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Thanks for joining us! We write about sports, food, life and anything else interesting here in Ashburn and Loudoun County, all while cramming as many features into the site as possible.

Our staff consists of one old man and a dog named Maggie The WonderBeagle. Want to know more? Click on the icon below:

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College Notebook: Bryant Pushes UVa In Men's Lacrosse

One of Virginia's toughest challenges in the NCAA men's lacrosse tournament came in a first-round match-up with Bryant, where the score was 10-10 as late as the fourth quarter before the Cavaliers prevailed 13-11.

UVa coach Lars Tiffany was quick to praise his Bryant counterpart Mike Pressler, a 1982 graduate of Washington and Lee, where he was a four-year starter in football and lacrosse

Pressler later was the head coach at Ohio Wesleyan for five seasons before serving for 16 seasons as the head coach at Duke, where he was 153-82 and led the Blue Devils to three ACC titles and 10 NCAA bids.

"The competition in Division I lacrosse when you get to the month of May is intense," Tiffany said. "Bryant’s effort today did not surprise me at all.

"Having coached against Mike Pressler and the Bulldogs during the years we had together, we fully knew what to expect and that is a tenacious team that was going to be all over the contested groundballs."

Clearly, Bryant had a chance.

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In 100 Days, You Can Watch Hokies' 1st Game Against UNC

Seems like since the mask mandates in Virginia were dropped a week and a half ago, I’m finding more and more experiences closer to the normal ones I enjoyed every day before words like pandemic and COVID became mainstays of everyone’s vocabulary.

One simple pleasure always occurred around Memorial Day. While I follow all sports, I’m first and foremost a football guy. I played it as a kid, I understand it, and I look forward to football season every year. Doesn’t mean I don’t care about the Nationals, Capitals, basketball or racing, but if I can only watch one sport, football is going to be the pick.

My wife has even asked many times over our 40-year marriage how many days there were until football season, because she knows the odds of me going anywhere on a Saturday or Sunday is pretty close to zero. I’m going to be parked back in my office, where I have a setup of more television screens than any sane man would have, and I watch every game I can. Since there are snacks, Maggie the WonderBeagle joins me, usually sleeping on my lap.

So every Memorial Day, to be prepared for such a question, I pull out a spreadsheet that is designed to provide an answer. It has three columns, and you can see it in the upper right part of this post. It tracks six events that are important to me: The first NFL exhibition game (the Hall Of Fame Game), the first NFL regular-season game, the first college football game, the first Virginia Tech game and the first WFT exhibition and regular-season games.

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At Least The Orioles Have John Means and Trey Mancini...

April sure was fun.

Watching the Orioles play semi-competitive baseball through the first few weeks of the season was a blast. It was fleeting — anyone following the team closely knew that the organization simply doesn’t have the talent and depth to even finish the regular season around the .500 mark.

What we were seeing was a mirage. So as the Orioles freefall — the club is 2-13 since May 7 — towards irrelevance for the remainder of the season, O’s games are becoming less and less enjoyable to watch.

But not all is lost for the upcoming summer. I’ll continue to monitor the progress of the Orioles’ younger players and minor league prospects and if we’re lucky, that process will get really fun towards the end of the season.

Until then, I’m doing my best not to lose sight of what we’re seeing from the Orioles two best players right now — starter John Means and first baseman Trey Mancini.

Even if Mancini weren’t returning from colon cancer, which he is, his 2021 performance would be more than admirable. After a slow start to the season, Mancini is slashing .280/.352/.520 for an OPS of .872. Mancini has already hit 10 home runs and driven in 41 runs, an American League high as of May 24.

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I'd Be Willing To Bet Juan Soto Will Never Do THAT Again

A few items from the weekend…

There’s never been much doubt about Juan Soto’s greatness as a baseball player, but yesterday he did something that I found impressive and further convinced me he will one day finish his career – barring injury – as one of the best of all time.

I’m not talking about the boneheaded play he made, standing at home plate staring up at a towering foul ball he had just hit as if it were a UFO getting ready to land on South Capital Street. He thought it was going to end up in the stands, and when the wind blew it back into the field of play, the surprised Soto then took off for first, was thrown out, and a run that would have scored had he run from the first second he made contact, ended up not being added to the Nats run total.

But while social media was blistering him for his mistake (I even said it was a Bryce Harper moment on Twitter), I couldn’t help but notice Soto’s reaction to the play. No coach could have beat up on Soto more than Soto was beating himself up. He was angry and disappointed with himself, and it was not a simple “well, crap” kind of moment. It went on for a while, and a coach stopped and told him to let it go and make it a learning experience.

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Wizards Survive the Play-In Round, Prepare for the 76ers

Usually when you win the No. 1 seed, your opening-round opponent should be an easy matchup.

That may not be the case for the Philadelphia 76ers Sunday when they face Washington, as the Wizards have some pieces that could make this series more interesting than most No. 1 vs. No. 8 matchups. Sure, the Wizards lost convincingly to the Boston Celtics Tuesday night, and the Philadelphia 76ers are better than the Celtics. However, they also blew out the Indiana Pacers on Thursday to advance to this round.

Recap of Previous Action

Neither of those outcomes should’ve been incredibly surprising. Three-level scoring forwards who can also create their own shots and move their feet always give the Wizards trouble. They had no answer on defense for Jayson Tatum, which resulted in him scoring 50 points against them. They also don’t have anyone who’s particularly equipped to contain as dynamic of a point guard as Kemba Walker, who knocked down six three-point shots and scored 29 points.

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I Dare Not Even Think This, But Holy Crap....

If you’ve been a Hokie fan for over 50 years like I have, you know the drill.

We all carry it like the 1.500-pound gorilla on our back it is: Virginia Tech has never won a national championship in any NCAA team sport. In fact, I can only think of two instances where the possibility even crossed my mind.

One was a warm September afternoon in Blacksburg where a redshirt freshman name Michael Vick flicked a ball 70 yards on a line for a touchdown, then came back a few minutes later and ran 60 yards up the middle for another score.

I eloquently turned to my wife and said “holy crap, this is the guy we’ve waited our whole lives for. Maybe he can get us over the top.”

He came close on another warm night in New Orleans, but didn’t. Since then, I haven’t thought there was a serious possibility of it happening again.

Well, until tonight.

I was watching the Virginia Tech women’s softball team take on Brigham Young in Tempe, AZ, much as I do every Hokie team that makes it to the postseason. But for the second time in my life, I uttered another “holy crap” and tried to suppress my imagination.

They’re that good, folks. They could win it all.

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Recent Comments
Chip Grubb

AWESOME COLUMN

I've been following this team all season, and as a Hokie fan, you never want to get your hopes up, but you make great points. Ya ... Read More
Sunday, 23 May 2021 12:18
Dave Scarangella

Thanks!

Seems like half the time, the team that wins a title isn't necessarily the one with the most talent, it's the one that gets hot a... Read More
Sunday, 23 May 2021 12:28
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Strasburg Re-Enters Rotation, Fedde Exits – Or Does He?

Stephen Strasburg will finally return from the IL tomorrow.

We’ve long assumed that once that happened, Erick Fedde would be removed from the rotation, and at the moment he will be, since he was placed on the IL Wednesday.

But does that mean his role in the starting rotation is gone?

Fedde has seemingly been destined for the bullpen for the last two years, but there’s always been something – usually an injury to someone above him – that’s kept him in the rotation. He’s been viewed as a sufficient Band-Aid, but one who had a 50-50 chance to pan out long term, despite being a former first-round draft selection.

This year has been different, though. Sure, an injury and an illness are what’s given him the initial opportunity, but he’s done something with it this time.

His ERA, which sits at 4.35 through eight starts, is very similar to where it’s been for the past few seasons. The difference, however, is his dominance from hitter to hitter. The batting average he has surrendered (.217) is 52 points lower than his career average, and his strikeout rate has nearly doubled compared to 2019 and 2020.

Fedde has generally been decent in terms of run prevention, but he often left everyone sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting for an implosion. That fear for the worst has virtually disappeared this season.

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Gill Finding Success Coming Off The Bench For NBA Wizards

Anthony Gill, who transferred from South Carolina to Virginia before there was a transfer portal, scored in double figures twice in a three-game span for the Washington Wizards.

This has been the first NBA experience for Gill, who played for Khimki in the Russian-based VTB League before signing with the Wizards in November.

Much of Gill's playing time comes when he is on the floor with other reserves who have been dubbed the "Trenches."

