In Delaware sports history, we are all related to somebody

Sussex Central and Woodbridge football go after championships
November 30, 2018

Connections - Jeremy and Josh Bushweller are twins who played on the Dover football team that beat Salesianum in the state championship game in 1988 in overtime. Dover was coached by Jim Oxford, while Sallies was coached by George Glenn. In 2018, Logan Bushweller is a defensive end and slot back for Salesianum. He is Jeremy Bushweller’s son and his grandfather is Brian Bushweller, former state teachers’ union rep for DSEA. Brian once represented me when I refused in-service training on a day students were in school. Brian also represented Rob Schroeder when Cape removed him as coach after the 1988 season, challenging the “just cause” provision in the teachers’ contract, which did not protect coaches. Jeremy and Josh were also on the Rehoboth Beach Patrol after high school. Chuck Hudson, an assistant on the staff at Sussex Central, is the son of former Golden Knights coach Charlie Boy Hudson, and his mom is a Cannon, sister of Jeff, Mike, Pat and Kelly. Chuck is married to Amy Cuthrell, and his father-in-law is Bob Cuthrell, who coached Dover to the football state championship in 1977. And assistant coach Gary Derrickson Layfield Jr. is married to Chuck’s sister Sarah. And so when upstate fans scream, “Watch out, they’re all related,” chances are they don’t know the half of it.    

Appreciated, not celebrated - Lance Keeler has been coaching football at Millsboro Middle School the last 15 years. He is a social studies teacher and has been teacher of the year. He is the kind of person you want coaching your kid, or if you’re the high school coach, you want Lance coaching all your kids. Lance once smiled and said, “One thing you can say about me is I don’t look like a football coach.” Lance is thin, wears glasses, and in a job interview at Cape, I remember him saying, “The most important thing you can do for your kids is to love them and give them your best every day. “ Lance won his 99th game at Millsboro this year, beating Selbyville and stopping Tim Clausen and Jesse Bare from winning their 99th. When Sussex Central takes the field in Saturday’s state title game against Salesianum, lots of Lance’s boys will be out there playing hard to bring home that elusive and much-sought-after state championship trophy. And the Georgetown Middle School boys from the undefeated 2014 team of coach Clay Heald are also locked and loaded on the 2018 Golden Knights roster.

Hiding in plain sight - I often joke “I’m the sports guy in Delaware who knows the most people who don’t know him back.” I was a football coach on the staff at the Mitchell School in Haverford from 1971 through 1975. I was head coach in 1975. We played Wilmington Friends, and Bob Tattersall was the head coach. I reminded him of that when I met him for the 10th time some time ago. “Oh yeah, you guys were pretty good,” said Tattersall, who began coaching at Friends in 1968, the year of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam and riot at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Bob’s son Robby is interim head coach, but I’m not sure of the arrangement. It’s a nice story. It seems unlikely the Quakers could touch Woodbridge in a money game. The Blue Raiders lost to the Quakers 24-21 back on Sept. 21. Coach Ed Manlove of Woodbridge is rumored to be retiring after the game. Manlove coached at Laurel  and lost in the championship game to Milford and Mike Tkach in 2008, then won the title with Woodbridge in 2016, beating Friends and Tattersall. I’ve know coach Manlove a long time, and I’m sure he has no idea who I am.

Snippets - The Randolph-Macon Yellowjackets men’s basketball team is 8-0 on the season. Freshman Ian Robertson (Cape) is getting significant minutes off the bench and on Nov. 25 at  No. 18 Emory College, Ian scored 15 points in 18 minutes, including 3-for-4 from three-point land. Randy Rickards (Cape) is starting for the 6-1 Baltimore City Community College Panthers. Randy is averaging 11 points and 7 rebounds per game. Division II West Chester University field hockey was set to face Shippensburg on Thursday, Nov. 29, with the winner moving to Saturday’s NCAA championship game to face the winner of East Stroudsburg and Pace University. Cape’s Sydney Ostroski is a junior on the West Chester roster, while Jody Boyer is a freshman for Shippensburg. Performance Nutrition Services - it’s a new one on me - but most Division I scholarship sports have such a person available to coaches and athletes, which makes sense because you just can’t win championships with fat people. Check out Cape girls’ basketball which opens at home Friday versus Smyrna. JV plays at 5 followed by the varsity game at 6:15 p.m. This looks like Cape’s best array of talent since the 2010-11 team that lost in the state finals to Sanford, 47-41, behind Johnesha Warren, Meg Bartley, Kadijah Doughty, Taylor Harris, Jackie Coveleski and Emily Baptiste. Go on now, git!

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