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2021 | ISSUE NO. 2 | FREE

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COVER IMAGE: Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy basketball player Cole Webster earned First Team South Region and First Team All-State, and was named the VACA State Tournament MVP after helping the team win its first state championship in school history. Photo by William Siedel/Lake Life. Table of contents background image by Mary Beth Nickolich.








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ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE SNAPSHOTS SUBMIT YOUR PHOTOS Send in your scenic photos of the Smith Mountain Lake area for a chance to be published in Lake Life magazine and Smith Mountain Eagle newspaper. Email quality photos at less than 10MB to C.E. Adams at editor@smithmountaineagle.com. Please include name of person who took the photo and where and when the photo was taken.

Mary Beth Nickolich of Bedford submitted this photo of Smith Mountain Lake in the vicinity of the Smith Mountain Dam on Sept. 5.

Mary Beth Nickolich of Bedford submitted this photo taken Jan. 17 of a sunset capturing the unique boat docks on Leesville Lake off Runaway Bay Road.


Mary Beth Nickolich of Bedford submitted this photo taken Jan. 17 of Leesville Lake off Runaway Bay Road with Smith Mountain appearing in the background.


Mary Beth Nickolich of Bedford submitted this photo of Leesville Lake off Greenberry Drive, taken Jan. 17.

Pete Phillip submitted this photo taken in February of a O’Day 35 “Joie de Vivre” on Smith Mountain Lake.

Mary Beth Nickolich of Bedford submitted this photo of the fall view of Smith Mountain Lake from a private dock in the Mountain View Shores subdivision on Nov. 7.


ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021


20-Year-Old Excited to Offer Fashion Exchange Storefront By William Seidel


hile she was working a full-time job as a human resource manager, Kelly Weddle started the Fashion Exchange in August 2019 as a side hobby and had thoughts of cutting it out to concentrate on her career, not knowing that it would grow into something much more popular. The 20-year-old recently opened her first in-person store of the Fashion Exchange, which buys and sells gently used good brand clothing. The business is located at 103 Digby Greene Road in Boones Mill. “I’ve always wanted to provide affordable high-quality clothing, but I’ve always wanted people coming in here feeing like they were walking into a boutique and not having to pay the price tag on it,” Weddle said. The Fashion Exchange consists of men and women’s clothing, clothes for teenagers, baby clothing, jewelry, accessories, etc. Weddle said she is a big advocate for local shopping and hopes to carry products from other local businesses in her store. It’s a big step considering where Weddle came from when she first started the Fashion Exchange. The idea originally formed from Weddle wanting to sell her clothes from her closet. She also would go to local thrift stores and find clothes that she liked but couldn’t wear. She then bought them and started selling those with her clothes. Not long after, she started purchasing clothes from other people to sell. Five months after she started selling clothes, she relocated to Richmond as part of her human resource manager position. This allowed her L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE



PICTURED: Kelly Weddle in her new storefront for Fashion Exchange. Photo by William Seidel/Lake Life.


ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021


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to upgrade the Fashion Exchange from a closet to a spare bedroom. Weddle then decided to stop her side hobby all together to concentrate on her human resource career and sell her clothes super cheap on a Facebook page she had created for that reason. At first there were 50 women who had joined the Facebook page, but that number would blow up. Not even two weeks later, the page had increased from around 50 to 1,000 members. “I was getting ready to shut it down and found that it just blew up,” Weddle said. Women were constantly messaging Weddle in that Facebook group to keep doing what she is doing because they were loving what she had to offer. Weddle added that she felt it was God speaking to her and letting her know to continue what she’s doing. So, she created a website and started selling there. From there she kept buying and selling clothes until she had to expand even more. With an inventory growing bigger, Weddle upgraded to a “She Shed,” and even that was just barely enough room to store her clothes and merchandise. “It was enough to store stuff, but I had no working space in there,” Weddle said. “I couldn’t take pictures; I couldn’t pack orders; I couldn’t do what I needed to do.” She was on the look out for a new spacious area for her business. Weddle contacted her brother and asked if he knew anybody who has bigger space for rent. She came across her now business storefront, but still wasn’t sold on it yet. After multiple meetings and lots of consideration, Weddle acquired it in December. “I was super excited and a little relieved,” she said. Weddle mentioned that she now has 2,500 members on their Facebook group, and lots of them were asking for a storefront to be able to see the clothes in person and try them on before purchasing. Once Weddle acquired the warehouse for her storefront, she noted that she was going to go all in and concentrate on the business as her career. She has plans to hopefully expand her business in the future. “I’m just excited to see how far it can go,” Weddle said. “This is just the first step of many.” To maintain and grow a business at a young age is an impressive accomplishment. Lots of women of all ages have been messaging and telling Weddle that it’s very inspiring seeing a young lady start a business and do what she has done with it in a short amount of time. “To hear people say it’s been inspiring to them, I go to sleep at night very happy with myself,” she said.• L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE





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fter being an online business for two years, a



business called Kennedy Kay that creates handmade wooden signs, business logos, home décor and other valuables has officially ushered in a new era: It opened its first storefront location. The store is located at 130 Scruggs Road Suite 102, which is next to True Awakeningz, and its name comes from two of the owner’s daughters, whose names are Kennedy and Kaylee. When




Hamilton and her family officially moved and settled at Smith Mountain L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE



Lake in the summer of 2020, her husband, Ryan Hamilton,

Starting out, Lacey Hamilton worked with a cheap saw that

suggested that since her business was doing well, she needed

she bought off Amazon and bought around $20 worth of

to expand and open up her own personal storefront. The

supplies to work from. She then sold her first sign, and the rest

storefront allows Lacey Hamilton to work in a new setting but also

is history.

holds workshops. “People can make their own wood signs, but they can also paint and do wood cutouts,” Lacey Hamilton said. “They can

Lacey Hamilton said she uses just a scroll saw to cut everything, including her letters. She also said she takes great pride in making sure her work is customizable and unique.

also do serving trays and Lazy Susan. Anything I can sell, they can customize and do in the workshop.”

“Any color, any stain, any stencil, any font, it’s truly customizable,” Lacey Hamilton said.

The story of how Lacey Hamilton started her business is

She added that she has always loved the idea of building,

actually one might call a leap of faith. At the time before she

and that’s what drew her to this side of the art field, stating that

started, Lacey Hamilton knew she had to find something to

seeing her work take off like it has also reassured her that she

support her family. Having six kids and a husband who retired

made the right choice. Now that they are in SML and have their

from the Air Force and went straight to work, Lacey Hamilton

new storefront, she is ready to place her mark around the lake

was looking for something that she can do to help support her

community and hopes to expand in the future. Lacey Hamilton

family and be able to take care of her kids at the same time.

also will get a little more help from her mother, Wendy Staude,

She then came up with the idea of creating wood signs in her garage, but there was small problem before she moved forward with her plans – money. Lacey Hamilton wasn’t fazed

as she moved here recently from Phoenix to help her daughter with Kennedy Kay. She said her mother is “super talented” and will be bringing her own twist to some projects.

at all, but rather knew she could bring in revenue and be able to support her family. “I was very confident. I knew I could do this,” Lacey Hamilton said, who is also an Air Force veteran herself.

For more information about Kennedy Kay and their services, they can be reached by phone at 304-767-3048. Business hours are Thursday through Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.•

Having around $100 in their name back then, Ryan Hamilton decided to support his wife and made a deal that if she can build a profit within a year, then she can still continue doing it. He said it wasn’t really a leap of faith because he knew his wife was going to succeed. “I believed in her from the start that she was going to do this.

PICTURED (OPPOSITE PAGE): Kennedy Kay business owner Lacey Hamilton. Photo by William Seidel/Lake Life.

That’s how much trust I have in her,” Ryan Hamilton said. 13

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021


PICTURED: (TOP) Shown from left are Eric Cline, Susan Tyler, Jamie Young and Nicole Tauber with Eric & Company Salon Suites. (BELOW) Their new location at 13860 Booker T. Washington Highway, Suite 100. Photos by William Seidel/Lake Life. L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE



Eric & Company ushers in a new era with new location By William Seidel


ric & Company Salon Suites, recently renamed from

their work environment.

Eric & Company Premiere Salon, is one of the most

With that in mind, Cline decided to look for a new location

recognizable salons across Smith Mountain Lake,

that could help accommodate his coworkers while still offering

having first opened its doors in the Westlake area in 1997. He

quality service and customer satisfaction.

later moved to Fairway Village Shopping Center next to Cancun Mexican Restaurant and Grill.

That new location is at 13860 Booker T. Washington Highway, Suite 100, off Route 122. It offers studios for the cosmetologist

An established local brand such as Eric & Company went

to work in their own area and also helps clients feel safer by

through their fair share of struggles during the COVID-19

only having contact with just their hair stylist. He said it was the

pandemic. After all, salons were classified in the Phase 3

perfect space and size for him and his coworkers to move.

reopening plan in Virginia, which didn’t take place for a few

“When I saw this, I knew we could make it work,” Cline said.

months when the shutdown occurred.

