Legends Stadium inductions set for Friday night

Gino Giant or Big Mac, the past is prologue
October 28, 2022

Dropping the F words - Fall foliage, the flora and fauna colorized, young thinclads running down a dream, part of a school cross country team, the joy found in the spaces in between. Cross country is the purest of sports. There is certainly pain in the game and yet post race the athletes always seem happy, like kids being sprung from Sunday church services and heading toward the bakery. But I can only reflect on my own childhood.   

Legends game - Cape’s Friday night home football game starts at 7:15 p.m. and is billed as a Legends game on the school website. Coaches Bill Collick, P.J. Kesmodel, Janet Maull-Martin and George Pepper will be inducted into the Legends Stadium Ring of Honor during a ceremony that begins at 6:45. I am the Cape plaque drape remover for the Zen Master coach P.J. Kesmodel, which is quite an honor for the man P.J. calls Mr. Field Hockey. Former athletes are encouraged to show up for the ceremony in support of their legendary coaches. That means more to them than any plaque on the wall, at least one would hope so. 

Crooked numbers - Cape cross country assistant coach Rob Perciful said to me at Wednesday's Sussex County Cross Country Championships, “I hope God lets me coach five more years; that will give me 50, and I’ll be 72 years old, then I can retire.” I calculated that in five years, Rob would be four years younger than I am right now. I wanted to break the “You can tell it, but not sell it” realities of longevity. Our stories always contain anachronistic terms like Gino Giants, which is why I take pictures that are worth a thousand words and you don’t have to talk. 

I’m smart and experienced, yet clueless - I talked with Cape volunteer assistant coach Tracey Griesbaum immediately after the Vikings’ hard-fought 6-1 win over an athletic and aggressive Caesar Rodney team. The game was uncomfortably close 2-1 with four minutes left in the third period. Tracey, a former Big Ten Coach of the Year at the University of Iowa, unspooled a quick analysis of the Riders’ defensive posture. Then I added my insight, “For sure. For sure.” 

Basking to baseball - The 2022 National League pennant flag is flying at “The Bank,” but, “I wanna watch the World Series, Nurse Ratched.” (“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” 1975 film) Friday night football and World Series baseball are a fall classic blending of contrasting sports. I’ll be at the Cape game Friday night, which starts at 7:15. The Phillies at Houston game begins at 8:03. Big wins last forever, but are gone in an instant. Time for the Phillies puffer fish fans to exhale and go to battle stations. This is a generational experience. 

Snippets - Mariner Middle School field hockey (9-0) will host Chipman (7-0-1) at 3:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 28. Mariner (8-0) will then play unbeaten Beacon at Champions Stadium at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 1. The B game will follow. Beacon and Mariner soccer, both 6-2, will play at Legends Stadium on the same night. A smart coach does not look for an enemies list to share with their team, whether it’s officials or media or DIAA administrators or another school. Just coach them up, and instill a sense of sportsmanship and fairness. Speaking of sportsmanship, there are some strong teams that deliver regular beatdowns on teams that can’t hang. I once told a coach, “You know what’s worse than playing in a 48-0 football game? Not playing it; that goes for either team.” Cape’s 1-0 soccer win at Caesar Rodney Tuesday night got Jenny Craig off the backs of Cape soccer. I wrote the following in a 2017 column ... Ali! Ali! Talking Turkey! Cape’s 11-1 soccer team will host Caesar Rodney (8-2) Oct. 17 at Champions Stadium in a game likely to determine the Henlopen Conference Championship. Back before the magic carpet covered the Cape pitch, assistant coach Ali – a former starting goalie on the Turkish National Team – was standing in for Randy Redard who was serving a one-game suspension. Bud Hitchens was the athletic director and was there on the sidelines. In a scoreless second half, deep in the game, a CR striker was pulled down – or took a dive – and the Riders were awarded a penalty kick. Ali went full boat over the waterfall of self-restraint. “I kill you! I kill you!” he yelled at the ref in a heavily accented voice. The ref was like, “What?” Hitchens intervened, “Ali, you can’t say that!” The Cape students were chanting, “Ali Bomaye! Ali Bomaye!” taken from the Ali/Foreman fight, which literally means “Ali kill him!” It was so much fun, but the CR player made the kick and the Cape quest for a conference championship continued unfulfilled. Back to present-day happenings, Pop Warner football games are to be held at Cape’s Legends Stadium Saturday, Oct. 29. Go on now, git! 


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