At 50, coach Chris Mattioni can write down and take down his lineup

Darby barks at angels who call him out by his name
November 26, 2021

Matty Dome - Cape head wrestling coach Chris Mattioni won the school’s first state championship in its 50-year history last winter. It was his 25th season at the helm, and last summer he turned 50. This preseason, the grappling guidance counselor still can not only write down the lineup, but take it down as well. This will be a good Cape team with eight state placers returning, including Josh Wright (126 pounds), Mikey Frederick (145), Luke Bender (152), C.J. Fritchman (160), Carson Kammerer (170,) Dalton Deevey (195-215), Alex Taylor (195-215) and Lucas Ruppert (285). Andrew Schaen (138) has transferred in from Lake Forest. Andrew wrestled for Beacon Middle School. Josh Alvarez (126-132,) a transfer, was a state placer last season in Georgia. Holt Baker (120), a state placer for Cape two years ago, returns to the wrestling room. “We have seven guys in the first two weight classes battling for positions. We’ve never had that depth before,” Mattioni said. Cape will open the season Wednesday, Dec. 1, at home versus Lake Forest, then travel to Eastside High School in South Carolina for the Southern Slam Dec. 3-4. Delaware is one of four states in the country that requires wrestlers to wear masks during competition. 

Surfcooker - A YouTube channel centered in Dewey Beach. Tim McCoy gave me the heads-up that “surfcooker” YouTube channel features some of the area's best skimboarders and surfers on the East Coast. It is way cool, so surf the net if you are savvy or even gnarly. There were clips this week of Cape athletes C.J. Fritchman and Brody Smith. Dewey local McCoy is the surfcooker who started the channel three years ago. Sam McCoy and his brother Lucas finished second and third overall in the 2021 United Skim Tour. Both of them enjoy cooking and eating good food. Every edit includes a food feature! The latest edit has skimboarding in Dewey, food at the Apple Scrapple Festival and surfing in Ocean City. Each clip is five to 10 minutes long.

Face-off socialist - Autocorrect is a first cousin to auditory hallucinations, which for me is hearing things that haven’t been said. Just last week, I was working on an athletic sketch of multi-sport athlete C.J. Fritchman, and I wrote that in the sport of lacrosse he was a face-off socialist. That means if you win the ball, you give it up because you don’t believe in private property. I meant to write that C.J. was a face-off specialist. Sometimes in Cape boys’ games, I hear coach Mark D’Ambrogi yelling at an attacker, “You got a shortie! You got a shortie!” It’s weird explaining that to a grandma who doesn't quite grasp the game.   

He barks at angels - They call him out by his name. The Darby Dash 5K last month raised $1,000 toward the Fredman charity of choice. And so the Seashore Striders and I donated the funds to the Rehoboth Beach Animal Hospital, where it goes into a special fund called the Darby Angel Fund. Rehoboth veterinarians Drs. Candace Prettyman and Sarah Hirsch, along with Dr. Mike Miller, the traveling canine cardiologist, did a great job keeping Darby on the planet for 15 years and seemed to have genuine affection for him, known as doggie bedside manners. I hope to keep the Angel Fund going and perhaps help fixed-income people keep their senior dog alive. 

Tearing up the turf - Basically, the turf coming up at Champions Stadium will be recycled into other products but not repurposed as another turf field like a softball or baseball outfield. It is pretty much shot and best not to worry where it goes and what becomes of it. 

Another Coach Fred - My nephew Mike Frederick played for Neshaminy High with James Franklin (Penn State), then at University of Virginia, before heading to the NFL with the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans. Then he was hedge fund adviser/football coach guy/head coach at Neshaminy and most recently an Owen J. Roberts assistant. He has a vacation house in Bethany Beach and wants to be a head coach in high school and live in Bethany. Mike has a master’s from UNC and is certified in special education. I'm not his publicity agent, but he’d be a steal for any Henlopen Conference school looking for a football coach. Funny story: Mike was standing out front of his house in Bethany a year ago when a guy came by on a bike for a “stop and chat.” Mike introduced himself and the guy said, “Frederick? Are you related to Davey Frederick?” Yeah, buddy! 

Snippets - How do you not play a sport in season by ”concentrating” on a sport out of season? I remember telling my high school football coach Dick Bedesem that I wanted to spend my fall concentrating on basketball. “It’s round,” Bedesem said. “You don’t need to concentrate on football because you’ll never touch it.” Back in my day, “thinking” was always your first mistake. Go on now, git!     


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