In the sort-of-famous words of the Seattle-based 1990’s alt-rock/grunge band and obvious Kurt Cobain wannabes “Alice In Chains”: “Yeah, here comes the rooster, yeah.”
Riveting stuff, sure. Compelling and rich.
But it turns out that whatever they initially meant by that riveting stuff finally holds some actual meaning as we gear up for 2017 and “The Year of the Rooster” in terms of the Chinese Zodiac (Yeah, here comes the Year of the Rooster in terms of the Chinese Zodiac…yeah).
After a pretty action-packed 2016, 2K17 holds some high expectations for not only Indian River High School sports but all sports across Sussex County, and probably a lot of other things across the soon-to-be-made-great-again United States of America as we know it too.
So without further speculation, what’s say we form a few theories and/or conjectures without any kind of firm evidence using our “Sussex County Sports Crystal Ball” to see what that soon-to-be-great-again future might hold…
After ringing in the New Year with the Sussex County tradition of your own personal choosing — whether it be exercising like an Eskimo with Point photographer Shaun M. Lambert and the Leo Brady crew in Bethany Beach, honoring the acting skills of former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Fenwick Island (the Fenwick…”FREEZE!”), or honoring the acting skills of teenage vampires everywhere at the Surfin’ Snowman 5K “Twilight Run” — it’s time to take down that politically nonpartisan holiday tree, sign a few gym membership contracts that you can totally just find a loophole and welch on later, and get ready for some serious action on the courts, mats, and in the pool…
After already reaching his 100th career win, IR senior Zeke Marcozzi is looking primed to surpass the school’s all-time win total (127) sometime around the state tournament in February, according to my own personal non-Will-Hunting-approved math.
Speaking of the state tournament, expect he and senior Jared Arlett to be battling for the top spot on the podium in their respective weight classes, and for coach Jeff Windish and Indians to be battling for the Henlopen South title and a run at state-duals.
And speaking of South titles, expect head coach Colin Crandel and the IR swim team to claim their fourth straight, and very possibly their first-ever conference title at the HAC Championships in February.
Then, in probably one of the least bold predictions of the New Year, also expect yet another photo finish in the girls’ 100-butterfly at HAC conferences, when IR senior McKenna Burke and Sussex Academy sophomore Cailey Murphy get set to go wall-to-wall and give the time keepers a serious case of the Fantods with another 0.03 second time difference.
Other winter 2017 predications: After a falling out with Kayne West over the best kind of blonde hair dye to use or something, President Donald J. Trump is left with three-fifths of the “New Kids on the Block,” the Georgia part of “Florida Georgia Line,” and a strictly 1980’s Billy Joel cover band going by the handle “The Uptown Boys,” to perform at his inauguration. As his first order of official presidential business, Trump bans all non-denomination-specific holiday tidings and adds his own personal definition of the word “unpresidented” to the Webster’s American English Dictionary [un-pres-idented \??n-?pre-s?-?den-t?d\ adj. 1. displaying the total opposite quality of being presidented 2. an act that China would totally do after stealing a U.S. Navy research drone 3a. totally a real word 3b. the best word 3c. I know the best words].
If I’m being totally honest, I understand how the weather patterns of El Niño work about as well as I understand what ESPN analyst Lou Holtz is spraying not saying on the set of “College Football Gameday,” as in, like, I don’t understand the weather patterns of El Niño at all but I feel like I could definitely use an umbrella.
That being said, here’s hoping for an at least comparatively dry season of April showers, because we’ve got a pretty long list of spring sports and unfinished business to thaw out.
When it comes to lacrosse season, I’m calling it. Spring 2017 is the one that head coach Jim Dietsch and the Indian River boys’ lax team finally clinch their first-ever Henlopen South title. It’s also the spring that IR senior keeper Hayden McWilliams finally gets some proper PR with a First-Team All-Conference nomination, and he and senior midfielder George “G-Mart” Martin crack the All-State list.
After seeing the program’s first player to reach 100-career goals in 2016, head coach Steve Kilby and the Indian River girls’ soccer team see their second player eclipse the milestone just a year later when senior forward Maddie Hogsten joins the freshly established “100 Goals” club. Then, the Indians make another run at the state finals to find out if that whole “the third time’s a charm” thing actually holds any water or what’s the deal.
Other spring 2017 predications: It turns out I’m way off on my April showers predications, so I finally cough up the like, four bucks or whatever it costs, to officially purchase an officially licensed umbrella from the IR girls’ lax boosters President Sherry Brannon and that little green and gold cart she’s always got on the sidelines at games that I’m still not convinced doesn’t have a Penn State logo on it somewhere. In a reluctant act of protest, Raven-Symoné is the only cast member from “The View” to make good on her promise to leave the country if Trump is elected, and packs her bags for Honolulu, Hawaii.
School’s out but summer is most definitely in session.
How about a couple of our local skim-stars like the Bracht Bros. (Dave and Tom) making a splash at the South Side Shout Out this June? How about the star of all those Arby’s commercials (Kalani Robb) making his return to Delaware with Bill Baxter, Ryan Savage and the rest of the Catch Surf crew for the “Get Wet Tour” this July? How about the launch of the 16th annual Bethany Beach Skim Jam and all of this government-subsidized global warming we’ve been having lately?
