Read option: If a coach you know writes a book, go read it

May 4, 2021

Read option - I just read “More Than One Goal” by Cape boys’ lacrosse coach Mark D’Ambrogi. The book can be purchased at Browseabout Books and on Amazon. And/or you can email Mark at Mark will sign the book for you unless you don’t want him to. I won’t copy any summaries or testimonies from the book’s back cover. I give the book a two thumbs up, but oddly my thumbs bend at the top. It’s amazing how some of us boys survive to be pretty decent people and leaders. The stories in the rearview mirror do not always reflect the pain and anguish the family went through waiting for a young man to get his head screwed on straight. I remember “Tough Cookie” Barbara Dougherty of Dewey – a high school teammate of Mark’s mom Mary Corrigan – saying to me, “Mark put his family through some adventures; so proud he was able to survive  them. I know at times he just drove Mary crazy.” Strap on your vintage lacrosse helmet, keep your head on a swivel and read Mark’s book. It helped me, and I’m a generation older. Understanding boys is a mystery because “grown-ass men” can regress to their boyhood behavior in the snap of a beer can tab. And hey, maybe we can have a book club meeting and discussion. Who knows, we may all have a story to tell, but Mark had the guts to tell his without holding back. Here’s a disclaimer: “All characters and events in this novel are fictional.” I remember telling my mother that regarding my stories and her saying, “No way. Nobody could make that stuff up, not even you.” The cover image is actually a young Mark walking across the field at Hopkins.

Polish Prince - I spoke with local loquacious character Larry Anderson – he’s a storytelling  yarn spinner – after Saturday’s boys’ lacrosse game. Larry said, “I can’t believe you have a grandson on the lacrosse team. Man, we must be getting old!” Then he said, “Did you know someone wrote a book about Bill Collick? It was the best book I ever read. The guy who wrote it is called the Polish Prince.” “Mr. Townsend & the Polish Prince: An American Story of Race, Redemption and Football” was written by coach Joe Purzycki with Mike Gastineau about his tenure as head coach of Delaware State football. I know the book alright, but didn’t have to read it because a year ago, a cadre of coaches which included Bill Collick, Herky Billings, Jeff Savage, John Coveleski and Fredman went to visit Dave Robinson. Joe Purzycki coached at Caesar Rodney when Robinson was the high school principal. It was like a book club meeting and I was the odd man out, so I just went along for the ride. 

Savage falls off ladder - Coach Jeff Savage would find this story funny like a country song, except the Delaware State Hall of Fame softball coach was severely injured. Jeff fell off a ladder in Tallahassee cleaning off the top of his RV, while back in Georgia, a tornado trashed his house, making it uninhabitable. According to his wife Cindy, Jeff broke his left arm in four places and had to have two plates and 13 pins installed. His right was also broken and had to be casted. He has a broken left scapula and a broken left ankle that required three screws; he shattered his left heel, tore his Achilles tendon and suffered lacerations to his head and right leg. Email for Jeff is Cindy plans to get Jeff a scooter and a leather jacket that says “Hoveround Hell’s Angels.” 

Depth perception - Lots of talk after Friday night’s girls’ lacrosse game between Sussex Academy and Cape Henlopen about the Seahawks having a “young team.” And so I took a close look at both rosters side by side. The Seahawks have 27 players on the varsity roster while the Vikings have 24. Sussex Academy graduates 10, while the Vikings graduate seven. Counting eighth- and ninth-graders on varsity, the Seahawks have seven while the Vikings have seven freshmen. Both schools have full JV teams, so the youth factor is even, which is good for the overall health and vibrancy of the sport.

Snippets - Delmar baseball is 8-3-1 on the season. They beat Cape 5-1 last week followed by an 8-7 win over Salesianum. Earlier in the season, the Wildcats beat Sussex Central 8-7. In Sussex County hardball, there are no easy outs. Sussex Central softball coach John Wells earned his 400th softball win May 1. He has three state titles to go along with two state titles in football. John has that Sussex County style of language efficiency. If it don’t need to be said, then John ain’t wasting words, and never on himself. And he rocks steady in the cargo shorts. Go on now, git! 


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