(If you like local sports, local kids being able to learn stuff/do things)
Calling all tennis players. Calling all golfers ready for shotgun starts. Calling all shuffle-board players, 5K runners, jazzercise jazzers, yoga’ed-out yogis, grayed-out barrel-riders, cast-out fish-finders, and even calling all 65-year-old hockey players still carving rink with the best of them (if any of them actually happen to exist, aside from Selbyville’s Lee Stanley). Most definitely calling Vaughn Baker, the First State Pickleball Club and pickleball players everywhere.
Indians headed to playoffs
They call him “The Fixer.” Mostly because that’s what B.J. Joseph does.
In fact, ever since leading Cape Henlopen High School to a state title as a player in 1976 and capping his collegiate career at Wilmington College, that’s what B.J. Joseph has always done — taken down-on-their luck programs, such as Milford and Laurel, from playoff-plagued to playoff-perennial.
Now in his second year as the head coach at Indian River High School, Joseph is at it again, recently earning his 200th career win and getting ready to take the Indians to the state tournament after inheriting a senior-depleted roster in 2016.
“It just means you’ve been around for a little while,” Joseph said of the milestone, with a laugh. “When you start off taking over a program that’s down, it’s tough to build it back up, but I think we’re finally turning things around here.”
He may be just a freshman, but that doesn’t mean that Indian River High School 106-pounder Will Rayne wrestles like one.
Coming off an undefeated season at Selbyville Middle School, Rayne took the mats for the Indians earlier this season and immediately started racking up the wins, eventually finishing with a perfect 16-0 record during dual-meets and 33-4 record overall, earning himself the No. 2 seed at the Henlopen Conference championships this past weekend.
That’s where, on Saturday, Feb. 17, in front of a packed house at Sussex Central in Georgetown, Rayne would advance all the way to the 106 finals before taking down No. 1 seed Mike Primo from Caesar Rodney, 9-2, for the Henlopen Conference title.
Marcozzi sets new school record for career wins
It was, without question, one of the main events. If not the main event, even.
After getting the Henlopen Conference wrestling finals started with the 195-pound bracket, seniors Lucas Hudson and Zeke Marcozzi had to wait 13 long championship bouts before getting to the 182-pound title match at Sussex Central High School on Saturday, Feb. 19.
And so did the crowd.
With Marcozzi entering the tournament as the No. 1 seed for Indian River and Hudson as the No. 2 seed for Central, the highly-anticipated matchup would eventually give fans their money’s worth, and then some, as the longtime rival wrestlers from longtime rival schools finally took the mats and Hudson finally took the championship title, in a hard-fought 8-5 decision, for the tournament’s grand finale.
IR boys' hoops finishes 12-8, ready for playoffs
After capping the regular season with a 12-8 record, the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team is looking primed to return to the DIAA state tournament for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
Indians say goodbye to Ford, McGee
Headed into the season, the goal for second-year head coach Donna Polk and the Indian River High School girls’ basketball team was simple: Be better than they were last year.
Even after dropping their last game of the season 38-20 to Laurel on Thursday, Feb. 16, that was still a goal that the Indians would accomplish, doubling their win total from 2015-2016 and finishing 10-10 — their best record since 2013.
“We’ve definitely improved. We’re getting better,” said Polk. “This year, I thought we started off really well, with them understanding the expectations a little bit more.”
After going back and forth with the Bulldogs during the first half of last Thursday’s game and eventually trailing 20-16 headed into the break, the Indians would struggle with the scoring in half No. 2.
Tripple Overtime: Indians, Golden Knights unified by Unified (The definitive Josh Timmons interview Pt. II)
For basketball fans, or even for fans of just, like, general humanity, it was very exciting. It was very, very exciting.
The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team is hoping to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, after the Indians clinched their 10th win of the season.
After a 53-27 loss to Sussex Central on Thursday, Feb. 7, the Indians bounced back with a 74-7 win over Delaware Design-Lab High School on Saturday, Feb. 11, and a 35-24 win over Maryland’s Salisbury School on Monday, Feb. 13.
Sophomore center Julia Jordan put together her fourth double-double of the season in Saturday’s game against Design-Lab, finishing the game with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Madi McGee racked up a career-high 15 points and freshman guard Yolanda Wise added a career-high 13 points.
Marcozzi ties Magaha’s record
The Indian River High School wrestling team was ready to bring home the school’s first state title on the mats when they got to state duals at Smyrna High School on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Instead, they’d see Milford bring home that school’s second in a row, as the Bucs came back from a 15-point deficit to take down the Indians 34-40.
After a back-and-fourth bout at states and 16-3 season, however, IR head coach Jeff Windish was far from discouraged with his state-finalist squad as they geared up for individual conference and state championships.
“We left it all out there. I don’t think anybody had anything left to give and, as a coach, that’s what you want to see,” said Windish.
Bratton selected as Blue-Gold All-Star
In front of a packed house last Thursday, Feb. 9, the Indian River High School basketball team earned a 64-57 win over district rival Sussex Central, in the process bettering their chances of returning to the DIAA state tournament for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
“They’re starting to buy into the process. They’re buying into it, and it’s working,” said IR head coach B.J. Joseph, who took over the squad last season. “We just have to keep getting wins, taking one game at a time.”
The Indians started off hot in that game when senior forward Isaiah “Izzy” Bratton won the tip-off and sent a dart down to sophomore forward Jamier Felton, who finished the chance and put his squad up 2-0 in the game’s opening seconds.
Going up against some of the state’s stop talent at the Henlopen Conference championships on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Indian River High School swim team rose to the challenge, with a slew of swimmers taking the podium and setting new personal records in the process.
Among the top individual performances was IR senior Lindsey Grow taking second with a time of 1:05.88 and senior McKenna Burke taking third with a time of 1:07.68 in the 100-yard butterfly.
Both times were personal bests for the senior co-captains, earning both Grow and Burke top spots on the podium, along with Cape Henlopen senior Amelia Nigh-Johnson and her first-place time of 1:00.78.
“It was great to be up on the podium together. That was awesome,” said Burke after receiving her medal. “We were pushing each other in our heat.”
The Selbyville Middle School track-and-field team is about to get a whole lot of experience. More than 40 years of experience, to be almost exact.
It’s been a historic season so far for the Indian River High School wrestling team.
Tripple Overtime: An apology that Tom Brady will never get, for things he never knew I said in the first place
I guess I don’t really have to offer an apology to Tom Brady. That’s not to say he doesn’t deserve one. I just don’t think he needs it.
The Indian River High School Class of 2017 saw eight seniors sign letters of intent on Thursday, Feb. 2, as they get ready to take their talents to the NCAA in the fall.
Among them were Madison Hogsten, headed to Salisbury University to play soccer; Samantha Mumford, joining the Salisbury University softball team’ Zion Howard, headed to Virginia Beach, Va. to play baseball at Virginia Wesleyan College; Johan Cordoba, Jordi Ramirez and Arturo Salas, all joining the Chesapeake College soccer team; Mac Smith, signing with Millersville University to play soccer; and Lindsey Grow, signing with the Milligan College swim team.
(Salisbury University, soccer)
After earning a starting spot when she debuted for the Indians’ girls’ soccer team as a freshman, Maddie Hogsten quickly established herself as one of the team’s most dangerous offensive weapons.