Sponge blob scribe where the rubber meets the blubber

Seaside muppets share stories at statewide banquet
February 24, 2023

Smelling the sweat - The Henlopen Conference wrestling championships are Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24 and 25, at Milford Central Academy. Sussex Central, Cape Henlopen and Caesar Rodney are top-to-bottom solid, and will grapple and scrapple for the team title. Cape crowned five champions last year a week after winning the state dual-meet title, but it was Caesar Rodney’s depth and stellar performances that captured the Henlopen Conference crown in coach Mike Rigby’s final season. An amazing factoid is that the Cape wrestling team has never won the Henlopen Conference championship meet. Anyone wanting concession stand cred must hunker down where the rubber meets the blubber and live inside the venue for two days, from prelims through wrestlebacks. You will smell like sweat on Sunday just from just absorbing the action. It’s called evaporation, and you are “Sponge Blob.”

Calvin and Andrew - Last Saturday, Calvin Harmon asked me to get a picture of him and Sussex Central’s Andrew Long together. I asked, “What’s the connection?” Calvin said, “He’s my grandson.” And I keep climbing to the top of the tree where the branches break. I hope Andrew wins the conference crown at 144 – he is a tough out. Bennett Brumbley from Sussex Tech is also in that weight class and I know both his grandpops, so I hope he does well. And of course Brady Cole, whose grandpa I met just last Saturday. The conference-meet matches up and down the state this weekend will determine the brackets for the state meet of individuals the following week at Cape.

Sharing stories - The traveling muppets from Sesame Street by the Sea don't let formalized banquets get in the way of story sharing. The most fun for us is the run-up to the rubber chicken followed by the cheesecake cool-down after the event. At the 74th Delaware Sportswriters and Broadcasters Association luncheon at Riverfront Events in Wilmington, Tim Bamforth received the Herm Reitzes Award for Public Service. I introduced Tim by saying, “It’s nice to see someone do community service who hasn't been sentenced by a court of law or is looking to embellish his resume or earn clock hours for the honor society. Tim does what he does because it's just who he is.” I saw Half Stockley laugh, then told the people, “Half drove the state championship bus for Cape boys’ basketball in 1975. We have people with names like Half and I’m guessing you don’t.” The Cape table, bought by the Cape Gazette – Cape Henlopen ain’t buying no table – all laughed, while the rest of the room looked at me like I’m an assisted-living pops on an afternoon pass. Other awards presented were Team of the Year to Wilmington Friends football, accepted by coach Rob Tattersall. The Coach of the Year went to Kristin Caldwell, coach of the Caravel girls’ state championship basketball team. The Buddy Hurlock Unsung Hero Award went to Appoquinimink soccer player T.J. Hastings, who’s on his way to the University of Virginia. T.J. plays while managing Type 1 diabetes. And the DSBA John J. Brady Award for the Delaware Athlete of the Year went to Chris Godwin of the Tampa Bay Bucs. Chris went to high school at Middletown and played his college ball at Penn State. The Team Godwin Foundation is run by Chris and his wife Mariah DelPercio. Their Second Chance Fund provides life-saving treatments for animals in need. Godwin was there via Zoom, but no one could unfreeze his image, so we all went home.  

Snippets - We’ve all heard the expression, “Just a great kid on and off the field.” I read a new one last week about the Cape boys’ swim team: “Just a great bunch of boys in and out of the pool.” I know some pretty calm people who take to the pool like a cat to a bathtub and otherwise amped people who are calm and playful like a saltwater otter when released into water. DSBA Athletes of the Year with local connections: Chris Short – 1962, 1965, 1966; Georgetown Senior Little League baseball team – 1981; Gene Lake – 1984; Mike Hall – 1986; Delino DeShields – 1990; Mike Neill – 2000; Luke Petitgout – 2002; Rocky Myers – 2004; Carrie Lingo – 2007; Katelyn Falgowski – 2016; Betnijah Laney – 2021. I met former Cape lacrosse player Karissa Worley along the fence line at Wednesday's Delaware State game. Karissa is on injured reserve. She was with Bella, her miniature golden doodle puppy whom she lifted up to meet – or was that eat – me? It was like petting a shiwala (sponge joke). Go on now, git!


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