Compassionate toughness – the leadership of a coach/mom

October 8, 2021

Street fight - Smyrna field hockey, under coach Loveita Moffitt, brings a fierce, no-back-down attitude to the pitch, not at all intimidated by the 20 lag-bolted state championship signs on the home bleachers at Cape Henlopen. In a fiercely physical 2-1 game Sept. 30, Eagles defender Jabrielle Boyd went down, followed by sounds of anguish heard by everyone in the stadium. Play was stopped. Teams knelt together. Coach Moffitt was the first responder, kneeling over her player inches from her face offering consoling words. Cape trainer Sheryl Burris was there for medical assessment. Boyd was later helped from the field by her coach and Burris. Boyd was smiling. She sat in the bed of the sideline Gator secured and assured. And then just before returning to the rock and roll of a great game, coach Moffitt, a guidance counselor at the high school, gave her player a kiss on the cheek. I saw it and thought, “compassionate toughness”  – that is leadership, and that is a mom. Smyrna sophomore Dru Moffitt who, according to Kate Austin, is Smyrna’s best player, was a beast on the midfield. Other than what I just wrote, I don’t understand much about field hockey.  

Running the turn - I caught some high school cross country practice photos Monday while waiting for the Sussex Academy at Beacon boys’ and girls’ race to start. I used the blue chair because the low-to-high captures the bending of light. Plus, if I kneel I’ve committed to the ugly get-up, which no one needs to see. It’s a paradox that cross country kids always seem happy in practice and competition, while some coaches of other sports continue to use running as character-building punishment. 

Get grouchy, get gone - I was talking to field hockey coaches Debbie and Windy at Polytech Tuesday during the junior varsity game. Not sure of the subject, but I said, “Here’s my rule governing the sports landscape: a magical place of camaraderie and sportsmanship. Get grouchy, get gone,” and that pertains to me as well. Debbie Windett said, “Following that rule, I should have been gone 20 years ago.” Now, that made me laugh. And grouchy people can’t do that unless they stumble and fall into the water bucket. 

Boones Farm - A-Aron Boone is most certainly gone as manager of the Yankees after they fell to the Red Sox in the wild card game. “But do you know who I am? I am a descendent of Daniel Boone. My grandfather was major leaguer Ray Boone. My dad Bob Boone. Brett Boone, four-time all-star, is my brother. I hit a walk-off home run for the Yankees in 2003 in the ALCS. I was an ESPN analyst. My wife Laura Cover was a Playboy Playmate, Miss October 1998.” Aaron Boone also has a pacemaker. And he’s just 48 years old. If Aaron Boone gets fired, that would be wild, but the smart play would be for the young man to step off and spend more time with Miss October.

The 1975 Draft - I had an impromptu visit Wednesday morning from former Cape HR person Alfred Best, who was looking for my neighbor Janice Hanwell. Yes, this is Sesame Street. The Cape 1975 rookie class included Alfred Best, Aleta Mason, Charlie Hickox, Bill Collick and Dave Frederick. We talked about school and sports, and grandchildren who played sports. Alfred left, adding, “I’m sorry you lost Darby.” And I told him, “We got Darby from Matt Wiedmann, son of your teaching colleague Fred Wiedmann.” I always said you are Sussex County cousins if your dogs are related or you know their sires. 

Snippets - Middle school sports are back, and that is such a good thing. But don’t cancel an away contest on game day saying you couldn't get a bus. Websites4Sports is a great platform to post and read about sports results. But when coaches don’t post results, which include JV, freshman and middle school, it makes me question their enthusiasm if they can’t be bothered to hype their own athletes. Dom Scott is doing a great job coaching hockey at Sussex Tech, with the Ravens currently at 5-2. Winter sports are on the clock, with Nov. 8 being the first day for tryouts and practices. There are boys’ and girls’ basketball, indoor track, swimming, wrestling, cheerleading and Unified basketball. Everyone awaits the latest mask protocols. Go on now, git! 


Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter