Sports

Tripple Overtime: We’re gonna miss you, Matt

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.

‘The boys from the South’: Steele, Indians look for fourth consecutive South title

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Running back KiiAnté Sturgis, lineman Spencer Sturla, and quarterback Jake Hudson will lead a revamped Indians squad in 2014.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Running back KiiAnté Sturgis, lineman Spencer Sturla, and quarterback Jake Hudson will lead a revamped Indians squad in 2014.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.”

IR Cross Country to host Henlopen Conference championships

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.

Shorebirds’ first winning record since 2008 still within reach

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.

Bethany Beach First Responders Tri-Dua-Aquabike returning for third year

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.

Goodbye, ‘Jay Boy’

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.

World Series brings positive economic impact to Sussex County

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The 2014 World Series is in the books with yet another successful year that provided a substantial amount of revenue for Sussex County. Here, volunteers working the concession stand pose for a photo.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: The 2014 World Series is in the books with yet another successful year that provided a substantial amount of revenue for Sussex County. Here, volunteers working the concession stand pose for a photo.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.

Fargo brings home second consecutive national championship

Coastal Point • Submitted : Ocean View's Lance Fargo returned home from Arkansas with two national championships last week, one of which was his second consecutive USA Triathlon Clydesdale Division National Championship, which he won last year in Milwaukee, Wis.Coastal Point • Submitted : Ocean View's Lance Fargo returned home from Arkansas with two national championships last week, one of which was his second consecutive USA Triathlon Clydesdale Division National Championship, which he won last year in Milwaukee, Wis.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.”

Shorebirds’ slugger Dosch sets single-season hit record

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.

Epworth Skatepark to celebrate grand opening Sunday

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.

Only Phill can save us from Septima this Shark Week

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.

Lydic wins Drive, Chip & Putt Sub-Regional — Next stop: Augusta?

Coastal Point • Submitted : Sarah Lydic, 8, recently won the PGA sponsored Drive, Chip & Putt Sub-Regional in Philadelphia.Coastal Point • Submitted : Sarah Lydic, 8, recently won the PGA sponsored Drive, Chip & Putt Sub-Regional in Philadelphia.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.

Milford edges Laurel in extras for Big League World Series championship

Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark : Whitney DeMora (4), above, makes the game-winning score off of Cassetty Howerin’s hit.Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark : Whitney DeMora (4), above, makes the game-winning score off of Cassetty Howerin’s hit.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.

USA Central wins second consecutive Senior League World Series

Coastal Point • Caroline Donovan:  USA Central’s Mackenzie Shields dashes into homeplate safe as USA East’s catcher tries to make the play on Tuesday, early in the Senior League World Series.Coastal Point • Caroline Donovan: USA Central’s Mackenzie Shields dashes into homeplate safe as USA East’s catcher tries to make the play on Tuesday, early in the Senior League World Series.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.

Baltimore Orioles honor Shorebirds’ Dosch, Gonzalez

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.

Ocean City Lacrosse Classic returns

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.

From the press box, with nachos

My column didn’t run last week. I wrote it. I submitted it. I never saw it in print.

Indian River fall sports preseason starts Aug. 15

Coastal Point • File Photo : Indian River fall sports, including football, will begin their preseason schedules on Friday, Aug. 15.Coastal Point • File Photo : Indian River fall sports, including football, will begin their preseason schedules on Friday, Aug. 15.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.

Milford, Laurel could make Big League World Series championship run

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Big League USA East out of Milford cheers on Shaina Reed after she hit a homerun against District III in Game 2 of the World Series.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Big League USA East out of Milford cheers on Shaina Reed after she hit a homerun against District III in Game 2 of the World Series.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.

USA Central, Southwest lead Senior League World Series

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Senior League USA Central’s Sydney Swartz celebrates after scoring.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Senior League USA Central’s Sydney Swartz celebrates after scoring.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.

Shorebirds’ losing streak continues against Lakewood, Greensboro

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.

Play ball!

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.

First Responders triathlon-duathlon set for Sept. 21 in Bethany Beach

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.

Sea Colony clinic to focus on strategy, visual tactics for tennis

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 hosting ‘Surf n’ Turf’ golf/surfing camp

Coastal Point • Submitted  : Kids enjoy a day at the beach learning to surf.Coastal Point • Submitted : Kids enjoy a day at the beach learning to surf.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.

Former IR standout Jarmon retires from Major League Baseball

Coastal Point • File Photo  : Jamie Jarmon is interviewed by WBOC after the Indian River Indians won the football state championship in December of 2011.Coastal Point • File Photo : Jamie Jarmon is interviewed by WBOC after the Indian River Indians won the football state championship in December of 2011.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.

Fields of Dreams: The history of Lower Sussex Little League

Coastal Point • File Photo :  A player watches her team play in last year’s Little League World Series in Roxana.Coastal Point • File Photo : A player watches her team play in last year’s Little League World Series in Roxana.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.”

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