Roth, who has lost about 50 pounds (hey, Bill, I know where about 15 of them went, if you ever want them back), plus defensive line coach Charlie Wiles and defensive coordinator Bud Foster.

The event was fun, but there wasn't really a lot of new information doled out, so nothing new and hot to report there.  I can think of three tidbits off the top of my head:

  • former tight end and current offensive tackle James Lomax, who has been touch and go with the football team, is currently not with the team
  • new basketball coach Ricky Stokes has been arriving at 6:00 a.m. workouts and running with the basketball team
  • they were handing out this year's football posters featuring the 1999 seniors, and the Boston College game, which has been slated for Friday, November 26th on CBS, was listed as "November 26 or 27" on the poster.   Look for CBS to back out of their commitment to show the game, and don't be surprised when CBS doesn't show a single Tech game in 1999, for the second year in a row.   Hey, we wouldn't want to miss that exciting Penn State / Rutgers clash, would we?

It was the first time I had ever seen Coach Wiles speak, and he's a blast.  Very excited, and very much a "football guy."  Bud Foster was his usual self.  His topic was the offense, and he was characteristically effusive in his praise of Michael Vick (Bud is a big Mike Vick fan).

As the night wore on, other Tech coaches who were not scheduled to speak filed in, and Greg put them on the microphone.  Bryan Stinespring spoke, as did new defensive backs coach Lorenzo Ward, who is, shall we say, a character.   If you ever get a chance to see "Whammy" Ward speak, be there.

Danny Pearman was there, as well, and the fact that the very busy Tech coaching staff showed up at Boomer's when they weren't scheduled to speaks volumes about the commitment of this staff to connect with the Tech fans and promote the Tech program.  This is a great bunch of guys that we're extremely lucky to have coaching for us.


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