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   Tech Sports News

Football News - Winter Workouts

The Tech football players have been participating in the dreaded 6 a.m. winter workouts this week (an activity that is unanimously chosen by exiting seniors as the "thing they'll miss the least" about Hokie football) and will continue through next week.

The winter workouts come between winter max testing (which occurred before Spring Break and consisted of players testing for different running and weightlifting events) and Spring Football. There are six 6 a.m. workouts over a two-week stretch, occurring on Monday-Wednesday-Friday of each of the two weeks.

The workouts are grueling affairs intended to test (and establish) character and see what players are made of, not to teach or instruct. The drills will lead to improved footwork and stamina, but that's not their focus. Their intent is to push players to the wall to see who responds and to teach each player how to reach deep inside himself for those last reserves of strength. And to find out who the team leaders are.

The coaching staff awards "Commitment to Excellence" T-shirts to players that it feels give 100% effort in a given workout. The player wears the T-shirt to the next workout, and as long as they keep earning it, they keep wearing it.

For a football player, the Holy Grail of 6 a.m. workout achievement is to earn the T-shirt for every workout, a perfect 6-for-6 score. This is difficult to accomplish, not only for obvious reasons, but because the coaching staff always awards just a few T-shirts in the first day of workouts. Last year, only five T-shirts were awarded on day one, and this year, just two.

So who aced it last year, earning a T-shirt every day? Just three players, all rising seniors at the time: Steve DeMasi, Brian Welch, and Emmett Johnson. Lee Suggs narrowly missed it, due to illness on the last day of workouts. It's worth noting that one of the workouts last year was canceled due to weather (they're held inside, so it must have snowed, making it difficult to reach Rector Field House), so DeMasi, Welch, and Johnson "only" earned five T-shirts instead of six.

This year, free safety Willie Pile and walk-on wide receiver Chris Shreve are 3-for-3 on earning "Commitment to Excellence" T-shirts after week one. Barring illness or injury, they're the only two guys who have a shot at going the distance next week.

In Pile's case, it's a perfect example of the leadership needed from a rising senior, and in the case of Shreve, it's a perfect example of a walk-on, a guy who isn't on scholarship and rarely plays (just 39 snaps from scrimmage last year), setting the tone for hard work.

Hokie Women Brace for WNIT Second Round Game

The Tech women's basketball team (19-10) is preparing for a second-round WNIT game against an old, familiar foe, George Washington (21-8) of the Atlantic 10.

GW was an NCAA bubble team. After rolling through the Atlantic 10 with a 15-1 record, including winning 15 games in a row, GW was knocked out of the first round of the A-10 tournament by Xavier. That loss helped cost the Colonials, who have an RPI rating of 69, an NCAA Tournament bid.

From 1995 to 1999, the Hokies were in the Atlantic 10 Conference for basketball with GW, and the rivalry was developing quite nicely. GW was the top team in the conference when the Hokies entered, and Tech, along with Xavier, unseated the Colonials, who did not give up the crown quietly or nicely.

While in the A-10, Tech and GW played 11 games, and the Hokies went 5-6 in those contests. Current VT Coach Bonnie Henrickson, however, is 5-2 against GW. Henrickson was 5-0 against GW, until the Colonials whacked Tech 76-64 and 73-58 in their last two meetings, during the 1999-2000 season.

GW starts no seniors and is led by 5-11 junior forward Cathy Joens (15.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg) and 6-4 sophomore center Ugo Oha (13.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg). The battle between Oha and Tech's 6-4 Ieva Kublina (15.2 ppg, 7.5 ppg) could very well be the game-within-a-game that determines the outcome of this one.

The winner will move on to play the winner of Vermont/St. Joseph's in the WNIT quarterfinals. Home games are awarded on attendance, so the Hokies, if they win, must outdraw the Vermont/St. Joe's game in Vermont in order to play round 3 in Blacksburg.

