Keep it on down low; middle school sports are the best

Logan Shuttleworth of Beacon Middle School was the high scorer in the win over Seaford. Logan, known for track, is also a stellar basketball player. BY DAVE FREDERICK
December 13, 2013

“Keep in on the down low or else everybody will know." - singer Teddy Thompson

ESPN telecasts the Little League World Series each summer and generates monster ratings. The sports secret is sitting there in front of the nation, and hopefully fans don’t fully comprehend and will continue to track and talk about professional sports where everything is based on the profit motive and there is no loyalty to team, city or tradition.

Youth sports produce participation and promise; they are sometimes called "feeder programs” and are often an athlete's first experience that talent comes in all shapes and sizes, not to mention hues of color.

High school sports are the major leagues of scholastic competition that begins in earnest down in the middle schools. Coaches and fans talk about what’s coming up, but it's more complicated then simply projecting micro boppers into their adolescent years.

Cape middle school basketball games are worth the price of admission - OK, they're free - and each contest is a doubleheader - you get a girls' game then a boys' game or vice versa as they flip each game.

Games are Mondays and Wednesdays and attract large crowds of relatives up through grandparents and out to aunts and uncles. It’s not unusual to see former stellar athletes from one school sitting in the stands cheering on a son or nephew playing for another school. It is advisable to not talk badly about any players, coaches or teams, because you really don’t know who you might be talking to.

The Seaford boys were all over Beacon, coached by Sean O’Grady and Arthur Fox,  last Monday afternoon 60-38 and the question to follow was, “Is Beacon really that bad,” and the answer is “No,” and, “Is Seaford that good,” and the answer is “Yes” in the frozen moment, but expect some of their players to be poached with the promise of a better life through basketball at a different school.

The Beacon girls, coached by Christy Smith and Lisa Williams, beat Seaford 40-22, and it's hard to know what that means, as just a few years ago Seaford High School had a run of teams that were no joke.

Last year, the Seaford girls' varsity beat Cape 77-36.

The Mariner boys, coached by Terry Hazzard and Jimmy Hayes, are off to wins over Phillis Wheatley (Woodbridge) 34-30 and Dover Central 30-15 while the girls, coached by Cheryl Cannon and Melinda Price, defeated Phillis Wheatley 29-27 and Dover Central 28-26.

Athletes who work hard at their sports and in the classroom almost always find their way onto a high school team.

Wrestling is mostly Monday and Wednesday playing at the site opposite basketball.

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