Facial recognition is the truth while numbers sometimes lie

Cape football and soccer ready for big games
November 17, 2023

Ozmeer and Amari are fast friends - Ozmeer Daisey Batson was celebrated in last Friday’s Gazette as an Athlete of the Week. A great biographical sketch under a photo of Amari Jackson. Once the printed paper hits the news boxes, the mistake is not correctable. Ozmeer had the greatest response, “I didn’t mind, because Amari is one of my best friends.” I talked to Ozmeer and his brother Tramaine that Friday and discovered I knew their family history going back to cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents and great-grandparents. The bollox began back on a Dan Cook Picture Day in August when Ozmeer, who wore No. 28 all season, put on a different jersey for his photo. “Ain’t no recognition like facial recognition.” You just can’t trust numbers.  

Going for two - In the 2011 football season, a talented Cape team outscored Dover 21-7 in the fourth quarter to force overtime with the game tied at 48-48. Dover scored and kicked the extra point to lead 55-48. Cape took possession and scored, bringing the score to 55-54. The Vikings, under head coach Bill Collick and offensive coordinator Herky Billings, elected to go for two and the win. “We just weren’t stopping them,” Collick said. Billings called a tight end counter pass – Diaz Nardo to Jake Dmiterchik. The Dover cornerback came up to the line of scrimmage. His mission was crash to the quarterback. But at the last second, he caught a vibe and decided to follow the tight end Dmiterchik. Jake was wide open until he wasn't, and the Dover player knocked the pass down and the Senators won 55-54. I asked Billings if all the second-guessers in the stands would get on his nerves. “No, that stuff doesn’t bother me at all,” Herky said. “But if I go downtown and someone makes fun of my shoes, I’ll want to punch them in the mouth.” I looked down at his feet and decided to hold back any misplaced jokes. The Dover quarterback for that game was sophomore Nick Spadafino, who ran for two and threw for two touchdowns. Nick is now an assistant coach with the 2023 Dover team that Cape will play Friday night. Nick's father, Joe Spadafino, is in the Eastern Kentucky Hall of Fame. He was selected the 1985 Delaware College Player of the Year by the Lower Delaware Gridiron Club.

Focused intensity - All players believe they play with maximum effort and pure focus on the mission, which is to win the game. Cape will play in the state championship soccer final Saturday, Nov. 18, at Dover High against perennial state champion Salesianum. Cape beat Charter School of Wilmington 3-1, while Sallies beat Delcastle 4-1 to reach the final. The last Henlopen Conference team to win a Division I soccer championship was Caesar Rodney in 1994. Former Indian River coach Steve Kilby, now on the Cape staff working with his son Patrick, won Division II state titles in 2013, 2015 and 2020. On Oct. 10, 2012, a large Saturday afternoon Cape crowd watched Salesianum beat a talented Cape team 2-0. I remember Cape athletes from other sports being all loud and wearing out Sallies players. I turned to them and said, “Why don't you shut it down and pay attention? You may learn something.” I know I did. I learned that Sallies soccer guys start the game full throttle and just keep it there, so it’s best to be ready because the Catholics are coming to steal your soul. Dominus Vobiscum.

Can’t watch this - The polyurethane-colored shiny courts as part of the NBA’s in-season tournament games are annoyingly distracting to the point that I couldn't even watch the Sixers game versus the Pacers Nov. 14. Sidekick life partner Susan noticed, “Look, you can see their reflections on the surface. Is that plexiglass?” I like the old gyms, all somewhat different, featuring a stage at one end or, as was the case at Rehoboth High School, the court was the stage. How cool was that?  

Snippets - Winter track is listed as indoor track, except Tower Hill and the University of Delaware are not available. Cape has a long history of winter track teams going back to the beginning of the consolidated school district 54 years ago. Cape has a total of 10 coaches for boys and girls, and they are expecting a total that could reach 150 athletes. If you just exclaimed, “That is crazy,” just think if they all showed up at Wawa at the same time. What if you skip a winter sport during the season where you excel to concentrate on a spring sport you like better, then come spring you either get cut or knocked back to JV? All coaches should have at least two smart managers who can enter rosters and results, and keep score. An all-time great soccer goalie performance for Cape goes back to  2015 when Cape lost to Sallies in the semifinals 1-0. Brent Hochrein had 18 saves in the game. Sallies went on to beat Charter School of Wilmington 2-0 for the state championship. Go on now, git! 


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