Cape connection: intersections in DII football state title game

The Cape connection: all you have to know about tradition and connections. Saint Georges football drapes the numbers of Mikey Saez and Juan Saez over the bench before opening the season at Laurel. BY DAVE FREDERICK
November 29, 2013

Connections and intersections - The DIAA Division II state football championship at 2 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 30, at the University of Delaware is a battle between the Silver Eagles of Hodgson Vo-Tech and the Hawks of Saint Georges Tech. And that train runs right down Fourth Street in Lewes, former site of the Maull homestead. Jeremy "J.D." Maull is a Cape kid for sure, one of five Maulls to start at quarterback for the Vikings including his uncles Gilbert, Jay and Lonnie, and his cousin Kai. Kai and Ronnie Burton, both Cape guys, are assistant coaches on the staff. The Hodgson team can boast Gerald Allen, a hurdler from the glory days of Cape track who is the assistant superintendent, and assistant coach Bill Muehleisen, the ageless Marine who has been coaching football for 50 years. Bill is the former head coach at Cape who once joked, "These other guys are my position coaches. I coach Henry White." Bill also coached Gilbert Maull, and let's not even start connecting and intersecting all those lines. Hodgson won an earlier-season battle 24-21, but the championship is up for grabs, and if the Hawks of Saint Georges emerge victorious, I want to see our local guys in the Lewes Christmas Parade.

Who’s it all about? -  In my distant past, I trained and trained some more, then ran a couple of marathons and two triathlons because basically I was addicted to myself. And to spin it like a Seinfeld line,  “Not that there’s anything wrong with that.” Tens of thousands of people - are they athletes? I don’t know - show up at marathons and triathlons and will pay whatever the entry fee is; price doesn’t really get their attention, much like a hefty bar tab is shaken off by a heavy drinker. I am going down this dangerous road because Fred Pop is feeling that urge to challenge himself and hang a few scalps of poseur athletes along the way. An invitational air ball tournament sounds like a fetching idea, or perhaps a spinal stenosis strider 5K to raise money for an open MRI on wheels? I just need something that doesn’t involve walking or running. How about a Jewish pickleball tournament?

Stifling stories - My sports reporter life is like an old "Twilight Zone" episode. I have elected to listen to stories that aren’t half as interesting as the one I’m not telling. Last year I had a young cross country coach who had no clue or curiosity why someone's grandfather was interviewing him and started to explain to me how a big meet is scored. I stood there wanting to bring back 1977 and my boys Lance White, Glen Smith, Nick Miller, Linwood Downing, Phil Wilson, Jeff Jones and Ronnie Wright when “we” won a state title together for Cape, but instead I signed off, “That’s pretty darn close to being interesting, Coach.”

A little luck - With a little luck, the University of Delaware football season could have been a lot worse.  Let’s say a record of 4-8 instead of 7-5 as the Blue Hens could have lost to Jacksonville, Albany and Towson. There are a total of four college diplomas from Delaware running through my household, but I’m not a real Delaware guy because I didn’t flunk out of there. Back in 2003 when Delaware beat up on the Raiders of Colgate to win the national championship, I thought the Hens had the formula to rule IAA football, and now they don’t even make a 24-team tournament? Colgate completed the 2013 season 4-8, which included a homecoming loss to Yale. Yale’s claim to fame is that it rejects more applicants than any other school in the country. Delaware needs to find hitters and headhunters with a lust for contact with decent SAT scores. Maybe they can mine the Yale rejection pile?

Snippets - Ever play pickup basketball with aggressive, uncoordinated, no-talent people? I drove into Philly Nov. 26 at rush hour in the pouring rain and almost got clipped 10 times, and I played total defense. Throw in cellphones, drunks, opiate addicts and the morbidly obese, and you get the idea that all the flyways and byways are highways to the danger zone. Have a blessed Black Friday.  Go on now, git!

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