People In Sports

Hope in the house for injured Brian Tappan

June 4, 2013

Lily Nowakowski - She is the daughter of Thad, who is the brother of Andy and they are the sons of Ted, who is the brother of Gail, and the grandmother Janet was a teacher and coach at Lewes and Rehoboth. It doesn’t get more local. Lily is 13, runs track for Sacred Heart CYO outside of Philly. Last weekend, she competed in the Philadelphia Archdiocese Championships, featuring 64 teams and 1,000 athletes. She placed second in long jump at 15 feet 5 inches, second in the 100 meters in 13.34 seconds and third in the 200 meters 27.4.  All three performances were school records. Lily scored all 22 of her school's team points, leading them to an 11th-place finish.

Oh Boyd! - Jeremy Boyd is the son of Gail Nowakoski Stenger and brother of Aric and cousin to Lily – read above paragraph to get up to speed. Last weekend, he completed the 50-mile North Face Endurance Classic in Virignia, an all-terrain test of physical fitness and mental stability, where two-wheel- drive humans will, at times, go to four wheels to avoid slipping, sliding and crashing. Jeremy’s own account of his race tells the story: “Started cramping at mile 20.35, according to my GPS. Warded it off pretty well until about mile 25-ish. Hit real hard just before mile 30. Couldn't move for over 15 minutes, about a half mile before aid station. Finally made it there and the EMTs kept me for over 40 minutes, wouldn't let me leave, monitored for cramping and heat stroke. Couldn't run for almost 15 miles but could essentially power walk. Worst cramps by then were in the stomach. Around mile 45, I could start running some without cramping. I got them under control and pretty much ran the rest of the way in.”

Penn Fusion - Grand Mom Rose: “If you can run and write, you can always stay in front of the peloton of mediocrity, do you catch my rough draft?” Andrew Weir, 14, with a 4:50 mile to his credit this spring and a second-place finish at the Highway One Pictures 5K, tried out for the soccer team Penn Fusion, which Gotsoccer had rated the No. 1 U14 team in the nation. Andrew made the team – no surprise to me – but it is a year-round commitment, so he is hanging up his lacrosse stick and in the words of Dire Straits, “Oh yea, the boy can play.” Younger sister Olivia, who cartwheels across finish lines after 5K races, is a level 9 gymnast and also plays soccer. Mom Cheryl ran the Boston Marathon and Mike, the dad, watches the dog Guinness. Mike describes himself as “the slowest Weir at the breakfast table.” They live in the Garnet Valley School District, which retired Cape guy Pete Hovis informs me is in Delaware County, Pa.

Snippets - Great job, Laurel and the Stay at Home Bulldogs for winning the state title in softball, the first state title for girls in the long history of the school. Major onsite renovations are going on at the high school; this may jazz other Laurel athletes to represent their town. Way to go, Westside!

A check for $2,000 was presented June 1 to the Brian Tappan Foundation. The proceeds are from the recent Lewes half marathon. Tom and Charlene Jones of Irish Eyes and Tim Bamforth of the Seashore Striders presented the check as notable regular runners waited an hour to get in the photo. Brian, a Cape lacrosse player, was paralyzed from the waist down in an ATV accident three years and 10 months ago, more of a crush rather than rupture injury, and the family holds out hope he will walk again. “Brian was my student in second grade. I have a clipping of him flying the airplane simulator in the classroom," Charlene said. "Brian told me, 'Give the money to someone else, there are more deserving people.'  I told him, 'Shut up, you're getting it.' Then we both laughed."