(featuring Ernest Hemingway)
Before you read, make sure you check out Part 1 of the Pickleball saga: http://www.coastalpoint.com/content/pickle-overtime-so-uh-i-guess-i-play...
The assignment was to take the court. There were four of us. Five, if you count The Baron, but he had lost his spot when the reveille call went off, and couldn’t fight as well as he could when I had first met him. And he was young and brave, and the court was dry, despite the rain. And it sloped down toward a road, and there were many curious drivers on the road. And the idea was to aim for the center line, and if our aim was true, we could beat them.
Headed to state tournament
With back-to-back wins over Millsboro on Friday, July 15, and Saturday, July 16, the Lower Sussex Little League Junior League All-Stars clinched their second straight District 3 championship and will gear up for the state tournament starting Thursday, July 21.
Made up primarily of members of the 2015 district championship team and 2015 Pat Knight championship team, the revamped squad started the series with a 4-0 win over Georgetown on Saturday, July 9, and 10-0 win over Laurel on Sunday, July 10, not allowing a single hit in the process.
“We’re blessed with a lot of pitching, that’s for sure,” said head coach Bill Medford, who coached the Pat Knight championship team last season. “Our whole bullpen pitched lights out. It was a collaborative effort.”
Things would heat up after the team suffered their first loss of the double-elimination tournament to Millsboro on Tuesday, July 12.
After falling short to Woodbridge in the title game last season, the Lower Sussex Little League 9-10 All-Stars were ready for redemption at the start of this year’s District 3 softball tournament.
And, in drawing the defending champions for Round 1, they’d not only get their shot, but a 5-2 win over Woodbridge when the tournament began on Saturday, July 9.
“Our returners were very excited to have that as our first game,” said head coach Sarah Hoban. “They were definitely psyched up.”
After a 3-2 loss to Laurel the next night, the girls got back on track in the double-elimination tournament, with a 9-0 win over Nanticoke on Monday, July 11.
For the past 13 years, softball teams from across the world have made their way to the Pyle Center in Roxana for the Senior and Big League World Series. For the first time in Lower Sussex Little League history, however, this year’s docket will include a team from China, set to represent Asia Pacific in Big League play.
“They just got their airplane tickets booked, so we know they’re coming for sure,” said Director Martin Donovan. “I’m anxious to see the response from the China team. Foreign teams always seem to draw an audience that we didn’t expect.”
“This is our 13th year in the World Series, and we’ve never had a team from China before, so it’s exciting. I think it will draw a lot of hometown people,” said Lower Sussex Little League President Bruce Layton. “That is unique. That’s a long flight in here, I can tell you that.”
Catch Surf launches brand new board
The crew from Catch Surf will ride just about anything. Since launching the “Womper,” however, they’ve been dropping in on the summer shorebreak riding pretty much nothing at all.
The 16-inch miniature bodyboard is the newest creation from one of the industry’s leading innovators, offering wave-riders a new way to get wet.
“That’s really what we’re all about,” said Catch Surf East Coast Sales Manager Ryan Savage. “Any board that we offer is about fun. We like to chart our own path and keep the product unique.”
Not only is their newest product unique, it’s versatile as well.
Designed to add another element to wave-riding, where the rider paddles into the wave and then glides with the Womper out front as it breaks, the board has evolved to cater to all demographics.
Former Shorebirds’ pitcher called up to the majors
It was only one year ago that Donnie Hart took the mound at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury.
The LHP and 2013 Baltimore Orioles draft pick (Round 27) out of Texas State had gotten his start in Aberdeen before spending the entire 2014 season and beginning of the 2015 season with the Shorebirds.
(Fine, I'll do it)
After watching Blake Lively get just absolutely Amity-Island-style terrorized by a Gigantic White Shark (GWS) in the movie “The Shallows” for roughly 1 hour, 27 minutes, one of two things can be assumed:
Lax on the rise in Sussex County
There are lacrosse camps to the north, up in the Cape region. And there are camps to the south, down in Ocean City and Berlin, Md.
Starting July 19, however, local laxers will have one right in their back yard, when coaches Dave Spencer and Jim Dietsch launch Sharp Shooter Lax Shooting Camp at Indian River High School in Dagsboro.
While the camp will not be directly affiliated with IR and will be open to players of all skill levels and ages ranging from grades 6 to 11, it will focus specifically on shooting skills, which both Spencer and Dietsch have honed during their collective 80-plus years of experience in the sport.
“It’s something that’s very specific,” Spencer said of the concept. “There’s a lot of mechanics and a lot of technique that go into shooting.”
At just 12 years old, Clifton Toomey III is gearing up to head to the Junior Gold Championships in Indianapolis, Ind., to compete against the best of the best in youth bowling. Though he’s only been bowling competitively for two years, Toomey has quickly risen through the ranks and become one of the best young bowlers in the state.
Initially, his mother, Donna Toomey, said, “It all started just by coming out to the lanes. We decided as a family to come bowling, and we noticed how good he was and said, ‘We’ll put you in a league and see how you do,’ and his team won first place. He really, really enjoyed it.”
