Brian Hoffman collumn – April 20th, 2017



The Salem Red Sox honored Joe Preseren with a moment of silence and a tribute on the scoreboard prior to

It was with great sadness that I learned of the death of Joe Preseren last week.

Joe was a former GM for our baseball team, an executive with the local D-League basketball team, and just an overall good guy. He had a ruptured aneurysm in his brain early in March, and for the past month he was hanging on as family and friends prayed for a miracle that wasn’t expected to come. It did not, and Joe died last week.

Joe was an amazing guy. He met his wife, Diane, at the ballpark when he was general manager of the Salem Redbirds in the ‘80s. They had four children but tragedy struck the family when Diane died suddenly at 41 years old in 2003. Joe did a wonderful job of raising the children by himself, and just when his life seemed to somewhat normalize he was struck down by the ruptured aneurysm.

Preseren returned to the Roanoke Valley to become the GM of our team again after successful stints in Tulsa and Frederick, and in 2001 he took a job with the Dazzle. Most recently he was working with Roanoke County Therapeutic Recreation Services.

I’m really going to miss him. He was a regular at the Roanoke College basketball games and I’d often see him at his kids’ games when they played sports. His daughter Katherine was an outstanding softball player for Hidden Valley and his youngest, Joseph, was on the Titan basketball team.

Joe grew up in Ohio and was a big Cleveland fan. Although it seems trivial under the circumstances, I’m glad he got to see the Cavaliers win the NBA championship last season, and the Indians make it to the World Series.

He was a wonderful man, and he’ll be greatly missed. You just never know.




Did you see the Chicago Cubs’ championship rings? Wow!!

The championship ring, which is the first in Cubs history, is loaded with 108 diamonds commemorating the 108-year title drought as well as an image of the infamous billy goat which has “cursed” the franchise since 1945.

According to the team’s press release, the championship ring is made from 14-karat white gold and features a red Cubs logo made from 33 custom-cut genuine red rubies, surrounded by 72 round white diamonds, all within a circular perimeter made up of 46 custom-cut, genuine blue sapphires.

I didn’t think you get 108 diamonds on one ring, much less 33 rubies. That’s 141 stones total on a single ring. I’d almost be afraid to wear the thing after dark.

I guess when you go that long without a championship you want to do it up right.



Will Tawney

Glenvar senior Will Tawney has decided to walk-on to the football team at Liberty University.

Tawney was a second team All-Group 2A linebacker for the Highlanders and the heart of the Glenvar defense. He was a standout as a sophomore on the 2014 state championship team, led the Highlanders in tackles as a junior and, after missing four games at the beginning of the season with an injury last fall, he returned as the Highlanders won their final seven regular season games and their first playoff game.

After watching him play for three years, the Flames can rest assured they’re getting a good one.