Whether you’re slapping on the sunscreen and hitting the Atlantic or slapping on the BENGAY® and hitting the pickleball courts, summer in Big Sussex is in full swing as our local beach patrols gear up for another strong showing at the national lifeguard competitions and our local sports reporters gear up for another strong showing at the concession stands of the Little League World Series in Roxana.
Could this be the summer that head coach Mike Patille and the Lower Sussex Junior League All-Stars finally get a team in the series for some home field advantage? Could this be the summer that Ocean View’s Lance Fargo and his four-legged friend “Sarge” finally bring home two gold medals in the same calendar year? Could this be the summer that I finally take down Vaughn “The Baron” Baker in a “friendly” match of pickleball? Or finally score a point at least maybe? All these questions and more are sure to be answered when we reach the dogs days of the Year of the Rooster.
Other summer 2017 predications: The summer blockbusters turns out to be pretty unfortunately lame, despite the still totally awesome recliners at the Sun & Surf. Let’s assume safely that box offices bombs include, but are not limited to: “Black Santa” starring either a) Kevin Hart and centered around the wacky antics of a non-traditional mall Santa that’s small in stature but big in personality, or b) Jared Leto in a more serious take on social-injustice and his most committed method-acting performance sure for a statue to date; “Batman Independence Day: Red White and Bleed For This” directed by both Michael Bay and Zac Snyder, and featuring a second-amendment exercising caped Crusader played by John Cena, Megan Fox as herself and running away from a lot of explosions in slow motion, and for some reason with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Alfred the Butler, where, guns blazing, Cena and “The Rock” have to lead a militarized police force against a group of mutant-zombie-terrorists that hate free speech and religious freedom, a completely separate but equally as terrifying group of mutant-zombie-terrorists that are also aliens and also hate both free speech and religious freedom but also also hate non-government subsidized air, and the controversial “Black Joker” played by Jared Leto and promising his most committed method-acting performance sure for a statue to date (“This summer…democracy is vengeance…and vengeance…is Patriotism”); and then a remake of that movie “Kazam” where Shaquille O’Neal plays a genie that this time stars LeBron James instead but still ends up being equally as disappointing in terms of both comedic timing and overall artistic value. Who knows though, maybe we’ll luck out and Trump will end up at least making Adam Sandler movies great again if he’s having trouble with the whole America promise.
Thankfully, for the first time in two years, head coach Phil Townsend and the Indian River football team don’t have to start the season against Maryland powerhouse Linganore High School.
Perhaps even more thankfully, for the first time in two years, none of us have to endure IR girls’ lax coach and infamous Linganore alumni Kelsea Ayers going on about how great the Linganore football team is while not-so-secretly rocking a red Lancers jersey under all of her green and gold at the game.
Coach Townsend and his squad definitely lost some key seniors but after spending the summer in the weight room, a talented sophomore class and a few totally-not-cursed-kick-returns from junior Jacob Anderson lead the Indians to their first Henlopen South title since 2013.
Coach Kilby and the boys’ soccer team parted ways with one of the most decorated senior classes in program history, but still manage their eighth straight Henlopen South title and third straight Henlopen Conference title, as “Advanced Meteorology and Weather Patterns” becomes a standard course on the IRSD curriculum and Point photographer/actual Alaskan Native American Shaun M. Lambert gets an invite to perform a traditional rain dance before this year’s title game.
Speaking of killer dance moves, head coach Jodi Stone and the Indian River field hockey team makes it back to the playoffs for the second straight year, and thanks to some luck when it comes to the referee lottery, take down Cape Henlopen in the state finals for their most successful season since assistant coach Molly Chamberlain played on the team 30-some-odd years ago or whatever.
Other fall 2017 predictions: After feeling like she’s effectively proven her point, Raven-Symoné “returns” to the United States and to the cast of “The View” to valiantly tell her story. Following a record-low critics score but record-high ticket sales at the box office, Michael Bay and Zac Snyder release the trailer for “Batman 2: Supreme Resurgence: These Costumes Don’t Run,” this time where Cena, “The Rock,” and now Amy Schumer as “Catwoman” have to take down a group of off-Broadway musical theatre students/terrorists that have been harassing the President via his Twitter account, with Jared Leto playing a reanimated version of Abraham Lincoln (the president getting harassed by the musical theatre terrorists), and which, needless to say, looks pretty terrible. Also, from the people who brought you just regular unfiltered tap water for a buck-fifty a bottle, Dasani and the Pepsico corporation hit the market with “Monsanto Mountain Air” at the low-low price of $5.99 per 12 oz. aerosol canister and available at your local Whole Foods store.
Cue the “Alice in Chains” because that’s it predication-wise when it comes to the Year of the Rooster. Here’s to hoping that some of these come to fruition and some of them most definitely do not, while I start trying to figure some musical misfortunes to both mock of and use to tie in with when it comes to 2018 and the “Year of the Dog” (assuming the Chinese Zodiac isn’t banned as communist propaganda by then). If only there was a popular song about someone “unleashing the dog” or someone “letting the dogs out” or something…