Cape community makes wrestling tournament a success

School district makes final decision on disciplining student-athletes
February 27, 2018

Double Downers - My mentor in the sports media world, Dick Dougherty of the Bucks County Courier Times, emphasized to me, “Never forget what the athletes did in high school. As they get older, it grows in importance, and it’s your job to remember.” And I never forgot that advice. But you've got to know it, see it, freeze it and compose it. Double all-state Cape guys Jared Hill and Brian Riggin were volunteers at last weekend’s wrestling tournament. Jared was all-state soccer and state champ in wrestling in 1991. Brian, Class of 2006, was a state wrestling champ and all-state lacrosse defender. Both were dressed like DelDOT workers to help out with the state tournament. I was offered a free shirt but elected instead to impersonate a professional photographer. Coach Chris Mattioni: “This picture says it all. Cape hosts an amazing state wrestling tournament because of this community. The setup Thursday night included current wrestlers and parents, former wrestlers and parents, coaches and administrators. The hospitality room is 100 percent donated from local businesses, and current and former parents, and it’s staffed by my wife and her high school friends, both Cape graduates. The DIAA state tournament is a success at Cape because of the community and administrative support that spans generations. Thank you, Cape community.”

Fast Times at Smyrna High - Tony Wuest, a 195-pound, three-time state champion at Smyrna, pinned all four opponents in less than 37 seconds over the weekend. Wuest reminds me in looks of the Sean Penn character Jeff Spicoli in the 1982 coming-of-age movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Wuest throws on those glasses and he looks like surfer dude or a big-air snowboarder. Judging a book by its cover doesn’t work in wrestling; it’s a freaky sport that way. Tie up on the mat with Tony as a 195-pound tungsten teenager of muscled steel and get quickly twisted like an Auntie Anne’s pretzel – all that’s missing is the mustard.  

“Everybody’s Talkin’” - The song, written in 1966, received a Grammy in 1969 and was popularized in the film “Midnight Cowboy.” “Everybody's talkin' at me. I don't hear a word they’re sayin'. Only the echoes of my mind. People stop and stare. I can't see their faces. Only the shadows of their eyes.” The Blue Chair and I were close to the fracas that erupted inside the Milford gym Feb. 22 with 4:02 remaining in the Smyrna versus Cape playoff basketball game to decide who would represent the Northern Division against Southern Division champion Woodbridge Feb. 23 in the Henlopen Conference basketball championship. Sports media had mostly coagulated in that corner of the gym, so when “wild world” showed up, photographers snapped photos and video cameras locked in. The aftermath, which has lasted days, has more people weighing in than clients inside the examination room at a free clinic. The game was not a DIAA-sponsored event, so back off them. Cape will handle the disciplining of its own student-athletes, so when you hear “five days out-of-school suspension for a player,” do not conclude that player will rejoin the team in time for the second round of the tournament. Cape is responsible for the greater good of its students (1,400 in high school), while doing what’s fair and just, not to mention sensible for the individual.

Snippets - Sam Young, pole vaulting for the University of Virginia, cleared 16-feet-and-one-half-inch to place eighth at last weekend’s ACC Indoor Championships held at Clemson University. The Colorado Mesa Mavericks men’s lacrosse team, a Division II program, improved to 3-0 Feb. 24 with a 13-12 upset at Lenoir-Rhyne, ranked No. 3 in the country. Former Cape and Lynchburg goalie Franc Cook is an assistant on the Colorado Mesa staff. The upset occurred on the birthday of Franc’s best friend, the late Scott Brozey. Franc works with goalies and defenders as well as following the academic progress of players and recruiting. Lizzie Frederick, the 2016 Delaware Lacrosse Player of the Year, has missed the first five  games this college season for the 3-2 Temple Owls due to injury. Tiara Duffy launched a second-inning pinch-hit grand slam home run for the 15-1 South Carolina Gamecocks Feb. 25 in a 15-0 win over Lehigh in Orlando, Fla. Football interviews for the open Cape job were scheduled for Feb. 26. I’m inside more loops than the night watchman at the hula hoop factory with my ear to the track in a town where the train don’t run. Go on now, git!