Seaford High gym will be named after Ben Sirman

Jack Lingo inducted into Virginia Wesleyan Lax Hall of Fame
December 24, 2021

The Ben Pen - The Seaford School District Board of Education has voted to name the Seaford High gymnasium Ben Sirman Gymnasium. Ben, a Swarthmore alumnus, was athletic director for 20 years, during which time the Blue Jays won 99 titles encompassing division, conference and state. Ben served with such legendary coaches as Ron Dickerson, Dave Baker, John Hollis, Tom Pegelow, Len Chasnov, Ron Kaiser, Ted Sheppard, Scott Morgan, Vince Morris, George Schenck, Rob Perciful and Norman Poole.  Some of the women were Mackie Wilmer, Betty Tull, Ruth Morgan and Robin Verdery. Seaford during those glory years was always a fun place to visit, but a tough place to win. Ben received the Herm Reitzes Award for service to sports presented by the Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association in 2009.  

Tkach sharp - Coach Mike Tkach, still helping with softball at Cape, submitted his papers to retire his certification as an athletic trainer after 31 years. Mike has worked with the best, from the professional levels down through college and high school. You can check out Mike’s long thank you note on his Facebook page. I don’t understand why Mike doesn’t declare himself trainer emeritus and just resubmit his certification. I'm sure he can still spell gastrocnemius, but labrums and ligaments along with calcifying cartilage and concussions versus percussions – it’s all new age complicated. 

Jack Lingo hall of fame - Cape lacrosse coach Jack Lingo was inducted into the Virginia Wesleyan Hall of Fame Dec. 11. Jack is a face-off specialist, which is appropriate. As a soccer goalie and a lacrosse midfielder at Cape,  Jack mostly led with his head and didn’t seem to feel the pain. Jack’s VWU Hall of Fame bio reads: “Lingo was a three-year captain and named a two-time ODAC All-Conference honoree garnering first-team accolades in 2001 and second-team in 2000. In 2001, Lingo was nominated to participate in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association North/South College All-Star Game. Lingo led the South in scoring with three goals and one assist.” Jack was on the first Cape lacrosse team to reach the state finals (1995, lost to Sallies 12-6) and was head coach in 2014 when Cape won the state title over Sallies 9-7.

Beast mode - Amanda Atkinson was a lone wolf, beast mode athlete in high school. From field hockey to soccer to ROTC, Amanda was pleasantly tough. I remember her playing midfield for Cape hockey in an all-day play day one Saturday at Polytech, then showing up at Sussex Tech that night to play in the championship soccer game of the Sussex County Hispanic League. Amanda was crazy good as a midfielder on the 2014 state championship field hockey team that posted a 19-0 perfect record. Amanda is like a four-wheel drive Army Jeep with no reverse on the transmission. The Defense Visual Information Distribution Service issued this release: “Fort Stewart, Ga. – Second Lt. Amanda Atkinson, assigned to the ‘Gila Battalion,’ Ninth Brigade Engineer Battalion, Second Armored Brigade Combat Team, Third Infantry Division, at Fort Stewart graduated the U.S. Army Ranger School on Dec. 10 at Fort Benning, making her the first female soldier in the Third ID and fifth in the Army to obtain both the Ranger and Sapper tab. Atkinson had already graduated the Sapper Leader Course on July 2, 2019, at Fort Leonard Wood, Mo., but now became the 94th female to graduate Ranger School, earning the right to wear both tabs – known as ‘double-tabbed.’”    

Snippets - Katie Klabe, a standout field hockey and lacrosse player at Cape graduating in 2017, has just graduated from the University of Delaware and will be teaching at Love Creek Elementary for the rest of the school year. The Cape wrestling team will compete at the Gov. Mifflin Holiday Tournament Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 29 and 30. Gov. Mifflin is in Shillington, Pa. (south of Reading), home of acclaimed author John Updike. The Cape girls will play Westtown School (Pa.) in the Slam Dunk Tournament at 3:30 p.m., Monday, Dec. 27. Early deadline: Cape was scheduled to wrestle Dec. 22 at Caravel with multiple starters out of the lineup, evidently no place on schedule to move the meet. My suggestion, “How about drag it to the trash can?” did not receive favorable consideration, or in fact any consideration. Merry Christmas to all the local muppets who have found safe harbor at Sesame Street by the Sea. I am closing out 40 years as a local columnist who never missed a deadline. We are all cousins, even if just our dogs are related. Go on now, git! 


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