Wrestling ring ceremony at Fish On! – I was the white marlin
Ring ceremony - The Cape wrestling team held its ring ceremony at Fish On! at Five Points Aug. 8, and I was the white marlin. “I’m going to say a few words about our second consecutive state championship, then turn the room over to Fredman,” said coach Chris Mattioni. I don’t know why banquet rooms keep getting turned over to me, because that’s a lot of pressure. I should be senile and daffy by now, but I can tell stories until the cows clear out and the dairy turns into a creamery like at Hopkins ... seriously, who saw that coming? Many of the wrestlers got their second ring, and nine of those athletes are coming back. We are all hoping for a three-ring circus next summer. I did tell the room that a retired Cape trio of VIPs including Bob Cilento, athletic director; Bernie Bowden, chief custodian; and Fredman were prepared to rename the Cape wrestling room after Mattioni and not swim through official channels because who ever goes into the wrestling room anyway? All seriousness aside, what a magical ride the last two seasons. Congratulations to all the people who made it happen, and to Bill Henry for making sure the fire and rescue trucks are ready to escort the bus though all the villages here at Sesame Street by the Sea.
Mason on the move - Mason Fluharty, drafted in the fifth round by the Toronto Blue Jays, has been moved to high-A ball and ironically will play for the Vancouver Canadians in the land of “How’s it goin’, ey?” Mason is hard like rebar-reinforced concrete, smooth like a backyard patio and slippery when wet. Sportswriters are going to have fun with his name and history when he makes the bigs. The city of Vancouver has more people than the state of Delaware, and 52% of its residents are not native English speakers. Fold in Sussex County vernacular, the number jumps to 52.1%. I have a hermit friend from high school who lives in a cabin in the woods outside the city. He thinks he’s a native Canucker and goes by the name of Cyclops. I only wish I was kidding.
Prospect Park - Baby James Fred has popped as a prospect with a basketball future, and he is just 10 years old. My life goal is to see him graduate from college, then I’ll gladly follow the dogs over the rainbow bridge just to see what’s on the other side. The question becomes, how much of an investment should any family make in trying to develop a 10-year-old into an all-state high school player? There is a temptation to resist the trend of chasing the same ball as a thousand other retrievers. I virtually never hear this conversation when it comes to academics, whether on Zoom calls or in person.
Brittany Croll - Brittany, granddaughter of Ray and Sarah Wilkerson and daughter of Terry (consider yourself localized), will be inducted into the Franklin & Marshall Hall of Fame this fall for field hockey. Brittany, a 2006 grad, etched her name in the Franklin & Marshall field hockey record book during her four years in Lancaster, finishing as the all-time leader in points (127), tying for first in assists (23), and tying for second in goals (52). Croll was honored as an All-American following her senior season and was a three-time all-region honoree during her career. A four-time All-Centennial Conference selection, Croll helped lift the Diplomats to a 16-5 record during their 2004 campaign – F&M's best record in 22 years and tied for the most wins in school history at the time. Brittany was a standout athlete at Indian River High School.
Snippets - Lifeguards from the Sussex County chapter of the United States Lifesaving Association competition team landed in California Aug. 10 for the national championships Aug. 10-13 in Hermosa Beach. The Phillies released Didi Gregorius Aug. 4, not caring that he had 999 career hits. Gregorius is now a free agent. He’s a great guy and teammate, and he speaks four languages, all of which counts for nothing if you can’t hit. Invite Pete Rose to a Phillies World Series reunion (1980) and that’s who you are getting. A stomach-sliding dirtbag. Who did you expect, the pope? Go on now, git!