A personal memory occurred in 2016, when Virginia and Clemson met for a rare off-campus game in Greenville, S.C., where the Cavaliers won 64-57. On the way out of the arena, I came across Gill and complimented him for his season-long successes in winning the opening tap.

As far as I know, nobody keeps records on game-opening tips or tip-offs.

"Thank you for noticing," responded an appreciative Gill, who couldn't have been any taller than his listed 6-8 and might have been a touch smaller.

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Things Won't Be The Same Without Ryan Kerrigan

My NFL fandom hasn't consisted of much success.

From the days I could comprehend the sport, I was a Washington Redskins fan. Everyone on my dad’s side of the family was a Redskins fan and my dad and I were the two strongest fans in the family. We would watch every game, follow the team through the offseason and when we could, we’d make the trek to Fedex Field to watch the team in person.

No, the team wasn’t very good. In fact, the Redskins made the playoffs just five times after 1994, the year I was born. I was fortunate enough to get to see one of those games in person — a 27-13 Wild Card round win vs. the Lions in 1999.

Despite all the losing — and there was a lot of it — I miss it deeply. Things just aren’t the same anymore. And when it came to light that longtime Redskin Ryan Kerrigan was signing with the Philadelphia Eagles for the 2021 season, that felt like the nail in the coffin.

Kerrigan was one of my last deep connections to the franchise. Drafted in 2011, Kerrigan became one of the most feared and reliable pass rushers in the NFL. He registered 95.5 sacks in his career in Washington and from 2011 to 2020, Kerrigan missed just four games. Before 2019, Kerrigan hadn’t missed a single game in his NFL career.

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Kind Of Feels Like Deja Vu All Over Again, Doesn't It?

One year ago, we all had just watched the final episode of “The Last Dance,” a self-authored series by Michael Jordan on Michael Jordan to show how great Michael Jordan was and that there will be no other like Michael Jordan.

It aired May 17, 2020.

None of us cared about the “I love me some me” treatment Jordan gave himself. It was sports. We had something to tweet about besides a strange disease we didn’t understand and feared. It almost felt like, well, fun.

Everything else was cancelled and none of us knew when we’d see live games. Even when we did, it wasn’t the same...it was more of a series of sterile exercises in front of empty arenas and stadiums. As sports fans, we were used to steak, but these games, played at odd times of the year that did not coincide with their normal places on the calendar, were more like rice cakes.

We were one miserable lot.

Looking back at the baggage created over the past year serves no useful purpose, but I can’t help but be struck by the contrasts this week. If you went on Twitter, the conversations were about whether there would even be a football season. I found myself stopping my daily walks because of apprehension over the dangers of even being outside. I went to grocery stores at 6 AM to avoid people, and wore not only a mask, but gloves.

Joy wasn’t seeing your team win. It was finding a package of Clorox Wipes still on the shelf at the store.

This week, Twitter is full of college football stories signaling not only games will be played, but will be played before full stadiums. Fans are back. There is something to look forward to, events to add to your calendars, and a feeling this will not end up being Lucy pulling the football away at the last second, like the Big Ten and several “woke” national sportswriters attempted to do last year.

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Hokies Add Another Big With Clemson Transfer Lynn Kidd

Yesterday, Virginia Tech needed an associate head coach, and they got one in Mike Jones.

Today, Virginia Tech was in need of another big man. They got that too.

After earlier in the week entering the transfer portal, 6-10, 230-pound Lynn Kidd has decided to move from Clemson to Virginia Tech. He was a true freshman last season, meaning he has four more years of eligibility.

When signing with Clemson, ESPN had him ranked as the No. 77 prospect in the country. At the time of his signing, he chose Clemson over Virginia Tech, Miami, Wake Forest, Auburn and Florida, but was seldom used last season by the Tigers.

He appeared in only 7 games last season and played only 33 minutes. He only scored 8 points and grabbed 7 rebounds.

But he was also ranked as a 4-star and at 230 pounds, has room to grow. He didn’t get much of a chance to show what he could do at Clemson, but has a big upside, as in high school he was a consistent scorer and rebounder. He may not be done growing yet either, as in researching this, I found high school stories of him as a senior at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL, listing his size at 6-9 and 220.

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Doug Doughty

Doug Doughty

He's the dean of the UVA beat, and creator of College Notebook, which has entertained fans for 45 years. Meet Doug Doughty

Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

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