Stephen Decatur basketball coach Mark Engle, in his 28th year of coaching young men, looked onto the court at Cape after five quarters of varsity action, watching the junior varsity guys run up and down the court. Mark lives in Lewes and is the son-in-law of legendary Lewes athlete Sam Paynter.
“Isn’t this just the greatest game?" Engle said. “It just takes all the things you look for in an athlete." He added, ”You guys are lucky to have Steve [Re] for a coach, and he’s put together a great staff [Tommy Rushin, Greg Smock, Pat Woods and Shemik Thompson], and those guys can all still play.”
During the first varsity scrimmage of the season, it was up-and-down, fast-paced intensity with both coaches up off the bench encouraging their kids and interacting with the officials on every call - which didn’t matter anyway, "C’mon, ref, there is no way that was a walk; how is that a walk?”
Cape was 13-5 last season, losing in the second round of the state tournament to Saint Georges Tech. The Vikings featured a guard-oriented offense coupled with pressure defense, not much of an inside presence and no pure shooters.
LT Hazzard, who led the team in points and steals, is lost to graduation, along with Sam McMillon on the inside. Zach May and DJ Ayers have also graduated.
“We kept it simple today, looking at intensity and defense and rotation. I wanted to see if our conditioning level was there,” Re said after the scrimmage. “I’d say that our rotation was not good. We still have guys who haven’t transitioned to the speed of the varsity game.”
Cape's 12-person varsity roster includes Austin Brooks, Tyreik Burton, Solomon Cox, Jordan Duffie, Toney Floyd, EJ Fountain, Andrew Grau, TT Hazzard, David Kwan, Gekwan Pritchett, Kai Vitella and Jon Jon Warren.
The junior varsity roster includes Learris Griffin, Jordan Howell, Alex Marshall, Devin Miller, Drew Mulcahy, Luke Murphy, Jackie Norwood, Kyle Orton, Demetrius Price and Ryan Thornburg.
The freshman roster includes Jack Ashby, Chris Chiartas, Hank Coveleski, Trevon Horsey, Brandt Lookup, Mike Williams and Bill Yeates.
Any of the junior varsity and freshman players can play up during the season.
Check out schedule and results at www.websites4sports.com.
Notes: Fans remember the Delmarva Christian team Mark Engle took to the DIAA state tournament with big mountain man Mike Lapointe at center. Lapointe entered the Army after high school, getting in just under the height limit.