Cape athletes lead the world in media exposure

Kaylah and Amir Allen enjoy coming to Uncle Jon Jon's basketball games. BY DAVE FREDERICK
February 7, 2014

Limelight - I sometimes hear the word “exposure” pertaining to middle school athletes' decisions as to where to attend high school. Well, I am the longevity sports guy in the State of Delaware and in terms of media exposure no one anywhere gets covered like Cape kids. I’m not bragging or trying to sell newspapers; it’s just an annoying fact if your athlete lives here but attends school somewhere other than Cape.  Here’s some exposure for you: Cape has seven Division I athletes who have signed from this senior class and another 10 who are playing in college right now. How’s that for exposure?

Bounce - Hold a basketball with two hands straight out in front of you, drop it and let the ball bounce back up. How far should it bounce to let you know it has the proper amount of air?  That’s right, to your belt buckle unless you’re still busting a sag then get someone else to perform the test. Basketball is a popular sport, but not so successful putting high school players on college rosters from Division I to Division III. This year's Wesley team, coached by Jerry Kobasa, formerly at Sussex Tech and Smyrna, is 17-1, ranked ninth in the nation for Division III, and just set a program record with its 12th straight victory. The Wolverines have no Henlopen Conference players on the roster. Salisbury University, 5-6, has no Delaware players on the roster. Delaware State has Tyshawn Bell, CR; Kendall Gray, Polytech; Jason Owens, Seaford; and Kendal Williams, Dover.  The Hornets are 4-17 and 0-8 in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.

Pink Lloyd - Don’t bang on my boy Lloyd. Basketball official Lloyd Mears is the only one in Delaware to “T up” Cape coach Steve Re, to hear Steve tell it. On Wednesday during the middle school game, I told Re that Mears was in the Delaware Track and Field Hall of Fame because in 1972 he ran a 48- second split on a University of Delaware team of walk-on athletes that set a school record of 3:14 at the Penn Relays. It is still the fastest mile relay run by four Delaware guys. The other members of that team were Pete Sukalo of Christiana, John Flickinger of Christiana and Ed Mongan of Tower Hill.

The chase - I reiterate this point. If you can chase a scholarship through travel sports, you most likely don’t need one.  And outside of football and men’s basketball, no none shows up to watch college sports. Crowds are mostly so sparse, all the full-time custodians are counted as part of the crowd attendance. The athlete should play because that’s what he or she wants to do.

We are family - I’ve heard some fans complain that too many children attend basketball games, whining “It's not like they watch the game,” to which I say, “It’s not like you watch it either if you're so busy watching  'All My Children' every Tuesday and Friday night."  Here are Kaylah and Amir Allen, niece and nephew of Jon Jon Warren. The grandparents are Theresa and Kemp Brittingham, and the legendary “Shorty” Granville Hall, Cape class of '71, is their great-grandfather, and I’m older than Shorty and just about everyone else in the gym.

Where and who? - I am coming up on a spring sports dilemma of where to go and who to chase, and that’s just tracking my grandchildren, who have no expectation that I will or won’t show up. That’s before I even attempt to deal with 10 spring sports at the high school level and more in middle school.  I can only tell you I will be someplace every day, most days two places, so if you approach me with a complaint and I snap back, "Kids don’t work hard; this isn’t manual labor, and no one deserves coverage,” don’t take it personally even if you’re the only one standing there. Grand Mom Rose: “Put your hand in the big dog’s bowl, you run the risk of being bitten.”

Snippets - If an athlete has been successful at a sport and a coach of another sport tells him or her to give it up and to concentrate on only that coach's sport, that tells me all I need to know about the selfishness of the less-successful coach. Liz Sparks, a Cape senior cheerleader and middle distance track runner, has been singing the national anthem at basketball games and will be working the upcoming wrestling state meet. She is so smooth and so not annoying. I’d love to hear her sing "God Bless America."

Go on now, git!