Well, here we are. The longest day of the year, June 21, has just past and the days will gradually get shorter until December 21, when the tilt of the Earth at 21-degrees (while on the other side of the sun) will account for the shortest day of the year before they start getting longer again.

And, speaking of December, it’s time to make my first announcement that Christmas is only 6 months down the road. I’m a firm believer that if you start your holiday shopping now, you’ll be much more relaxed when the end of October arrives and you have the luxury of sitting back until December 25 while enjoying your Christmas tree, holiday music, light displays and religious festivities. I typically would also include a comment about enjoying a goblet of St. Remy VSOP French brandy with The Chief, but that’s as much a given in winter as Santa Claus himself. (Chief’s Note: Amen brother.)

We’re following that model here at corporate headquarters. The interns have already started planning out our lobby decorations, tree ornaments and holiday music. The next big project will be deciding on The Chief’s present, which over the years has covered the gamut of everything. from a Chia Chief grow shrub, to a Perfect Polly plastic talking bird, to his custom executive bidet with wifi music and pushbutton selector. It seems like we’re always dealing with a present for the ole boy, considering his birthday was the second week It sort of coincides with that crazy 21-degree tilt of the Earth shakeup that comes every year in June and December to confuse everyone on why it’s getting dark so early.

Unfortunately, our last column’s announcement of construction of an in-ground lap pool for The Chief’s knee rehab went kerplop shortly after digging began and we realized there’s a reason to call Miss Utility. The interns, never taking NO on a gift for The Chief, We realized elbow bending at the new Star Saloon was way more popular than swimming for our leader. Plus, the staff bought a blow-up pool at Wal-Mart to make The Chief’s paradise in the sun look legit—you know, one of those pools that show 8 people swimming on the box, but would actually only fit two in the water.

That being said, new folding chairs allow everyone to lounge poolside with their feet in the water, The Chief gets a prime spot under a fake palm tree to remind him of that shady motel in Ft. Myers, and the interns are on cloud-9 after I sprung for new swimsuits and instigated an evening happy hour. You can’t say enough about Margueritta Mondays and Tequila Thursdays after a 90-degree workday.

Yes, you always learn something when you read this column.

Now, it’s time to visit local sports news in order to acknowledge “Big-11” All-State selections, provide upcoming home dates for the Salem Red Sox, give plenty of advance notice of Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs ice hockey and a preview of a couple upcoming sports meetings.

In an ongoing tradition of this column, we want to honor our “Big-11” VHSL All-State selections in recent spring sports.

Class-2 Girls All-State Soccer First Team:

Giuliana Stanley, Rhyan Harris, Megan Pomerleau (Glenvar).

Class-2 Girls Coach of the Year: Kyleigh Drew (Glenvar).

Class-2 Boys All-State Soccer First Team:

Riley Geddes, Colin Clapper, Maddox Fisher (Glenvar).

Class-2 Boys All-State Soccer Second Team:

Jackson Shepard, Zach Curfiss (Glenvar).

Class-3 Boys All-State Soccer First Team:

Blake Bowles, Seth Poulsen, Jaden Iademarco (Cave Spring).

Class-3 Boys All-State Soccer Second Team:

Seth Fleshman, Aiden Likens (Cave Spring); Landon Niday (William Byrd); Zach Ruhlman (Lord Botetourt).

Class-3 Girls All-State Soccer First Team:

Paige Sanchez, Mary Haynes (Hidden Valley); Emma Jones (Northside); Ava Brumfield (Lord Botetourt).

Class-3 Girls All-State Soccer Second Team:

Emma Rice (Lord Botetourt); Maebel Blandford (Hidden Valley).

Class-3 Girls All-State Softball Second Team:

Kylie Cundiff, Ella Bishop (Cave Spring); Maddy Tuck (William Byrd).

Class-4 Girls All-State Soccer Second Team:

Annie Bond, Audrey Hayes, Allison Kessell (Salem).

Hunter King (Salem).

Class-4 Boys All-State Lacrosse First Team:

Jake Massey, Will Hicks (Salem)

Class-4 Boys All-State Lacrosse Second Team: Tanner Dallas (Salem).

Class-5 Boys All-State Lacrosse Second Team:

Walker Wilkinson (Patrick Henry).

The Salem Red Sox continue their run in the Carolina League after a near-miss in the league’s first-half championship, and while the team gives way to the Salem Fair the first part of July, nine other home dates highlight the month. July 12 -17 has Kannapolis providing the opposition, with Wednesday, July 13 set for a 1:05 matinee first pitch. July 22-24 brings a weekend 3-game set with Lynchburg.

The dog days of summer may be upon us, but we’re just over three months away until the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs hit the ice for their 2022-23 campaign. The Dawgs great run to the SPHL President’s Cup final in April is no better reason to line up tickets for the upcoming season.

A pair of local sports groups are on the horizon for an exciting night. The Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame has moved its annual banquet and induction ceremony to Sunday, July 31 at the Salem Civic Center. Five area baseball players and contributors have been selected for induction at the 30th The Class of 2022 includes Eric Altizer, Ryan Gilleland, Tyler Lumsden, Keith Mayhew and Doug Pence. In addition, Renee “Butch” Craft will receive the Wayne LaPierre, Sr. Baseball Community Service Award. For information on tickets, tables or ads in the program please contact Gary Walthall at 540-427-1977.

The Roanoke Valley Sports Club moves it monthly meeting to Thursday, July 21 at the Salem Civic Center where a group of outstanding high school coaches from the area will talk about the upcoming season. Always one of the most popular nights, the evening will also include an appearance by retired high school sports writer Robert Anderson. The night begins with a 5:45 social, followed by dinner and the program. Contact the club’s website at www.roanokevalleysportsclub.com for more information andvto make required reservations.

That’s a wrap and I just saw The Chief in his snorkel and swim flippers. Until next time may your sunscreen be like a Hollywood tan.

Wild Bill

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