Five Dollar Lax Camp as cool as ice-cold lemonade

July 23, 2019

Five Dollar Lax Camp - Quinn Nutter and Shelby Manlove ran a little lacrosse clinic for younger girls in Quinn’s Hawkseye backyard July 19 and donated the money ($80) to Atlantic Adaptive Lacrosse. Seven girls ages 4 and 5 participated and enjoyed the tightly organized 90-minute camp, which included several lemonade breaks. Tossing small water balloons at a cellphone keypad on an easel made of stones was particularly creative. The girls even constructed their own website. Another camp will be held in August. 

Hey, Mr. Official - Retired isn’t an applicable word for a coach who never slows down. Coach George Glenn, the former head football coach at Salesianum and Cape Henlopen, has left his position as director of football operations at Coastal Carolina University and returned home to live in Coastal Sussex, better known as Sesame Street by the Sea. I ran into my good buddy Saturday morning in Dewey Beach at the Santa Sprint 5K and wondered, “Who is the dude in the long-sleeved pink shirt?” Coach and I talked like it was 20 years ago. I took photos and he waited for some Carolina friends and his daughter Kelly, who was running the race on a 90-degree morning. Kelly stopped for a photo with her dad, then continued to the finish line. Coach said, “Kelly is a good kid.” “Yes, she is, Coach,” I agreed. “And the good kid is also 40 years old.” 

Dream job - Martin Rodriguez is an elite local runner who transformed himself from a 280-pound 14-year-old into a relentless distance runner who can break 17 minutes in a 5K and three hours in a marathon, running a personal best 2:52:14. Sunday morning, Martin ran the JJ 5K in 18:13, then went back on the course to escort Selex Horsey to the finish line. The 18-year-old is a 300-meter hurdle specialist who ran 46.58 as a senior at Sussex Tech, the second-fastest time in the state last spring. Selex was also Henlopen Conference champion. She is on her way to Goldey Beacom, where she will be a track and field athlete. “Her coach wants her to run cross country to increase strength and endurance,” Martin said. “And so I’m helping her today. It’s her first 5K.” Martin left his job at Verizon after six years to work in the restaurant business so he could be free to pursue his dream job, which is coaching kids. He is perfect for the coaching profession, combining intelligence with enthusiasm, and he has a big heart.

Wrix Watch - Cape’s starting right guard from the 1997 football team, Wrix McIlvaine, is a criminal defense attorney. The Wrixster, Cape class of ’98, graduated from UD in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in English/journalism, then got his JD from Thomas Jefferson in San Diego, Calif., in 2005, followed by his LLM from Max Planck Institute in Munich, Germany, in 2006. Wrix and I recently discussed his 1997 team, coached by Brian Donahue, that went 9-1, then lost to Newark in the first round of the state playoffs. The five hogs along the line of scrimmage were Rob Hahn, Barry Barlow, Matt Graviet, Wrix and Brad Travis. All are card-carrying Linemen for Life members. The backfield was Carl Floyd, Deshon James and Elijah Worthy. Theron Pavlik was the quarterback.  

Worked so hard - Kids in sports don’t work hard; it’s not like they own their own weed whacker. And they are not devastated by sports misfortunes. If anything, they are resilient. And finally, they don’t deserve anything other than an enjoyable experience of being on a team with good friends who share the moments while playing for coaches who aren’t insane. 

We are family - The surviving and able Pittsburgh Pirates from the 1979 World Series championship team were honored Friday in Pittsburgh before the Phillies game. The Phillies broadcast team did a lousy job devoting time to the ceremony and showing the players as they were introduced. Tom McCarthy said, “Dave Parker has Parkinson’s and has been overcome with emotion by the ceremony.” Parker was known as “The Cobra” long before the Black Mamba with the Lakers. He played 19 seasons but is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. A two-time MVP, a pair of batting titles and All-Star Game MVP. Eleven MLB players were granted immunity in 1985 in exchange for testimony in a trial involving cocaine in Major League Baseball. And that’s why Parker is not in the Hall of Fame, but Roy Halladay goes in on first ballot after crashing an airplane while high as a kite. I can hear Columbo asking, “Can somebody please explain that to me?” 

Snippets - Marcus Robinson, a rising junior, will attend Salesianum this upcoming school year, where he will try out for football and basketball. “Nothing against coaches at Cape; his mother and I just felt this was the best move for him at this time,” said Donald Robinson, a longtime friend and part-time Dewey police officer who talked to me Saturday. Best of luck to Marcus. His uncle Dennis was a hurdler on my first state championship track team in 1976. Speaking of Marcus and Sallies, in the last game played in Cape’s Little Big House, March 5, 2009, Cape basketball beat Salesianum 57-49 in the state tournament, as Marcus Gooch dropped 35 on their heads, including 31 in the second half. He was on them like Ernest Gooch (great-grandfather) on an ambulance (drove for Beebe). Taylor Gooch is the newly named head coach of girls’ lacrosse at Sussex Academy. Her sister Hailee is the head volleyball coach. Not sure if they can get Uncle Eric to show up and take photos. Go on now, git!