Every year, the Indian River High School soccer team makes a short list. First there’s the division title. Then the conference championship game. And, finally, the ultimate goal — a DIAA state championship.
The Indian River High School soccer team capped the 2015 fall sports season the right way on Saturday, with their 1-0 state championship win over Caravel and so much excitement that now it all just seems like one long (but awesome) blur of green and gold, and red and blue from the police and fire truck sirens and, of course, white from the student section covering the Smyrna stands in baby powder by tossing it up in the air like Lebron to celebrate Oscar Cruz’s goal and, eventually, the title.
After taking more than a 10-year hiatus before making its return in 2014, the Slam Dunk to the Beach basketball tournament is already gearing up for year two, with the success of last year’s resurgence in the books.
Slam Dunk to the Beach had a triumphant return to the local sports scene last year and organizers are planning even more great basketball for this year’s event, slated for Dec. 27-29.
Tripple Overtime: Kardblock: Only the Redcoats can save us from the Kardashians this app development season
I was standing in the check-out line at Giant last week when I noticed a magazine cover with one of the most disconcerting tag lines that I had ever read: “My Own Story: Khloe Kardashian Breaks Her Silence.”
Every year the Fenwick Island Turkey Trot adds a new turkey depicting a charity on the official event t-shirt.
This year, it’ll be dressed in a police uniform as the annual family run/walk aims to raise funds for Stephen Lowe of the Fenwick Island Police Department and his family after he and his wife Amanda’s son Coleton was born with a heart defect known as Transposition of the Great Arteries (TGA).
“We try to pick a different local charity every year,” said Turkey Trot race director and owner of HipAHA Fenwick Island Boot Camp Lori Martin. “The [Fenwick Island] town council approached me and asked if we would consider donating the funds to the Lowe family — I was very excited to be able to keep it local in the town.”
The free 2.2-mile event taking place along Bunting Avenue in Fenwick Island will generate proceeds through sales of the annual T-shirt, as well donations from participants. But after teaming up with Neighbors in Need at last year’s run, they will also be collecting canned goods to be donated to local food bank on the day of the race.
After being held scoreless for 43 minutes and trailing 1-0, a game-tying goal seemed improbable. And a game-winning goal? Almost impossible.
But when Millsboro head coach Molly Chamberlin called a timeout with seven minutes to go in their season finale against Selbyville on Wednesday, Nov. 4, she told her squad that what had already been their most successful season in program history, wasn’t going to end with a loss.
“They kind of had their heads down,” Chamberlin said. “I told them “you have seven minutes to score two goals. Everything you’ve worked for for the last two and a half months is coming down to these last seven minutes - we’ve had such a great season, don’t let it end like this.’”
That’s when the Golden Knight offense came alive, finally getting on the board when Macy Layfield crossed a ball in front of the net and Avery Congleton knocked it home to tie the score at 1-1.
It had been over a year since KiAnte Sturgis scored a touchdown at Indian River High School.
But when the Sussex Central senior running back took the field on Friday night, wearing blue and gold instead of green and gold after transferring schools last spring, it only took him 45 seconds to find the end zone.
“We knew that they were gonna be giving Sturgis the ball an awful lot,” said head coach Phil Townsend after the game. “He came out, he was explosive — he’s a great athlete, he’s hard to stop.”
After the Sturgis score made it 7-0, the Indians responded when junior running back George Martin took a pitch and found senior wide receiver Barry Hooper who hauled in a long pass and took it all the way down to the five-yard line. Martin would take a hand off and score on the next play to tie the game at 7-7.
But just as he had taken his first carry of the night to the house, Sturgis did it again on his second carry of the night to make it 14-7 Golden Knights, and eventually added his third rushing touchdown still in the first quarter.
Mikie Mochiam has made a name for himself scoring game-changing goals late in games over the last couple weeks.
