‘Mattioni’s Men’ place second at Grapple at the Brook
Grapple A-Go-Go - The Cape wrestling team had a good two-day tournament this past weekend that could have been great. The 16-team Grapple at the Brook Invitational at Springbrook High in Maryland saw the Vikings score 221 points to place second behind host Springbrook with 223.5. “We kind of faltered at the end,” said coach Chris Mattioni. “A great effort, though, by our young kids.” Cape crowned two champions, both with their first bracket wins. Freshman Luke Bender (138) and senior Finbar Rishko (152) won championships. Seniors Andre Currie (170) and Jackson Handlin (195) placed second. Third-place finishers were Holt Baker (106), CJ Fritchman (126), Carson Kammerer (132) and Mikey Frederick (145). Gary Hayes (182) and Lucas Ruppert (285) placed fourth. Note: The War at the Shore tournament at Stephen Decatur produced Sussex Central’s Jevon Saffold as 145-pound champion. Tyler Karr (285) of Sussex Central placed third. Cape will wrestle at Sussex Central Wednesday, Jan. 22.
Big Ten Network - The Big Ten Conference now has 14 teams; the last four added are Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers and Nebraska. There are 14 men’s and 14 women’s NCAA-sanctioned sports. All 14 schools feature men’s wrestling. Thirteen have both men’s and women’s track and field. And the Big Ten has its own television network, which generates big money. The University of Iowa has won 23 NCAA team titles in wrestling. The Maryland women have won 14 lacrosse championships, but some of them were as a member of the ACC. The Big Ten Network generated huge profits for all member schools. On Saturday, I watched track then wrestling on the Big Ten Network. I mostly enjoyed videos showcasing campuses and the interviews with student-athletes who were poised, humble and intelligent. A student-athlete just can’t go wrong choosing any of the 14 schools in the Big Ten. And now back to the Cartoon Network.
Field hockey - Lacrosse Zen Master PJ Kesmodel jokingly labeled me “Mr. Field Hockey.” The joke is I try to track, photograph and write about the sport, but mostly I’m a guy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Field hockey seems to be a full-time obsession in the Henlopen Conference, as athletes are always on the move. The U.S. National Team 2020 has 27 players. Laura Hurff, a midfielder who played at Syracuse and Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, is the lone Delaware rep on the team. There are another 23 players on the 2020 Development team. These are all current college players. And there is the recently announced U-21 Women’s National Team roster, which includes Alia Marshall out of Cape and Northwestern, and Ashlyn Carr from Delmar and Delaware. The U-21 team will play in the Junior Pan American Championships in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 30 to Dec. 13. Get your Chile dogs ready.
Snippets - The Henlopen Conference has voted to allow Polytech to remain a member while dropping out in the sport of football. A wise decision; why not allow all member schools to pick a sport to drop? A total reorganization of Delaware divisions and conferences is a favorite topic of athletic administrators, and it’s been a long time coming, but a change is going to come sometime soon. Kansas City is an early one-point favorite over San Francisco on the vegasinsider.com website. They are both cities associated with songs, but forget Tony Bennett, “If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair,” sung by Scott McKenzie and written by John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. “Kansas City, here I come” was first recorded in 1952, later made popular by Wilbert Harrison in 1959. OK Boomers, get your popcorn ready, this Super Bowl is for you. I am a Philly child of the ’60s living in his ’70s at Sesame Street by the Sea along the Delaware Coast. Martin Luther King Jr. Day brings me to pause and self reflect. There are stories I can tell, but I’m not making the stage at the end of the parade. Simply live life the right way; all struggles are not shared, just do what you can to make your village a better place for all the muppets. Go on now, git!