Cape football season dedicated to Mikey Saez

Let the circle be unbroken
August 23, 2013
Juan Saez: thoughts of football and Uncle Mikey. BY DAVE FREDERICK

A season for Mikey - Young Juan Saez, now a senior running back and linebacker on the Cape football team, has a great sense of humor like his dad and his Uncle Mikey and really the entire clan.  Sometimes adults in charge don’t appreciate the humor that is when you know you’re funny. I don’t write “late Mikey” because his spirit is in the huddle and on the field at every practice. This football season is dedicated to Eduardo “Mikey” Saez, and certainly there will be reflective moments of missing him and his big smile and post-game analysis and stories of football with coaches Glenn and Donahue.  Everyone into the huddle, grab hands and let the circle be unbroken by and by.

Elijah Worthy - No argument, he was one of Cape’s all-time running backs, maybe top two.  In a 1999 state tournament playoff game at Cape versus Caesar Rodney, Worthy burst into the secondary, all the fast guys moving at warp speed toward him. Then Elijah just stopped, everyone else kept moving, then he started up, everyone else stopped - touchdown. I turned to my son Dave who was a coach on that Brian Donahue staff. “Never forget what you just saw here. You will never see that again.”

Bill Gibbs - Young No. 9 on the Cape football team, this junior will always be compared to his dad Billy because that’s just the way that goes. Young Bill plays middle linebacker and fullback, and if he can get past some preseason setbacks - sprained ankle in the first scrimmage - he is going to be a star because he’s big enough to run over people and has that ability to elude tacklers. Most defensive backs don’t really want to tackle him anyway.

Big backup numbers - I find that when you drop a crooked life number in conversation, people either back up or dive for deep cover. If you’re on the young side, never say, “Wow, that’s way before I was even born,” as if being young deserves a medal. Fifty years ago on a Sunday night I bailed out of the passenger's side of a Chevy Nova on North Broad Street, a scholarship athlete at Temple. Last Thursday, granddaughter Anna bailed out on the same sidewalk. I’ll know she’s being acculturated into Philly when she greets me with a one-word sentence: “ Yo!” Actually, in 1983 when the Sixers won the NBA title, Julius Erving held up the trophy at the end of the parade inside JFK Stadium and simply shouted “Yo!”

Snippets - Hailee Gooch, a freshman at Salisbury University, ruptured her Achilles tendon during the first volleyball practice. A two-month cast and four-month rehabilitation await her; in the meantime she’ll be knocking down straight As, that's why she’s there in the first place.

Brothers and sisters each on state championship teams: add Tricia and Steve Conlon to the list, both lacrosse players; and John Young, Chris Young and Sara Young, lacrosse; and Tim Voss and his sisters Khara, Gina and Lindsay, lacrosse. Lacrosse boys and girls have a total of 10 state titles since 1998.

Athletes need to get their grades right starting now. Check with your guidance counselor and ask if you are an NCAA qualifier.

There was a serious Del State connection at the Cape football scrimmage at Delcastle including coaches Bill Collick, John Parker, Herky Billings, Greg McLaurin, Rashaan Mathews, Jay Maull and Patrick Hines.

Billy Peden, a teacher at Georgetown Elementary, and Will Albanese, a pharmacist at Beebe, are training at Club Fitness and carrying backpacks filled with rocks up and down the steps at the state park tower for an October journey to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to climb the mountain. The mountain is a mere 20,000 feet above sea level, except at high tide it is less. Will said, “Seventy percent make it, 25 percent don’t and 5 percent die.” Will is the same guy who drove a minivan for two years with no side door. Fit young people like Bill and Will are advised to ascend slowly because of altitude-related sicknesses. These guys promised to bring the Cape Gazette to the summit for a remittance of $50. Sounds fair to me. Extreme fitness, I mean, really? How about extreme witless? Pump that through your biofeedback handlebars. Why does everything have to be a competition? You just can’t out-crazy some people, so why even run that hamster wheel to nowhere? Gotta go; it’s time for my bull walrus workout.

Go on now, git!