Sports and society is a two-way mirror of life lessons

Soggy Senior Night drops a deluge but families smile through it
November 13, 2018

Turn on those sad songs - The rhythm of the falling rain poured down over Cape’s Senior Night Nov. 9 as Andy Lewis announced members of the band, cheerleading squad and football team. There were no favorite memories and future plans shared, but all was good as families so happy together reflected on four years of high school. A 1-9 season is tough on the senior players, as they are the ones who own it and have to find a place for storage of many memories they would just as soon forget. And perhaps the cliche that sports mirror life is a two-way mirror; one intrudes upon the other. “It feels so good to hurt so bad, and suffer just enough to sing the blues, why don’t you tune in and turn on those sad songs” - Elton John.

Football tournament - In Division I, Sussex Central will host Appoquinimink on Friday, Nov. 16. The winner will move on to play at No. 1 Hodgson on Saturday, Nov. 24. Middletown hosts Salesianum on the other side of the bracket, with the winner heading to Dover on Friday, Nov. 23. Sussex Central has reached the final game four times under coach John Wells, losing to Newark 29-13 in 2000, Salesianum 34-17 in 2006, Middletown 26-22 in 2007 and Caesar Rodney 26-13 in 2008. Dover last won the state title 30 years ago in 1988 under coach Jim Oxford, beating Salesianum 20-13 in overtime. Cape won its only state title in 1979 under coach Jim Alderman, beating Caesar Rodney 37-6. The Division II tournament features eight teams and no byes. A.I. DuPont will host Tower Hill on Friday, Nov. 16, and will play the winner of Woodbridge and Howard. Delmar plays at Archmere on Saturday, Nov. 17, and will play the winner of Wilmington Friends and Delaware Military. Woodbridge won the state title in 2016 under coach Ed Manlove, beating Wilmington Friends 14-9. Delmar won the Division II state titles under coach Dave Hearn in 2017, 2009, 2002, 2001, and 2000, and under coach Greg Wood in 1985 and coach Richard White in 1976.

Crooked numbers - Last year while I was facing the Delaware General Assembly wearing my Under Armour warm-up gear, Speaker of the House Pete Schwartzkopf asked me if Cape’s 10 state lacrosse titles in a row was a unique streak in the state of Delaware. I just shrugged, not wanting to take the time to make it rain statistical oddities and anomalies. Sallies has won the boys’ Division I cross country title 36 times since 1974. Salesianum won the boys’ Division I title again Nov. 10 at Brandywine Creek State Park with 19 points, ahead of Charter with 63. Cape finished in seventh with 208. Padua dominated the girls’ Division I field with 15 points, while Charter was second with 95 points. Cape placed sixth with 175 points. The Division II boys’ title went to Tatnall with 44 points, with St. Andrew’s right behind with 45 points. Ursuline won the Division II girls’ title with 45 points, with Tatnall in second with 76. A downstate school has never won the Division I boys’ cross country state title. Caesar Rodney won the girls’ Division I state titles in 2001 and 2002 under coach Charlie Bell. The Cape boys won the Division II state title in 2001, 1999, 1982, 1979 and 1977. The Cape girls won the Division II state title in 1999.

Journey on - Cape field hockey will play Polytech at Rullo Field on the University of Delaware campus Tuesday, Nov. 13, at 4 p.m. in the semifinals of the Division I hockey tournament. Padua plays Charter at 2 p.m. in the other semifinal game. In the Division II semifinals, played on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Rullo, Delmar plays Lake Forest at 2 p.m., followed by Caravel versus Mount Pleasant at 4 p.m. A state championship doubleheader is scheduled at Rullo on Friday, Nov. 16, with times to be announced.

Snippets - I can’t figure out which causes me more pain, watching an Eagles game or President Donald Trump in the rain, which is why I fade away to “Law and Order” reruns, the macaroni and cheese of cable television. Salisbury field hockey lost an extra-time shutout to the Jumbos of Tufts University on Nov. 11. I’d hate to announce, “Now here come the Lady Jumbos.” I’d be afraid all my German aunts would storm the field with bowls of potato salad. Henlopen players on the Salisbury squad include Tara Daddio, CR; Cam Dennis, Polytech; Kate Melvin, Milford; and Caitlin Harris, CR. Go on now, git!