Last Wednesday started like most of them typically do for me. I woke up a 6 a.m., started the coffee, contemplated doing some pushups, decided that I was still too handsome to have to work out, and sat down at my desk to finish up a few stories before our 10 a.m. story deadline and my 10:30 shift behind the bar at Papa Grande’s.
It was the very first thing that Indian River High School head football coach Ray Steele heard on the very first day of practice.
No one on his squad wanted to be the team that snapped the streak. The streak that Steele started when he took the helm in 2011, coaching the Indians to a state championship and beginning a Henlopen South championship title run that this year’s team plans on keeping alive.
That run was in jeopardy last season after holes were left by stars including Marquel Knight, Aaron Moore and Jalen Griffin. But after a tough pre-season and stumble in the home-opener against Decatur, new leaders emerged as the team continued to find their identity and eventually not only took the South but challenged No. 1 St. Georges Tech in the first round of the DIAA playoffs.
Now Steele will have to figure out how to fill the roster spots left by last year’s leaders.
“This year, we’ve got a lot of different personalities, a lot different skill sets,” he said. “I think it probably reminds me more of two years ago, when Marquel took us to the semi-finals — it could be that kind of team.”
The Indian River High School cross-country team has been putting in the work for the upcoming season, with added motivation after the news that the Henlopen Conference championships will be held at the school this year.
“The Henlopen Conference, ever since I’ve been coaching, has been held at Killian’s Pond,” said head coach Frank Ryman, noting the significance of hosting the event.
While the Delmarva Shorebirds (65-68) have struggled to maintain a .500 record due to an inconsistent second half of the season, they did get a tough road win Tuesday night against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (82-52), to keep alive their hopes of a winning record on the season.
The First Responders triathlon and duathlon will make its return to Bethany Beach for the third year on Sept. 21, for an all-weekend event that should see an estimated 800 participants.
This year’s race is again sponsored by presenting sponsor Meris Properties and official bank sponsor PNC Bank, and will raise money for the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
Just weeks after the surfing and skateboarding world was stunned by the loss of Shogo Kubo, one of its legendary originals, the time came to say goodbye to the original, as Dogtown’s tow-headed golden child Jay Adams passed away in his sleep last week from an apparent heart attack.
After the crowds leave the ballpark and ESPN sends the lights and cameras back up to Bristol; after the celebration dwindles and the teams head back home; and after the popcorn is swept up from the Lower Sussex “Walk of Fame,” Delaware District III Director Martin Donovan starts taking a look at the numbers.
“Economic development for the county and the state was huge,” Donovan noted, after estimating that District III spent more than $200,000 locally just in food, housing and transportation for the teams alone as host of the Big League and Senior League Softball World Series, held in Roxana during the first week of August. “I think that one of the things that people don’t realize is it’s a county-wide event, as far as people spending money.”
This year’s Big League Softball World Series featured two teams from Delaware playing in the championship game, with Milford representing USA East and Laurel getting a bid as the District III host team.
Just a year after capturing his first national title at the USA Triathlon age-group national championship in Milwaukee, Wisc., and just weeks after winning his division at the New York City Triathlon, Ocean View’s Lance Fargo returned home from Arkansas last week with another national championship.
“It certainly means a lot to me,” said Fargo of his two consecutive national titles. “I definitely felt more confident going into this year. Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect.”
On a relatively flat course in Milwaukee last year, Fargo went into the event as a national championship rookie, only to beat his goal time, despite his lack of experience with large-scale triathlons. This year, however, with varying terrain in Degray Lake, Ark., he had a different obstacle to overcome.
“This was a mountainous area. The course was more challenging,” he explained, “very hilly, a lot of climbing on the bike and uphill running.”
The Delmarva Shorebirds split their road series against Texas Rangers affiliate the Hickory Crawdads in North Carolina last week, falling in their last two games after beginning the series with back-to-back wins.
After years in making, Epworth Skatepark will finally celebrate its grand opening this Sunday, Aug. 24.
Beginning at 2 p.m., a dedication ceremony will take place, followed by skate contests, live music, and food and drink provided by the Matt Haley Companies’ Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, which will be donating all of the proceeds from sales back to the skate park.
For an avid ocean-goer, or for me at least, there are few things more terrifying than the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.” There are, however, a couple of things that come close — the obviously inevitable “Zombie Apocalypse,” my ex-girlfriend getting a hold of my new phone number, somehow getting stuck in line at the bank behind Gary Busey… The list goes on.
There aren’t many 8-year olds committed to the sport of golf, and there are certainly far fewer winning PGA Tour-affiliated events. However, Ocean View’s Sarah Lydic has taken her golf game from practice shots around the house to recently winning the second annual Drive, Chip & Putt Sub-Regional in Philadelphia, qualifying her for the regional event in Great Falls, Va., on Sept. 6.
Before taking first place in the 7-9 age division in Philadelphia, Lydic first earned her trip by winning the local qualifier at Bayside earlier this summer. After advancing, she not only won her age division at the sub-regional event but beat most of the older girls, as well — posting an overall score of 94, which was second to only one other golfer, in the 10-11 age group, and better than any golfer in the 7-9 age range by 20 points.
The national event is scored the same for all age groups, so the scores can be compared directly.
Currently, Lydic is practicing a few times a week with her sister, Hannah, who is quite the golfer herself, and parents Garret and Leslie Lydic. They’ll typically spend an hour driving, an hour chipping and an hour putting in preparation, in addition to the time spent at home where the girls set up various golfing challenges to compete against each other.
Each year, the teams come from far and wide to compete in the Big League World Series at the Pyle Center in Roxana. However this year, the ESPN-2 aired championship game featured two teams that didn’t have to travel very far at all — as USA East (Milford, Del.) edged Delaware District III (Laurel, Del.) in a 1-0 extra-innings victory that not only went down to the wire, but come down to a controversial call.
The two Delaware squads faced off last Saturday night as the rest of the world watched. Milford had punched their World Series ticket by winning USA East regionals in Massachusetts, while Laurel earned their bid in a series against 2013 Big League World Series Champion Millsboro to represent host District III.
The game was a rematch of the series pool-play opener last Sunday, when Milford had previously bested Laurel by just one run in a 6-5 slugfest. Less than a week later, the matchup proved to be quite a different game, though with a similar outcome, as Milford pitcher Shaina Reed and Laurel ace Regan Green squared off in a pitcher’s duel.
When the ESPN cameras set up at last weekend’s Senior League Softball World Series championship game in Roxana, the District 11 team from South Bend, Ind., representing USA Central couldn’t have been too rattled. After all, they had been in the same situation before — just last year, when they were crowned Senior League World Series Champions on the exact same field.
This year, however, the Central squad had to get past USA West pitcher Macey Newbary — who had racked up 16 strikeouts in the Missoula, Mont., squad’s 7-2 victory over Asia-Pacific in series pool play earlier in the week.
In the matchup on Saturday, Newbary would square off against Central pitcher Nichole Kirkpatrick, who would help lead Central to a 5-0 victory from not only in the circle, but from in the batter’s box, as well.