The first Noelle and second Noelle are both winners
Dos Noelles - The first Noelle pictured this holiday season is Noelle Sabbagh, just off field hockey season and now practicing for winter track. I called her name, she flashed a smile, then moved on with her life. The second Noelle is Noelle Alicia, a physical therapist with Genesis Rehab and a volunteer girls’ basketball coach at Cape. Alicia played point guard for the Lady Royals of Scranton University. She was team captain her senior year in 2016 and led her team to the Division III Elite Eight. I saw Noelle Two for the first time on the Cape bench at a Nov. 23 scrimmage, and for a confusing minute I thought she was Noelle One. Either way, it’s a compliment to both of them.
A certain smile - Tia Jarvis has a superb smile and a great voice. She’s a young athlete who sees me and says, “Hello, Fredman. How are you today?” She’s part of a class of super sophomore girls. Just on the hockey team are Lily Ashby, Ella Rishko, Reagan Ciabattoni, Emma Duffield, Molly Mendes, Sam Connors, Sierra Manifold and Noelle Sabbagh. There’s Rileigh Wilson from volleyball, and Mia Neubling and Elizabeth Melson from cross country. Tia’s mom is Lakisha Maull, the starting softball pitcher for the Cape class of ’95. Her Pop Pop is Jay Kennedy, and we don’t have the space to fill in the rest of the relatives.
Out of control - I watched young player Rico Nock run point guard in a sixth-grade game Nov. 22 that served as an undercard to a Cape alumni basketball game. Little man in the Big House. Rico has a sweet game already – he is fast and fluid and can handle the ball. But two things struck me; one wasn’t getting hit in the face with a bad pass. He played with unselfish joyfulness, like a kid should play, and his dad, a youth coach sitting along the front row, just let him run his game. The smart play is to allow athletes in a fluid and fast game to learn on the fly, and to make choices and deal with the results. And then I learned Rico is a student at Woodbridge. The Blue Raiders have a good one coming.
Walking the dog - If you are reasonably fit and not too fat and not a runner, take yourself to the track and walk a mile as fast as you can. Humorist Dave Barry called it, "Dork walking." I call it, “Getting the Groucho." I'm saying most of you will not break 12 minutes, and if you do, you will be damn glad it's over and hope that no one saw you. Dee Bowman from Cincinnati ran the Philadelphia Marathon Nov. 24 in 4:58, which is an 11:24 pace for 26 miles. Dee is 90 years old ... get out of town! It all goes to prove that if you're crazy enough, you can accomplish anything most sane people wouldn't want to try.
Big Loser Boy - I suffer from multiple personality disorder, and Big Loser Boy is a character who fades in and out of focus. BLB is often presented with issues like “You just lost a contest you didn’t enter” or “You were rejected by a hall of fame you didn’t ask to join.” I like Big Loser Boy. He is all the way cool. Some afternoons he photographs middle school B games, not looking for recognition, just worried that someday the Mountaire Farms Chicken Man will try to give him a plaque on WBOC after they get tired chasing award-winning photographer Kevin Fleming in and out of buildings.
Snippets - Sixers center Joel Embiid is a sprained knee away from Rec League guy. I watch him play, then I go bang down a couple Aleve. Saddle a quarterback with receivers who can’t get open, then blame him for not getting them the ball. Carson Wentz looks spacey on the drop back, but better than Kevin Spacey. If I could draft one free agent to the Phillies roster, it would be third baseman Anthony Rendon. Beyond being a great player, Anthony is all the way cool. I don’t think loyalty to Washington enters into his decision. Henlopen Conference wrestling is going to be stacked again this season led by Smyrna, but Milford, Sussex Central, Caesar Rodney and Cape are better than decent. The mats are a hard place to make a living. It just makes me wonder why UD won’t bring back the sport. Delaware dropped wrestling in 1991. Gender equity? Gender reassignment? Save the arguments. It makes too much sense, which is why it won’t happen. Happy Thanksgiving, shoot the single leg! Go on now, git!