Cape Gazette

People In Sports

Athletes have three grandmoms, and one is fictional

By Dave Frederick | Mar 06, 2012

One hundred Cape girls on two turf fields, a pair of Hall of Fame coaches at the helm of lacrosse and soccer. A cloud cover, intermittent drizzle and no wind. The screaming green surf and turf surfaces were alive with youthful enthusiasm the morning of March 3 at Cape; teenagers save their grumpiness for the people at home. Maggie Wilson was part of the soccer scene - a great kid with the best attitude, just finished with basketball season and now out for soccer. I asked her, “So, how do you like Coach Montalto?” “He is so awesome,” Maggie said. "This spring is going to be so much fun.”  Coach Gary Montalto - we're now buddies after I covered his Cape boys' team through to the state tournament - confided in me, "I told these kids all the girls' teams here are good and there's no reason why we can't be good in soccer. There is enough talent; all we have to do is work hard.” I said to Coach, “I can't believe they got you out here to coach two seasons. I thought you were retired.” He surveyed the field and said, "I just love coaching high school kids.” Over on the Legends Stadium turf, Cape lacrosse was reloading and reconfiguring after a 2011 state championship, their third in a row. Coach P.J. Kesmodel worked in 27 players over three scrimmages.  Alumni players Maura Johnson and Brittany Betts stayed by the team bench. Soccer players from the Cape boys' team kicked a ball around watching Montalto's girls practice. The kids know what's up. Charismatic coaches attract kids; that's just the way it works. I always said, "If a coach walks into a crowded cafeteria at lunchtime and stands alone, then 10 minutes later is still standing alone, it is never good." And just because a coach wins doesn't mean he or she is connecting at that higher level. Cape is blessed with many great coaches at the moment, and the kids know who they are.

No-name Grandmom - Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat grew up in Texas with both parents and was a high-performing athlete and top-notch student. Bosh just missed three games because of the death of his grandmother. I found that admirable and reasonable, a lesson for everyone that family comes first. And so I searched for information on his grandmom, but all I could find was stories about Bosh and the impact his absence had on the Miami Heat lineup. I don't even know which grandmom it was, mom's or dad's. There is a third grandmom, the fictional one from North Carolina who dies every time you need an excuse for not showing up. I had a track athlete who “offed” fictional Granny four times over three years. I finally told him, “Lay off that woman; she has died enough times already.” Say it didn't happen, but you would be wrong.

The Mother Ship - Four tech schools made it into the quarterfinal round of the boys' basketball tournament: Howard, Hodgson, St. Georges and Polytech. I've talked to some coaches from the tech schools, and a theme I hear is, “The best thing is, we can send kids back [to the mother ship], get them out of here if they don't behave. We don't have to put up with any nonsense. The kids with an edge to them that have an opportunity usually take advantage of it."  I get it, consequences for bad behavior, so why not the personal freedom to return to the mother ship, the sending school district, just because (insert your own reason)? Call it “I retain the right to bounce my own ball.” Why is that such a scary scenario?

Snippets - Go to to get Delaware scholastic sports results and schedule changes. The home school has the responsibility for filling in scores and performance results. This goes for junior varsity as well. Jeff Evans takes over Cape softball, replacing Joe Bernheimer. Bernheimer's 2011 team finished the season strong winning 6 of 7 games for an overall 7-11 season. Evans is a social studies teacher at Cape, a Laurel guy who coached part of that Laurel powerhouse of players that won the senior league World Series. Evans' daughter just graduated from high school, so Jeff, who previously coached at Mariner, has stepped into the Cape job. Dave Robinson, who learned being interim superintendent at Cape was no cake job, crashed his bike March 3 when it just lost traction, like a school board without direction. Dave fractured his hip but requires no surgery, says Dr. Wilson Choy. Dave will be carefully rehabbing at home, watching out for flying grandchildren who have him at a real disadvantage. My plan is to join the Jusst Sooup Church after I called a Catholic hotline and they hung up on me. I will be the Deacon of Doughnuts. Go on now, git!

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance.