A Big Match

The high-school spring sports season is heading into the final weeks of the regular season as our local teams jockey for position with dreams of earning a playoff berth.

One team in the hunt for a possible title is the Mecklenburg County HS varsity girls’ soccer team that improved to 7-2 on Thursday evening with an 8-0 win over visiting Bassett HS.

Coach Josh Carroll and his staff have the local team playing some very good soccer as they chase district leaders Magna Vista HS for the Piedmont District regular season title.

The Lady Phoenix fell to Magna Vista 3-1 in their first meeting of the season in Baskerville but were scheduled to get another shot at them on the road on Tuesday night in a big contest. 

The Mecklenburg County varsity baseball and softball teams meanwhile also earned victories over Bassett on Friday. The two teams struggled early this season but are improving each and every outing and are looking to finish the regular season strong over the next two weeks.

Dick Groat Passes Away

I was saddened to hear of the passing of sports great Dick Groat, 92, last week.

Groat was one of the most talented two-sport athletes in sports history.

He was an eight-time All-Star shortstop and a two-time World Series champion.

Groat won the National League MVP award playing for the World Champion Pittsburg Pirates in 1960 when he also won the batting title with a .325 average.

He was also a standout in basketball, earning All-American honors in baseball and basketball at Duke University. Groat was the first player in Blue Devils’ basketball history to have his number retired.

He is one of only 13 athletes to play both sports at the professional level.

Groat was also a big fan of the Southside, Virginia area having played semi-pro baseball for the Wrappers in South Boston one summer in the Southside Baseball League. 

I wrote him several years ago to have him sign a baseball card and he sent a note back saying how much he enjoyed the time he spent in our area that summer.

My sincere condolences to his family.