Winning teams are not accidental; it takes a unified effort

October 18, 2013

I’m miffed! - I was a member of a 1992 Cape Athletic Task Force formed to analyze and offer suggestions on how to improve the state of athletics, which had sunk to an all-time level of mediocrity. I told them that winning can’t be accidental; you have to care about it, starting with the school board and going down through the administrative offices and building principals, and you have to believe in teachers who coach and coaches who are not part of the teaching staff and have the best people fronting programs. And get away from the idea that success in athletics must be taking away from success in other programs and  never say “too much emphasis,” as there is never a reason to dampen enthusiasm on a way to capture and harness student energy. I looked at the Indian River School District with the two high schools of Indian River and Sussex Central and saw a combined record in field hockey of 1-23. I wonder how a school district nestled between Cape and Sussex Tech, schools that account for the last four state titles in field hockey, could be losing so consistently and so badly. Seems that a bunch of somebodies just stopped caring about it.

Magnificent Seven - The Cape boys' cross country team has exceeded expectations this season and is getting better with each meet and starting to make the top dogs more nervous than a doghoused Golden Doodle in a thunderstorm. Cape has lost (low score wins) to Caesar Rodney 23-34 and Smyrna 27-30 and will run at Sussex Tech Wednesday, Oct. 23, in a meet too close to call; it most likely will be decided by less than three points. Cape had its top seven runners go under 20 minutes against Smyrna; the breakdown reads Austin MacElrevey 17:11, Ryan Thornburg 18:05, Solomon Cox 18:13, Sidney Miller 18:25, Ben Velasquez 18:45, Jevon Sample 19:36 and Eriq Gloria 19:45. Sussex Tech will counter with Victor Rueda, Jake Bamforth, Sam Hete, Sunny Landis, Ben Bamforth and Robbie Westhoff. There are also the upcoming Sussex County Championships Tuesday, Oct. 29, Henlopen Conference Championships Saturday, Nov. 2, and Delaware State Championships Nov. 2. The real running season hasn’t even started yet.

The irony and the agony - I am a Tigers fan for reasons that would interest no one. They play in Comerica Park after the bank of the same name that used to be located in Detroit but has since moved to Dallas - it’s a D word thing. And I’m not taking the obvious jokes here. Comerica agreed to pay $66 million over 30 years for the naming rights to the new ballpark. How do they get that bank? Most people I know have no idea why they choose one over the other, but they usually stay there because it's too hard to switch, like dropping an AOL email address.

Reasons to hate the Cowboys - The best quote I ever read as to why so many Eagles fans hate the Cowboys is the Cowboys don’t bother to hate them back; they are too busy hating the Redskin Potatoes. The Eagles are three-point dogs in their own yard and I have proved to be the all-time worst pigskin prognosticator, a virtual three-legged dachshund at a dog track, having gone 124 weeks in Tim Clausen’s Big Dog Pool without winning a single week. I picked the Cowboys to win. I’m just more at home when row house Philly is highly agitated. Just realized I wrote dog three times and never mentioned Mike Vick, but sports fans are forgiving; just ask Riley Cooper.

Snippets - Cape football is at Polytech Friday, Oct. 18, and it's Senior Night for the 5-1 Panthers. This is a game both teams feel they can/must win to have a shot at a winning season.

Cape’s D has more bubbles than the Lawrence Welk Show and more soft spots than a hospital nursery, and it will be interesting to see how a big Polytech team goes about attacking, and to see what Cape has done to put the tackle back in tackle football. Cape’s JV team is undefeated at 5-0 after beating Dover 28-12, and that either means something or it doesn’t.  It does mean they haven’t played undefeated Sussex Tech yet,  so save those kids and give them a shot to go undefeated. Go on now, git!

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