America: The land of the free. The home of the brave. The birthplace of the word “supersize” and adult-onset diabetes.
Jacob Anderson set the tone early, when he returned the opening kickoff 85 yards and all the way to the house for a score.
That put the Indian River High School football team up 7-0 on undefeated Milford.
But the Bucs would bounce back and set their own tone on their own ensuing drive on Oct. 14, when senior fullback Dominyc Hovington found the end zone on a 16-yard run, the two-point conversion giving Milford an 8-7 lead that they would never relinquish on their way to a 52-15 Homecoming win and 6-0 start to the season.
While the Indians dropped to 2-4 overall on the season, at 2-1 in the Henlopen South and with three division matchups left to go, their playoff hopes are far from foiled.
Headed into the half tied at 0-0 under the lights at Cape Henlopen, the Indian River High School field hockey team was facing another 30 minutes on the turf with no subs.
But after battling the highly-touted Vikings without giving up a score midway through the second half as well, the two programs’ mismatched numbers showed as the Indians began to wear down and Cape tallied five goals in the final 16 minutes, to pull off a 5-0 win.
“They’re a very well-orchestrated team. They have an awesome feeder program, they’re very well coached, and they have the depth, so they can just roll in fresh legs. We just didn’t have the depth,” explained IR head coach Jodi Stone.
To make matters worse, the Indians were without defensive leader Sammi Whelen for the matchup, who was out with a minor injury and expected to be back in the lineup soon.
The Indian River High School football team will face one of their toughest tests since the start of the season this Friday night, when No. 1-ranked Woodbridge comes to town for what will be the Indians’ Homecoming game.
The 6-0 Blue Raiders are 2-0 in the Henlopen South and coming off their third straight shutout and a 54-0 win over Seaford (1-5, 0-3) on Friday, Oct. 14.
This year, they’re again led under center by sophomore quarterback Troy Haynes. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound signal-caller managed touchdowns through the air and on the ground last year in what was the Blue Raiders’ own Homecoming game, during a 34-0 win over the Indians after the game had gone into halftime scoreless.
First-Team All-Conference running back Terrique Reddick has again been the Blue Raiders’ bell cow for his senior campaign, joined by senior running back Anwain Holden, who poses a threat as a return man as well, and recently returned a 73-yard kick for a touchdown against Lake Forest on Monday, Oct. 3.
Sussex Academy’s Helou sets new course record
The Indian River High School cross-country team took on Sussex Academy, Caesar Rodney and Polytech during a quad-meet held at Polytech on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The Riders won the day, with both the boys’ and girls’ squads sweeping the meet and racking up three wins each.
For the second time this season, former Indian River High School Top XI selection and reigning Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year Brooke Beam has been named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week during her freshman campaign for the University of Richmond women’s soccer team.
Beam scored the game-winning goal for the Spiders in a 2-1 win over Rhode Island on Sunday, Oct. 9, and helped hold St. Louis to just nine shots in a 1-0 loss on Thursday, Oct. 6.
“Brooke is a very talented player who has shown steady improvement while adapting to the speed and power of A-10 soccer,” said head coach Peter Albright of the freshman midfielder.
Jarmon gets carry, catch in UD football loss to Maine
Indian River High School graduate, former state Gatorade Player of the Year and current University of Delaware sophomore Jamie Jarmon was back in action during the University of Delaware football team’s matchup against the University of Maine on Saturday, Oct. 15.
If you know one thing about me, it’s that I’m scared of birds. But also, after catching a few episodes of the show “Stranger Things” on Netflix, and since, apparently, I’m, like, 6, I’m also pretty scared of the dark (ghosts, aliens, demogorgons messing with my soul, Democrats messing with voting ballots, etc.).
Indians short-circuit Ravens after pre-game ‘fowl’
It was the game that almost didn’t happen.
Just hours before the opening draw of the Indian River and Sussex Tech high school soccer match on Tuesday, Oct. 11, IR Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann found a dead buzzard near the soccer field. Then, he found that the stadium lights didn’t work.
With a 7 p.m. start time, no lights meant no game, so Fuhrmann placed a call to Delmarva Power, who made a special trip out to IR to get things working just before the opening whistle.
“We just want to thank Delmarva [Power] and the people that make sure these lights came on for this game tonight,” said Fuhrmann. “We wouldn’t have been able to play tonight without them.”
‘Quiet Storm’ getting louder
Just past the halfway mark in the 2016 season, the Indian River High School field hockey team already finds themselves only one win shy of ensuring their first winning record since current IR assistant coach Molly Chamberlin was rocking No. 12 instead of a pair of sunglasses and a whistle.
With a 3-0 win over Sussex Central on Thursday, Oct. 6, and 5-0 win over Seaford on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Indians are off to a 7-1 start — their best in more than a decade.
“Things are coming together. Things are clicking,” said IR head coach Jodi Stone, who inherited a 2-13 team in 2013 with intentions of turning the program around, and who has since led the Indians to records of 5-9-1 in 2014 and 5-8-2 in 2015, under the handle she and her squad gave the team: “The Quiet Storm.”
It was the situation that IR senior Andrew White had been waiting for, as field goal kickers often do.
Less than a minute to go. The Indians down 22-21 and within striking distance. His chance to seal the game for his squad.
While White would eventually drill a 26-yarder with 00:21 ticks to go, to give the Indians a 24-22 lead and the eventual division win over Laurel, the storybook ending had had all the makings of a tragedy when he had attempted a 46-yard shot on fourth down just four plays prior.
“On the first one, it seemed like the perfect storm,” White explained of his first attempt. “Everything went wrong — the snap was off, I wasn’t set, I slipped in the mud — but on the second one, it was a second chance.”
Someone’s “0” has got to go when the Indian River High School football team takes on Milford this Friday night, with both teams currently undefeated in the Henlopen South.
The Bucs are off to an undefeated non-division start as well, sporting a 5-0 overall record with wins over Red Lion, Delaware Military Academy, St. Andrews School, Conrad and Seaford under second-year head coach Shaun Strickland.
Strickland led Milford to a 6-4 record in 2015, just a season after inheriting a 1-9 team.
Returning this year as the team’s prime playmaker is junior running back David Bowman, who’s coming off a First-Team All-Conference sophomore season in 2015 and a four-touchdown performance against Seaford during a 52-8 division win on Friday, Oct. 7.
The 5-foot-5, 150-pound tailback also ran for three touchdowns and over the century mark in a 42-13 win over Conrad the previous week, and lines up at strong safety on defense.
Beam scores in 2-1 win over Rhode Island
Up 1-0 on Rhode Island, the University of Richmond women’s soccer team got some insurance and the eventual game-decider from freshman midfielder and Indian River High School graduate Brooke Beam when she found the net for the second time this season during a 2-1 win on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Johnson serves up 14 in final set to send Indians over Spartans
She was just kidding, kind of.
Living in the Dover area last year before transferring to Indian River High School, IR junior Makenzie Johnson was at the game in which Polytech’s Emily Campbell served up 15 straight points in the final set against the Indians to win it for the Panthers back in 2015.
So, headed into the fifth and final set against Lake Forest on Thursday, Oct. 6, and in a similar situation, Johnson joked that she was going to do a similar thing.
“Before the set, I was joking… I was like, ‘I’m gonna pull an Emily Campbell and serve 15,’” she said with a laugh.
But no one was laughing when Johnson nearly pulled off just that, serving up 14 straight points before the Spartans finally got their own chance to serve, and before junior Carly Collins knocked down a shot to seal the set 15-3 and the game 3-2.
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.”