A positive force of hope, promise wafts over the Cape

Nowakowski, Ivins and Skoglund plagues on field house forever
Beth Basara Bader looks towards the Champions Stadium flag during the playing of the national anthem. BY DAVE FREDERICK
April 4, 2014

Twins share lane - A middle school track meet with four teams brings out families and history and hundreds of stories. On April 2, the best weather day of the spring season, young athletes were showing up and snapping all over the place. The boys' 400-meter run went to a second heat of runners, and there were six lanes for seven athletes, so Georgetown sixth-grade twin brothers Edwin and Devon Tercero shared lane six. "Great kids,” their coaches and teachers say, but all you have to do is look at them to see that.

Hammertime - Mike Yost stood on Cape’s track watching the meet and at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds, who is going to tell him he can’t?  Mike was a weight man at the University of Delaware and threw for the legendary Larry Pratt, one of the best masters discus throwers in the country. “My favorite was the hammer and then the discus," said Mike, who now lives in Milton and works as an environmental planner for DNREC. "He’s going to help us out with the throwers," said Mariner head coach Jules Jackson.

Snap back baby - I was rocking my Mr. Stupid personality at the middle school meet,  saw a handsome young child and said to the woman holding him, “Let me get a picture of that kid and how much do you want for him?"

Then I got their names. The woman was Lolita Harmon ("That’s not my kid") and the child was Jeremiah Kafel and belonged to a friend.  Lolita said to me, "Get a picture of my son, Codey Harmon. You coached his late, great uncle, Danny Harmon. Wiggy is his grandfather, my dad."  Wiggy is Calvin Harmon, a former Cape wrestler and Danny's brother.

Danny Harmon was a superstar distance runner with a mile time of 4:17 and half-mile of 1:55 and ran down more warm bodies than a cheetah at a game preserve.

Same old song - “Rise and remove your hats” and here comes the national anthem before a game, which for me is like attending Mass before hitting the bakery. I’m a “God Bless America" guy. I’ve heard more versions of "The Star Spangled Banner" than any sportswriter in history who can still walk. During the playing at Champions Stadium before the Cape girls' lacrosse team played Dover, there was a choice between the field house flag and the new Champions Stadium flag. I panned the crowd like Gene Hackman on the periscope in “The Hunt for Red October” and took a photo of Beth Besara Bader, the mom of Karalyn Joseph, a Milton Elementary School teacher and daughter of retired Indian River School District’s Ed Basara. Beth handles the scorebook for home and away games, and when players see her, they know all is right with the world. I posted the photo on Facebook; people liked it. A Katie Bragg comment summed up the feelings: “Beth is a wonderful teacher and has always looked out for our kids at school; we just love her.”

Yes and yes - I worked with a brain-injured  “off the rails” man (Princeton grad and millionaire) years ago who always asked questions you could only answer with yes or no. For example, “Have you ever been to Alaska?” “No!” He would respond, ”Maybe yes?” “Do you like the rain?” “Yes!” “Maybe no?”   Once he asked me “Do you like girls?” I said “Yes and no.” He didn’t hesitate: “Yes and yes.” Wednesday, April 2 was a yes and yes day for this Cape guy.  I rode by the field house to vote and saw the plaques of the fall inductees, Janet Nowakowski, Carolyn Ivins and Ruth Sponaugle being lag-bolted into the brick by Bobcat Bernie Bowden and his “We got this” crew. It was a brilliant positive omen with a hotly contested elementary school referendum just around the corner.  Grandmom Rose after the third robo call, Slam! “Get off my house phone, you test tube baby!”

Snippets - I must show up on April 10 in Bristol, Pa., as part of the Bucks County Chapter Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame induction class. Here is a link to this year’s class: . It’s so impressive, my wife asked for my autograph. But now I must trim down my sports life to four minutes, and because I peaked in eighth grade, that shouldn’t be too hard. Legendary Cape track coach Tom Hickman will be inducted into the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame with the class of 2014.  I had to find my friend Bill Collick, who is in like five halls of fame, just to ask him, “Where do you shop? I need a sport coat and slacks uniform. Is Chess King still open?” Go on now, git!

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