(featuring Ernest Hemingway)
Before you read, make sure you check out Part 1 of the Pickleball saga: http://www.coastalpoint.com/content/pickle-overtime-so-uh-i-guess-i-play...
The assignment was to take the court. There were four of us. Five, if you count The Baron, but he had lost his spot when the reveille call went off, and couldn’t fight as well as he could when I had first met him. And he was young and brave, and the court was dry, despite the rain. And it sloped down toward a road, and there were many curious drivers on the road. And the idea was to aim for the center line, and if our aim was true, we could beat them.
Headed to state tournament
With back-to-back wins over Millsboro on Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16, the Lower Sussex Little League Junior League All-Stars clinched their second straight District 3 championship and will gear up for the state tournament starting Thursday, July 21.
Made up primarily of members of the 2015 district championship team and 2015 Pat Knight championship team, the revamped squad started the series with a 4-0 win over Georgetown on Saturday, July 9, and 10-0 win over Laurel on Sunday, July 10, not allowing a single hit in the process.
“We’re blessed with a lot of pitching, that’s for sure,” said head coach Bill Medford, who coached the Pat Knight championship team last season. “Our whole bullpen pitched lights out. It was a collaborative effort.”
Things would heat up after the team suffered their first loss of the double-elimination tournament to Millsboro on Tuesday, July 12.
After falling short to Woodbridge in the title game last season, the Lower Sussex Little League 9-10 All-Stars were ready for redemption at the start of this year’s District 3 softball tournament.
And, in drawing the defending champions for Round 1, they’d not only get their shot, but a 5-2 win over Woodbridge when the tournament began on Saturday, July 9.
“Our returners were very excited to have that as our first game,” said head coach Sarah Hoban. “They were definitely psyched up.”
After a 3-2 loss to Laurel the next night, the girls got back on track in the double-elimination tournament, with a 9-0 win over Nanticoke on Monday, July 11.
For the past 13 years, softball teams from across the world have made their way to the Pyle Center in Roxana for the Senior and Big League World Series. For the first time in Lower Sussex Little League history, however, this year’s docket will include a team from China, set to represent Asia Pacific in Big League play.
“They just got their airplane tickets booked, so we know they’re coming for sure,” said Director Martin Donovan. “I’m anxious to see the response from the China team. Foreign teams always seem to draw an audience that we didn’t expect.”
“This is our 13th year in the World Series, and we’ve never had a team from China before, so it’s exciting. I think it will draw a lot of hometown people,” said Lower Sussex Little League President Bruce Layton. “That is unique. That’s a long flight in here, I can tell you that.”
Catch Surf launches brand new board
The crew from Catch Surf will ride just about anything. Since launching the “Womper,” however, they’ve been dropping in on the summer shorebreak riding pretty much nothing at all.
The 16-inch miniature bodyboard is the newest creation from one of the industry’s leading innovators, offering wave-riders a new way to get wet.
“That’s really what we’re all about,” said Catch Surf East Coast Sales Manager Ryan Savage. “Any board that we offer is about fun. We like to chart our own path and keep the product unique.”
Not only is their newest product unique, it’s versatile as well.
Designed to add another element to wave-riding, where the rider paddles into the wave and then glides with the Womper out front as it breaks, the board has evolved to cater to all demographics.
Former Shorebirds’ pitcher called up to the majors
It was only one year ago that Donnie Hart took the mound at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury.
The LHP and 2013 Baltimore Orioles draft pick (Round 27) out of Texas State had gotten his start in Aberdeen before spending the entire 2014 season and beginning of the 2015 season with the Shorebirds.
(Fine, I'll do it)
After watching Blake Lively get just absolutely Amity-Island-style terrorized by a Gigantic White Shark (GWS) in the movie “The Shallows” for roughly 1 hour, 27 minutes, one of two things can be assumed:
Lax on the rise in Sussex County
There are lacrosse camps to the north, up in the Cape region. And there are camps to the south, down in Ocean City and Berlin, Md.
Starting July 19, however, local laxers will have one right in their back yard, when coaches Dave Spencer and Jim Dietsch launch Sharp Shooter Lax Shooting Camp at Indian River High School in Dagsboro.
While the camp will not be directly affiliated with IR and will be open to players of all skill levels and ages ranging from grades 6 to 11, it will focus specifically on shooting skills, which both Spencer and Dietsch have honed during their collective 80-plus years of experience in the sport.
“It’s something that’s very specific,” Spencer said of the concept. “There’s a lot of mechanics and a lot of technique that go into shooting.”
At just 12 years old, Clifton Toomey III is gearing up to head to the Junior Gold Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., to compete against the best of the best in youth bowling. Though he’s only been bowling competitively for two years, Toomey has quickly risen through the ranks and become one of the best young bowlers in the state.
Initially, his mother, Donna Toomey, said, “It all started just by coming out to the lanes. We decided as a family to come bowling, and we noticed how good he was and said, ‘We’ll put you in a league and see how you do,’ and his team won first place. He really, really enjoyed it.”
“When he started,” his mom said, “he started in the younger bracket and, technically, he could’ve stayed down there, but he was doing so well, they decided to push him up. Now he’s bowling with the kids on his team who are anywhere from 14 to 19 years old. He’s kind of the young dude, but it’s been great for him, because he’s been able to be challenged.”
The news just keeps getting better for Delmarva Shorebirds’ RHP Cristian Alvarado.
Just days after being named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week, the Venezuela native was named the Baltimore Orioles’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month for the month of June.
Peralta named SAL Pitcher of the Week
Just a week after RHP Cristian Alvarado collected the honor, the Delmarva Shorebirds saw RHP Ofelky Peralta named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the week.
(that time I learned to SUP)
The Beginning of the not-so-existential The End came when my friend The Mantis sent me an SMS text message last Thursday.
In their inaugural season, the River Soccer Club Express won only one game.
That was then.
Fast-forward the better part of a decade, and the same team that started off winning only one game had earned not only their second State Cup championship, but their second trip to the Region 1 championships, held at Marshall University in West Virginia last weekend.
In what would turn out to be the now-U18-level squad’s last trip as a team, they’d earn their first win at regionals, taking down the New Hampshire State Cup champion 3-1 on Friday, July 1.
“The first game, we came out and played pretty well,” said head coach Duncan Smith, who has coached the Express since their days as 7- and 8-year-olds kicking around soccer balls on the Frankfort Elementary School playground. “That was a good way to start the tournament.”
One of the nation’s top-ranked tennis facilities will soon get introduced to one of its fastest growing sports, when the tennis center at Sea Colony and the First State Pickleball Club team up for a Pickleball Exhibition & Beginner’s Clinic on Saturday, July 16, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Those interested in learning pickleball will have the chance to receive instruction from some of the area’s top players at the free event, with pickle paddles and balls provided.
Instructors from the Ocean Pines (Md.) Pickleball Club will also be in attendance to help show newcomers the ropes.
“The entire pickleball community is always excited to have the opportunity to showcase pickleball, and we spend a lot of time teaching the basics to the general population. To showcase pickleball at the Sea Colony Tennis Center — consistently one of the top tennis resorts in America — is an honor,” said Vaughn Baker of the FSPC, who spent his career in tennis.
The fireworks began long before the scheduled show time on Tuesday, July 5, with the Delmarva Shorebirds racking up a season-high 14 runs on 18 hits, to roll the Lakewood BlueClaws 14-2.