Just weeks after the surfing and skateboarding world was stunned by the loss of Shogo Kubo, one of its legendary originals, the time came to say goodbye to the original, as Dogtown’s tow-headed golden child Jay Adams passed away in his sleep last week from an apparent heart attack.
After the crowds leave the ballpark and ESPN sends the lights and cameras back up to Bristol; after the celebration dwindles and the teams head back home; and after the popcorn is swept up from the Lower Sussex “Walk of Fame,” Delaware District III Director Martin Donovan starts taking a look at the numbers.
“Economic development for the county and the state was huge,” Donovan noted, after estimating that District III spent more than $200,000 locally just in food, housing and transportation for the teams alone as host of the Big League and Senior League Softball World Series, held in Roxana during the first week of August. “I think that one of the things that people don’t realize is it’s a county-wide event, as far as people spending money.”
This year’s Big League Softball World Series featured two teams from Delaware playing in the championship game, with Milford representing USA East and Laurel getting a bid as the District III host team.
Just a year after capturing his first national title at the USA Triathlon age-group national championship in Milwaukee, Wisc., and just weeks after winning his division at the New York City Triathlon, Ocean View’s Lance Fargo returned home from Arkansas last week with another national championship.
“It certainly means a lot to me,” said Fargo of his two consecutive national titles. “I definitely felt more confident going into this year. Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect.”
On a relatively flat course in Milwaukee last year, Fargo went into the event as a national championship rookie, only to beat his goal time, despite his lack of experience with large-scale triathlons. This year, however, with varying terrain in Degray Lake, Ark., he had a different obstacle to overcome.
“This was a mountainous area. The course was more challenging,” he explained, “very hilly, a lot of climbing on the bike and uphill running.”
The Delmarva Shorebirds split their road series against Texas Rangers affiliate the Hickory Crawdads in North Carolina last week, falling in their last two games after beginning the series with back-to-back wins.
After years in making, Epworth Skatepark will finally celebrate its grand opening this Sunday, Aug. 24.
Beginning at 2 p.m., a dedication ceremony will take place, followed by skate contests, live music, and food and drink provided by the Matt Haley Companies’ Big Thunder Roadside Kitchen, which will be donating all of the proceeds from sales back to the skate park.
For an avid ocean-goer, or for me at least, there are few things more terrifying than the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week.” There are, however, a couple of things that come close — the obviously inevitable “Zombie Apocalypse,” my ex-girlfriend getting a hold of my new phone number, somehow getting stuck in line at the bank behind Gary Busey… The list goes on.
There aren’t many 8-year olds committed to the sport of golf, and there are certainly far fewer winning PGA Tour-affiliated events. However, Ocean View’s Sarah Lydic has taken her golf game from practice shots around the house to recently winning the second annual Drive, Chip & Putt Sub-Regional in Philadelphia, qualifying her for the regional event in Great Falls, Va., on Sept. 6.
Before taking first place in the 7-9 age division in Philadelphia, Lydic first earned her trip by winning the local qualifier at Bayside earlier this summer. After advancing, she not only won her age division at the sub-regional event but beat most of the older girls, as well — posting an overall score of 94, which was second to only one other golfer, in the 10-11 age group, and better than any golfer in the 7-9 age range by 20 points.
The national event is scored the same for all age groups, so the scores can be compared directly.
Currently, Lydic is practicing a few times a week with her sister, Hannah, who is quite the golfer herself, and parents Garret and Leslie Lydic. They’ll typically spend an hour driving, an hour chipping and an hour putting in preparation, in addition to the time spent at home where the girls set up various golfing challenges to compete against each other.
Each year, the teams come from far and wide to compete in the Big League World Series at the Pyle Center in Roxana. However this year, the ESPN-2 aired championship game featured two teams that didn’t have to travel very far at all — as USA East (Milford, Del.) edged Delaware District III (Laurel, Del.) in a 1-0 extra-innings victory that not only went down to the wire, but come down to a controversial call.
