Head on a swivel sometimes spills over to the benches

Faces along the sidelines capture the soul of the sport
October 18, 2019

Facebook - The sports sidelines are all about faces while I’m trying to take pictures of a game. In field sports, you actually need two cameras if you want to capture sideline candids. My basic rule is not to compose, “Hey, look at me and smile.” I really do prefer a natural capture. But sometimes the athletes capture the camera guy, which happened on the Beacon field hockey sidelines Oct. 14 in a game against Delmar. The kids looked at me like, “You know you want our photo,” so I backed up to where I could fit them into the field of vision, but more kept joining in. I didn’t bother telling them I could only fit two. I did the whisk-away gesture like, “Go back to your game and leave me alone.” First photo I snagged was Lexi Silicato and Milena Buehler. The next was Lucy Mongeluzo and Summer Taylor with Hayden Hudson behind. By the time friends stop tagging grandmoms and aunts, I’m never quite sure who is in the photos. 

Fast times at Cape High - Cape has 39 boys on the cross country roster and another 15 girls running. The boys and girls are each 7-1 in head-to-head dual-meet matchups. To get an idea of high school speed versus a weekend 5K populated mostly by adults, the boys’ race Oct. 15 with five high school teams competing had 89 runners, with the top 27 breaking 20 minutes and 73 runners running a sub-eight-minute pace. The girls’ race had 59 runners, with the top 25 running a sub-eight-minute pace and the top 15 under a 7:30 pace. The Ashley Furio 5K Oct. 12 had 382 finishers. The top seven males broke 20 minutes. Six women ran a sub-7:30 pace. They are just different worlds, as they should be. I cover them both from a blue chair with a fast camera.

The Blue Chair - Evan Sydnor, now a freshman on the Cape cross country team, was in sixth grade hanging by the finish line at a middle school track meet. The blue chair was a new thing. Evan was sitting on it eating a box of animal crackers. I told him, “Give up one or the other, son, but you can’t have both.” Coach Tim Bamforth said, ”Why you gotta scare the boy? He doesn’t know you.” I said, “You know the last time I bit the head off a rhino?” It’s been a long time. Last month, I injured a hamstring, so I carried a green chair with arms, and sports fans hassled me, “That’s not a blue chair. Where’s the blue chair?” I had the blue chair at the Oct. 15 cross country meet. I put it by the finish line and Dover coach Jim Solomon sat down like he was never getting up. I explained to him the blue chair’s history, and that it was going to be a coffee table chair book and his picture would be included. Coach Solomon has won five indoor state titles for boys and three for girls. He also won four titles for boys’ outdoors and four girls’ outdoor state titles. Man, I should have gifted him the chair. We both have lost weight, but he walks around eating an apple. Coach Fred ain’t eating no apple.    

Snippets - Elena Delle Donne of the WNBA World Champion Washington Mystics threw out the first pitch before the Nationals’ NLCS Game 4 against the Cardinals that proved to be the pennant clincher. I’m on the edge of my blue chair to see who gets the honor for the World Series home opener. My vote is for “The Hawk” Andre Dawson, former Montreal Expo and member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. Dallas is a three-point favorite over the Eagles for the Oct. 20 Sunday night game. Dallas looks a little better from a distance, but neither team has played well. Word in cyberville is that senior Sussex Tech football and basketball star Ricky Kane has transferred back to his home school, Woodbridge. Employing the new mother ship one-time transfer exemption, Kane is immediately eligible. His name no longer appears on the Ravens’ roster, but it hasn’t appeared on the Raiders’ roster. CR coach Dan “Candyman” Candeloro brings his 2-4 team to Cape Friday night to face coach J.D. Maull’s 1-5 Vikings. The Riders were 5-5 last season. This Riders average 19 points a game while giving up 24. The Riders have 135 players for three teams, while Cape lists 74 able-bodied players. Actually it’s less, depending on who is on the injured list that week. Go on now, git!

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