The decorum along wrestling benches more cheesy than classy

Brianna Hall of Sussex Tech is the 10th-ranked junior long jumper in nation for indoor track. She owns a season-best 17-feet-8-inches. She is also on the Ravens swim team. BY DAVE FREDERICK
January 11, 2013

Sinbad advice - Comedian Sinbad doing standup said, “You can’t be bald-headed on Monday and have hair down to your butt on Wednesday. At least try to fool somebody.” I use the line, ”At least try to fool somebody” a lot, because no one really needs to know the real you, perhaps not even yourself, if you trip too much. Seventy-three-year-old-play-by-play man Brent Musberger, a crashing bore in my book anyway, went off during a telecast Monday night about the Alabama quarterback’s girlfriend, and America’s collective geezer-skeezer alarm went off. I didn’t stay with the Alabama rolling over Notre Dame game because I’m addicted to reruns of "The Mentalist" - I just can’t decide if I like agent Teresa Lisbon or Grace Van Pelt the best - you know - as actresses.

Wore me out! - I sat at the press table Wednesday for a wrestling match way too close to the Sussex Central bench and knew the Golden Knights would win like they have every time time but twice in the last 40 years. I like the Georgetown wrestling culture, wouldn’t try to change it, but five coaches up and barking through 14 weight classes seems a bit over the top. Late in the match, there was an injury, and a posse charged out on the mat.  At some point the line is crossed between unbridled enthusiasm and downright obnoxiousness. The Central athletes are cool and competitive and seem to have great rapport with the coaching staff.  I see lots of games, and I can’t think of another scholastic sport I cover where that level of coaching interaction with officials and players is tolerated. The state wrestling committee needs to clean up and address the decorum issue in the sport from who sits on the bench, who gets to stand in front of it and shout onto the mat and how many people can stand behind the bench during competition, because right now it's all kind of cheesy.

Go to the basket - The best athletes play basketball, so I’m told. There are no unskilled positions like football or specialized defender positions like hockey, lacrosse and soccer. And in wrestling and track there is no ball, so no problem. The game of basketball is free-flowing; if a varsity player gets the ball and just gives it right back to someone else never looking for a shot or contemplating a move to the basket, then what’s the point of being in the game? Got to have a go mentality, yo! Take the ball to the rack, pop that open jumper - it opens up the game for the other four players.

One-hander - I was a high school freshman phenom, in a tied basketball game with possession against Trenton Catholic, and they hadn’t lost a freshman game at home since the 1955 Chevy Belair hit the showroom floor. Marion Zarankewitz, a mad Russian scientist  and our team's coach, looked around the circle and said, “Get the ball to Frederick so he can take his one-hander. No one else shoot unless you get a lay-up.” I couldn’t stop laughing. One-hander? All others downgraded to lay-up status? That was the zone where science and sports intersected.

Snippets - Ken Dunning sought me out after the last home basketball game. “Make sure you put in your column that 25 percent of Casapulla’s proceeds will go to the Jusst Sooup Ministry all the way through March," he said. I’m still waiting for the ranch to get approved as a church so I can be ordained The Deacon of Doughnuts.

Brianna Hall of Sussex Tech, the long-jumping swimmer, is currently ranked 10th in the nation for juniors in the sport of indoor track with a leap of 17-feet-8-inches. Sam Young of Cape jumped a personal best 11-6 to place second in the pole vault Jan. 9 at the Worcester County meet. The Cape boys placed fourth in a 20-team field while the girls finished in sixth. Lots of people with no money have grand ideas of seeing an indoor recreation facility built to accommodate all the sports, from basketball and track to field hockey, lacrosse and soccer. The financial big bangers need to come out for this - or the Sussex County Department of Parks and Recreation, which doesn’t exist.

Riley Shields, a Cape freshman and a top pitching prospect for softball, broke her collarbone, so what now? Certainly not my call.  Just dial Big T and see who picks up.  Go on now, git!

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