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Cape hockey walks proudly into season after 2-1 loss at Dover

Cape hockey leaves Senators Stadium two-by-two after a 2-1 loss to Dover. DAVE FREDERICK PHOTOS
September 15, 2017

Balanced and biased - I crossed over a few years back and stopped trying to be an emotionless android covering Cape sports. I have to be inherently biased because of the long history of our family being teachers and athletes, and the years I spent coaching. But I’m not a cheerleader - that would be ugly - and I’m conscious of always giving Cape’s opponents credit for a game well played. That is of course really easy when Cape wins 100 games in a row in field hockey and girls’ lacrosse against Delaware opponents and I have granddaughters on the teams, but I spare the “not Cape’s coaches” the post-game interview with Grandpa Fredman, who is acting in a profession of game reporter. Back in spring 2014, the Freds were on our way to Philly on a Saturday morning to watch Anna, then a freshman at Temple, play in a college lacrosse game. But first, Cape at Archmere in girls’ lacrosse, April 5, 2014, Lizzie was a sophomore. Our plan was to leave at halftime, except the game was tied at 4-4 and upset alert was beeping on my weather app. I stayed, not because I wanted to see if Cape would win, but I knew I had to be there and be part of the experience if they lost. Cape surged to a 9-3 second half for a 13-7 win, then I skipped out, sparing the Archmere coach from explaining Cape’s great second half to a player’s grandfather. Cape hockey lost at Dover Sept. 12, and I waited and waded right into the heart of that post-game celebration, like a beached dolphin following Hurricane Irma. I saw from the inside what it feels like to beat Cape in hockey. I wanted to congratulate coach Denise Kimbro and get photos of the two goal scorers and two goalies, but they were absorbed into a parent and fan celebration outside the fence. A substantially large 6-foot-5 guy, I assume a dad, said to me, “Is this going to be in the Cape Gazette tomorrow? If so, I’ll drive to the beach and get a copy.”    

Old Yellow - Much respect to all officials at all levels in all the sports. I couldn’t do it, and more importantly, I wouldn’t want to. You couldn’t pay me enough. Cape fence fans have a long tradition of yapping and snapping at officials going back to the 1998 boys’ state championship lacrosse game versus Tatnall, when a group of dads sent all-pro linebacker Bill Bergey to the other side of the stadium because he just couldn’t take it anymore. There seemed to be a lot of yellow cards “awarded” in the field hockey game at Dover. Cards are used to control behavior, and the official on the fan side bore the brunt of it from Cape and Dover fans alike. I heard the lament, “That game was more like football than hockey,” which is fine, better than a football game resembling a hockey game on Friday night. In football, it’s weighted yellow flag on the ground followed by a sign language explanation. Imagine a card, followed by, “That fat guy was holding and he’s got to leave for two minutes. If he does it again, he is gone and you can’t replace him.” One moment of double helix upside-down irony occurred late in the Dover hockey game on a stoppage of play, with the ball awarded to Cape. The dead ball rested by the live feet of a Dover player. The official said to her in harsh tones, “Pick it up and give it to the Cape player - it’s called sportsmanship.” But you can’t teach sportsmanship with an attitude. Coach P.J. Kesmodel always says, “Find out what kind of game the refs are calling and make adjustments.” It’s all part of the process.

The Trickster - The Trickster in Indian mythology takes many forms, usually represents as a coyote but may morph into other forms, from a Golden Retriever to your grandpop in baggy pants. Zach Gelof, aka “Zackzilla,” is the trickster of Cape sports. He’s a baseball player and sometimes a soccer guy who was a field goal kicker and once a Beacon basketball star. According to football coach Bill Collick, “Zack was a quarterback waiting to happen. That kid could have been special.” Cape soccer is 6-3 versus Indian River over the last nine years - all blood-and-guts games - but no Cape player had ever scored a hat trick until The Trickster did Sept. 12 in a 4-1 Cape win. Last season, Zack scored two against The River. The final trick would be a state championship in baseball this spring. Remember, Zack was on the mound at Frawley Stadium in the state title game his freshman year 2015. There is no karma in Indian mythology; just follow the trickster and he will take you to the storyline.

Snippets - I ran into a Dover soccer coach in Wawa Sept. 12 near Dover High. He was on the phone talking about their game at Sussex Academy. When he got off the phone I asked him, “Who beat?” He said, “We lost 2-0,” but then he went on a game recounting that was very complimentary of Sussex Academy. I realized the young coach had no idea who I was and still doesn’t. “That defender they have, No. 5, now that kid is a player.” I checked the box score and No. 5 is Ben Davis, who scored both goals, and I almost fell for that trick, until I realized the goal scorer was Bill Davis - Ben’s twin brother - unless someone failed a grade, which is funny because it’s not true. Jeff Savage will be inducted into the Delaware State Sports Hall of Fame Friday, Sept. 22. “C’mon, ump, I’ve seen better eyes on a potato.” Another: “You got to get over to third and make that call, ump! If it was a cheeseburger, you’d be over there.” Jeff was hilarious during games. I’ll be there Friday night because he’s my friend. Go on now, git!

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