It’s not revenge, it’s a reckoning

November 21, 2023

Avenging and revenging - Two teams play each other in a game chasing the same goal, which is a victory. And one team will lose, which doesn’t turn them into avenging angels who are embarking on a revenge tour. There is a classic line from the movie “Tombstone.” Wyatt Erp asks Doc Holliday, “What motivates a guy like Johnny Ringo? Is it revenge?” Holliday says, “Make no mistake, it's not revenge he’s looking for, it's a reckoning.” Cape football’s game at Sussex Central Friday night is a reckoning game for the Vikings, a chance to find out if they are a better team than the one that lost 35-16 at Central Oct. 14. Sussex Central led that game 21-16 midway through the fourth quarter before scoring 14 points in the final seven minutes. The good news is one of the traditional rival schools will advance to the finals to take on the winner of the Salesianum versus Middletown game. 

Blurring the background - Moments after Cape hockey won over Smyrna 1-0 Nov. 11, with a hair-raising last-minute save by Atia Sabbagh on a corner, coach Debbie Windett commiserated with me, “We’re getting too old for this.” Five days earlier, I was taking photos at a Monday afternoon JV football game, as Cape was on the verge of an undefeated season. But on the last play, Dover threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to win 30-24. And then last Friday, Cape football needed two interceptions by Cam Joyner in the final four minutes to beat Dover 25-20. The upcoming Friday night semifinal football game at Sussex Central won't be a relaxing way to spend a Black Friday evening, but it will be an electric atmosphere for the players. We older fans will be in racing heartbeat mode. 

Blue Hen Blues - I was on the sidelines at Villanova in 1996 with a film camera to shoot the Delaware football game. I was there with Thom Park, a college roommate from my West Chester years. His son, Clint, a junior, was the starting quarterback for Villanova. Villanova shut out Delaware that day 27-0. Clint Park threw for 190 yards and a touchdown. Delaware natives Deon Jackson, a Villanova captain, and Shannon Riley were on that Wildcats defense. Thom Park was a lineman who played for West Chester (1966-70) that played Delaware every year without a win. We saw coach Tubby Raymond standing outside the Delaware locker room after the game. “Hey, Tubby, I played for West Chester. Clint Park is my son. We finally got you,” Thom said. Tubby responded in a relaxed tone, “I’m happy for you.” Tom was an adjunct professor of sports psychology at Florida State. Clint had quarterbacked at a small school, Florida Christian, in Tallahassee. His wide receiver was Tamarick Vanover, who went on to star at Florida State, then played in the NFL. Clint had a year left as the starting quarterback at Villanova, a school some call the Notre Dame of the east. But Clint elected to graduate (summa cum laude with a finance degree) and move on to graduate school, earning an MBA from UNC. Tubby’s quote to Lee Wagner of the Camden Courier-Post after the game: “It was a great performance by Villanova and a totally inept effort on our part.” Coach Raymond was a classic. Delaware lost to Villanova at home last Saturday 35-7. 

Snippets - Salesianum, winner of Division I state championships in cross country and soccer, will play Middletown in the other semifinal football game. If Salesianum, the No. 1 seed in Group 3, goes on to win the state title, they will have run the table in cross country, soccer and football. Getting together at NCAA field hockey Final Four weekend at the University of North Carolina were Sam Connors, Reagan Ciabattoni, Alia Marshall, Kate Austin and Tracey Greisbaum. Northwestern beat Duke 2-1 in the semifinals before losing to North Carolina 2-1 in an overtime shootout in the national championship game in front of 3,200 fans. Alia, a fifth-year senior, has a senior season option still on the table, but she must be in another sport. But for Thanksgiving she can re-lax. Go on now, git! 

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