Cape cross country teams finish dual-meet season 10-1
Ten-win seasons - Cape’s cross country teams, boys and girls, closed out their dual-meet seasons Oct. 23 at the UD College of Earth, Ocean and Environment with emphatic wins over Sussex Tech. The boys won 15-50 while the girls won 16-43. Both teams posted 10-1 records as they roll into a triple big-meet finale, beginning with the Sussex County Championships Tuesday, Oct. 29, at Sussex Academy followed by the Henlopen Conference Meet Saturday, Nov. 2, and State Championship Meet Saturday, Nov. 9, both at Killens Pond State Park. Freshman Katie Kuhlman set a personal record in the win over Sussex Tech, running 20:15. She was followed by Mia Neubling 21:28, Olivia Brozefsky 21:48, Lindsay Rambo 21:54, Sussex Tech’s Hannah Murphy 21:59, and E-Beth Melson 22:09. The Cape boys took the first nine places led by Ethan Edery 17:02, Julian Calloway 17:58, Ryan Baker 18:07, Daniel Adili-Khams 18:13, Ace Howard 18:15, Hunter Jones 18:18, Sam Epstein 18:27, Lance Kauffman 18:31, and Andrew Wolak 18:39. Caleb Bradley of Sussex Tech was 10th in 18:43.
40-year flashback - Forty years ago, I lost the Lewes Seashore Marathon by nine miles and 70 minutes to Bill McCartan of Newark. And that was the highest level of fitness I would achieve in my young adult life, running 3:38 to McCartan’s 2:28. Jenna McCartan Reilly, 30, who lives in Claymont, won the Ashley Furio 5K Oct. 12 in 19:35. Jenna is Bill’s daughter, proving the genetic link to distance running. I hold the marathon record in my family because no one else has gone double recessive and attempted to run 26 miles.
A bridge too far - Over 10 years, there were two Lewes Marathon courses, one that incorporated the single-span drawbridge and the other created a year after the double span from Dewey was floated down the canal to Lewes in a feat of engineering that had to be seen to be believed. Also, the first course looped through St. Peter’s Cemetery on Pilottown Road before coming back to New Road, perhaps the only marathon course in America to incorporate a cemetery as a turnaround point.
Attrition condition - Football teams get beaten down and battered at this point in the season, and absolutely no one goes full contact in practice anymore, at most employing a creation known as “live thud,” which is contact minus tackling. Cape is down to 35 kids per practice, but if they can all play on Friday night, coaches can still only play 11 at a time. Cape will play Polytech (1-6) Friday night, Oct. 25, which is Senior Night, the last home game of the season. The Panthers, coached by Robert Mason, have come through the gauntlet the last three games, losing to Sussex Central, Sussex Tech and Dover by a combined score of 172-13. Poly also is struggling with numbers. Friday is Senior Night for the football team, band and cheerleaders, and perhaps the mascot.
Whose kid is it anyway? - I call it the Mother Ship Rule: “Beam me back, Scotty.” High school athletes all reside inside a public school district which they have a right to attend – or not – but those who choose to go private or choice to another district have a one-time transfer exemption to return to the mother ship without penalty of sitting out a period of time. This replaced the unwritten Grandmother Rule, when poor Granny never knew who was living in the spare bedroom but swore she was taking care of them. I always said, if a Cape district kid was wearing a uniform from another school, then they either belonged to that team or stole the uniform. The ebb and flow and balance of power changes; a team can’t expect to enjoy hegemony forever, especially when only the valedictorian knows what that means.
Snippets - Senior football/basketball player Ricky Kane, who transferred to his home district of Woodbridge two weeks ago, is now on the roster for the Blue Raiders, listed as a wide receiver and defensive back. His freshman brother Deronn Kane plays the same positions. Woodbridge is 7-0 on the season, and the Blue Raiders are defending D2 football state champions. Wrestling practice starts Nov. 11. Talk to any serious wrestler right now, and they’ll tell you what they weigh and where they intend to certify for the season. Some top-shelf wrestling schools have too many good guys coagulating and sliding inside the same three weight classes. Never mess with a hungry wrestler; they will bite your head off. Darby Dog, 14 and still eating Wawa donuts, has dilated cardiomyopathy complemented by kidney disease. I’m thinking of letting him run down a deer across a cut-down cornfield. His heart will explode but he won’t know that, as his target will change from large deer to small dogs on a rainbow bridge. And they are going down! Don’t worry, I’m not doing it, but running down a dream or stream is not a bad way to be lifted up to a spirit in the sky. Go on now, git!