Post-game celebrations are not always cool for the gang of players

November 14, 2023

Good gracious - I am not a fan of staying on the field for the post-game presentation of the championship trophy and awarding of individual medals. And I’m really not a fan of runner-up trophies where competitive athletes and coaches are expected to show graciousness and sportsmanship in the immediate aftermath of crushing disappointment. Chasing the winners with cameras held high in the air as they dogpile before players chorus line skip toward their happy fans in the stands makes me feel like Cape’s grandpa groupie muppet from Sesame Street by the Sea. Cape’s rockin’ rollerball 1-0 blue-collar win over Smyrna closed out an intense and tension-filled game. Athletes were motivated to snag that trophy to put in the team bus  before cruising into their lives with an everlasting, always-close-to-the-surface memory. Smyrna coach Loveita Moffett, flanked by players Dru Moffett and Halle Geiger, graciously accepted the runner-up trophy with smiles and no tears. And what an insanely great season they had (15-0), which included wins over Delmar and Cape. Newark Charter, the No.1 seed in the Division II tournament, was cat-nipped by the Wildcats of Delmar 6-0, yet the Patriots were smiling and happy during the post-game protocols, and their large fan base who had arrived enthused stayed the course.  

“Where you at?” I missed three sporting events last Saturday, including the Nicola Pizza 5K race, the DIAA Cross Country Championships and Cape football’s 35-7 win over St. Georges to secure a 7-3 season record. I did show up for two state championship field hockey games, spending five hours circling the pitch at Fred Rullo Stadium at the University of Delaware. I did notice there are people representing specific sports who talk a good game but don’t go to games, and I can only ask, “Where you at?” 

Small step a giant leap - Cape soccer will play Charter School of Wilmington at Milford Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the Division I semifinals of the state tournament. Charter had a 13-2 regular-season record, losing to Salesianum 2-0 and Delcastle 3-2. Sallies and Delcastle will play in the other semifinal game at Caravel. In 2013, a Cape team coached by Gary Montalto lost in the semifinals to Appoquinimink 1-0 on a goal by Yucef Basma at the 78-minute mark. That Cape team had a regular season record of 14-1. Go to to look up a talented roster from a decade ago. 

Snippets - There are two Cape field hockey alumni in the NCAA Division I field hockey semifinals, as Northwestern (Alia Marshall) will play Duke (Reagan Ciabattoni) at 3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 17. North Carolina will play Virginia in the other semifinal. The attendance for the Delaware Field Hockey Championships was roughly 800 for the Division II game, then a different crowd of a thousand shuffled in for the Division I title game. The NCAA quarterfinal games Nov. 12 averaged fewer than 500 fans. Marshall contributed two fourth-quarter assists in Northwestern’s 3-2 comeback win over Louisville. Marshall, an inserter on corners, has 23 assists on the season. Darby Klopp (Cape), a senior field hockey player at Franklin & Marshall, was selected to the All-Centennial Conference first team. It was the third time Darby made the all-conference team. Anna Stancofski of Swarthmore College was also a first-team selection. Olivia Montini, a sophomore cross country runner at Swarthmore College, earned all-region status and qualified for NCAA championships by running a personal-best 22:11 at the Metro Championships. The collegiate distance for women is 6K or 3.7 miles. The NCAA Division III championships are Saturday, Nov. 18, in Carlisle, Pa. Luke Bender (Cape), wrestling for Franklin & Marshall, made a strong impression in his collegiate debut at 149 pounds. He needed just 3:39 to pick up a technical fall during his first match. He later added a 6-0 shutout and second technical fall to his F&M debut. Luke, a two-time Delaware state champion, also lost a pair of matches, begging the question, “Who beats Bender?” Cape’s field hockey coach Kate Windett Austin has now been the head coach of 10 state championship teams. Coach Debbie Windett won a state title in 2004 as the head coach of Caesar Rodney. Salesianum won the Division I cross country state championship Saturday and is a major threat – perhaps the favorite – to win the Division I soccer title and Group 3 football title. If the Sals run the table in boys’ fall sports championships, expect the usual backlash of questions: “Just who are these people and how is this fair?” A great answer is to just go out and beat them. Go on now, git!     


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