Tracking athletes who ‘spit the hook’ is fair game

Cape cross country fields another strong team
September 14, 2021

Horse Power - “We’ll raise up our glasses against evil forces, singing, Whiskey for my men, and beer for my horses.” - Toby Keith, 2002. Cpl. Andrew Jones aboard his horse JR and Cpl. Juanita Huey riding Max were at the Run, White and Blue 5K held Thursday night on the Delaware Tech Owens Campus. I approach mounted state police as community ambassadors, liaisons to the public, diplomats interacting with people like me whose first question is always, “What’s the horse's name?” The question is a better icebreaker than, “What’s up with the hat?”  

Next man up - The Cape boys won the D1 state cross country title in November 2020. Last Saturday, they stepped to the starting line at the Lake Forest Invitational as a test drive to start the 2021 season. Cape was down two top-seven runners, both seniors, who were not in the fold when the starting gun went off. “It’s just next man up,” said coach Matt Lindell. “We have great depth on this team.” All boys’ varsity teams ran in the same race, but the computer chip timing system separated them into larger and smaller schools. Cape boys were the winners of the larger-school division, while the Cape girls placed a close second to Caesar Rodney. Cape boys’ finishers, totaling 35 team points, were Ryan Baker in 16:37, Julian Callaway 17:29, Joey DeGregory 17:30, Liam O’Donnell 18:06, Brian Sponaugle 18:45, Andrew Wolak 19:07 and Jacob Hayes 20:14. The Cape girls scored 50 points to finish behind Caesar Rodney’s winning 41. Cape’s top 7 girls were Katie Kuhlman 21:04, Colleen Flynn 22:36, Mia Nuebling 22:43, Ariana Adili-Khams 22:48,  Alexa Dougherty 23:03, Kayla Droge 23:41 and Peyton Evans 26:21. The Cape boys and girls teams will be at Sussex Tech Wednesday, Sept. 15, for a quad meet versus the host Ravens along with Indian River and Sussex Academy.  

Spit the hook - If you are an athlete hooked up in the sea of sports, then dive for deep water or jump the shark and spit the hook, my instinct is to keep trolling for your whereabouts and reason for disappearance. Otherwise I would lack curiosity and concern, not to mention not holding a celebrated athlete accountable for anything outside of game day. I’m not like a bridge over troubled waters. I'm in the river swimming around doing the canal crawl. “He works so hard, he deserves all the recognition he gets,” is a mantra I hear all the time on my beat, more than, “an immensely naturally talented person who has worked only as hard as necessary to achieve great success.” Coaches have a term for athletes who seem incapable of sustained commitment  to their talent level – “head case” if you're old school, or “high maintenance” if you’re younger. 

Snippets - The good news is that Cape’s Cami Smith played her way into the field hockey starting lineup for Friday's West Chester home showdown versus Shippensburg. The bad news  for the Golden Rams is they lost to the Raiders 4-3 in spite of an advantage in shots and penalty corners. Adrienne McGarrigle with 2 and Jenna Sluymer, 2, both came off the bench to be goal scorers for “The Ship.” Darby Klopp (Cape) had a goal and an assist to go with two yellow cards as the Franklin and Marshall Diplomats came from 2 goals down to beat Mary Washington 3-2.  The Klopp-Kammerer connection collects yellows like Easter peeps in a woven basket. This is not due to reckless play, more a “don’t make excuses and never back down” approach to competition. Cape football hosts William Penn Friday night. The Vikings of Jim Alderman lost to the Colonials of coach Bruce Reynold 35-14 in the 1982 state finals. Cape won the Henlopen North that year with a 6-4 record, then got a tournament home game and beat Newark 15-14 to reach the finals. Cape has all the talent  pieces of an unsolved puzzle; now 0-2, the Vikings need to win this football game. Matt Sabol is the head coach of the Colonials; he is not related to Steve Sabol (NFL films) or Bobby Sabol, former UD assistant football coach. Remember iconic Philly sportscaster Steve Fredericks, who passed away in 2012? We’re not related, although if asked, I usually tell people, “He’s my cousin,” to which they reply, “Well, that makes sense.” Go on now, git!   

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