Faith, hope and love - the three leaves of the lucky shamrock
Luck of the Irish - A decade of fun St. Patrick’s Day practices has resulted in 10 straight state championships and 124 consecutive wins against Delaware opponents for the Cape girls’ lacrosse team. The tradition continued March 13 on the turf field at Legends Stadium. Sailing off in another quest to be the best in Delaware, wearing green beads and green sunglasses on a bright, sunny, make-my-day afternoon, the Irish girls had one question to ask themselves, “Do you feel lucky? Well, do you?” Cape has started the preseason by losing returning first-team all-state goalie Vienna Iacona, who made a personal decision to move on from lacrosse to concentrate on other aspects of her life, and backup sophomore Vivian Lynn, who broke her hand. Freshman Laci Dixon steps into the cage along with sophomore Destiny Kusen. The three leaves of the shamrock – faith, hope and love – were at St. Paddy’s Day practice as Cape’s “Love Train” is about to leave the station.
Money makers - The conference tournaments in Division I college basketball are all about the money. Do we really need to see North Carolina play Duke for a third time before heading into the NCAA tournament? I remember when the NCAA was a 32-team field and you stayed in your home geographical region. That helped UCLA win 10 titles in a row from 1966-67 through 1974-75. Lou Alcindor and Bill Walton didn’t hurt either. The NIT at Madison Square Garden began as a three-day St. Patrick’s Day party of college kids that stretched for blocks in all directions. The Roosevelt Hotel in Midtown was taken over by the staggering college crowd, many swigging straight whisky from half-pint bottles. The lucky ones grew up to see the NIT evolve into what it is today, some weird regional elimination tournament that ends up at the MSG, but who is paying attention? The local schedule of AA is on the beer refrigerator in the garage.
Signing up and showing up - Cape boys’ track has 71 athletes listed on the roster, and most of them actually show up for practice. Shaking loose the quality from the quantity is the mission. Through personal experience, I’d say if you have 17 athletes who can score in multiple events in a big meet, you can win a championship. Track is exhilarating, but it can be humbling if you’ve ever had a sprinter accelerate away from you like you’re a bull walrus stuck in the wet sand.
Networking is cheating - I have been hearing over the last two generations about the importance of social networks, the adage, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” And so if I have preferred access to someone you don’t for some values job, is that fair? Fair is not the first word that comes to mind. The latest scandal regarding college admissions at prestigious colleges is weirdly fascinating and not surprising. The athletic component of selling slots designated for athletes who are not athletes as a path to admission proves that lack of character knows no class barriers. If I were offered $10,000 to make a person an Athlete of the Week with the only drawback being that they weren’t an athlete, I wouldn’t do it. Integrity doesn’t count for anything, it counts for everything.
Snippets - Thankfully a reader kindly pointed out a boneheaded mistake I made in last week’s column, which proves that at least one person is reading it with a skeptical eye. I wrote that the Sanford School was in Hockessin, which it is not, and that it was on Route 52, when actually it’s on Route 48. Other than that, the information was pretty much accurate. A couple weeks before the new year, I decided to drop some weight for a scheduled physical on my birthday, March 14. I didn’t want Dr. Jeff Heckert asking if I had joined the Flying Burrito Brothers on a reunion tour or had become a backup singer for Meat Loaf. Anyway, I dropped 17 pounds mostly by giving up Orange Gatorade and Crunchy Klondike Bars. David Erickson (Cape) pitched two innings as the Liberty University Flames (12-4) defeated Virginia (8-8) 14-4. Zack Gelof (Cape) was 1-for-4 for the Cavaliers. Erickson, a pitcher, has appeared in three games with no decisions. Gelof has started all 16 games for Virginia playing third base with a .302 batting average, which includes five doubles. Cape track coach Rob Percival showed me a video of sophomore Josiah Miller juggling three 12-pound shots. “He’s already thrown 47 feet. I’m looking for him to break 50 as a sophomore,” coach Rob said. Juggle javelins, then come talk to me. Go on now, git!