I have been offline for about a week, well not technically, but writing was ‘right out'. You see there were two major moves in the clan this last month. Mom and Dad sort of moved out, and whether or not he was game Joshua is now writing from his own place in NOVA while Mom and Dad moved to Blacksburg. Yup, I'm a "townie" now. That means tons when it comes to reporting on events and games. Though my main job still has priority, I'll be able to do more timely coverage for the practices and public scrimmages. I'll also be able to help out Jawhar with the basketball reporting (tickets are sparse but we at GC will figure it out). What I am really excited about is that we will have live game coverage for home game baseball season in 2017. We'll also be able to report first hand on the new efforts to improve the baseball venue (Union Park at English Field). Something tells me that we'll just be calling it Union Park when it finally opens.
There will be more student level field reporting, not only from Jawhar, but also from a secret inside source who will be regularly consulted to contribute opinions, and observations from the student body. We'll start experimenting with that more in depth. The first effort, last season, was a solid success and we will continue to push that angle. Virginia Tech is all about Hokies as students first, their opinions should be heard. So, we here at Gobbler Country will be reaching out to new people and new things.
There are really no semiofficial or official varsity sports going on, here. There are practices and camps starting. The campus and town are tuning down for the Summer which starts in a day or two. The major set of events will be the various student orientations that will start in earnest very soon. There are lots of countdown clocks for game day. The new Hokie kitsch is starting to be stocked in all of the paraphernalia stores along Main Street, and the service at any restaurant is a tad on the slow side since staffing is down to the nub.
The big project that is going on for the campus besides the new biomedical school's building is the huge overpass that is being built to improve the access and exit into Lane Stadium off of Southgate Drive. There will no longer be the frustrating waits at the only light on US460 while traffic crawls in any direction on game day; or so the powers that be hope. It will be a welcomed relief but I can remember the days when there was no light, and 460 was two lanes.
Which brings to mind my question and complaint. Okay, complaining was a ‘no go' in my old man's world; but in this case there is precious little I can do to fix the issue. The question is, why don't we have a ‘real' ice hockey team? They could even balance the annoying Title IX balance sheets by putting a women's team on the ice, too. Now, please understand, ‘real' doesn't mean that Tech doesn't have an Ice Hockey Team. We do; but it's a club, not an official scholarship capable Division 1 NCAA hokey program. They have a club level web site with the story of the team. It started in 1984, and has had a seriously good reputation at various times in its existence. So, GC will look at doing more hockey coverage next season as well.
Of course having a hockey team means thinking about having something a bit better in the way of digs for the various indoor rink and court sports. We all love Cassell Coliseum, but the venue has been there since before the lower quad dorms were built in the late 1960's. It is really small, and even with improvements it's really showing its age.
It's really time to think about the possibility that the athletic department, boosters, and alumni groups could come up with enough oomph to get a new sports complex built. There is someone who is waiting to have something significant named after him as it relates to Virginia Tech Athletics.
So, what's your opinion? It's your time to be heard.
Meanwhile there are tons more boxes to unpack and things to fix around the new ‘old' house.
(Note: Hokie Fan Appreciation Day is going to be held this season and Gobbler Country will have several people on the ground to report on the goings on. The last known reference was for Sunday August 14th. GC will keep an eye on the calendar and be ready for the big event when it happens.)