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Saying Hello To Wilkins

2 February 2018 Views From The Booth Sports

Greetings, and welcome to The Booth!

It’s Super Bowl week, and whether or not our favorite team is in the Big Game,  it’s become a truly American holiday, as we load up on meatballs, veggies & dip, and little smokies, and enjoy not only the game itself, but the Super Bowl commercials, the halftime show, and the pre-game festivites.  By the way, halftime performer Justin Timberlake promises no wardrobe malfunction this year.

In case you can’t seem to pick a winner, The Madden video game has been simulating the Big Game for 14 years now , and amazingly has correctly predicted the winner 10 out of 14 times. This year, the Madden game has the Patriots nipping the Eagles 24-20.  (For entertainment purposes only).

And have you heard about the flu bug supposedly making it’s way through the Eagles team.  I can just see Bill Belichick sneaking through the Philadelphia training facility in a biohazard suit and a mysterious vial.  We had Spy-Gate, Deflate-Gate, and now Flu-Gate. I’m not sure these are Roman numerals, but we might want to rename this one Super Bowl CDC.

Changing gears, this past Wednesday was the unveiling of the new Wilkins Athletic & Events Center at Shenandoah University, and all i can say is WOW!  This amazing 77-thousand square foot facility is the culmination of an almost 60-year dream, and for those of us who have been around SU athletics for awhile, it was an almost surreal experience Wednesday evening.

I remember back in the day when, as part of the Hornet basketball broadcast crew, we traveled to rival Christopher Newport University and saw their state-of-the art Freeman Center. We were like Will Smith in the movie Independence Day , when he said “I got to get me one of these!”

Now we have one,  a facility that the community can be proud of. From the lighting, to the scoreboards, to the indoor track, and sound system (I’ve never sounded so good !) everything is first-rate.  I think that everyone who came out for the inaugural games on Wednesday is still picking their jaws up from the ground.

As for the basketball, a record crowd of over 1200 saw the men lose to Randolph Macon 90-56, as the Yellow Jackets pulled away in the second half.  The Hornets hung in early, as both teams tried to get used to the nuances of the Wilkins Center. The SU men did look a little tentative early-on, and I would suspect that nerves were a contributing factor.

The Hornet women took to their new digs like fish to water, as SU shot the lights out in the early moments of the game and raced to a 20-10 lead against Bridgewater. The Hornet gals would eventually hang on and beat the Eagles for only the second time in program history, and grab the very first win at Wilkins.

All-in-all, a night of celebrating this wonderful addition to not only Shenandoah University, but the entire area.  Don’t forget that the remaining games this season are free, so come on out and see the amazing and beautiful James R. Wilkins Athletic and Events Center!

That’s it from The Booth! Enjoy the BIG GAME, and until next time… GO HORNETS!



















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