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Thanks for joining us! We write about sports, food, life and anything else interesting here in Ashburn and Loudoun County, all while cramming as many features into the site as possible.

Our staff consists of one old man and a dog named Maggie The WonderBeagle. Want to know more? Click on the icon below:

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This Seems To Be A Huge Clue About Aluma's Return

If you were wondering if Keve Aluma was coming back this season to play basketball at Virginia Tech, the Hokies might have offered a pretty big clue in its push for season ticket renewals.

Aluma back in April entered his name on the list for the 2021 NBA Draft while still maintaining his eligibility as a Hokie. He said he was exploring his options, while still leaving open the possibility of coming back to play in Blacksburg another year.

Aluma was the team’s leading scorer (15.2 points per game) and rebounder (7.9 rebounds per game) while earning second-team All-ACC honors. His return would certainly be great news for the Hokies in Coach Mike Young's third season at Virginia Tech.

There has been no definitive announcement that Aluma is definitely coming back for the 2021-2022 season, but a person who I trust (who seems to know these kinds of things in Blacksburg) told me several weeks ago he would definitely be back. That’s all well and good, but I’ve seen many a situation where someone was definitely coming back…until they weren’t.

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Have the Nationals Rediscovered the Magic?

After we’ve all experienced a global pandemic, this year is undeniably much different than 2019. However, things on the baseball diamond are beginning to look much like they did two years ago for the Washington Nationals.

Following a series-opening loss to the San Francisco Giants on June 11, the Nationals found themselves sitting nine games below .500. Stephen Strasburg was on the IL, Max Scherzer and Daniel Hudson had suffered injuries and were also heading to the IL, and the Nationals appeared to have a very difficult road ahead of them.

Miraculously, Washington won eight of its next 10 games, its starting rotation looked like one of the best in the league, and they began to add reinforcements to their roster.

Much like 2019, it’s difficult to understand exactly what sparked this turnaround, but with players suddenly firing on all cylinders, the future looks much brighter than it did less than two weeks ago.

The Pitchers Are Performing

Erick Fedde hasn’t allowed a run since Scherzer went down. In fact, dating back to mid-May, Fedde has thrown 20 consecutive scoreless innings. He’s lowered his ERA to 3.33, and it’s as low as 2.54 if you exclude his first start of the season.

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Orioles Fans Need To Be Patient For Only A Little Longer

Patience is a virtue...for a reason.

Not many people have it, and for those that do, they often can’t hold onto it for very long. Most, in fact, can only put up with something for so long before they’re ready for things to get better. 

For Baltimore Orioles fans, however, it's looking like you need to be patient for only a little while longer. The Orioles' cavalry is en route.

Baltimore fans have plenty of reasons to eschew their patience — the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016 and since 2018, when the club won an abysmal 47 games, the O’s have been one of the worst clubs in baseball. The poor hitting, revolving door in the starting rotation and consistent losing has grown tiresome.

The constant losing has led some to question the rebuild stewarded by Mike Elias. Grumblings about the future of Brandon Hyde’s managerial tenure in Baltimore are growing louder. But rather than talk about whether or not Hyde should keep his job — frankly, it doesn’t matter all that much as everyone knows Hyde won’t be the manager during this club’s potential competitive window — let me direct your attention to the Orioles’ minor league system, specifically Double-A Bowie.

Bowie is a gold mine of Orioles’ talent at the moment. Six of the O’s top 30 prospects are assigned to Bowie. The most notable among them being Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez.

It’s hard to not imagine them leading a stretch of winning baseball. Rutschman is justifying the hype this season, slashing .293/.430/.531 with 10 homers in just 40 games. Despite missing almost an entire season of minor league ball, Rutschman looks to be on track in his development.

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Who Will Replace Scott Brooks As Wizards Head Coach?

After two weeks of pondering which direction to go, the Wizards finally decided to move on from head coach Scott Brooks.

Now comes the hard part: Who do the Wizards replace him with?

At this stage, the team hasn’t offered a list of candidates to replace Brooks. My impression is that they want to undergo a thorough interview process before deciding on anyone – or even narrowing the field considerably.

When it comes to predicting who the next coach might be, all I can do is guess. So, rather than guessing, I’ll offer up what I believe to be a fairly all-inclusive list of any possibilities.

Once the team provides any clarity on who they’re most interested in, I will provide any and all updates.

