SABF announces selections for the Sports Hall of Fame

The Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival announced two selections for the Apple Blossom Sports Hall of Fame, Chris Graber and Jimmy Omps.

Both were selected for their leadership dedication, passion, and contributions to youth and sports throughout the region and beyond.

Graber graduated from Handley in 1975 after a decorated athletic career.

She became the school’s first female state champion after winning the girls title her senior year

She went on to play tennis collegiately at Radford.

Then she began coaching and led Radford High School to state championships in girls basketball and girls tennis.

Graber later became the first female athletic director in Rockingham and Frederick counties.

Another Handley Alum, Jimmy Omps graduated in 1953 and then began his long career at the school in 1959 after attending college, a brief stint teaching in West Virginia, and time in the National Guard.

At Handley he served as a basketball coach, Athletic Director, Director of Student Activities and much more.

He was the first person selected for the school’s hall of fame as an athlete and coach.

Graber and Omps will be inducted as the 4th Hall of Fame class during the Sports Breakfast.

To view the festival’s announcement, click here.

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

The Bloom and Sports

In the latest SDPC, Randy Woodward and Scott Snapp talk about the relationship of sports to the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival. This year, the first-ever class of the Apple Blossom Sports Hall Of Fame will be inducted, and we also talk about this year’s Sports Marshal, Joe Theismann. Happy Bloom from The Sports Dogs!

Breakfast With Joe

SU field oversight
SU field oversight
Winchester Printers

Greetings From The Booth!

The Booth this week is festooned in pink and green bunting for the 94th Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, and although this year’s Bloom is scaled down due to COVID restrictions, the spirit of the Festival is hardly dampened, as folks gussy up their property and proudly hang their Apple Blossom flags and dress up in pink and green regalia.

Sports is an integral part of the Bloom, and certainly one of the staple events of the SABF is the Sports Breakfast, started in 1965 by Russ Potts and Dick Kern. Those two, along with Wendell Dick, Walter Barr, Ken Mease, and Tommy Dixon, will be inducted as the first honorees in the Apple Blossom Sports Hall Of Fame. What an inaugural class!

The Sports always features a “Sports Marshal” who speaks to the assembled crowd. This year, our Sports Marshal is the one and only Joe Theismann. I won’t say Joe likes to talk, but they may have to put him on the clock at the Sports Breakfast. If you’re going, be ready for some great stories!

Joe was, of course, the Washington Redskins’ quarterback from 1974-1985, when his career ended after a Lawrence Taylor sack on Monday Night Football. Since then, Theismann has done everything from broadcasting to running restaurants, and has been successful at them all.

I could list Joe’s stats and football accomplishments , including the Super Bowl appearances, but you can look those up. The one thing that, to me, says everything you need to know about Joe Theismann was his willingness to return punts in 1974. That year, Washington was an “I Like Sonny” and “I Like Billy” town, with Sonny Jurgensen and Billy Kilmer alternating time at QB. The two were friends and drinking buddies, and Joe was a third wheel, with almost no hope of seeing the field. So Theismann, trying to do anything to help the ‘Skins win, and get the attention of head coach George Allen, volunteered to return punts, and did it well.

Joe’s day would eventually come, and under Joe Gibbs, got his ring. In ’74, he could have sulked on the bench, demanded a trade, any number of things that would have been a distraction to his team. Instead, he found a way to contribute, and there’s a lesson to be learned in that.

There are many that think of Joe Theismann as a “me” guy. A look back at 1974 would show you someone different.

Enjoy The Bloom, and until the next visit from the Booth…GO HORNETS!