Big House rocks from the jump all night long

December 16, 2022

Yo, Adria - Judging by both sides of the bleachers being pulled all the way out, a major match was expected Dec. 14 at Cape. The night started with 15 bouts of JV matches followed by the house lights turned down and Adria Windish signing the national anthem. Caesar Rodney wrestling at Cape was a rematch of last season's state dual-meet championship. Rookie head coach Trey Mitchell of the Riders versus Chris Mattioni of Cape in his 28th year. The match was totally insane, which rhymes with Andre Schaen, who iced the Cape victory at 150 with a 12-11 win over Cody Waski for a 39-33 comeback win for the Vikings. Kingston Davis (144), a freshman straight outta Beacon, secured a 36-second pin over Craig Dixon in his first varsity match, then he double-arm reached for the sky. The theme song for Cape, the two-time defending state champions, has got to be, “The Big House is rockin’, don’t bother knockin’.” 

Unwritten rules of sportsmanship - There are mercy rules in high school sports. They used to be called slaughter rules, but that sounded offensive. There are unwritten rules of sportsmanship within the game that not everyone agrees on because in today’s political climate no one agrees on anything. There have been some serious beatdowns this scholastic sports year, from football teams winning by 50 points to hockey teams winning by 10 goals. Now, moving into basketball and wrestling, there are more lopsided scores than bed heads after bad haircuts. Writers can wax snarky about all this, the danger being with social media, the pundits can expect to get pummeled in retaliation because everyone has a forum. The worst example of unsportsmanlike behavior is the coach who goes for the overkill win without playing the roster. In what universe is that a good idea? A dilemma could be facing a basketball team that can’t break double figures in layup drills and trying to keep the margin under a 70-point win as starters cheer for the managers who are now in the game. If your team is strong enough to back it down without the mercy rule, you are controlling your class, which is what all good teachers do.

The BeeGee - I have followed the career of Brittney Griner since the 6-foot-9 powerhouse, now 32 years old, played for Baylor University. An intriguing player and likable personality (by my standards), Brittney led Baylor to a national championship in 2012 and was on two U.S. Olympic gold medal teams. On Dec. 8, the United States gave Russia “The Bout” (Viktor Bout) in a prisoner exchange for BG, who had been sentenced to nine years for having spent hashish oil in vaporizer cartridges. Anyway, many people who wouldn’t attend a WNBA game with four free tickets and limo service suddenly knew all about Griner's political stance when it came to the national anthem. I missed all of it because I follow high school sports where there is a national anthem every night and most people stand, but some sit and slouch and talk while looking stupid without really trying. So I backtracked, wondering, “What did Griner actually say and do while the anthem was played before her WNBA games?” This all coincides with the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and the Black Lives Matter movement. Griner wanted to make a statement, a political protest just to stay in the locker room while the anthem was being played. About the time of the Colin Kaepernick controversy (2016), when Colin was kneeling during the anthem to protest racial injustice, two Black girls from a Henlopen Conference volleyball team (not Cape) were photographed kneeling during the anthem. The reaction of hate washing back from the community to that high school was so extreme, the girls got scared and wanted to quit their team. As a teacher, I would tell students, “A peaceful protest may be an individual right, but often the message never goes beyond the moment, and there is always a price to pay.”

Who left out - Slang sometimes says it best. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Phillies have nine regulars under contract, two aces, a third starter and two shutdown relievers. Jean Segura, Noah Syndergaard, Kyle Gibson and David Robertson are all set to become free agents. Didi Gregorius was cut after the trade deadline and the Phillies paid him $5 million not to play. Ruly Carpenter sold the Phillies to Bill Giles in 1981 for $32.5 million. Free agency and players’ salaries began to spiral, and Ruly had a problem pushing big money across the table to lifetime .250 hitters.

Snippets - Cape unified basketball is a coed team coached by Jenn Hagan and Elizabeth Shea. They play an eight-game schedule, featuring five home games, all in the late afternoon. They play Milford, Middletown, Caesar Rodney, Dover, Woodbridge, Polytech, Seaford and Indian River. Last year’s roster featured 28 players. Middle school sports results and stats are sometimes published and oftentimes not. Maybe it is a matter of philosophy rather than energy.  Go on now, git!


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