Cape Gazette
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People In Sports

Women have market cornered on mental toughness

By Dave Frederick | May 08, 2012
Photo by: Dave Frederick Caravel pitcher Carolyn Szymanski is just a junior with two state championships already in her back pocket.

Mental toughness - Sports teaches mental toughness to some of us; other non-sports people get it from someplace else, and many to most people aren't tough at all, just a bunch of Facebook crybabies who look forward to a rainy Saturday where they can just sleep. I recently wrote that my friend Mike DeStasio, who has battled ALS over the last four years while still playing golf and winning the Wheelchair Bowling National Championship last summer, was the toughest person I knew who was not a woman. Women have the market cornered on mental toughness. In America they are the unselfish force that keeps families together. When families do break apart, kids mostly look to mom for emotional support. I have known young women who were wild and unmanageable when they were in the classroom who later matured into great mothers who produced the most spectacular children. Mother's Day is never a day off for mom, but on Father's Day it's call in the caterers to wait on dad when his new power washer runs out of gas. I am mentally tough, learned it from my mom and Grand Mom Rose, who said, “When I stop rocking and humming, somebody needs to start running.”

Lax Power - The NCAA tournament brackets have been set, and three former Cape players are in the national tournament. Lille Lingo is on the starting defense for the North Carolina Tarheels. They will open play at home Saturday, May 12, versus Navy. In the Division Three tournament for men, Stevens Tech with freshman Andrew Scrutchfield on starting attack plays Springfield at home Wednesday, May 9. Lynchburg College with senior Franc Cook in goal received a first-round bye and will play the winner of Denison and Adrian at home May 12.

Team to beat - I'm going out on a limb here and saying Caravel is still the team to beat in softball once tournament time rolls around, but this spring is going to be a great one as Polytech 15-0, St. Georges 11-1, Sussex Central 12-2, Delmar 11-2, and don't discount Sussex Tech 11-4, all have a chance. And don't discount Laurel at 7-5 . But I'm going with the Caravel Buccaneers coached by Randy Johnson of Lewes with junior Carol Szymanski on the mound.

Jumping Jehosaphat Batman! Ellis Gaulden, a 7-foot high jumper and Big East Champion at UConn, is now on the Cape staff and was hired by the Sussex Consortium as a para as he works on his master's and honestly I'm taking credit for finding him working at the New Balance outlet store. Gaulden's high jumpers at the May 5 First State Invitational included Jeremiah Cohen 6-feet-2, Dre Miller 6-0 and Lucas Reis 6-0. Ellis also coaches the other jumps along with Jay Maull. Just on the boys' side they have produced Dre Miller 21-11 long and 45-2 triple, Jeremiah Cohen 42 triple and 20-8 long jump,Chris Stigile 42-0 triple and Lucas Reis 19-2 long jump but always on the verge of popping a 21-footer. The Henlopen Conference Championships are this Friday and Saturday, May 11 and 12.

Snippets - May 8 is school board election day; you just have to be 18 and a district resident to be eligible to vote. I wrote on Facebook, “Just produce a driver's license," and my friend Howard Gorrell answered, “What if a person is blind?” and I responded, “They still have to parallel park.” The children of the school district could not care less about any election, which is why we have to care for them. I only vote for people with a proven history of liking school-age kids and actually talking to one of them every once in awhile. A basic rule for local elections is, "Grouchy people show up early and happy people show up late.”

I watched the entire 17-inning game between the Orioles and Red Sox on Sunday afternoon, won 9-6 on an Adam Jones home run after position player first baseman Chris Davis, who struck out five times, pitched the last two innings to get the win. Make Davis a full-time pitcher and bring up Tyler Townsend to DH. Townsend is playing first base for the Bowie Baysox and had six home runs and is batting .247. Mike Flacco has been brought up also listed as first baseman and in two games played had struck out four times in seven at bats with no hits. See you at the school board election on Tuesday; I'll be there when all the games are over. Go on now, git!

Lucas Guerreiro-Damarco rides high on the shoulders of Ellis Gaulden at the recent Blockhouse Pond Carnival of Kids. (Photo by: Dave Frederick)
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