America: The land of the free. The home of the brave. The birthplace of the word “supersize” and adult-onset diabetes.
Jacob Anderson set the tone early, when he returned the opening kickoff 85 yards and all the way to the house for a score.
That put the Indian River High School football team up 7-0 on undefeated Milford.
But the Bucs would bounce back and set their own tone on their own ensuing drive on Oct. 14, when senior fullback Dominyc Hovington found the end zone on a 16-yard run, the two-point conversion giving Milford an 8-7 lead that they would never relinquish on their way to a 52-15 Homecoming win and 6-0 start to the season.
While the Indians dropped to 2-4 overall on the season, at 2-1 in the Henlopen South and with three division matchups left to go, their playoff hopes are far from foiled.
Headed into the half tied at 0-0 under the lights at Cape Henlopen, the Indian River High School field hockey team was facing another 30 minutes on the turf with no subs.
But after battling the highly-touted Vikings without giving up a score midway through the second half as well, the two programs’ mismatched numbers showed as the Indians began to wear down and Cape tallied five goals in the final 16 minutes, to pull off a 5-0 win.
“They’re a very well-orchestrated team. They have an awesome feeder program, they’re very well coached, and they have the depth, so they can just roll in fresh legs. We just didn’t have the depth,” explained IR head coach Jodi Stone.
To make matters worse, the Indians were without defensive leader Sammi Whelen for the matchup, who was out with a minor injury and expected to be back in the lineup soon.
The Indian River High School football team will face one of their toughest tests since the start of the season this Friday night, when No. 1-ranked Woodbridge comes to town for what will be the Indians’ Homecoming game.
The 6-0 Blue Raiders are 2-0 in the Henlopen South and coming off their third straight shutout and a 54-0 win over Seaford (1-5, 0-3) on Friday, Oct. 14.
This year, they’re again led under center by sophomore quarterback Troy Haynes. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound signal-caller managed touchdowns through the air and on the ground last year in what was the Blue Raiders’ own Homecoming game, during a 34-0 win over the Indians after the game had gone into halftime scoreless.
First-Team All-Conference running back Terrique Reddick has again been the Blue Raiders’ bell cow for his senior campaign, joined by senior running back Anwain Holden, who poses a threat as a return man as well, and recently returned a 73-yard kick for a touchdown against Lake Forest on Monday, Oct. 3.
Sussex Academy’s Helou sets new course record
The Indian River High School cross-country team took on Sussex Academy, Caesar Rodney and Polytech during a quad-meet held at Polytech on Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The Riders won the day, with both the boys’ and girls’ squads sweeping the meet and racking up three wins each.
For the second time this season, former Indian River High School Top XI selection and reigning Delaware Gatorade Player of the Year Brooke Beam has been named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week during her freshman campaign for the University of Richmond women’s soccer team.
Beam scored the game-winning goal for the Spiders in a 2-1 win over Rhode Island on Sunday, Oct. 9, and helped hold St. Louis to just nine shots in a 1-0 loss on Thursday, Oct. 6.
“Brooke is a very talented player who has shown steady improvement while adapting to the speed and power of A-10 soccer,” said head coach Peter Albright of the freshman midfielder.
Jarmon gets carry, catch in UD football loss to Maine
Indian River High School graduate, former state Gatorade Player of the Year and current University of Delaware sophomore Jamie Jarmon was back in action during the University of Delaware football team’s matchup against the University of Maine on Saturday, Oct. 15.
If you know one thing about me, it’s that I’m scared of birds. But also, after catching a few episodes of the show “Stranger Things” on Netflix, and since, apparently, I’m, like, 6, I’m also pretty scared of the dark (ghosts, aliens, demogorgons messing with my soul, Democrats messing with voting ballots, etc.).
Indians short-circuit Ravens after pre-game ‘fowl’
It was the game that almost didn’t happen.