The new location also came with the name change as stated

“COVID has destroyed the hair business completely,” owner Eric Cline said. Cline said it was a major struggle in 2020 trying to keep their head above water but was quick to thank the SML community

earlier. Cline said that his coworkers are not his employees, but they rent their own studio and do their own business independently. He added the name change better represents what they do, and it ushers in a new era.

for being very supportive and helping him and his coworkers make it through that difficult time. Still, he knew the world would be a different place once the pandemic was over and was thinking ahead. One of those

Cline also has a professional career as a pilot and noted that working both jobs would require him to only be at the salon maybe three days a week, and this will allow his coworkers to come in and do their job whenever they want to.

thoughts were if he should just break off and start doing his salon business by himself. His coworkers were adamant to Cline that they wanted to

As far as services goes, Eric & Company does every type of hair services when it comes to cuts, colors and perm. They also offer waxing.

stick together. Who could blame them? They had been with Cline for years and they had formed a close tight knit family in

“Whatever the client wants to have done, we can do it,” Cline said. 15

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT For those who still might be leery about how safe it is to go to a hair salon, Cline said that everyone follows CDC guidelines to a tee. After every client, there is a 15-minute pause in between to clean the chairs, shampoo bottles, everything that they came in contact with. Cline said this is something they will do even after the pandemic ends. Even though 2020 was rough, Cline said he still has a lot to be thankful for. He expressed major gratitude to his coworkers — Susan Tyler, Jamie Young and Nicole Tauber — for wanting to stick with him despite the hardships. He also said that the landlords of their new location, Tony and Karen Valente, are probably the best that he has every worked with, as they were extremely understanding and willing to help Cline in any way he needed. As for renovations and moving to their new location, Cline made sure to give a special thanks to Plumber Electricians Ronnie and Donnie Amos; Brad Wray who helped with flooring; and Chad McDaniel, Joe Miller, Joe Morales and Mark Randolph for helping him move and get the salon set up. Better days are ahead for Cline and his coworkers as they continue through a new era with Eric & Company. For Cline specifically, keeping the faith and believing that God will deliver him through that difficult year was enough to keep pushing through, and it paid off for him.

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“I leave a lot of faith in God,” Cline said. “I leave it all in his hands. He makes things happen.” For those interested in an appointment, Cline said they are open to do business in any way their clients need them and said that special appointments can be scheduled for those still cautious of COVID-19. Walk-ins are welcomed, but appointments at this time are appreciated. For









1650 Scruggs Road | Wirtz, VA 24184

540-721-7336. • L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE










manda’s, a floral and antique shop, opened its doors

person,” Dahlby said. “We miss her terribly, so it’s just a nice

this year at 14116 Booker T. Washington Highway

way to remember her.”

beside Aztec Rental.

When someone walks through the front door, they are met

Originally called Virginia Wildwood Design and located

with a wide collection of antiques, designs and cottage items

at Reclaimed LLC in Moneta, owner Diane Dahlby and her

made in American homes. Dahlby said the cottage items include

husband Chuck decided it was time to find another location that

jewelry, paintings, candles and more. “If it’s a quality that I like, I will purchase it,” Dahlby said.

was much bigger. “We loved being at Reclaim — that is a unique and fun place,

The antiques can go back as far as 1800, and one of the

too — but we didn’t have room; we’ve just grown,” Dahlby said.

Dahlby’s prized items is a butter churn. This particular butter

The former location was approximately 300 square feet, but

churner was owned by the Cash pioneer family, who were one

their new location is more than 2,000 square feet. The new

of the first settlers of Amherst County. The county was founded

building also is connected to an old cabin from the 1800s

in 1761. “We got some unique items; we never know what we are

where Dahlby sells a section of their antiques. Connected to the cabin is a design center where Dalhby does all her floral

going to find,” Dahlby said.

designs such as wreaths and flower arrangements. The design

There are also plans for popup markets in front of the design

center also features a lounge area where one can enjoy a cup

center on a weekend that will feature vegetables, flowers,

of coffee and relax.

antique and more. The plan is to have it once a month. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and

The reason for the name change was to memorialize Dahlby’s daughter, Amanda, who died ago at the age of She


a couple of years

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Dahlby said coming out of retirement to run Amanda’s has

39. just a wonderful, wonderful

been well worth it because she loves to socialize and is having a lot of fun doing what she loves, which is being creative. She said it’s been a blessing from God being able to do what she loves. “It’s really a gift from God,” she said.• PICTURED(OPPOSITE PAGE): Amanda’s employee Pam Hastings (left) and owner Diane Dahlby help a customer, Rolanna Bell, on Friday at the relocated store at 14116 Booker T. Washington Highway.Photo by William Seidel/Lake Life.


ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021



By William Seidel


usinesses wanting to promote or advertise their brand through products can look no further than Savvy Promos, owned by Julia Darling. Darling, a former kindergarten teacher of 18 years, decided she

wanted to change career paths many years ago. This led to connecting with a business partner to help run his screen printing company based in West Virginia. It was a tough decision for Darling to leave her teaching career to pursue a new one. “I miss the kids, and I will always miss the kids,” Darling said. When she first started, she knew nothing about screen printing and promotional products. She went to conventions and classes to learn about screen printing, embroidery and selling promotional items. The more she learned, the more she felt she could make a career out of it. She took a big step and decided to break off and start her own business. Thus, Savvy Promos was born. Darling came up with the name because she thinks “outside the box” and thought of the word savvy as someone having a different approach to advertising better than standard. First starting in Ohio, she then moved to Smith Mountain Lake and has been serving the community for three years. Darling was recently inducted into the Leadership Academy Class of 2021 by the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce for existing and emerging leaders in our community.




Her work has become well known across the lake community,

according to Darling, was helping a hobby-style business called

and if one has been to an event hosted by the SML Regional

Shirt Tales become a multi-million-dollar business within a 15-

Chamber of Commerce, they would see her designs.

year period. She also has lots of positive reviews from clients.

Darling has created Wine Festival and Chili Cook-off T-shirts,

One comment reads: “Lots of design creativity, keen

Wine Festival water bottles and Chili Cook-off can coolies.

eye for color complimented by years of experience has

She also has created custom notepads for KEEPin’ Up with J

resulted in exceptional outcomes in brand promotion for

Bohn LLC as well as producing products for SMLRental.com like


notepads, pencils and pens. These are only a select few that Darling works with to help promote their brand. Other products she can customize are masks, lip balm, stools, banners, hand sanitizers, beverage holders and more. “When I produce something that they are excited to use as a branding tool, it makes you feel like you’ve done your job, fulfilled expectations and maybe even more,” said Darling. Darling takes a lot of pride in her work, always helping her clients come up with the best designs and ways to promote their product. One of her greatest promotional accomplishments,

Another read: “I couldn’t be more confident with recommending Savvy Promos. Detailed. Creative. Professional. Caring. Efficient. All the reasons a busy professional depends on Julia to do exactly what she says she will. I absolutely depend on her for branding needs,” said Victoria West. Customer satisfaction is extremely important to Darling as she

Come See always strives to make sure her clients get the best quality. Come See Our New Line and more to me,” she said. Our“ItNew Line means everything Of Manitou OfMore Manitou information about Savvy Promos, can be found on their Pontoon Pontoon website, savvypromos.com.• Boats! Boats!

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PICTURED: Shown above, Tyler Hanf likes to ride his horse, Charlie, which he can still ride even though he struggles to get on at times due to fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva. To the right is Tyler Hanf (middle) with his parents, Mike and Kim Hanf. Photos by William Seidel/Lake Life. L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


here are under 1,000 known cases of fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP) worldwide, and one of those diagnosed with it is a 12-year-old boy in Franklin County. FOP, one of the rarest, most disabling genetic conditions in the world, turns muscles, tendons and ligaments into bone, and those bridges of extra bone move across the joints in the body, which restrict movement. According to the International Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva Association, FOP is basically a healthy mind that is imprisoned in a frozen body. There is no cure for it. Tyler Hanf, who is 12 years old and attends Benjamin Franklin Middle School in Rocky Mount, was diagnosed with FOP in fall 2020. From the moment he was born, the symptoms of FOP were visible on his toes, which looked abnormal. “We thought that he just had these bumps that looked like bunions that he was born with on both of his big toes,” said Tyler’s mom Kim Hanf. “Everybody told us that it was no big deal.”

