Over the past 50 years, it’s only happened six times. But for veteran golfer Sandy Bunting, every time she lands a hole-in-one, it's just as special as the first one she sunk back 1981.
That was the case when Bunting landed her sixth career hole-in-one just last week, knocking in a shot on the 12th hole at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club in Dagsboro for her first hole-in-one shot on what she now considers her home course.
“Each one is just as awesome as the one before, because you just can’t believe that it’s happened to you,” said Bunting.
The shot from 102 yards out was on a Par 3 and, interestingly enough, came about on a day when Bunting had accidentally left two of her irons back at home, one of which she said she would have otherwise been using.
“I try for a hole-in-one every time I’m on a Par 3,” Bunting said, noting that, instead of an iron, she opted for her 6 hybrid. “I didn’t have the club I would have used, but that one worked perfectly.”
Facing a sand trap in front the green, Bunting sent a high shot that she had a feeling had dropped right down near the hole but that she wasn’t sure went in until she, Joy Koons and Donna Murray went to investigate.
“We couldn’t see it go in — we had to walk up to the green before we knew for sure,” Bunting explained. “We all almost got chills. We started cheering.”
When a child has a serious illness, the lives of everyone in the family are affected. It might seem as if the illness sends out ripples of stress, worry and exhaustion that leave families feeling as if they have been hit by a tsunami.
There were a lot of shrugs and “I don’t know”s and “Do you only own, like, one shirt, or what’s the deal?”s in my own personal discussions about the Indian River High School and Sussex Central High School soccer teams before they faced off on Tuesday.
Indians roll Blue Jays 60-20 to start 1-0 in South
After back-to-back-to-back losses, the Indian River High School football team was back in a big way on Monday, Oct. 3, putting an end to the blues with a 60-20 division win over the Jays, to start 1-0 in the Henlopen South.
In a game rescheduled from Friday, Sept. 30, senior running back Gerald Foreman didn’t waste any more time in getting the Indians on the board, taking a handoff 71 yards up the sideline and to the house on the first play from scrimmage.
Then, after the extra point from senior kicker Andrew White made it 7-0, Foreman would find the end zone again on the next play from scrimmage, that time picking off a pass from Seaford quarterback Isaiah Lake and returning it 36 yards to paydirt.
“Seaford was coming off a win; their morale was up. As soon as we got off the bus, we had to be ready to go,” said IR head coach Phil Townsend of the quick start.
Indian edge Knights on Cordoba’s 51st-minute goal
While control of the midfield swayed throughout the match, one goal would determine the outcome of the game when the 4-0 Indian River High School soccer team and 4-0 Sussex Central High School soccer team faced off on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
That goal came in the 51st minute, when IR senior defender Andrew White sent a ball to senior forward Johan Cordoba, who got out in front of the Central defense and found himself one-on-one with the keeper.
“I knew I had to finish it,” Cordoba said of his chance in the back-and-forth battle.
“I saw Andrew with the ball, running down the line, and I knew he was going to pass it. I just got lucky that the ball got to me, took a touch, and then I just booked it to goal.”
IR alumni from 1980s to be honored at half
Fresh off their first win of the season, the Indian River High School football team will look to make it 2-0 in the Henlopen South when they host Laurel on Friday, Oct. 7.
At 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the division, the Bulldogs are coming off a 22-20 loss to rival Delmar on Sunday, Oct. 2, after taking down Sussex Tech 59-35 the week prior.
They’re led by senior All-Conference quarterback Perez Nichols, who at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, possesses both size and speed as a dual-threat quarterback.
Nichols scored off an 11-yard bootleg in last week’s matchup against Delmar and should put IR senior outside-linebacker Joey Ciriello and sophomore outside-linebacker Jacob Anderson to the test on Friday.
Senior running back Deon Parker ripped off a 33-yard touchdown run against Delmar, also adding an interception in the red zone at strong safety. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Parker could be a factor on both sides of the ball and will be joined by senior running back Yolnex Gustin to round out a speed-filled backfield.
The Delmarva Christian High School and Indian River High School volleyball teams went down to the fifth and final set on Monday, Oct. 3, with the Royals edging the Indians 15-11 to claim the 3-2 win.
DCHS junior Gabrielle Book racked up 14 kills and 14 digs on the night, junior Olivia Berger led her squad with 20 assists, freshman Ashlyn Stonebraker had 10 digs and 17 assists, and junior Camryn Thompson finished with seven kills, five aces and 16 digs.
