Take me down: Chris Mattioni begins 25th season in the fighting chair

Competition gets real fopr all teams this week
December 3, 2019

Lift off to take down - Chris Mattioni,  the dean of Cape coaches, begins his 25th year as head coach of wrestling for the Vikings, who begin the season Wednesday night on the road at Lake Forest. Cape will then wrestle in the Southern Slam in South Carolina over the weekend. “We’ve had two good scrimmages but have lots of work to do,” Mattioni said. The lineup for week one is 106: Holt Baker; 113: Josh Wright; 120: Brody Smith or Brextin Carter; 126: CJ Fritchman; 132: Carson Kammerer; 138: Luke Bender; 145: Mikey Frederick or Joey Wyatt; 152: Finbar Rishko; 160: Juan Lares; 170: Andre Currie; 182: Undecided; 195: Cam Smith; 220: Jackson Handlin or Malaki Lewis; 285: Lucas Ruppert. 

High expectations - The Cape girls’ basketball team of coach Pat Woods follows up a 19-4 season and Henlopen Conference championship by opening on the road at Polytech on Thursday night. Cape lost to the Panthers 53-50 at home in January after beating them 43-41 in December. The girls will then play Archbishop John Carroll at the 76ers Fieldhouse at 11:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 7. 

Jury duty - The baseline brigade along the front row will take up their positions inside the Big House Jury Box Friday, Dec. 6, as the Cape boys’ basketball team under the direction of first-year head coach Shemik Thompson opens the season against Polytech. Thompson is a law school graduate and former star player for the Vikings and Central Connecticut State. Shemik takes over from Steve Re, who stepped sideways to coach the girls’ team at Beacon Middle School. Polytech was 3-16 last season, while Cape was 8-12. Cape, with just 10 players on the varsity roster (you can only play five at a time) looks outgunned on a blank scorebook page, but may emerge as the type of team that can hang and hold court in a winners-stay, losers-go-home scenario. 

Bloating to gloating to exploding - The “meep meep” sound you hear is either the Roadrunner backing up or the Eagles and Cowboys each trying to win a divisional championship with a losing record. Eagles fans were choking on their chickens Thanksgiving Thursday after the Cowboys lost at home to the Bills. The Birds then got basted and pasted in Miami to drop to 5-7 on the season, and to quote coach Denny Green, “They are who we thought they were.” 

Eagles fleecing the Owls - Temple football finished the regular season Saturday, beating Connecticut to finish the season 8-4. The American Conference is tough, some pundits say the Power Five has now become the Power Six. Temple, which averages about 27,000 fans a game, plays at the Linc, which it leases from the Eagles for $1 million a year. The Eagles reportedly want to raise that rent to $2 million with $12 million up front for a 30-year lease. The sociological flip side is Temple wants to build an on-campus stadium but has run into community opposition, but don’t get me started. 

Snippets - Gobbling, huffing and trotting, the three-legged turkey weekend of 5K races contested over four days totaled 1,242 runners, with some racing all three. This Saturday is the 12th Rehoboth Beach Seashore Marathon and Half Marathon, beginning at 7 a.m. on Rehoboth Avenue. There is a common start and finish, all timed by computer chips. Let the paramedics sort them out at the finish. Weirdly enough, some slower half marathoners get lapped by the lead pack of full marathoners. Sesame Street by the Sea is a running mecca. Let’s talk economic impact studies, which no one has ever seen. A Sussex County economist: “All them people gotta stay someplace and eat something in between running and spending money at the outlets.” Hodgson and Howard, two vo-tech schools from the same county, are Division I and Division II state champions of football. That defies explanation. The Director of Human Resources / School Operations of New Castle County Vo Tech District (Hodgson, Howard, Delcastle, St. Georges) is Gerald Allen, a loyal Cape guy who ran track for coach Tom Hickman in the early ’70s. Go on now, git! 


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