Hometown high school sports are just the best
High school warriors - I have always said that as a competitive athlete, it never gets any better than being on a team and going into battle with your hometown buddies in front of your hometown community. I watched a special on the Manning family Christmas Day and wasn’t surprised to hear their parents say the most enjoyable time for them as a family was watching their sons Cooper, Peyton and Eli play high school football. And I also think that being a teammate in sports cuts across all differences of class and race, and the bonds cemented through the journey of competition do last a lifetime.
Beast of the East - The wrestling competition at the Beast held Dec. 20-22 at the University of Delaware was absolutely insane. At www.trackwrestling.com, a fan can watch the progression of all matches in real live time. There are little grappler icons and a running clock and the athletes’ season records displayed; it is all the way cool. What I learned is I can sit in a desk chair for hours at a time but also that during first periods, not many takedowns are scored because they are all just too good to have their ankles picked and legs swept or get balled up in a headlock and hip throw. Most matches come down to this: Can you get out when on the bottom, and can you hold the other guy down when you’re on top? And trust me, it is hard to impossible to keep a good man down. Thomas Ott, Cape’s two-time state champion at 220 pounds, placed eighth in the tournament, which mean he lost three times - hard to believe - but all losses were close. Other Delaware wrestlers placing in the top eight were Zack Parker, 285, of Caesar Rodney, fourth; Clay Conway, 182, Sussex Central, seventh; Willie Davis, 145, Woodbridge, seventh; Brandon Olsen, 126, Indian River, eighth; and Brent Fleetwood, 120, Smyrna, second. The first five team scores at the Beast were Blair Academy 272, Bergen Catholic 164, Wyoming Seminary 163, McDonough 128, and Nazareth 123. Ironically if not amazingly, Nazareth is the only public high school in the top five, which has me exclaiming, “Jesus, is that right?”
Cape caught and captured - Cape played basketball at Arundel Dec. 21 and from firsthand reports (I wasn’t there) basically blew a game the team should have won. The Vikings led 30-19 at the half and were outscored 34-21 in the second half which will get you beaten by two points every time you add the numbers. Toney Floyd led Cape scorers with 18 followed by Tyreik Burton, 11, and Jon Warren, 8. Cape was scheduled to face Edmondson High School in the Governor’s Challenge (Delaware versus Maryland) at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 26, at the Wicomico Civic Center then face City College at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 28, at the same venue. Don’t unbox your new Garmin for the trip; you’ll only get lost. Note: Both Edmondson and City College can flat-out play all day, very athletic and well-coached teams. As a side note: Cape’s girls’ lacrosse coach P.J. Kesmodel once coached boys’ lacrosse at City College and won two city championships.
Snippets - Let’s cut to it. The Ravens need to beat the Bengals in Cincinnati and hope either the Dolphins lose at home to the Jets or Chargers lose at home to the Chiefs to make the playoffs.
The Bengals are playing for the No. 2 seed and want the Ravens out of the playoff picture because they are just too scary, and Marvin Lewis is still trying to figure out how come he’s not the Ravens’ head coach. Bengals are favored by a touchdown; Dolphins and Chargers are also heavily favored. If predictions hold, the Ravens are out and Flacco will be back in the Powerball line like he was last week.
Eagles are favored by a touchdown over the Cowboys because no Vegas gambler is listening to what Jerry Jones is selling or thinking. Princeton graduate Jason Garrett is smarter than Chip Kelly, who graduated from the University of New Hampshire. Kelly was offensive coordinator at New Hampshire when Ricky Santos was quarterback, so Delaware fans are familiar with seeing their defense lit up like a Christmas tree.
I’d say there’s virtually no chance of Dallas beating Philly with the division on the line.
Is Philly good enough to get to the NFC championship game? Sure, I guess, why not? Go on now, git!