Jack McPike to be honorary captain for Cape Homecoming game

Brother Dan will stand in as Jack battles brain cancer in Tampa
October 12, 2018

Healing Hands - The Cape football team of 2018 has reached back a decade to touch tradition and to embrace 2009 quarterback Jack McPike, who was blindsided and sacked by an inoperable brain tumor called an Astrocytoma Glioma. Jack had passed out while driving May 6 due to “syncope” or loss of blood pressure. An MRI and biopsy followed, and the cancer was diagnosed May 9. Jack is 26 and living in Tampa. Ever since he quarterbacked at Beacon Middle School, Jack has looked like the cover boy for Quarterback magazine. Jack’s No. 11 jersey was sent to him over the summer. And last week a signed helmet and Cape polo shirt were Fed Exed to Kate Lingo, now living in Tampa. The helmet handoff (my idea) had to be Cape to Cape, Kate to Jack, to make it right, a touch of class from back home. And in Jack’s own words, “Medically, I try to take it all in stride. There’s no need to be mad or sad about something I can’t change or something I’m working on beating. Especially since I know how if my parents (mom especially), and siblings see me doing well, and don’t see me as sick or weak or anything like that, it helps them out as well since I think they were more hurt than me when this all happened. But really, it’s all been a mindset; as long as I can stay positive and beat this thing, nothing else in life can really be that bad. Makes you appreciate every little thing that much more.”

“And it really did mean a ton to have the team sign the helmet, and seeing Billy Ott’s name on there after last time I saw him he was maybe 7 or 8 years old at our practices. Coach Hardy, too [equipment manager], it was really special getting that from you, the team and the Lingos delivering it. And like you said, this is just another audible life is making me call, but you guys and all the support I have both here and back home are always making it easier. Hopefully this is the hardest audible life will make me call, but I know you guys will help me make the right one and I'll be able to look back and say ‘Is that all you've got?’”

Jack will be an honorary captain for the Homecoming game versus Milford at 7 p.m., Friday, Oct. 19. Jack is not permitted to fly, and his medical team wants him to stay close to Tampa, so his brother Dan, also a former Cape quarterback and coach, will stand in for Jack. A brief ceremony will occur before the game.

Compiler - The sports pundits are using the term “compiler” to diminish the milestone of Drew Brees, who set the all-time NFL record for passing yardage. The inference is, “not that talented, just posted big numbers over a lot of years.” I’m a sportswriting photographing compiler, knocking it out every week since 1982. That doesn’t mean I have talent; just means I’m relentlessly out there and won’t go home. Led Zeppelin just released a compilation of photos spanning a 50-year career in music; they are certainly compilers, but frankly, “Stairway to Heaven” gets on my nerves like the tower of Babel.

Snippets - The Lung Force Walk will take place at 10 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 14, at the Rehoboth Bandstand. Shelley Sentman Perry is co-chair, so if you have local roots, please show up. I will be there taking photos and counting local people. Given a choice between regular-season NFL football and playoff baseball, I choose baseball every time. Cape football, 1-4, will play at 3-2 Caesar Rodney on Friday night. It is the Riders’ Homecoming, a parade I’ve been caught in several times, although sometimes I’ve confused it with the Halloween parade, which doesn’t say much about the Homecoming Court. I’m joking of course; everybody’s beautiful their own way. Practices for winter sports begin Thursday, Nov. 15. Wrestlers are already in weekend tournaments and lifting, and basketball players never stop shooting. Showing up in shape is the only way to go out for a sport. Field hockey is already moving up to the halfway point of the season. Cape at Polytech was scheduled to be played Thursday, Oct. 11, but weather was threatening to change the schedule. Go on now, git!