Fathers And Sons

Greetings from The Booth!

A little housecleaning to start. Congrats to the James Wood High School baseball team, which fell just short of a Class 4 state title last weekend, losing to powerful Hanover 11-0 in the title game. The Colonels, who finished 22-6, simply ran into a buzzsaw, as Hanover, last year’s runners-up, were a team on a mission. When the sting of a title game loss wears off, JWHS will look back on a great accomplishment, as they were the first Colonel baseball squad to make it to the state tournament since the 1985 team.

And, congratulations to the Clarke County High School Boys soccer team who completed an undefeated season last weekend in capturing the Class 2 title with a win over Glenvar in the championship game. The Eagles ran roughshod through their regular season opponents on the way to a 23-0 record, as they brought the hardware back to Berryville. Way to go Eagles!

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and this week’s VFB is tough to write. Father-Son relationships can be complicated, especially where sports is concerned. I think a lot of fathers live vicariously through their sons’ sports accomplishments. I certainly saw some of that growing up, although I don’t think that was the case with my dad. My father had to work at a young age and didn’t really have time for organized athletics himself, but never really pressured me or my brother to play sports.

Once we decided to play, however, my dad was more apt to criticize us than give us praise. I remember the time in Little League when I couldn’t close the deal on an otherwise good pitching performance, and he gave it to me good on the way home. There was also the time he was pretty hard on me  at the only track meet he ever saw me run. That week I had come down with shin splints, and basically limped around the track in the mile run, a race I was expected to win. When an encouraging word was needed, none came.

But there was plenty of good stuff, too. My dad took me to my first major league game, between the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins at RFK Stadium. I’d never seen grass that green, or uniforms so white. There were the countless times that after long days of running a bread route for the Schmidt Baking Company, that he would throw football and teach us pass patterns, or toss us high pop ups that I thought would never come down. I don’t think my dad ever missed a Little League game. There’s the memory of my dad confronting my Midget League football coach after the season finale because I played a grand total of 26 seconds the entire season. And, it was my dad who taught me how to compile earned run and batting averages, and countless other things that solidified my love of sports.

Again, Father-Son relationships are complicated, but I choose to remember the good things as we approach Father’s Day. If your dad is still around, make sure you at least give him a phone call. Better yet, take him to a ball game.

Until the next visit from The Booth…GO DADS!




Virginia offers funding to improve farming systems

Governor Youngkin confirms in an email that Virginia is offering $214,000 in state funds to support new investments in local food and farming systems.

The funds will be shared among 11 counties and localities throughout Virginia.

The funds will support strategic investments in infrastructure that will help small scale farmers and food producers grow their operations.

Shenandoah County’s Route 11 Potato Chips will receive $25,000 to help install four oil tanks.

The tanks will be used to hold and  guarantee a supply of sunflower oil for production.

Fauquier County will receive $7,500 in funding to purchase signage and infrastructure upgrades for a Farmers Market in the county.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Hedgesville man arrested for murder of 3 coworkers

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police announced the arrest of a Hedgesville resident for the murder of 3 coworkers.

Joe Louis Esquivel faces 25 charges including 3 counts of murder in the first degree, 2 counts of attempted murder and more.

The 23 year old Esquivel was apprehended in regards to the death of 3 people at Columbia Machine Incorporated where he worked.

After putting in a full day of work Thur. June 9 Esquivel left work retrieved a weapon from his vehicle and reentered the building.

Esquivel went to the break room and opened fire then fled in his vehicle.

Maryland State Police encountered Esquivel a short time later and gunfire was exchanged.

Both a Trooper and Esquivel were struck by bullets and were transported to the hospital for treatment.

Both men survived their injuries.

Three of Esquivel’s fellow employees were pronounced dead at Columbia Machine two were injured including the Trooper.

After Authorities executed a search warrant of Esquivel’s Hedgesville home they were able to confiscate additional firearms.

Esquivel is being held without bond in Washington County Maryland as the investigation continues.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

WPD ask for identification of a thief

lorenzo wheeler homicide

The Winchester Police Department (WPD) announced the investigation of an early morning burglary and auto theft from Winchester Toyota.

Between 5:30 and 6 a.m. Sunday June 12 a 2020 Jeep Grand Cherokee and a 2017 BMW M4 were stolen from the lot.

Before the vehicles were stolen a larger individual was caught on security video inside the business.

The one on video appears to be wearing all black including black face covering possibly a ski mask.

The perpetrator may have been wearing an orange vest with black stripes.

Click here for a look at the individual.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the WPD at 540-662-4131.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.