A lacrosse night to remember, just hard to spell Appoquinimink

Girls win sixth straight state title
Kat Judge flies away from Cape with seven state titles in her back pocket. BY DAVE FREDERICK
May 30, 2014

Kat flies away - The blue-collar Marauder of the Midfields Kat Judge had the ball in her stick as the clock wound down to zero and all Cape cats were out of the bag, running and hugging  as finally the weight of carrying all that is Cape lacrosse came crashing to the turf. Judge flies away from Cape with seven state titles in her back pocket, four lacrosse and three hockey, which would have been unthinkable when she entered high school.

"She is the player who works hard and does everything really well," coach P.J. Kesmodel said of Judge. "You can’t look at game stats and begin to appreciate her value to the team." Kat and her co-captain Allie Yeager are both off to Division I Winthrop University in North Carolina, an up-and-coming program.

Almost gone - Cape’s Justin Lopez was almost at Sussex Tech coming out of Beacon Middle School, and he was almost a baseball player but instead chose Cape and the sport of lacrosse. Now on the eve of graduation from high school and an appearance in the state finals of the lacrosse tournament, Lopez can look back as a three-sport varsity athlete over his four years of high school. May 28 in Cape’s semifinal 8-6 win over Saint Mark's at Appoquinimink, Lopez had a solid, full-field game succeeding in annoying the most vocal of Saint Mark’s fans who screamed, “Get him and knock him down!" every time he ran past a Spartan who appeared to be standing still.

Double down and out of town - May 28 at Jaguar Stadium - pronounced “Jagwire” in Sussex County - Cape lacrosse enjoyed its first state tournament coed doubleheader in school history and came home with a boys' semifinal 8-6 win over Saint Mark’s and a girls' state championship 18-6 win over The Charter School of Wilmington. Amazingly enough, the Saint Mark’s fan section easily outshouted the Cape crowd, including voices of moms that knifed through the thick atmosphere like bolts of lightning or bear claws on a steel door. And later came a Charter section that had a USA! USA! theme going on which also included a few versions of the national anthem and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. DIAA Executive Director Kevin Charles asked me how many students downstate “choiced” into Cape because of its lacrosse programs. I told him none; they are all our kids. Yes, I said “our kids” and that the choices were made after eighth grade, and not all available lacrosse talent came to Cape; there were other options, and then I lost interest in what I was talking about.

No mandatory pep rally – Cape’s Zen Master of girls' lacrosse P.J. Kesmodel is a retired guidance counselor; he knows high school kids and never thought it was a good idea to have a required pep rally after a state championship, so he wouldn’t attend. The school board wouldn’t waive the policy but evidently agreed with him because they didn’t attend either. I introduced the team at each of these assemblies because I was asked. I didn’t feel it was right that a state championship team be introduced by a teacher who never saw a game to a student body, most of whom never saw a game either. This year, that pesky graduation week has kicked aside all mandatory sports accolades and the players couldn’t be happier.

No coffee Wawa - Post-game hype inside a super Wawa on Route 299. Can you believe all the coffee pots were dead and none was brewing? I have never seen that happen; it makes me yearn for the old days of stopping at the liquor store on the way home from a late-night game. I can tell you, they never ran out of beer.

Snippets - Cape will play Salesianum for the state championship of boys’ lacrosse at Caravel Academy at 7 p.m., Saturday, May 31. That day is also Susan's and my 45th wedding anniversary, just proving the guy she married is still that guy. I remember back in about 1979 we were at the state wrestling finals at Caesar Rodney. A row of Brandywine Bulldogs sat behind us. One kid asked another: “Wonder what happened to Cape’s state champion Charles Turner?” The other said, "He’s probably chasing chickens in Selbyville.” Susan snapped, “What round did you guys lose in, preliminaries or quarterfinals?” I was like, “I guess we’re Cape people now. Because don’t be talking noise about any of our kids.”

Go on now, git!