Plaques in places no one ever sees unless invited or lost

Legends Stadium nominations close March 15
March 8, 2022

Housekeeping - The wrestling season ended Feb. 26. The gym is broken down. Mats are rolled up, with bigger ones hydraulically hoisted into the rafters. Trash cans are rolling toward dumpsters. All that remains are the 14 state champions, a few photographers and a smattering of family members. The wrestlers gather in the bleachers for a photo – two rows of seven. The image will be a keepsake and proof of a mission accomplished. Mikey Frederick and Lucas Ruppert brought the number of state champions for Cape to 23. Fourteen of those were coached by Chris Mattioni over his 26-year career. Other coaches in the mix are Dick Lynam, Bill Collick and Mike Dominguez. And there are individual plaques in the wrestling room for each state champion. “The Room” is a special place of honor. It’s an exclusive club that goes through those doors, and it’s that way at all schools that have wrestling teams. Cape went 50 years without a team state championship in wrestling, and now the Vikings have won two in a row, which is the only way you have a chance to win three.   

Legends Stadium - Nominations of coaches for inclusion into the Legends Stadium Ring of Honor will close Tuesday, March 15. No more than two nominees will be honored during each three-year selection cycle. There is no standing committee, but once established, it will include representatives from the Rehoboth, Lewes and Milton communities. Relatives of nominees will not be included on the committee. And once the committee establishes recommendations, there will be a presentation to the school board no sooner than June. This is odd, but I have a plaque lag bolted onto the wall of the field house, and the only person with clearance to remove it is Chief Custodian Bernie Bowden, who ran on my track teams in the early ’80s. If you know what I know – and many do – you know that all nominees are worthy, and there are as many as six and possibly more this election cycle.    

Shamrock Shuffle - Forty-one runners ran the 10-mile distance and another 73 ran the 5K Sunday morning at Cape Henlopen State Park. Dylan Smiley, 23, crushed the 10-mile course in 53:17. Sarah Richards, 37, was the women’s winner in 1:14:14. Mike Sewell, 52, won the 5K in 19:05. Kelsey Oliphant was the women's winner in 22:37. I waited for Leeann Waltz and Laurie Milnes to get back from their 10-mile walk/talk Shamrock Shuffle in 2:41:42 because I knew they’d be glad to see me. I was waiting at the finish line in a misty drizzle sheltered inside the cab of my Tundra. I am Temple tuff! 

Snippets - Evan Erhardt is a senior goalie on Cape’s boys’ lacrosse team. He transferred in from North Harford High School, where he played as a junior. His freshman and sophomore years, Evan played at John Carroll High School. “He is a really nice and respectful kid,” said coach Mark D’Ambrogi. And not only that, he is a really good player. Bennett Brumbley, an eighth-grader from Laurel, a runner and a wrestler, went 2-0 at kids scholastic states to win the championship. Bennett closed out his season 13-0, also a Henlopen Conference middle school champion at 145 pounds. Thirty-two boys tried out for the Cape volleyball team. Last year, there were 14 total players in the program. “Tryouts are still open for athletes who were maybe cut from other teams,” said coach Tyler Coupe. “We have six returning players and some pretty good athletes who are trying out for the first time. It’s going to be an exciting second season.” Cape will play a 14-game schedule and open at home Wednesday, March 23, hosting Concord. Congrats to Cape cheerleaders on their state championship last week. The last time I tumbled was backwards onto the garage floor while holding a pan of cold sauerkraut. Go on now, git!

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter