Sussex County: chasing chickens and marrying cousins

Cape's Jeremiah Cohen is the top seed in the high jump for the Feb. 9 state meet. Cohen wants to break the Cape indoor state record of 6-feet-6-inches currently held by Joe Snead. BY DAVE FREDERICK
February 8, 2013

Chasing chickens - Back in 1981 my wife and I, Cape newbies, were sitting in the stands at CR watching the state wrestling finals. Two young Brandywine boys behind us were going on and being stupid and one said, “Wonder what happened to that really good Cape kid Charles Turner?” The other answered, “He’s probably down in Sussex County chasing chickens and marrying his cousin like the rest of them.” Susan was up, turned around and commenced to bury the both of them: “How come you guys aren’t out there?  Did you get pinned at the weigh-in? You should dream of being as athletic or as smart as Charles Turner.” We became full-fledged locals at that moment. Charles Turner was a 27-0 wrestler in 1980, pinning 24. Another two wouldn’t get out of their chairs. His only decision was a 7-6 decision over Kevin Brooks of Salesianum in the semifinals of the state meet. Charles also high jumped 6-feet-10-inches and triple jumped 46-10. He lives in Virginia with his wife of 24 years and has six adult children, three of whom have graduated from college. He has never chased a chicken, dead or alive, to my knowledge.

The dejection of rejection - Have you ever been rejected by a group of live people from an organization you didn’t ask to be a part of in the first place? Let's say a Hall of Fame, perhaps an Honor Society or a Blue Goose Country Club? You can react by sour grapes - “Sure, right, look at the losers who are in there” - or sweet lemons - “I’m so glad I didn’t make it so I can put it on my resumé.” I’ve been nominated for two sports halls of fame and been rejected by both and couldn’t pass the character component of any honor society. And I am so happy about all of that; it makes me the special person I am. I nominated two incredible sports personalities of stalwart character to the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame, one black and one white, and neither one made the final ballot, which floored me like a runaway Toyota. There are more than 100 nominations each year to the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame. People are tripping out there. The same goes for honor societies that often become elitist “in groups” because if everyone makes it then it’s no better than being an MVP at Food Lion. And you know many of the smartest and greatest people fly below the radar because they just don’t need to be nominated then rejected by something they never asked to be a part of.

Turf field two - There’s an ad in this paper on how to submit a suggestion for the naming of Cape’s turf field two. This has turned into a Jimmy Durante activity -  “Everybody wants to get into the act.” Champions Stadium is but one suggestion, and the forum is open. I also like Dogfish Field because it’s cool in a local fauna sort of way and fans can do the shark fin thing or chomp and also bark at the same time as the band plays the theme from "Jaws." And remember the Vikings were plunderers and pillagers, so why is that mascot a good idea?

Snippets - The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association State Championship Indoor Track meet will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at the University of Delaware. The action begins at 11 a.m. and runs through 4 p.m. There will be one champion crowned for the boys and one for the girls.

The Cape wrestling team will host Salesianum on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Sallies has lost this season to Sussex Central, Caesar Rodney and Smyrna, and so has Cape. This should be a close match.

The Cape boys' basketball team plays at 6:15 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9, at Smyrna.  Just drive around the back for entrance into the Eagles' new gym, because they have three of them.

Lydia Hastings, former Cape soccer player who went on to a stellar career at the University of Maryland, sent me an email: “I just signed with a pro team over in Finland called PK-35 two Saturdays ago, and leave to play there in about a week! I'll be over there for about seven months playing in the Finnish league, and since PK-35 is the Finnish champ from last year (last three years as well) I'll also be playing in the European Champions League! I think this will be a great experience and a great start to my pro career.”

Grand Mom Rose: “There are no part-time derelicts.” Be a full-time athlete! Go on now, git!