Most camp drama: The Daily Progress reports on August 17 that the UVA football team is already showing great chemistry during practice sessions. Just as that story is released, sophomore linebacker (and Butkus Award candidate) Ahmad Brooks leaves the team to deal with his own "personal problems," according to head coach Al Groh. Two days later, Brooks returns to camp for the annual "Meet the Team Day, explaining, "They [the media] blew everything out of proportion."
Most dominant 'Skins: It's only preseason play, but the Redskins look sharp as they travel to Miami and shut out the Dolphins 17-0 August 21. Even head coach Joe Gibbs is proud of his team as they improve to 2-1 in exhibition play. "We didn't turn the ball over, we played smart, and our defense continued to play well," Gibbs tells Redskins.com.
Worst timing: Just as the Progress awards Charlottesville's Tim Pemberton his second straight Battle Trophy, (given each year to Central Virginia's top amateur golfer) our great golfing hope fails to make the cut in the 104th U.S. Amateur at Winged Foot Golf Club Course in Mamaroneck, New York. Pemberton fell well off the pace in his first morning round but the rain-soaked course was in much better condition by the afternoon rounds. "It started pouring rain about 10 minutes before I was scheduled to tee off," the William & Mary golfer told the Progress.
Biggest planners: Despite slumping through a three-year NCAA tournament drought and facing one of America's most brutal conference schedules, the UVA men's basketball team schedules its most challenging season in coach Pete Gillen's six-year tenure. Meanwhile, the ACC selects Jacksonville as the site for the first 2005 ACC Football Championship game.
Worst reality check: After flirting with an improbable run to a wildcard playoff spot, the Orioles suddenly return to earth with one of their worst home stands in history. A matter of weeks after rolling off a perfect 7-0 home stint, the O's drop six straight at Camden Yards to fall well out of the playoff picture. The knock-out punch comes over the weekend as the last-place Toronto Blue Jays shoot down the birds in a three-game sweep.
Brightest future: The Progress reports CHS's girl's lacrosse coach Rebecca Tewell is currently developing Blue Ridge Lacrosse Charlottesville, an elite high-school girls' traveling team that will play tournaments on the East Coast and provide an outlet for top players to gain recognition. "I really want to put Charlottesville on the lacrosse map," Tewell tells the Progress.
The Week Ahead:
Thursday August 26-Saturday, August 28
Olympic Basketball Medal Rounds
The men's team is reeling. The women, however, still appear to be the best in the world as local star Dawn Staley goes for a historic third gold medal.
Friday, August 27 @ 7pm vs. East Carolina
Sunday, August 29 @ 1pm vs. Miami
Wednesday, September 1 @ 7pm vs. Liberty
UVA Women's Soccer kicks off season
Catch all the action as the No. 7 nationally ranked Cavaliers open their drive for a national championship with three home games at the Klockner Stadium. $6 adults, $4 youth.
Saturday, August 28 @ 7:45pm
College Football Kickoff Classic
#1 USC vs. Virginia Tech
Another exciting college football season kicks off at Fed Ex Field in D.C. as defending champions, the top-ranked USC Trojans, take on the boys from Blacksburg. This hot ticket is sold out, but scalpers will definitely be on the prowl.
Al Groh at "Meet the Team Day"
PHOTO BY LINCOLN ROSS BARBOUR