Staying alive through the Cape Gazette archives

April 28, 2020

Photos pop - Sometimes photos pop on Fredpop’s desktop. And that sends me back down the road of history, citing my own adage, “Those who study history are condemned to remember it.” Mitch Witman and Casey Fagan were tough guys from the 2005 Cape football season. Mitch first stepped onto the Cape gridiron his senior year 2005-06 after transferring from St. Andrew’s, where he was a lacrosse player and football linebacker. Witman was on the Saints’ 2004 state championship lacrosse team. Cape won the state lax title in the spring of 2006. Witman was in the building but injured. Witman stepped into the Cape backfield for game 2 in September 2005, didn’t start, but ran for 170 yards and two TDs in a 21-14 home win over A.I. du Pont, breaking a 17-game Cape losing streak. Witman was a punishing runner inside with breakaway speed. He was the Christan McCaffrey of 2005. In back-to-back Cape wins over Sussex Tech 35-12 and Caesar Rodney 29-21 in overtime, Witman rolled for a combined seven touchdowns and 400 yards. And then in the first quarter of game 9 versus Dover, he got hurt and he was gone, leaving his legend behind. Fagan looks like the Irish guy on a barstool in a Dublin pub, an affable character, but if he gets mad, forget the exit sign, go out the way you came in because you are getting trucked. Casey was a fullback and linebacker, the top of his helmet coming up under the chin – in 2005 that was legal. 

Deep bench - Benches are flat, so it’s a cosmic mystery how they are also deep. The 2005 Cape football team rocked a roster of seriously talented players. The team finished 4-6, but left three out there, losing 14-7 to Hodgson, 6-0 to Smyrna and 17-13 to Dover. Players on that team besides Witman and Fagan were Isaiah Brisco, Josh Larsen, Zach Roach, Corey Grammar, Donsha McCray, Shemik Thompson, Ike Driskill, Dan McPike, Max Coveleski, Joey Tabler, Tony Taylor, Mike Morris, Brian Stewart, Dom Thomas, Troy Cannatelli, Stefon Fitzgerald, Brandon Wade, Zack Wood, Cody Smith, Barry Boulden, Tom Little, Jimmy McDowell, Christian Gibbs, and Jon Goodwin. Injuries dogged the 2005 team, as quarterback Dan McPike went down late in the season, with Shemik Thompson and Max Covekleski filling in. I can tell you most on that team represent inspirational, feel-good stories, just a stable of solid people.  

The Curveball - Vince “Birdman” Glover started his high school career as a baseball player in 1983 and became a state champion and state record holder in the triple jump. Someone asked me, “Hey coach Fred, how did you get the glove off Glover?” I answered, “He can’t hit the curveball.” Later, Cape centerfielder and jetpack-fast Ike Driskill was at the University of Delaware matriculating as a mainstream student. I got word to the baseball people, “You can get Driskill for free.” Word came back, “He can’t hit the curveball.” Irony gets the best of me. Ike Driskill is an internationally rated jet pilot. I saw a classmate and former student of mine in the parking lot at Staples. I was wearing a red shirt and she thought I worked there. Then she said, “I saw Vince Glover at a funeral up in Wilmington. It’s a damn shame.” “Why, what happened to him?” “He is all trim and fit and handsome and wearing an expensive suit. That's what’s wrong with him, but I saw him, anyway.” She couldn’t hit the curveball either. 

Snippets - Cape’s Dania Cannon, a basketball point guard, has decided to continue her education and play basketball at Delaware State University. Sussex Central track star Trevon McVicker, a hurdler, high jumper and sprinter, has accepted an offer to run track at University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Mark Quillen has left Sussex Tech and will be the head football coach at Seaford for the 2020 fall season. Brad Ellingsworth will take over for coach Quillen at Sussex Tech. Ellingsworth is a middle school math teacher at Mariner. Cape recently hired Kevin Smith as athletic director, and also advertised and quickly closed for the position of part-time AD. Cape has full-blown middle school programs, plus there are all the time-consuming game management responsibilities. Tim Bamforth and Gilbert Maull were on-site Facebook Live coordinators for the Friday Night Lights 2020 program April 24. I encountered Bennett Brumbley, 12, and running buddy Jackie Quigley April 25 after each had just run a half marathon as part of the Seashore Striders’ Coronavirus 6-Pack Series. Bennett ran 1:44, while Jackie ran 1:50. I was invited to the Temple lacrosse virtual tailgate Saturday after seven straight years of a Fred girl on the team and me taking photos. But this old dog don’t vroom or Zoom. I asked Lizzie Fred, “How did it go?” and she texted back, “It was good, not too long and not too sappy.” And that made me laugh. Go on now, git!


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