Cape quarterback connections reach across the cosmos
Cosmic Cape quarterback connections - Quarterback Merek Harrigan-Ferro wears No. 5 and reminds me of my late No. 5 quarterback son Tom. Both guys confident and fearless and team players, an ornery look in the eyes, athletes Sussex County folks proudly call “all boy. “ Merek has risen from No. 4 on the depth chart to start at quarterback because of injuries, shrugging and saying, “Whatever they need me to do, I'll do.” Back in 1994, Tom, a senior playing for George Glenn, was leading Cape to the playoffs until he strained his meniscus during a last-minute loss at Polytech. The next week at CR, quarterback J.D. Maull got the start. He broke his arm on the first play of the game. Freshman Kai Maull, 115 pounds, basically came in to hand the ball off to Derrick Wilson and Sean Bradham. Cape marched down the field, and facing third and 8, Glenn sent Kai on a naked bootleg for a first down. “You got to expand the playbook,” Glenn said. Last Friday at Dover, coach J.D. Maull expanded the playbook for Merek, and he handled it like a champ. Back in fall 1993 against Glasgow, Glenn called timeout and told Tom, “We’re going with throwback to Watson; he’s going to be open, can you get it there?” Tom said, “Yeah, Coach, I’ll get it to him.” The play was a touchdown, and afterward Coach Glenn said to Tom, ”Thank you.” I say the same to all of them, ”Thank you.”
Vexing and perplexing - I really don’t understand how a private university like Duke, with just 6,000 undergraduate students, where the statistical mode of an incoming freshman is a GPA of 4.1 and average SAT of 1530, can find five freshmen who have that academic profile and are the best high school basketball players in the country. Duke costs $60K per year, so a full scholarship is sweet but not as nectarous as an NBA signing bonus as a first-round pick. Personally, you can’t pay me enough to leave a good life or to stay in a bad one. But dropping down through travel ball in all the sports, I find the constant rating and evaluating and stepping to the next level is misapplied affection, as in, “You love me but you don’t know me.”
Posthumously rejected - No one requests to be nominated for a Sports Hall of Fame and then not make the ballot, a pre-rejection process like preshrunk blue jeans. I prefer to be rejected by popular vote; let the people decide. In the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, an athlete can be nominated and make the ballot after they cease to exist, but they can only stay on the ballot two years, and if they are not voted in they are permanently iced, forever and ever, amen. Almost sounds like a Mel Brooks movie.
Digitized dumbness - The matrix sets the seeding in the DIAA postseason tournaments. The reason is you can’t trust humans not to be biased, but all bias is not bad. The Division I field hockey tournament had four Henlopen Conference teams all on the same side of the bracket. No. 1 seed Cape plays Smyrna, and the winner plays the winner of Sussex Tech at Polytech. The other side (I’m tempted to say “soft side”) of the bracket has Padua hosting Middletown and Charter hosting Concord. No Henlopen Conference team has lost to an out-of-conference team all season, and that includes Division II where Delmar and Lake will meet in the semifinal round if both survive.
Minefield - Cape soccer 12-2-1 will play William Penn 12-3 at Milford at 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, at 5 p.m. Salesianum will play Sussex Tech on the same field at 7 p.m. The winners will play in semifinal round Wednesday, Nov. 14. Northwest winds dead in your face and temps falling from the 40s are predicted for Saturday.
Coach of the Year - Congrats to Cape’s Matt Lindell for being voted by his peers as Henlopen Conference Girls’ Coach of the Year. Matt’s entire team returns and he has some top eighth-graders coming to Cape. Next year, his peers will not vote for him unless he wins the whole thing, and maybe not even then as they go searching for an underdog.
To beat the band - Back in my Coach Fred track days, I was standing right behind three Henlopen Conference track coaches (they didn’t see me) who were discussing why I shouldn’t be Coach of the Year, saying, “Who couldn’t win with all that talent?” I startled them and interrupted, “Hey how long have you guys been in the marching band?” ”What?” “I was just wondering because I’ve been beating you all like a bass drum for the last four years. Give me a pair of cymbals to gong over your ears and then call it a career.”
Snippets - Erin Coverdale repeated as Centennial Conference Offensive Player of the Year for Franklin and Marshall College. The Diplomats were scheduled to play Gwynedd Mercy in the first round of the NCAA tournament Nov. 7. Erin’s Cape classmate Tess Bernheimer now playing at Drexel was first team all-Colonial Athletic Conference. Kate Walker from Mount Pleasant was Player of the Year in Delaware that year and is a starting middie for Michigan which plays St. Joe’s in the NCAA tournament Friday, Nov. 9, in Chapel Hill. Ryan Langford is an assistant coach at Michigan; he’s married to former Cape great Maren Ford and is known in Lewes as Maren’s husband. St Joe’s has six foreign players on the roster and three Jersey girls. Go on now, git!