Old guards too smart to chase a windblown beach ball

April 25, 2014

That’s a ward! - Piercing parents whose voices permeate and cut through a stiff wind, those with rulebooks burned into their cerebral cortex, who see every call and non-call as some sort of conspiracy - I wish they would just be quiet. Lacrosse brings out the worst in most people - perhaps football as well, but with bands and cheerleaders and so many complainers, it’s hard to distinguish a clear voice from the football bleachers. In lacrosse, many calls are perplexing; I wouldn’t know offsides from a boiled hotdog, and push with possession and warding seem so preppy, like polo without ponies, so why not just let it go? Now I’m done!

Beach ball - I’d love to line up 200 triathletes on an ocean beach and have them chase a land breeze-blown beach ball to the Gulf Stream and still not catch it. Pictured here are three former Reboboth lifeguards: Fredman, Tommy and Chico, always looking out beyond the breakers but too smart to chase that unreachable ball or catch the wrong end of a tumbling umbrella.

Penn Relays weekend - The best track carnival in the country takes place every year at Penn’s Franklin Field, always the last weekend in April. The races run on time or 20 minutes early and go off with or without competitors who forgot batons or shorts or even shoes. I could teach a class on Penn Relays mishaps, from guys who went out too fast and caught the bear to one who ran in a girl's uniform to others who were tossed for language to yet another who rolled his ankle on the leadoff leg by stepping on the inside rail, but at least it wasn’t a subway station. I saw Vincent Glover set a Delaware state record in the triple jump with a leap of 48-feet-6-inches that stood for 20 years, and he jumped two feet before the takeoff board; and I was there when Kai Maull won the Championship of America in the long jump, then introduced him to Bill Cosby afterward. And the first time I ever heard the words "Cape Henlopen," I was at the Penn Relays in April 1975, and the following August I was living on McFee Street next to the Cerney family. Never dreamed that in 2014 I would have a poster in the window at Lloyd's IGA.

Snippets - The Cape girls' lacrosse team will host Queen Anne’s County at Champions Stadium at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, April 26. Queen Anne’s beat Cape last year 11-9 and is coming off an 8-7 win over previously unbeaten Stephen Decatur. This promises to be a top-flight competitive lacrosse game.

Atlantic Lacrosse and its basket of age-group teams will host Camden Saturday, April 26.

The Cape boys' tennis team is 7-4 as Caesar Rodney continues to dominate that sport in the Henlopen Conference. Dual matches are hard to evaluate because tennis is better suited for tournament play. The Henlopen Conference Tournament begins Thursday, May 8, at Sea Colony. The Cape girls' team is currently 3-6. Personally I feel bad at not doing a better job covering tennis, but ever since a missed shot bounced off my head and everyone laughed, saying, “He just hit that guy from the Coast Press," I’ve had a mental block about the sport. I will send Dan Cook out there for photos next week.  

My nephew Mike Frederick, a former football player at UVA and the NFL with Baltimore and Tennessee,  has been named the head football coach at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pa. Mike was co-captain at Neshaminy in 1989; the other captain was James Franklin, the new head football coach at Penn State. That puts me six degrees of separation from the Penn State program.

I almost went with the baseball team to Hawaii but I’m glad I didn’t. I mean, what was I going to do in my spare time, go hiking or cliff jumping, perhaps gazing into a valley of tropical lush and plush wild floral and fauna? Nope, call me weird, but I live in paradise and cruise my world in a 15-year-old Tundra with a dumb old dog, never more than 10 minutes' ride from a Wawa. You know the old joke, “What’s the 50th state?”  “Hawaii.” “Pretty good, how are you?”  Go on now, git!