For the Indians, freshman libero Jessica Amezuca had 12 digs; and junior setter Mckenzie Johnson two blocks, three digs and 10 assists. Senior middle hitter Sami Mumford led in kills, with seven and added eight assists; junior middle hitter Julia Bomhardt had six kills; and junior outside hitter Carly Collins put up seven digs and four kills.
IR hockey moves to 5-1 with 1-0 win over Caesar Rodney
The Indian River High School field hockey team improved to 5-1 on the season with a 1-0 win over Caesar Rodney on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Senior forward Madi McGee scored the game’s lone goal just before halftime, with the IR defense holding the Riders to only one shot on goal, which was saved by junior keeper Mya Parks.
Tripple Overtime: Beyond the rivalry: The definitive Josh Timmons interview after his second career goal
Call it what you (and, by “you,” I pretty much mean “I”) will.
Indians' boys team starts 1-1
They almost pulled it off last year. But this year, they finally did.
After being edged by Sussex Tech in 2015, the Indian River High School girls’ cross-country team got the 2016 season started with their first-ever win over the Ravens in their home-opening tri-meet held on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
For some of the team’s seniors, it’s a hurdle that they’ve been looking to clear for the past four years.
“I really wanted to beat Tech. We were close last year,” said senior Maddie Hogsten, who’s been no stranger to besting the Henlopen North rival on the soccer field but who had yet to see it happen on the cross-country trails headed into Wednesday’s meet.
Indians ready for run on the South after loss to Cape
The Indian River High School football team knows that they could have managed a few upsets, despite starting the season going up against three larger schools with three larger teams.
But after falling to Maryland 3A Linganore in their opener, giving up a 14-0 lead to top-ranked Sussex Tech and most recently seeing turnovers cost them the game against top-ranked Cape Helopen in a 40-21 loss on Friday, Sept. 23, they also know that their season starts right now.
“We’re 0-0 right now in the South,” explained IR head coach Phil Townsend. “From here on out, though, we can’t afford a loss. The guys really have to understand that and stay focused at practice.”
“We knew those first three teams were going to be tough,” added senior running back George Martin. “I’m going to use this to push myself, and I hope that the rest of these guys do, too. Those losses — they’re going motivate us, rather than bringing us down.”
After starting off their season with matchups against Maryland’s Linganore High School, Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen, the Indian River High School football team will set their sights on the Henlopen South when they begin division play and host Seaford on Friday.
The Blue Jays are currently 1-2 on the season, coming off a 66-26 victory over St. Andrew’s School (0-2) on Friday, Sept. 23.
In the midst of a Cape Henlopen High School comeback, Indian River High School junior forward Oscar Cruz found himself with a chance to close the door on the Vikings for good, with the keeper out of position and ball bouncing just in front of the net.
He’d miss out on the chance, sending a shot high the over the crossbar.
Just minutes later, however, Cruz would get some redemption, when senior defender Patrick Mochiam sent a long ball downfield that made its way to senior midfielder Wilberth Gomez and eventually bounced up high in front of the cage. Cruz went up with Cape keeper Alan Marin — that time burying the shot on a well-placed header, to both give the Indians a 5-3 lead and ensure the eventual victory.
It was what Indian River High School assistant field hockey coach Molly Chamberlin would later describe as “one of the first times that they had really been tested,” since the team’s opening matchup against Sussex Tech.
But leading the Henlopen North’s Smyrna 1-0 on Thursday, Sept. 28, the IR field hockey team defense and junior goalkeeper Mya Parks held the Eagles’ offensive attack at bay, despite penalty strokes and lopsided time of possession, to start the season 4-0.
“I did not want them to score at all,” Parks said of the particularly palpable tension at the end of the game, with the Eagles knocking on the door and looking for the equalizer.
“It definitely helps, having a good defense to bring the nerves down. Maggie [Ford], Sammi [Whelen] and Mac[kenzie Gorey] — I know that I can count on them. I know they’re going to be there. They had to get through all of them before it got to me.”
Cape Henlopen 17, Sussex Academy 45 (boys’ cross-country)
The Cape Henlopen boys’ cross-country team started the season 1-0 with a 17-45 win over Sussex Academy on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Sophomore Greg Boyce, sophomore Sam Nye and senior Ryan Shaffer earned the top three spots for the Vikings, while senior Mason Hayes led the Seahawks with a fourth-place finish.
New student section making an impact
It seems to be a trend at Indian River High School this year: up-and-coming programs proving they’re on the up-and-up with their most successful starts in recent years.
