Blacksburg is humming once again. This past week was move in, and the parade of cars, u-haul trailers, garment racks, appeared like so many spring snakes from a fake can of peanuts. The town is beginning to wake up from its Summer torpor. New students are trying out their social calendars and their new high performance flip-flops as they travel from place to place in their new groups.
Maybe it was the weather keeping things lower keyed? Blacksburg Summers are famous for mid 80’s partly cloudy days, and cool mid 60’s nights that end in foggy humid mornings. Except this year where the rain has been a constant companion, and makes you wonder what the middle months of Fall will be like.
It could be that the Freshman class was a bit smaller this year, and the competition for slots higher. This morning there was a flood of Freshman flowing out of Burrus Hall with books under their arms and earnestness on their faces.
The Corps of Cadets had their big Cadre Week Ending Parade on Saturday. The commitment is a bit of a stretch for most students. The discipline isn’t hugely harsh anymore, but the Corps is not for lightweight passing party time students. The regimentation and limits, voluntarily submitted to, are character building and bring a lifetime of memories.
We heard word from the Olympics that Tech athletes, current and former, represented three different countries, and Kristi Castlin earned a Bronze medal for her efforts in the 100m Hudles. Marcel Lomincky placed fifth in the Men’s Hammer Throw for his native Slovakia, it wasn’t a medal, but it was tremendous and all Hokie!
The Virginia Tech Women’s soccer team started off the season with a 17th ranking, and a win over Mississippi State 1-nil. There wasn’t a huge fanfare, but at the time of the win there were far more kids and parents humping luggage and furniture in the heat and humidity than taking time to check the net to see how the score was progressing. They also earlier took a chunk out of Miami of Ohio 3-nil in what the sport calls a “Friendly” or exhibition game.
With all of the other news, though, the Fall sport that is never far from many people’s minds is always looming. We took Josh to The Home Place Restaurant for his birthday. He was wearing a Tech polo and I was wearing a VT cap. The first question from the guy who seated us at our table was, “how do you think they’ll do this season?” He also noted that there was just not a whole lot of news and had anyone heard anything about just about anything.
That’s what’s a bit different about all of this. With the Beamer Barn, there are no sneak looks at practices from the surrounding area. All of the practices have been closed, and there have been no public scrimmages. The Fuente method seems to be one of pleasant upbeat coach talk, public events, and not much else in the way of useful football information being leaked. There will be a students only Pizza Party and public practice on August 23rd. It sure would be nice to hear word that there could be something like a public controlled scrimmage at some time, because one huge question remains. Who will start at Quarterback. We just don’t get to see who is shining and who is struggling. There are even reports from the Washington Post Sports Section on the apparent rising star above Joshua Jackson’s head which is making this Fall competition between three players with very different experiences. The lack of solid information is frustrating to football nuts and bolts fans.
It doesn’t seem to bother the student body, though. What does seem to be happening is that there as still season tickets available, and enough oddball tickets out there that the Tech Athletic Department is offering mini flex package plans for a few games, and there will be the singles. Right now, even in the era of new hope and energy, we still haven’t won anything and getting those old sell out crowds is going to take something that we have done in a while... WIN, and win big.
Yes, at 8:00am Monday morning, the Fall 2016 Semester starts, and the wait for the September 3rd kickoff at Lane will be like that slow grind the week before Christmas to a 10 year old.
Hopefully we get a peek at what is going on before the stands start rocking, “Sandman” starts blaring, and Lane Stadium rumbles to life for 2016.