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Courtesy of Davis Yak
The late Mike Warner (left) and Hampden-Sydney football coach Marty Favret became good friends through a shared connection to Gonzaga High School.
Thursday, July 11, 2013
Before his 2000 introduction as Hampden-Sydney football coach, Marty Favret had never met Mike Warner.
On Tuesday, Favret was one of the pallbearers when Warner was laid to rest at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Roanoke.
“I’d call him every Saturday night after our games just to chat,” Favret said Wednesday. “He was our No. 1 fan.
“I don’t think he missed more than a handful of games over the years, whether it was home or on the road. He wouldn’t try to give me tactical advice, other than he always wanted me to run the ball more.”
Warner did not have a prior connection to Hampden-Sydney, other than the former Tigers he had hired for his home-supply business, but he had a bond with the Favret family that went back for decades.
Warner and Favret both played football at Gonzaga College High School, a Jesuit school in Washington, D.C., where Warner served as head football coach during the 1960s. Warner taught one of Favret’s brothers.
“So, I knew his name,” Favret said. “When I got the job, he called me up and invited me to Roanoke for lunch and golf at Hunting Hills. Mike’s love of Hampden-Sydney stemmed from our friendship.
“From a football perspective, he liked the purity of the Division III game. He stood right behind the ropes [at games]. He came to practices. He always came to summer camp and even spent the night at my house.”
Favret came to LewisGale Medical Center in Salem last week to say goodbye to Warner, who was 78 when he died Thursday after a short bout with cancer. Warner’s son, Michael, asked Favret to serve as a pallbearer.
“That was kind of a who’s who of Roanoke on a lot of different sectors,” Favret said of the crowd of 400 that turned out to remember Warner, a member of many civic organizations and a devoted philanthropist. “I was very touched.”
Former All-Timesland basketball pick Amin Abuhawwas from Cave Spring will play for Division II Mars Hill next year, according to Chad Myers, his coach this past year at Massanutten Military Academy.
Myers, now staging camps for the Hoop Group out of Neptune, N.J., reports that another Massanutten player from the Roanoke Valley, B.J. Hamlet from Patrick Henry , will play for Concord (W.Va.).
Hamlet joins A.D. Banks, who also played at Patrick Henry . Banks signed with the Mountain Lions in the fall after spending two years at Monroe (N.Y.) College. Concord also signed A.J. Williams, a 6-6 King George product who averaged 20.1 points for Wytheville Community College.
Monica Wright, the career scoring leader for Virginia women’s basketball, has become engaged to three-time NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Durant, who turned pro after one season at the University of Texas, was the Washington Post boys metro player of the year in 2006, the same year Wright was the girls player of the year.
Wright is in her fourth season with the Minnesota Lynx, the 2011 WNBA champions.
Finding a home
Donte Clark , Virginia Tech’s highest-rated men’s basketball signee, has enrolled for summer school classes at Massachusetts after failing to meet NCAA eligibility requirements at Virginia Tech. Clark will be viewed as a non-qualifier at UMass.
Hampden-Sydney has released a list of 29 football newcomers, including three from Timesland: offensive lineman Eddie Smith from North Cross, offensive lineman Jordan Parke from Hidden Valley and wide receiver Jack Woody from Cave Spring. Twenty-two of the newcomers are from Virginia, including safety Tyler Burford from Brookville.
On the mend
Timesland football player of the year Porter Abell from Rockbridge was unable to participate in the summer all-star game after suffering torn ligaments in his right (throwing) wrist in April. Abell, injured while lifting weights, hopes to be close to 100 percent for the start of preseason practice at Richmond, where he could get work at quarterback, slot receiver and on returns.
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