No exception to that trend has been the Indian River volleyball team, which got over the .500 hump and off to a 3-2 start with a win over Worcester Preparatory School in three sets on Friday, Sept. 23.
“It is nice to be 3-2. Yesterday was a great win at Milford. That was a hard-earned victory, and I was happy that we won that game. I was happy that we won this game, too,” said IR head volleyball coach Jim Barnes of the start and 3-2 division win over Milford on Thursday, Sept. 22.
After the tight matchup at Milford to get to 2-2, the Indians came back out the next day to roll the Mallards by scores of 25-9, 25-11 and 25-17.
Moore rushes for 55, Salisbury shuts out Southern Va.
The Salisbury University football team moved to 3-0 on Saturday, Sept. 24, with a 35-0 conference win over Southern Virginia.
To quote the famous and fictitious Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious, but I am, a little stiticious.”
It was anyone’s game at the break.
A back-and-forth first-half battle had left a highly touted Sussex Tech High School football team up only one score on the Henlopen Southern Division’s Indian River, 27-20.
In the second half, however, the Ravens would outlast the Indians, showing how they earned their Top 10 pre-season state ranking and taking advantage of turnovers as they rode the big play to an eventual 48-28 win.
While IR head coach Phil Townsend was disappointed by the loss, he was by no means disappointed in his squad’s performance.
“It says a lot about our guys how well they came out and took on that challenge,” said Townsend. “We had a really good week at practice this week. Coming off that loss [against Linganore] last week, they didn’t dwell on it. They came in Monday and they were ready to work.”
It was exactly what the Indian River High School volleyball team needed when down 11-10 in the first set: four straight aces from their ace acer, Carly Collins.
“I just serve. That’s what they tell me to do,” said Collins, a junior outside hitter, of her back-to-back-to-back-to-back aces that gave her squad a 14-11 lead and the game’s momentum.
“Carly came in and made a bunch of serves like she should do,” added IR head coach Jim Barnes. “That’s one of the things that Carly does well. She’s one of the best servers on our team.”
In a set that saw seven tie scores before the Collins serving rally, the Indians were able to jump back out in front and stay there, going up 17-13 on two straight aces from senior middle hitter Sami Mumford and eventually taking the first set 25-19.
It was the first win of a complete sweep against the Seahawks on Friday, Sept. 16, as IR went on to take the next two sets 25-14 and 25-20, respectively, for their season’s first win, improving to 1-1 in the Henlopen South after a tough loss against Delmar the previous night.
“This was an extremely important win for us,” said Barnes of the victory on the heels of the 3-1 loss to the Wildcats on Thursday, Sept. 15.
Tiger Woods. Phil Mickelson. Jack Nicklaus. Arnold Palmer.
And now, Sarah Lydic.
After her win at the regional Drive, Chip & Putt competition at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., earlier this month, the 11-year-old wunderkind has earned a bid to the national championship at Augusta National — home of not only the Masters tournament, but of some of the game’s greatest masters as well.
“Part of me feels like I’m in a dream and that this isn’t really happening,” said Lydic of the accomplishment.
“I also feel proud of all the hard work I’ve done this summer to prepare myself for this competition. I’m excited to be going to Augusta, because I’ll be getting a chance to be where the Masters is played and see that beautiful course and be around many great golfers.”
The Ocean View native and member of Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club finished first overall in the Girls’ 10-11 division at the regional competition, going up against golfers from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and even Canada.
Her total score of 115 bested Ohio’s Mia Raynes and Kentucky’s Trinity Beth, who finished with scores of 109 and 108, respectively.
Placing fourth in the drive category, and tied for third in putting, Lydic’s edge came in the chipping competition, where she out-shot everyone, with a total score of 40, to earn the win and the only qualifying spot for nationals in her respective division.
Raynes and Beth, who finished second and third, each earned alternate spots.
While they may be 0-2 so far, the Indian River High School football teamed is looking primed and ready for their first win of the season when Cape Henlopen comes to town on Friday, Sept. 23, after a strong showing against top-ranked Sussex Tech (2-0) last Friday.
With three games in the same week, the Indian River High School field hockey team was put to the test to start off the 2016 season but still managed to come out with three straight wins and a 3-0 record for the second year in a row.
“It was a very tough week for them,” said IR head coach Jodi Stone. “In high school, playing three games in one week is a lot — especially still getting acclimated to going to school all day and then practicing in the afternoon — so they really held their own. I’m very proud of them.”
