Seaford’s once powerhouse sports programs have fallen on hard times

Seaford boys' basketball put an athletic team on the court last season, and the girls went to the Henlopen Conference Championship, losing to Smyrna. Here Andre Washington, right,  goes after a shot of E.J.Fountain. But overall, programs are fading. Find Scotty from Meatland in the photo. BY DAVE FREDERICK
April 2, 2013

What’s going on? Marvin Gaye:  “Talk to me so we can see what’s going on.” Sports is what I do, and people in my lineage are athletes blessed to be in great programs at Cape now and forever going backward. But there are things going on out there in other districts that, if they involved my family, I’d move. No one’s fault, it's sociological or demographic, but gosh darn, y'all. Seaford just lost a softball game to Laurel 28-0 and also lost to Concord 16-0 and Smyrna 23-7. That’s 65-7. The baseball team lost to Smyrna 15-0. The track boys lost to Dover 143-3 and Milford 124-6. The girls' track team lost to Dover 98-33 and Milford 120-22. I know the theory that DuPont downsized and that had a dramatic impact on the abundance of athletic talent as did Sussex Tech's harvesting a share of students. I’m not happy about this - just wondering how a town that produced so many athletic heroes seems to be shrugging its shoulders and saying, “Those days are over.”

The coaching clapper - Clap your hands and a light goes out on a coaching career; clap them again, the light comes back on and there stands the new coach. Let me run and interview him - but wait - what about the other guy? Did he leave to spend more quality time with his children or was he forced out like a house cat into a nor’easter? The word "transparent" was a bad thing in my generation; it meant you could see right through a person's ulterior motives. Now it’s a good thing we need more of; I hear all the time, “We need more transparency.” OK, so a word to all schools that receive sports coverage: If you fire a coach, let us know; otherwise, we make up our own stories based on the off-the-record rants of insiders who say, “Just keep my name out of it.”

Champions Stadium - Turf field two at Cape is now Champions Stadium, which sounds nice alongside Legends Stadium. A committee will now be charged with looking into the process of how coaches will be added to the Cape district's Ring of Honor, mostly likely by a ceremony and plaque inside Legends Stadium because there is unlimited wall space on the brick field house, but really nothing has been decided. Note: Want to start a riot, give a living person an honorary parking space? Did I say I was talking about myself?

Delaware Sports Hall of Fame - The class of 2013 will include, among others, Luke Petitigout, who played football (also golf) at Sussex Central, Notre Dame and was a first-round draft choice of the New York Giants and played in the 2001 Super Bowl. Also being inducted is Fillmore Clifton, a three-sport athlete at Lewes High (1930-34). Clifton was also a three-sport athlete at West Chester State before a 30-year coaching career at Bridgeville High School. The stadium in Bridgeville bears his name. Also honored is Ethel “Feffie” Barnhill, longtime Lewes Beach person, who was a three-sport star at Tatnall High in the 1960s, played five sports at Ursinus College, earning 15 letters, and was later women’s head lacrosse coach at the College of William and Mary (1982-98).

Snippets - Godspeed to Ellen Andrelczyk, a longtime Lewes Polar Bear who jumped with us through her 70s. Ellen passed away March 29 at the age of 82. Ellen was a mother of five, including daughter Janet, who teaches at Mariner. Janet is a real fan of Mariner athletes, always out there supporting them.

Casey Stengel, manager of the 1962 New York Mets, the worst team in baseball history, looked out onto the field after a loss and said, "Can't anyone here play this game?" I imagine Elena Delle Donne thinking the same thing after Sunday's loss to Kentucky; instead, she was gracious and tearful and talked about missing her teammates. I have watched tons of basketball players under "don't shoot" orders from the coach, which just seems wrong. Go on now, git!

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