In Wawa, there are no legends and no MVPs

A legend of lax walks the grass fields in Rehoboth

July 28, 2017

Lax legend - I had John Zulberti and Mark Duncan pose for a photo at the GameBreaker lacrosse camp. Duncan is the director and a former Lehigh player who is longtime friends with Zulberti. Zulberti just dropped in for a couple of camp sessions. He was a four-time All-American attacker at Syracuse 1986-89. The Orange were NCAA champions in 1988 and 1989. Zulberti won the Jock Turnbull Award as the nation’s top attackman in 1988 and 1989. No bigger name in college lacrosse has ever walked a field in Sussex County. I asked John, "How does any of that help you when you stop at a local Wawa?" He said, “Not at all, but someone in Baltimore may buy me a beer if I'm recognized, which I never am."

The Lost Trophy - Zulberti was quoted in the making of the ESPN documentary, “The Lost Trophy.” “It’s buried under the dome,” he told the filmmakers. But what he told me was, “If I tell you, I have to kill you.” I told John, “You don’t have to tell me because I know you know where it is, and you guys from The Cuse did so much for the sport that it’s fitting there’s a trophy that only players know its location.” Syracuse went undefeated in 1990 and won the national championship. The Gait brothers, Paul and Gary, were on that team, and many consider them the most prolific players in college history. The title was vacated when the NCAA discovered that Linda Simmons, wife of coach Roy Simmons Jr., had cosigned a car loan for Paul Gait and his wife. That made Paul ineligible for the season. The team was 42-1 over three years. The trophy sat inside the Ernie Davis Room in the Carrier Dome and when athletic director Jake Crouthamel went to retrieve it, he discovered it was gone. It has never been found.

Funny girl - “Kids say the darndest things,” to quote Art Linkletter, a legend of early television. Moving through GameBreaker lacrosse camp, Erin Morgan, 10, told me she was the ultimate defender, adding, “I play goalie.” “Wow, you are brave,” I said. “I have to be, I have six brothers - five are younger and four play lacrosse. And I guess I have an older sister, Ashley, who is actually a cat, a Russian Blue; well, mostly that’s what she is. She’s my mom’s cat. She actually saw me being born.” Erin, you had me at ultimate defender and started to lose me at Ashley the Cat. A cool kid going into sixth grade at Sussex Academy.

Snippets - Timmy Vitella placed second in the 18-and-under division at the Internacional de Skimboard competition that took place in Santa Cruz, Portugal, July 22-23. Talk about travel sports. Going across the ocean due east out of Lewes will land you in Portugal. Go the other way, you land in North Korea.

Dave Robinson, on the road to recovery, used a walker and guided by Aleida Gomez of Elite Fitness walked 100 yards on the Boardwalk. The news came to me by group text. The first name I saw was Brian, I figured it was Donohue, decompressing after retiring as Cape principal.

Mike Judy, Smyrna football, and Freeman Williams, Caesar Rodney basketball, were recently inducted into the Wesley College Sports Hall of Fame. A couple of great guys, teachers who coach, both good for kids. Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones lost a diamond stud earring worth $100K while jet skiing in Georgia’s Lake Lanier. I had no idea Bob Lanier had a lake named after him. Lanier wore the biggest shoe (big shoe dance) in the history of the NBA, a specially made size 22.

The Major League Baseball trading deadline is Monday. I’m liking the Yankees to pick up a big-time player, either Manny Machado or Giancarlo Stanton. I’d take Stanton because Manny is too moody.

The U.S. women’s national field hockey team beat Germany in South Africa to win the Fédération Internationale de Hockey world league, whatever that means. Maren Ford Langford of Lewes was along as team manager, but the bigger question is who was managing Maren? Maren is a volunteer coach at Michigan, where her husband Ryan is a paid assistant. Maren played at Princeton and was a former member of the U.S. National Team. I first saw her play shortstop in Lewes Little League when she was 12, which has little relevance to anyone except for the two of us.

Practices for fall sports begin Tuesday, Aug. 15. Athletes should make sure they have an up-to-date physical, parent permission and proof of insurance, and aren’t 20 years old.

Go on now, git!