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT When Tyler was six weeks old, he developed three lumps on his head, and doctors discovered through diagnostic tests that he developed a lump in his clavicle. A doctor told Tyler’s parents that they believed the lumps were a case of cranial fasciitis. This is a rare benign tumor of the skull that occurs in children younger than 6 years old, according to ajnr.org. The doctor recommended they be removed because the lumps were pushing into his skull and denting it. At three months old, Tyler had surgery to have the lumps removed, but they shortly grew back and went away on their own. His symptoms wouldn’t go away. Instead, they started to become more visible. Last year, Tyler wasn’t able to move his head side to side anymore. If he wanted to move his head, then he had to turn his shoulders to the side as well. More lumps started to form as recently as last fall. A few days before Labor Day last year, after playing cornhole, Tyler developed a large swelling on his back that was the size of a football, which again had his parents concerned about what was happening. The doctor they visited told both

Kim and her husband Mike Hanf that they needed to get Tyler to the University of Virginia hospital because she felt it could be an emergency situation with his muscles starting to become rigid, which could impact his breathing. Their trip ended with the same old song and dance: no answers and being told there wasn’t anything serious going on with Tyler. Still, the message was the same: Tyler’s condition was unlike anything the doctors, orthopedics or specialist had ever seen. With only one in two million born with FOP, the chances that any of the doctors would see cases like this is slim, which explains why they were baffled over Tyler’s condition. “You wouldn’t believe how many times we were told by them that they have never seen anything like this before,” said Mike Hanf. “‘We have no idea’ were the words that kept coming out of their mouths.” Tyler then went to an orthopedist who scheduled MRIs of the neck and back and also started to see a physical therapist to work out his shoulders. The physical therapist told Mike and Kim Hanf that it was strange how his shoulder blades won’t move or


ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT budge. She told them that trying to move his shoulder blades doesn’t hurt Tyler, but he just can’t physically do it. The physical therapist recommended to Mike and Kim Hanf that Tyler should have an MRI of the brain. Once the results of the neck and back MRIs came back, the orthopedist had some concerns and sent him to a geneticist in Roanoke. Once the results of the brain MRI came back, Kim Hanf got a call from the geneticist, who told her that there was some abnormality and said the radiologist had never seen anything like it before. The geneticist sent the films to UVA, where the neuroradiologist made a diagnosis. Kim Hanf said the geneticist looked up the symptoms and confirmed that it fit with Tyler’s. “I was completely blindsided to get such a diagnosis,” said Kim Hanf. Having a genetic test done to confirm the diagnosis, Mike and Kim Hanf said they were told by a doctor that the DNA of those with FOP shows that one of the six billion letters of genetic code is out of place, which causes this rare disease. Although Mike and Kim Hanf spent 12 years trying to figure out what was going on with their son, which can be frustrating, they are far from alone on that end. In fact, misdiagnosis happens all the time for those with FOP, and one misdiagnosis of FOP is well known around the world. Ashley Kurpiel was just a toddler when she developed a lump. Doctors thought it was a cancerous tumor, which led to them amputating her right arm and shoulder. Come to find out, though, she never had a cancerous tumor, but it was a misdiagnosis that cost Kurciel her right arm. Now knowing what he has and will live with the rest of his life, Tyler doesn’t let it get to him. He makes it clear that he doesn’t live in fear but acknowledges he does have some struggles in his personal life. “It’s hard to move around and do a lot of things, like putting on my shirt or sweatshirt because I can’t reach around or over my head,” Tyler Hanf said. It wasn’t until a month ago when Tyler was able to put a shirt on by himself since losing the mobility in his shoulder blades just before Labor Day. He saw his parents outside with his neighbors and wanted to join them, but because he was so use to his parents helping him dress, he had to figure it out by himself with dressing sticks that he has. It took him a while, but Tyler was able to figure it out and dress himself. He also faces some issues with one of his knees, which will lock up if he bends it more than 90 degrees. To work it out, Tyler L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


will walk on his knees or hop to the stairs. He mentioned his knee will also lock up every morning when he wakes up because of how he sleeps. When it comes to showering, Tyler mentioned he can’t wash his hair or his back because of his limited motion, but they are currently trying to find ways for him to be able to do so. As far as his social life, Tyler says he has no problem at school and says his classmates don’t treat him any different or even ask why he is physically limited in some ways. He can’t take any physical education due to the risk of falling and causing trauma. “The only real thing it impacts me at school is reaching up and in front of my desk,” Hanf said. One of Tyler’s favorite hobbies is building Legos, which he has scattered on the family’s ping pong table. He has a grabber that he uses to reach for Lego pieces that are a little bit out of reach on the ping pong table and scrapes it toward him. “Legos and video games are my escape from everything,” Tyler Hanf said. Tyler also said he likes to ride his horse, Charlie, which he can still ride even though he struggles to get on at times. Kim Hanf said their horse is incredibly patient with Tyler and is always so gentle around him. He talked about his desire to be a game warden when he grew up due to the TV program called Northwood’s Law, but knew his limitations wouldn’t make that possible. Kim Hanf said her biggest thing now is she wants people to learn about the rare disease and how it impacts those who live with it. Mike and Kim Hanf also planned a fundraiser for April 25 to include free pony rides, free yard games, a yard sale and a bake sale, called Family Funday for Tyler. A Facebook page titled “Riding for Tyler #cureFOP” was created to promote it. At the end of the day, both Mike and Kim Hanf just want their son to maintain his personality and to never lose it during his journey with FOP. “He’s just so fun, smart, upbeat and never lets this get him down,” Kim Hanf said. “No matter what mobility he loses, there’s always a way to adapt and to still do fun things.” Even with this rare disease, Tyler Hanf doesn’t try to advertise it or gain sympathy. Instead, he wakes up every day for school, gets on the bus, and goes about his school day without ever thinking of his condition, and he wants to keep it that way. “I don’t even think about it,” Tyler Hanf said. “To me, I’m just another kid.”•

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Bedford County native invented ‘You’re the Coach’ board game for football fans By William Seidel


ootball fans have to wait months until fall arrives for the new football season. However, there is a certain board game that could potentially hold them over. Michael Wray Jr., who is from Bedford and has connections to Smith Mountain Lake, invented a board game called “You’re the Coach,” which is centered on the game of football. It was 40 years in the making and can be purchased on websites such as eBay, Amazon and Etsy. Wray, who now resides in Raymondville, Missouri, with his fiancée Chrissy White, came up with the idea when watching Monday Night Football and working on a short story for a school project when he was in the eighth grade. He then got the idea of matching up the offense with the defense and the roll of the dice would determine the players’ ability to execute the play. “It just all kind of came together,” said Wray, who played football at Liberty High School. When he first started working on the game, Wray said his mother, Syvil Wray, who is the sister of Iris Blankenship of Moneta, would often mention to him that he was in his own little world as he kept putting the game together. He said he would spend many late nights in his room working on the game. Wray said he also had lots of inspiration from his late grandmother, Christine Smith, who was one of his biggest influencers growing up. He even remembers working on it while he was in the United States Navy on the USS Miller (FF-1091) and USS Nassau (LHA-4). He added that he even played it with his fellow comrades and it got so competitive one evening that a fight broke out between the two of them. Wray said the argument was over a fumble. “If they would read the rules, they would have realized how you determined it. You roll the dice; you don’t punch someone in L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE


the face,” Wray said with a laugh. The name of the game came from Wray telling his brother, who was playing the game with him, that he was in charge of his team and had to make a decision. “I would say, ‘Come on, you’re the coach; let’s go, let’s go.’ It just kind of stuck,” Wray said. The interesting feature of this board game is it can be played by oneself or up to 20 people. If played with others, they don’t need to physically be there to play, as they can play through texting, video chat or a phone call. The game consists of a binder filled with offense and defensive plays with instructions on what to do and how a play is determined. One doesn’t have to be as knowledgeable of football to play the game, although it does make it more difficult at first. Wray said that “You’re the Coach” is a fun way to teach and learn the basics of football. It took Wray a long time to come up with the final version during his time in the Navy and his current career as a truck driver, but in between all those years were some prototypes that he was able to demonstrate to lots of individuals from different states and countries. Met with lots of positive reception, Wray knew he was sitting on one of the more unique board games created. However, he wasn’t quite finished with the final version and still needed to find some work, mostly with the art side of things getting the players created. He said he went through a total of 13 people before he finally found someone who could sit down and do it. While he was loading at Joplin 44 Petro in Joplin, Missouri, Wray said there was a man who mentioned his brother could be the artist that Wray was looking for. The artist that Wray found was Robert Gillis. “He has done an outstanding job,” Wray said. “He drew

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT these players, officials, everything. He did a great job on it.” Once Gillis finished the art, the game was ready to officially

take “You’re the Coach,” on the Shark Tank show and promote his product there. “I would love to go on ABC Shark Tank with it,” Wray said.

hit the shelves and was released several months ago. Gillis is working on creating stands with a press box on it for a future upgraded version of “You’re the Coach.” Wray provided comments that he has received for the game

It’s been a long journey for Wray to finish “You’re the Coach,” and he gives God all the glory during his long venture and for helping him make the board game a reality. “Give God the glory for all of this, because without him, none

on eBay. “The game was very interesting & fun to play. I recommend anybody & everybody to play,” wrote Brian Harris of

of this is possible,” Wray said. “He’s the one that told me what to put, how to put and what to do.”•