That may sound like a slam-dunk, but Vermont turned out 2,933 fans for their first round 70-63 victory over Holy Cross, Vermont's first-ever postseason victory. So they'll present a stiff challenge for Hokie fans in the attendance war that is a subplot of this weekend's games. The good news for Tech is that Vermont plays in Patrick Gymasium, which has a capacity of just 3,228. If Tech can turn out 3,500 fans or more, they'll be guaranteed of outdrawing Vermont, barring any attendance fudging by Vermont.

So, for the Hokies and their fans, two challenges present themselves: (1) beat George Washington; and (2) outdraw Vermont.

The Hokies are playing Saturday night at 7 p.m. in Cassell Coliseum. Tickets are $8 for adults, $4 for children and students. Tickets can be reserved in advance by calling 1-800-VATECH4.

WNIT Home Page

WNIT Bracket (PDF Format)

Will Stewart
General Manager and Managing Editor Updates From the Past Week Now has a Search Function!

Earlier today (Friday, March 15th), we added search capability to TSL's web site. Just head to our home page ( and look for the "Search TSL" box and button in the upper right-hand corner.

The search is powered by and provides a much-needed capability to search TSL's vast archives of News and Notes, Hokie Hotline Notes, and other material. Since the search operates off of's cache of TSL web pages (and not off of the actual TSL web site), it may be a little behind, and our most recent articles might not be included in the search. But if you're interested in searching archives that are older than 1-2 months, it'll do the trick nicely.

Football News and Articles:
Football Notes - News and Notes, 3/8/02
This week is Spring Break on the Tech campus, and when the football team gets back next week, they'll start their dreaded 6 a.m. winter workouts, in preparation for Spring Football.

Other News and Articles
Hokie Women WNIT-Bound - News and Notes, 3/10/02
The Virginia Tech women's basketball team failed to make the NCAA Tournament, probably by the slimmest of margins, but the Women's NIT (WNIT) has extended a bid, and the Hokies will host UNC-Greensboro on Wednesday, March 13 at 7p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

More Than One Surprise in This Win - by Will Stewart, 3/14/02
Wednesday night in Cassell Coliseum, the Tech women's basketball team didn't get much point production from a usually reliable source. Lucky for the Hokies, a little-used benchwarmer stepped up and filled in the gap, helping push them on to the next round.

  Coming Up in the Next TSL Extra

Here are the recruiting stories we're working on for this month's TSL Extra, which should be out in the next 1-2 weeks:

Recruiting Profile: Marcus Vick -- What was it like growing up with Michael, particularly when Michael's shadow started to loom large? We'll ask Marcus this question and more in an exclusive interview and profile.

Recruiting Profile: Brian McPherson -- He committed early, in the summer of 2001, and very little is known about this running back/cornerback from Amherst County High School. What's his story, and what does he bring to the table?

Spring Football Preview -- We break the football team down position by position, and tell you what to look for this spring as the Hokies enter Spring Football 2002.

When Tech was Good in Basketball -- by Jim Alderson. The A-Line harkens back to Hokie basketball in the 70's, 80's and 90's, and what has led Tech men's basketball to where it is today. Compelling and interesting reading.

Inside the Numbers: Power Ratings -- Our yearly look at our unique power rating formula that ranks players by a complicated formula that tells you who packs the most punch, based on height, weight, and 40 time.

Inside TSL: The Life of a Webmaster -- You asked for it, you got it: a look at what it's like to ride herd on an ultra-busy web site like TSL.

Inside TSL: UVa flier article; letters to the editor -- Some final thoughts on the UVa flier/flyer article, and some excellent letters to the editor.

The TSL Extra -- $24.95
Are you ready for more? More articles, more analysis, and more commentary on Hokie sports? Of course you are, because you can't get enough! The TSL Extra is the step up that you need. With interviews, feature articles, commentary, heavy duty statistical analysis, and more, it's the best way to feed your craving for exclusive writing on Hokie sports. We have assembled a great collection of writers to give you the finest coverage of the Hokies that you can get!

The TSL Extra is a monthly e-publication produced by that you can read on-line or download as an Adobe PDF. The cost for a one-year subscription is only $24.95, and it includes access to all back issues, plus a 10% discount on purchases at!

For more information and to subscribe, check out our TSL Extra Promotional Page Be sure to download the free TSL Extra Sampler and see what you're missing!

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