From the sidelines
By Marty Gordon
The remains of COVID continued to haunt the sports world this past year, making it tough to determine who deserved to receive our own version of the EPSY, in this case, a “Marty.”
The first one is given to Christiansburg High School’s offensive line for an outstanding season. Pass out the seven combination Martys. Also, hand another over to their coach, Alex Wilkens. He deserves to add one to his trophy cabinet.
Let’s give a Marty to Auburn football coach David Seabaugh, who has coached two seasons but has yet to finish one. He deserves an award for sticking it out.
Former Virginia Tech kicker Joey Slye has found a home with the Washington Commanders. He deserves one of our special awards for his effort.
Blacksburg’s Rebecca Minnick continues to move up the national rankings for frisbee golf and deserves a Marty.
Former Radford University athletic director Chuck Taylor passed in the fall and deserves a Marty posthumous award.
Former Christiansburg Recreation athletic supervisor Chuck Muncy retired from his longtime position but has taken the position as the new Christiansburg High School golf coach where he continues to build a program that really didn’t exist until this year. He deserves a Marty.
Longtime Radford Recreation Director Kenny Goodyear announced his retirement after more than 25 years. Thanks, Kenny, for everything you have done for youngsters in the Radford area. You also gain a special Marty for all the programs you helped to make successful. Enjoy retirement.
We also said goodbye to Pulaski County football voice Dan Callihan, who made a difference for the entire area and this sports reporter. He receives a Marty for his support of local athletics. Pulaski County High School has placed his name on the press box, which he called home for so long.
The injury bug hit Christiansburg football player Thaxton Henley in the third game of the season, knocking him out of his senior season after not playing in his junior year because of a similar knee injury. When he played, Henley made a difference for the team and deserves his own Marty.
Another Marty is given to the Auburn High School volleyball team for another state title. Sherry Millirons is close to having a Marty specially named after her.
A Marty also goes to the Eastern Montgomery girls’ soccer team that has been playing the sport for only the past three seasons for winning the 2022 state title.
Raena Worley is one of the top gymnasts in the country at the University of Kentucky. She is from Christiansburg and deserves a Marty for her outstanding year.
These awards don’t come with a little trophy like the EPSY. Instead they simply come with bragging rights.
Tampa Bay and Tom Brady will make the NFL playoffs, playing the Eagles in the NFC championship game.
Virginia Tech’s baseball team will dominate competition and win an ACC tournament title. This comes on the heels of the Tech women’s basketball team winning their own tournament title.
This all sets the stage for the Tech football team to record an eight-win season for Brent Pry.
A dog from the New River Valley will make it to the finals in the Westminister Dog Show.
The Washington Commanders will be sold for a record $9.5 billion with one of the investors having a New River Valley connection.
The Virginia Tech golf course (on-campus) will officially close to allow for the future construction of a new residential community for the school.
A national flag football league will announce expansion to the New River Valley with plans to play in Christiansburg.
The Salem Red Sox will branch out and play several exhibition games throughout southwest Virginia.
A new sporting goods store will open in Christiansburg.
No matter what, enjoy the world of sports no matter your particular favorite. Make 2023 a memorable season to remember.