South Hill, Virginia. Raymond Wallace from Fort Wayne, Indiana stated, “I thought the game was very competitive and enthusiastic. It gave you chills and thrills, because you never know what would happen next. How about rolling the dice and giving it a try?” Some well-recognized print media that focuses on truck drivers also covered Wray’s board game, including RoadKing Magazine, Truckers News, Land Line Magazine, and Movin Out Magazine. Wray said he has an ultimate goal of wanting to

PICTURED: Michael Wray Jr. (left) from Bedford and Mickey Crouch, who coached at Amherst County High School, hold Wray’s board game “You’re the Coach.” Photo contributed by Michael Wray Jr. 31

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021


Bowles on heart disease: ‘We take our health for granted’ By William Seidel

PICTURED: Matthew Bowles, who is a Physician Assistant in Cardiology for LewisGale Physicians. Photo contributed by LewisGale.


eart disease is the leading cause of death in the

from a heart attack or related to heart disease. He also said that

United States for both men and women, with

heart attacks are the second leading cause of death in Virginia

one person dying every 36 seconds, according

just behind cancer. In the total number of deaths from heart

to cdc.gov.

disease from last year in Virginia, Bowles said that it exceeds

Matthew Bowles, a physician assistant in cardiology and

over 14,000.

the director of Advanced Practice Providers for LewisGale

These numbers are connected to a wide range of reasons

Physicians, said it’s very common for everyone with a

for heart disease such as obesity, unhealthy diet, high blood

healthy heart to not be as concerned with heart disease as

pressure, high blood cholesterol, smoking and others.

they need to be. He also serves at the Smith Mountain Lake multi-specialty office.

With this in mind, Bowles has made it a mission to help and educate the importance of taking care of your heart. After all,

“We take our health for granted” Bowles said.

he has always had a great interest in the heart, going back to

In Virginia alone, Bowles said that one in four deaths are

his childhood.



LOCAL SPOTLIGHT Growing up, Bowles knew even in middle school that he

as well. According to Bowles, he has won the Best Bedside

wanted to be in the medical field but wasn’t sure what area he

Manner multiple times for the physician assistant position from

wanted to pursue. It was during anatomy class in high school —

OurHealth Magazine.

while learning about how the heart works — when he became interested in the cardiac field. Once he graduated high school, Bowles attended Radford University for his undergrad and also was a paramedic during

With it being heart month, Bowles said it’s a big focus to get the word out to everyone to be more healthy and cautious with their heart health, such as focusing on the symptoms

his time in college. He then attended Jefferson College of Health

of a heart attack. Bowles said it’s important that they grow

Sciences for his graduate degree and graduated in 2004.

cardiac awareness.

Bowles then worked in the emergency room as a physician

Typical symptoms include chest pain; fatigue; pain in the

assistant from 2004-2009 with LewisGale but transferred into a

jaw, neck, back or arm; breaking out in a sweat; and shortness

position involving cardiology because of his developed interest

of breath.

in the field. He has stayed in that position for 11 years and has served at the Smith Mountain Lake multi-specialty office since 2012. As a certified physician assistant (PA-C), Bowles sees patients on a daily basis that involve cardiac stress testing and checking patients who have had procedures such as heart catheterization

With patients, Bowles has made sure to get their diet in the right direction, which includes lots of heart healthy foods. Examples of these foods are leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and collard greens. Other foods include whole grains, berries, avocados, beans, salmon, mackerel and much more. With the emergence of the COVID-19 virus, Bowles said that

and cardiac surgeries to make sure everything looks good. Helping others who have had procedures on their heart and helping them recover brings great joy to Bowles. “I enjoy my job immensely,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to see those patients recover and get back to their healthy lifestyle and activities.” Bowles said a lot of times in the medical system, doctors and nurses are limited with the amount of time they can spend and interact with their patients, which is why he enjoys being

it has been linked to damage to the heart. At LewisGale, several cases have been related to post-COVID recovery syndrome, in which patients have recovered from the initial symptoms of the virus but still suffer from chest pains, palpitation, shortness of breath and other symptoms. They are then tested to see if the virus has caused inflammation in their heart or if they are having any other cardiac problems.

a physician assistant because he can spend a lot of time with

“We have to take that extra precaution,” Bowles said.

patients at the bedside just answering their questions and doing

Now in his 12th year as a PA-C with LewisGale, Bowles will

their follow-up. After all, building that connection with patients

never stop serving the community and will continue to spread

is very important to him.

awareness with heart disease, even after heart month. He also

“I think one of the big things you can do, really, is to build a relationship or even a friendship with those patients,” Bowles said. Patients meeting Bowles for the first time will talk to him on a personal level about their history, family history, medications

will continue to make sure all patients he serves will get the best and top-notch quality care that he strives for. “It’s really important for the patients to feel comfortable when they see their medical provider and to be able to develop that

and past procedures so he can get to know them and find the

relationship,” Bowles said. “That way they can ask me any

best possible treatment for them.

questions, and I can ask them any questions, so I can take the

His drive to take care of patients has earned recognition

best care possible for them.” • 33

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021


Get to know the Doc:

Dr. Jeremy Smalley brings top quality to SML as an orthopedic surgeon By William Seidel By William Seidel PICTURED: LewisGale Medical Center orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jeremy Smalley. Photo contributed by LewisGale.


r. Jeremy Smalley, who is an orthopedic surgeon

to seize the opportunity” to invest in the SML community.

for LewisGale Medical Center, has been

Just to give an idea of the services that Smalley offers, it’s quite

practicing his field of work at Smith Mountain Lake

an extensive list. According to LewisGale’s website, his services

for more than a year. His original office is located in Salem at

include rotator cuff repair; shoulder, hip and knee replacement;

the LewisGale Hospital, but when LewisGale was looking for

elbow arthritis debridement or replacement; comprehensive

an orthopedic doctor to join its multi-specialty satellite office at

fracture care; and much more.

400 Scruggs Road at Smith Mountain Lake, Smalley jumped at the opportunity.

surgeon until he was in medical school. After reviewing all his

“I had some patients from the SML area, and I had gotten to know the lake area a little better,” Smalley said. “I was pleased L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

Originally, Smalley didn’t know he wanted to be an orthopedic


options, he felt that this career field was the right path for him to take.

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT “I realized I wanted to do something where we did procedures

He noted that his goal is not just to make a medical diagnosis

and, likely, work in the operating room pretty early in medical

but to understand patient’s needs and goals. He tries to give

school,” he said. “As I looked through the different options,

patients helpful information on their orthopedic problems and

orthopedics appealed to me for a variety of reasons, not

options and develop a plan of care together.

just one.”

Smalley performs a wide variety of surgical and clinical

Smalley mentioned that he was drawn to be an orthopedic

procedures but said there are so many possible surgeries in

surgeon by the interesting mechanics of the musculoskeletal

orthopedics that no one does them all. He mentioned that he’s

system, the variety of procedures and the opportunity to help

not afraid at all to refer his patients to one of his partners at

people of a broad spectrum of ages and interests get back to the activities they enjoy.

LewisGale or another doctor in town as needed to provide just the right expert care.

Smalley has been in the medical field for more than a decade but has been independently practicing for just over three years. That’s because to be a board certified orthopedic surgeon, it requires a lot of time in the classroom. According to LewisGale’s website, Smalley first obtained his bachelor’s degree from Berry College in Georgia. From there, he went to graduate school at the Medical University of South Carolina. Smalley then continued his training in Charleston, South Carolina, with his residency in orthopedic surgery. He noted that the residency typically takes five years. He then did one year of fellowship at John Hopkins Medical Institute for shoulder and elbow specialty surgery.

This is just one of the many reasons why patients can expect top-quality care from Smalley but also take solace in knowing that he has every intention to make sure they receive the best care. “If you need surgery and it’s something that I’m great at, I’ll do it. If it’s something that somebody else is great at and I’m not, I’ll send you to them,” he said. As for how much time and effort Smalley spends with his patients, Smalley mentioned that his nurse will tease him about spending a lot of time answering patient’s questions and talking to them about their concerns. He said he wants to make sure he gives as much detail as he

When it comes to serving the SML community, Smalley said he enjoys connecting with those in the agricultural field because it reminds him of his father’s side of the family, who grew up on a family farm in Pennsylvania. He also said that he enjoys taking

can when he answers their questions. He said he finds lots of his patients are curious, and it brings lots of joy to him when they ask questions and he is able to answer them. Always humbled by the challenges and rewards of medicine,

care of the active retiree community and has made lots of great connections with them. One thing that patients around the lake can expect when they have an appointment with Dr. Smalley is honesty.

Smalley said he is beyond grateful to serve the lake community and is looking forward to building strong relationships within the area and helping improve lives of all ages.

