Cape Gazette
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People in Sports

The band is a major player for Friday night football

Chris Burkhart is Cape's new band director
By Dave Frederick | Aug 30, 2013
Photo by: Dave Frederick Chris Burkhart is Cape's new band director, having moved over from Beacon Middle School.

End game - There are lots of student state tests taken and results generated in subjects 90 percent of the kids will never use in life in any practical way. I spent 35 straight years as a high school teacher and left with one big question: “What was that all about? “ I look at athletics the same way. I’m pretty sure that 90 percent of athletes who play sports in high school won’t be student athletes in college for more than a semester. The data exists for schools to harvest an answer to the question, “What happens to those young people who study and play here? ” But no such studies exist to my knowledge. What percentage of students went forward to have careers that required an education, and how did athletics help them? And the first person who says “boys to men” is getting smacked. What difference does it make 20 years past high school if a student athlete graduated from Cape, Sussex Tech, St. Thomas More, Worcester, Saint Andrew's or was home-schooled by a high school dropout? I’m thinking the differences among students from going into high school and 20 years after high school are pretty constant.  Grand Mom Rose: “You can’t dumb down smart kids unless you lock them in a dark room.” There are 10-, 20- and 30-year high school reunions that come up every fall. I know the Cape class of 1983 is having a reunion this fall. I’m inviting myself; it sounds like a good story. I’m thinking a great many of them have been very successful and so have their kids, while others have fallen off the cliff due to no discipline and bad decision making.

Swept up and swept out - The News Journal along with its pay-to-play website, Delawareonline, is a Cape Gazette competitor, although I’m not sure the organization considers us a major player. If we furloughed 28 people in one day, the office would be empty. I like my fellow sports dogs and have great respect for all of them. The Journal just cut Mike Finney, so now who am I supposed to steal statistics from? Mike could get inside and report on a game story like no one I’d ever seen; there was no way I could touch the guy. And afterward he talked to both coaches along with the goal scorers or touchdown makers, and he was gone. Cutting Mike from the downstate high school sports scene appears to make no sense, which it doesn’t unless you ain’t got no money. Finney also covered NASCAR and Wesley football. The guy is a real pro, a real jobless professional. As Frank Sinatra sang, “Ain’t life a kick in the head?”

High anxiety - A cheer for the uneasy: “A-N-X-I-E-T-Y - we feel bad and we don’t know why!” I began writing this column at 2 a.m to sit up with old lab Jesse, who has late-night panic attacks and will only relax if I’m sitting in my office chair typing. I don’t understand how an animal without abstract thought can suffer from anxiety or that feeling of impending doom. I am the daytime expendable guy so it absolutely doesn’t matter if I write on the night shift.

Band director - Chris Burkhart has moved from Beacon to Cape high school where he is the new band director.  I guarantee you, football fans have heard the last of "Dante’s Inferno" but I'm not sure about "The Horse." That song, written by Cliff Noble out of Norristown High School, seems impossible to kill. Burkhart is a Temple guy like me except for the graduate part. The band is such a big part of Friday night football that I’m amped gramps, can't wait to hear this Cape group rock some fight songs; I'm tired of going to hell at halftime.

Snippets - Mike Gallagher has joined the football staff at Wesley College, where he will work primarily with the tight ends. Mike most recently coached at Coastal Carolina and Delaware State. Mike also coached at the high school level at Tower Hill, Cape and Sussex Central. Mike’s daughter Maddie, who played lacrosse at Sussex Tech last year, is a freshman at George Washington University while his son Patrick is a sophomore at Ohio University where he works as a videographer for the Bobcats athletic teams.

The Eagles play the Redskins to start the season on Monday Night Football at 7 p.m., Sept. 9. The Birds are four-point dogs in the game. Speaking of dogs, it's Vick versus Griffin, both charismatic leaders in the locker room but night and day when it comes to image. I like Philly to win this game while the Skins win the battle of lame fight songs.

Go on now, git!

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