Indians 3, Laurel 0
(Thursday, Sept. 15)
After taking down Tech on Tuesday, the Indians faced off against Laurel in their home opener on Thursday, Sept. 15, rolling the Bulldogs 3-0.
The Indian River High School soccer team is off to their first 2-0 start since the 2012 season, after taking down Delmar 9-0 in a division matchup on Thursday, Sept. 15.
Senior forward Mikie Mochiam got the Indians on the board first, taking a pass from senior midfielder Mac Smith and finding the net in just the fourth minute.
IR Soccer Boosters to hold dine-and-donate at Mio Fratello
The Indian River High School Soccer Boosters are sponsoring a dine-and-donate at Mio Fratello Italian Steakhouse in West Fenwick Island on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the state champion soccer team, with the general public encouraged to attend and help support the cause.
It hadn’t been done since 2013.
That’s the year that the Indian River High School soccer team downed Henlopen North powerhouse Caesar Rodney twice — not only in the same season, but the same week, the first victory coming in a regular-season matchup on Oct. 26 and the second for the Henlopen Conference championship just seven days later.
The Indians’ 2016 defending state championship squad, however, was looking for some redemption after they fell to the Riders 4-0 in their opener last season. And on Tuesday, Sept. 13, they got just that, with a 3-1 decision to start off the season 1-0.
“Any time we can win, that’s a plus. Any time we can beat CR, that’s a huge plus,” said head coach Steve Kilby of the rivalry matchup that every year could very well end up as a preview of the HAC championship game. “It’s a huge opponent to start a season with.”
The Indians struck first, when senior midfielder Johan Cordoba sent a ball to senior forward Mikie Mochiam, who then sent it to the back of the net in just the 13th minute, to go up 1-0.
“We usually have that type of chemistry where he passes the ball and run off of it,” Mochiam explained of the score. “Johan gave me the nod, and I ran off of it. He tipped it, it was a pretty good tip and I just kind of had my tippy toes on it.”
The good news is the Indian River High School football team has likely already faced their toughest test this season.
The bad news is 2015 Maryland Class 3A regional semifinalist Linganore still handed the Indians a 61-0 loss in their opener on Friday, Sept. 9.
After making the trip from across the bridge, the Lancers took the field at Indian River High School’s football stadium — a.k.a. “The Steele Cage” — in front of a packed house of green and gold, which included alumni from the 1960s and 1970s who were being honored at halftime. The teams appeared early on to be evenly matched, despite a student population back in Frederick nearly doubling that of IR.
It still stands as the single greatest season in Delaware State University baseball history — the year that the Hornets won it all.
And on Friday, Sept. 9, some 27-odd years later, the 1989 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship team got some well-deserved recognition for that season, when they were inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Among them were local residents Chris Megee and Chris White.
“I was so glad to get to see some of the guys after 27 years. We’re truly brothers forever,” Megee said, noting that he had been looking forward to last Friday ever since receiving the news of the HOF induction this past summer.
“It’s truly an honor to have the team recognized for our accomplishments. It just shows how hard we worked together. The work we put in paid off.”
After stumbling to Maryland’s Linagnore High School to start the season, the Indian River High School football team will turn their attention to Route 9 rival Sussex Tech this Friday.
The Ravens roared to a 36-6 win over the Indians in 2015, behind the three-headed monster that was senior running backs Timaun Williams and Patrick Griffin and junior running back Isaiah Brown.
The trio would eventually lead Tech to an 8-2 regular-season record and DIAA state tournament appearance before getting knocked out by Middletown 42-7 in the first round.
While the Ravens won’t have Williams and Griffin to lean on anymore, the 5-foot, 9-inch, 168-pound Brown returns to take over as the Ravens’ bell cow, wasting no time in the lead roll with a seven-touchdown 276-yard performance in a 61-20 home victory over A.I. du Pont during the DRFC Kickoff Classic on Thursday, Sept. 8.
McGee nets two in season debut
Headed into their opening matchup against highly touted Sussex Tech last season, the Indian River High School field hockey team was very much the underdog. No one expected them to win, especially not 1-0 off a Lexi Haden overtime goal.
This year, however, the bar had been raised, and winning had almost become the expectation. An expectation that the Indians knew they had to meet.
“The bar had already been set. We knew we had to take it to the next step,” said IR head coach Jodi Stone, after her squad’s 2-1 victory over the Ravens on Tuesday. “They were ready.”
“It was an expectation this year, so we were a lot more nervous,” added senior forward Madi McGee. “It was a good nervous.”