“The biggest thing that I want patients to know is that I want

“We still can’t make anything as good as what God originally

them to be comfortable asking questions and that I will do my

gave us, but we can certainly make things a lot better than a

best to answer them in a way that satisfies them,” Smalley said.

joint or bone that’s worn out or broken,” Smalley said.• 35

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

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Webster’s journey from California to SML to basketball champion By William Seidel


round this time last year, Cole

question that would change his life: Could he

Webster was enjoying his daily

stay for the school year?

routine in California: going to

“When Cole asked us if he could stay out

school, working out every day with his trainers,

here, go to school and play basketball with his

playing on one of the best AAU teams in the

cousins, I was all for it, but I didn’t think there’d

state, and spending time with his family.

be a chance in a million,” Deborah Giese said.

Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit a week

It was a big decision for Webster’s parents,

later and changed that routine for everyone

Jason and Rebecca Webster, to let the youngest

at the time. For Webster, schools were closed,

of their children move 2,000 miles away.

and sports were canceled in his home state.

Knowing the love their son would feel with his

It didn’t look like he was going to see any

aunt and uncle, as well having his cousins there

basketball action for a good while … until what

with him to help him transition at his new school

was meant to be family trip to the east coast

and lifestyle, they ultimately agreed.

change his life. Webster has family living in Smith Mountain Lake — his aunt Deborah Giese, uncle Shawn

“It was a very, very tough decision. But we knew God was going to take care of our son,” Jason Webster said.

Giese and cousins Anthony and Bryan Giese.

Even though the decision to let their son stay

At the end of July, Webster flew out to visit with

was one of the toughest they have had, both

them for a couple of weeks. Little did he know

Jason and Rebecca Webster agreed – it was

that once he got on the plane, he would end up

a new path that God had laid out for their son.

staying here for the whole school year. At first, Webster didn’t enroll at Smith

When Webster found out he was staying, he and his cousins were ecstatic.

Mountain Lake Christian Academy until after

“We were jumping up and down and

the first week of school but still went with his

screaming. We were beyond excited” Anthony

cousins to shadow and see if he could get a

Giese said.

feel for it and fit in. Once he liked what he saw,

Even though he was more than 2,000 miles

Webster asked Deborah and Shawn Giese the

away from his parents, Webster has been




staying in close contact with his parents via FaceTime every

new journey at SML.

night, but he noted that he was starting to feel homesick at the

Now that it was official that Webster was staying and

beginning. Anthony Giese said he was constantly reminding his

enrolled in classes, it was time for him to get to know Mike

cousin that it was for the best for him to be able to go to school

Greathouse, his new head basketball coach. Greathouse stated

and play basketball. Webster noted that Anthony Giese has

that he was going to replace nine seniors from last season’s state

been one of his most vocal and biggest supporters during his

semifinals team and was going to be finding new faces to step

PICTURED: Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy basketball player Cole Webster (right) stands next to teammate and cousin Anthony Giese after the team won its first state championship in school history. Photo by William Seidel/Lake Life.


ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT up and be playmakers. Once Webster made it official that he

Now it was time for the VACA to know who Webster was. In

was enrolling, Greathouse knew he found his key playmaker for

his first game as an Osprey against Southwest Virginia Home

the season.

School, Webster dropped 29 points on 12-17 from the field.

Those thoughts were only confirmed even more when he got

Though he didn’t put those numbers up every game, teams knew

his first glimpse of watching Webster’s game at an open gym,

he was a threat wherever he was on the floor. One example

and the skills that he demonstrated on the court left Greathouse

was on the third game of the season against King’s Christian

with a big grin.

Academy. Webster had to sit until the second quarter due to

“We knew we had someone pretty special,” he said.

foul trouble. He scored his first basket of the game with 5:40 left

If anyone in the basketball world knows talent when they see

in the first half and then ended up going on a tear, scoring 22

it, it’s Greathouse. With more than 30-plus years of experience

straight points that were capped off by two straight threes near

coaching basketball in Indiana and seeing players that would

the beginning of the third quarter.

go on to play at major Division 1 schools such as North Carolina,

With his team sitting at 8-0, Webster was hit with a torn

Michigan State, Louisville and the NBA, he knew talent when he

oblique muscle and was dealing with other issues. Because of

saw it.

that, Webster had to sit for the time being. The first game he

Still, even with Webster’s special skills, he wasn’t well known

missed was going to be the first game his parents would see

around the lake area. His coaches knew that once the season

him play as an Osprey, as they flew in to visit him for a week.

started, though, his name would begin to gain traction. One of

Unfortunately, that didn’t happen, but seeing their son again

those coaches was Danny Hockenberger, assistant head coach

after a few months meant everything to Jason and Rebecca

for the SMLCA boys team, who saw Webster at open gym and

Webster. They both said that he has grown up so much from a

said it’s only a matter of time when everyone finds out how

maturity standpoint and noticed how he was doing things by

special he was.

himself now since he left California.

While Webster was already building relationships with his

“It was a little tough on my heart when I got to see him be so

coaches, he had to earn the trust and respect of his teammates.

independent,” Rebecca Webster said. “He’s had a lot of growth

Having Anthony Giese by his side was definitely going to help,

over this year.”

but he knew he needed to do it himself. Webster said the team took him in with no hesitation.

Jason Webster said he doesn’t know if his son would have had that same level of growth had he remained in California,

“As soon as I came, they treated me like a brother,” Webster said.

stating the difficulties of being away from home and still being responsible for life decisions and conducting yourself

Greathouse said Webster never came into practice with a cocky attitude or that he was the man but instead came in and

appropriately in a new place without your parents there to guide you in person.

was constantly putting his head down and working. More than

Jason and Rebecca Webster can take great comfort in

anything, Webster made sure to play a big factor in getting the

knowing that their son has conducted himself appropriately in a

chemistry together with his new team.

new environment, as both have gotten compliments during their

“He was very easy to coach. It was always a ‘yes sir’ answer with Cole,” Greathouse said.

time in SML about how they have raised a good young man or how Webster is a good person.

For Webster, things were going smoothly, he was fitting in

For Webster, his focus was now trying to get back on the

at school, he was getting along great with his teammates and

court. During the last game of the season, Greathouse slowly

coaches, and he was still staying in contact with his family

worked Webster back in the lineup and tried to get him ready

in California.

for the VACA state tournament. After all, he was itching to get



SPORTS SPOTLIGHT back out there and be the difference maker he was for the team.

Webster earned some personal awards after the game for

In the state quarterfinals against Temple Christian, Webster

his contributions throughout the season. Webster earned First

dropped 24 points, and against Timberlake Christian in the state

Team South Region and First Team All-State, and was named the

semifinals, Webster dropped 22 points.

VACA State Tournament MVP.

His biggest test was now right in front of him, as the VACA

During his first year at SMLCA, Webster has grown a lot and

State Championship against Westover Christian Academy

attributes that growth and development to his head coach, who

would follow next. Throughout the year, Webster was always

he claims is one of the best in the business.

bragging about his team and was never shy to let everyone know that he felt they could go all the way this year. Against WCA in the VACA State Championship, senior Mason Neighbors would go down with a foot injury, and this left the Bulldogs to really key in on Webster. This was already trouble as Webster was still battling injury and was now having to deal with more double teams coming his way. Only having seven points until almost halfway in the third quarter, Webster took over and started attacking the paint, knowing that the Bulldogs had no one that could stop him, they had no other

“I’m telling you right now, coach Mike Greathouse is one of the best coaches that has ever coached for me. He is such a good guy and knows the game so well,” Webster said. Webster wasn’t done with basketball; in fact, he got back recently from Nevada where he took part in a workout evaluation, which determines players rankings, potentials and other things. Results aren’t known yet, but Greathouse has been clear that only Webster can decide how far he goes. He also said he needs to hit that extra gear that will push him to spend

option but to foul him. Webster knew he was going to be taking

more time in the gym with both lifting and working to be a more

some beatings that were probably going to linger throughout

consistent shooter and ball handler. It’s been a year that Webster never saw coming. Changing

the game. It didn’t matter to him, injured or not, Webster was going to

lifestyles, changing schools and changing teams can be a lot for

find a way to will his team to victory, especially in the fourth

a teenager to handle. But these experiences have only helped

quarter. Webster ended up scoring nine of the team’s 14 points

him grow and mature in ways he never thought possible. His

in the fourth quarter and had 19 points overall as the Ospreys

parents said they had no regrets with any of it. On whether he

took down the Bulldogs 40-36 to win their first VACA State

will go back to SMLCA for the next school year, they said they

Championship in program history.

are still praying about it and will do what God has planned

Once the buzzard sounded and the team ran on the court,

for him.

