Brian Hoffman: More champions to be crowned


We no longer have the Stagg Bowl or the NCAA Division III men’s basketball championships, but Salem will be the “City of Champions” once more this weekend.

This time, it’s the Virginia High School League that will call Salem home for a variety Class 3 and 4 championship events. Valley sports fans will have lots of exciting games right in their own backyard.

In baseball the Class 3 semifinals are at Salem Memorial Ballpark Friday at 10 am and 1 pm while Class 4 semifinals are at Kiwanis Field at 10 am and 1 pm. On Saturday the championship games are both on Haley Toyota Field at Salem Memorial, with the Class 3 game at 10 am and the Class 4 game at 1 pm.

The Class 3 & 4 softball tournaments are at the James I. Moyer Complex this weekend. Semifinals are scheduled for Friday with championships on Saturday. The Class 3 championship is at 10 am and the Class 4 is scheduled for 1 pm.

Soccer championships will also be held in Salem. The Class 3 boys’ semifinals are at Kerr Stadium on the campus of Roanoke College at 2 and 4 pm Friday, with the championship at 12:20 pm Saturday at RC. The Class 4 boys’ semis are at Spartan Field, in front of Salem High, on Friday at 2 and 4 pm with the championship at Kerr Field Saturday at 5 pm.

Girls’ Class 3 soccer semis are at RC on Friday at 10 am and noon, with the championship Saturday at 10 am at Roanoke College. The girls’ Class 4 semis are at 10 am and noon at Spartan Field Friday, with the championship at RC at 12:40 pm Saturday.

Both the girls’ and boys’ Class 4 lacrosse championships will be at Spartan Field on Saturday. The girls are scheduled for 10 am with the boys to follow at approximately 1 pm.

Class 3 and 4 tennis championships for both girls and boys will be in Salem as well. The Class 3 championships will be on the Roanoke College courts on the Elizabeth Campus, near the Salem YMCA, and the Class 4 finals will be at the Salem Civic Center. All finals are scheduled for 10 am.

Times on these events could change due to weather and graduation for the teams advancing to this weekend’s festivities.



Anyone can make a mistake. Granted, some mistakes are worse than others, but anyone can make one.

J.R. Smith made a big one last week in the opening round of the NBA championship finals. I’m sure you know by now, but he forgot what the score was at the end of regulation and cost the Cleveland Cavaliers a chance to win the game. Instead the game went into overtime and host Golden State won.

With the score tied and seconds remaining, Smith rebounded a missed Cavalier free throw. Instead of going back up, calling time out or passing to an open teammate, he dribbled to half court like he was killing the remaining time to win the game. When he realized what he had done you could see him mouth, “I thought we were ahead.” Cleveland coach Tyronn Lue confirmed it at the post-game press conference.

Then Smith took the microphone. I don’t know if he didn’t hear Lue’s account, but Smith went on to say how he “had a plan,” and was going to dribble it out to call time out. If that was his plan it wasn’t a good one. He’ll never be a coach.

Obviously, he was lying to try and cover up a mistake that likely cost the Cavaliers the game. He looked like an idiot doing so. I would have had a lot more respect for him if he had just admitted his mistake and promised to try hard in the next game to atone for it. “Man up,” so to speak.

At least he didn’t tell Lester Holt he forgot the score.