The Indians’ junior forward netted the game winner against Cape Henlopen in the 87th minute of the Henlopen Conference Championship on Nov. 3, and did it again to break the stalemate against Delaware Military Academy in the 72nd minute on Saturday, Nov. 14.
But in Wednesday night’s semi-final game against no. 8 Archmere, it only took “Machine Gun Mikie” less than a minute to find the net – setting the tone for an eventual 2-0 victory to send the Indians to the DIAA State Championship game against no. 2 Caravel on Saturday, Nov. 21.
“Scoring that early in the game in the semi-finals, that gave us a lot of momentum,” Mochiam said. “We’ve never really scored that early in the game this season.”
They say that when a lizard loses its tail, it grows back. It’s just part of its DNA — its just the way that its designed.
That being the case, it seems only appropriate that Indian River senior Eliza Bomhardt also goes by the nickname “Lizard,” as a play on her name thought up by the Indians’ softball team.
For the past three years, “The Lizard” has helped lead that softball team both on and off the field, playing an array of positions and earning herself a second-team All Conference selection as a catcher during her junior campaign last season before eventually going on to agree to play Division 1 softball for the University of Hartford next spring.
Like a lizard without its tail, Bomhardt had her fair share of challenges to overcome to make her dream come true. She had started playing softball later than most girls typically do, and when she finally joined a team, for awhile, she sat the bench.
It’s been his dream ever since he started playing baseball, and last week in front of all of his family, friends, and coaches, it’s a dream that he officially made come true.
Indian River senior Ryan Engh was a bright spot for the Indians on National Signing Day, signing with High Point University in North Carolina to play outfield for the Panthers next spring.
“It’s been a goal of mine ever since I started playing baseball,” Engh said. “Putting pen to paper just makes it official.”
Engh has started all three years for the Indians since joining the team as a freshman, going on to be named a second-team All Conference outfielder last spring as a junior. That’s when he started attended tournaments and showcases throughout the Mid-Atlantic, into Georgia, and even as far west as Arizona.
“Throughout the summer I was playing a lot tournaments on the weekends,” he explained. “Down in Georgia is when the High Point assistant coach saw me.”
After rolling no. 12 Brandywine 6-0 during the first round of the DIAA playoffs on Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Indian River High School soccer team was put to the test when they got to the second round.
Facing no. 4 Delaware Military Academy (12-3) on Saturday, Nov. 14, the no. 5 ranked Indians traveled back up to Dover and went toe-to-toe for 72 scoreless minutes until junior forward Mikie Mochiam finally broke the stalemate with a score to put his squad up 1-0 — a lead that they would cling to through regulation, eventually notching the win and advancing the DIAA state semi-finals.
The game-winning goal came just over after Mochiam had netted a similar score against Cape Henlopen in the Henlopen Conference Championship, which also gave the Indians a 1-0 lead late in a scoreless game and proved to be the difference.
The Indians were set to face no. 8 Archmere (9-6) in the state semi-finals on Wednesday, Nov. 18 (after Coastal Point press time), after the Auks managed to take down no. 1 St. Andrew’s (12-3) in a game that went to PK’s on Saturday, Nov. 14.
I found out about “Lifedogs” when I was waiting in line at the DMV last week, opting to stand up the whole time instead of sitting down in the hopes that a display of impatience would somehow move the line faster. Also, because the place is pretty gross.
It’s been the mantra of the Indian River High School soccer team all season, and coming off their Conference Championship win against Cape Henlopen and headed into their first round playoff match against Brandywine, that mantra was all the more important to maintain.
“After beating Cape it gave us a huge boost, going from toughest schedule in the state to winning the Conference Championship was unbelievable,” said junior defender Patrick Mochiam. “We just need to keep the momentum going — we just gotta keep our focus.”
“The word has been ‘focus,’” added head coach Steve Kilby. “That’s what we want. We want them to focus them to focus on every game and what it is they’re supposed to be doing within their role.”