Derek delivers like Domino’s - a hall of fame athlete of high character

March 6, 2018

Derek delivers like Domino’s - Derek Savage, the Doctor of Dunk when he played for Cape, will be inducted into the Goldey-Beacom College Athletic Hall of Fame April 22 during a ceremony at the Deerfield Golf Club in Newark. According to the school website, “Savage was one of the outstanding players for the Lightning's men's basketball team during a very special era.” He was named first-team All-Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference and to the CACC All-Tournament Team in 2008, when he helped Goldey-Beacom reach the conference quarterfinals. Savage also was picked second-team all-league in 2007, when he helped the squad to the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference title. Savage graduated first in school history with 1,333 points, 772 rebounds, 293 assists, 219 free throws, 96 blocks and 236 steals. Derek is the youngest of three boys. His older brothers are Mike and Elliott. They are all super nice young men and first cousins to the Savage family that includes Willie, Taiwan, Princess, Tranesha, Chimire and Janelle. Like his cousins, Derek was a track star, excelling in the high jump and triple jump. Derek is a Jobs for Delaware Graduates teacher at Lake Forest High School. He started All-In Sports Academy with Wayne Newsome, which is a youth sports training program. 

Ed Bordley - A blind wrestler from Caesar Rodney won a state championship at 167 pounds his junior year in 1975. I saw Bordley wrestle a novice Cape recruit in 1976, whom Bordley was wearing out, and so the kid escaped then hid and would not re-engage. Pete Basile, who now runs in several local road races, was Bordley’s high school wrestling coach. The ref awarded a tech fall. Bordley then wrestled at Harvard. Neil deGrasse Tyson, the future astrophysicist, was a mat partner. Bordley later graduated from Harvard Law School. He spent the next 30 years working for the Justice Department as a lawyer. Ed Bordley died Dec. 16 from a rare cancer of the thymus at the age of 61. I remember him at a Lower Gridiron Club banquet emceed by Joe Purzycki, former Caesar Rodney football coach and first white man to be named head football coach at a historically black college, Delaware State 1981-84 and James Madison 1985-90. Back to the banquet, Bordley worked for Attorney General Janet Reno (1993-2001), so of course coach Purzycki had a few Reno jokes. When Bordley got to the podium, he said, “Coach I don’t appreciate you making fun of my boss, Janet Reno,” and Coach Joe quickly quipped, “I’m sure she looks good to you.” And that was that. Two guys and friends from the world of sports jousting at the head table. Jokes scripted in advance are like batting practice home runs – so what? – take the changeup deep in real-time game action, then come talk to me. 

Crime Dog - Bruce Barrett, Cape Class of 1979, who bears a striking resemblance to former Major League Baseball player Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff, is one of the best three-sport athletes in the 49-year history of the school district. Bruce will be inducted into the Delaware Afro-American Sports Hall of Fame April 21 at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover. Bruce is going in as a football player. He is part of the Cape/University of New Haven connection. Bruce had a crazy good college career and was a real pro prospect, but was hobbled by injury. He also played basketball and ran track at Cape. I was his track coach and have a ton of funny stories to tell but nowhere to sell them. Bruce lives in Texas, works in the oil fields, drives a big old truck and looks like he can still play. 

Delaware Sports Hall of Fame - Contemporary candidates for 2018 include downstate basketball guys Jimmy Allen and Charles Rayne, and Heidi Pearce, former women’s lacrosse coach at St. Andrew’s who is now the head coach at Washington College. Eddie Pettyjohn, a native of Milton and noted race car driver, is nominated in the veterans category. 

Snippets - Luke Oliphant (Sussex Tech), a freshman on the UMass baseball team, started in the outfield for the Minutemen in the season opener March 2 versus Pitt in Kissimmee, Fla. Luke scored the tying run in the top of the ninth, after walking and moving to third on a pair of groundouts. He scored on a passed ball, tying the game at 2-2. But the Panthers scored in the bottom of the ninth to win the game. Good job, Luke. Starting for UMass as a freshman is no joke. I watched Mercer University beat Gardner Webb 16-6 on the Big South Network March 2. Freshman Izzy Cryne (Cape) had five saves and earned her first college lacrosse win. Mercer followed that up with a win over Davidson. Izzy looked good, very quick, locked in and clearing passes on the money. Smyrna is the only downstate boys’ team still alive in the semifinal round of the DIAA state tournament. St. Thomas More is still alive on the girls’ side. Go on now, git!