Runner Ryan Baker, just a freshman on Cape’s Henlopen Conference champion cross country team, doesn’t save his best for last place, but rather the last race. “He just keeps getting better and amazes me every time he runs,” said his coach Matt Lindell. Baker was Cape’s third man and eighth overall in the Henlopen Conference Championship race with a time of 17:12. The previous week, Ryan ran 16:38 at the Sussex County Championships, placing sixth overall. At the Joe O’Neill Invitational at Bellevue State Park Oct. 18 with all Delaware’s varsity teams represented, he ran 17:27 for 46th place. Ryan ran for Mariner last season and placed in the top 25 at Central Delaware Middle School Championships. In the words of Michael Jordan, “the ceiling is the roof” for Ryan. Who knows how fast he can run?
Just a seventh-grader, Lindsay has been Beacon’s No. 1 cross country runner all season. She cruises near the front of the pack, employing long, smooth strides, always looking like she can run faster. She improved her time by over a minute from last season. In the last meet of the season Nov. 4, Lindsay stepped out and walked the dog without a leash, beating a following field with a personal-best time of 12:20. “I wanted to win this race for my dad. He just does everything for me,” Lindsay said. “He was here today. That makes me happy.” Lindsay ran 15:18 at the Central Delaware Middle School championships, good for 21st place.
Justin is a Beacon eighth-grader who runs for the Seashore Striders, not his school team. At the 29th annual Junior High School Open XC Championships Nov. 2, Justin pushed the pace and won the championship with a time of 12:27, a 5:56 mile pace, to win by 11 seconds. Audio of his race could be heard on coach Tim Bamforth’s speaker phone at the finish line of the Henlopen Conference Championships. “He’s the only downstate runner to win that race besides Ben Bamforth when he ran for Beacon,” Tim said. Justin was quickly on the phone thanking Coach B and Derek Shockro for all the help they have given him. Justin is also a member of the Beacon soccer team. Beacon’s No. 1 cross country runner Trent Kauffman also plays soccer.
Angel, a Mariner eighth-grader, scored the game-winner and assisted on the tying goal in Monday’s victory over Beacon. “Angel has been a leader of this team all year long, so it was no surprise to see that he was the one to step up and play his best game of his middle school career under the lights in the biggest game he had played,” said coach Tyler Nicols. “He set the tone for us.” Angel scored the game-winner on a penalty kick and was happy to do it for his school and in front of members of his family. “I’ll play lacrosse this spring and go to Cape next year and play soccer and lacrosse,” he said. Angel is a good student and solid person for Mariner Middle School.
Ibrahim plays for Millsboro Middle School. In a game at Mariner Oct. 30, he scored three goals in a 3-1 victory. He then arrived at Sussex Central High School for the football game against Georgetown Middle School. He is the Millsboro punter/kicker. He had a touchback and pinned Georgetown to their 17-yard line on another kickoff. He also punted once for 40 yards. Then with 15 seconds left in the game, he kicked the game-winning 23-yard field goal to give Millsboro Middle the 3-0 victory. Ibrahim works hard in soccer practice, then goes over to football to work on his kicking. He does track in the spring, competing in the 200, 400 and triple jumps. He plays travel soccer with Henlopen Soccer Club. He plans to attend Sussex Central High School next year.
This sixth-grader at Beacon Middle School has played quarterback, running back, tight end and safety for the Cape Vikings Junior Pee Wee Pop Warner squad this season and has been a key figure in the success of the team. His squad recently won in the first round of the regional tournament in New Jersey, where he opened the scoring with a 60-yard touchdown run and helped lead the team to a 32-0 victory. "Our team has had success because of the kids that have been unselfish and sacrifice individual success for team success," said coach Eddie Ghabour. "No one exemplifies that more than Lamar. He does anything the coaches ask of him and is a great teammate." When not burning up the turf with the Vikings, Lamar plays center field on the Delmarva Aces baseball team and point guard on the Delaware Phenoms basketball travel squad.
After missing the first five matches of her senior year due to a back injury, this Cape Henlopen honors and AP student has been killing it at the net for the Lady Vikings. A right-side hitter who can spike, dink and joust for the important points, Simran has impressed her teammates, coaches and fans with her blocks too. "Simran had a huge match versus Wimington Friends," said Cape head coach Tyler Coupe. "She was a consistent offensive threat, and defensively was a menace for them as a blocker. She persevered through this season and kept improving and was key to our success." When not on the hardwood at Cape, Simran plays for the Premier Volleyball of Delaware travel squad. She is looking to attend Rutgers or the University of Delaware after graduation.
Collin, a Mariner eighth-grader, scored the game-tying goal against Beacon Nov. 4 with less than 30 seconds to go in the first half off an assist from Angel Haro-Simental. “Collin’s ability to take players on for skills and for pace is unlike anyone else at this age,” said his coach Tyler Nicols. “Collin has had a tough season this year as his goal-scoring had taken a drop-off, but when the bright lights came on, he played his best game of the year and provided the boost for our team to go out and get the victory in the second half.” “We wanted to show coach [Patrick] Kilby we are coming to Cape next year ready to play,” Sivels said. “We are better than our 2-6-1 record coming into the game.” Sivels also plays basketball. Collin is a solid student, smiles easily and has that extra gear for high speed.