Reaching new heights

COVER-Girls'-Soccer-States2-TCol.jpg

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The Indian River High School soccer team reacts as they defeat Archmere 1-0 on Tuesday, May 26. The win pushes the Indians into the state championship game this Monday, June 1, in Smyrna. This is the first time in school history the team will compete for the championship.

This Week's News

Bethany kicks off summer season with ribbon-cutting

Coastal Point • M. Patricia Titus: From left, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper cut the ribbon on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project.Coastal Point • M. Patricia Titus: From left, DelDOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan, Bethany Beach Mayor Jack Gordon and U.S. Sen. Tom Carper cut the ribbon on Bethany Beach’s Streetscape project.It was a day more than a decade in the making, as Bethany Beach town council members were joined by state and federal officials last Friday in a ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially opened the Town’s long-planned and, now, completed Streetscape project.

The redesign of a little more than two blocks that make up the town’s primary commercial district included the removal of overhead utility lines and the related poles; new lighting; reorganization of streetside parking, swapping angled parking to the exteriors of the street and parallel parking to the median; redefined bicycle lanes; wider sidewalks, free of the obstruction of utility poles; Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant curbs and crosswalks featuring inlaid brick; and changes aimed at calming traffic in an area with some of the heaviest pedestrian traffic in the state.

The idea behind Streetscape arose in 2001, with the Town’s beautification subcommittee. Numerous design ideas were floated over the years, with a mixed response from the council and the public. After considering public input on a series of initial designs, the committee did come up with a set of goals for the project:

Local businesses off to a strong start

Memorial Day marks the official kickoff of the summer season, and if this year’s holiday weekend was any indication of what’s ahead, summer 2015 will be a great time for area businesses.

South Bethany voters elect new town council members

In a South Bethany election with a broad slate of candidates, three new council members have been elected: Carol Stevenson (200 votes), Wayne Schrader (192) and Frank Weisgerber (173). They are filling three seats for which the incumbents did not seek reelection.

‘Symbol of Hope’: Pearce performs national anthem, inspires IR soccer team

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Hope Pearce has inspired the Indian River soccer team this season, through song, words and spirit.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Hope Pearce has inspired the Indian River soccer team this season, through song, words and spirit.You know the names.

Leading goal scorers Brooke Beam and Maddie Hogsten. Senior field general Sarah Buchler. First Team All-Conference keeper Fabrea McCray and Mighty-Mouse midfielder Sammi Whelen.

And you know the numbers: One. Nine. Six. Double zero. Ten.

But there’s also a key component to the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team and historic DIAA Championship run that you may not know. One that doesn’t have a number. One that doesn’t have to be on the field to impact the game. One that doesn’t need a jersey to be part of the team.

“She is our hope, honestly,” explained Whelen of soccer manager Hope Pearce and what she means to the program. “Before every game, on the bus she gives us her little pep talk, and it just makes us want to try for her even harder.”

Good Earth to hold annual arts and crafts festival

Good Earth Market will hold its 8th Annual Arts & Crafts Festival on Saturday, May 30, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the market’s grounds in Clarksville.

Mariner’s invites leaders to attend Global Leadership Summit

Community leaders are being invited to a two-day conference in August at Mariner’s Bethel United Methodist Church, which aims to provide opportunities to develop future leaders as a host site for the Global Leadership Summit.

School board honors IRHS engineering success

Indian River High School has shown its technical prowess this year, earning official Project Lead the Way Certification for its pre-engineering pathway.

“This is quite an accomplishment, because it is first high school in the state achieving this important milestone,” said Superintendent Susan Bunting at the May 18 meeting of the Indian River School District Board of Education.

Indians carry support of community with them

When the Indian River High School girls’ soccer team heads to Smyrna on Friday, May 29, to play the state championship game against the winner of the Caravel and Wilmington Friends game, they will be bringing along more than just equipment.

They will be bringing all of us on board for the ride.

