Cape baseball packs up and goes home

Vikings miss state tournament
Jugs of Hope: Let a smile be your umbrella on a drizzly Sunday morning. BY DAVE FREDERICK
May 21, 2013

So close yet so far away - The Cape baseball team lost a must-win game at Saint Mark’s May 17 by the resounding score of 11-1 and dropped to a final record of 11-7. The calculation of points for the state tournament and various tie-breaking scenarios for the Henlopen Conference Northern Division auto bid left the Vikings on the downside of the 16-team state tournament field. Cape graduates nine seniors, including sending Diaz Nardo to the University of Delaware to play Division I baseball. A look back over the schedule sees a pair of one-run losses and a 4-0 ambush at Cape May that swung the season. Put those three in the win column, the record is 14-4 and Cape is in the tournament and maybe hosting a game. Success in sports is all about closing out the close ones.

Losing my religion - Some coaches seem to be smitten with, “If it weren’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all.” I once joked to a coach that no matter where he hid, bad luck seemed to find him. “Coach, let me ask you something. Do you go to church and have a sense of spiritual belief?” “Yes, I certainly do, why do you ask?” "Well then, what is your specific religion?” “Presbyterian, what’s your point?” “Have you considered switching? Everyone knows the god of sports is Catholic.” “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard," the coach said, “but just in case, what time is Mass on Sunday?”

High class and low character - NBA television will air a 90-minute documentary during the final of the 30-year anniversary of Julius Erving's leading the 76ers to the 1983 NBA title. There has been some controversy of promos leading up to the documentary, especially Magic Johnson's saying Dr. J is where basketball and class came together. Erving was all style and grace on the court and very well-spoken and the personal translator between the media and Moses Malone. His life has seen personal tragedies and transgressions, but the guy is more class than not.  Back in 1983 he autographed an ABA glossy picture for Cape student Drew Ostroski and later sat on the hood of his Mercedes outside the Spectrum and had a conversation with Cape high jumper Rodney Smith. Those are both long stories. On a personal level toward his fans, Erving is a very classy guy.

Sitting beside myself - Kelly Tripucka, former Notre Dame basketball All-American, sat in the stands surrounded by no one during Saturday’s Notre Dame versus Duke lacrosse game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. He was watching his son Jake play for the Blue Devils. Kelly was silent but camera cutaways showed a man popping out of his own skin. Being a lacrosse relative is nerve-racking - there are so many ebbs and flows - great plays followed by stupid turnovers. Most coaches look like thermometers ready to pop.

Support group - There is nothing fun about cancer, but thousands of friends and family who gathered Sunday morning for the DE-Feet Breast Cancer 5K smiled a lot and shared stories. It seemed everyone had a tale to tell. There is great comfort for survivors surrounded by friends, not to mention the hope and heroism shown by those just starting a personal journey to beat breast cancer. Grand Mom Rose: "Just because life dealt you a bad card doesn’t mean there aren’t more in the deck.” “How does that help anyone, Grand Mom?” “You have two choices. Buck up and stand up to the struggle or curl up on the floor next to that quivering cat.”  I’m afraid I may be a curl and quiver kind of guy, but I’m overwhelmingly impressed by the toughness and courage of others, and I’m not joking. There are no everyday people - just a bunch of all-stars in my world.

Snippets - Cape social studies teacher and softball coach Jeff Evans has been chosen as the graduation speaker by the class of 2013. Students are around him every day and love the guy because he is real and honest and enthusiastic and likes and respects everyone - well, mostly - like I said, he’s a real guy. Cape is looking for a typed draft of his speech. That comes from the 1999 Fredman Rule, which was, “Don’t let this guy freestyle in front of a big audience.” The rest of the adults with access to the graduation amplification sound system should follow this rule: Brevity is a virtue, so go on now, git!

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