Some have jerseys to wear at Blue-Gold 5K, others do not

Honorable mention a pat on the head
June 12, 2018

New jersey or no jersey - My son Jack was a first-team All-Henlopen Conference end on both sides of the ball in 1994, the only two-way player honored. But when the Gold All-Star team was chosen, he didn’t make it because “they already had too many ends.” So Delaware baby Jack was sentenced to a lifetime of no Gold jersey on the floor of the upstairs closet. He doesn’t get to wear it once a year and hang out at the hot dog stand at Delaware Stadium. But DJ Hughes, who played on George Glenn’s first team in 1993, got a Gold jersey with his high school number, and June 9 the man with the best scrapbook of them all, thanks to Aunt Kristi, wore his jersey in a 5K race and placed second in his age group. When Cape hockey won the state title in fall 2015, beating Delmar 3-1 in the finals and finishing with a perfect 19-0 record and the best defense in the state, granddaughter Lizzie was the beast in the back, dead center, a dominant player. When all-state was published, Lizzie said to me, “I’m going to say these two words one time, then never again, ‘honorable mention.’” We all laughed, realizing the distribution of accolades must be spread over many teams, and the fact that Cape crushed everyone should be enough for them. But in the end, all those awards fall into the burlap bag of stories “I can tell but can’t sell.” We all just move on, poised and ready to be rejected by multiple halls of fame as we age.

Self-censoring and self-leveling - Social media has amped sports accomplishments into the stratosphere of shared pride and joy, and it’s all good, except when it crosses over into annoying and a reader sighs in the privacy of the home office, “Enough already about your stupid kid!” The better news is political posturing and positioning can’t pull a thread because most sane people realize it only leads to unfriending a person you actually like but can’t stand their politics. But sharing the simple things is OK, and most people like little inspirational stories because all families struggle with something. There is ballast onboard they wish they could throw out of the boat, but you don’t get to do that; you just have to keep rowing. Stand up to the struggle, and in the words of the great Lizz Wright, “I don’t know how I rate to run another day. I am here still runnin’, I believe.”

Field hockey stacked - Cape field hockey won the Division I state title last year – Delmar won D2 – with a record of 16-2 and had an undefeated 12-0 JV team that wasn’t touched. Ten seniors graduated, which simply clears space at the top of the pyramid. Mariner and Beacon send a bevy of talented players into the mix, and the reality is that some 14-year-old girls are ready for varsity action. Cape lost at Tower Hill two years ago, snapping an in-state streak of 100, and last year, they were upset in their opener at Dover, then lost to Delmar for the first time in 11 tries. But trust this, the Vikings will be a tough out for anyone; the Cape girls are coached up and can simply play the sport of field hockey.

Snippets - I’m already lost in summer schedule of sports accomplishments, from hockey to lacrosse to travel baseball and softball, not to mention age-group soccer travel tournaments along with AAU basketball. I honestly don’t know what restrictions apply to school coaches in the summertime; the only reason rules are in place is to protect the athlete from passionate coaches who would otherwise dominate their time. I’m a firm believer in rechargeable downtime, which is why I’m a happy underachiever. The Orioles are 25 games out of first and the Rangers 15 behind, which puts Manny Machado and Cole Hamels on the rent them-sign them market, and the Phillies are buyers trying to broker a deal for either, preferring Manny, but Hamels a more likely acquisition. Grandson Davey won a gold medal at Delaware Special Olympics. Swimming for the Sussex Riptide, he won the 25-meter freestyle. He also freestyled in the backstroke and was disqualified, “You laughing, Fred?” On your mark, set, go on now, git!