Great kids just enhance everyone’s game

October 14, 2022

Great kid - The best ringing endorsement of a school-aged athlete is when coaches and teachers say, “great kid,” and the sports stuff follows after that. Ian Hayes, a senior at Woodbridge, is that great kid. I know Ian a little through the running circuit and covering cross country races. He was a Cape Gazette Athlete of Week a year ago. On Oct. 8, Ian, 17 years old, won the Dewey Goes Pink 5K in a time of 17:26. There were 1,700 finishers in the race. Ian is the top runner on the Woodbridge cross country team, is a starter on the 5-3 soccer team and is a member of the football team. Universities love to recruit cross-talented students to their campuses; it just enhances everyone’s game.  

Jazz Festival - I can be a black turtleneck-wearing Jazz Festival fan with the best of them. I saw Joe Williams, Oscar Peterson, Ramsey Lewis, Jimmy Smith and others live at the Showboat in South Philly in the basement of the Douglas Hotel. Granddaughter Lina, a Cape sophomore, came to our house – a very fine house – Wednesday to transition from field hockey player to drummer with the Cape Jazz Band and a performance at Bethany Blues. “She crushed it last night,” Band Director Chris Burkhart wrote to me. “She's also helping coach up the other drummer who is a freshman on the soccer team [Christian Watland came over from West Virginia]. Nothing better than the student/athlete/artist. Renaissance kids over here. It's the best.” 

Haylie Rodgers - Haylie is a Cape player on the girls’ soccer team – a spring sport – who is also a place kicker on the JV football team. On Monday, after Machi Savage intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown to tie the game at 6-6, there was no hesitation in sending out Haylie for the go-ahead kick. A clean snap and hold would have been nice, but asynchrony was in the house like a Police album and the kick was low and outside. Later, with the score still tied 6-6 and the game in the balance, Brandon Somoza-Lima – the designated field goal kicker – kicked a 29-yard field goal for the game winner. Cape JV football runs a first and second offense and defense and they all play regardless of the score. 

Fans in the stands - Most middle school hockey fans bring their own chairs to the game. They nestle in and hunker down and are most always there to support a daughter/granddaughter on the field except for fans of sports at all levels like WC Clark of Milton. Mariner and Beacon games, when playing a nearby school like Sussex Academy, draw as many or more fans than college teams who play in the afternoon. Mariner (5-0) and Beacon (7-0) – here comes the math – are a combined 12-0 on the season. Sussex Academy has seven eighth-graders who are playing up on JV or varsity, which is one way to run a program, but on a Wednesday afternoon, it's all academic.    

Thunder Rolls - Laura St Martin, 60, ran 26:34 Oct. 9 at Paradise Grill to place 16th overall and win her age group. Recently retired from government service, she is now residing in the Rehoboth area. Laura is nicknamed “Thunder” by her running buddies; her personality is striking and her smile contagious. Thunder Muppet here at Sesame Street by the Sea.  

Snippets - Retired basketball coach Jerry Peden will be inducted into the Delaware Basketball Hall of Fame Tuesday, Nov. 22. The banquet is from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 654 S. College Avenue, Newark. The Embassy Suites Hotel is across the road from the University of Delaware football stadium. Coach Peden can be reached at Coach Peden is reaching out to all former players hoping they can attend to share memories and celebrate the moment together. Peden took Sussex Central (1988) and Cape Henlopen (1996) to the state finals. The Sussex Central Iron 5 were Donnie Polk, Doug Reed, Johnny Gibbs, Tim Slade and Robert Ruffin. The Cape 5 were Poochie Hazzard, Terry Hazzard, Bobby Leggins, Darnell Strand and Cory Clauser. Those names were just rolling around in my head like a loose ball, so I had to bounce them. Go on now, git!


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