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.
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.