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Coach P.J. Kesmodel continues to create concentric circles of success

Coach P.J. Kesmodel waves to officials who are happy to see him back on the sidelines. DAVE FREDERICK PHOTO
June 27, 2017

P.J. waves hello - Coach P.J Kesmodel lost his older brother Hunter June 17 to advanced Parkinson’s (see obituary in the June 23 Cape Gazette). Springing from a large Catholic family - six siblings - where his father Paul was headmaster at the Severn School, P.J. creates concentric circles of success wherever he goes without ever going into hypermode. He is legendary in women’s lacrosse with a national profile. On June 24, the Zen Master was on the Bermuda turf at Cape, coaching the 2020 Eastern Shore team. He will stay with them until they become seniors in high school. The good news is the bad news, as girls not old enough to drive already have the best coach they will ever have. “Safe pass” may be coach P.J.’s favorite two cautionary words. The metaphor is powerful, “Don’t throw away something you worked so hard to obtain.”

Reification - Definition: A fallacy of ambiguity, treating an abstract as if it is concrete. Anyone still on board this train? Every time I hear that Cape only cares about sports, I think “Cape is a building, not a living thing; only the people are real.” So what people are we talking about? Teachers and staff mostly don’t go to games, and they don’t know who plays what. District office administrators mostly don’t go to games, and neither do school board members, unless they have a child on a team. I cover sports and plead guilty to having a positive approach toward Cape kids, but I will add I’m positive toward all kids; the uniform, talents and interests don’t matter to me. Buildings can’t defend themselves from accusations, so a statement like “Cape doesn’t care” becomes indefensible. Bring me real people with names and then let’s talk. 

Counterproductive control - Many teachers over a career use written referrals - write-ups - to control unacceptable behaviors. The key phrase is “over a career,” because if they are written for 30 years, obviously they ain’t working. Referees who liberally throw out yellow cards in every game they work don’t have control issues, but lack of control issues. The Eastern Shore Lacrosse 2018 team ducked more yellows than a toddler during an Easter morning peep fight playing two players down for an entire half in a game they lost by two goals. I once saw football coach Brian Donahue talking to the head ref at halftime of a football game. He mentioned the line judge had called Cape for four first-half holding penalties. “Please talk to that guy,” coach D asked the ref, and he did, and Cape went on to win the game, no doubt holding on every play. 

Waves of talent - I have seen the waves of talent by the sport come through Cape over the last 40 years, that is the accepted theory, it can’t be high tides and green grass all the time. I have also seen waves of parent talent, whether official boosters or simply supporters of sports their kids play, have a great positive impact on the success of programs. And let’s face it, there are some really annoying and supercritical people as well, but usually when their kids go, they follow them to the next level, where college coaches shut them down on the first peep or billy goat bleat.     

Keeping it real - Eddie Reese and Jay Kennedy on a green gator on a summer Sunday afternoon at Beach Blast tournament: They smile at you, it’s validation you are a community player and have lived a good life. A voice from behind my head, “Fred Fred Cabbage Head.” Your average white guy, hair graying, flashed a smile. I did not hesitate, “Hank, how are you?” It was Hank Stack, a gifted runner from my 1983 track team. Hank ran the fastest mile in a dual meet to finish third, posting a 4:28, chasing Bruce Harris of Dover and Cape’s Danny Harmon. Hank was on the 4-by-1,600 relay team with Tim Bamforth, Mark Wagner and Harmon that set a state record at the Dover Relays. Those were the days, man, but as Merle Haggard sang, “Are the good times really over for good?”

Snippets - The Turn Two baseball camp will be held Monday-Thursday, July 10-13, for ages 8-12 at Lewes Little League complex from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. The cost is $210. Chris Calciano, a Boston Red Sox scout, is your contact at ccalciano@redsox.com or 617-519-6120. Reviews from last year were great, so why travel when you can hang at home plate in Lewes down by the canal? That reminds me of when I owned a 13-foot Whaler. I had a hat that read Captain Canal. As a mariner, I was a disaster. Go on now, git!

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