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Cape tribal elders and warriors rim the field for championship games

June 6, 2017

Rimming the field - History and tradition rim the field and inhabit the stands during championship tournaments. Coaches P.J. Kesmodel and Richard Collins, along with countless players from championship teams past, watched the Cape girls win their ninth straight lax title. Most of the girls who played in the game were at the Cape baseball game the next afternoon at Frawley Stadium versus Conrad before driving down to Dover to watch the boys’ lacrosse team battle Wilmington Friends in the semifinals. Along the fence June 3, I spotted Josh “Wallaby” Wyatt, a 1998 high school All-American, and Atlantic coaches from the jump Steve Spence and Bill Schab. There was Cape coach Rob Schroeder, who was on the ground floor of Cape lacrosse and football along with Milt Roberts and Lou Norbeck. But what is different from the past is most teachers and staff - with some exceptions - do not go to games. I find that perplexing. I’m all about sharing the journey and getting tied into that sense of community.

Game show - High school is a bit of a four-year game show with daily competitions in academics, athletics, popularity and the performing arts. I used to call Senior Awards night the “$25,000 Pyramid,” the night structured in ascending order from the $25 Rite Aid award to the million-dollar service academy appointment. Personally having covered a thousand college signings for sports, I have never asked a student-athlete, “Just how much free money are you getting?” It is great to be recognized at assemblies and graduations, but step out the door and immediately enter the “who cares?” zone. I once saw two candidates for Miss Congeniality break into a fight in the stairwell over a poster. Another time I heard two girls arguing over who most deserved the Unsung Hero Award. And the best was a football senior who came out of the halftime locker room at Homecoming and asked me, “Who got king?” Coach George Glenn came over, “What did he just ask you?” “He asked me who got king, coach.” Glenn, coming from Sallies where there are no queens, responded, “He didn’t get king, did he?” “No, he didn’t, coach.” “Good!” Glenn said.

Private versus public - Cape girls’ lacrosse played Caravel, Ursuline and Saint Mark’s in the lacrosse tournament. Boys’ lacrosse faced off against St. Andrew’s, Archmere, Wilmington Friends and Salesianum. Baseball played Tower Hill and the Conrad School of Science. State champions this spring were: softball, Milford; girls’ lacrosse, Cape; boys’ lacrosse, Sallies; baseball, Caravel; boys’ tennis, Tower Hill; girls’ tennis, Caesar Rodney; Division I soccer, Middletown; Division II soccer, Caravel; Division I boys’ track, Dover; Division II boy’s track, St. Georges; Division I girls’ track, Padua; and Division II girls’ track, Tatnall. That is 6 to 6 tabulating public versus private school champions.

Way off data base - Searching the Wilmington News Journal database for state champions, I tabulate 53 state championships for Cape, tops among public schools and just ahead of Caesar Rodney with 52 and Dover with 40. Salesianum is tops in the state with 155 followed by Padua with 69, Tower Hill with 63 and Tatnall with 60. Cape has won an improbable 28 state titles since the new millennium. Those include nine in girls’ lacrosse, five in boys’ lacrosse, five in field hockey, two in boys’ outdoor track, six in girls’ outdoor track and one in boys’ cross country. 

Snippets - Bill Cilento, son of Bob and Barb, is the hitting coach for the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, who have moved to the Super Regional in the NCAA baseball tournament. Wake beat UMBC 11-3 and West Virginia twice, 4-3 and 12-8, to advance. Bob is Cape’s athletic director and Barb is the school nurse. They missed the Sallies lacrosse game June 3 because family comes first. I have a rule in my family: someone dies, no one else misses a game; it’s best to get that stuff out front. Delaware baseball played great in the NCAA tournament, losing to Texas Tech 5-2 and Arizona 6-5 in 12 innings. Delaware teammates Diaz Nardo (Cape) and Nick Spadafino (Dover) played opposing quarterbacks in a 2012 overtime game won by Dover 55-54. Both Spadafino and Nardo threw for three touchdowns and ran for another. A counter pass intended for tight end Jake Dmiterchik for the win was batted down as the Cape crowd screamed “Give the ball to Jerome!” But I digress. Travel ball after high school is like lifeguarding after 30; there comes a time to just move on. Go on now, git!

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