Just hours before the opening draw of the Indian River and Sussex Tech high school soccer match on Tuesday, Oct. 11, IR Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann found a dead buzzard near the soccer field. Then, he found that the stadium lights didn’t work.
With a 7 p.m. start time, no lights meant no game, so Fuhrmann placed a call to Delmarva Power, who made a special trip out to IR to get things working just before the opening whistle.
“We just want to thank Delmarva [Power] and the people that make sure these lights came on for this game tonight,” said Fuhrmann. “We wouldn’t have been able to play tonight without them.”
‘Quiet Storm’ getting louder
Just past the halfway mark in the 2016 season, the Indian River High School field hockey team already finds themselves only one win shy of ensuring their first winning record since current IR assistant coach Molly Chamberlin was rocking No. 12 instead of a pair of sunglasses and a whistle.
With a 3-0 win over Sussex Central on Thursday, Oct. 6, and 5-0 win over Seaford on Tuesday, Oct. 11, the Indians are off to a 7-1 start — their best in more than a decade.
“Things are coming together. Things are clicking,” said IR head coach Jodi Stone, who inherited a 2-13 team in 2013 with intentions of turning the program around, and who has since led the Indians to records of 5-9-1 in 2014 and 5-8-2 in 2015, under the handle she and her squad gave the team: “The Quiet Storm.”
It was the situation that IR senior Andrew White had been waiting for, as field goal kickers often do.
Less than a minute to go. The Indians down 22-21 and within striking distance. His chance to seal the game for his squad.
While White would eventually drill a 26-yarder with 00:21 ticks to go, to give the Indians a 24-22 lead and the eventual division win over Laurel, the storybook ending had had all the makings of a tragedy when he had attempted a 46-yard shot on fourth down just four plays prior.
“On the first one, it seemed like the perfect storm,” White explained of his first attempt. “Everything went wrong — the snap was off, I wasn’t set, I slipped in the mud — but on the second one, it was a second chance.”
Someone’s “0” has got to go when the Indian River High School football team takes on Milford this Friday night, with both teams currently undefeated in the Henlopen South.
The Bucs are off to an undefeated non-division start as well, sporting a 5-0 overall record with wins over Red Lion, Delaware Military Academy, St. Andrews School, Conrad and Seaford under second-year head coach Shaun Strickland.
Strickland led Milford to a 6-4 record in 2015, just a season after inheriting a 1-9 team.
Returning this year as the team’s prime playmaker is junior running back David Bowman, who’s coming off a First-Team All-Conference sophomore season in 2015 and a four-touchdown performance against Seaford during a 52-8 division win on Friday, Oct. 7.
The 5-foot-5, 150-pound tailback also ran for three touchdowns and over the century mark in a 42-13 win over Conrad the previous week, and lines up at strong safety on defense.
Beam scores in 2-1 win over Rhode Island
Up 1-0 on Rhode Island, the University of Richmond women’s soccer team got some insurance and the eventual game-decider from freshman midfielder and Indian River High School graduate Brooke Beam when she found the net for the second time this season during a 2-1 win on Sunday, Oct. 9.
Johnson serves up 14 in final set to send Indians over Spartans
She was just kidding, kind of.
Living in the Dover area last year before transferring to Indian River High School, IR junior Makenzie Johnson was at the game in which Polytech’s Emily Campbell served up 15 straight points in the final set against the Indians to win it for the Panthers back in 2015.
So, headed into the fifth and final set against Lake Forest on Thursday, Oct. 6, and in a similar situation, Johnson joked that she was going to do a similar thing.
“Before the set, I was joking… I was like, ‘I’m gonna pull an Emily Campbell and serve 15,’” she said with a laugh.
But no one was laughing when Johnson nearly pulled off just that, serving up 14 straight points before the Spartans finally got their own chance to serve, and before junior Carly Collins knocked down a shot to seal the set 15-3 and the game 3-2.
