Sports landscape will change with a third middle school

April 26, 2024

Flux capacitor - Let’s go back to the future. The Frederick Thomas Middle School in Lewes will open in the fall of 2024. My son Dave Frederick will be the principal; his mother Susan’s maiden name is Thomas; therefore, Frederick Thomas. But seriously, Ray Thomas, the grandson of Fred Thomas, and Dave were close friends growing up in Lewes. Another close friend to Dave is Troy Dunning. Troy and Ray are first cousins as Ray’s mom and Ken Dunning are sister and brother. Three generations of Frederick teachers total 130 years: Fredman, Susan, Dave, Carrie, Jack and Anna, but we are not locals. I asked Dave on the record how staffing was going, in particular coaching assignments, and he said, “It remains in a state of flux.” In other words, “Don’t ask me anymore questions.” Just looking at girls’ sports for this 2023-24 school year, Beacon had undefeated teams in field hockey, basketball and currently in lacrosse. Cross country posted a 8-1 record, volleyball 7-2, while soccer is currently 5-1. The Mariner girls have no undefeated teams but are pretty strong across the board with a cross country team 9-1, volleyball team 7-3, track 5-1 and lacrosse currently 5-1. Fred Thomas Middle School will have athletic talent to match up with coaching. You can bet your Lloyd’s rotisserie chicken on that, and some student-athletes have a choice while others do not. It will be muy interesante; you can bet your Spanish immersion program on that one. 

Shot heard around Sesame Street - On April 22, in real time, I watched Zack Gelof hit a two-run homer into the right field bleachers in the top of the ninth inning as the A’s beat the Yankees 2-0. Zack ran around the bases like he belonged in the big-league moment. An hour later, I rode past the Lewes Little League fields. Both venues had games in progress. The day before, I had driven past the Rehoboth Little League Park. I thought, “From Lewes/Rehoboth to Yankee Stadium and a game-winning home run. Incredible.” But what I really pieced together is that Zack is a nice kid, always gracious and confident but never conceited or arrogant – it’s just his nature. He is uncomfortable with adulation, and reminds me of Cape's Bryan Stevenson, Carrie Lingo, Henry White and Erica Waples – truly accomplished people who are gracious souls; they elevate us all and remain a part of us – you know, like family. Note: I posted the above to my Facebook empire Monday and got more likes than a California valley girl in a “Clueless” movie. The Oakland A’s play three games versus the Orioles at Camden Yards this weekend. Zack said to me a few months ago, “Last year in Baltimore I heard friends calling my name. I looked up and they were waving. I felt kinda bad not waving back, but I had to keep my head in the game.”  

Freshman of the Year - Joe Coveleski (Cape), a freshman lacrosse player at Florida Tech playing attack, is the first Panthers scholar-athlete to be named Freshman of the Year in the Sunshine State Conference. Baby Joe, a Cape Gazette Athlete of the Week on the day he was born, has 21 goals on the season. Joe’s attack teammate at Cape, Luke Burton,  a freshman at Flagler College, has 18 goals and seven assists through 20 games.    

Snippets - The Smyrna boys’ lacrosse team was 8-0 as of April 24 but not ranked by the News Journal in the top five. The Eagles were set to play No. 5 Caesar Rodney April 24 then host No. 2 Cape Friday, April 26. A signature win would push them into the top five. Smyrna lost a close game to Caesar Rodney 13-11. Archmere is No. 3 with a record of 4-4. The Auks have lost to some really good teams while the teams they’ve beaten are frankly not so good. Rankings are for entertainment purposes only, just like Netflix. Bryce Harper is on the paternity list and by contract he can only miss three games. I know what you’re thinking – actually I don’t – but at $30 million per year, forget it, give Kody Clemens a shot. The Cape JV baseball team coached by Jimmy Young beat Sussex Central 13-11 to remain undefeated at 9-0. Cape trailed in the game 10-0 after three innings; now that is a serious comeback. That wagon had no wheels on it by the time the final result was etched in the scorebook. Go on now, git!


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