Athletes read on the run and calculate without coaching consultations

February 28, 2020

Overhead games - Pole vaulters are profoundly whack and unusually smart, often making calculated decisions without coaching consultation. At the state championship track meet last weekend, Henlopen Conference champion Bryan Ciabattoni, with a personal best 12-feet-9-inches, came in at 11-6. He missed the height three times. Giovanni Bendfeldt cleared 11-6 on his second attempt, then 12-0, and 12-6 on his first attempt at that height. He was locked in a tie with Russell Herbstritt of Appoquinimink. Giovanni, an academic powerhouse, stood at the top of the runway thinking about whatever smart people think before letting it all hang out. The former Beacon hurdler cleared 13 feet on his final attempt to win the event and receive the congratulations of airborne teammate Bryan Ciabattoni. Brandon Greenlee of Sussex Central, who left wrestling to concentrate on pole vaulting, placed third in 11-6.  

Doubleheader - The Cape girls’ basketball team will play Woodbridge at Dover at 6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 28, for the Henlopen Conference championship. The Dover boys will play Laurel at 7:30 p.m. in the second game. That’s four fan bases in one venue, and maybe that isn’t a good idea because pregame ticket sales have been strong, even at $8 a ticket. There are limited tickets available at the door. The outcome of the games has no bearing on postseason seeding. The Cape girls are currently seeded second behind Conrad and in front of Sanford. The Cape girls should receive a first-round bye, then open at home Friday, March 6. Last season, the Cape girls lost in the quarterfinals at Dover to St. Elizabeth 57-33. 

Hype down - Start a gifted program inside a school and be prepared for many parents of excluded children to schedule an appointment to lobby and/or whine, asking how their junior Einstein is not part of the intellectual elite. “Look around the family dinner table and you’ll find the answer,” would be my comment. It’s the same with sports. It's two-thirds genetics and one-third mysterious happenstance of curiosity, personality and travel teams. The parent push on kids to be great athletes has its upsides, but, man, there is a huge annoying downside. I am no doubt guilty of possibly enjoying the athletic journeys of my grandchildren too much, but I never speak for them, especially if they are standing next to me. I sometimes will ask a coach from another school, “Where’s that kid who was so awesome for you two years ago?” The answer usually involves the word Wawa.     

Inkabader - It’s a Philly word, derived from incubator, a hot place where things grow like the coronavirus. I spend my weekends in closed spaces like gyms where people sweat and breathe in each other’s faces. I always assumed I had acquired immunity to all airborne contagions. I’ve always been interested in science, yet I don’t actually know if a virus duplicates or replicates, where it takes a bite from my DNA or attaches to RNA. I’ll be spending two days at the state wrestling tournament this weekend. I’m wondering if I should wear a drywall mask.

Snippets - Kyle Lux, former baseball player at Sussex Tech, now a senior at McPherson College in Kansas, is ranked third in Division NAIA with nine home runs in the first 16 games of the season. Kyle is batting .469 for the Bulldogs. Brooks Buck (Cape) was a starting D Pole for the Ursinus College Bears until a hamstring injury derailed him, but now he is back on track. Jake Brown (Cape), playing for the Chatham University Cougars near Pittsburgh, scored the winning goal on an over-the-shoulder shot with seconds remaining in a 13-12 win over Mount Union. Brown had four goals in the game. The University of Virginia baseball team is 6-3 on the season. Zack Gelof (Cape) has started all nine games at third base and is batting .323 with a pair of home runs. Sam Young (Cape), a redshirt senior at Virginia, jumped a personal best 16-8 in the pole vault to finish first at the Liberty Flames Invitational. Sam also placed first last spring at the outdoor Virginia Grand Prix. The Liberty University Flames have two pitchers from Cape on the roster in sophomore David Erickson and freshmanMason Fluharty. David has appeared in four games, while Mason has appeared in three contests, all in relief for 4-4 Liberty. Cailey Thornburg (Cape) scored a career-high four goals as Cal beat the Mercer University Bears 11-10 in Macon, Ga. Lynn Richardson will be the head coach of the first Beacon girls’ lacrosse team when they begin practice next week. Dana Plummer and Michele Karsnitz are coaching the girls at Mariner. Go on now, git!


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