Who has the best lights in town? Vote now for your favorite in our holiday lights contest.
REBECCA BARNETT | The Roanoke Times
Patrick Henry senior Caroline Brailsford has decided to walk on as a pole vaulter at the University of North Carolina.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Caroline is headed to Carolina.
Patrick Henry track and field star Caroline Brailsford has given a commitment to walk on as a pole vaulter at the University of North Carolina.
Brailsford, who set a PH school record by clearing 12 feet to place second in the VHSL Group AAA indoor track championships, said Wednesday she picked UNC over similar offers from Virginia and Virginia Tech.
"It just came down to the feeling I had about the team," Brailsford said of the North Carolina program. "They have four other girls who are vaulters. At UVa, I would have been the only vaulter. Tech was just a little too close to home."
A first-team All-Timesland and All-Group AAA volleyball selection, Brailsford said she considered playing that sport in college. She was recruited by Washington and Lee, and she also took a recruiting visit to Division I University of California-Davis.
Brailsford's top outdoor vault last year was 9 feet, 6 inches. She credited workouts under Virginia Tech pole vault coach Bob Phillips for her improvement.
The PH senior said Phillips has been a good sport about her commitment to another ACC school.
"He's great," Brailsford said. "His words were, 'Let's see how high we can get you before you leave.' "
Alleghany promotes aide to football post
Gary Burdette is the new head football coach at Alleghany High School.
Burdette was an assistant at Alleghany under Jack Baker, whom he succeeds as head coach. Baker left Alleghany after 10 seasons to become the head coach at Rustburg.
Burdette also coached in Rockbridge County's program for one season under Jamie Talbott and for two under Billy Mills.
Burdette coached Alleghany's quarterbacks in the spread offense under Baker. Don't be shocked if the Mountaineers offense features plenty of passing.
"We're definitely going to do some things we've been successful doing," Burdette said. "We like to be multidimensional."
Burdette is Alleghany's head wrestling coach and he is a varsity baseball assistant under Gary Rice.
He said it would be "near impossible" to coach wrestling next winter. He is not sure if he will remain on the baseball staff.
"I'm going to finish the spring and see how it all works out," Burdette said. "We'll just have to play that by ear."
An assistant baseball coach for the Mountaineers, Burdette graduated from Alleghany in 1984 after playing football, baseball and basketball.
Burdette graduated from Christopher Newport University in 1992.
Alleghany had a 41-63 overall record with three Region III playoff trips under Baker including a first-round win over Robert E. Lee in 2010.
The Mountaineers were 3-7 in 2012, 0-5 in the Blue Ridge District.
Alleghany is the second Blue Ridge school that will have a new coach next fall. William Fleming, which is rejoining the district, will be under first-year coach Bobby Martin.
Blacksburg third in VHSL standings
River Ridge District schools already have won seven state championships with two runner-up finishes during the 2012-13 school year.
The effect is being felt in the race for the VHSL Wells Fargo Cup.
Four River Ridge schools are among the top eight teams in the latest standings.
Blacksburg, which added a Group AA girls indoor track title to its sweep of the cross country crowns in the fall, is tied for third with 195 points, 40 behind Group AA leader Grafton's 235.
Salem, coming off boys and girls Division 4 basketball championships, is fifth with 187 1⁄2 points. Hidden Valley is tied for sixth at 180, while Christiansburg is eighth with 172 1⁄2. Cave Spring is tied for 16th.
In Group A, Radford leads the Timesland contingent as the Bobcats stand in third place with 125 points. Altavista leads with 185.
Parry McCluer ranks fifth with 107 1⁄2. James River is tied for seventh at 102 1⁄2.
Oakton leads the Group AAA standings with 227 1⁄2 points. Patrick Henry is tied for 54th with 22 1⁄2 points.
The Wells Fargo Cup is emblematic of the VHSL's top overall athletic program in each classification.
Points are awarded for top-eight finishes in state competition on a 50-45-40-35-30-25-20-15 basis.
Carlisle's Maker nets VIS Division III honor
Seven-foot freshman Thon Maker of Carlisle has been named the VIS Division III boys basketball player of the year.
Maker is part of a nine-man first team that also includes sophomore Peter Agba of North Cross.
Bennett Holley of North Cross and Eric Johnson of Carlisle were named to the second team.
Maryland recruit Melo Trimble of Bishop O'Connell was named Division 1 player of the year. Junior guard Devin Robertson of Christchurch got the honor in Division II.
Weather JournalMix on Sat AM; coming blog changes