The two Delaware squads faced off last Saturday night as the rest of the world watched. Milford had punched their World Series ticket by winning USA East regionals in Massachusetts, while Laurel earned their bid in a series against 2013 Big League World Series Champion Millsboro to represent host District III.
The game was a rematch of the series pool-play opener last Sunday, when Milford had previously bested Laurel by just one run in a 6-5 slugfest. Less than a week later, the matchup proved to be quite a different game, though with a similar outcome, as Milford pitcher Shaina Reed and Laurel ace Regan Green squared off in a pitcher’s duel.
When the ESPN cameras set up at last weekend’s Senior League Softball World Series championship game in Roxana, the District 11 team from South Bend, Ind., representing USA Central couldn’t have been too rattled. After all, they had been in the same situation before — just last year, when they were crowned Senior League World Series Champions on the exact same field.
This year, however, the Central squad had to get past USA West pitcher Macey Newbary — who had racked up 16 strikeouts in the Missoula, Mont., squad’s 7-2 victory over Asia-Pacific in series pool play earlier in the week.
In the matchup on Saturday, Newbary would square off against Central pitcher Nichole Kirkpatrick, who would help lead Central to a 5-0 victory from not only in the circle, but from in the batter’s box, as well.
Delmarva Shorebirds’ third-baseman Drew Dosch and pitcher Luis Gonzalez both earned honors from the Baltimore Orioles organization recently — as Dosch was named Orioles’ Player of the Month and Gonzalez earned Pitcher of the Month for July.
The Ocean City Lacrosse Classic was set to make its return to the shore on Wednesday, with games spanning through the weekend, at Northside Park in North Ocean City, Md., Northern Worcester County Athletic Complex in Berlin, Md., and the tournament’s 4th Street location in Ocean City.
My column didn’t run last week. I wrote it. I submitted it. I never saw it in print.
The days of summer are numbered as the start of the school year approaches, and there is no better indicator of that in lower Sussex County than Indian River High School football season and fall sports starting up next week.
Pre-season practices for all sports will begin on Friday, Aug. 15, with times for all practices and updates being posted on the school’s athletics website, at www.indians-sports.com.
Coach Jodi Stone and the field hockey squad will get started the earliest, at 6 a.m., with volleyball at 6:30 a.m., football and cross-country at 7 a.m., and soccer starting at 8 a.m. (Pre-season schedules are subject to change by the coaches.)
According to Athletic Director Todd Fuhrman, no athlete will be able to participate in any practices without a physical dated after April 1 of this year.
“You have to have a brand new physical dated after April 1st of this year, and you have to have it in your hands that day or you can’t practice,” Fuhrman explained.
To go over the fall sports season, there will be a meeting held for parents and athletes on Thursday, Sept. 4, in the auditorium.
Players have come from all over the world to compete in the Big League Softball World Series at the Pyle Center in Roxana, but one of the teams best positioned to challenge for a championship through the first three days of tournament play is USA East — which only had to travel from Milford to get there.
Located just outside the district in which they would have been able to compete for a host-team bid, the Delaware District I squad had to win at regionals in Worcester, Mass., to get back to Delaware for the World Series — and they haven’t slowed down since.
As of Wednesday morning, the squad is 3-0, having outscored their opponents 20-10 collectively and leading the Big League Pool A Division in the process.
Not only did they pull off a 6-5 win against District III host team Laurel, lea by First-Team All-State pitcher Regan Green, but they also put together a commanding victory against a tough Asia-Pacific (Manilla, Philippines) team 10-3 on Tuesday.
“These girls and I — it’s been a struggle trying to beat Reagan and this team all together, and being able to beat them today was awesome. It was great,” said USA East pitcher and Polytech graduate Shaina Reed after Sunday’s 6-5 win against Laurel to start the tournament.
