‘In it to win it’ always the quest for Cape field hockey

Kate Windett is entering her second year as varsity field hockey head coach at Cape. BY DAN COOK
August 16, 2013

Dare to be bad - In sports, bad is good unless your team is described as "really bad"; then your team most likely isn’t very good. There is pressure in being a bad team, as in a good team: The expectations are extremely high. The Cape field hockey team is coming off two consecutive state championship seasons on top of a really strong junior varsity program. Five stellar seniors were lost to graduation, and that’s it. Cape has always been tough in field hockey since Coach Carolyn Ivins started the program in 1969 and won the first state title for a downstate team in 1979. Cape followed with a state title under Ruth Skoglund in 1995 and added two more under Nicole Catanzaro Hughes in 2011 and Kate Windett in 2012. Cape has four titles over 44 years of the tournament. The Vikings have also finished second four times. Tower Hill has won the title 18 times and also lost in the title game eight times. The Delmar Wildcats have a great hockey tradition but amazingly have never won a state championship, having lost in the finals three times, the last two years to Cape. Cape, Delmar, Sussex Tech, Polytech and Milford are all strong Henlopen teams heading into the first day of practice.

Middle school rock - Practices for Cape’s two middle schools will begin Thursday, Aug. 26, except for Beacon field hockey, which begins Aug. 28. Mariner practice times are as follows: football 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., boys' soccer 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and field hockey 5 to 7 p.m. Beacon will practice 3:15 to 5:15 p.m. for football and soccer. Field hockey will go from 3:15 to 5:15, Saturday Aug. 28.  Cheerleading, girls' volleyball and boys' and girls' cross country will begin soon after school starts. All athletes except ones related to me must have a physical on file with the nurse or with Dorman’s Doughnuts before beginning practice.

Let's get wired up - Most sports parents think they understand how the little picture relates to the bigger picture of how to get from middle school to a college sports roster and a portion of the aggressively pursued scholarship monies. All I can tell you is that it's very confusing, and if you think you get it, I can assure you that you don’t. Solid academics with the right courses taken is essential. Most schools aren’t interested in nonqualifiers, those who can’t meet NCAA minimum standards for eligibility, and schools don’t care how good an athlete the kid is. And if you think a great athlete from a poor and dysfunctional family will qualify for full financial aid based on need, think again. Many of those athletes are told: “You came up [insert amount here]. Find the rest of the money or - you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here."

Poppa Freddogg - I will “watch” kids, but I play by my own standards. I sit at my computer with Darby Dog asleep to my right, old Jesse Dog in comatose speed-bump mode behind me and 11-month-old Baby James the unplugged floor buffer to my left.  Kids don’t like being exiled to a crib in the guest room; they will fight to stay conscious to the point of exhaustion before joining the debris field they created. It's not like all PopPops haven’t passed out on the floor once or twice in their long lives.

Snippets - The Kutztown University Bears welcome freshman Rebekah Yanacek to the field hockey team. Rebekah, out of Milford, is a goalie. Kutztown is a Division II program that plays in the tough PSAC that includes Slippery Rock, Bloomsburg, Shippensburg, Mansfield, West Chester, Millersville and East Stroudsburg.

Carrie Lingo will be a volunteer assistant with Cape’s field hockey program. Forget all the Olympic stuff, Carrie is just the best person ever. How lucky the players are to have her around.

Tom Little, who played at Cape then at McDaniel, will be a volunteer Cape football coach. Bill Collick is the discipline dean at the high school and is on an 11-month contract. He is not considered an administrator, not that anyone cares, but someone always does. Bob Cilento, the athletic director, is also an 11-month employee who is not an administrator. Bookmark websites4sports to keep up with high school sports schedules and scores, and if you want my sports attention email I’m always interested in young people playing sports, and I’m not a Cape-exclusive guy, it's just my home base. Now get out there and know what you don’t know. Go on now, git!