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Thumbs up; thumbs down

Revisiting a couple of recent column topics …

Thumbs up to the Longwood University softball team for arguably the most accomplished season, in any sport, in the school’s modern athletics history.

The Lancers, fresh off a third Big South Conference Tournament championship in four seasons, traveled to Harrisonburg over the weekend and made a run all the way to NCAA Regional finals before losing to host James Madison.

Longwood’s Cinderella season was full of superlatives:

• Third 40-win season in program history.

• Second team in Big South history to win the conference’s regular season and tournament championships outright.

• Two wins in an NCAA Regional for the first time in program history.

• Tied Big South record for most wins by a single program in the NCAA Tournament.

• Veteran Coach Kathy Riley’s 600th win at Longwood.

Riley will reload for sustained success, but seniors Carly Adams, Jamie Barbour and Emily Murphy leave a legacy that sets the bar high for future Lancers. They became the first class in program history to win 150 games, win three Big South championships, play in three NCAA Tournaments and advance to the first NCAA Regional championship game.

Murphy’s defensive play alone made Longwood games worth watching. She produced another gem in Sunday’s championship game against JMU, sprinting from her position at shortstop and diving to snag a line drive down the third-base line.

The Lancers rallied this season around the Twitter hashtag #WoodYouBelieve.

Yes, we would.

Thumbs down to Cumberland County Board of Supervisors Chairman Lloyd Banks, who has chosen to blame the citizenry instead of himself for his actions during a public hearing last month.

In a letter published on this page last week, Banks accused citizens of causing “chaos” in the meeting room. Therefore, he believes he was justified in threatening to have some citizens, who simply wanted to exercise their right to speak about county finances at a hearing convened explicitly for that purpose, physically removed by the sheriff.

Citizens in attendance were spirited about the county’s taxation and spending proposals. Banks agitated them with absurdly restrictive parameters on what he deemed to be proper speech. He whipped them into a frenzy by declaring, “This is my meeting.”

He lost his cool and embarrassed himself and the county he represents. As stated previously in this space, he owes the citizens of Cumberland County an apology. Here’s hoping they keep demanding it.

STEVE STEWART is publisher of The Farmville Herald. His email address is steve.stewart@farmvilleherald.com.