Capturing the good in all of us under the Friday night mist
Auto Focus - The national anthem plays before a game, and I remove my headgear and my camera surfaces to periscope depth. I look for images like Friday night at Dover High before the football game. I found retired state police colonel (2009) and football official Thomas Macleish locked in a focused salute as a warm rain washed all our sins away. (I’m a Catholic boy.) Tom is a Delaware side friend of mine, but I go way back to grammar school as a basketball teammate at Our Lady of Grace in Penndel, Pa., with his first cousins Jimmy and Ritchie Cornwall. “Respect the flag, respect the game; bring an umbrella and respect the rain.”
Cool Hand Luke - I remember all students at their best like every day was yesterday. I met Luke Savage at Saturday’s Henlopen Conference cross country championships; he was at first reticent and a bit hesitant, until his mother Janelle told him I was her teacher and knew his entire family. Six siblings and five state champions: Janelle in triple jump, Princess in high jump, Tranesha indoor 400 meters, Willie with 11 state titles in his career, Taiwan state cross country runner of the year, and Chimere a teacher. Luke has diabetes, the carry-insulin-and-give-injections type, and was reluctant to push himself, but this fall he dropped from a 33-minute 5K to under 22 minutes. He’s a great kid and stellar student; his maternal grandmother Wanda is a Cartwright and they are all super smart, so Luke is running on the can’t-miss trail to success.
One-man canopy - My wife ordered me one from Amazon; it’s been on the back porch, still in the box, for a month. Can Blue Chair Guy make room for Canopy Guy? Pretty soon I’ll be arriving in the Popemobile. Injured quarterback Sam Jones offered to hold my umbrella over my head Friday night while I took pictures. I told him no, that’s the AD’s job, because you see, real men will help a brother out. When NFL players get injured, they go into a sideline tent. When did that start? Last Friday a Cape player got hurt and trainer Cheryl Burris sat him down and handed him her umbrella so she could asses his knee and tape an ice pack without getting drenched. She left the umbrella behind, then he played like, “I can’t walk but at least I ain’t wet.” Some fans didn’t like the image of seeing injured players in street clothes getting hamburgers at halftime. I could tell funny high school sports stories for a 15-week semester class; crazy stuff just happens sometimes. But really, is a player under an umbrella any more silly-looking than a coach under headphones, looking like he’s flying a B-52 over Russia?
Snippets - Lynchburg won the ODAC tournament in field hockey Saturday, beating Shenandoah 7-2. Both Kaylie Truitt (Cape) and Hayden Shockey (MIlford) are starters for the Hornets. Truitt had an assist in the game. Franklin & Marshall's No. 10 field hockey team (D3) fell to No. 11 Johns Hopkins in the first penalty-stroke shootout of Centennial Conference tournament history by a 0-0 (3-1 PS) score on Sunday afternoon in the championship game. Erin Coverdale (Cape) is the leading scorer for the Diplomats and the Centennial Conference with 18 goals. Cole Pavlik (Cape) was recently inducted into the Wesley College Sports Hall of Fame for cross country class of 2006. Megan Collins Spangler (Caesar Rodney) who graduated from Moravian in 2006 will be inducted into the Greyhounds Hall of Fame on Nov. 9. Megan was a four-year member of the women's soccer squad with one of the best careers in school history. Collins was named the program's first National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas All-American, earning second-team honors in 2005, the same season she was selected as the Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year. Collins was named to the Commonwealth All-Conference Teams all four seasons with first-team selections in 2005 and 2003 and second-team accolades in 2004 and 2002. She finished her career second all-time with 98 points on 41 career goals, which is second in the Moravian record books, and 16 assists. Collins, who was a First Team All-Mid-Atlantic Region honoree in 2005, tied the school record with 16 goals as a senior while helping the Greyhounds to a 16-6-1 record and the program's first NCAA Tournament appearance which included a first-round victory. She was all-state in soccer at Caesar Rodney and was a placekicker for the football team. Cape hockey will open state tournament play at home Thursday, Nov. 8, at 4 p.m. hosting Smyrna. Cape soccer will open tournament play Saturday, Nov. 10, playing William Penn at Milford; game time is 5 p.m. Winter sports practices begin Friday, Nov 9. Don’t be a dope; go out and vote. Go on now, git!