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Field hockey commences 50-year celebration of Cape sports

Vikings to host 16-team play day Saturday
August 14, 2019

Cape’s 50 years of sports celebration began Monday morning at 7 a.m. with the field hockey team running a timed two-miler on the Legends Stadium track.

“The varsity standard is 16 minutes, while the JV is 20 minutes,” said coach Kate Austin, entering her eighth season. “Some kids show up in shape ready to run; others don’t. Some hopefuls don’t show up at all, and that’s offset by newcomers we didn’t expect to see.”

The timed races were divided into two flights, with the rising sophomores and seniors going first, followed by rising juniors and freshmen. 

Lee Lee Wilson and Reagan Ciabattoni battled for eight laps in the first and fastest heat, with Wilson placing first in 13:40 and Ciabattoni right on her heels.

“I was thinking there was no way I was staying with Reagan – she is so awesome – but we just pushed each other,” Wilson said. 

Players from past teams and current moms helped with organization and timing, while several former players helped with pacing and encouragement, starting with Rebecca Pepper, former Cape and University of Delaware player, now the Milford Middle School coach.  

And by 11 a.m. on the Champions Stadium fast field turf, it was an intersquad scrimmage, with veteran goalies Marlee Geppert and Julie Heffernan guarding the cages.

A casual observation revealed the obvious: Cape is young, yet blessed with great speed and deep with players who know how to play the game, while being no threat to ever join the cross country team. 

A working model at Cape is that hockey and girls’ lacrosse don’t reload, they reconfigure. Coach Austin and assistant Debbie Windett won six state titles together by knowing where to place people. Sometimes the script is flipped; defenders go to offense, while forwards drop back to defense. 

“We want the best 11 on the field against the best competition,” Austin said. 

Cape will host a varsity and JV play day beginning at 9 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 17, using both turf and bermuda fields.  

The Cape varsity will stay in Champions Stadium, playing Charter at 9:30 a.m., Academy of Holy Cross at 10:30 a.m., South County at 11:30 a.m., Madison at 12:30 p.m., and Indian River at 1 p.m. All games are 25-minute running clock with a common horn. 

Other Delaware teams participating in the play day are Caesar Rodney, Caravel, Lake Forest, Milford, Polytech, St. Georges, Sussex Central and Sussex Tech.