Valley League Superlatives

Ok, look, this is the first time I’m trying this out… give me a break if it doesn’t work out, ok?

The All-NBA Team

Who were the tallest players in the VBL in 2021? (This is listed height, which might be a stone’s throw away from actual height.)

  • Brayden Siren, Staunton: 6-11
  • Daniel Ouderkirk, Strasburg: 6-9
  • Jacob Shafer, Winchester: 6-8
  • Garrett Payne, Charlottesville: 6-7
  • Emilio Valdes, Front Royal: 6-7

Eight guys were listed at 6-6: Chris Widger, Jacob Cravey, Cade Henry, Kyle Merkle, Teddie Nelson, Dabiel Vos, Emmett Bice, and James O’Neal.

For the record, even though I’m only 6-4, at least used to be 6-4, in my heyday I would have held my own.

Who Travelled the Farthest?

Aidan Nagle played for Woodstock, 2,797 miles away from his home town of Santa Rosa, California. Alonzo Rubalcaba’s home town is 2,723 miles away from Waynesboro (Vacaville, CA).

  • Jake Rons, from Carlsbad, CA: 2,620 miles
  • Charles Loust, from San Clemente, CA: 2,597 miles
  • Marco Martinez, from La Puente, CA: 2,566 miles
  • Christian Ciuffetelli, from Irvine, CA: 2,538 miles
  • Luke Chung, from Canyon County, CA: 2,518 miles

Most Interesting Name

This is in the eye of the beholder, obviously, and I am certainly NOT teasing anyone’s background or ethnicity:

  • Hunter Mink, Covington
  • Alejandro Figueredo, Waynesboro- PA announcers messed his name up in about five different ways
  • Ethan Smock, Waynesboro
  • Luke Lindamood, Staunton
  • Gehrig Ebel, Charlottesville: A man named to play baseball
  • Fletch Reynolds, Front Royal: A 1980’s movie waiting to happen
  • Ezekiel Gongola, Front Royal: “Ezekiel 25:17.. A righteous man…”
  • Chad Cwik, Front Royal
  • Ramses Cordova, Winchester: The most powerful leader of Egypt?
  • Ihosvany Castaneda, Winchester
  • Cal Stark, Charlottesville: Cue Game of Thrones intro music

Most Interesting Hometown

  • Alonzo Rubalcaba, Vacaville, CA; Cowville?
  • Jacob Cravey, Andalusia, AL
  • Cole Ragone, Manakin Sabot, VA
  • Peyton Crispin, Hydro, OK
  • Jordan Sweeney, Egg Harbor Twp, NJ (Makes me think of The Great Gatsby)
  • Kasey Caras, Phoenixville, PA- So a little homerism here- I was born in Phoenixville! A long time ago, but still.
  • Joe Cobb, Denver, NC
  • Evan Keller, Destrehan, LA
  • Chad Cwik, Hometown, IL. (Yes, it’s named Hometown. 4,300 people)
  • Logan McClure, Hurricane, WV
  • Nick Chittum, Grosse Ile, MI- If only it were Grosse Pointe Blank?

Dirtiest Player

This has to be New Market’s Robert Antonietti. Before the second game of the North Semi-Finals in New Market, a storm of biblical proportions slammed New Market. After the game was called, Antonetti went out and ran the bases, slipping and sliding, falling a few times, splashing around in the mud… and I’m sure driving his host family crazy. Honorable mention: Will Prater, Waynesboro- in the third game of the South semi-finals, Prater dove into second base while his host mom yelled, “Of course!”

Best Dancer

This can be none other than Alejandro Figueredo. Figueredo pulled in Kate Collins for game two, music thumping, and hopped out of his car to show off some moves. The Generals lost that game, but not because of a lack of style.

Best Interview

I had three experiences this summer, while not exactly “interviews,” showed the personality of the subjects:

  • I don’t mean this in a bad way at all, but when I got home after speaking to Victor Castillo, I told my wife, “I had a great talk with Victor Castillo- well, I asked a question and then listened for a while.” Castillo came across as a very nice, well-spoken young man… who was rather verbose. And was fun to listen to!
  • I sat next to Staunton’s Ryan McCarty at the All-Star game, and he was very well-spoken. He seemed like a very smart young man.
  • My wife and I sat near Crawford Wade and Dalton Skinner in New Market during game two of the North Finals; Not only did they keep me posted with their radar gun, but they let me know where the best place is in Strasburg to get a beer and food, and Wade explained why he was screaming “Free Bird” most of the night.

Have any others you’d like to add, Brilliant Reader?

2 comments

  1. Great lists, John! Thanks for this, along with everything you do for the league! One additional suggestion would be “Best Walkout Song” – Waynesboro’s Alejandro Figuerado with “Toco Toco To” by Dixson Waz.

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