Webster and Anthony Giese celebrated as teammates winning the state championship together. It was a moment they thought

“We just want Cole to be where God wants him to be,” Jason Webster said.

they would never get to live. When they were in middle school,

He also pointed out a verse in the Bible, Proverbs 3:5-6,

they played together for an Upward league in California, but

which reads, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not

they never thought they would get the opportunity to play together again once Anthony’s family moved to Virginia. Knowing he won the state championship with his cousin by his side made it a moment that Webster would never forget. “We always dreamed of playing together and winning a state championship together. I never knew that Anthony and I would be on the same team and win a state championship. I

unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Both Jason and Rebecca have said if they keep trusting, then God will direct his path. Webster said if his time at SML is up after the school year, he can look back and acknowledge just how life-changing it was and the people who have helped him during his journey. “I just want to say thank you to the community for the love and

can’t even describe the feelings. The dream really came true,” Webster said.

support they have showed me during my time here,” he said.• 43

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021




team’s first state title is always a memorable one, but the one for the Smith Mountain Lake Christian Academy (SMLCA) boys basketball was improbable

in many ways.

game would pick the Ospreys as a threat to win the VACA State Championship at the beginning of the year with the turnover they had, even during a season impacted by the COVID-19 virus.

Here is what SMLCA had stacked up against them: the loss

Yet the Ospreys (No. 3 seed) took down Westover Christian

of nine seniors from last year’s state semi-finals team, opposing

Academy (No. 5 seed), 40-36, in February to win their first

schools returning many of their key players, and no offseason to

state championship in program and school history.

build chemistry with their new team.

“I think if everyone would’ve guessed, they would’ve had us

Simply put, nobody with respectable knowledge of the



at the fourth or fifth spot of the VACA and maybe even lower,”

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT said head coach Mike Greathouse.

could get the chemistry down, they had a great chance to go

Despite all the challenges they faced, the Ospreys received

farther than last year once they learned how to play together.

the biggest game changer in the VACA with the incoming

Webster said he was beyond confident in his team and knew

transfer of 6’8 junior Cole Webster, who would be paired with

they were the best in the state.

returning senior Mason Neighbors. Just like that, the Ospreys

Everything was smooth sailing for the Ospreys as they were

had two viable scoring options. Additionally, senior Sam Smith,

growing together as a team and gaining wins, but things started

who saw limited playing time last season, rose to the occasion,

going south with Webster having to sit out due to health reasons

creating a triple threat along with Webster and Neighbors.

and starting junior Ben Roberson suffering a wrist injury. The

The team all of a sudden had a big three, and game-by-

Ospreys would lose their last three games of the season to

game, they were showing the potential they had. Standing at

fall to 8-3 and would become the #3 seed in the VACA

8-0, the Ospreys’ chemistry was slowly coming together as they

State Tournament.

were raking in the wins, but they weren’t there yet. They had

After cruising past Temple Christian in the state quarterfinals,

their playmakers and key contributors who made them a team

the Ospreys were slated to go on the road and play at Timberlake

to reckon with; however, they still had work to do.

Christian. Then, SMLCA was hit with some devastating news.

Neighbors said at the beginning of the season that if they

Assistant coach Thomas Dean’s brother, Aaron Dean, died

PICTURED: On opposite page, SMLCA head coach Mike Greathouse poses with his four seniors: Anthony Giese, Sam Smith, Mason Neighbors and Caleb “CC” Colomba. They end their basketball careers at SMLCA as VACA State Champions. Shown below, SMLCA boys basketball head coach Mike Greathouse draws up a play with under a minute left to go in the fourth quarter of the VACA State Championship game. Photos by William Seidel/Lake Life.


ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021


Sunday, Feb. 14, one day before the Ospreys took the court for a chance to play in the state finals. Dean, as expected, was not able to make it to the semifinals game against TCS but promised the team this: If they won and advanced to the state championship, he would fight through the emotional hardships and be there for them. SMLCA came through for him. The Ospreys avenged their late season loss to the Tornadoes with a 56-41 triumph to head to the state championship, where they would again play WCA on the road. This time, they had two motivators – win the state championship and win for Aaron. Dean kept his promise and was on the sidelines with the rest of the coaching staff ready to see SMLCA play for the state title. Things, however, took a major turn south for the Ospreys as Neighbors went down with a foot injury in the first quarter. At the beginning of the season, Greathouse said he needed other players to step up instead of relying solely on Webster, Neighbors and Smith to carry the load. Now, on the biggest stage of the season, they needed their key contributors such as senior Caleb Colomba, juniors Ben Roberson, Trent Harper, Eli Phillips and freshman Andrew Portillo to step up in a big way. “When Mason went down, everyone got a little nervous,” Webster said. “We just had to trust our bench players, trust our offense and trust our team.” It was evident from the get go that the loss of Neighbors was significant for the Ospreys, as Greathouse said they lost most of their sets when he went down. It showed on the floor, as the Ospreys went into the second quarter down 11-8 and only ended up scoring five points in frame. SMLCA stood tough on the defensive end, allowing just two points in the second quarter to head into the break 13-13. L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE



PICTURED: Pictured is Cole Webster (left), Sam Smith (middle), and Mason Neighbors with their personal awards and the VACA State Championship trophy. Photo by William Seidel/Lake Life.


ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT With most of their sets gone and WCA being able to

the layup and was fouled in the process. He completed the

concentrate more on Webster, things looked bleak for the

three-point play to pull the Ospreys within a possession. Again,

Ospreys. Assistant coach Tommy Jordan said right before the

SMLCA stood tall on the defensive end and Smith again drove

second half started that Greathouse was a wizard when it came

to the basket and was fouled. Smith hit a free throw to pull within

to X’s and O’s and he would draw up a plan to keep SMLCA

two. Another stop, another foul, and two more free throws by

in it.

Webster had tied up the VACA State Championship, 23-23.

At the beginning of the second half, the Ospreys only

At this point, it became clear that WCA didn’t have an answer

managed to score two points almost halfway through the third

for Webster and Smith, as both proved to be too big and strong

quarter thanks in part to a free throw by Webster and Smith.

to stop when they drove down the lane. They had no choice but

After the free throw by Smith, the Bulldogs went on the attack,

to foul them and make them earn it at the free throw line, which

with a 7-0 run thanks in part to baskets by sophomore Josh

they proved they were capable and weren’t done yet.

Lewis and a three pointer by senior Matthew Moore. WCA went up 23-15.

Two more stops and two free throws added by Webster and a bucket by junior Ben Roberson saw the Ospreys up 27-23 at

After Greathouse called timeout with just over four minutes

the end of the third quarter. Their run didn’t end there.

in the third quarter, the bench for WCA was ecstatic and the

The Ospreys continued in the fourth quarter, holding WCA

Ospreys looked depleted with nothing working right on offense

scoreless while they continued to add to their lead. A bucket

and missing some defensive assignments. Once in the huddle,

and three more free throws later by Webster capped off a 17-0

Greathouse said to his team it didn’t matter what he drew up,

run that saw SMLCA up 32-23 in the fourth quarter of the VACA

because their effort wasn’t there.

State Championship game.

“I told them, ‘You’re down by eight in the state finals; how bad do you guys want this?’” he said.

“That can’t be coached,” Greathouse said about the 17-0 run.

Sitting at the end of the bench with his head down was their

However, the Bulldogs wouldn’t go quietly. A three pointer by

star player Webster, who only scored seven points total up

Moore ended the run and pulled WCA within six. In the blink

until then, and once the team went back on the court, Webster

of an eye, the Bulldogs started a 7-0 run of their own after a

went back out there with a different body language. It was

basket by Lewis and two free throws by junior Noah Burton to

at this moment that Webster had enough and was ready to

pull within two with under three minutes to play.

take control. His head coach’s plan for him and the team was

A free throw by Colomba pushed the Ospreys back to a three-

simple – attack the lane because the Bulldogs were already in

point lead, but the Bulldogs pulled within one with a basket by

the bonus.

Burton. With just over two minutes to go, the Ospreys were only

“I remember looking at some of the guys, especially Cole,

up by one point with a 33-32 lead. A bucket by Webster and a

and I told him this is the time that you got to step up and you’ve

steal and layup by Roberson pushed SMLCA’s lead to five with

got to take it to the basket,” Greathouse said.

1:20 left to play. After a bucket by WCA brought them back

Webster got the memo, and almost every possession, he was

within two, Webster again was fouled and went back to the free

on the attack, getting hacked and going to the free throw line.

throw line, where he knocked down two crucial free throws to

Webster knocked down two free throws to close the gap to six.

put the Ospreys up by five with 30 seconds remaining.

This was the start of a run that the players, coaching staff and fans of SMLCA will remember for the rest of their lives.

senior Dylon Aron, the Ospreys lead, again, was down to three.

