Take it to the bounce house of bonding
Team bonding - Champions Stadium rocks 25 state championship signs – 13 in lacrosse and 12 in field hockey – all hung since 2009. There are also signs from 1979 and 1995 for hockey championships. The Windetts – Windy and Debbie – took over the hockey program in 2012, taking the controls from Nicole Catanzaro and Kay Miller after the 2011 state championship. Head coach is Windy, now married and known more formally as Kate Austin, while her assistant mom (and only mom) is just known as Deb to players. All coaches and players connect on a first-name basis. The same has been the case with the girls’ lacrosse program, starting with P.J. (Kesmodel) and Bill (Lingo.) Planned fun has been a serious part of both programs. Wednesday, after an intense 7 to 10 a.m. practice that blended instruction with jolts of conditioning, the full roster of varsity and JV players hit Legends Stadium for three hours of team bonding. The All About Inflatables trailer arrived, and players would soon take it to the bounce house with frenzied relay races ending in an electric slide into a pool of water. There were themed teams divided into small groups that competed in sack and three-legged races, egg races using golf balls, some weird pool noodle relay and a tug of war. There were championship medals awarded afterward, followed by Pat's Pizza before the Cup’r Cone ice cream truck arrived. The creme de la creme was the blaring of “Rattlin’ Bog” through the scoreboard speakers as all players formed a circle and did improvisational freestyling interpretive Irish dancing. Friday and Saturday are back-to-back play days at Cape and DE Turf that will feature nine games in 25 hours, perhaps followed by some Irish dancing.
Half Baked - Two hours snapping photos of girls’ games on green turf, I was baked like Tommy Chong in the 1998 movie “Half Baked,” so I walked straight into a football coaches meeting, grabbed a bottle of water, unfolded my blue chair and went full boat David Chappelle, cracking jokes like double days in football aren't half as tough as three hours of team bonding in field hockey. I wasn’t aware I had interrupted a serious pre-practice coaches meeting conducted by the new head coach whom I didn't notice sitting there even though I am his uncle. The football team bonded with a bus trip to the Shorebirds game Wednesday night at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, as the home team defeated the Lynchburg Hillcats 8-7. Arthur Perdue was Frank's father. We all know the commercial, “It takes a tough man to make a gender chicken” – excuse me, tender chicken. Autocorrect got jokes!
Football scrimmage - The Cape football team has a home scrimmage Friday night at Legends Stadium versus Delcastle. The Cougars were 3-7 last season (write your own Cougar jokes). Delcastle hasn’t had a winning season in a dozen years, going back to the 2009 season of 6-4. Cape football opens with two consecutive Thursday night games, at Salesianum Sept. 1, then hosting Woodbridge Sept. 8. Salesianum lost to Middletown in the Group 3 semifinals last season, while Woodbridge lost to Archmere in the Group 2 finals. Cape will reach Thanksgiving, then look back on the season and wonder, “How come there ain’t no turkeys on our schedule?”
Sound down - Phillies fans are mixed down the middle on TV broadcasts, most of it centered around the banter between Tom McCarthy and John Kruk. I found the broadcast from left field to be watchable but unlistenable. I’m mostly a sound-down guy. I often watch another game with sound up while tracking scores on the right side of the screen.
Snippets - “Wait a minute, what?” I am mostly out of the inside loops of local sports. I mostly catch rebounded balls off brick walls to get my information. Who puts up threatening, “You will be towed at owner's expense” signs? Some restaurants who need those spaces for customers, while exclusive clubs need those spaces to justify yearly fees. But you must admit this 50-year-old song captured it best: “Sign, sign everywhere a sign, blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind, do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?” Cape coach Tracey Griesbaum, former college All-American and Big Ten Coach of the Year at Iowa, wore a Waves Car Wash shirt at team bonding practice. Now that is straight-up cool. Go on now, git!