Cape’s greatest running back in the Homecoming house

October 25, 2022

The Pennant - Yo, Skippy! Get up on outta there! Bryce Harper was in the zone, fouling off pitches. Anyone who ever played one-on-one backyard wiffle ball knew Bryce was going deep like Jacques Cousteau off the Calypso. Power player seized the moment and Power Ranger saved the day. Ranger Suarez – “Ice Ice Baby” gotta be his walk-up song – comes in for the ninth inning, throws two pitches with two runners on base and gets the two final outs, preserving the 4-3 win and an improbable berth in the World Series. Ranger deftly and calmly fielded a great bunt like he was in a spring training game, getting the out at first. He followed with a pop fly to right center for the final out of the series. Fifteen teams in the National League and one pennant, which flies over Philly like a pigeon over the Schuylkill River.  

Cape GOAT - Rhymes with scapegoat or as a Rehoboth Beach Patrol lifeguard lieutenant named Freddie once exclaimed, “You ain’t gonna make no escape goat outta me!” In 2022, it seems like everyone has a real live goat – Cape runner Katie Kuhlman has 200 of them – but Greatest Of All Time in a sport is always good for an argument. During Friday night’s Homecoming game, Henry White, a 1974 Cape graduate and member of the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame who now lives in Texas, came down to the track to see me. Henry White and Henry Briscoe were Cape legends before Legends Stadium. Henry White is loyal like a labrador when it comes to Cape sports and traditions. He snapped at Colgate University, led the nation in all-purpose yardage his senior year, and was drafted in the second round by the Baltimore Colts. I’ve been suggesting Henry as a Cape graduation speaker for the last 20 years, and although I’ve been on some field just about every day, at times I just “don’t get no play.” 

Looking for Queens - Friday night at Homecoming halftime, I told fans along the fence, “My Apple Watch is down; I’m looking for Queens or the King and his Court. Where did my life take a wrong turn and go off-road?” Former students of mine shake their heads and laugh. Men not walking in the halftime festivities were Cheerleaders’ Choice Keishawn Mansfield, Sophomore Duke Jayden Messick, Junior Prince Maurki James, Mr. Spirit Thomas Gibbs, Mr. Nice Guy Jace Bransfield and Homecoming King L.T. Messick. I did meet Homecoming Queen Ca’Sanyah Parker-Upshur. I asked her, “What are you to Mike Upshur?” “He’s my Pop Pop.” I then rolled down Upshur Road, which goes through Cool Spring, naming a half-dozen Upshur relatives. I have become the Great White Nope. I asked current-day students, “Do you know who I am?” The most frequent answer: “Nope!”

Baby Joe - Cape senior quarterback Joe Coveleski, 17, was a Cape Gazette Athlete of the Week on the day he was born, which is why I call him Baby Joe. He is also the youngest child of six belonging to Stacy and Pete. My grandson James, youngest grandchild at 10, will always be Sweet Baby James, although sometimes I call him Billy Joe Jim Bob. On Sunday, Baby Joe ran 23:00 in the Tommy 5K in honor of his late Uncle Tommy Coveleski. Tommy was a San Francisco Giants fan, therefore the orange Giants shirt was contrasting a sea of Phillies red. I remember writing, “Everyone should have an Uncle Tommy, but no one should lose one." Joey didn't lose one – he always keeps Tommy in play. 

Baby girls - The first female to finish the Tommy Coveleski  5K Sunday morning was 12-year-old Mia Thompson in 23:02, straight outta Beacon Middle and the Seashore Striders. Later in the day, 8-year-old Seashore Strider Ruby Leps was the first female in the Bethel Trail 5K at Camp Barnes in 24:36. My baby girl Carrie, 50, and her friend since forever Ellen “Baby Girl” Driscoll, also 50, along with Ellen’s two boys, treated themselves to the Phillies game at the Bank Sunday – winner-winner chicken dinner – and in an amazing contiguity of antiquity, Carrie’s 76-year-old father sneaked into Connie Mack Stadium in 1954 when he was 8 years old to watch Robin Roberts and Curt Simmons pitch to Smoky Burgess with Richie Ashburn in center field and infielders Granny Hamner and Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones. You know the 1950 “Whiz Kids” Phillies won the National League pennant and remain legendary 72 years later.   

Snippets - Wrestlers call it “the room,” and those who work the room stay late through four years of high school wrestling. You just can’t out-tough those guys as they move on to the next level of sports and, dare I say, life. I’m already hearing Henlopen wrestling talk with Cape, Central, Caesar Rodney, Smyrna and Milford all expected to Granby roll out good teams. Beacon versus Mariner football at Legends Stadium at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 27.  Go on now, git! 


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