Cape Gazette
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People In Sports

Country boy Ben Lewis has Carolina on his mind

By Dave Frederick | Aug 01, 2014
Photo by: Dave Frederick Ben Lewis: in his mind he's going to Carolina.

Ben blast - Big old Ben Lewis has that likable country bounce and self-assured carry to his walk. Going into his senior year at Cape, he plays third base like he doesn’t need a glove, like he can block balls with his body. And if a pitcher throws one in his wheelhouse it is “See you later, Tater.” Lewis parked a pitch over the center field fence in the second inning for a three-run homer, but an umpire said it bounced over for a ground-rule double. My photo revealed the ball was way out of there, and the umpires reversed the call as Ben got to resume his home run trot. Ben is going to Carolina in his mind and hopes to go to school in the Tar Heel State after graduation.

No you don’t - An athlete once argued to me, “I know my rights,” and I responded “Really? Who are you, Oliver Wendell Homeboy?” Let me guess -  you know all about freedom of speech, freedom of religion, right to privacy and due process. But when you play for a high school or college coach, especially if you sign a letter of intent which no one reads, you can check half those rights at the door on your way out to watch "Law and Order" reruns. Some university coaches of scholarship players have told their athletes, "Stay off social media! Don’t be a Twitter twit! Because if you bash this program or gossip about a teammate or photobomb yourself drunk at a Saturday night keg party, you are being launched back to your hometown where you can play tag and capture until the cows come or the ice cream melts."

Screaming Stephen A - Stephen A. Smith is an easy guy not to like, but I’m OK with the 47-year-old ESPN "First Take" commentator. He is all about style. I think he’s a smart guy but not measured and occasionally gets out there on an issue and doesn’t know how to get back. I could list 20 athletes and politicians who stated an opinion on an issue then had to duck and cover when a wave of outrage was about to crash their heads, necks and careers into the wet sand of jagged clamshells and mussels, not to mention a mollusk and a few dead dogfish. Smith talked about Ray Rice going Buster Douglas on his fiancé and the two-game NFL suspension and insinuated that some women may provoke a punch or a smack. I saw a high school girl dropped in her tracks back in 1977 when she started to go off screaming at a boyfriend, doing the head bob thing, telling him, "You better look at me when I’m talking to you." He was a known violent guy and warned her to “shut it down,” but she continued to work him. I had never seen a man punch anyone that hard. She was knocked out. He went to jail. Two years later he was still in there. Did she provoke him? Yes, but not because she was a woman, and he paid for it with two years of his life. I think Stephen was going down that road but he couldn’t finish the thought.

Dazed and confused - There are so many Muppets in my neighborhood I sometimes get them mixed up. Last week alone I not only thought three people were different people, but I was asking them about people they didn’t know and jobs they never had. And I made Cape’s new soccer coach Jay Jenkins 47 years old when he’s only 40 and I have no idea why. But I do know if I come clean and say "Do you know who I thought you were?" usually both parties are equally insulted.

Snippets - As long as 1,000 athletes show up every weekend to run races, I’m going to cover them.

August is the month when the ocean gets bigger and tides run stronger. Remember to be doubly careful out there. Remember once sports seasons start to keep the fitness and strength levels high and pay attention to nutrition; you don’t want to pack on bad weight, and it doesn’t help you socially either. Adam Howard, owner of The Body Shop and Fitness Center in downtown Rehoboth, has worked with the Cape girls' lacrosse team the last eight years. The results are obvious when they walk on the field and especially when they walk off 50 minutes later. Most girls in competitive sports are undertrained. It’s a science, training the competitive athlete with a sports-specific routine. Email Adamtrainz@aol.com - trust me on this one.

Go on now, git!

Adam Howard trains Lexi Woodruff at The Body Shop. Lexi is a top-of-the-line field hockey and lacrosse athlete at Cape. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
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