Training wheels and sports traditions across the decades

Sussex lifeguards the land sharks of the Atlantic
August 19, 2022

Training wheels - Two trainers in a green gator go rolling around Cape’s campus on an early August morning, getting athletes ready for practices, assisting and assessing wherever necessary. Ashley Schuster, in her first year at Cape, and Jaycie Kerrick, beginning her second full-time year, are part of the Premier Physical Therapy network and contracted to Cape. I joked to Jaycie, “I know you guys are professional trainers but also enthusiastic fans, because last year during sports seasons I’ve seen you way too happy for someone just waiting for an athlete to roll an ankle.” “That's part of  the fun of the job,” Ashley said, with Jaycie concurring. “Sports are exciting, and we enjoy watching the athletes compete.” Longtime Cape trainer Sheryl Burris is now teaching health in the high school as a Cape employee.

Time traveling - A funny moment happened at the end of field hockey practice No. 1 as Jurnee White was walking off the field. I stopped her and said, “I'm Fredman. I want to see if I know your family. Let me ask, does the story begin in Pinetown?” She looked surprised, saying, "Yes, it does." "Is your mom or dad named White?” "My mom," she said. “What's her name? “Chandra.” “She graduated in 1990 with my daughter Carrie,” I said. “They were classmates and friends. Your mom was a baller. Is she still walking the planet?” And then the funniest of unexpected answers: “Yes, she's sitting over there in that BMW.” "Get out of town! I'm going over to say hello," I said. And through a car window, we traveled back to 1990 like it was yesterday. "Great to see you, Chandra.” "Great to see you, Fredman.” We're talking old-school Cape connections.

Mariner Mike - Michael Rickards, who played football for Cape in 2012 under head coach Bill Collick, has been appointed head football coach at Mariner Middle School. Mike will be assisted by James Benson and Justin  Benson-Reid. Mike has been trying to learn a different system installed by new head coach Mike Frederick. The legendary Lou Rickards of Lewes Little League, Cape school board and Lewes Fire Department is Mike Rickards’ grandfather. Mike Frederick’s grandfather was my father, and Lou Rickards was my son Dave's first Little League coach. The muppet matrix is cross-stitched like granny’s quilt, which brings us to Naomi. Mike Rickards works as a full-time 911 dispatcher, so hopefully neither Coach Mike has to call the 911 headphones during the game to ask, “What’s going on out there?” 

Bethany Beach Patrol girls - Running under the banner of Sussex County but racing with their homegirls from the BBP 3,000 miles away on the left coast of the USA in Hermosa Beach, Calif., the soft sand sprint team of  Melaney Heald, Nikki Phillips, Judy Johnston and Logan Rohde brought home the U.S. Lifesaving Association National Championship gold medals in the 4-by-90-meter sprint for the second year in a row. These athletes are quick to run down a tumbling umbrella.  

Snippets - Cape football will scrimmage at Lake Forest Saturday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m. Scrimmages are mostly about hitting and execution, and not so much about game planning, because coaches don’t like planning to play an offense they won’t see on their regular schedule. Volleyball will be at Smyrna on Friday for an all-day play day. Cape field hockey will host a play day on Saturday using both turf and both Bermuda fields. A soccer play day will break out at 6:30 p.m. Purchase a stadium cushion to save your bony butt. Jordan Magee, out of Dover High, is a 6-foot-3, 225-pound starting outside linebacker for Temple University. Jordan is a redshirt sophomore and wears No. 6. The single digits at Temple only go to the best players. Jordan was an all-state quarterback in high school and led Dover to a 9-2 record his senior year, throwing for 1,200 yards and 18 touchdowns. Colleges recruit athletes first, then later decide where to play them. Dominique Smith is a sophomore defensive back on the roster of the Delaware State Hornets. Dom was a football and track star at Sussex Central, a great kid of high character, and he can roll. What does it mean when an athlete opts out of a sport to focus or concentrate on another sport or academics? Cut to the quick it simply means they don’t want to play. I told my high school football coach Dick Bedesem before my junior season, “I’m not playing football; I want to concentrate  on basketball.” Coach Bedesem handed me a basketball and said, ”You can have this. Take it home and concentrate on it all you want. I’ll see you at August practice.“ My body is strong, but my resistance is weak. Now Reverse is my favorite UNO card. Go on now, git!     


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