Not the traditional selfie

From Facebook on January 21, 2017. I have a long-standing tradition of taking selfies with the teams that win tournament champion and runner-up hardware at the {Clinch Mountain District | Conference 40 | Mountain 7 District} (select one, based on when you played) Tournament. In recent years, that’s been Central High School of Wise County and Gate City High School, in order. I dub them “the traditional selfies”.

I felt compelled to post this one outside of that tradition, because it represents the best of what my beloved buzzer game can be.


I met Alex Tabor when he was a junior at Virginia High School in Bristol. I THINK – don’t hold me to this – that I met Breanna Stokes when she was a sophomore at Gate City High School, but I really remember starting to get to know her (and the other Bree’s playing for Gate City – three of them in all!) when she was a junior. Both of them were great quiz players, players that would be a credit to any team.

So much of the joy I take from this game is the opportunity to get to know these students and have the opportunity to listen to them, to play even a small role in their lives. They study and learn in this game, and test their knowledge in public. Sometimes it goes well. Sometimes it doesn’t. I try not to miss a chance to tell them that they are doing great things from playing this wonderful game, that I’m proud of them.

Today, at 730 AM at Central, I was meeting with these two students, now finishing their education at ETSU, and we were preparing to read this tournament that they had played just a few short years ago. And just as I was proud of their play then, I am proud of the leadership they provide in this region now, even as college students, and I know they have more to contribute to this game – to education – in Southwest Virginia in the years ahead.

Alex, Bree: I love you. Thank you for sharing in this with me. I’m so happy for the chance to work alongside you.

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