After a stop, Smith came down the other end and finished L AKE LIFE MAGAZINE

Again, the Bulldogs kept battling, and with two free throws by


Roberson was fouled and sent to the free throw line to try and

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT ice the state championship for good but missed both free throws.

rewards for their contributions throughout the season. Webster

The Bulldogs saw life but couldn’t put the shot in as Roberson

earned first-team south region, first-team All-State, and

grabbed the rebound and was quickly fouled with 5.6 seconds

was named the VACA State Tournament MVP. Both Mason

left. Roberson redeemed himself this time, as he knocked down

Neighbors and Sam Smith earned second-team south region

one of two free throws, which basically sealed the Ospreys first

and VACA all-tournament honors. Webster, who transferred from California, was grateful that

state championship in program history. “It feels awesome,” Roberson said. “I didn’t feel any pressure;

he was given an opportunity to play the game he loves. “I’m so thankful to come out here and play basketball, and

it was just another free throw.” WCA’s desperate attempt at a three was off and when those long 5.6 seconds finally ticked away, the Ospreys benched ran

this team welcomed me into this family by showing me love. I just really appreciate it,” he said.

on the court to celebrate. Overcome with emotions, Dean had

For Greathouse, who just finished his second year as head

tears in his eyes as he hugged his assistant coaches and players

coach for SMLCA, has many fond memories of basketball

before making his way to Greathouse, where they shared a long hug and some words. With the team jumping around them screaming “Aaron,” Greathouse said that in his 30-plus years of coaching, that moment is right up there as one of his more

during his time back in Indiana, and he tells those stories to his team during practices. This memory however — winning for Aaron and winning an improbable state championship for the first time in school history — might be hard to top. “This one was really special,” Greathouse said.•

special moments of his career. “I just told him how much he (Thomas) means to me and the program,” Greathouse said. “To know that he was hurting with his brother passing away unexpectedly, it really tore all of us. We told each other we love each other, and we care about each other.” Once emotions finally calmed down and thoughts could be gathered, Webster said he knew his team was going to fight and stay aggressive and pull out this win, which are bold words


considering the Ospreys had struggled late in the season when they weren’t healthy. Smith shared the same confidence as his star teammate, saying he knew they could pull this out after falling behind by eight. “I knew we just had to calm down and play our game,” Smith said. “We were the better team when we did that.” For Neighbors, watching his last game as an Osprey on the sidelines was not ideal as one might expect. He said it was awful but was quick to point out that his team did an amazing job battling back without him on the court. “That just shows that our team chemistry has really been

11739 Moneta Road • Moneta, Va (540) 297-5558 • Shop (540) 297-9166

building up,” Neighbors said. After the game, the big three were given some personal 49

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

Notes From The River


eather was always with us on the River-Road.

out how the peach crop fared in 1890, nor Vicey’s violets in

As a matter of fact, it’s colored my life to this

’39, but I’d guess — not too well.

day. Despite the advances in “meteorology,”

There are all manners of finding out what the weather’s

there’s still no predicting any more than the obvious. When

going to be, modernly, but often, it’s just as well to follow your

strange weather patterns emerge, we often are alarmed by

nose — literally. Not too many years ago, I caught the odor of

the “weatherpersons,” who speak of natural phenomena as if

inorganic fertilizer on a store porch in North Carolina. Arriving

it’s never happened before.

home on Ayers Road, I noted the odor again, even more

One reason they do is because not so many years ago, the

distinct. That night it snowed five inches. Of course, what I was

Landmark company began “selling” the weather as if it were a

smelling was the pent nitrogen in the snow clouds. Inorganic

special product to market.

fertilizers are high in nitrate content.

For instance, Road folks must have really worried about

There are other tests used at the Road through the years that

global warming in 1890 when Earl was born on Jan. 2 of

I still employ. The bull preceding the cows to pasture is a sure

that year. His grandmother brought his mother a handful of

sign of snow. Hogs are restless before a snow.

peach blossoms picked on her way to visit. That’s warm winter weather for sure.

Predicting first frost can be done in two ways. Count six weeks from the first night the temperature drops into the forties, or,

By the same token, on his birthday in 1939, he placed his

listen to the jaybirds (blue jays). Jaybirds begin “slating” three

wife’s violets close to the stove in our old home place. Rising

weeks before frost. On the other hand, a former neighbor, the

in the night, he noticed them drooping and thought the fire

late D. Claytor Brooks, says there’s no good way to predict the

must be out. Then he saw the stove’s sides, glowing red. When

last frost in spring. I believe him. On May 22, 2003, we had

plants wilt next to a red-hot stove, that’s cold. I never did find

a frost that ruined my cucumbers, many neighbors’ tomatoes,



“Notes From The River” Series By Glenn Ayers

even one man’s potato vines. Brooks had a lot of tried and true formulae for predicting rain. Wind whistling around the corner of a house can mean rain (or snow). When noises like trains carry a long distance in the morning, rain in the evening can be expected. A large patch of clouds hanging in Smith Mountain Gap is a sign of rain by night. Buzzards, sitting in trees long past daylight, is a good sign of rain, but not leaves turning over in the wind. Buzzards sailing in one direction can mean an approaching storm. Rain crows (mourning doves) hollering doesn’t mean rain. All these are Brooks’ weather theories. I don’t put much stock in wooly worms, despite the popularity of the annual festival in North Carolina acclaiming them. Here’s this year’s results — you decide: BANNER ELK WOOLLY WORMS: The annual Woolly Worm Festival ended in Banner Elk, Oct. 19, 2019 (the 2020 festival was canceled). All worms have checked in their black, fleck, brown and light brown coats, all colored harbingers of the winter weather to come. To be briefer than usual, it looks like this: • Winter first two weeks – (black) above average cold +1” snow.

• Second two weeks – (light brown) below average cold – light snow/frost • One week – (black) – above average cold +1” snow • Two weeks – (light brown) – below average cold • Four weeks (brown) – average cold • One week (fleck) average cold – light snow/frost • Two weeks – (light brown) – below average cold. There you have it – they guarantee it. 2019 Winning Worm was “Wild Worm Willie,” owned by Leslee Brown of Wilmington, North Carolina. I don’t see much correlation between mild and cold winter weather depending where bell hornets place their nests. Squirrels frequenting the ground in October only means there’s lots of acorns on the ground. It doesn’t mean they know more about approaching winter than we do. There is one test, though, that’s almost infallible. It’s found in a jingle you’ve probably heard. “Evening red and morning gray/Sends the traveler on his way/But evening gray and morning red/Brings down weather on his head.” • 51

ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021

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the english estates • 29 lOts FOr sale Prices starting at $19,900 • Located near “The Waterfront” Golf Community

Lot 2A ................................... $19,900 Lot 3 ..................................... $19,900 Lot 4 ..................................... $19,900 Lot 5 ..................................... $19,900 Lot 6 ..................................... $19,900 Lot 7 ..................................... $22,900 Lot 8 ..................................... $22,900 Lot 9 ..................................... $69,900

Lot 10 ................................... $24,900 Lot 11 ................................... $25,900 Lot 12 ................................... $22,900 Lot 13 ................................... $24,900 Lot 14 ................................... $24,900 Lot 15 ................................... $24,900 Lot 16 SOLD ......................... $24,900 Lot 17 ................................... $24,900

Lot 18 ................................... $24,900 Lot 19 ................................... $24,900 Lot 20 ................................... $24,900 Lot 21 ................................... $24,900 Lot 22 ................................... $29,900 Lot 23 SOLD ........................ $69,900 Lot 24 ................................... $29,900 Lot 25 ................................... $29,900

Lot 26 ................................... $24,900 Lot 27 SOLD ......................... $24,900 Lot 28 ................................... $24,900 Lot 29 ................................... $24,900 Lot 30 ................................... $24,900 Lot 31 ................................... $24,900 Lot 32 ................................... $49,900




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Fantastic Development opportunity

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C2 • $100,000 C4 • $125,000


Water & Sewer Available, Located on Rt. 122, between Westlake & Hales Ford Bridge.

Nice wooded lot on the cul-de-sac. Lake access close by. Located in the Westlake area.

laKe access lots With laKe vieWs Lot 11 - $39,900 • Lot 12 - $39,900 Nice wooded lots with public water and public sewer. Common area with boat ramp.



Lodging, Dining, Education, Healthcare, Church, Public Marina, Maps 57

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Lodging information sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide.




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Spring Is Here!

The time of the year when the world comes alive! New life is everywhere from the flowers to baby animals and birds. Let’s not forget about Tim’s favorite sport, baseball!

If you have forgotten the sound of the birds singing or turning up the radio doesn’t make the announcer any clearer maybe it is time for your complimentary hearing consultation with Soundz Hearing CVA. Timothy Bratton, HIS and wife, Veronica are looking forward to helping you hear and understand again. Call today to schedule your appointment. We continue to pray for the safety of our patients and community.

Call our office today to schedule your complimentary hearing evaluation. SOUNDZ LYNCHBURG


he Bible says “He that hath EAR, let them HEAR.” Timothy Bratton, H.I.S has been helping that come to fruition for people for over twenty years. Now, he and his wife Veronica are looking forward to their third year in Lynchburg as the new owners of the Soundz Lynchburg location. Tim and Veronica are committed to continuing the mission of helping people hear and understand their loved ones with the best technology, for the best price, and with the best service.

