No, you can't and no, you didn't

Johnny Morris smiles for the camera on a summer visit to Lewes five years ago. Many locals from Lewes consider John the best three-sport athlete - football, basketball, baseball - the town has ever produced. BY DAVE FREDERICK
November 29, 2011

Yams and game plans - William Penn made the football state tournament, edging out Cape largely on the strength of an upset 28-25 win over Middletown. William Penn then lost to Dover in the first round of the tournament.  Dover had beaten Cape 55-54 in the regular season when Cape's two-point conversion counter pass to the tight end was batted down and everyone in the stands from 8 to 80 screamed “Give the ball to Jerome!”

Offensive coordinator Herky Billings had the best quote: “Somebody downtown may make fun of my shoes and I'll want to fight them, but a thousand people behind me at a football game screaming 'You're an idiot' doesn't bother me at all.”  So fans, next time yell, ”What was that call, Billings, and give Thom McAn his shoes back!”

Back aboard the train of thought, Dover lost to Middletown in the semifinals when the Cavaliers hung 63 points on the Senators in a 63-40 victory.  Comparing scores makes about as much sense as comparing and contrasting the difference between yams and sweet potatoes which my 4.0 wife Susan did brilliantly on Thanksgiving Day, the concern being no one asked her. “Fredman, what actually is a yam?” “I have no idea. Ask your grandmother.”

Looking the part - A young athlete remembers all the people who ever looked at him or her and said “No, you can't.” An old athlete suffers the same anger when someone looks at him or her and says “No, you didn't.” We high-performance models suffer on both ends of the game.

George Welsh, later a head coach at Navy and Virginia, was a Penn State recruiter who came to sign me sight unseen in 1964. I walked into the high school office, having escaped from Latin class. Welsh took one look at me and said, ”You're not as big as your brother,” turned and walked out. As coincidental irony would have it , my brother Tom was a 6-foot-6, 290-pound tackle at Penn State at that time and was rooming with Jerry Sandusky. Did I ever tell you I could dunk a basketball?

Palisades High School - Last week when putting together a sneak attack to make 49-year-old Bill Shook a Gazette Athlete of the Week,  I discovered he graduated from Palisades High in Bucks County, Pa.  Back on Jan. 22, 1960,  Pete Cimino, playing for Bristol High School, scored 114 points in a 134-86 win over Palisades. Cimino shot 44 of 79 from the field and 26 of 29 from the foul line. Cimino was drafted by MLB's Minnesota Twins and once struck out 20 batters in a triple A game.

Pete is now 69 years old and one wonders if his 114 points comes up at the Thanksgiving Day table. Amazingly, back in 1966, forward Bill Cordrey of Milton High School put up “half a Cimino,” scoring 57 points in a game with Bud Hitchens as his point guard. Cimino pitched for the Twins in 1965-66, then the Angels in 1967-68. Johnny Morris, the legend of Lewes High, was a major contemporary of Cimino who pitched for the Phillies in 1966, the Orioles in 1968, the Brewers in 1970-71 and the Giants 1972-73-74. Morris was also a great basketball and football player back in the day when the good guys played everything. Put a bunch of older athletes in a room and they will construct a web of cross connections.

Clocking the ball - Caleb Hanie of the Bears thought he was “clocking the ball” when he stepped back from center and threw it into the ground with the Bears trailing 25-20 with single seconds remaining. But he took too many steps back and it was ruled intentional grounding, loss of down and 10-second runoff - game over! Why can't that happen to Tebow?

Snippets - Jamie Jarmon, the Indian River quarterback, has signed a letter of intent for baseball at South Carolina. According to Paul Kmetz, he goes there if he's not a high pick in the major league draft. Ray Steele, Mike Norton and Paul Kmetz, all coaches on the Indian River staff, have a combined 101 years of experience. Mike Norton was the head football coach at Laurel when the Bulldogs won state titles in 1986 and 1987.

Scott Morgan, L.J. Thomas and Chester Davis were on the 1986 staff while Scott Morgan, L.J. Thomas, Paul Kmetz and Vic Hrebian were on the 1987 staff. The 1991 Laurel state champions had Keith O'Neal as head coach with Paul Kmetz, Vic Hrebian and and John Rodgers as assistants. The 1989 Indian River squad that won the state title had Dale Steele as head coach with assistants Mark Steele, Jim Leyh and J.T. Harmon.

Matt Lindell, a Cape social studies teacher, is the new boys' coach for indoor and outdoor track. Matt replaces Charlie Pollard, head coach for boys' spring track. George Pepper continues to be head coach for the girls.  The major change is the indoor program now has two head coaches. Cape has enjoyed a record turnout in a sport which some high schools and colleges keep trying to kill.

Jeff Evans, also a Cape social studies teacher, is the new softball coach, replacing Joe Bernheimer. Teachers are given preference for head coaching positions but it's not a hard-and-fast rule; for example, boys' lacrosse has been coached by an outside-the-building head coach for the last 25 years and no one is dislodging P.J. Kesmodel from girls' lacrosse until the Zen Master goes off to the mountain for more mulch.

Go on now, git!

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