Boldest coaching attitude: Fluvanna High School football coach Tap Pace decides to add some zest to local action as the regular season reaches the halfway point. Following the Flucos' 50-21 loss to Central Virginia's top-ranked Orange County Hornets (5-0, 1-0 in Jefferson District play), Pace tells the Daily Progress, "They [Orange] aren't a very good football team, they're a big-play football team. They would have scored 30 points if we had any intestinal fortitude." Pace's squad falls to 2-3 and 0-1 on the year.
Worst ending: Virginia's women's soccer team watches its perfect record deconstruct as the Cavs (9-1-0) kick off October against the Demon Deacons in Winston-Salem. The No. 3 Wahoos battle Wake through 75 scoreless minutes before UVA lands a breakthrough goal and appears headed for another hard-fought victory. The Deacons answer right back to knot the score, however, and even though UVA controls the play for most of the extra period, a lucky Wake bounce leads to the golden goal that sends the Hoos home on the short end of a 2-1 heartbreaker.
Most welcome newcomers: Believe it or not, Charlottesville baseball fans, the Great American pastime is now an hour closer. For the first time in 34 years, baseball will finally return to Washington, D.C. as Major League Commissioner Bud Selig officially announces September 30. The long anticipated move of the Montreal Expos, whose fans gave the team no support, will resurrect baseball in the nation's capital for the first time since the beloved Senators left for Texas after the 1971 season. Home games will be played at RFK Stadium for the next three seasons until a new ballpark is completed. The team makes its debut April 4 in Philadelphia; the first home game is set for April 15. The next step is finding an owner and deciding on a name and a site for spring training. Ready to step up to the plate, Mr. Grisham?
Biggest local fan dilemma: Orioles fans are left with plenty to think about as the baseball off-season begins. The O's have suffered six straight losing seasons since reaching the playoffs in 1998– they finish this season in the middle of their division but a distant 23 games behind the first-place New York Yankees and nearly 20 games out of the playoffs. The team continues to show steady improvement in recent seasons, however: 63-99 in 2001, 67-95 in 2002, 71-89 in 2003, and 78-84 this year. Does a loyal Birds fan follow his beloved team through the rebuilding process or trade him or herself to the new D.C. team?
Worst disaster in the making: For the third consecutive week, Redskins fans cry in frustration as the Skins drop another nail-biter. Washington is unable to hold a late lead and falls 1-3 on the season with a tough 17-13 loss on the road to the Cleveland Browns.
UVA SOCCER DOUBLEHEADER
Saturday, October 9
Women vs. Duke @ 5pm
Men vs. Davidson @ 7:30pm
It's a twi-night double-header from Klöckner Stadium as the third-ranked women lead off, looking to start another winning streak as they host ACC rivals, the Duke Blue Devils. The No. 22 men's team then takes the field for the nightcap against Davidson.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS VS. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Sunday, October 10 @ 8:30pm
The Skins may be desperate for a victory, but they face a major challenge when the Ravens come to town. With the two towns only an hour apart, expect a jam-packed RFK Stadium for Sunday night football.
Follow the October glory through the World Series, all month long on Fox.