Sports

Tripple Overtime: The Shorebirds are the only birds when you’ve got ornithophobia

I was very much looking forward to spring. I was very much looking forward to Shorebirds baseball and peanuts and Crackerjack and the cracks of bats and blah, blah.

Evans’ homer lifts Lady Indians to 9-6 win over St. Mark’s

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore shortstop Madi McGee looks to make the throw to third during the Lady Indians’ 9-6 victory over St. Mark's last Monday. McGee collected All-Conference honors at first base as a freshman before making the move to short.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore shortstop Madi McGee looks to make the throw to third during the Lady Indians’ 9-6 victory over St. Mark's last Monday. McGee collected All-Conference honors at first base as a freshman before making the move to short.After falling behind 5-0 in the first inning against St. Mark’s on Monday, the Lady Indians softball team received the spark they needed for a comeback when freshman Marley Evans belted a three-run homer over the left-field fence to bridge the scoring gap in the third inning.

“I think that kind of brought the girls back in it,” said head coach Erika Brittingham. “Even though the girls were down 5-0, they weren’t out of the game. They were mentally in it, but their bats didn’t really show it.”

Evans took over on the mound for junior Casey Hitchens, who showed resilience by bouncing back and hitting well for her squad.

“She crushed the ball,” said Brittingham of Hitchens’ offensive performance. “That’s probably one of the things that I’m most proud of in this game, is after Casey had a rough first inning, she came out here and lit it up.”

The game would go on to see a 6-6 tie through six innings, until some key base-running by freshman Julia Bombhardt and Damya Williams gave the Lady Indians a late lead.

Indians’ baseball looking to bounce back after losses

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore LF Zane Richard makes a highlight-reel-worthy grab near the sideline during the Indians' 6-0 loss to St. Mark's last Monday.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Sophomore LF Zane Richard makes a highlight-reel-worthy grab near the sideline during the Indians' 6-0 loss to St. Mark's last Monday.The Indian River High School baseball team looks primed for a breakthrough season, despite starting the season with losses against top-ranked St. Mark’s and Division I’s Polytech on Monday and Tuesday.

In the 6-0 loss to St. Mark’s, co-head coaches Chris Megee and Kevin Cordrey got a look into the future of their bullpen, starting freshmen pitchers Albert Clark and Brandon Hoffman before bringing in junior Deshawn Aiken.

“We’re just trying to keep everybody’s pitch counts down,” explained Megee of the rotation. “I thought they did a fantastic job. I thought they had a lot of presence to them, kept us in the game, got ground balls, easy fly balls. I saw tremendous things. I can’t wait to keep working with them for four years.”

While three two-run innings were ultimately the difference in the game, the Indians nearly closed the gap in the fourth inning, after senior Eddie Hogan got a shot to drop in center, putting two men on with two outs. Ultimately they would leave them stranded headed into the fifth, however.

Ocean to Bay Bike Tour launching new 30-mile course

Fresh off the success of last year’s 25th anniversary event, the Ocean to Bay Bike Tour returns this April 17 and 18 with some new twists and turns for what has become a staple for local and regional cyclists.

Coastal Point • FILE PHOTO: A pair of cyclists ride during the 16th annual Ocean-to-Bay Bike Tour.Coastal Point • FILE PHOTO:
A pair of cyclists ride during the 16th annual Ocean-to-Bay Bike Tour.
After making some improvements to the course last year, Race Director Lauren Weaver, event and member relations manager of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, and Bethany Beach’s Coastal Spokes Club have added another rest stop to the 30-mile course, extending the track to 36 miles.

“[Coastal Spokes] changed up the whole course to make it more attractive for cyclists,” Weaver explained. “They switched up all the paths. Everyone’s really getting the most out of their experience.”

The longer track will now consist of a 27-mile opt-out, for those who choose to take it, and was designed to offer more scenic views.

“It’s really great. We have excellent marking, thanks to Coastal Spokes,” Weaver explained. “They do all the markings. It’s real clear, easy to follow. It’s looking out at Holt’s Landing, the Indian River Bay, Derrickson’s Creek [and] Hemp Hills.”

Indian River Cross Country 5K set for Saturday, March 28

The Indian River High School Cross Country Boosters will host the team’s marque fundraising event this Saturday, March 28, with their second annual IRXC 5K.

After seeing around 100 participants sign up for last year’s inaugural race, despite less-than-ideal weather, the hope is for a similar outcome this year — with better weather, of course.

Bunny Palooza 10K/5K set for April 4 in Bethany Beach

The Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation (QRCF) announced this week that the fourth annual Bunny Palooza! will be held on Saturday, April 4, starting at 8:30 a.m., with the 10K run kicking off at 8:30 and the 5K run/walk at 9:30 a.m., both at Parkwood Avenue and Atlantic Avenue in downtown Bethany Beach, ending on the Bethany Beach boardwalk.

Georgetown Middle School to host ‘color run’ benefit 5K

Georgetown Middle School will be holding its inaugural Run for Color 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, April 18, on and around the school grounds. The event is designed to be family-friendly, to allow participants to get a group together and have a fun time while exercising. The run will benefit the Georgetown Middle School track team and programs to promote healthy students at GMS.

Lady Indians net 7-0 shutout at Polytech in season opener

The Indian River High School girls’ soccer team kicked off their 2015 season with a convincing 7-0 win over Polytech on Tuesday, March 24, starting the season 1-0 against the Henlopen North opponent.

I hope you’re ready for spring sports, ’cause they be sprangin’

You know how, every once in a while, a television show will just show clips from previous episodes because the writers are too lazy to come up with a new one? You gotta just hate that. Where’s the creativity? Where’s the originality?

