Fastest college decision-makers: While many of their classmates are just beginning to think about college, rising seniors Corey Hunt of Monticello High School and Nelson County's B.J. Cabell have already found themselves a new home just down the road.
Hunt, the Jefferson District baseball player of the Year who helped lead his team to a district championship and berth in the AA state semifinal game, announced Wednesday, June 29, that he had verbally committed to join the UVA baseball team beginning in the 2006-07 academic year. Hunt has been touted as all-around complete player by most scouts, and despite the interest from many other schools around the country (including Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, and VCU) Hunt was clearly destined to be a future Wahoo.
"As soon as Coach [Brian] O'Connor got there, UVA was definitely my No. 1 choice," Hunt told the Daily Progress. "He has turned this program around. He's a great influence to the city."
Cabell, meanwhile, has overpowered his competition on the football field as both an offensive and defensive lineman. The 6'6'', 300-pound machine also committed to becoming a Cavalier in 2006. "I don't really care where I play for Virginia, I just want to play," Cabell told the Progress.
Brightest future for Virginia golf: Charlottesville native Tim Pemberton nearly upsets No. 5 nationally ranked amateur Billy Hurley of Leesburg in the quarter-final round of Virginia state amateur match play at the Country Club of Virginia in Richmond, Friday, July 1. Even after the heartbreaking loss, the match was a definite confidence booster for the improving recent William & Mary graduate as he continues to seriously contemplate moving up to the pro circuit.
"Before I was putting so much pressure on myself and trying to convince some people that I could play professionally. It was all just added pressure that I didn't really need," Pemberton told the Progress. "This past week was the first time I told myself whatever happens, happens."
Best Fourth of July Celebration: The Washington Nationals return home to the nation's capital flying higher than most of the D.C. fireworks. Despite a 5-2 loss to the New York Mets, (41-41) the Nats enjoyed an electric season with a record sell-out crowd (the first since opening night in mid-April) of over 44,000 at RFK Stadium.
Washington baseball has suddenly reached uncharted territory as the team hits the baseball season's midway point with six road wins and increasing their NL East division lead to 4.5 games. Following Sunday's hard-earned three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs (40-41) at Wrigley, manager Frank Robinson commented on the team's character: "We held together as a team and stuck with it," Robinson told the AP. "We won a tough game on the road. That should give you an indication of what this team is all about."
Most Underrated D.C. surge: While the Nationals are stealing the D.C. sports headlines, the Washington Mystics (8-7) have quietly surged ahead with two more victories this past week. After a slow start, the lady hoopsters have now won five of their last six games after back-to-back victories over the Charlotte Sting and a huge second half rally in a 65-50 triumph at the MCI Center Sunday, July 3.
The Week Ahead:
Baltimore Orioles Baseball (44-38)
Vs. Boston Red Sox (46-35)
Thursday, July 7 @ 7:05pm
Friday, July 8 @ 7:35pm
Saturday, July 9 @ 1:20pm
Sunday, July 10 @ 1:35pm
While their friendly rivals to the East steal fans and quickly becoming "America's Baseball Team," the birds have been sputtering lately. They currently trail the Red Sox by 2 1/2 games in the AL East as the two face off in a crucial four-game series at Camden Yards just before the All-Star break. Limited Tickets Available $8-45. Call (888) 848-BIRD to pre-order.
Washington Mystics Basketball vs. Detroit Shock (6-6)
Thursday, July 7 @ 7pm
Last chance to catch the Mystics to catch the ladies before they hit the road. Good tickets available: $8-20