“When he started,” his mom said, “he started in the younger bracket and, technically, he could’ve stayed down there, but he was doing so well, they decided to push him up. Now he’s bowling with the kids on his team who are anywhere from 14 to 19 years old. He’s kind of the young dude, but it’s been great for him, because he’s been able to be challenged.”
The news just keeps getting better for Delmarva Shorebirds’ RHP Cristian Alvarado.
Just days after being named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week, the Venezuela native was named the Baltimore Orioles’ Minor League Pitcher of the Month for the month of June.
Peralta named SAL Pitcher of the Week
Just a week after RHP Cristian Alvarado collected the honor, the Delmarva Shorebirds saw RHP Ofelky Peralta named South Atlantic League Pitcher of the week.
(that time I learned to SUP)
The Beginning of the not-so-existential The End came when my friend The Mantis sent me an SMS text message last Thursday.
In their inaugural season, the River Soccer Club Express won only one game.
That was then.
Fast-forward the better part of a decade, and the same team that started off winning only one game had earned not only their second State Cup championship, but their second trip to the Region 1 championships, held at Marshall University in West Virginia last weekend.
In what would turn out to be the now-U18-level squad’s last trip as a team, they’d earn their first win at regionals, taking down the New Hampshire State Cup champion 3-1 on Friday, July 1.
“The first game, we came out and played pretty well,” said head coach Duncan Smith, who has coached the Express since their days as 7- and 8-year-olds kicking around soccer balls on the Frankfort Elementary School playground. “That was a good way to start the tournament.”
One of the nation’s top-ranked tennis facilities will soon get introduced to one of its fastest growing sports, when the tennis center at Sea Colony and the First State Pickleball Club team up for a Pickleball Exhibition & Beginner’s Clinic on Saturday, July 16, from 5 to 7 p.m.
Those interested in learning pickleball will have the chance to receive instruction from some of the area’s top players at the free event, with pickle paddles and balls provided.
Instructors from the Ocean Pines (Md.) Pickleball Club will also be in attendance to help show newcomers the ropes.
“The entire pickleball community is always excited to have the opportunity to showcase pickleball, and we spend a lot of time teaching the basics to the general population. To showcase pickleball at the Sea Colony Tennis Center — consistently one of the top tennis resorts in America — is an honor,” said Vaughn Baker of the FSPC, who spent his career in tennis.
The fireworks began long before the scheduled show time on Tuesday, July 5, with the Delmarva Shorebirds racking up a season-high 14 runs on 18 hits, to roll the Lakewood BlueClaws 14-2.
Race for the Ribbon 5K Run/Walk set for July 16
The Race for the Ribbon 5K Run/Walk will return to Rehoboth Beach for the ninth year on Saturday, July 16, benefitting Relay for Life of Coastal Delaware.
It’s almost funny now that, when his father asked him if he wanted to play lacrosse as a kid, Andrew Ternahan was, admittedly, pretty terrified.
Growing up in Bethany Beach and around Breakers Surf Shop, which his family has owned for years and which he now manages, the rising senior at Salisbury University didn’t know much about the fastest game on two feet — back then.
Sure, there were some kids from Baltimore or Bethesda playing catch on the beach every once a summer or so, but not many area high schools had teams back in those days.
One school that did have a lacrosse program, however, was Worcester Preparatory School in nearby Berlin, Md. After enrolling there and eventually transferring to Stephan Decatur High School for his junior and senior seasons, his views on the sport changed pretty drastically.
(Probably not, no, but still…)
It’s fairly hanging low fruit… or figs… or whatever it is that they eat over in England (not sure… basing all knowledge of the U.K. off Austin Powers), to say that London Bridge is falling down.
The Sea Colony Sharks swim team is kicking off their 13th season with a splash as they looked to sweep their home meet streak on Thursday, June 30.
With head coach Janna Schneider at the helm, the team has swum to victory in their first three meets of the summer, defeating the Delaware Riptide Swim Team of Middletown 290-251, the Dover Dolphins of Dover 365-146 and the Onley Recreation Swim Team of Onley, Va., 391-105.
The Sharks’ season runs from mid-June to the end of July, concluding with a championship meet for all swimmers in the Delmarva Swim Association who achieve the league’s qualifying times during the regular season.
The First State Pickleball Club’s second annual Beach Blast wrapped up on Sunday, June 12, with 88 players from Delaware and surrounding states competing in 16 categories.
SU national champs to lead boys’ lax camp at OCRP
Fresh off their national championship victory against Tufts, the Salisbury University men’s lacrosse team will make their way to Ocean City, Md., for Ocean City Recreation & Parks’ Lax’n at the Beach boys’ lacrosse summer camp.
While they had previously tallied back-to-back wins and sent four players to the South Atlantic League All-Star game on Tuesday, June 21, the Delmarva Shorebirds struggled after the mid-season break, dropping four games in a row to Kannapolis on the road.
Some of the most popular things to do in Delaware Seashore State Park are surf-fishing, crabbing and clamming, but many people who did not grow up along the coast are curious about these popular pastimes but just aren’t sure how to get started.
