Jaden Messick enjoys birthday 16 running the track with his buddies

Josh Reinhold stepping up at Christopher Newport
March 3, 2023

Ain’t that tough enough? Jaden Messick, a sophomore, wore No. 1 in football as a 160-pound defensive back. He would come up and lay the smackdown on a runner; the harder the collision, the happier Jaden would react. It was cold Monday for the first day of spring sports practices, but Jaden and his trackmates were warming up and happily mugging for the camera. Feb. 27  was Jaden’s 16th birthday. If I had only known, I’d have brought him a cupcake. Cape boys’ and girls’ track has been a popular spring sport since the school was launched in 1969, amassing 17 state titles. 

Captain Reinhold - The Christopher Newport baseball team in Newport News, Va., is currently 10-1 on the season and ranked 18th in Division III. Freshman Josh Reinhold (Cape) has started 10 games at shortstop for the Captains and is batting .324 with an .853 OPS. Josh was captain of the baseball and swim teams his senior season at Cape and was the starting and winning pitcher when Cape clinched the baseball state championship in 2022. Josh received the prestigious Kevin Kennedy Award his senior season at Cape. He is majoring in business. Starting at shortstop required Josh to step up, then step across the second base bag to complete the double play. You have to be a legit athlete to start at shortstop on any college baseball team.

Bearcat Brody - Brody McMahon, a senior long pole defenseman for the Bearcats of St. Vincent's College in western Pennsylvania, was voted the Presidents’ Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week Feb. 21. St. Vincent’s is 3-0 on the season with wins over Ohio Wesleyan 11-8, Juniata 17-8 and Mount Union 10-6. 

Fitness tradition - P.J. Kesmodel set the Cape standard 14 years ago: a player must run a mile in under 7:30 (goalies are exempt) to be considered a varsity candidate. On March 1, the girls’ lacrosse hopefuls broke into two groups, then ran a timed mile. Cape players are always fit, but in the sport of lacrosse, you run more like a jaguar and less like an antelope. I’ve never known a lacrosse or field hockey player who could play the game but not meet the standards to be kept off the field of play. If you can run all day, but can’t catch and throw, your quality game time will be limited. 

Snippets - Cape senior wrestlers Holt Baker (126), Josh Wright (138), Andrew Schaen (150), Luke Bender (157), C.J. Fritchman (175) and Alex Taylor (190) will close out their Cape careers this weekend at the DIAA state championships held at Cape Henlopen High School. Other Cape wrestlers in the field are Tripp Gannon (106), Cale Baker (113), Max Meadows (120), Nick Walker (132), Brady Cole (144), Hayden Wheeler (165) and Patrick Donahue (215). Langston University men’s basketball is No. 5 in the country in the NAIA division. The team is 29-2 and recent winner of the Sooner Athletic Conference after an 80-68 victory over Wayland Baptist of Texas. Jon Warren, former Cape  player, is an assistant coach with the Langston University Lions. The NAIA National Championship Tournament begins Tuesday, March 7. Langston is the only HBCU in Oklahoma. NAIA is considered similar to Division II in the NCAA. Indian River boys’ basketball advanced to the second round of the state tournament with a 46-42 win over Lake Forest behind Brendon Bradford’s 19 points. Brendon’s mom, Jen Murphy Wheeler, is a former student and player at Cape. The Indians were scheduled to play at No. 3 Howard Thursday, March 2. Kealey Allison scored a goal as St. Leo’s lacrosse beat Georgian Court 14-6. On Feb. 6, the Millersville women’s basketball team (Morgan Mahoney, Cape) defeated Kutztown (Abbey Hearn, Cape) 71-62. It may be the first time two Cape teammates played against each other in a women’s college basketball game. If not, I'll hear about it, which is my plan. Kutztown (15-15) lost to Shippensburg 72-55 in the quarterfinals of the PSAC tournament. Hearn had five points and three rebounds. Millersville (18-12) lost its PSAC quarterfinal game to the Golden Rams of West Chester 76-61. The game at Hollinger Field House on the campus of West Chester attracted a crowd of 309 spectators. Cape athletes across the sports enjoy nice crowds and unrelenting media coverage; those who move to the next level quickly realize that the best part of that world was left behind in high school. Go to DIAA websites, then click on individual wrestling to purchase paperless tickets through Go Fan. Go on now, git! 


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