Virtual O&M Tour 2001
by Nick Moga (H0kie76), 6/6/01

Okay fellow Hokies, so you donít live close to a Hokie club? Or maybe you had to work the evening that the O&M Tour came to your neighborhood? Never fear! Your faithful TSL reporter Ė H0kie76, made it to the local club meeting on May 22nd to hear several Virginia Tech coaches schmooze with the Hokie Club members and dazzle them with their after dinner jokes and tidbits of athletic news. Although the news may seem a bit dated to TSL regulars, there were some interesting comments made by all the attendees from Blacksburg.

Our meeting started off with the news that one of the coaches, Bonnie Henrickson, would be unable to attend due to bad weather and a Big East meeting she was attending that day. Assistant head football coach Bryan Stinespring and Assistant Basketball coach Alfonzo Duncan did make the trip with Hokie Club coordinator and former VT baseball player Trey McCoy.

A social half hour was spent with small talk with the coaches and the 77 attending Hokie Club faithful. Questions seemed to center on football season tickets and recruiting:

  • "If my charge card has been hit, will I get football season tickets?" Not necessarily. Although the number of tickets not renewed this year surprised the ticket office, the situation is similar to last year. The demand will exceed the supply again.
  • "What is the situation on the new construction?" The south end zone has full approval and dirt is moving. Bids will be reviewed soon and the staff is cautiously optimistic that the South Stands will be ready for 2002.
  • "Will there be a big change in season ticket seating locations in 2002?" Probably not. There will be a change only after the West Stand project is complete. The Board of Visitors has said that it will take a single donation of $25 million to get the West Stands project moving. Jim Weaver is beating the bushes for that high roller donor.
  • "How does the football practice field look?" It is complete, looks great and will be used in the August practice sessions.
  • "How do we look for the top 10 Virginia recruits?" They are all considering Virginia Tech. We arenít out of the running with any of the top Virginia recruits.

Dinner was consumed with gusto and the speaking part of the evening began with Trey McCoy bringing greetings from Blacksburg. Interestingly, Trey began by reviewing the new freshman class of students at Tech. 18,800 applicants, 11,500 acceptances, 3.66 average GPA, 1200 Average SAT. Very impressive numbers. He then talked a bit about facilities including the new Worsham field grass. Grading of the field is underway, with grass growing at the airport for the new tray system. Trey talked about how the tray system would work. Improved irrigation and drying system will make it the best field in College Football. He mentioned that it would be one of the fastest grass fields in the BCS. And no, you canít get a cleat caught in the tray edges, they overlap. He then introduced assistant basketball coach Alfonzo Duncan.

Duncan handles the academic side of the basketball team and gave detailed results of each scholarship player. Bottom line is this year's team is one of the best academically. More than half had over a 3.0 with three at 3.7 in the spring semester. He then talked about the Big East and the level of competition. He stressed the need for Gentrification of the team. They need to be much stronger to handle the Big East style of play. He predicted that Tech will compete in the Big East soon and will be among the best teams. Alfonzo was very pleased with the recruiting class. Our big needs up front and at point guard were met. He said the class were being ranked a B+ (not sure by what recruiting agency). He talked about each of the recruits and what they will bring to the team. "These are good kids" was heard several times. He raved about Eric Branham being the quarterback for the team. Also positive comments on Dimari Tompkins and Terry Taylor.

Duncan talked about the facelift of the Cassell with new paint and the refinished seats. He said they are great looking (no mention of comfort!). Alfonzo finished with discussing next year's schedule. FSU, ODU and UVa as our "tougher" OOC with a trip to Louisville for their tournament in the offing.

Next up was the crowd pleasing Bryan Stinespring. Stiney started off with his "Iíve never had an original thought, I learned it all from my teachers" spiel. He did say Virginia Tech football is about being a family, being tight with each other, and overcoming obstacles. He made a passing hit at the Groh train by saying "Game stats that count are on Saturday in College football, not Sunday." Itís 6AV (6 months After Vick) and the state of VT football is very good. 22-2 last two years, 8 straight bowl games, and 90% of their games won over that period. VT will continue to go to bowls, challenge for the Big East title and strive for a National Championship.

On the offensive line we lost 4 starters and 2 reserves. 4 of them are in NFL camps as of today. All 6 GRADUATED from Tech. This spring he was grateful that Pugh, Taylor, Houseright and Beasley were sidelined. If not, he doubts the offense would have gained 5 yards all spring. It did give his new line a change to form and they will be all right. He especially mentioned Big Jon Dunn at 6í7Ĺ" and 330 pounds. How much bigger will he grow??? He also thought that Grant Noel will be a good leader for the Hokies. He spoke highly of Grantís dedication this Spring and effort through all the practices. We definitely will have the best backfield in the country. Suggs and Ferguson are the best at their positions. The defense will be awesome! All the injured players will be 100% and it looks like the deepest VT defensive units ever.

Quote of the talk: "Greatest is not where we are, it's where we are heading." Bryan said recruiting is going well. He had just come back from the Tidewater area with good vibrations. Although he was unable to talk about verbals, he said the staff was very pleased with their positions so far in the process. Bryan then talked about the incoming recruits. He stated that DeAngelo Hall would play this year. He is too good not to be on the field. At least one freshman QB will ready to play. He did say that due to some clearing house issues, not all the paper work is finished for all the recruits being qualified. He did not think there would be any problems.

After pictures and more one-on-one questions the van for Blacksburg headed off into the evening. The Happy Hokies that attended this Orange and Maroon Tour were just plumb excited about Tech athletics!

          

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