News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Wednesday, March 21, 2001
by Will Stewart,

In Case You Missed It

As we wait for Spring Football to begin, here's a smattering of news items that have made their way through the pages of VT Hokie News the last few days.

Football Season Ticket Renewals Are on the Way

Virginia Tech announced last week that football season ticket order forms will be mailed "around March 22nd," or in other words, any day now. Renewals for current season ticket holders will be sent first (to retain your seats, make sure you get your order form back to Tech by May 1), then a week later, Hokie Club members who are not season ticket holders will be sent order forms.

Lastly, if any tickets remain on June 1st, the "general public" will be given the opportunity to order.

The good news is that prices hold the line from last year. The price this year is $168 for 6 home games ($28 per game), the same as last year. Tickets for last year's ill-fated BCA Bowl game against Georgia Tech were an additional $35.

Last year, the Hokies blew the doors off season ticket sales, recording a record 29,440 season tickets sold, up from 23,816 in 1999 and 18,433 in 1998. The Hokies received over 35,000 season ticket applications for the 2000 season, and it was the first time that Virginia Tech ever had to turn away fans who wanted to buy season tickets.

This year, due to the South (old scoreboard) end zone bleachers being torn down, the Hokies lose 3,268 seats, but they're getting 582 of them back by building field-level bleachers in the North (Jumbotron) end zone (all seating numbers are from TSL's Lane Stadium Expansion Page. The figure of 582 new seats is not an official figure from Tech).

Last year's official capacity for Lane Stadium was 55,075, and doing the math with the figures given in the previous paragraph results in a stadium capacity of 52,389 for the 2001 season. Official capacity for 2001 has not been announced yet by Virginia Tech, so it will be interesting to see what they say. It's worth noting that despite the announced capacity of 55,075 for last year, sold-out home games (in other words, all of them) went into the books with the attendance figure of 56,272.

The impact of the projected overall seat reduction on season ticket totals will also be interesting to see. In the event that 30,000+ season ticket requests are received again this year, VT may or may not decrease other ticket groups, such as student tickets, comp tickets, visitors tickets, etc. to make up for the loss of seats.

For VT's press release on season ticket form mailings, click here.

Meyer, Clark, Johnson Sign With Roanoke Steam

Former VT quarterback Dave Meyer has signed with the Roanoke Steam (of the arenafootball2 league) and will play as many games as his potential NFL/CFL opportunities allow.

Meyer has hopes of being drafted in the NFL draft or signing with a team as a free agent. Till then, he'll practice and play with the Steam, and the Steam have agreed to cut him loose if another opportunity at a higher level of football arrives. If Meyer is fortunate enough to get drafted or sign as a free agent, he'll be released from the Steam in Week 4.

Former VT quarterback Al Clark also returns to the Steam for this season. Clark was with them last year but left after six games.

Lastly, former VT cornerback Loren Johnson has also signed with the Steam. Johnson is currently an assistant coach at Lord Botetourt High School. He played for Frankfurt in NFL Europe last year and was recently cut from the training camp of an Arena Football League team.

The Steam's first game of the season is on April 7. For their home page, click here.

Spring Football Practice Starts Saturday

It's hard to believe, but spring football practice has arrived -- almost. This Saturday, March 24th, the Hokies kick off a 15-session regimen that includes 12 practices, 2 scrimmages, and the Spring Game on April 21st.

Tech has practices Saturday, March 24th and March 31st, plus scrimmages on Saturday, April 7th and 14th. The Hokies will practice on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the next three weeks, and just Wednesday of the last week.

It is, of course, a big spring for many players and positions. TSL will have a series of articles all during spring practices that breaks down each position and gives the outlooks and prospects.

Note: all scrimmages and practices are closed to the public! Only the Spring Game, at 2:00 pm on April 21st, is open to the public. And yes, TSL will be having the yearly TSL Spring Game tailgate ... details later.

Wrestlers Finish 23rd in NCAA's

Behind the All-American performance of Sean Gray, the Hokie wrestling team finished 23rd at the recent NCAA Championships. This follows a 19th-place finish last year, and it is the second year in a row that Gray has been All-American.

Gray, a junior, made it deeper into the championships than any other Hokie wrestler, and his matches were pretty dramatic. Seeded fourth in his weight class, he made it into the semifinals, where he faced top-seeded Doug Schwab of Iowa. Gray and Schwab had wrestled previously at the NWCA All-Star Classic on Jan. 29 in Lancaster, Pa. In that match, Gray got up on Schwab 5-1, but eventually lost 12-7.

In the rematch at the NCAA Championships, Gray again jumped out to a lead, this time at 5-2, but he was overtaken and beaten 11-9 by Schwab, who notched his 39th consecutive win with the victory.

The bad news for Gray is that he suffered a sprained MCL in the match and couldn't continue to compete. He dropped down into the consolation bracket with the loss, and then had to bow out because of the injury.

The Hokies finished in a tie for 23rd with Army. For full standings and scoring, visit the NCAA Wrestling web site.

Golf Update

After finishing first or second in all six of their fall golf tournaments, the Hokie golf team has cooled off a little but is still having a good spring, finishing fourth, seventh, and third in their first three spring tournaments. The fourth-place and seventh-place finishes dropped the Hokies' ranking in the Golfweek/Sagarin team ratings from their previous high of #12 to #24.

That was prior to Tech's third-place finish in this week's Cleveland Golf Collegiate Championship, which was shortened to one day by wind and rain. Golf rankings are updated every Friday, and the third-place finish will hopefully boost Tech's ranking a little.

The Hokies have two more spring tournaments and then the Big East Championships. Barring a major collapse, they are on course to improve drastically upon last year's season-ending ranking of 73rd.


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