Athletes absorb and imprint the glorious, unforgettable moments

Sara Young  of Penn and Anna Frederick of Temple battle in a lacrosse scrimmage at Penn's Franklin Field. BY DAVE FREDERICK
February 11, 2014

Absorption man - I learn by absorption and imprinting the sights, sounds and smells of what is happening. I see it and hear it, and if it’s worth remembering I will, and I’ll be the judge of that. I walked between Penn’s Franklin Field and the Palestra Feb. 8 to watch Temple women’s lacrosse scrimmage Penn and Drexel and perhaps Georgetown and Towson. Granddaughter Anna is on the Temple team, and her best friend, Sara Young, plays for Penn. They are Cape kids.  But first it was flashback to December of 1963, and I was playing football in Franklin Field in front of 35,000 for the Catholic League championship. We beat St. Joe’s Prep and all was right with the world. The next week we tied Roxboro 16-16 for the city title. In March 1964 a Coach bus dropped our basketball team in front of the Palestra  to play for the Catholic League championship of Philadelphia. A crowd of 9,600 showed up. I remember on the way in strangers shouting out my name. Then in April 1975 I heard words for the first time that would change my life: “Running in this race, Cape Henlopen." The next 10 years I would be back at Franklin Field for the Penn Relays as coach of the Cape team. On Feb. 8, I watched Sara score a goal for Penn in the first half, then saw Anna come off the bench to score the game-winner at the buzzer as Cape won the scrimmage 7-6.  True, it was just some frigid Saturday-morning scrimmage, a frozen moment in time, but for me it was the timeless continuum of sports history.

Anthony Burton - One of Cape’s most stellar athletic and academic smiling stars of all time, class of 1978, a two-sport athlete who went on to Swarthmore for his undergraduate degree and played football and then headed to the University of Delaware for his master's degree, died Feb. 9 after a lengthy illness. Anthony married his high school sweetheart, Ella Floyd. They had two children, Priscilla and Aaron. Aaron was the state medalist in golf his senior year at Concord and is currently a senior at Adelphi University. Anthony was a person best known for his smile. Even as a linebacker he would rock people then smile and help them up. This is sad but any frown at the mention of Anthony’s name would just be way out of place.

Sixty-three point swing - The Cape girls' basketball team won Feb. 6 at Dover 66-42 and followed that up with a Feb. 8 60-21 home loss to Padua. That’s a 63-point  "swing low,  sweet chariot." ”The girls are now 4-13 with games remaining against Delcastle, Sussex Tech and Polytech, and all those games Canal crawl - When I first saw locals swim freestyle in open salt water, it was characterized by side-to-side snapping of the head in syncopation with each stroke. It was like whitewater whiplash. When Cape started a swim team, I thought, "Who is going to teach high school kids all those pretty strokes or how about the underwater upside down dolphin kick coming off the wall? On Feb. 9 Cape won both the boys' and girls' Henlopen Conference swim team titles, and Bill Geppert was Coach of the Year for both.  The Y and the LYC and committed parents have delivered ready-to-swim athletes to Cape. Just think what a pool would do for the school.

Wrestling dual championships - Cape is the Division I No. 2 seed  (gets a bye) and will face the highest remaining seed, most likely Caesar Rodney, which wrestles Polytech. William Penn faces Salesianum, while Smyrna with a bye awaits that winner. Cape’s mountain to a championship most likely begins with Caesar Rodney and ends with Smyrna. Crazier sports things have happened, but it's hard to think of one off the top of my head. The Division II six-team field begins with No. 1 seed Milford followed by Hodgson, St. Georges, Delaware Military Academy, Lake Forest and Sanford. The duals are at Smyrna on multiple mats and begin at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11. Cape is scheduled to grapple at 5:30, and the championship match is set for 7:30. Tickets are available at and at the door for $8 and are good for all rounds. Go on now, git!

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