Cape hockey family rocked by passing of Bill Windett but rolls to championship
A Prayer for Bill Windett - On Nov. 14, the extended Cape hockey family lost Bill Windett, husband of Debbie and father of coach Kate. Tough times, trying times and crying times. The team focused through a Friday night game and won a state championship together. Coaches and players enjoyed each other in celebration. And out on the pitch of Rullo Stadium after the game, Bill Windett was easy to find, you just had to look into the eyes of Baby Jackson, and you saw Bill looking back. They are in many ways one and the same, grandfather and grandson, forever and ever, amen.
Jumping the shark - I listened to a local TV station late Saturday night emphatically report the University of Delaware’s season ended with a home loss to Villanova. I knew that wasn’t true because the tournament field was scheduled to be announced Sunday at noon. Then as reported on the Delaware website: “On Sunday, the selection committee selected the Blue Hens as part of the 24-team field, sending Delaware to CAA rival James Madison on Saturday, Nov. 24. Game time on ESPN3 is set for 3 p.m.”
Character and grades - A college recruiter of athletes once told me, “I lose half my prospects at my first stop, the guidance office." Grades begin to count in freshman year, and character counts as well. Sports have a ceiling limited by DNA and specialized skill sets, but grades and character are lifetime sports. Assuming the athlete is that person, thus opening the door to college opportunities, the next step is to pick a major that matches your talent and may lead to an actual job. Check the sports rosters of schools you’re considering to see what kinds of characters have been recruited to play your sport, and pay attention to their chosen majors. Penn State football is one I checked, and they don’t play around. The Nittany Lions recruit highly qualified student-athletes, and many graduate with legitimate double majors.
Kemba Walker - I interviewed Kemba Walker after Rice High School, straight out of Harlem, won the Slam Dunk tournament in 2008 and he was MVP. Walker was intelligent and attentive. I told him I thought he had a raggedy jump shot, but on a court of all fast people, he made everyone else look slow. “I get the feeling you don’t even know where you’re going,” I said. “Just shake them down, then see you around, you’re that guy, aren’t you?” He flashed a big smile, “I am that guy.” In 2011, as a junior, he led UConn to the NCAA championship. On Nov. 17, Kemba dropped 60 points on the Sixers while playing for the Charlotte Hornets, but a Jimmy Butler three-pointer won the game for Philly. A nice young man is who I remember. It’s just amazing he can stay that quick for so long.
Freakishly, furiously fast - I watched Delmar close out Caravel on Nov. 16 5-0 to win its third straight field hockey state title – the last two in Division II – and they did it with young, fast, lean players. I joked to an official: “Delmar will score three more goals on you before the bus leaves the parking lot.” They are quick and relentless. Next year the Henlopen Conference will be divided into a Northern and Southern Division, so teams will only be required to play divisional foes and then a conference championship to decide the overall Henlopen Conference champion. Maci Bradford, an eighth-grader, had two goals in the state final, while Josie Hollaman, also an eighth-grader, had an assist in both the final and semifinal games.
Snippets - West Chester University field hockey (17-2) defeated Shippensburg (16-4) 3-1 on Nov. 18 to win the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference postseason tournament championship. Sydney Ostroski (Cape) is a junior defender on the roster of the Golden Rams, while Jody Boyer (Cape) is a freshman on the Shippensburg squad. West Chester is expecting a berth in the postseason NCAA Division II tournament, which begins in two weeks in Pittsburgh. Peyton Kemp (Delmar) is a freshman on the Syracuse University field hockey team currently ranked No. 20 in Division I. Randy Rickards (Cape) is doing well over the last three wins for Baltimore City Community College (Clinton College, CCBC Community College and Chesapeake) averaging 14 points and nine rebounds per game. Ian Robertson (Cape) had 13 points for Randolph Macon in an 88-67 win at Gettysburg. Go Eagles! Go on now, git!