Schools compete for athletic, academic talent

High school lacrosse is diversifying
Dover High lacrosse is now coached by John Coveleski and Ron Allen. BY DAVE FREDERICK
April 19, 2013

Destination anywhere - I’m the smartest person I know, took every undergraduate college course three times. I do know a sports interview is like a research paper in that you start down a road with a premise asking questions but must be willing to follow the answers even if your original theory is shot all to pieces. Dover lacrosse, coached by John Coveleski and Ron Allen, came into Cape Wednesday night with more African-American players in uniform than I had ever seen. I mentioned that to Coveleski after the game and he responded, “I don’t know,” and it’s hard to argue with that. I still like my theory. Stellar athlete Jordan Robinson has the first and last names of the two most celebrated African-American athletes of all time. (Maybe Jesse Owens but he doesn’t fit here.) April 15 was the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball and the premiere of the film I’ve heard so much about I don’t want to see it. Jordan Robinson just would not pick up on my premise that perhaps he was a trendsetter and trailblazer and that more African-Americans would start playing lacrosse. “It’s really not my call,” he said. “I just like the game and I like playing it. When I go on to play just football, I will miss it.” I think Jim Brown said the same thing 50 years ago,

Changing landscape - New fields and new school at Woodbridge, massive new school for Dover High and a serious school construction project in Laurel. There is the new Cape and Milford and Sussex Academy taking over the Delmarva Christian site and becoming a high school one grade per year beginning with ninth grade this season. The competition for academically and athletically talented kids is a factor in all of this and each kid has a number of choices. Upstate, each student athlete has unlimited choices, and to me the biggest quest is always, “Are you running to or running from something?”

Down to Dagsboro - The Cape girls’ soccer team defeated Indian River April 16, 3-2. Shelby Thomas scored unassisted at 17:13 into the second half, giving Cape a 2-1 lead. Brook Beam scored at 26:45 for the Indians, tying the score. Madeline Smith scored the game-winner in the final minute for Cape. Note: There was no Cape photographer at the game due to issues of stamina and night vision.

Lag time - There are rules and guidelines in the NCAA and pros for coaches and selected players addressing the media; the usual post-game cooldown is 10 minutes before facing the music. In high school there are no guidelines; a reporter may wait 10 minutes or an hour, or the coach may just not want to talk. Esteemed writer Ring Lardner once wrote, “I don’t want some dumb coach or athlete screwing up my story anyway.”

The Cape locker room doors at the field house closed after Cape’s 9-5 win over Dover and happy was not in the house. How do I know that? Ask a dog; they don’t have language but they do have a nose for trouble. I once followed a coach from a baseball field to a high school locker room and 45 minutes later he decided to grace me with an interview. I looked at him and said, ”You know what? Forget about it.”

Snippets - The Delaware Sports Alliance in conjunction with the Cape Henlopen School District is planning to bring back the Slam Dunk to the Beach holiday basketball tournament beginning with December 2014. Dr. Nada Saliba Hart, daughter of retired surgeon Dr. Anis Saliba of Lewes, is an anesthesiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Nada worked for two straight days with the surgical teams on trauma victims injured at the Boston Marathon finish-line bombing.

Everyone I talk to knows someone who was within two blocks of the bomb blasts in Boston; it is just so sad and horrific what happened, and the story is always worse when it includes children. Lewes and Milton are both scheduled to open their Little League seasons this Saturday, April 20, with a parade in each town. Dover Central Middle School has started a boys’ lacrosse program with 36 kids in uniform. “Half of them are minority kids,” reports high school head coach John Coveleski. “I just want to get this thing going and hand it off to a younger person.” Same here, Coach. Go on now, git!

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