Pop Warner football tunnels onto Legends Stadium field

Cape Vikings Pop Warner storm the turf ready for the football season. BY DAVE FREDERICK
September 2, 2014

Tighten up that tunnel - The Cape Vikings Pop Warner Mitey Mites were inside the inflated tunnel waiting for the Tiny Mites game to be over so they could charge the Legends Stadium turf. I went out to the center of the field with my gigantic lens to capture the moment. And boy, was I surprised when they ran out the back of the tunnel and did a 180-degree turn before heading up the sidelines. After warmups, the team returned to the tunnel and charged out the front to the roar of the crowd. Four games along with flights of cheerleaders and more fans than any outdoor high school sport except Friday night football. The kids were fun to watch but with no rosters available, I took 200 photos of players who may as well have been in the witness protection program.

No. 5 - Marcus Hall, Cape class of 1988, was hanging over the fence Saturday morning watching some Pop Warner football. Marcus is one of Cape's all-time three-sport athletes, having played football, basketball and baseball. He is retired from the military and now lives near Georgetown in Washington, D.C., and works for the government in international health delivery systems. My son Dave was the quarterback of the 1987 football team coached by Rob Schroeder with a backfield of Marcus Hall, Bill Lewis and Eddie Gaines with Ricardo Reid and Jose Horsey Saez at ends.

Pete Basile - Just another 67-year-old guy running a 5K in Dewey. I look through the lens at this crazy fit specimen and recognize him as legendary wrestling coach Pete Basile. Coach Basile, the former head coach at Caesar Rodney, was inducted into the Delaware Wrestling Hall of Fame in April 2008. He was also the head coach at Delaware State and Salisbury State universities. Basile won three state titles while head coach at Caesar Rodney.

Crush and run - I just wasn’t ready for 14 hours of college football Saturday, and it's fun for awhile until you start to cramp up in the recliner and realize even though you have employed no movement activities for 10 hours you do have to hydrate. Sideline reporter bunnies were at every game, not because man fans care, but rather those are the only people who can engage a coach in a conversation.

No cut shelter - Cape field hockey has enough talent to field two varsity teams and a JV team. And how do you cut good players who have bought into the sport since their U8 days? Cape has 27 players on the varsity roster. There are another 20 on the junior varsity. Cape’s program is designed to win state championships - anything less is way less. I was a football and track coach and never had to cut anyone, and so I have no opinion on why some coaches cut while others do not. Well, I have no on-the-record suggestions on the matter.

Lost in space - Football opens Friday night, and what concerns me is a Cape defense with more soft spots than a hospital nursery. The edges and spaces in between where guys play on their feet has frankly been exploited over the last three years; perhaps it’s the athletes, or it’s the scheme. Last year, Cape lost four games by an average of 40 points each. The 2012 season had two losses by a 41-point average, and 2011 two losses by an average of 45 points.

Battle of the bypass - Delaware, a 62-0 loser at Pitt Saturday, will host Delaware State this Saturday night. The Hornets lost at Monmouth University Saturday 52-21. Eric Sumlin, a senior from Dover High, is a starting wide receiver for the Hawks. Based on comparative lopsided scores, Delaware was thrashed by the better team and should beat Delaware State by three touchdowns.

Snippets - Alexa Hendrickson, a forward on the 2012 Cape state championship field hockey team, is a junior starter for the Christopher Newport Captains. Alexa started all 23 games as a sophomore.

Jenna Steele, who amazingly played defense at Cape, is a junior on the Mary Washington field hockey team. Jenna led her team last season with 15 goals and 38 total points, including scoring four game-winning goals.

Gabrielle Yore, daughter of former Cape Principal John Yore and wife Susan, playing in her first collegiate game, scored a goal for McDaniel College with four minutes left, sending it into overtime, but the Green Terror lost to Frostburg 2-1. According to Wikipedia, the Green Terror was voted the 13th weirdest mascot name by U.S. News and World Report and sixth best in the country for tailgating by the Weather Channel. You know Mike Seidel, former weatherman for WBOC and Salisbury State graduate, influenced that tailgate vote. You’re standing out in the rain, Mikey, therefore it must be raining. Go on now, git!

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