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 12-01, will conduct Vessel Safety Checks on Saturday, June 25, at Island Watersports, 36084 Harpoon Road, Fenwick Island, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Not to be confused with “Tripple Overtime Takeover,” in which Indian River High School head soccer coach Steve Kilby often enjoys questioning Tripp’s abilities as an actor while at the same time masterfully clearing up weeks’ worth of discrepancies regarding Patriots’ QB Tom Brady and HC Bill Belichick — in “Reverse Tripple Overtime,” Tripp debates controversial topics from the sports world and world at large with his reverse-self, Ppirt (one of the P’s being silent… not sure which). Why he does this instead of just, like, talking to a real human being about it, or, you know, just not doing it all, like a normal person, we are not sure.
Many players selected for the DRFC Blue-Gold All-Star football game will say that it’s a special experience. Unlike anything they’ve done before. Life-changing, even.
And all of that is true.
Ever since the Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens added the “Hand-in-Hand” program in 1974, Blue-Gold players have been paired up with a “buddy” from the community who is dealing with an intellectual disability, spending the week before the game held at the University of Delaware hanging out, playing games and forming life-changing friendships.
After being selecting for Blue-Gold this past spring, recent Indian River High School graduate Joey Anderson was paired up with Layne Twigg from Roxana, a 10-year-old with a rare chromosome disorder.
But their life-changing friendship began long before the week’s events. Almost as soon as he opened the letter from the DRFC, Anderson and Twigg had met for breakfast at the Frankford Diner, and they took to each other right away.
Soon after, Twigg was visiting Anderson at baseball practice, getting to know the team and going to games. Their families became friends and, then, practically family, too.
It was Anderson’s impact on Twigg that inspired his mother, Dani Twigg, to write a heartfelt letter to the DRFC, recommending that Anderson be considered for the Barb & Winnie Spence Hand-in-Hand Award.
Recent Indian River High School graduates Callie McDowell and Ky’Lesha Neal may not have ended their softball careers the way they might have wanted, after the Indians fell just short of a playoff bid this season. But the senior standouts would still get a chance to play one last game, with both of them being selected to represent the Indians at the 2016 Blue Gold All-Star game in Dover on Thursday, June 16.
“It was cool to play with Ky in the outfield one last time, because I’ve been playing with her since we were 9 or 10,” said McDowell — who, along with Neal, had previously never missed a DIAA tournament, going back to their freshman seasons.
An All-Conference selection, McDowell got the Blue-Gold nod after posting some impressive numbers in 2016 — batting .377 with 20 hits, three doubles and 15 RBIs.
She was also the Indians’ go-to player in the clutch, leading the team in batting average with runners in scoring position (0.625).
Defensively, she found similar success in left field, finishing with a perfect fielding percentage (.1000) and notching seven put-outs on seven chances, with zero errors.
It was a situation that Ocean View resident and triathlete Lance Fargo had been in before… pretty much.
Also a frequent competitor in National Amateur Field Championships with his Weimaraner dog, NAFC FC AFC Snake Breaks Sargent “Sarge” Von Reiteralm, Fargo had already experienced having to wait a full calendar year for a shot at redemption, since, after a mishap in 2014, Fargo and Sarge earned their first title in December 2015.
While Fargo is no stranger to bringing home USA Triathlon Clydesdale National Championships, he missed out on the title in 2015 after back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014, when a knee injury kept him from training properly.
But just like with Sarge, after long year’s wait, Fargo was back on top for the 2016 USA Triathlon Clydesdale and Athena National Championships, held in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Sunday June, 12.
Although the Special Olympics Delaware Summer Games wrapped up earlier this month, Sussex County SODE athletes are still going strong. Athletes from Sussex Riptide continue to be active in their sports, by attending practices.
Marie McIntosh, one of the coaches for the area athletes of the Sussex Riptide, said that the athletes are fortunate to be able to use the Bayside Tennis Club’s facilities in the summer, when Sea Colony — where they practice in the winter — is too busy.
“We’ve been at Bayside every summer for the last, I would say, 10 years,” said McIntosh, who is an equity member at Bayside.
The athletes first started using Bayside’s facilities after McIntosh simply asked for court time.
“They, from the very beginning, allowed us to play tennis here in the summers.”
Bethany Skim Jam celebrates 15 years of barrels and backflips
It’s hard to believe, for pro skimboarder Bill Baxter, that it’s been 15 years already.
Not for his pro skim career, but for the Monday-night summer tradition for the last decade and a half, known infamously around town as Bethany Skim Jam.
It was 2001 when Baxter, then working for Jim and Sheila McGrath at the old Bethany Beach Surf Shop location — before they moved to their current spot farther down Garfield, next to Mango’s — came up with the idea to help grow the sport in the area.
The idea was to give the local kids an outlet and way to get together a few times a week, for the skim crews from South Bethany and North Bethany or wherever else, and the newcomers, too, to get a chance to show off their skills without the pressure of a contest setting.