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Greetings from The Booth!
I did a little double duty Saturday at Shenandoah as we now have a little football-basketball overlap for a couple of weeks. First, the football. The Hornets assured themselves of a winning record with a 35-16 win over Apprentice in a game that went as expected and was a microcosm of the Builders’ season. Apprentice, as they had done most of the season, hung in with their opposition, but costly mistakes at the absolute wrong time did them in. Don’t get me wrong, SU played well, rolling up 474 total yards and led 21-0 , but then seemed to lose interest for a while, before pulling away. At 6-3, the Hornets now have a chance to finish 7-3 if they can beat ODAC Champs Washington & Lee on Saturday at home. More on that in a bit.
After the football game, which I think might be still going on, I made the short walk across the Buzzy Plaza to the Wilkins Center to do the public address duties for SU Women’s Basketball. The ladies were impressive in their 2021-22 season debut, routing Goucher 75-43, with 13 of the 14 Hornets who played scoring at least one point. In addition to a very deep bench, SU boasts one of the most exciting players in the ODAC in senior Sierra St. Cyr, who led the “good gals in white” with 13 points. Please get out to a game or two and cheer them on this season.
Back to football. With the ODAC title wrapped up, one would think that W&L might take it easy Saturday and focus on their NCAA tournament game the following week. My broadcast partner, DeShon Foxx, who was once the passing game coordinator for the Lexington school, assures me that will not be the case. The Generals want the outright title, and with a loss to SU Saturday combined with a Randolph-Macon win against Hampden-Sydney in “The Game,” both W&L and RMC would finish with identical 5-1 ODAC records. The Generals would still be the league representative in the NCAA, but would be called “co-champs.”
To win Saturday, the Hornets will have to stop the Generals’ running attack, led by Josh Breece, who is finally a senior. It seems like the talented running back from Lorton, Va., has been at W&L for 10 years, and it will be a tough order to stop him. Still, W&L has looked human this year, and if not for a last second miracle against HSC and a comeback win at home last week against Ferrum, the Generals would be watching Randolph-Macon celebrate a league championship. The Hornets probably need to play just a little better than they did against the Builders, but there’s every reason to think they can beat W&L if they bring their “A” game to Shentel on Senior Day.
Senior Day will be an emotional one for a number of Hornets who will put the uniform on for the last time. Bonds have been formed on the gridiron that will last well beyond football for these SU seniors, who will move on to the game of life once the clock reads zero late Saturday afternoon. The task at hand will be to keep the emotions at bay during the game, and focus on beating the Generals. A win for Shenandoah would mean a 7-3 season, the best since the NCAA playoff year of 2004. What a way to say goodbye!
Don’t forget to catch the buzz Saturday starting at 12:30 with the Hornet pre-game show. Until then, thank you seniors and…GO HORNETS!
SU Update, Nats Break Losing Skid, Caps-Flyers Tonight
On the Shenandoah University sports scene, Field Hockey hosts Bridgewater tonight in a quarterfinal matchup of the ODAC Tournament. The 6-3 Hornets are the 4-seed, while the Eagles are the 5-seed. Game time is 7pm on the Sprint Field of Shentel Stadium.
The Washington Nationals activated several key players last night, and broke a 5-game losing skid in a 5-2 win over St. Louis. Newcomers Kyle Schwarber and Josh Bell returned to the Nats’ lineup and combined for 3 hits, while Juan Soto went 3-for-4 with an RBI. Eric Fedde pitched 4 and two-thirds innings for the Nationals before giving way to a solid bullpen. The Nats and Cardinals play again tonight, starting at 7:15 on Sports Radio 1450.
And, the Capitals host the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. the Caps are deadlocked with the New York Islanders atop the NHL’s Eastern Division at 27-11-4. The Flyers are 14 points behind at 19-16-6. Air time is 6:45 on The River 95-3.