State tournaments: A time for conferences to intersect

November 5, 2013
Jacob Orledge leads a postgame moment of fellowship following the Cape-Central football game. The Rivalry of Route 9 has reached a higher plane. BY DAVE FREDERICK

Devon Horse Show - Devon lies along Philadelphia's Main Line. I drove past it hundreds of times when I lived in West Chester. It’s a part of the blue blood upper crust of old Philadelphia aristocracy, and the annual Devon Horse Show is the oldest and largest outdoor event in the sport's history.  As a young boy, I had a friendship with a farmer's old gray plow horse. I talked to him, petted him, asked him questions, “Why the long face?” Eventually he let me mount him - sounds wrong - and I’d sit and pretend I was a cowboy. It was like pretend driving for a child, because the horse never moved. Then one day I made a mistake, squeezed my legs together and yelled “Giddy up!” Suddenly he was Seabiscuit at the Kentucky Derby, which coincidently was my pet name for Aunt Rose. It was so frightening, galloping bareback straddling a 1,200-pound dumb animal with no conscience as I snatched his mane like a Hungarian barber on a beatnik. I got thrown into a row of Italian tomatoes, and that was the last horse I tried to ride and cows creep me out as well. I started all this because I keep misspelling Devon Miller, Cape’s center on the football team, who is actually Devin Miller. What's that? I'm a horse's what?

Venn diagram - A Venn diagram shows all possible logical relations among a finite collection of sets. It was a part of new math that proved to be just as irrelevant as old math. The upcoming state tournament for field hockey requires Venn diagrams to illustrate that the sets that include Henlopen, Blue Hen, Independent and Catholic conferences rarely intersect in the regular season. It’s hard to compare the power of conferences, but I’d say the Henlopen has more power teams while the other conferences have greater depth of average and slightly above squads. The last four field hockey titles have gone to downstate schools, the last five in lacrosse. The most intriguing first-round matchups are CR at Tatnall and Sussex Tech at Polytech. Historically, Cape has twice been seeded No. 1 and lost a first-round home game to the 16th seed. Grand Mom Rose: “Don’t wring your hands! Ring the bell!” Embrace the moment, athletes! It’s showtime!

Fellowship - For 14 years, Cape was chasing Central in football, trying to get a win. The game Friday night ended 43-28 in favor of Cape. But after the game, everybody won as the players joined together in the middle of the field for fellowship and reflection, a chance to put the game in perspective as it relates to a bigger and broader life. Jacob Orledge, a 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior lineman from Central, led a prayer from his heart. He talked about Cape defending their turf, about being thankful no one was hurt, and saying we all leave here tonight friends. I thought my mother had come down from the heavens.

Basic questions - Eagles quarterback Nick Foles threw for seven touchdowns with no interceptions with Riley Cooper catching three. The last Eagle with three touchdown catches in a game was Kevin Curtis in 2007 against Detroit. Oh, wait, he thought he was Kevin Curtis. My first question is, “How bad is Oakland?” The Eagles “improve” to 4-5 and play at Green Bay next week before hosting the Redskins. Is it time to cut Vick loose? I think his departure is up for discussion with management right now.

Snippets - How about Delaware football coming from 21 down in the fourth quarter, then going for two points with 19 seconds left to upset Towson 32-31. Backup quarterback Trevor Sasak was 34-46 for 330 yards and three touchdowns. Many to most Delaware fans at the game left early, catching the action on the radio driving home. Why is that maddening, like somehow it’s the team’s fault you miscalculated their resiliency? The CAA field hockey championships will be at Delaware’s Rullo Stadium this weekend. If Delaware beats William and Mary Friday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m., they will play the winner of Northeastern versus Drexel at 7 p.m. The championship game is 1 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 10, with the winner getting an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Cape hockey crowd is idling in the driveway hoping for a Delaware versus Northeastern Sunday final. I never took a class in journalism or photography and graduated with a degree in anthropology not in the College of Education. Proves to me the key to a successful lifetime career is to do something you know nothing about. I talk to football guys who have daughters who play field hockey. I tell them, “The difference between us is I know I don’t know what I’m talking about.” Go on now, git!

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