Spring sports teams search for clear space and a place to practice

David Kennedy spent time in the off-season in the batting cage as he competes for varsity swings with the start of baseball. BY DAVE FREDERICK
March 7, 2014

Two snow days down, Cape spring sports teams started back to practices March 5 using snow shovels to find green turf and playing baseball, softball and lacrosse inside gyms from Lewes to Beacon Academy on Route 24.

Forty degrees and no wind is a stellar day for a Cape spring practice, as prevailing winds off the bay or ocean will cut like a knife through the toughest of athletes.

The high school track was clear and coaches enjoyed a large turnout for workouts, but field events were out of the question. The Vikings are always in the mix in the tough Henlopen Conference, but all programs enjoyed record turnouts while competing for “best available athletes.”

The soccer girls of coach Bob Dieterle and assistant David Butkowski are coming off an 8-6-1 varsity season with a winning JV program. Athletes appear locked and loaded for a run at a state tournament berth. The girls practiced on a bare patch of Legends Stadium turf using smaller lacrosse goals while negotiating lots of two-way traffic.

The boys' junior varsity lacrosse team practiced inside Champions Stadium, alternating conditioning workouts with a snow shoveling crew of eight, which worked pretty well.

Down at Cape High One on Savannah Road in Lewes, the baseball team used the old gym to hit inside a batting cage and do some stuff with grounders and throwing, while custodians cringed at the hard use their gym was getting.

“We have six kids still playing basketball and a large turnout, all of which is good, ” said coach Ben Evick. "But we have some hard decisions to make.”

Softball girls rolled in after baseball practice and did what they do: stay sharp for coach Jeff Evans, who looks to have enough talent to make a run at a winning season and a possible berth in the state tournament.

Later in the afternoon it was the Cape girls' lacrosse team waiting for the Beacon track girls to clear the gym so they could get in a bit of a workout. Lacrosse coach P.J. Kesmodel returns 14 varsity players in a quest for an unprecedented sixth straight state championship. The Vikings have coach Debbie Windett working with the junior varsity while Megan Fullmer and Richard Collins will serve as program assistants.

It’s all good with every coach and athlete doing the best they can, and don’t even say "April showers bring May flowers," because no one wants to hear it.

This weekend is “spring forward.” A balmy 50-degree day is expected Saturday.