The Drummonds: Milford’s father-and-son state champions

January 31, 2020

State champs - A hall of fame moment in the Milford gym ... I discovered what I did not know and got to take the photo. Thomas Drummond, who wrestled for Roy Rigby, was a state champion at 119 pounds in 1984. Chris Drummond, a Milford assistant wrestling coach, was a state champion in 2007 and 2008 at 215 pounds and also the Gatorade Lineman of the Year in high school. I asked Chris how he jumped so many weight classes in one generation and he said, “Grandmom’s cooking.” 

Lunch Lady Land - A self-identified Milford lunch lady drove alone on a cold, dark Wednesday night from her home in Greenwood because some of the boys asked her to come to the Senior Night wrestling match against Sussex Central. I know how schools work and knew right away that lunch lady was an impact player at the high school. She sat in the front row during JV matches and I asked to take her photo, but she was emphatic, “No,” like I am if someone says, “Do you want to dance?” And so I backed off, but with much respect, because if the athletes requested her appearance, it means they love the lunch lady, the captain of a comfort station in the middle of the school day. 

Signing photos - A few mornings ago, instead of taking photos of a person signing to play a college sport, I took photos of actual signs. There are now six state championship girls’ track signs along the inside fence under the scoreboard at Legends Stadium representing the six titles won by retired coach George Pepper. And before anyone asks, the boys have won 14 state track titles, including the three for indoor track and an additional five for cross country. There are also signs for seven titles won by boys’ lacrosse, which plays inside Legends Stadium. Let’s get Athletic Director Bob Cilento busy in retirement clamping signs onto chain-link fences. Plus they offer some protection from the annoying winds off the bay.

Captain Lizzie - Granddaughter Lizzie Fred was just voted a captain for the 2020 Temple women's lacrosse team. Lizzie is a senior on an academic/athletic scholarship. She will graduate this spring in speech and language pathology, then she will attend graduate school. I told her: “One moment you're just some kid on Anna B Street along the Forgotten Mile; later you're a captain of a lacrosse team at a major university on Broad Street.” So many student-athletes from Sesame Street by the Sea go out and make it in a bigger but not better world.

Your story from my perspective - I congratulated the Cape trio of Collin Mallet, Kris Rushin and Kay’von Jackson for meeting a crazy moment and playing 12 minutes of three-on-three basketball in front of a jazzed-up crowd. We sat at a cafeteria table, and none of them cracked a smile or showed the least bit of satisfaction. The story I wanted was not the story I was getting. “The game should have been stopped and we should have won,” Mallet said. “We wanted that dub,” said Jackson. Rushin, who has been snapping since he became the go-to guy, said, “That game should have been postponed and started over from the beginning.” I also told them, “The chemistry and teamwork I saw in your surprise win at Polytech was the best I’ve seen all season.” They also didn’t chase that ball I rolled out, perhaps because that storyline isn’t true, or more likely, because it is. 

Pin cushions - Comment all you want about girls wrestling boys, but I just know that if you step on the mat, you have a chance to get got. Jan. 29 at Milford, Jack Thode and Trent Grant won by fall, and so did their sisters. Emily Thode got a varsity pin at 106, while Brooklyn Grant won with a 20-second throw-now-you’re-gone move in the JV match. The wrestler who lost to Brooklyn, a fit-looking kid, ran from the mat into the hallway. Emily was interviewed afterward by Benny [Mitchell] and the Jets on 302 Sports, and later the match was shown on WBOC. I’m trying to imagine what it would’ve been like getting pinned by a girl in my weight class in front of a full house when I was in high school. Then seeing it on television. “Wrestling taught me how to be a man by getting pinned by women.” I could learn humbleness from that, but seeing it on television, I’d probably start cursing and have my mother say, “You better watch your language unless you want to take your second loss of the night.”    

Super Bowl - I will sit and watch the game not distracted by all the power parties where I didn’t make the cut. I pay absolutely no attention to pregame hype or analysis. The gamblers don’t know which way to go beyond payday loans. I like the Chiefs, but I think the Niners are a more complete football team. I lost a good buddy last week with the passing of Drew Ostroski at the age of 52. I was his first mentor in journalism and everyday knock-around comedy. One day in class in 1985, I heard an echo coming from the back of the room. It was Drew doing his Fredman impression. It was so good I was on the verge of therapy. Forget nerd wallet; Drew invented the term  “getting dorked” to describe a fresh haircut from Mel’s barber shop. And there are muppets walking around Sesame Street by the Sea unaware of nicknames created and conferred on them by Drew. My favorite is Carrier Dome. I can hear myself laughing. It must be Drew. Go on now, git, good buddy! 


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