Sports in Sussex County produce respect, support among coaches

Miz B and Peter Cox are part of the Cape family and parents of 14 children. BY DAVE FREDERICK
February 22, 2013

Sports network - Sports people from different schools stick together when they feel one of their own is being unjustly railroaded out of a job by an administration or school board that doesn’t have much of a clue. I am not talking about Cape here. I’m inside a wider network that stretches all the way over to Bridgeville, down to Delmar and up to northern Wilmington. But when something unfair happens in Sussex County, it quickly gets personal for us connected sports professionals. Schools have the right to change coaches without “due process” by simply saying, “We want to go in a different direction,” but don’t fabricate some hokey insubordination claim to go after a person’s job unless there is a pattern of blatantly and defiantly refusing to follow school policy. I had my run-ins over a 35-year teaching career, accused of being abrasive to fellow staff when I was protecting the rights of my special ed students - "Flunked foods class? Let me give you some two-word lesson plans: grilled cheese, tomato soup, scrambled eggs. Work your way to three ingredients: tuna casserole, pork and sauerkraut, toss in an apple, you’re a gourmet cook." Once I was accused of being a passive-aggressive insubordinate for disappearing during an inservice faculty meeting when the entire staff was ordered to do the Macarena. I not only survived; I got my own column.

Fitness freaks - Fitness and dieting and overhydration can be forms of addiction considered healthy, but for certain personality types they are spokes of the same wheel as bad addictions. It all depends on how the person rolls. I always think healthy addictions crowd out destructive ones, but they can also live side by side inside the same person. We all followed the story this week of Plantation Road closed down because of police activity, and when we heard a 42-year-old male was shot in the chest by police because he was wielding a shovel in a threatening manner at a police officer, our brains instantly produced a list of possible suspects we thought capable of getting jammed up like that. I didn’t personally know Keith Schueller, but saw him at the gym all the time, a tall, clean-cut-looking, super-fit big guy who never bothered anyone and looked more like a relaxed guy than a desperately agitated personality. People who think they know everything are saying, “You just never know,” but mostly you do know, like I’m not wielding a five-foot flathead shovel at the head of a cop at the end of a car chase, Believe that! I hope Keith Schueller survives and recovers and finds peace in his life; it’s just sad the things that happen to people of promise who are part of the self-destructive nature of addictions.

Snippets - Grand Mom Rose: “There are those who believe in second chances and those that don’t. Those that don’t never needed one.” Jack Weeks placed second to B.J. Daisey of Sussex Tech at the Feb. 16 Henlopen Conference Swim Championships in the 200 individual medley; that was good for 13 team points. But wait! Jack was disqualified by a turn judge (“Heard any good strokes lately?”) for not completing the backstroke portion and turning too quickly at the wall on his transition to the breaststroke. Whatever!  Put the 13 points back in there and the Cape boys win the meet by a point. I know it all comes out in the wash, but such a call would have left me highly agitated; it seems kind of picky leveled against a kid who is Cape’s best swimmer. I counted seven swimmers in the conference meet with DQ after their names, and I must say I’ve never seen seven athletes disqualified in a single Henlopen Conference Track Championship Meet, but you know those sneaky-stroking, dolphin-kicking swimmers. I’ve been a track referee/starter with the ultimate power to disqualify but almost never did unless it was so blatant as to be unavoidable. Seven in one meet is just crazy.

There are no random, pure and fair lotteries out there when it comes to athletes and "exclusive” schools; you can believe that if you are a major impact player, your number is coming up. Pictured on Cape basketball Senior Night is 1978 track star Curtis Johnson with his godson, Gekwan Pritchett. Gekwan came to live with Curtis two years ago and is on pace to graduate in June. It’s a nice story of how some people take the honor of being a godparent very seriously. Speaking of taking parenting seriously, shown also are Bernita (Boyer) and Peter Cox (Beckett), parents of 14, after the Cape versus Milford basketball game. Peter just turned 50, and when he commences clowning - seems to never stop - you always see his children and grandchildren smiling.

Taylor Fisher and Elizabeth Sparks sang the national anthem in perfect, two-part harmony at the Milford basketball game Feb. 19. Sparks will open the ceremonies on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, at the state wrestling championships. Go on now, git!

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