Fairway Village at Westlake 13335-A Booker T. Washington Hwy. Hardy, VA 24101 Tim knows first hand the importance of your loved ones hearing and understanding you. His own mother and sister each have profound hearing loss. He spent several years with his mother smiling and pretending she heard and understood the family. This is one of the reasons he chose hearing as a profession, he wanted to help his family. Tim treats all of his patients as he would want his mother treated. Our best advertisement has been our happy patients.

After having been a Liberty University student in the late 70’s it has been a profound experience for Tim to be back in Lynchburg and seeing Jerry’s vision being fulfilled. Tim recalls the days of singing “I want that mountain” and now he gets to see the Rise of LU Athletics to FBS status.


Most importantly, Tim and Veronica give all the glory for Soundz’s success to Jesus. When you do business HIS way you are doing it the right way.




Lynchburg • 1319 Enterprise Drive, Suite A Wyndhurst • 434-239-4327 (HEAR)



Dining information sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide.



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Education information sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide.




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Healthcare information sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide.



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Discover the King’s Grant





Lake Life’s Best of ssML ML


may be the best time to move to King’s Grant. The confidence you get from living in a top-rated community recognized for its value and quality of care is priceless. And the lifestyle choices you have are impressive as well. • Thoughtfully designed cottages, many with open floor plans • An array of apartment selections, each with a balcony or patio • Welcoming garden homes surrounded by scenic backdrops • Walking trails with picturesque landscapes • A variety of health, wellness and social programs • A clubhouse where you can socialize with friends or engage in some friendly competition

Quality and choice. That’s what makes King’s Grant distinctive. Call today to schedule your virtual or in-person tour. Only a few cottages and apartments currently available.

Independent Living. Assisted Living. Memory Support. Skilled Nursing.

350 King’s Way Road Martinsville, VA 24112 800.462.4649 | 276.634.1000



BAPTIST Barnhardt Baptist Church 1033 Brittle St., Goodview, (540) 890-2076 Chamblissburg Baptist Church 9226 Stewartsville Rd., Moneta, (540) 890-2105 Franklin Memorial Baptist Church 3980 Truman Hill Rd., Hardy, (540) 721-3991 Glade Hill Baptist Church 6608 Colonial Tpk., Glade Hill, (540) 576-2580 Halesford Baptist Church 2485 Lost Mountain Rd., Wirtz, (540) 721-8640 Quaker Baptist Church 4665 Chestnut Fork Rd., Bedford, (540) 297-4454 Rocky Mount Baptist Church 85 W Church St., Rocky Mount, (540) 483-2641 Sandy Level Baptist Church 10817 W. Gretna Rd., Sandy Level, (434) 927-5459 Sandy Ridge Baptist Church 231 Bonbrook Mill Rd., Rocky Mount, (540) 483-2356 Vitalize Church 84 Westlake Rd., Hardy, (540) 580-8760 White Rock Baptist Church 8730 Edwardsville Rd., Hardy, (540) 890-1236

BAPTIST-MISSIONARY Franklin Grove Missionary Baptist Church 3727 Hatchett Rd., Penhook, (540) 576-1258

BAPTIST-INDEPENDENT Goodview Baptist Church 1057 Grace Ct., Goodview, (540) 890-4822

Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church 1307 Oakwood St., Bedford, (540) 586-8988


BAPTIST-SOUTHERN Palestine Baptist Church 9244 SML Pkwy., Huddleston, (540) 297-4442 Radford Baptist Church 1293 Radford Church Rd., Moneta, (540) 297-5214 Staunton Baptist Church 15267 SML Pkwy., Huddleston, (540) 297-6753 Westlake Baptist Church 2075 Scruggs Rd., Moneta, (540) 721-8784 BRETHEREN Boones Chapel Church of the Bretheren 2228 Circle Creek Rd., Penhook, (540) 576-1129 Smith Mountain Lake Community Church 6675 Burnt Chimney Rd., Wirtz, (540) 721-1816 CATHOLIC St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church 15 Glenwood Dr., Rocky Mount, (540) 483-9591


Resurrection Catholic Church 15353 Moneta Rd., Moneta, (540) 297-5530 St. Andrew’s Catholic Church 631 N. Jefferson St., Roanoke, (540) 344-9814 CHRISTIAN Greater Canaan Land Church 303 Canaan Land Dr., Gretna, (434) 656-3402 Christ Community Church 14900 Old Franklin Trnpk., Penhook, (540) 576-4242 First Church of Christ, Scientist/ Christian Science Church 2901 Rivermont Ave., Lynchburg, (434) 845-0526 Eastlake Community Church 1118 Hendricks Store Rd., Moneta, (540) 297-0966 Faith Fellowship 100 Wirtz Rd., Wirtz, (540) 334-3477 First Church of Christ, Scientist 1155 Overland Rd., Roanoke, (540) 343-4889 Goodview Church of God 1057 Grace Ct., Goodview, (540) 890-4822 Jehovah’s Witnesses of Bedford 1534 Link Rd., Bedford, (540) 586-2035 Kingdom Hall Jehovah’s Witness 5969 Booker T. Washington Hwy., Wirtz, (540) 721-1212 Mt. Ivy Christian Church 5120 Scruggs Rd., Moneta, (540) 721-5060

SML Seventh Day Adventist Church 10802 Moneta Rd., Moneta, (540) 296-2225

Penhook United Methodist Church 29 Morgans Fork Rd., Penhook, (540) 576-1768

Trinity Ecumenical Parish (Episcopal, Presbyterian, Lutheran) 40 Lakemount Dr., Moneta, (540) 721-4330

Redwood United Methodist Church 3001 Old Franklin Trnpk., Rocky Mount, (540) 483-9090

West End Church of Christ 610 Vaden Dr., Gretna, (434) 656-1072

Rocky Mount United Methodist Church 35 N Main St., Rocky Mount, (540) 483-5338

Wirtz Assemblies of God 1718 Burnt Chimney Rd., Wirtz, (540) 721-3099 EPISCOPAL Trinity Episcopal Church 15 E Church St., Rocky Mount, (540) 483-5038 St. Johns Episcopal Church 314 N Bridge St., Bedford, (540) 586-9582 St. Thomas Episcopal Church 9575 Big Island Hwy., Bedford, (540) 586-4768 GREEK ORTHODOX Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church 30 Huntington Blvd. NE, Roanoke, (540) 362-3601 St. George’s Greek Orthodox Church 1724 Langhorne Rd., Lynchburg, (434) 384-7585

OTHER Lynchburg Korean Church 2409 Judith St., Lynchburg, (434) 847-2523 Shekijah Preparation Assembly 104 Fleetwood Dr., Lynchburg, (434) 237-7721

Three Oaks Fellowship United Methodist Church 1026 Gravel Hill Rd., Vinton, (540) 890-8300 SYNAGOGUES Agudath Shalom Synagogue 2055 Langhorne Rd., Lynchburg, (434) 846-0739 Beth Israel Synagogue 920 Franklin Rd., Roanoke, (540) 343-0289 Temple Beth Shalom 129 Sutherlin Ave., Danville, (434) 792-3489 Temple Emanuel 1163 Persinger Rd., SW, Roanoke, (540) 342-3378

METHODIST Bethesda United Methodist Church 14340 Wyatts Way, Huddleston, (434) 944-8011 Bethlehem United Methodist Church 13586 S. Old Moneta Rd., Moneta, (540) 297-7957 Burnt Chimney United Methodist Church 6625 B.T. Washington Hwy., Wirtz, (540) 721-3392 Epworth United Methodist Church 60 Merriman Way Rd., Moneta, (540) 721-4926 Patmost United Methodist Church 1405 Patmos Church Rd., Huddleston, (434) 944-8011

Sourced from Smith Mountain Lake Visitor’s Guide 73

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Smith Mountain Lake, nestled in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is one of the most beautiful as well as popular destinations in the Southeast. More than 40 miles long, the 22,000-acre lake meanders along 500 miles of water frontage. Spectacular views, including phenomenal sunrises and sunsets, provide the perfect setting to enjoy the life.


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SML MAP INFORMATION TO KNOW ______ RESCUE/FIRE/POLICE Emergencies: 911 RESCUE/FIRE/POLICE Bedford City and County: (540)586-4800 Franklin County: (540)483-3000 Pittsylvania County: (434)432-7800 ______ AIRPORTS Smith Mountain Lake Airport (W91): (540)297-4859 Lynchburg Regional Airport (LYH): (434)455-6090 Roanoke-Blacksburg Regional Airport (ROA): (540)362-1999 ______ BUS/RAIL SERVICES Amtrak (Lynchburg/Roanoke): (800)872-7245 Greyhound: (800) 231-2222




ISSUE NO. 2 | 2021






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17801 Virgil Goode Highway | Rocky Mount, VA 24151 540-483-5860 | www.midpointchevy.com For all residents within a 30 mile radius of our store location, please call for details - 540-483-5860.

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SME Lake Life Spring Issue 2 2021  

SME Lake Life Spring Issue 2 2021  

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