After Tuesday afternoon’s games, it was USA Central that led the 2014 Senior League Softball World Series, at 3-0.
The District 11 All-Stars had collectively beaten their opponents by a whopping score of 35-6 to start the series and had all but certainly stamped their ticket to a semi-final bid and ESPN network appearance. The same team took their first World Series championship in Roxana last year, when they defeated Europe-Africa.
One of the team’s steamrolled in Central’s path was Delaware District III, which fell 14-0 to the defending champs on Monday. The Nanticoke Little League squad from Seaford is making their first appearance at the World Series since 2006 but has struggled so far in the Pool B Division, starting 0-3 and knocking themselves out of semi-final contention. In their last World Series appearance, the squad had advanced to the championship game before falling to USA East.
All other teams had at least one loss at Coastal Point press time on Wednesday, Aug. 6, except for USA Southwest — who, at 2-0, led the Senior League Pool A Division. The East Brownsville Little League team from Brownsville, Texas, narrowly escaped team Canada on Tuesday in a 5-4 game that went down to the final pitch.
The woes continued for the Delmarva Shorebirds last week, as they started a five-game losing streak against the Lakewood BlueClaws and the Greensboro Grasshoppers, sending the ’Birds spiraling down to the bottom of the South Atlantic League Northern Division.
The fields at the Pyle Center are ready for action as softball players from around the world will compete next week.The fields have been lined, the extra lights have been brought in, and the peanuts and Cracker Jacks have been stocked for the 2014 Big League and Senior League World Series at the Pyle Center in Roxana, starting on Sunday, Aug. 3.
Roxana, the stage is yours.
The third annual Bethany Beach First Responders Sprinternational Triathlon-Duathlon, sponsored by Meris Properties, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 21, to benefit the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company and first-responders in the fire and EMS service of the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company, with options to support Autism Speaks and Share-A-Lot.
Research, strategy and real-world drills will converge on the court as two tennis coaches team up for a sport science clinic on Saturday, Aug. 9, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at the Sea Colony Tennis Center near Bethany Beach.
Bear Trap Dunes may be the only golf club teaching kids how to get barrels and birdies in the same week, with their three-day Surf n’ Turf golf and surfing camp for kids, scheduled from Tuesday, Aug. 12, through Thursday, Aug. 14.
Now in its first summer, the camp held its first session last month, which, according to Bear Trap’s Mike Rushin, was very successful.
“Great success with the first one of the year,” said Rushin. “It’s an idea we came up with this winter, and we kind of ran with it.”
Bear Trap Head Pro Neil Maurer and Rushin pitched the idea for a camp collaboration to Salty at Endless Summer Surf Shop in Ocean City, Md., who, as a golfer himself, thought the partnership would be a great idea.
One of the most highly touted athletes to ever play at Indian River High School is former football and baseball standout Jamie Jarmon, who not only lead the Indians to a 2011 DIAA State Championship on the gridiron but performed well enough on the baseball diamond to be selected in the second round (No. 83 overall) of the 2012 Major League Baseball draft by the Texas Rangers.
However, after less than three seasons into his professional baseball career playing for Short-Season Single-A Rangers’ affiliate the Spokane Indians, Jarmon has officially retired from baseball.
“I am for whatever makes Jamie happy and successful,” said Indian River head football coach Ray Steele. “He was a great football player and leader. I believe he will be a football star at the collegiate level.”
While Jarmon has not made an official statement regarding the decision, there is much speculation that his next move could be a possible football career at the University of Delaware.
Every August, hundreds of softball players from around the world — and some ESPN camera crews — travel to the Pyle Center in Roxana for the Little League World Series. The event has certainly become a staple of the area and put Roxana, and Delaware as a whole, on the map.
However, before there were six state-of-the-art fields, the Walk of Fame, the bright lights and the concession stands — before ESPN knew where Roxana was, and before the Pyle Center was synonymous with baseball and softball — there was just corn fields, and a vision.
