People In Sports

Power grid starting to light up in scholastic spring sports

April 11, 2014

Confused by comparisons - I’m talking all the spring sports - it is hard to separate the good from the bad and the ugly. There are teams with fat records; all they do is beat up the team in front of them. The problem is, the teams in their crosshairs are not very good. Most legitimate top-tier teams ignore all this fire down below and just wait for the state tournament where it will all be sorted out.  What’s the expression ? "Put the women and children to bed and let's go looking for dinner; let the paramedics sort it out” (from the movie "The Program").

Tighten up - Websites4sports is the online clearinghouse for reported scores and roster numbers and archival information so guys like me have a clue how a team has been doing and can actually identify players in photos by their numbers. Schools with athletic programs below the waterline generally don’t do a good job hyping their own athletes. I mean seriously, what good is a roster without numbers, Sussex Central? There are other schools you never hear from if they lose, but after a home win they are all about the hype. Yes, I could bust out on quite a few schools for their lazy approach to to supporting their own athletes, so how about climbing out of the golf cart and doing some work?

UConn connections - Cape jump coach Ellis Gaulden played wideout for the Huskies and was Big East high jump champion, clearing 7 feet.  Paul McDowell, the older brother of Cape’s Dave McDowell and a high school teammate of mine, was the comptroller there, the money guy. Tony Zigman, former four-sport athlete at Cape, played football for the Wildcats in the mid-1980s.

Double down - When I inherited the boys' track program at Cape, I looked at all the competing sports and said, ”OK, so in other words, I get all the black athletes.” That was a good nucleus and place to start.

Got to make plays - Cape baseball is pretty good; it’s a team that should sail above the waterline, but like all teams opening the season with one foot in a bucket of wet cement, they are blowing routine plays, which is easy to say for those of us who don’t have to make them. You can play 100 travel games a summer, but when the ball comes off the bat, can you pick it or go get it, then throw it on the long hope to the right base?

New uniforms - Men’s Wearhouse insertion for me Monday got some new uniforms for upcoming banquets and even got some brown shoes from New Balance with a capital N on the side because I’m a white-sock-wearing athlete to the night I die, which most likely will be at a microphone in front of an audience with vibrating pockets. But no matter, my name was on a poster at Lloyd's IGA, and  for a local live guy there is no higher honor.

Andre Flowers - I saw Cape athlete Andre Flowers at a track meet Tuesday, and at first I thought he was reading a book. But then I saw him showing some paperwork to his teammate, Pete Lescovac. Andre showed it to me, too; it was his financial aid declaration page from the University of Delaware. Andre told me, “I’m adopted, so I filled out all the financial aid papers myself. I didn’t think I could afford to go to college.” I saw the numbers and the amount of money he doesn’t have to pay back, and Andre can go to the University of Delaware and now we all should adopt him just in case he needs our help.

Snippets - Big home girls' lacrosse game at Champions Stadium at 3:30 p.m., Saturday, April 12, as Cape hosts the 6-1 Blue Streaks from Manheim Township of Lancaster, Pa.

Cape is a dog-friendly facility. No one is saying, "Bring your dog to athletic contests,” but it’s mostly a don’t brag don’t wag philosophy and not a problem until 20 dogs show up. Tuesday night at the girls' soccer game, it was Bubba from the Ducks Unlimited auction arriving with owner Mark Penuel to cheer on Woodbridge. I put the photo on Facebook, and more people knew Bubba than knew any of the individual players.

Baseball is 10 games into the season, and it's already agonizing to follow the Phillies. The Nationals and Orioles are both better and more interesting teams with smart and smooth announcers and all games in high definition.

Congrats to Allie Yeager for scoring her 100th career lacrosse goal in Cape’s 17-3 win at Saint Mark’s April 9.  Go on now, git!