Cape golf team wins third match of season

April 12, 2013

The Cape Henlopen High School Vikings golf team continued its early season success April 8 with a 187-216 victory over the Buccaneers of Milford High School.

Playing on the front nine at Rehoboth Beach Country Club, the host squad also improved its team score by 10 strokes over its last match against Sussex Central, held at Sussex Pines CC.

Sophomore Mason Jones earned medalist honors again, this time with a 43. Head coach Claudio Smarrelli noted that Jones has the funkiest swing. As Smarrelli described it, U.S. Open winner “Jim Furyk has nothing on Mason.”

Whatever works, as they say.

Fellow sophomore Mike DeStasio shot yet another 47, his third such posting this season.

Darren Branner also shot a 47, tied for second best among the Vikings and, this time, six strokes ahead of his twin brother Luke’s 53. Smarrelli said the Branners’ scores have been like a see-saw for each match. Given how capable Darren and Luke have both shown themselves to be, it would be nice if they could both play up to that potential at the same time in upcoming matches.

Quincy Duckworth finished the team scoring with his 50. Smarrelli believes Duckworth is “still trying to find his groove with his new sticks, like the pro Rory McIlroy with his Nike.”

Rachel Hagen played her first varsity match and beat her opponent with a 64.

Smarrelli said, “I am confident that overall numbers will continue to lower, the harder we practice. Remember, the team is made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores.”

The Vikings’ next match was scheduled for April 11 at Heritage Shores, where if the weather permits, they would play Seaford High.

Golfing with my father

As many readers of this column know, my father, Joseph C. Schranck, 92, died April 1, 2013. I was able to be with him at Beebe Medical Center when he passed.

I also enjoyed several rounds of golf with Dad through the years, until his physical challenges forced him from the game he loved.

In November 2001, I wrote a column about what it was like to play golf with Dad and his friends. Below is an edited version of that piece.

"Geez, what a beautiful day!"

Dad grinned at me as we approached the first tee last Sunday at Rehoboth Beach Country Club. We were just starting a friendly round of six-six-six with Tom Lewis and Earl Linn, two of his buddies.

The weather was remarkable - about 60 degrees, little or no breeze, and nearly cloudless skies. Black ducks and Canada geese were busy feeding in nearly every pond. "I love it when it’s sweater weather," Dad said. Despite the great playing conditions, however, especially for early November in the Cape Region, there were very few golfers out and about.

Linn wore a dapper hat and a near-permanent wry grin, no matter what he scored. He used a grapefruit-sized driver to keep his tee shots short but steady nearly all day.

Lewis, the former mayor of Henlopen Acres, frequently drove off the white tees for surprisingly long yardage. His adventures usually started with his second shots.

Dad was a bit more inconsistent off the tee than the last time we played. A pop-up drive would then be followed by a good recovery. "I can’t understand why I can hit this club so well off the fairway, but can’t seem to get a good drive with it off the tee," he’d groan on occasion. His play improved around the green, especially with the prospect of winning a dollar or two.

I always enjoy golfing with my father and his friends. They still believe in the possibility of improvement. They delight in the occasional well-placed chip or daring putt, no matter whose it is. They also enjoy the opportunity to tease and laugh with each other, and take the time to notice the scenery around them.

It’s not always how well you play, but how well you can enjoy the beauty all around you, and the company you keep as you play.

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