Legends of Lewes Half Pint and Jimmy at Frawley Stadium

June 2, 2017

Legends of Lewes - Sitting in the shade at Frawley Stadium watching Cape play baseball May 31 were the baller and the bus driver, sharing stories of former days, not older days. Jimmy Allen ran the point on the 1975 undefeated 25-0 Cape basketball team that many consider the best Delaware high school basketball team of all time. Jimmy talked a little of those days then nodded toward the man everyone calls Half Pint and said, “He was our bus driver.” Half Stockley, a man with crazy skills in woodworking, restoring old cars and outfitting vans, said, “This is my 50th year driving the school bus.” He didn’t say a bus but the school bus, and Jimmy joked, “Did they call you Half Pint because you liked to drink?” and Half said, “No, because I was short.” Walk down Savannah Road and if the subject is Cape, and you ever ask “Half who?” or “Jimmy who?” you are not local, at least not riding on my train.

Cheers for shears - The Wilmington Friends lacrosse team got buzz-sawed against Cape May 31. The hometown fans were in a contradictory controlled frenzy, but when Holden Kammerer checked the stick of leading scorer Eric Pincus and it broke in two, it was bonkersville on the Cape side of town. And in the sport of lacrosse, if your stick breaks in two - a real shortie - you and your stick immediately need to leave the pitch, while mayhem man is given the ball. Early in the game, legal checks delivered by “Quasar Quakers” that sent Cape players to the turf were met by thunderous appreciation from the Wilmington Friends crowd. The game is insane, and as coach Bill Belichick said, “The difference between football and lacrosse is that lacrosse is always fun.” 

Champions Stadium - The Cape girls’ lacrosse team won its ninth straight state championship May 30 at the Delaware Turf Sports Complex, but wherever and whenever the Cape girls play for a state title, the place is transformed into legacy land. And add to that a Back to the Future theme, as two championship Atlantic Lacrosse teams - U13 and U15 - sat in the stands together watching the big girls snap. I caught a candid shot of former coaches Richard Collins and P.J.  Kesmodel with Jordan Brown in between. Jordan just finished her sophomore year at West Chester University, where her mom and dad and brother Connor graduated. Jordan came into Cape, played field hockey and lacrosse, then looked back at eight state titles. Richard and P.J. scouted for Cape lacrosse this season. You just have to read one report to realize how all that knowledge translates into a teachable game plan. 

A good teammate - Coach Jeff Jablon, known as Jabs to his close friends or Choo Choo Jablon by this sportswriter, is one of those teacher-coach guys, a perennial assistant who just enjoys being a part of the scene. I recently asked Jabs a question about Cape catcher Richard Carey and Jabs got that gleam he gets before speaking, “Richie is a great kid. I really like that kid!” That is a ringing endorsement in the kid business; it’s all anyone has to say. Richie, the senior catcher, didn’t get the start in his last Cape baseball game. In fact, he didn’t play. Coach Ben Evick elected to use Zach Savage to handle Zack Gelof, who throws down and dirty curveballs, and behind home plate at Frawley Stadium there is enough room to park a fleet of RVs. Richie was active in the dugout and was the first to greet players coming off the field. He gets it, the big picture, and I was impressed. As the Clint Black country song goes, “I’m leaving here a better man.” Great four-year career, Richie!  

Snippets - Kevin Tresolini is not as old as me, but he goes back in sportswriting as far as me. I snapped a shot of him sitting in my blue chair at the girls’ championship lacrosse game and started to tell him the blue chair saga, but he waved me off because he was actually paying attention to something related to the game. He later asked me, “Is your granddaughter Katie injured?” and I appreciated he saw that and asked me about her. You see, the real pros are also the most gracious people. Scott Kammerer of SoDel Concepts, a former New Jersey all-state football player and wrestler, is Cape’s graduation speaker. That is ironic, as many referees and officials have encouraged Scott to stop talking. Go on now, git!