Local musician, journalist taking on new challenges

Coastal Point • Submitted: Local singer-songwriter Bryan Russo has shifted his focus from radio journalism to his music, performing solo and with other local musicians, while also expanding into creating videos and documentaries.Coastal Point • Submitted: Local singer-songwriter Bryan Russo has shifted his focus from radio journalism to his music, performing solo and with other local musicians, while also expanding into creating videos and documentaries.Bryan Russo is a storyteller with two voices and many hats.

The first is his speaking voice that many Delmarvans looked forward to hearing every Friday at noon and Saturday at 5 a.m. on his NPR show, “Coastal Connection,” on WAMU-88.3. The second is his singing voice — once described as “a big, bluesy voice that wallops audiences with soulful lyrics that bite.”

The hats — often trilbies — are what you see and may remember initially, until you are moved by the memory of what he says or sings.

Until recently, the music side provided spiritual balance to his hectic life as an acclaimed journalist and popular local personality. It was all too perfect, perhaps: a loving wife who runs the Worcester County, Md., branch of Habitat for Humanity, two great kids, a home in Berlin, Md., and a job he loved.

Teaching is an art for Ginsberg at JMC

Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Marci Ginsberg organizes a student art show every year at John M. Clayton Elementary School, where she was named Teacher of the Year. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Luis Espinoza, Aniyah Blake and Hayley Sockriter; and, back row, Edgar Flores, Bryan Cabrera Icte, Ginsberg, Ramier Turner and James Luther.Coastal Point • Laura Walter: Marci Ginsberg organizes a student art show every year at John M. Clayton Elementary School, where she was named Teacher of the Year. Pictured, from left, are: front row, Luis Espinoza, Aniyah Blake and Hayley Sockriter; and, back row, Edgar Flores, Bryan Cabrera Icte, Ginsberg, Ramier Turner and James Luther.Although her classroom is at the end a long hallway, Marci Ginsberg’s art class does not exist in a vacuum. At John M. Clayton Elementary School, she uses art to build upon regular classroom lessons.

When fourth-graders learn about polygons, she’ll teach Picasso. When science classes learn about landforms, she’ll teach landscapes, pointing out the mountains and plateaus. She’s also inspired by current events, such as space shuttle or rocket launches.

That’s part of what made Ginsberg the JMC Teacher of the Year for 2015-2016.

“I extend their learning or refine it into another way, and it’s really cool to see them make those connections,” Ginsberg said of the students.

She works closely with other teachers, building on their lessons. She also wrote module maps, so other specialist teachers can follow core classroom standards.

“She tries to align her classroom to what [teachers] are doing and the state standards,” said JMC Principal Charlynn “Char” Hopkins.

Bethany’s Loop Canal gets ‘au naturel’ wetlands restoration

Coastal Point • Laura Walter : To the left is the narrow Loop Canal, to the right, log barriers that will slow the wave action in Salt Pond and help build up this protective strip of land.Coastal Point • Laura Walter : To the left is the narrow Loop Canal, to the right, log barriers that will slow the wave action in Salt Pond and help build up this protective strip of land.A new project along Bethany Beach Loop Canal could see the marsh there slowly restoring itself.

The Delaware Center for Inland Bays has brought the Living Shorelines program to a small chunk of wetlands near the canal, just north of Route 26. By installing pine logs in the shallow water, the CIB hopes to preserve and even rebuild the marsh, naturally.

The goal is to avoid “hardening” shorelines with bulkheads, riprap and seawalls, all of which diminish wildlife, said Sally Boswell, CIB education and outreach coordinator.

In the shallow water, 10- to 20-foot logs were staked in the Salt Pond shallows in a herringbone pattern. It creates a breakwater, so the water is calmer behind the logs on a tiny strip of land that delineates the canal and protects the mainland.

Union and peace restored as the Civil War ends in 1865

Fast-moving events in mid-1865 boded well for a political and military settlement between the warring North and South. Even so, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln cast a dark shadow over the prospects for compassionate implementation of the generous terms offered to the capitulating Southern armies. (See “Davis’ flight and Lincoln’s assassination,” Coastal Point, April 17, 2015.)

