Cape Gazette
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People In Sports

Signed, sealed, delivered: Cape beats CR 32-29

Wrestling win over Riders first since 1990
By Dave Frederick | Dec 20, 2013
Photo by: Dave Frederick Kendall Wicks tries to go up the elevator to escape Austin Smith.

Targeted - I have a special respect for perennial powerhouse teams, because losing to any of the dogs whose job it is to always chase you is just unthinkable. You have no place to put the feeling, no reserve to draw upon. Inside Delaware Cape girls lacrosse and field hockey they just don’t lose, and when they do, it’s going to be tough to deal with the underdogs' fulfillment and satisfaction. Cape beat Caesar Rodney wrestling at home Wednesday night. They were leading 32-7 when the Riders came back in the final four matches to make the final 32-29. No sportswriter needs to write "Dickie Howell is a great coach”; that would be tiresome, and his kids were coached up, but everything fell Cape’s way in the close matches. So 23 years of “Maybe next year but unlikely” took a night off. And there are no subplots that everyone connected to wrestling is not aware of, and that is sports, like getting kicked in the head by a horse and the horse saying, “How do you like me now?”  Sussex Tech defeated Sussex Central 43-23, and no one can appreciate the magnitude of that better than Ravens coach Scott Layfield, a former heavyweight state champion for the Golden Knights.

Mother of invention - “There’s more than one way to skin a cat; the important thing is can you get the job done?” - coach George Glenn. High jumper Dick Fosbury is my favorite inventive athlete of all time; he just changed the sport forever. Paul Arizen of  Villanova  and the Philadelphia Warriors is credited by many with inventing the jump shot. Google him and you’ll find he was cut his senior year in high school, went to Villanova and ended up College Player of the Year.  OK, I’m back. On Wednesday during the CR at Cape wrestling match, Kendell Wicks of Caesar Rodney was single-leg clamped by Austin Smith in the 160-pound bout. Wicks attempted to pogo upward and outward several times, showing extraordinary athleticism, not to mention giving me a great photo.

Surface to air - The boneless cat of Cape track and field, Sam Young, went upside down then up and over, rocking the goofy side of the pole, establishing a new Cape school indoor record of 13-feet-6-inches in the pole vault. Sam jumped a person best for the third meet in a row at the Wicomico Indoor Meet in Snow Hill where there are no hills and no snow. The outdoor record of 14-feet-3-inches set by Bill Zimmerman in 1983 may be a target acquired by the surface-to-air Sam missile. Note: Bill Zimmerman, who I nicknamed “The Heartbreak Kid,” died in 1993 at the age of 28 in a car accident. Bill was a passenger; donations were made to MADD in Bill’s name. Bill was one of the greatest natural school-age athletes I ever saw. I still mourn his loss, and I would remind everyone to never get into a car with a drunk driver. I know, “Gee thanks Fredman; I never would have thought of that,” but then the operative word is think; sometimes people just go temporarily stupid.

Clark Kent - I asked the young official for permission to sit in a chair next to the mat at Beacon for the Smyrna match. Close curly hair and glasses, but ripped fit at 6-feet-2-inches and 200 pounds, fans began to call him Clark Kent. He said sure, we got to talking, then I saw him. He was former star Alex Thomas, a grappler at Sussex Tech where his dad E.J. helps coach wrestling and his mom Michele coaches the swim team. His sister Casey was a stellar swimmer. Alex was 45 -2 his senior year at Sussex Tech and a state champ. He wrestled three years at Clarion, transferred to Salisbury University and will graduate next semester with a degree in secondary education, certified to teach English. He was the best first-year wrestling official I ever saw; he also did the CR at Cape JV matches.  Cape should run out and hire him right now; you don’t get many shots at the Alex Thomases of the world. The family is from Seaford.

Snippets - The writing of this column was interrupted by my picking up sick grandchild Will from Little Angels and him subsequently throwing up on my neck. But first he slimed nurse Bobby Redefer - you better get that liquid Motrin out of my face - who joked, "Don't tell anyone there was a wet T-shirt contest in my office." But like a true athlete, I maintained my focus to keep my streak of 31 years in order. I have to confess that I went to the snack table before a wrestling match and bought a banana.  Somebody slap me!  Go on now, git!

Alex Thomas, former state champion, signals neutral. Fans were calling him Clark Kent.
S.A.M.: Cape's Sam Young is a surface-to-air missile. Sam set a Cape indoor record with a jump of 13 feet 6 inches at the Wicomico County Indoor Meet. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Toast! (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
Beacon hits the mat for its middle school wrestling match against Smyrna. (Photo by: Dave Frederick )
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