Kenny Atkinson

Playing Career: 14 seasons (mostly overseas)

Coaching Career: Paris assistant (2004–06), New York Knicks assistant (2008–12), Atlanta Hawks assistant (2012–16), Brooklyn Nets head coach (2016–20), Los Angeles Clippers assistant (2020–present)

Profile: For four years, Atkinson was the head coach of the Nets. Although his win/loss record as their leader was less than desirable at face value, the roster he was working with didn’t have much talent. Player development is considered a strength for Atkinson, and it showed itself in his third season at the helm in Brooklyn, when he guided the D’Angelo Russell-led Nets to a 42–40 season and the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Currently, Atkinson is an assistant under Tyronn Lue with the Clippers. How far they go this postseason may dictate how much attention Atkinson gets. However, he’s definitely qualified. It wouldn’t hurt the Wizards’ potential pursuit of Clippers forward Paul George, either.

Prediction: Gets an interview, dark horse for the job

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You'd Be Proud, Pops. Happy Father's Day...

My Dad has been gone 15 years in August, but on this Father’s Day, I still see his presence in who I turned out to be.

I’d like to tell you we had this Ward Cleaver-like father-son relationship, but we didn’t. He only saw me play sports once in his life, never came to any events I was involved in, and pretty much viewed his role growing up as providing a roof over our head, food on the table, and making sure I went to college.

Like all Dads of that generation, he was similar to the way Brett Favre described his father the night he learned he had passed away: Never said he loved you, never gave you a lot of credit for what you did, always scoffed when you asked him for money, but was always there. We could watch entire sporting events together and never talk about anything other than "that was a great play." Same was true playing golf together. We would talk during those times without actually saying anything.

It’s a stark contrast to how I acted when I became a Dad, and I’ll be honest, there were times I struggled with that. It wasn’t until he was in his 70s he decided he wanted to be friends and we talked about this sort of thing. The more we talked, the more I understood.

Like many of us, he learned how to be a father from watching his own father, an Italian immigrant who came to America in 1917, married, had 8 children, but then lost his wife (my grandmother) when my Dad was only 18. Because of that, my grandfather was angry at life and took it out on his sons, who as soon as they could, joined the military to get away from all of that. I got to talk to my last surviving uncle last week, and at 91, he still confirms growing up in that house wasn’t a lot of fun.

But despite all that, my Dad – like every Dad whether he wants to or not – taught me how to be a father by his actions. Yeah, he talked about the Depression way too often – you learned not ask for money from him lest you wanted to hear stories of only having dirt to eat for dinner and being thankful you had even that – but there was another message he communicated I have only recently understood.

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Recent Comments
LT Banks

Another legacy moment.

Great post, Dave, and from one next gen Tony to the previous, thank you for your example. I think your Tony would be proud, he su... Read More
Sunday, 20 June 2021 22:49
Guest — Alan

"Our sires and sons"

Dave, Your comments about your dad and generational relationships are a reminder that few will remember non-historical figures (l... Read More
Wednesday, 23 June 2021 15:26

Olympic Trials Further Evidence UVA Now A National Power

The swimming Olympic trials this week in Omaha, Nebraska were further evidence that Virginia has become a national power, particularly on the women's end.

Senior Paige Madden and sophomore Kate Douglass earned sports on the 2022 U.S. Olympics team, and freshman Alex Walsh could be added at a later time. Walsh trailed Douglass by .02 seconds in the 200 individual medley.

After winning the regular-season ACC women's swimming championship, Virginia also won the NCAA championship, the first of two for the Cavaliers, who later won the Division I men's lacrosse title.

Lord Botetourt High School graduate Olivia Bray is beginning to make her mark at Texas, earning an invitation to the Olympic trials, where she landed a spot in the final heat of the 100-meter butterfly. She finished seventh in the semifinals, touching the wall with a time of 58.36 seconds.

Making the final heat was an accomplishment by itself. She had been ranked no higher than 11th going into the competition.

"It was such a blast," Bray said this week. "It was very different from 2016."

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The Time is Now for Cade Cavalli, Nationals

There might not be a hotter prospect in professional baseball right now than right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli, and it comes at a very opportune moment for himself and the Washington Nationals.

As everyone knows by now, the 22-year-old righty was Washington’s first round selection in the 2020 MLB Draft, and through seven starts in High-A Wilmington this year, he’s been nothing short of filthy.

Saturday, his dominance was on full display, as he tossed seven no-hit innings and struck out a whopping 15 batters. That outing dropped his ERA to 1.77 and his hits allowed per nine innings to just over five, while his strikeouts per nine innings rose to just below 16. For context, the highest season-season rate of Max Scherzer’s big league career is only 12.7.

Just over a week ago, in their most recent round of updates, Cavalli was upgraded to Baseball America’s No. 33 overall prospect – a leap of 49 spots since their preseason rankings. Following his most masterful performance yet on Saturday, he was named to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week and – more importantly – was promoted to Double-A Harrisburg.

