It was the perfect storm... Wait — let me finish. It was the perfect storm that led to me to missing out on the perfect storm.
OK, so maybe Hurricane Edouard wasn’t exactly the perfect storm, but it was the first major Atlantic hurricane of the fall and, for some reason, the stars aligned in a way that kept me from surfing it.
When reports starting coming in last week, my friends started calling. They were on their way into town, laying out plans, talking forecasts and, just as Hurricane Edouard had, expecting me to drop everything.
Prior to this season, the Indian River High School field hockey team had only managed three wins since 2011. But through just six games in 2014, they already have two notches in the win column, and they nearly managed two more, in a one-goal game against Smyrna that went down to the wire last week and a tie at Caesar Rodney on Tuesday.
“We’re right there this year. We just need to fine-tune [and] capitalize on some key opportunities,” said second-year head coach Jodi Stone. “We weren’t at that point last year, but we are this year.”
Smyrna 1, Indian River 0
After a 6-0 shutout of district-rival Sussex Central, the girls looked to follow with another win against Smyrna last Thursday, Sept. 18, but ultimately fell short in an evenly matched game that went down to the final minutes.
After finally getting through a difficult stretch of schedule, the Indian River soccer team went into last Thursday night’s matchup at Milford looking to get back to the .500 mark and take their second division win of the season.
They would have to do so without two of their captains, however, with senior forward Luis Cruz out for the game with a minor injury and sophomore midfielder Mac Smith not permitted to play after a red card against Georgetown Prep.
Without two of his key players, head coach Steve Kilby would look to captain and senior midfielder Danny Garza and freshman midfielder Edgardo “Gardo” Velasquez to run the offense.
“We had to make sure that we could lock down the midfield and still defend and counter from there, and with Danny Garza next to Gardo they did a nice job,” explained Kilby. “The idea was to play quickly and get forward, and they did a good job helping us do that.”
Milford was coming off a 3-0 win at Lake Forest and was also looking to start 2-0 in the South.
The Indian River High School girls’ volleyball team had yet to find the win column after starting the season with a stretch of non-conference games — but they turned things around at the right time, when Lake Forest came to town last Tuesday for both teams’ first divisional matchup.
According to second-year head coach Jay Clark, his squad looked completely revamped during their 3-0 sweep of the Lady Spartans, which saw the third match go down to the wire, to finally end 27-25.
“They were covering for each other. They weren’t getting down. They were just continuing to play good volleyball,” Clark explained after the win. “That’s the big difference between this match and most of our [matches] earlier this season.”
After a 43-7 loss to Cape Henlopen last Friday night, the Indian River High School football team finds themselves where they never expected to be: below the .500 mark.
The Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company & First Responders held their annual Triathlon-Duathlon-Aquabike event in Bethany Beach on Sunday, Sept. 21.
Below are the reace results and awards as supplied by the events staff.
Pardon my reluctancy to believe that the Baltimore Orioles have clinched the American League East and currently own one of the best records in Major League Baseball — but if it helps you understand, I’m in my mid-twenties (which, obviously, includes the ages 21 to 29).
After starting the season with tough match-ups on the road against Polytech and Lake Forest, the Indian River field hockey team capitalized on their first game with home field advantage by shutting out district-rival Sussex Central 6-0 last Tuesday.
“Last week was tough, season opener on the road up-state,” said second-year head coach Jodi Stone. “It was a tough way to start the season. They played really well, the score unfortunately doesn’t show [that].
“Today, everything clicked, both offensively and defensively — that’s why we were so successful.”
Offensively, the Lady Indians were lead by junior Emma-Lee “Dash” Merrick, who put her team in scoring position throughout the game and notched two goals.
“She really just was hustling to the ball, she wanted a hat trick,” said Stone.
The Indian River football team was flying high going into their match up against Smyrna last Friday.
They had started the season 1-0 with a 28-21 win at Stephen Decatur. They were being highly touted as one of the teams to beat by pundits across the state, and they were even getting some air time on the “Top 5 Plays” on the local news.
The Eagles were starting a new quarterback and had just suffered a 22-8 loss against Glasgow. Needless to say, the Indians were looking for a win.
However after trading unproductive drives early in the first quarter, sophomore quarterback Nolan Henderson set the tone for the Smyrna offense with a 30-yard strike to junior wide receiver Charlie Taylor for a 7-0 lead.
“We didn’t come ready to play,” claimed head coach Ray Steele after the game. “I’ll take the blame for that, we showed up not ready to play and we got it handed to us. They beat us psychically all night.”
