Ring ceremony at Fish On! – I was the white marlin

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ring ceremony – The Cape Wrestling Team held their wrestling ceremony at Fish On! at Five Points on August 8th and I was the white marlin. “I’ll say a few words about our second straight state championship and then hand the room over to Fredman,” said coach Chris Mattioni. I don’t know why I keep being handed banquet rooms because it’s a lot of pressure. I should be senile and dimwitted by now, but I can tell stories until the cows are cleaned out and the dairy turns into a Hopkins-like dairy… seriously, who saw this coming? Many of the wrestlers got their second ring and nine of those athletes are coming back. We are all hoping for a three ring circus next summer. I told the room that a retired Cape trio of VIPs, including Bob Cilento, athletic director; Bernie Bowden, Principal Administrator; and Fredman were willing to rename the Cape Wrestling Room after Mattioni and not swim through official channels, because who ever goes to the wrestling room? All seriousness aside, what a magical ride the last two seasons have been. Congratulations to everyone who made it possible and to Bill Henry for making sure the fire and ambulances are ready to escort the bus through all the villages here on Sesame Street by the sea.

bricklayer on the way – Mason Fluharty, drafted in the fifth round by the Toronto Blue Jays, has been moved to High-A-Ball and ironically will play for the Vancouver Canadians in “How’s it goes, ey?” land. Mason is hard as reinforced concrete, smooth as a backyard patio, and slippery when wet. Sportswriters will be amused by his name and story when he makes it big. The city of Vancouver has a larger population than the state of Delaware, and 52% of its residents are non-English speakers. In Sussex County vernacular, the figure rises to 52.1%. I have a hermit friend from high school who lives in a cabin in the woods outside of town. He believes he is a native Canucker and goes by the name Cyclops. I only wish I was joking.

lookout park – Baby James Fred has emerged as a contestant with a basketball future and he’s only 10 years old. My life goal is to see him graduate from college, then I like to follow the dogs across the rainbow bridge just to see what’s on the other side. It begs the question, how much investment should a family make trying to develop a 10-year-old into an all-state high school player? There is a temptation to buck the trend of chasing the same ball as thousands of other retrievers. I practically never hear this conversation when it comes to academics, be it on Zoom calls or in person.

Brittany Croll – Brittany, granddaughter of Ray and Sarah Wilkerson and daughter of Terry (consider yourself local), will be inducted into the Franklin & Marshall Field Hockey Hall of Fame this fall. Brittany, a 2006 graduate, burned her way into the Franklin & Marshall field hockey record book during her four years at Lancaster, finishing as the all-time leader in points (127), tied in first assists (23) and tied for second in goals (52). Croll was named an All-American after her senior season and was a three-time All-Region honoree during her career. A four-time All-Centennial Conference pick, Croll helped lift the Diplomats to a 16-5 record during their 2004 campaign – F&M’s best record in 22 years and tied with the most wins in school history at the time. Brittany was a standout athlete at Indian River High School.

Excerpts – Lifeguards from the Sussex County Chapter of the United States Lifesaving Association competitive team landed in California on August 10 for the August 10-13 National Championships in Hermosa Beach. The Phillies released Didi Gregorius on August 4, not caring that he had 999 career hits. Gregorius is now a free agent. He’s a great guy and teammate and he speaks four languages, which doesn’t matter if you can’t score. Invite Pete Rose to a Phillies World Series (1980) reunion and you get him. A stomach-slipping scumbag. Who were you expecting, the Pope? Come on, idiot!

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