Sept. 9 cross country festival at Killens Pond to showcase 18 teams

Racing begins at 10 a.m.; get your park pass ready
September 8, 2017

Fall foliage - The Lake Forest Invitational cross country festival at Killens Pond this Saturday at 10 a.m. includes 18 teams over two divisions with varsity and JV races. Cross country is the purest of sports, filled with sportsmanship and inspiring young people. It really is quite beautiful; you just have to open your eyes. Cape had a huge turnout of 70 this preseason, and they should have a pretty good team for both boys and girls. I coached a Cape team to a state cross country championship in the fall of 1977 - I’m counting on my fingers by tens - that is 40 years ago. No wonder I can’t sell my story in casual conversations. Top runners were Lance White, Glen Smith, Nick Miller, Linwood Downing, David Lewis, Phil Wilson, Jeff Jones and Ronnie Wright. 

Saturation index - This weekend is the first full-boat weekend of way too much football, from high school and college to endless professional games, followed by relentless chatter, analyzing what already happened and its impact on the greater society. I strafe games on television like a pilot doing touch-and-goes off the aircraft carrier deck. I have found that listening to Pandora Radio while watching the Red Zone channel with the sound turned down and simultaneously playing on social media justifies me riding the swivel chair for hours at a time. “Crumbs on the Keyboard” and “My Remote is Dope” are chapters in my upcoming memoir, “Working While Others Play.”

Play one, skip two - “We just play them one at a time.” “Thanks, coach, but I’m a sportswriter, and I don’t have to follow that rule. I can pencil in a win before the game is played because I’m not accountable.” There is an adage in sports, “You just never know,” which implies that mostly you do know, and, yes, there are upsets of a crazy nature, but I think they are more rare in high school than in college or the pros. Although, I must admit, I stopped coaching because I couldn’t stand the thought of losing - not my team losing, but me losing. It was personal. Many great coaches are motivated by the unacceptability of losing, what sports psychologists call fear.

Soccer showdown - In September last fall, upstart Sussex Academy soccer had Cape on the brink at home, taking the Vikings to overtime before Cape’s Troy Humphries scored in the 98th minute for a 1-0 Vikings victory. Adam Krim from Sussex Academy had an insane 28 saves in that game. And Krim is back with a decent roster behind him, so this Friday night, Sept. 8, at 6:30 p.m. at Legends Stadium we will find out what time it is. Should be a great game.

Caper Tigers - Cape Henlopen football has won the last four games versus Cape May by a composite score of 175-34. This Saturday, I’d give the Tigers “no chance,” which is why I’m covering cross country and Pop Warner, and letting Dan Cook enjoy the bay crossing. But in 2010 at Cape May, no chance turned into fat chance. During warmups, with the sounds of Philly playing on the PA, I noticed that Cape May coaches were doing all the right things, and I saw athletes, lots of them. I told coach Bill Collick, “It’s a trap, coach, and I don’t mean guard trap. They can play. I can sense it.” Cape May won 25-3, dominating physically. I still remember a Caper defensive tackle carrying a blocker then throwing him into the ball carrier, you know, just to send a message. Having said all that, I think Cape Henlopen wins by 30.

Snippets - A Cape Vikings Pop Warner tripleheader will be held at Legends Stadium this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. with the Tiny Mites playing Laurel. The Mitey Mites play Dover at 10:30 a.m. Then at 12:30 p.m., it’s the Junior Pee Wees hosting the Berlin Seahawks. The Philadelphia Eagles are a one-point favorite over the Redskins this weekend. It’s an M.C. Hammer game, “Can’t trust this!” Take the Redskins. The Ravens are three-point dogs at the Bengals. Take the Ravens and the points. The Giants are at Dallas for the Sunday night game, with the Cowboys being four-point favorites. I’d go with Dallas. Watch Ezekiel Elliott rush for 150 yards and prompt all kinds of “ain’t no justice” editorials. Colin Kaepernick remains an unsigned free agent, but expect networks to keep tabs on players who kneel during the anthem before the game but pay no attention to players who kneel at midfield in fellowship after the game. What I remember of FCA football players is they seemed to hit harder than other players. I often wondered if it was Jesus trying to get my attention. Go on now, git!