Rules of engagement - Conor unfurls banner to surprise Peyton

October 5, 2018

Peyton’s place - I’m the gramps guy taking thousands of finish photos at the Dogfish Dash, comfortably numb in my collapsable-at-any-moment blue chair. A crowd behind me cheered, but I did not ratchet my head around. “Fredman, you have to go get that picture,” a voice said from the crowd. A banner read: “Peyton will you marry me?” A brilliant touch by a young man who successfully made the rest of us guys look romantically lame by comparison. Peyton Farrall played soccer at Sussex Tech. Her now-fiancé Conor Matthews was also a soccer player for the Ravens and coach Carlos Villa. Both graduated in 2015, which makes them somewhere between 11 and 20 years old. Conor is a veteran of Henlopen Soccer travel ball. Peyton’s dad Ken Farrall was a state park ranger at Tower Road. Thanks to Joanne Bradley Murphy for the local lowdown on this story. Peyton ran 1:00:01 for the 8K, but it was the next second that changed the course of her life.

Walk like Bellino - I dropped the message: “I walk like Heisman Trophy winner Joe Bellino” (1960) on the sports information guy at Navy to see if I could drive onto the yard (campus) for Saturday’s women’s lacrosse fall jamboree that has Temple playing St. Joe’s, Navy, Arizona State and San Diego State. But my humor cut no cartilage; I’ll be parking at the football stadium and waiting for some lame shuttle bus with the rest of the commoners and commodores. I call these “I Love Lucy” episodes, just lots of 1950s confusion and annoyance. I expect to see Fred Mertz driving the bus. Temple football plays Navy at 3:30, but by then, to quote Marvin Gaye, “I wouldn’t be doggone, I’d be long gone.”

Time is not money - Listen up, Einsteins of the western world, when it comes to being a high school head coach, it is never about the stupid money. Anything called a stipend is not worth your time. I’ve been writing for 25 years that head coaches should get an extra planning period during the season to get done what needs to get done. If other teachers don’t like it, tell them to coach a team. When the late George Curry coached at Berwick High in Hazelton, Pa., I called my former Temple teammate just to say “Great career, coach, sorry I cheap-shotted you in practice in 1965.” The phone went to automation and options. “Dial 5 for Coach Curry.” Now that is making it at a public high school. No. 4 was the cafeteria, better known as the lunchroom in Sussex County. Do you know what professional athlete had the nickname Lunch? Manute Bol, the 7-foot-7 player from Sudan, who played for the Sixers. He was always fast-talking lunching about politics. Bol died in 2010 at age 47, leaving behind 10 children. Einstein to Bol in the same paragraph. I didn’t see that coming.

Snippets - Cape soccer (7-0) played at Sussex Tech on Thursday (after deadline). The Ravens were 3-2-1 going into the game. The last 10 matchups between these two rivals have Cape with a 5-4-1 advantage. Coach Scott Layfield of Sussex Tech and his big old rascal self gave me a ride on the gator Oct. 2 on my visit to cover a field hockey game. It was a collegial moment shared by guys in the business of kids. I have lots of coach friends at Sussex Tech, even though I’m perceived as Cape guy. October baseball is just the best. Imagine the Cubs losing both high-stakes games at home, putting Milwaukee and Colorado into the postseason. The Eagles failed on every big-play opportunity in their overtime loss to the Titans. Vikings are in Philly on Sunday for the late-afternoon game. I know how many drunks walk out of the stadium, so hopefully none of them are driving out of the parking lots. How many? I have no idea, that’s how many, but I know it’s a crooked number. The Cape football team and, I assume, the cheerleaders will be out in force Saturday morning to support the Buddy Walk. Sussex Tech soccer lost to Georgetown Prep at home Sept. 21 by a score of 5-1. Resident tuition at Georgetown Prep is $60,000 a year, and for that exclusivity, you can “get away for awhile” without eating a Snickers bar. Go on now, git!