New coach, experienced players, leading IR girls’ lacrosse program

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Junior Emily Shuey goes to the goal after a face dodge in practice last week. Shuey is one of several experienced players leading the Lady Indians in their inaugural girls' lacrosse season.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Junior Emily Shuey goes to the goal after a face dodge in practice last week. Shuey is one of several experienced players leading the Lady Indians in their inaugural girls' lacrosse season.Just a few months ago, Indian River High School didn’t have a girls lacrosse program. This spring, however, after much deliberation, 21 girls are finally taking the field, with nine junior varsity games scheduled to launch the sport to the eventual varsity level.

Leading the charge will be the Indians’ new head coach, Kara Voss, and assistant coach and long-time program advocate Anne McBride.

“It’s been a long battle, and we’re psyched,” said McBride of finally seeing the program taking shape. “I’m excited for the kids. It’s just great. We’ve needed this.”

McBride is being joined by Voss, who takes over head coaching duties after playing for the University of Delaware and graduating in 2013. Despite her youth, Voss brings extensive knowledge from her playing career and coaching experience as a JV coach for Archmere and varsity coach for Brandywine last season.

G-Mart, McWilliams return to lead IR lax back to playoffs

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Sophomore goalie Hayden McWilliams looks for the clear upfield in the Indians' scrimmage against Bennett High School of Maryland last Tuesday. He and sophomore MF/A George Martin are the only two returning varsity players from the 2014 squad, but playoff hopes remain high with a new infusion of talent.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Sophomore goalie Hayden McWilliams looks for the clear upfield in the Indians' scrimmage against Bennett High School of Maryland last Tuesday. He and sophomore MF/A George Martin are the only two returning varsity players from the 2014 squad, but playoff hopes remain high with a new infusion of talent.While last year’s history-making Indian River High School lacrosse team was primarily composed of seniors, the other two players making up the squad were freshman attackman and All-Conference selection George “G-Mart” Martin, and goalie Hayden McWilliams.

With 15 graduated seniors, both Martin and McWilliams are stepping up as leaders in their sophomore seasons; but, according to co-head coaches Jerry Sheridan and John Jaskewich, they won’t be alone in their quest to get the Indians back to the playoffs.

“We lost a lot of athletes, but I think, this year, offensively, we’re a little better,” said Sheridan. “I think we have more lacrosse players this year than we had last year.”

Most of last year’s squad was composed of the original program pioneers — mainly football players who decided to try out a new sport — but while their varsity experience has been limited, this year’s squad has been playing the sport longer. Playing together in various off-season programs, the chemistry is already there, as well.

“A lot of these kids this year have played together in the off-season,” explained Jaskewich. “They’ve played some fall ball, they’ve played some indoor together — they’ve played well together, so the personalities on the team are meshing.”

“We’ve got a lot of kids that have been with the program for a while that are now moving up to the varsity level,” Sheridan added.

The off-season preparation showed in the team’s first scrimmage against Bennett High School last Tuesday, with Martin leading the charge from up top to find teammates including sophomore Gianna Gottschalk and freshman Cole Josetti on the crease for the score.

Defensively, McWilliams looked like a seasoned senior between the pipes, making multiple saves from point-blank range as the last line of defense on Bennett fast breaks.

“We’re seeing where people fall,” said Jaskewich of how the roster is shaping up. “We’ve got some new guys, so we’re trying to work to everybody’s strengths and build our lines.”

New standard set for Indians’ baseball

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Junior 2B/P Jake Hudson tries to make the play at second in the Indians' scrimmage against Sussex Central last Tuesday. Hudson will also see time on the mound this season, as part of a diverse pitching rotation.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Junior 2B/P Jake Hudson tries to make the play at second in the Indians' scrimmage against Sussex Central last Tuesday. Hudson will also see time on the mound this season, as part of a diverse pitching rotation.After a long scrimmage against Sussex Central last week, Indian River senior captain Eddie Hogan led his team back out to the outfield to run wind sprints in the dark and bitter cold. For co-head coaches Kevin Cordrey and Chris Megee, it’s an example that shows not only impressive leadership and work ethic by Hogan and his teammates, but the new standard being set for Indians’ baseball.

“We’re trying to change the culture around here,” said Cordrey. “I think these guys have it in them to do it. I’m excited about this team, but they’ve got to get to the point where they’re excited too.”

“We’re trying to get those wins where they were close losses last year,” added Megee. “I think the experience is coming along, but we’ve just got to keep getting better. We’ve got to come here with a workman-like attitude and concentrate on getting better — take it one game at a time.”

Playoff Prowess: All-State selections look to lead Lady Indians back to tournament

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : The Lady Indians have some big goals for the 2015 season.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : The Lady Indians have some big goals for the 2015 season.The checklist for coach Steve Kilby and the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team looks a lot like it did last year. First, win the South by dominating the regular season. Then, take on a Division I rival, such as Sussex Tech or Caesar Rodney, for the conference championship. Then, it’s on to the DIAA playoffs, to take a shot at states.

While, last year, one mark remained unchecked on that list after the team was cut short of their state championship run in a 2-0 playoff loss to St. Georges Tech, expectations are just as high this season for a squad returning four All-State selections.

“I think that you’re gonna find that we have as much ability and talent as any of the stronger teams in the state,” said Kilby. “It just has to be the mindset. We just need to be ready to play.”

Ocean to Bay Bike Tour gears up for April 18

The 26th Annual Ocean to Bay Bike Tour, presented by PNC Bank, will take place on April 18 beginning at 7:30 a.m. in downtown Bethany Beach. Hosted by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, cyclists region-wide will complete 5-, 30- or 50-mile or metric century courses travelling throughout Southern Delaware’s beach and bay locales.