Keep your headgear handy and be ready to get back out there
El smacko - I was an embedded Fred with photo cred working inside the state wrestling tournament over three nine-hour days. And I’m all about it. I’m happy a wrestling season happened. It is an example of real people with enthusiasm for kids and sports. Emotionally, wrestling can be a mule kick to the face. I saw so many “blood round” bouts turn on a dime, from getting pinned while in the lead to losing it in the final seconds or in overtime. I have a dog in the fight – Mikey Dog – and he can take care of himself. We all just support him, then stay out of his way and let the coaches coach or console, whatever they think is best. And that’s where good coaches are worth their weight in gold ... and somewhere in there is a joke. I’ve watched Dylan Knight of Caravel since he was in middle school. He has lost two state finals in high school, the last to Jack Thode of Milford on a triple overtime escape. But there are no tales of “woe is me” in wrestling. If you don’t want to be in that position, then don’t let yourself get there. It’s hard to find commiseration outside the circle. Trent Grant of Milford, a great kid, was all but gone to Danny Sinclair of William Penn, but found a takedown in the final seconds to win 13-11. William Penn coach Joe Archangelo is a guy you want in your kid’s corner. As soon as the bout was over he said, “Great season, Danny.'' Cape's 152-pounder C.J. Fritchman lost in the finals 3-2 to Alex Poore of Caravel. Poore’s neutral position is a knee or both on the mat, plus he is cat-quick and cagey. C.J. was disappointed he never really got into his offense. Kevin Hudson of CR won his third state title at 285 pounds. Kevin is a muscular ball of calculated quickness. He beat Cape’s Lucas Ruppert 5-3 in the finals. Kevin wins by not making mistakes. And the featured bout at 160 between two-time defending state champions Joe Natarcola of Smyrna and Nicholas Hall of Caravel went to overtime, with Joey getting the match-winning takedown. There are a hundred more stories of sudden victories secured in the tournament, and those who get punched in the face better put on their headgear again, because they are going back out there.
Annoying chatter - Some coaches are too loud – goes for all sports – rolling out incessant chatter that is not always positive for the athletes from the other team. And we all know who they are. School-aged athletes are mildly freaked out by adults who yell stuff about them during a game or match. In my opinion, there should be an unsportsmanlike warning followed by a penalty, free base, man up or sending the coach to the bus. There were fans in the stands for the wrestling finals at Cape – each athlete was allowed two guests – and those fans were vocal and mostly all good, but sports crowds are never all good; this isn’t math league. Now the Euclid Society will be coming after me, and like I say, “Ptolemy and gone tomorrow.”
Lopsided and skewed up - I still do manual long column addition to see if I need any memory medication or if I need to get a life before it’s too late. I tabulated that 15 first-round games in the girls’ basketball tournament were won by an average of 33 points per game. The boys’ game is pretty lame in the bottom bracket of skill as well. Back in the ’70s, Cape’s All-Hall team would make noise in the state tournament; they had learned how to play on the courts, but never cared to learn how to stay eligible.
Busting loose bracket - By late Monday, we will know the scenario. The Cape girls host Woodbridge on Friday night, while Delmarva Christian plays at Conrad. The two survivors play Monday at 6:30 p.m., at the home of the higher seed. Don’t pencil anyone in. Don’t chew your eraser, because you may need it.
Snippets - All spring teams at Cape are enjoying large turnouts. Watched the girls’ lacrosse mile run time trial and was impressed by Riley Keen who ran 7:30, over a minute better than last season. She will be a beast on crease attack for Cape this season. Go on now, git!