Mommas, don't let your babies grow up to be grapplers

Nick Carroll and his mother, Jessica Carroll. BY DAVE FREDERICK
February 18, 2014

Mothers and sons - During three days of state wrestling duals and Henlopen Conference Championships, I got too close on two occasions to screaming dads whom I would have locked up in a power German headlock if their kid had been wrestling a dog from my brood.  These dads are almost always wanker loser boys. It’s more often Mom who understands her son, the wrestler. It's mom who can feel the pain, temper the disappointments and keep the exuberance in check. Nick Carroll was way gone in his heavyweight semifinal match against a much heavier Smyrna grappler. Carroll sometimes gives up 60 pounds and must go Kung Fu Grasshopper in his mind, getting the bigger guy to use his momentum against himself or, like a big SUV, get him to run out of gas. “Carroll dictates the match; it's just amazing," said Shane Jenson, Cape assistant. “He’s not the junkyard dog; he is the junkyard," I told Shane. I saw Nick in the hallway after his match; he looked like he had just sailed a catamaran through the Bermuda Triangle. And then I saw his mom Jessica, the same face, and knew I had to have a picture of them together. I’m sure I was the only sports photographer posing a heavyweight with his mother, and Nick didn’t hesitate, which tells you all you need to know about the character of the kid.

I’m not in high school - There was a lot of cognitive dissonance in the Cape gym Friday night, meaning everyone was aware that the two camps of kids and some parents were seriously getting on each other's nerves. I don’t know what that is all about; I just know I can’t get into it. Two weeks ago, someone gave me a plaque before a Cape basketball game and everyone stood and clapped, so obviously Plaque Man has emotional allegiance to Cape.  But chanting “Traitor!” when Toney Floyd is on the free throw line on his Senior Night with his parents in the stands is pretty lame coming from a school where the entire student body has left the hometown mother ship.

Name game - I joked to Jon Jon Warren after his monster game Feb. 14 against Sussex Tech, “The reason you have two first names is because you don’t know which guy is going to show up." Jon smiled, he liked the joke so I moved forward. “And you, Jordan Howell – and don’t say you don’t look like Jon Jon – and you come off the bench and play like him, so I’m calling you Jon Jon Junior.” They both smiled, so again I figured I was safe; only later coach Steve Re told me, “They do look and play a similar style but really don’t like being compared.” I don’t care, I hope Jordan keeps playing like Jon and Jon Jon keeps playing like Good Jon.

Snippets - The Cape girls' basketball team has won two games in a row, defeating Delcastle 41-35 and Sussex Tech 43-31 on the road. Cape finishes with a Tuesday Senior Night home game versus Polytech. The girls are currently 6-13 on the season.

Alec Perry, now a senior at High Point University, scored two goals and had an assist in an 18-7 lacrosse loss at Florida. High Point plays at Virginia Tech Wednesday, Feb. 19, as former Cape teammates Perry and Meg Bartley of VT will battle each other.

When I was growing up, I always called it "bop sledding."  Now I find out it’s bobsledding, which makes no sense to me at all. Former track All-Americans Edwin Moses, Herschel Walker and Willie Gault were all Olympic bobsled brakemen, but Walker was the only one with multiple personality disorder. “Who are you talking to back there?" Moses has a degree in physics from Morehouse College. He has two gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles and a bronze in the two-man bobsled. He is also a vegetarian. What a guy!  

Go on now, git!