After notching their sixth consecutive Henlopen Conference championship and first state title last season, there’s no question that the Indian River High School soccer team have put themselves on the map.
Even after graduating eight seniors, they entered the 2014 season as USA Today’s number one ranked team for Division II, and as a target for teams across the state.
The youth-infused Indians squad didn’t get much of a chance to ease into the schedule, with last year’s Division 1 champion Salesianum, Henlopen North nemesis Caesar Rodney, and highly ranked Georgetown Prep out of D.C. all on the docket within the first five games.
After going toe to toe with Sallies in the second game of the season only to be edged out by a single score, the Indians took the field for their first home game last Thursday, Sept. 11, for a rematch of last year’s conference championship game against Caesar Rodney.
Every Labor Day Weekend, Bayside Tennis Club commemorates another summer season with their yearly Labor Day picnic. This year, however, the South Bethany-based club had even more reason to celebrate, as the season marked their 40th anniversary.
“Usually that’s our Labor Day picnic that we have and this year it turned out to be [our] 40th,” said board President Al Preziosi.
Established in 1974, some of the club’s founders and original members were not only there to mark the occasion at the club’s Pavilion, but even still play tennis on the courts, including founder and former South Bethany Commissioner, George Reese.
“He’s still playing today, he’s 80-some years old and he’s good,” claimed Preziosi, noting that he hopes to still be playing at that level when he reaches Reese’s age.
Preziosi joined the club in 2001 as an avid tennis player, and eventually became a board member. However, now 40-plus years ago, the club actually began as South Bethany Recreation Association at the then-rented property.
Back to school for B.B.
2014 Blue-Gold All-Star and IR grad Jaevon “B.B.” Holland is currently enrolled in classes at Wesley College, where he is expected to eventually get on the court for the Wolverines.
Jarmon could start in 2015
When Ray Rice had to describe the Feb. 15 incident in which he struck his then-fiancée and now-wife, Janay Rice, he explained exactly what happened.
The Indian River High School soccer team took the field to defend their 2013 state championship title last Friday, starting the season with a convincing 8-0 road win against Worcester Prep.
Senior midfielder Daniel Garza got the Indians on the board early with a fifth-minute score after being set up by sophomore midfielder Mac Smith, to make it 1-0. Garza would tally an assist of his own in the 15th minute, finding senior forward Luis Cruz for Cruz’s first goal of the 2014 season.
Cruz would then find Garza for Garza’s second goal of the game, in the 23rd minute, with senior defenseman Sean Whelen making it 4-0 by the 30th minute, off Smith’s second assist on the day.
The first-half scoring continued with an unassisted goal by Cruz, to make it 5-0, and Garza locking in a hat trick in the 44th minute off the assist from freshman Oscar Cruz.
The 2014 season brought forth an array of questions for the Indian River High School football team; however, they would get some early answers in the first quarter of their opening game of the season against Stephen Decatur last Friday night, Sept. 5, eventually notching a 28-21 win.
After graduating All-State and All-Conference players from last season, the Indians saw breakout performances all over the field — especially at offensive skill positions.
Junior HB/WR/CB Kei Juan “Skeeter” Major headlined the new crop of green-and-gold stars, getting his team on the board first on a sweep to the left that he took for a 60-yard score.
The defense followed suit with a key contribution of their own on the next drive, as senior linebacker Andrew Foreman picked off Decatur QB Justin Meekins to give his team possession within the 10-yard line.
Despite their struggle to string together wins in the second half of the season, the Delmarva Shorebirds finish their 2014 campaign after sending up an array of talent to the next level and by being honored with the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award.
The Indian River High School football team showcased some new stars in their 28-21 Week 1 win at Stephen Decatur last Friday, starting off on the right foot in their campaign for a fourth consecutive Henlopen South title.
Next month, golfers from far and wide may participate in the Salt Pond’s first Rally for the Cure golf tournament.
Well, it’s that time of year again. The tourists have left, the kids are in school, and the stress of the summer season has started to fade.
Head coach Steve Kilby and the Indian River High School soccer team will have a few streaks to defend this season, looking for not only their seventh consecutive conference championship, but another state championship, as well, after the team made history with their first ever DIAA title last season.
However, after graduating eight seniors from last year’s roster, the Indians will have to do so behind the leadership of a few key returners and a youth infusion from some talented incoming freshmen.
One of the most crucial roles that needed to be filled was in the goal, with All-State keeper Sam Cannon now playing at Lynchburg College. Kilby said this week that junior goalie Ian Walls was adjusting well to his new starting role.
