Pleasant weather means all athletes are in season

Cape wrestling pins 84-0 loss on Dover
January 6, 2023

Pleasant like a pheasant - I trucked around the Cape campus Tuesday afternoon like a fair-weather Fred in search of atmospheric photo opportunities. Every field and sport was covered except swimming – no pool – because, “With all this water around here, we don’t need a dang swimming pool.” There were more than a hundred athletes hovering around the track, a soccer game on one Bermuda field and razzle-dazzle football on another. There was a freshmen basketball game behind curtain No. 1 in the Big House gym, unified basketball practice behind another and JV wrestling practice behind yet another. The weight room was stuffed with football guys and coaches, while inside the wrestling room, grapplers were bouncing off the padded walls. Adding irony to the ecstasy, Champions Stadium with its 25 state championship signs was locked up like an electric substation, which is no deterrent to limber laxers with their head on a swivel.  

Mercy Mercy Me - The Cape wrestling team won at Dover Wednesday 84-0 behind 12 pins and two forfeits. Cape winners and pinners were Tripp Gannon (106), Cale Baker (113), Holt Baker (126), Nicolas Walker (132), Josh Wright (138), Andrew Schaen (150), Hayden Wheeler (157), Jeffrey Rainer (165), C.J. Fritchman (175), Luke Arnold-Decyk (190), Alex Taylor (215) and Sean Costello (285). Rony Perez-Mejia (120) and Kingston Davis (144) received forfeits. In other Power Five action, Sussex Central beat Milford 66-6, Smyrna beat Polytech 54-15 and Caesar Rodney beat Sussex Tech 62-12. Cape’s injured Luke Bender is on the verge of rejoining the lineup. Cape will compete in the Iron Horse Duals at C.M. Milton Wright High School in Maryland Jan. 6-7. The Vikings will host Smyrna Wednesday, Jan. 11. 

Looking for trouble - Sports cliché: “If you want to be the best, you’ve got to play the best.” Athletes’ response: “Yeah, but daggone, coach, how about a couple of breathers sprinkled with a few laughers?” The Cape boys’ lacrosse spring schedule is ambitious and formidable, with games at Episcopal Academy and LaSalle College HS in Pennsylvania, Gilman School of Maryland, and Delaware rivals Salesianum and Sanford. A home heavyweight includes Maryland’s Sts. Peter and Paul. The springtime mission of the Cape boys’ lacrosse team is to make the final four, then make a run at the state title. Cape has played in the last three state finals. There was no season in 2020.

Gracious Craig - Craig Holm came up to Tim Bamforth after running the Race into the New Year, thanking Tim for putting on an excellent race for all runners, including the kids. Tim said to me, “That's Craig Holm. You know that name?” I responded with my usual grace and aplomb, “You damn Skippy I do.” Craig was inducted into the Delaware Track & Field Hall of Fame in 2019. He’s a Cornell graduate (1976) via McKean High School (1972). In 1985, he ran the Chicago Marathon in 2:14:43 and set a New Jersey state record of 2:17 in the marathon in 1979. Craig ran a 4:09 mile while at Cornell and still holds the record for the fastest half-marathon run in Delaware (1:04:54), set in 1982. Craig, now 68, ran 29:30 at the Race into the New Year. Craig and his wife Kristin now live in Rehoboth. Craig mentioned he had a 1970 GTO fully restored by the late Doug White, the dean of Delaware distance running.

Landscape changes - When we Freds came to Lewes in 1975, the only landscaper I knew was Chris Valenti, also a powerlifter. I dubbed him The Shrub Snatcher. Now in 2023, to quote my late friend Bruce Hefke, “You can hardly swing a dead cat without hitting a landscaper in the head.” Transition time: the sports landscape changed dramatically with the onset of travel ball, which is all about chasing the showcasing and early nonbinding verbal commitments specifying no monies. It has me transitioning from perplexed to flummoxed. I honestly don’t know what to make of any of it. A “guaranteed roster spot” a year or two down the road on a college team you verbally committed to seems sketchy. Whatever happened to tryouts? 

Snippets - The Delaware State men’s basketball team is currently 1-11. They are a Division I program and play good teams like Villanova and Connecticut. Stan Waterman, former Sanford High School head coach, is at the helm for the Hornets. The program has been chewing up coaches for years. Cory “Booder” Barnes, straight out of Mariner, is a sophomore on the Hornets’ roster. The women’s team is 2-9 with losses to teams like Michigan State, Michigan, West Virginia and Drexel. Cape’s Julia Saleur, who signed to play at Delaware State, opted to return to France, according to coach Pat Woods. 


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