24 Indian River athletes earn All-Conference honors

A whopping 24 athletes earned All-Henlopen Conference honors for the 2015 spring season, with 10 first-team selections, 10 second-team selections, and four honorable mentions.

Headed for State! Indians to play for their first DIAA state championship title

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Maddie Hogsten is met by a fired-up Sammi Whelen after Hogsten netted the go-ahead goal in the 44th minute.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Maddie Hogsten is met by a fired-up Sammi Whelen after Hogsten netted the go-ahead goal in the 44th minute.Maddie Hogsten had already scored 29 goals on the season — but none of them would compare to this one.

With Tuesday’s semi-final matchup between No. 3 Indian River and No. 2 Archmere having held scoreless for 44 minutes of evenly matched play, Hogsten would get her chance — getting forward on an Archmere defender for a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper.

“We’ve talked about her in one-versus-one situations, and we’ve told her — it’s not a shot, it’s a pass to the corner of the net,” said head coach Steve Kilby. “And, thank god, she passed to the corner of the net.”

Just as it had 29 times previously this year, Hogsten’s shot found the back of the net, rolling just past the Archemere goalkeeper and giving the Indians a 1-0 advantage as she was stormed by her teammates and the crowd in the stands at Dover High School erupted.

However, even though they had already made Indian River High School history as the first girls’ soccer team to ever advance to the state semi-finals, the Indians still had work to do if they were going to achieve their ultimate goal.

“[Coach] Kilby gave us a halftime speech and reminded us of our goals from the beginning of the season,” explained freshman midfielder Sammi Whelen after the game. “It was to win a state championship... We weren’t going to give up on our goal.”

IR softball falls short in playoffs, looks toward next season

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Freshman Marley Evans pitched a complete game against Polytech on Saturday, in the process not giving up a run after the first inning.  Evans is one of the players expected to take the next step for the Indians in 2016.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Freshman Marley Evans pitched a complete game against Polytech on Saturday, in the process not giving up a run after the first inning. Evans is one of the players expected to take the next step for the Indians in 2016.Two drastically different softball teams took the field for Indian River High School this season.

First, there was the young, inexperienced squad who started the season 4-8 and lost to Polytech 13-0 during the second game of the season.

Then, there was the still young, yet relentlessly tenacious team that won five out of their last six games to lock in a spot for the DIAA state tournament for a rematch against the No. 4-seeded Panthers — ultimately falling 5-2, but remaining in the game until the final pitch.

“We came out of this game a lot better than we did at the beginning of the season,” said junior catcher Eliza “Lizard” Bombhardt after Saturday’s first-round playoff matchup. “We came together as a team and just fought.”

“I think we kind of came out for blood,” added sophomore utility player Samantha Mumford. “We knew we were the underdog.”

Despite the Indians being determined to gain redemption, a seasoned Polytech squad came out swinging in the bottom of the first inning, jumping out to a 5-0 lead behind All-State senior pitcher Shaina Reed that they refused to relinquish.

“They have a great pitcher, one of the best in the state, and they’ve been playing together for a long time,” said head coach Erika Brittingham of the opposition.

“Shaina is a good pitcher; she has a lot of movement, so she can be hard to hit but she’s hittable,” Bombhardt added. “We put the ball in play, and we made contact a lot — more than we did the first time we played them.”

IR baseball on the rise, primed for 2016 South title run

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior 3B/P Eddie Hogan makes the throw to junior 2B/P Jake Hudson at the Indians' game played at Perdue Stadium earlier this season. Hudson is one of the players expected to step up as a leader next year, after Hogan graduates.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior 3B/P Eddie Hogan makes the throw to junior 2B/P Jake Hudson at the Indians' game played at Perdue Stadium earlier this season. Hudson is one of the players expected to step up as a leader next year, after Hogan graduates.When a youthful Indians’ baseball squad hit the field this season, second-year co-head coaches Chris Megee and Kevin Cordrey were looking for a leader to emerge.

While they soon saw seniors including third-baseman Eddie Hogan and outfielder Kenny Rishel step up to fill that role early in the 2015 season, that question seems to have already been answered for the 2016 squad, as the Indians’ youth infusion from previous years begins to mature.

In fact, the team is only set to lose two starters from their 2015 lineup, and to return three All-Conference selections at the same time that several other teams in the division graduate a number of key players.

“I think being seniors next year, it’s going to really help out a lot,” said junior OF/P Ryan Engh of heading into next season. “I think we have great potential. We’ve been playing together since we were 11 or 12 years old.”

“I definitely want to win the South before we leave,” added junior 2B/P Jake Hudson of the high expectations.

After rebuilding year, the future is now for IR lax

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The Indians will return most of their starters in 2016, as well as four All-Conference selections.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: The Indians will return most of their starters in 2016, as well as four All-Conference selections.Coming off their first playoff appearance in program history, the Indian River High School lacrosse team was looking to return to the DIAA tournament in 2015.

However, they’d have to do it with a completely revamped squad, after graduating eight of their 10 starting players and returning only sophomore midfielder George Martin and sophomore goalie Hayden McWilliams.

The reality of fielding practically a whole new team set in early, as the Indians fell in their first matchup of the season against Salisbury School — a team that they had rolled 18-2 just a year prior.

“I think we overlooked a lot of teams,” explained junior midfielder Josh Lucido. “I think that was a big problem this year.”

Annual Youth Fishing Tournament set for June 6

As part of its activities for National Fishing & Boating Week, June 6-14, the Delaware Division of Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police will hold its 29th Annual Youth Fishing Tournament from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, June 6, at Ingrams Pond in Millsboro, Wyoming Pond in Wyoming and at the dog training area of Lums Pond State Park in Bear.

Lord Baltimore students visit Ocean View historical complex

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: LB students gather around a painting of Lord Baltimore Elementary School at the Ocean View historical complex.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: LB students gather around a painting of Lord Baltimore Elementary School at the Ocean View historical complex.The Ocean View Historical Complex was buzzing with excitement last Friday, as all five fifth-grade classes from Lord Baltimore Elementary School were able to tour the facilities.

“It’s important, I think, for the kids to see physically what life was like in the past, what people had to deal with,” said Richard Nippes, president of the historical society.

Students were able to tour the Tunnell-West house, furnished with period furniture and artifacts; an 1800s outhouse; the town’s first post office, built in 1889; and an exact replica of Cecile Steele’s first chicken house.

While in the Tunnell-West house, students were given a tour and then sent on a scavenger hunt to find objects that they wouldn’t necessarily be familiar with today, such as a chamber pot.

They would also go outside to use a period water pump — to understand that indoor plumbing was not available when the house was built in the late 1800s.

Memorial Day service to be held on Bethany bandstand

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7234 will host a Memorial Day service at the Bethany Beach bandstand on Monday, May 25. The free service begins at 11 a.m., and the entire community is being invited to attend.

South Bethany all set to elect three new council members

Three seats on the South Bethany Town Council will be up for election on May 23. Voters have their pick of six candidates: Elizabeth Baker, Don Boteler, Joel Danshes, Wayne Schrader, Carol Stevenson and Frank Weisgerber. None of the incumbents ran for re-election this year.

Each council term is two years.

In case you missed it, there have been some changes here

Plenty has happened around the community over the off-season. In case you’ve been out of town, or have just been too busy to stay on top of things, here are some of the items that could most affect your summer season.

James Farm master plan to improve and protect preserve

Special to the Coastal Point • Center for the Inland Bays: This rendering shows some of the plans that organizers hope to accomplish with the James Farm Ecological PreserveSpecial to the Coastal Point • Center for the Inland Bays: This rendering shows some of the plans that organizers hope to accomplish with the James Farm Ecological PreserveChris Bason, executive director of the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) spoke to the Sussex County Council earlier this month about their master plan for James Farm Ecological Preserve.