“Ian’s looking very solid. We’ve been fortunate to have a legacy of goalkeepers at Indian River, and I think Ian’s gonna fit that role,” Kilby said. “He got in some big minutes in the conference championship game, and he played in several games for us last year.”
In the field, the Indians will rely on three returning All-State seniors and captains: midfielder Luis Cruz, midfielder Danny Garza and defender Sean Whelen.
“Luis is healthy. We’re kind of looking for him to play a big role in the central midfield, get him forward when we need to,” Kilby explained.
Last season, first-year head coach Jodi Stone took over the Indian River field hockey program with the intention of turning it around and establishing consistency after years of coaching turnover.
Now in her second year, she’s joined again by the same coaching staff, looking to build off not only last season, but some summer programs including the camps and drop-in games established over the off-season.
“We’ve laid the groundwork. Last year was kind of building the foundation, and we’re building off of that foundation this year — and it’s consistency,” Stone explained. “We’ve had the same coaching staff now two seasons in a row, so I think that’s a big plus. Hopefully, we’re moving down the right path.”
While the team was more competitive last season compared to recent years, offensive production was one of the weaker areas of their game. However, goal scoring was no problem for the Lady Indians last Tuesday, Sept. 2, in a scrimmage against Stephen Decatur, as the offensive attack looked nearly unstoppable against the Lady Seahawks.
The River Soccer U9 Girls team tested their skills on the sand last weekend, at the first-ever Beach Blitz Tournament, held on the beach at the Ocean City, Md., Inlet.
The team, coached by River Soccer alum Bethany Beck, took the second-place trophy after a tough loss to the West Virginia Sand Sharks in the finals, 4-1. Despite falling short of a championship, Beck said it was a great experience for her players as they continue to learn the game.
“I think the girls really enjoyed the experience,” she said. “Beach soccer offered some challenges the girls were not used to. Dribbling on sand is much more difficult than on grass, with the terrain being so soft and constantly changing. That, along with running on the sand — I don’t think the girls realized how much faster they would tire out.”
Growing up playing River Soccer herself, Beck knows the importance of not only developing tournament experience early but what the program means to the ultimate success of the high school program, as well.
“I grew up playing in the rec program at River and played on the girls’ travel team when we had enough players to make a team for tournaments and fall seasons,” she explained. “So I know this club is a huge asset to the high school program. When you’ve played with the same teammates for years, by the time you get to high school, you’ve got girls that have great chemistry on the field.”
Last Wednesday started like most of them typically do for me. I woke up a 6 a.m., started the coffee, contemplated doing some pushups, decided that I was still too handsome to have to work out, and sat down at my desk to finish up a few stories before our 10 a.m. story deadline and my 10:30 shift behind the bar at Papa Grande’s.
It was the very first thing that Indian River High School head football coach Ray Steele heard on the very first day of practice.
No one on his squad wanted to be the team that snapped the streak. The streak that Steele started when he took the helm in 2011, coaching the Indians to a state championship and beginning a Henlopen South championship title run that this year’s team plans on keeping alive.
That run was in jeopardy last season after holes were left by stars including Marquel Knight, Aaron Moore and Jalen Griffin. But after a tough pre-season and stumble in the home-opener against Decatur, new leaders emerged as the team continued to find their identity and eventually not only took the South but challenged No. 1 St. Georges Tech in the first round of the DIAA playoffs.
Now Steele will have to figure out how to fill the roster spots left by last year’s leaders.
“This year, we’ve got a lot of different personalities, a lot different skill sets,” he said. “I think it probably reminds me more of two years ago, when Marquel took us to the semi-finals — it could be that kind of team.”
The Indian River High School cross-country team has been putting in the work for the upcoming season, with added motivation after the news that the Henlopen Conference championships will be held at the school this year.
“The Henlopen Conference, ever since I’ve been coaching, has been held at Killian’s Pond,” said head coach Frank Ryman, noting the significance of hosting the event.
While the Delmarva Shorebirds (65-68) have struggled to maintain a .500 record due to an inconsistent second half of the season, they did get a tough road win Tuesday night against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (82-52), to keep alive their hopes of a winning record on the season.
The First Responders triathlon and duathlon will make its return to Bethany Beach for the third year on Sept. 21, for an all-weekend event that should see an estimated 800 participants.
This year’s race is again sponsored by presenting sponsor Meris Properties and official bank sponsor PNC Bank, and will raise money for the Bethany Beach Volunteer Fire Company.
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.