Old war horse inspired by young athletes every day
Know the story, know the person - Left-handed Cape lacrosse goalie Michael Sposato moved from attack and was all-state as a sophomore. I first saw him play three years ago in the fall at DE Turf, and I was impressed. Cape lost in the state title game that year to Salesianum 12-10 as Michael had 7 saves. Cape was 13-5 that season. Michael shared some time with Carson Kammerer, who is his own inspirational story. Last season, transfer senior Evan Erhardt came to Cape and beat Michael out for the goalie position. With Erhardt in goal last season, Cape finished at 14-4 and lost to Salesianum 13-11 in the state final. Erhardt had 10 saves. “Sure, it was hard,” Michael said with a smile. “But you have to be a good teammate. You have to be positive. You have to stay ready.” Last fall, Michael was playing the last game of the day for his club team at DE Turf. He came out of the cage and was cross-checked. His knee buckled, and he later learned his ACL was torn and he would miss his senior year. "You can't change it,” he said. ''I will stay a part of this team. We are good enough to get back to the final game. Sometimes as an injured player, you know you are part of it, but it's not like playing,” he said. Michael is affable and interactive, and a pleasure to talk to. He told me his dad Tony tore his ACL his senior year at Salisbury. Michael has been accepted at Delaware and plans to walk on in the fall. He will major in agricultural business. After our sit-down in the school cafeteria he said, “Thanks for taking the time to talk to me and asking how I’m doing. It means a lot; it really does.”
Big puppy - If there’s anyone who doesn’t love Cape senior Jefferson Lopez, I don’t know them, and I don’t want to know them. He’s from El Salvador. English is his second language, but he hangs in there and makes you a better communicator. Every time I see him he says, “I miss seeing you. Thank you for taking my picture.” JV wrestling coach Shane Jensen said, “Jefferson had a JV pin that later became a TikTok sensation.” Jefferson lives at the intersection where comical meets lovable; his greatest trait is his graciousness. He is a manager for the boys’ lacrosse team. It’s very smart to keep a guy around whom everybody loves.
Wonder where the Lions are - At Queen Anne’s County High School this Friday night, the two best girls’ lacrosse teams on the Delmarva Peninsula over the last decade will play for the ninth time since 2013. The series is tied at four each, with Cape winning last year 9-8 in a battle of defending state champions. Both programs have sent players on to Division I programs. Five of the eight games have been decided by two goals or less.
Old war horse - I was walking across the turf of Legends Stadium Wednesday afternoon snapping photos of boys’ lacrosse practice and capturing blurred images of sprinters running 200-meter interval workouts. I was one week past my 77th birthday and one week post carpal tunnel surgery on my right wrist. I am somewhere between a diversion and an abutment, a slow-moving speed bump in the real-time action world of athletes. And then for no reason other than that I had transitioned from sedentary to slow-moving amped Gramps, my 17-inch lineman for life right calf suffered a muscle strain dead center. An old war horse is defined as an old, experienced athlete or politician who is still active. The good news is I am not a politician, but I do look worse than Biden descending the steps of Air Force One.
Snippets - The Cape golf team beat Smyrna 174-239. Cape freshman Kingston Davis was medalist, shooting 40 for 9 holes. Kingston wrestled at 144 for Cape and had a huge pin against Caesar Rodney at 36 seconds when the Vikings beat the Riders 39-33 Dec. 14. The grappling/golfing medalist athlete is a rarity, but both sports require mental toughness and focus. Congratulations to Woodbridge lacrosse coach Juan Saez for the Raiders’ 7-5 home win over Sussex Tech. Young Juan is hanging tough trying to grow the sport on the west side of Sussex County. Spring sports have settled in full force, and with middle schools about to commence play, there is somewhere to go and athletes to watch every day. Grandparents with folding chairs are mostly a middle school thing. Social justice lawyer Bryan Stevenson received the National Humanities Medal from President Biden March 21 at the White House. Bryan, a Cape guy, and The Boss (Bruce Springsteen) shared the same stage. This is America; this is your hometown. Go on now, git!