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Friday Homecoming game more about the Saturday dance

An American tradition that just won’t go away
Teachers Susan and Dave Frederick at the boat ramp prior to the 2005 Homecoming parade. Fredman was tricked into being grand marshal by Tommy Grogan.
October 6, 2017

Homecoming - Skip ahead to Saturday, Oct. 20, when Cape is Sussex Central’s Homecoming opponent. The inside joke with Homecoming is that you schedule somebody you can beat; otherwise, it ruins the Saturday night dance. The Vikings will host Polytech for Homecoming this Friday, Oct. 6, which may seem like a good scheduling idea until you see the Panthers have a record of 3-1 with consecutive wins over Indian River, Milford and Caesar Rodney. This is actually the fourth year in a row Cape has hosted Polytech - third time in four years they are the Homecoming opponent. Peep the previous three results, 55-10 in 2014; 47-0 in 2015; 37-0 in 2016. Coaches realize the Panthers will show up ready to play and may parade out of Legends Stadium if they lay a little cat scratch fever on the Vikings. Last year, Cape lost the Homecoming game to Caravel 14-7. I was the parade marshal in 2005, the longest one-mile slow drive of my life - I’m just not that guy.  

Doctors J - I trust my medical and spiritual well-being to women. My sister-in-law Nancy is my spiritual advisor, while Dr. Jen Hazzard gives me the skinny on orthopedic complaints and Dr. Jessica Sander is my hands-on physical therapist. On Wednesday, Dr. Jen told me I was growing some extra bone on my greater trochanter. “I thought so,” I said. “What’s a trochanter?” She started talking about the ball of the femur, maybe mentioned the words protuberance and pinching, but I lost interest. But I volunteered, “So that’s why Dr. Jessica rubs cocoa butter into my greater trochanter?” I must say, “it hurts so good,” and I’m the butter for it, or perhaps I’m toast. Tuesday night after the hockey game, I actually hurried and scurried across the field to exchange a camera lens, causing Athletic Director Bob Cilento to exclaim, “I never saw you move so fast! What did you get, a lube job?”  

Parade route - Cape football games at Caesar Rodney over the last 48 years - 24 accounting for home and away - have mostly resulted in unfavorable outcomes. And depending on the date, you had a good chance of ending up in the Homecoming parade or worse, a Halloween parade that ended at Rider Stadium. That happened to me once. I was in between floats on a slow drive when some fueled-up fan screamed, “Nice costume, pal! Does your mom know you borrowed her clown car?” I let the woman have her day; after all, she was with her grandchildren dressed as zombies.

Glen Mills School - Delaware County, 17 miles west of Philly, I was head football coach of the Mitchell School football team out of Haverford. It was a Thursday afternoon in 1974, and we were rolling down a two-lane road on the way to play at the Glen Mills campus. The bright yellow bus was stone-cold silent, like we were hiding at 50 miles per hour through fall foliage wearing gold numbers on blue jerseys. I stood up to speak, “Some of you have figured out that Glen Mills is a reform school with a roster of ‘bad guys’ from across the country. They have 80 players on the roster, but not to worry, they all want to play quarterback. We will be fine, because by reputation, they are equally scared of you. Just two more things. This is their Homecoming and their mascot is a second-story burglar who cheers from the video tower.” Bernard Pierce, who played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Baltimore Ravens, is listed as notable alumnus. We won the game and enjoyed some post-game conviviality and brotherhood.  

Snippets - Several parents of runners asked me to thank Ed Wilson (Ryan’s dad) for always encouraging cross country runners, especially at the middle school level. I’d have to say he looks out for me as well, offering me a chair in case I forgot my blue one. Cape soccer lost its first game of the season 3-1 at the Peddie School of New Jersey, but hung tough matching shot totals at 17, with a 5-4 advantage on corner kicks. Zack Gelof scored for Cape and now has 21 goals on the season, while freshman Jake Gelof was credited with 14 saves. Jersey plays a physical style of soccer, grabbing jerseys, bear-hug clamping on corners, and sliding tackles that threaten life and two limbs. Cape was the better for it, heading for a big conference game at Sussex Tech Thursday, Oct. 5. The Ravens are coming off wins over Caesar Rodney and Sussex Academy. Macey Mitchell (Millsboro) from Bryn Athyn College has been chosen as NEAC Women’s Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week after going 1-1 on the week for the Lions. Despite a loss at Bryn Mawr Sept. 13, the rookie goalkeeper recorded a career-high 14 saves. Later in the week, Mitchell held Notre Dame (Md.) scoreless for over 57 minutes to earn a combined 10-0 victory to mark the first shutout in Bryn Athyn history. The Dewey Goes Pink 5K, this Saturday, Oct. 7, begins at 11 a.m. and will push 3,000 participants, counting runners and walkers. My niece Michelle, outside of Philly, was recently diagnosed, so I dedicate my day to her and will make sure she sees all the photos.

Go on now, git!