Ben Bamforth joins UD cross country staff

August 8, 2023

Name drops - After the Race for the Paws 5K Aug. 5, I grabbed a photo of University of Delaware women’s cross country and track coach Kenyetta Iyevbele, 30, and her newly named full-time assistant coach Ben Bamforth, 25, who grew up with a Baby Ben chronograph in his crib. Kenyetta ran 19:38 for the race, while Ben cruised the course in 24 minutes. Coach Kenyetta is charismatic, congenial and interactive. I told her I was going to send an email to her because I’ve known Ben since birth, and who else grew up around watches, traffic cones and cups of flour to draw arrows on the road? “Actually, former UD runner Ruby [Mullen] told me about Ben,” Kenyetta said. “And that set everything in motion.” I thought that it was just a good thing. I’m on the AM frequency in a satellite world. When my name gets dropped, it’s like yanked from the Rolodex, which went away with filing cabinets and looseleaf binders.  

Funland - A serious, high-stakes, world-stage elimination soccer game decided by penalty kicks cheapens the game as it devolves into a Boardwalk arcade spectacle like whack-a-mole or its spinoff cousin whack-a-gator. I watched the entire 120 minutes of scoreless soccer between the United States and Sweden, and then when it went to penalty kicks, I turned the sound down so I could concentrate on the facial expressions and emotions, and get a true sense of it all. The only sound in my house – Susan was at church – was me screaming, “You’ve gotta be kidding me!” which was directed at the sports spirits, and there are billions of them. I never considered that Megan Rapinoe, 38, in her third World Cup, who smiled after sending a shot over the crossbar, was doing anything other than laughing at herself. You can add whack-a-Rapinoe to the array of Boardwalk arcade games, but villainizing her runs deeper than a missed kick or a misplaced smile. 

Snippets - Reagan Ciabattoni (Cape) is listed as a sophomore on the 25-person Duke University field hockey roster. Before returning to campus, Reagan said she will most likely be playing defense. Girls’ high school soccer is a spring sport in Delaware; in the contiguous surrounding states, soccer is played in the fall. Cape football started practice Aug. 7 and has a home scrimmage at 11 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 12 versus First State Military Academy, which was 3-7 last season. Sam Connors (Cape) is a sophomore on the Appalachian State field hockey roster. Got a nice photo of Adam and Kelly Gelof and silver lab Roonie Girl at the end of the Race for the Paws 5K. The baseball journeys of young muppets Zack and Jake Gelof have been fun to follow, and best of all, they are nice guys, so Sesame Street is all in. Steve Azzanesi begins his second full season as head coach of the Alvernia Golden Wolves, a Division III football team. Alvernia University Is entering its fifth year in program history. “Azz” was offensive coordinator for two seasons at Delaware State and before that spent 18 seasons on the staff at Wesley. And somewhere in there he was an on-air sportscaster at WBOC. Alvernia is located in Reading, Pa., birthplace of Taylor Swift, not far from Wyomissing, where Swift grew up before the family moved to Nashville. Nobel Prize-winning author John Updike was also born in Reading (1932) and grew up in nearby Shillington. And the Phillies added to the local culture of Reading with their Double-A affiliate, the Reading Fightin’ Phils. Multiple Mascot Disorder plagues the Reading Phils – Screwball, Change-up Turtle, Blooper the Hound Dog, Quack the Duck, Bucky the Beaver and Sillie Phillie. The best sports mascot ever for my money is the San Diego Chicken. The Chicken was played by Ted Giannoulas for 50 years. The best Phillie Phanatic – and no one is in second – was David Raymond, son of coach Tubby. I’m thinking for Cape home football games to have a student sing “God Bless America” ... how inspiring would that be? A surging sport for 2023-24 is hurdling paywalls. If you have multiple devices and use more than one browser, even if you pay to pursue a story, it doesn’t mean you can find your way back. Like a lot of people know, I’m funny for free – also my consulting fee – but as the price approaches $1, people drop me like a hot waffle fry. Go on now, git!


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter