Potpourri for 100, Art


Brian Hoffman


I was sad to learn of the passing of Roanoke College Hall of Famer Jean Beamer, who died last week at the age of 86. She was one of the all-time greats at RC.

Beamer was a Salem native, graduating from Andrew Lewis High School in 1948. She attended Roanoke College and was a standout basketball and field hockey player, graduating in 1952. Jean returned to Roanoke College in 1959 as a part-time instructor in health and physical education. She received her master’s degree from the University of Virginia in 1961 and eventually became a full time instructor at Roanoke College.

Jean was a coach and faculty member at RC for 37 years, coaching basketball from 1970-77 and volleyball from 1973-77. She also served time coaching tennis and field hockey, and was reknown as a hockey official. In 1968, she was recognized as a National Field Hockey Umpire.

Jean was inducted into the Roanoke College Athletic Hall of Fame in 1972. She was a coach when I was a student at RC and I served many years on the Hall of Fame committee with her. She was truly a Maroon through and through.



Salem High senior Riley Fox, an all-state football selection in Group 4A, has accepted a scholarship to attend William & Mary and play on the Tribe football team.

Fox had a prior commitment to the University of Richmond, but changed his mind when Richmond coach Danny Rocco accepted the position as head coach at the University of Delaware. Fox was a running back and linebacker for Salem and projects as a linebacker for W&M.

As Salem fans know, Fox scored the winning touchdown for the Spartans at William & Mary’s Zabel Stadium in December.



And, speaking of winning touchdowns, unless you’re a fan of Dinwiddie High School or the Alabama Crimson Tide, you had to be thrilled with the respective championship games won by Salem High and Clemson.

Both games came down to the very last second until they were decided. After Riley Fox scored that winning touchdown Salem had to fend off a Dinwiddie rally, with Viante Tucker knocking down a potential game winner as the final seconds ticked off.

Monday’s NCAA championship game was equally thrilling, and of course on a much larger scale. “Instant Classic,” is what it was being called Tuesday morning.

I watched from the 8 pm pregame show until the trophy was presented at almost 12:45 am Monday. My wife was lying on the couch and fell asleep shortly after halftime. Her last comment was, “this game is boring and it’s been going on forever.”

About the time she nodded off it got real exciting, and I woke her up to watch the replay of the final touchdown. That took some courage, to run a play from the two with six seconds remaining. If somehow that clock had run out, and Clemson missed an opportunity to kick a field goal and put the game into overtime, there would have been a lot of second guessing.

Of course, that was somewhat the same situation when Salem scored the winning touchdown in Williamsburg. The ball was on the two and the Spartans were down three, passing up a field goal attempt that would have put the game into overtime.

It might be a lot to ask, but I hope the Super Bowl is equally exciting. Add in the Hokies’ comeback in the Belk Bowl, and what a great year of football it’s been!



The Winter Classic Basketball event at the Berglund Center is scheduled for this Friday. One price gets you in for all five games, capped by an appearance by Oak Hill Academy at 7 pm. Saturday’s schedule is as follows:


12:00 – William Fleming Girls vs Hidden Valley Girls

2:15 –   Northside  vs Northwest Guilford (North Carolina)

4:00 –  William Fleming vs Cave Spring

5:30 –  Patrick Henry vs North Stanley (North Carolina)

7:00 –  Oak Hill (Mouth of Wilson) vs Cape Henry (Virginia Beach)

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