Uncanny Maney leads off spring after closing out winter

March 3, 2022

Lead-off girl - I popped onto the Cape track Tuesday for some spring sports photos. Flushed from the pack flashing a smile was Hannah Maney, the athlete also known as Hannah Money and Uncanny Maney. Hannah was my lead-off photo of the spring, which was karmic because over the winter, Hannah was all-conference in three first-place relays, leading off the 4-by-800, 4-by-200 and 4-by-400 relay teams. Hannah is a straight-A student because that’s the letter that leads off the alphabet. 

Coach James Cook - Gloucester High School (Va.), under first-year wrestling coach James Cook, Cape Class of 2011 and Lynchburg College (2015), finished up the regular season by going 14-4 overall and 10-0 in the Peninsula District. Gloucester placed third in the Class 5B Regional Tournament. In the Virginia State Championships, Cook’s freshman wrestled to sixth place at 120 pounds and his seniors garnered fifth place at 170 and third place at 182. The Dukes team placed 12th out of 42 teams in the Virginia State Championships. James was a lax goalie and wrestler at Cape, and played goalie for the Lynchburg Hornets.

Jake Gelof - The Virginia Cavaliers baseball team is 8-0 to start the season with a 102-15 run differential. Sophomore Jake Gelof is batting .636 with 23 RBIs, which earned him ACC Athlete of the Week. In a 19-1 win over Cornell, Jake became the first Cavalier to hit for the cycle in 21 years. Jake has also taken over as the starting third baseman, a position held last year by his brother Zack, who was drafted in the second round by the Oakland Athletics. Virginia will host a three-game series this weekend against Penn State, which is 3-4 on the young season against tepid competition. 

Jumping ship or switching horses - “And if I had a boat, I’d go out on the ocean. And if I had a pony, I’d ride him on my boat.” - Lyle Lovett. This young spring season I’m seeing several athletes switching sports or jumping ship altogether, and bottom line or below the waterline, it is their life’s journey. The only sad story is hopeful athletes who get cut, like girls’ soccer that had 17 people too many. 

Another wrestling Rigby steps down - Dan Rigby has stepped off from his position as head coach of the Caesar Rodney wrestling program. Coach Debbie Windett called Dan “a good kid” (he’s 34), adding, “He started a yard business. He does my yard.” Dan did a great job this season, leading the only team to qualify all 14 wrestlers to the state tournament. The Riders also won the Henlopen Conference meet. Dan led Caesar Rodney to the DIAA Dual Meet Division I Wrestling State Championship in 2018. 

Liberty baseball - The Liberty Flames baseball team is 7-1 on the young season. Former Cape pitchers David Erickson and Mason Fluharty are on the prime-time pitching staff. Both pitched in a 6-4 victory over Florida, with Erickson getting the win. Erickson also had a save in an 8-1 win over Winthrop. Liberty will host Cansius for three games this weekend. 

Haunches and laurels - I am 75. I should be sitting back on my haunches and resting on my laurels. But I’ve been an athlete and intertwined with athletics since I was 12. Yes, I am grateful to have basked in the afterglow of championships, the latest being my grandson Mikey’s 145-pound wrestling Delaware State Championship, except I have  already moved on to  the next sport and the next grandchild. I have lost perspective and I am spoiled. I pray to God, “Keep showering me with gifts like a spoiled toddler on Christmas morning.” 

Rumors rumble - I’ve got my ear to the track in a town where the train doesn't run. I’ve always said on the sports side of the tracks if you hear a rumor rumbling in Sussex County, chase it down; there is usually something to it. I’ve got a half-dozen hard names as “possibly rising up” and applying for the Cape position of head football coach if it is ever posted. I also heard of at least four names submitted for consideration into the Legends Stadiums Ring of Honor. Nominations close Tuesday, March 15. The protocol is two inductees every other year. This is for coaches, not a wall of fame for athletes. 

Snippets - I wonder which would be funnier: My blue chair slowly sinking into the floor from metal fatigue or it suddenly snapping and cracking into pieces? To quote Davey Fred, “You laughing?” Go on now, git! 


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