The CIB’s mission is “to promote the wise use and enhancement of the Inland Bays and their watersheds,” in a variety of ways, including restoration, scientific research and educational outreach.

“A big part of our educational program is the James Farm,” said Bason.

James Farm covers 150 acres, located on both sides of Cedar Neck Road, just outside of Ocean View. Bason said it’s a unique preserve in that it has a wide variety of ecosystems that are characteristic to the area.

School district to switch cafeteria payment system in June

The Indian River School District will begin using a new payment system in all cafeterias, starting June 1.

Currently, parents can prepay for their children’s meals online with the PayPAMS system. However, that payment system will be deactivated on May 27 and replaced later this summer.

Indian River students hitting Anaheim for HOSA conference

Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Special to the Coastal Point • Submitted: The future of good health could be in their hands: Indian River High School will send four students to the national HOSA competition in June. Pictured, from left, are: Meghan Paulus, Taite Daisey, Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush.Four local students are capping the school year with a June trip to Anaheim, Calif. After earning gold and silver medals at the state leadership conference, the Indian River High School students will represent Delaware at the national conference of HOSA: Future Health Professionals.

Formerly known as Health Occupations Students of America, HOSA lets students learn and become leaders as they approach careers in the health field.

At state compeition in March, Meghan Paulus won first place for the Pathophysiology event; Taite Daisey won first for the Nutrition event; and Bridgette Blatzheim and Samantha Mushrush took second for the Health Career Display event. Coaches Shelly Robinson and Shirley Townsend led the team.

Paulus and Daisey demonstrated their expertise on paper at the state competition. Paulus won for pathophysiology, “the study of disease and functions in the body,” she said. That ranged from the stomach to the brain.

Dagsboro posts 2015-2016 tax assessments

The Dagsboro Town Council this week announced that the 2015-2016 annual assessment list had been posted at Dagsboro Town Hall and throughout town, giving residents the opportunity to appeal their tax assessments.

“Now’s the time that people would appeal their taxes,” said Town Manager Stacey Long in Monday’s meeting, which was held a week earlier than usual, due to Memorial Day.

Route 26 is open for business — we promise

It seems like just yesterday our community was winding down another Jazz Funeral on the Bethany boardwalk, rolling up the sidewalks and turning off the lights on another summer season.

A new season is here, and I’m going to enjoy it

Many of us have that metaphorical little engine inside us that drives us.

Fenwick Lions renovate Camp Barnes bathhouses

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Fenwick Island Lions Club worked with the Delaware State Police to renovate the new bathhouses and restrooms at Camp Barnes. This is one of the new ADA compliant showers.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Fenwick Island Lions Club worked with the Delaware State Police to renovate the new bathhouses and restrooms at Camp Barnes. This is one of the new ADA compliant showers.Those who visit Camp Barnes these days may notice a few changes to its facilities. This past spring, the Fenwick Island Lions Club was able to fund a complete renovation of the camp’s two bathhouses.

“Our club just feels this is such a huge asset to the entire state. Our club feels it deserves our full support,” said Bruce Schoonover, president of the club. “We feel very blessed to have this facility in our back yard.”

Over the years the club has helped the Delaware State Police camp financially, and this past year was no different.

“Last summer, I was chatting with [Cpl.] Shawn Hatfield, who manages Camp Barnes for the state police, and asking him in terms of what were his priorities.

“Without any hesitation, he indicated the bathhouses and restrooms needed major renovations.”

Schoonover said the Fenwick Island Lions decided they would take on the renovations as a project and went full-speed ahead.

“We hired an architect and a mechanical engineer to translate the ideas the state police had about the deficiencies,” he said. “That was put into a set of plans and specifications that were sent out to bid last November.”

In December, the club chose a builder, and on Feb. 2, demolition was begun on the existing facilities.