Boys Home students posed with Paul’s Daughter and Grandson – Ephy Morris, Josh Eng, Beverley Siple Ellis, Billy Siple, Sage Custalow and Justus Dostal (left/right)
On February 4, 2024, the Salem-Roanoke Baseball Hall of Fame inducted its 2024 class. One of the four recipients was former Boys Home assistant director, coach and mentor Paul Siple. The event featured a great guest speaker, fellow Hall of Famer and Major League Baseball pitcher Billy Wagner. Billy offered an emotional speech to the crowd about his humble beginnings and the journey that landed him among the elites. He stated, “Size has nothing to do with heart. I was told so many times that I wouldn’t make it because I was too small. No matter what, go win the game.”
Mark Pifer, Paul Siple’s stepson, accepted the award on his behalf. Paul passed away in 2015 at age 93. Also in attendance was Paul’s daughter Beverely Ellis and grandson Billy Siple. Mark stated, “Paul was very competitive. When he was watching baseball, it was better to be silent and let him think. He had a true love for Boys Home. I am happy to see a table here tonight of Boys Home students and staff. I know that would have made Paul happy.”
Paul was a 1938 graduate of Clifton Forge High School. Additionally, he graduated from Bridgewater College in 1942, where he was a four-year letter winner in baseball as the shortstop and team captain. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Virginia in 1957.
His career at Boys Home began in 1960 and would continue through 1992. He was initially hired as a coach and recreation director and led the 1962-1963 baseball team to a near-perfect season with a record of 17-1. Perhaps out of all the titles Paul Siple held at Boys Home, mentor is the most fitting for his impact on and off the field. He embodied the Boys Home mission of developing each young man we serve physically, mentally, socially and emotionally to become successful men who positively impact their communities.
Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, Mike Nunnally came to Boys Home in 1956 and stayed through 1963. In December of 2022, he was at Boys Home for an alumni meeting. During the visit, he asked to view his personal file from when he was a resident. Mike was inspired by a telegram from his former priest at a church in Norfolk. The telegram, which became a local news story, depicted the reason why Mike needed a new home and a fresh start.
Mike said, “After that experience in December of last year, I knew it was time to tell my story. My book, Unchained, is a book of hope. The cover reads, ‘a journey from abuse to inspiration.’ My story began as one of pain but became one of resilience and triumph. I am blessed to have had angels watching over me throughout my life. I also clung to my Christian faith during the difficulties I faced. Boys Home played a huge role in that story.”
Mike is now retired and living in Loudoun County. He stated, “I love to write. My writing career began at Boys Home. I wrote the cottage reports for Greene Cottage.” On Saturday, December 9 at 1:30 p.m., Mike will hold a book signing at Boys Home in the Dining Hall (414 Boys Home Road, Covington, VA, 24426). The book will be available for purchase ($16 paperback and $20 hardcover). It is also available on Amazon. The event is open to the public. Prior to the signing, Mike will offer a brief testimony of his inspirational journey. Join us to see firsthand the transformation that happened to Mike and is still happening today as Boys Home continues its crucial mission.
2023/2024 Varsity Team – Head Coach Mark Miller (above)
FRONT ROW – Sedekee Koroma, Sage Custalow, DeLeon Lee, Josiah Culp and Carveon Lee (LEFT TO RIGHT)
BACK ROW – Head Coach Mark Miller, Devyn Humphrey, Ephy Morris, Kenneth Bailey, Kenny Blackwell and Zavian Avant (LEFT TO RIGHT)
2023/2024 Junior Varsity Team – Head Coach Aaron Smith (above)
FRONT ROW – Zion Wilkerson, Noe Tenke, John Mark Herring, Kemon Lewis and Josiah Culp (LEFT TO RIGHT)
BACK ROW – DeLeon Lee, Chris Silvas, Head Coach Aaron Smith, Sean Onyekwere and Sedekee Koroma (LEFT TO RIGHT)
On November 27 Boys Home will kick off the 2023-2024 basketball season with an away game against Craig County High School. The first home game will take place on Tuesday, November 28 against Victory Baptist Academy at 5:30 p.m. The junior varsity team will be led by Campus Life Manager Aaron Smith. Coach Smith summed up his coaching philosophy with a quote from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. “You can’t win unless you learn how to lose.” Coach Smith is looking forward to the season ahead.
Intake and Evaluation Manager, Mark Miller, will lead the varsity team this year as head coach. The title of coach is familiar to Mark who coached junior varsity and varsity basketball for Boys Home from 1992-2008 and again for the 2022-2023 season. Coach Miller stated, “I am looking forward to the opportunity to coach returning players and the newer players on the team. The experience of being part of the Boys Home basketball program will leave lasting and enjoyable memories for the students.”
Please note that there will be a $5 (cash) entry fee for all home games. Join us to help cheer on Boys Home for the 2023-2024 basketball season. Go Bears!
Pictured L-R: Melvin Clark and his wife, Vicki Clark
Congratulations to Mr. Melvin Clark of Ferrum, Virginia, the 2023 winner of the P. Buckley Moss print #275 titled “Graceful Autumn Ride.” Mr. Clark and his wife, Vicki, are long-time collectors of P. Buckley Moss art and were delighted to receive this beautiful piece. This year’s raffle raised $2,720, which will go toward helping our students grow into successful young men. Thank you to everyone who participated in this fundraiser and special thanks to the P. Buckley Moss Society and Loving Art and Frame located in Covington, Virginia.
Boys Home of Virginia is excited to announce an online match challenge beginning November 17 – November 28. Thanks to members of the Boys Home Board of Trustees they will match dollar for dollar up to $25,000 of online donations received during that time.
Boys Home will be able to use these donations to directly impact the student’s basic needs, as well as help each young man strive toward becoming a productive member of society by developing his potential – spiritually, mentally, physically, and socially.
Visit www.givetoboyshome.org to donate online November 17 – November 28. If you have any questions or need assistance, please feel free to contact Sandra at 540-965-7715.