While his promotion was certainly deserved based on his performance, it was also necessary for the immediate well being of the Nationals.

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After 15 Months, We Finally Crossed The Finish Line...

I still clearly remember the moment it all began: It was March 12, 2020, the Washington Nationals were playing an exhibition game with the New York Yankees, and at 1:05, my new dog Maggie and I sat in my favorite chair and turned on the television.

By the time the game ended at 4 PM, every other team in every other sport had shut down their seasons. Soon everything would be under some sort of shutdown, restriction or other regulation to execute a strategy called “two weeks to flatten the curve."

We all know how that turned out.

But today…without warning or fanfare…it is now officially over, at least the way I look at it. It would be over, I thought, when the day came where I could leave the house, drive to a stadium of my choice, and go see one of my favorite teams without any sort of capacity restriction.

With Virginia Tech announcing today that there would be no such restrictions this year, and Lane Stadium was free to be 100 percent full of orange and maroon-clad fans, bouncing up and down while singing every verse of “Enter Sandman” as fireworks went off overhead and football players tapped hokiestone with their hands at the end of a tunnel leading to Worsham Field, the last domino has fallen.

It’s over. As a Southwest Airlines commercial once noted, you are now free to move about the country.

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Orioles Outfield Could Be The Strength Of This Year's Team

We knew coming into the season that the deepest part of the Baltimore Orioles’ upper levels of the organization was the outfield. The hope was that this season, fans would see exactly what the Orioles outfield could look like with most of their top options healthy and ready to go.

But injuries have prevented that thus far.

In April, DJ Stewart, Austin Hays and Anthony Santander all spent time on the injured list. Santander didn’t come back until May 21, only for Hays to hit the injured list again on the May 26.

Hays is slated to return today, rejoining the Orioles for a stretch of 20 games in 20 days. With their full slate of outfielders finally ready to go, I’m praying that we’ll finally get to see what Baltimore’s outfield could look like on a regular basis.

For all intents and purposes, the Orioles have six players fighting for five spots right now. Stewart, Hays and Santander are competing in the outfield with Cedric Mullins and Ryan Mountcastle, but Mountcastle is also competing with Trey Mancini at first base and designated hitter.

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UVA-ODU: A Virtual Lesson In VA College Baseball History

The matchup between Virginia and Old Dominion in the baseball regional in Columbia, S.C., was a virtual lesson in college baseball history in Virginia.

Old Dominion's head coach, Chris Finwood, played at VMI from 1985-88 and was a career .300 hitter, posting a .399 average as a senior.

Finwood, later named to the VMI Sports Hall of Fame, also served as the Keydets' baseball coach from 1992-94. The Keydets won a school-record 21 games in 1993 after winning two games two games earlier.

After leaving VMI, Finwood's teams at Western Kentucky won 190 games in six years. Originally from  Hampton, he was hired by Old Dominion in athletic director Wood Selig in 2012.

Selig is a graduate of Washington and Lee who worked at Virginia and has a son in Virginia Tech's  Corps of Cadets.

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Kyshoen Jarrett Finally Comes Home To Virginia Tech

Some sports reporters will tell you they are entirely objective. They will further claim they never have and never will let their personal feelings about a player, coach, executive or team get in the way of how they cover their beat.

They’re wrong.

The truth is writers and reporters are human too. We have emotions. We make mistakes. Sometimes, we let our personal opinions dictate an angle that we take on a story. Occasionally, that’s in a negative light.

But ever so often, it’s just the opposite.

My junior year at Virginia Tech was a lot of fun, as I served as the opinions editor, sports editor and managing editor of the Collegiate Times at different points in the school year. I also got to cover Virginia Tech football that season, attending the games as a writer and reporter.

As the 2014 season came to a close, I started putting together a piece on Virginia Tech’s two senior safeties: Detrick Bonner and Kyshoen Jarrett. The two were great young men and I enjoyed interviewing both.

Jarrett’s interview sticks with me. He had an admirable innocence; Jarrett’s soul was honest and pure. Nothing had been given to him, yet Jarrett was still thankful that he got the opportunity in the first place. Even though football was offering him a chance to play professionally, Jarrett had already thought about how he could contribute off the field.

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Ricky LaBlue

Ricky LaBlue

A longtime sports fanatic, Ricky is now channeling that passion into the world of sports media. Meet Ricky LaBlue.

Stephen Newman

Stephen Newman

The only things he loves more than following Virginia Tech and Washington sports teams are dogs. Meet Stephen Newman.

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