Blacksburg's Shelley Blumenthal honored

Blumenthal eclipsed 500 wins last week

BLACKSBURG, Va. – It's not too often in sports that coaches are considered legendary prior to retirement. But at Blacksburg High School that is the case. Shelley Blumenthal took over the boys' soccer program in 1992 and since that time, they have built a perennial soccer program in the NRV.

"It's been a long journey and stuff but he'll be the first one to tell you that it's a team accomplishment," said former assistant Travis Bishop.

"Our program ... we've had so many wonderful kids over the years."

In his first season at the helm, the Bruins were state runners-up. But since that year, the team has hoisted the VHSL state championship trophy 11 times under Blumenthal, leading the coach to 495 wins entering this season. 

"For my wife and I, this is home and it's just a tremendous place to be and to live and, you know, Blacksburg Soccer has been a huge part of our lives," Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal's contributions have helped a countless number of players for the past two decades. Which is why the school decided to honor the coach in a special way. During the spring pep rally, it was announced that the road leading to the stadium, would be renamed Blumenthal Byway. 

"I'm blessed and, you know, that was just a shocker to me. I mean, I had no idea anything like that was going to happen and the pep rally was really kind of cool and I'm still kind of overwhelmed by the whole thing, to be honest with you," said Blumenthal.

As the team celebrated Blumenthal's 500th career win last week, they couldn't help but be just as excited as their coach who has instilled in them the values of winning and a spirit of humility. 

"He loves the program, we love the program and it's great to be on a winning side and just have a family around you like the team we have," said current player Henry Carman.

Bishop added, "He never wants the spotlight on him and for once, the spotlight needs to be on Coach B. He's done such a great job."

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