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Greetings From The Booth!
Some sad news from The Booth to report. Former WUSA9 sportscaster Ken Mease passed away recently. He was 80, and according to family members, had been suffering from dementia. Which would certainly explain why we didn’t see Ken at this year’s Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival, where he was inducted into the SABF Sports Hall Of Fame. In addition to being a solid sportscaster on Channel 9 in DC, Mease was the longtime MC at the Apple Blossom Sports Breakfast, and was deserving of his HOF honor.
There are two kinds of Festival celebrities: those who fly or drive in, fulfill their obligations to the bare minimum, and head back out of town. I won’t name names. And there are those who fall in love with the Shenandoah Apple Blossom Festival and the Winchester area, and want to soak up all the vibe of the Bloom. Ken Mease was one of the latter. He came to embrace the Festival, and was a big part of it every year. Because of conflicting obligations, I’ve never attended a Sports Breakfast, but I had the pleasure of hearing Ken speak at some other Bloom events at which he made appearances. Over the years, he became one of us. We lift our pink and green cups to Ken Mease! He will be missed.
Changing gears, the high school football season kicked off this past Friday, with one notable exception. The Skyline Hawks were scheduled to play the Strasburg Rams in the opener for both teams. However, the game didn’t happen, because of some social media posts that threatened the safety of fans at Proctor Field in Strasburg. Details are still coming in, and local law enforcement are still investigating. Suffice it to say that officials made the right call to cancel the game, erring on the side of safety. That should always be the priority.
It’s a sad commentary that we live in an age where someone can shut down a sporting event with a negative social media post. Players on both teams had prepared all Summer (and longer) for what should have been a special night. The high school football schedule is just 10 games long, and for seniors especially, each one is precious. Now, it’s simply an unplayed game they can’t get back.
There are those who blame the worlds ills on social media. I say it’s simply a medium through which both good and evil flow. Social media has connected us in ways we would not have thought possible 40 years ago. It has also been a conduit for hate, bullying, and worse. We must all have our radar up so that our teams and fans can safely enjoy football on a Friday night.
Anything less is unacceptable.
Until the next time from the Booth…be safe, be diligent, and be true to your school!
In our latest Sports Dogs Podcast, we chat with Strasburg HS Head Football Coach Mark Roller, who is preparing his Rams for the season opener Friday night against Skyline. Roller, in his 15th season at Strasburg, talks about his returning core players, has a scouting report on the Hawks, and talks about the challenges of fathering and coaching his son, who is also the QB of the team…
It’s almost time for the Friday Night Lights to shine on our area high school football teams, and The River 95-3 and Sports Radio 1450 kick off the season August 26th as Skyline visits Strasburg. In this edition of the Sports Dogs Podcast, R-Dog chats with Head Hawk Heath Gilbert about the team, as it prepares for the Rams…