Cape spring athletes and ambassadors hear Sean Locke’s story

April 23, 2024

Morgan’s Message - We sports muppets from Sesame Street by the Sea share the joy of comradeship and championships while feeling each other's pain through tragic events that are not a part of life’s game. There is a club at Cape with 35 student ambassadors that works with coaches to make sure Morgan's message is being heard. The message is that in the hyperfocused world of competitive high school sports, mental health of the athletes is not obscured and overlooked. Coaches Kate Austin, Katie Collick and Jeff Jablon are advisors to the group that also includes Chris Mattioni, Ben Evick, Tyler Coupe, Robert Harrod and Drew Messick. On April 19, in the Cape theater, Chris Locke spoke to a group of spring athletes. Locke’s son Sean, a basketball and baseball player at Saint Mark’s and Delaware, took his own life in 2018 at the age of 23. Sean was one of eight siblings, a seemingly happy person; no one knew he was dealing with depression and anxiety. Sean wore No. 24. SL24, Unlock the Light Foundation, is open 24 hours a day. Sean’s House is located on the Delaware campus at 136 Main St. in Newark. There will be a one-mile walk on the Legends Stadium track Sunday, May 5. The sign-up fee is $5; registration begins at noon, with the walk commencing at 1 p.m. A group of 16 ambassadors will visit Sean's House Monday, May 6. This is very much a peer program with athletes looking out for each other. Student ambassadors presented Chris Locke with a check for $1,500 raised through T-shirt sales and donations at the dedication games teams play throughout the sports year.  

Garfield the Cat - Ralph Garfield is history along the space-time continuum moving in the same direction as all mankind. On April 21, he ran the Oy Vey 5K in 40:21. Ralph is 88 years old, working as an actuary (a professional with advanced mathematical skills who deals with the measurement and management of risk and uncertainty) and was a math professor at the College of New Jersey. Ralph ran the first New York City Marathon organized by the New York Road Runners in 1970. There were 127 runners in the race with an entry fee of $1. Only 55 runners completed the race, which was four loops of Central Park. Ralph ran the race in 4:05. “I started running in my late 20s, but I didn’t get serious until my 30s,” he said. “I think my personal best in the 5K was in the 18-minute range.”   

Cape softball at Central - Cape softball is 6-2, most likely 7-2 by the time they visit Sussex Central (7-2) Tuesday, April 23. Cape is coached by Mike Tkach while John Wells coaches the Golden Knights. Both Tkach (at Milford) and Wells have won state championships as football coaches. Cape is certain to face Madge Layfield, while the Vikings are likely to counter with Abby Marsh. Cape had a signature win April 20, knocking off previously unbeaten Stephen Decatur 9-5. The Seahawks defeated Sussex Central 6-5 April 11. Cape last beat Sussex Central in 2019, winning 14-13. 

Shooting gallery games - On the Cape campus April 20, there were simultaneous lacrosse games with the boys beating Dover 24-1 at Legends Stadium and the girls’ team topping Milford 22-1. Lacrosse imbalances produce more wax jobs than Waves Car Wash. The concern from the Cape coaching corners has got to be, “Just how good are we compared to the teams left on our schedule?” An example: the Cape girls’ lacrosse team won the state title in 2014, going 3-0 in the state tournament and outscoring opponents 61-15. But during the 15-game regular season, the Vikings lost five games to five out-of-state teams. The boys won the state title that same year, beating Sallies 9-7 in the final, but lost three games during the season, including 14-7 to Sallies at Baynard Stadium. Comparing scores is an indication but it’s not as reliable as playing the actual game. 

Snippets - I choose to watch baseball over basketball and that surprises me. NBA basketball players are the best athletes on the planet unless you put them on a baseball field. Cape girls won the Dover Relays while the Cape boys placed second. In 1982, I coached a 4-by-800 team of Darren Purcell, James Johnson, Hank Stack and Danny Harmon that ran 7:59, a school record that still stands 42 years later. James “Bip” Johnson just celebrated his 60th birthday. James is a roofer, still fit and still has the greatest smile. Go on now, git!        


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