Sometimes school gets in the way of sports

Pop snaps and crackles
Tyreik "Pop" Burton is shown winning the 100 meters versus Milford and Sussex Tech  in a personal record of 10.7. BY DAVE FREDERICK
May 3, 2013

Track and field trip - Coach George Pepper looked slightly shell-shocked Wednesday at a triangular track meet at Sussex Tech against the Ravens and Milford Bucs. The veteran has 36 years coaching Cape girls, including the last two Division I state championships, and two years ago had open heart surgery and only missed a week of practice.  Pepper was missing seven athletes who were on a field trip because that was their decision and you just can’t argue with “education first” unless you’re an idiot like me and many of my athletic friends who think allegiance to a school team trumps any field trip or leadership conference. We don’t care; it's just how we roll. The Cape girls fell to rival Sussex Tech 85-61 but managed to beat Milford 76-70. The Milford boys' and girls' track teams are coached by Czar Bloom, an English teacher who also oversees the school’s award-winning newspaper. “Bloom,” as his athletes call him, is reportedly ready to step off and if true will be a huge loss to the program, but coaching track year after year more than any other sport is like trying to put the air back in a balloon that is flying around the room. It just wears out the best of them.

Extra free period - I think all high school classroom teachers who coach a major sport should be given an extra free period or one of those dumb jobs which doesn’t involve 30 kids sitting in front of you. The stand-up classroom teacher who also coaches just gets worn out. The day is too long, and the job is too hard. Give them an extra free period to recharge their batteries or plan, go lime the field, whatever they want. The other teachers will complain but trust me, they’re not coming after the volleyball job.

Out of the closet - Sure, I have many friends and a few relatives who are gay and they think I’m funny, like funny ha ha. A gay athlete, Jason Collins, came out of the closet so we all have to talk about it, but as one of my students, Roxanne, said to me when I used that expression in class to describe a congressman who came out of the closet after 20 years, “Fredman, you need to stop lying and telling stories. No man can stay in a closet for 20 years. What’s he going to drink? Do he got a water fountain in there and a telephone for takeout and what about money - if he ain’t got no job, he just steady keep staying in some dumb old closet?”

Participate, don’t cogitate - Sunday morning there was the Mud Run in Milton and a 5K Daffodil Dash in Lewes. The two events combined for 1,000 athletes who were not at home watching the sports reporters. I think the talking heads of television sports overestimate how interested we are in all matters of professional sports.

Snippets - The Cape Crusaders U17 basketball team went 7-0 April 27 and 28 to win the Washington, D.C. Silver Division at the Big Shots tournament. The Crusaders were led in scoring average by Tyreik Burton 20, Tikeace Harris 14 and Jon Warren 13. Big Shots hosts tournaments all over the country and is advertised as promoting the nation’s premier exposure events.

The Cape soccer team won a soggy game at winless Lake Forest 3-0 April 30. All Cape’s goals came in the first half, two by Mallory McDonald on assists from Madeline Smith and Shelby Thomas, and a Thomas goal on an assist from Stephanie Mendez. Evelin Martinez got the shutout in goal for Cape. The Vikings improved to 6-3-1 on the season with five games remaining on their quest to make the state tournament.

The Cape girls' lacrosse team plays at Queen Anne's County High School at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, May 4. The Lions are 11-0-1, the tie coming against the Severn School early in the season. This is a power showdown featuring the Delmarva Peninsula’s two premier programs. “It’s perfect for us to get us ready for the Delaware state tournament,” said coach P.J. Kesmodel. The now popular double dual track meets are data deep; it is very tedious recording all those scoring places and getting names, so mostly the rest of us just never see the results. If online seekers of scores and stats don’t find what they want immediately and easily, most just stop looking - but I can only speak for myself. Go on now, git!

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