“There are some better ballparks, but there isn’t a better ballpark, in my opinion, that’s not county-funded or state-funded,” said Lower Sussex Little League Vice President and longtime President Bruce Layton. “This is the ultimate ballpark that the fans have built. I don’t think there’s any question.”
After a tough road series against the Rome Braves and Hickory Crawdads, losing six out of their last seven games, the Delmarva Shorebirds were set to return home on Wednesday, July 30, (after Coastal Point press time), to mark the beginning of a seven-game home stand against the Lakewood BlueClaws and the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Less than year after their ESPN-broadcasted Big League World Series victory representing Delaware District III, the Millsboro Little League team saw their dreams of a repeat performance for this year’s Little League World Series dashed, after a 3-1 loss to Laurel last Friday night.
In what was the 13th game of what was originally supposed to be a 12-game series, defensive errors were ultimately the difference, with Laurel scoring two unearned runs in the same inning.
“We gave up two unearned runs — I think that was the difference,” said coach Monroe “Monnie” Hudson after the game. “It could have been a 1-1 ball game. We didn’t hit like we’re capable of hitting. Hailey [Andrews] did a great job pitching for Laurel. She kept the ball outside. She got the calls that she was looking for. And we just didn’t get the key hits.”
Despite the girls not being able to hit their way out of the 3-1 deficit, they did hit well early on. Courtney Taite rocked a shot that fell just short of the leftfield fence and resulted in an RBI-double, to put her team up 1-0. However, Millsboro left two runners on in that inning.
It’s that time of year again, when the Pyle Center goes from a local venue for softball to an international one, as the Little League Softball World Series is set to make its way back to Delaware for the 11th consecutive year.
“I think it’s good for the community, and you can see it in the crowds — they keep coming back year after year,” said longtime Lower Sussex Little League president and current Vice President Bruce Layton. “It’s a good community function that brings everybody together.”
For the second year in a row, Roxana will host both the Senior League and Big League World Series, after hosting just the Senior League series for the first nine years. The larger venue calls for more lights and more coverage from ESPN, necessitating adding lights to Bruce Layton Field for television broadcasts.
“The only thing different is we got more games on ESPN,” explained Layton after noting that this year should feature six televised games — four on Friday, Aug. 8, and two on Saturday, Aug. 9.
By now you may have heard of the “Skateboard Cop.” And before you make any assumptions on what that is if you have not heard of it, let me clarify — it is not the sequel to “Paul Blart: Mall Cop,” featuring a portly Kevin James, who needs to learn how to skateboard in order to save yet another mall from yet another absurd premise, solidifying my long-held theory that Adam Sandler isn’t even trying anymore and is, in fact, just messing with us now.
As two evenly matched teams vying for a Big League Softball World Series bid, it’s no wonder that Millsboro and Laurel need an odd number of games to determine which team will represent host District III in next month’s Little League World Series in Roxana.
Millsboro led what was supposed to be a 12-game series 4-2 heading into a tripleheader last Monday, July 21, but lost all three games of the series, to fall behind 5-4. However, the team would bounce back in another tripleheader on Tuesday, July 22, winning the first two games of the night before falling in the third and allowing Laurel to even the series at 6-6, necessitating a final matchup between the teams this Friday.
“I think the first game took the steam out of us, kind of put the momentum in their court, and we didn’t recover after that,” said Millsboro coach Monroe “Monnie” Hudson of the Monday-night series after the third consecutive game on Tuesday. “The girls did a great job tonight. They bounced back, and they pulled out the first two, which is huge.”
“We had some timely hits. The girls just came out and fought,” added head coach Guy Wilkins. “They’re warriors. They’re battlers. They’re gonna do everything they can do to win a game, and backs were against the wall, so they came out and played great softball.”
Some of those timely hits came from some timely hitters, as centerfielder Alexis Burger and catcher Morgan Smith took turns knocking each other home for key runs in Tuesday’s wins.