Senior Nights eventually evolve into Senior Citizen Nights
One last Senior Night - Athletes get one Senior Night for each sport played, but coaches and athletic directors experience Senior Nights that evolve into Senior Citizen Night. Cape’s five senior basketball players and three senior cheerleaders requested that retiring Cape Athletic Director Bob Cilento (14 years Cape and 46 years total) join a Senior Night 2020 group photo.
Give me a C - My sports world is like a game show. People wave me over to say hello then say, "You don't know who I am, do you?" I told this young man, “Give me one letter." He said "C.” Then I pounced, "John Cohen." I brought him back from 1984; that's 36 years ago. John was a tailback and basketball player. I told my wife, "I saw John Cohen." And she said, "Very smart kid is what I remember." John works for a company that installs and repairs drawbridges. My mentor in sportswriting, the late Dick Dougherty of the Bucks County Courier Times, drilled into me, "Never forget the athletes who crossed your path, and always remember what they did. You have a responsibility to carry their history and keep it alive. It's important to them, so make sure it's important to you.”
Calm and crazy - Smyna’s double-decker gym was two-mat mayhem Feb. 15, with deuces wild and state championships the prize. Smyrna battled Milford on Mat 1, while Caravel grappled with Woodbridge on Mat 2. There were more freestyle roars than feeding time inside the big cat house at the Philly Zoo. Tim O’Hara of Milford was locked in battle with Isaiah Jenkins of Smyrna at 138. Both wrestlers are complete; tough on their feet and up and down. Jenkins rolled his ankle. He tried to continue, but coach Aaron Harris said, “No, Isaiah, this match is over.” There were coaches and trainers to help Jenkins off the mat. O’Hara found an opening and gave Jenkins a hug. I sent the picture out and the word came back, O’Hara and Jenkins are two fine young men to have in your building and on your team.
Behavior interventionist - Milford Central Academy was rocking Feb. 16, as the DJ was “In-To-It,” like that was his actual name. I thought John Martin, the announcer, was saying “Inuit” like “Quinn the Eskimo” aged out of the igloo and decided to spin records at middle-latitude basketball games. During one interlude from on-court action, MCA cheerleading coach Stephanie Dukes, who works as a behavior interventionist at MCA, came loose and started doing a sit-down dance. The cheerleaders burst into smiles and happiness. It reminded me of the line, “Discipline is not what you do to somebody but for somebody.”
Snippets - There are college athletes connected to local muppets here at Sesame Street by the Sea that may randomly and haphazardly find their way into this column, but I’m not an all-inclusive list maker because it’s no fun and I’m not any good at it. Caroline Donavan (Archmere), playing in her first college lacrosse game, scored two goals for William and Mary, but the Tribe lost to Villanova 16-12. Austin Elliott (Cape), coming off a freshman redshirt season, pitched a scoreless ninth inning for North Carolina in the season-opening 15-3 win over Middle Tennessee. Jamie Trabaudo (Polytech), a redshirt junior lacrosse player at North Carolina who has rehabbed her way onto the field after two ACL surgeries, saw action in the Tar Heels’ wins over High Point and Davidson. Madi Bada (Sussex Tech), a junior playing lacrosse for the East Carolina Pirates, saw action in the first two games of the season. I have received column advice over the years not to mix politics and sports, and I think staying funny is a better play for me than being the serious social conscious guy. I just stepped away from the Trump visit to the Daytona 500, like I did from the Langhorne Speedway dirt track back in 1960 when the start sandblasted my face while I was sitting trackside under the bleachers. “Kid’s a moron,” I heard as I tracked home like a lost mongrel without a dog license. Go on now, git!