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People In Sports

Beach Blast Rehoboth turns Cape into lacrosse showcase

Numbers game: 106 girls' teams, 7 fields, 450 games, 3 days
By Dave Frederick | Jun 27, 2014
Photo by: Dave Frederick Rachel Fiork of the Eastern Shore Lacrosse Club makes a save in 2013. Fiork just finished ninth grade at Stephen Decatur and just may be the best young goalie prospect in the country. No. 13 is Tess "Big Shot " Bernheimer from Cape.

Beach Blast! The Rehoboth Beach Blast girls' lacrosse tournament will envelop the campus of Cape Henlopen High School Friday through Sunday, June 27 through 29, featuring 106 teams spanning seven high school graduation years, 2015 though 2021.

The games will be played on seven fields including two turf, two Bermuda and three grass fields.  Each team is guaranteed four games of 25-minute halves with one horn controlling all games.

The entry fee for each team in the tournament is $1,400 for high school level and somewhat less for middle school-aged players.

According to Cape Athletic Director Bob Cilento, the Beach Blast Tournament is charged $100 per hour for turf field use and $25 for grass fields.  A crew of Cape custodians works the tournament, costing $40 per hour.

The local Eastern Shore Lacrosse Club has five teams in the tournament from the years 2015-19. Players are charged $1,200 a season to play Eastern Shore Lacrosse, which covers uniforms and entry fees, but does not include travel and lodging expenses for away tournaments.

Coaches Courtney Vaughn and Sue Murphy are the directors of the Beach Blast Tournament for the third straight year. Murphy has coached at Oberlin, Boston University, Richmond and the USA developmental team. Vaughn is a veteran high school coach at Winters Mill in Maryland.  I will point out that the Eastern Shore Lacrosse Club and the Beach Blast Tournament never would have happened without Cape coach P.J. Kesmodel’s vision and orchestration, but the Zen Master is not part of the financial management of either endeavor.

Let the kid decide - Let's say a young kid balks and bellyaches, wailing, “I don’t want to play that sport anymore. I don’t like it, I’m not any good, I’m only 11, so if you like it so much, you play.” These moments happen, and for a parent they are tough to handle. Quitting on something is only hard the first time; it gets instantly easier after that, but dragging a kid to a sports practice when the kid doesn’t want to play is not a great idea. What if the kid has talent but doesn’t want to play? There are plenty of smart kids who don’t like to read, but does a parent make them curl around a book? Answer is obvious - there is equal emphasis on the two activities.

Virginia vs. Vanderbilt - Two great schools, both tough to get into, reach the finals of the College Baseball World Series. What does that tell you? Lots of Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia guys on the UVA roster, and they all tend to be over six feet tall and in the 190- to 225-pound range. Vanderbilt is also a big team with more diversity of geography on the roster, but with nine players from Tennessee. Total cost to attend Vanderbilt is $62,000 a year. An NCAA Division I school can only offer a total of 11.7 full scholarships that must be broken down among a roster of 34 players.

Many lower-level D1 schools with baseball teams are less than fully funded. Chasing baseball scholarships through travel ball is like chasing your own tail.  The high-performance academic athlete is the way most sports are going. John Norwood from Seton Hall Prep hit the game-winning home run. If I interviewed him, my first question would be, “Have you ever been to Rabbits Ferry, Delaware?” I’m guessing there is a connection.

Snippets - All-state field hockey player Sara "Booter" Ellis of Delmar is heading to William and Mary in the fall. The Tribe was 8-11 last season, including a 4-2 loss to Delaware in the CAA tournament.  

I started watching the Phillies again because they were heading toward a .500 record.  The Phils promptly lost four of five and are now solidly back in last place in the NL East.

The Seashore Striders Women’s 5K is 7:30 a.m., Saturday June 28, at Rehoboth Elementary School. Tatiana Sheptock, 38, the cross-trained mixed martial arts runner, won the race the last two years, and if this is family vacation week, she is the woman to beat. Just don’t try to box her.

Cape is getting close to corralling and naming a new soccer coach to replace retired legend of the game Gary Montalto. Cape lost to Appoquinimink last season 1-0 in the 78th minute of the state semifinals.  “I wanted our boys to have a chance in the championship game, because you never know what can happen,” Montalto said.  Go on now, git!

John Norwood hit the game-winning home run in Vanderbilt's 3-2 win over UVA for the National Championship. The outfielder from Seton Hall Prep must be connected to Rabbits Ferry
Tatiana Sheptock, out front, won the Seashore Striders' women's 5K the last two years. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
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