Over the past 50 years, it’s only happened six times. But for veteran golfer Sandy Bunting, every time she lands a hole-in-one, it's just as special as the first one she sunk back 1981.
That was the case when Bunting landed her sixth career hole-in-one just last week, knocking in a shot on the 12th hole at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club in Dagsboro for her first hole-in-one shot on what she now considers her home course.
“Each one is just as awesome as the one before, because you just can’t believe that it’s happened to you,” said Bunting.
The shot from 102 yards out was on a Par 3 and, interestingly enough, came about on a day when Bunting had accidentally left two of her irons back at home, one of which she said she would have otherwise been using.
“I try for a hole-in-one every time I’m on a Par 3,” Bunting said, noting that, instead of an iron, she opted for her 6 hybrid. “I didn’t have the club I would have used, but that one worked perfectly.”
Facing a sand trap in front the green, Bunting sent a high shot that she had a feeling had dropped right down near the hole but that she wasn’t sure went in until she, Joy Koons and Donna Murray went to investigate.
“We couldn’t see it go in — we had to walk up to the green before we knew for sure,” Bunting explained. “We all almost got chills. We started cheering.”
When a child has a serious illness, the lives of everyone in the family are affected. It might seem as if the illness sends out ripples of stress, worry and exhaustion that leave families feeling as if they have been hit by a tsunami.
There were a lot of shrugs and “I don’t know”s and “Do you only own, like, one shirt, or what’s the deal?”s in my own personal discussions about the Indian River High School and Sussex Central High School soccer teams before they faced off on Tuesday.
Indians roll Blue Jays 60-20 to start 1-0 in South
After back-to-back-to-back losses, the Indian River High School football team was back in a big way on Monday, Oct. 3, putting an end to the blues with a 60-20 division win over the Jays, to start 1-0 in the Henlopen South.
In a game rescheduled from Friday, Sept. 30, senior running back Gerald Foreman didn’t waste any more time in getting the Indians on the board, taking a handoff 71 yards up the sideline and to the house on the first play from scrimmage.
Then, after the extra point from senior kicker Andrew White made it 7-0, Foreman would find the end zone again on the next play from scrimmage, that time picking off a pass from Seaford quarterback Isaiah Lake and returning it 36 yards to paydirt.
“Seaford was coming off a win; their morale was up. As soon as we got off the bus, we had to be ready to go,” said IR head coach Phil Townsend of the quick start.
Indian edge Knights on Cordoba’s 51st-minute goal
While control of the midfield swayed throughout the match, one goal would determine the outcome of the game when the 4-0 Indian River High School soccer team and 4-0 Sussex Central High School soccer team faced off on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
That goal came in the 51st minute, when IR senior defender Andrew White sent a ball to senior forward Johan Cordoba, who got out in front of the Central defense and found himself one-on-one with the keeper.
“I knew I had to finish it,” Cordoba said of his chance in the back-and-forth battle.
“I saw Andrew with the ball, running down the line, and I knew he was going to pass it. I just got lucky that the ball got to me, took a touch, and then I just booked it to goal.”
IR alumni from 1980s to be honored at half
Fresh off their first win of the season, the Indian River High School football team will look to make it 2-0 in the Henlopen South when they host Laurel on Friday, Oct. 7.
At 2-2 overall and 0-1 in the division, the Bulldogs are coming off a 22-20 loss to rival Delmar on Sunday, Oct. 2, after taking down Sussex Tech 59-35 the week prior.
They’re led by senior All-Conference quarterback Perez Nichols, who at 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, possesses both size and speed as a dual-threat quarterback.
Nichols scored off an 11-yard bootleg in last week’s matchup against Delmar and should put IR senior outside-linebacker Joey Ciriello and sophomore outside-linebacker Jacob Anderson to the test on Friday.
Senior running back Deon Parker ripped off a 33-yard touchdown run against Delmar, also adding an interception in the red zone at strong safety. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Parker could be a factor on both sides of the ball and will be joined by senior running back Yolnex Gustin to round out a speed-filled backfield.
The Delmarva Christian High School and Indian River High School volleyball teams went down to the fifth and final set on Monday, Oct. 3, with the Royals edging the Indians 15-11 to claim the 3-2 win.
DCHS junior Gabrielle Book racked up 14 kills and 14 digs on the night, junior Olivia Berger led her squad with 20 assists, freshman Ashlyn Stonebraker had 10 digs and 17 assists, and junior Camryn Thompson finished with seven kills, five aces and 16 digs.
For the Indians, freshman libero Jessica Amezuca had 12 digs; and junior setter Mckenzie Johnson two blocks, three digs and 10 assists. Senior middle hitter Sami Mumford led in kills, with seven and added eight assists; junior middle hitter Julia Bomhardt had six kills; and junior outside hitter Carly Collins put up seven digs and four kills.
IR hockey moves to 5-1 with 1-0 win over Caesar Rodney
The Indian River High School field hockey team improved to 5-1 on the season with a 1-0 win over Caesar Rodney on Tuesday, Oct. 4.
Senior forward Madi McGee scored the game’s lone goal just before halftime, with the IR defense holding the Riders to only one shot on goal, which was saved by junior keeper Mya Parks.
Tripple Overtime: Beyond the rivalry: The definitive Josh Timmons interview after his second career goal
Call it what you (and, by “you,” I pretty much mean “I”) will.
Indians' boys team starts 1-1
They almost pulled it off last year. But this year, they finally did.
After being edged by Sussex Tech in 2015, the Indian River High School girls’ cross-country team got the 2016 season started with their first-ever win over the Ravens in their home-opening tri-meet held on Wednesday, Sept. 22.
For some of the team’s seniors, it’s a hurdle that they’ve been looking to clear for the past four years.
“I really wanted to beat Tech. We were close last year,” said senior Maddie Hogsten, who’s been no stranger to besting the Henlopen North rival on the soccer field but who had yet to see it happen on the cross-country trails headed into Wednesday’s meet.
Indians ready for run on the South after loss to Cape
The Indian River High School football team knows that they could have managed a few upsets, despite starting the season going up against three larger schools with three larger teams.
But after falling to Maryland 3A Linganore in their opener, giving up a 14-0 lead to top-ranked Sussex Tech and most recently seeing turnovers cost them the game against top-ranked Cape Helopen in a 40-21 loss on Friday, Sept. 23, they also know that their season starts right now.
“We’re 0-0 right now in the South,” explained IR head coach Phil Townsend. “From here on out, though, we can’t afford a loss. The guys really have to understand that and stay focused at practice.”
“We knew those first three teams were going to be tough,” added senior running back George Martin. “I’m going to use this to push myself, and I hope that the rest of these guys do, too. Those losses — they’re going motivate us, rather than bringing us down.”
After starting off their season with matchups against Maryland’s Linganore High School, Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen, the Indian River High School football team will set their sights on the Henlopen South when they begin division play and host Seaford on Friday.
The Blue Jays are currently 1-2 on the season, coming off a 66-26 victory over St. Andrew’s School (0-2) on Friday, Sept. 23.
In the midst of a Cape Henlopen High School comeback, Indian River High School junior forward Oscar Cruz found himself with a chance to close the door on the Vikings for good, with the keeper out of position and ball bouncing just in front of the net.
He’d miss out on the chance, sending a shot high the over the crossbar.
Just minutes later, however, Cruz would get some redemption, when senior defender Patrick Mochiam sent a long ball downfield that made its way to senior midfielder Wilberth Gomez and eventually bounced up high in front of the cage. Cruz went up with Cape keeper Alan Marin — that time burying the shot on a well-placed header, to both give the Indians a 5-3 lead and ensure the eventual victory.
It was what Indian River High School assistant field hockey coach Molly Chamberlin would later describe as “one of the first times that they had really been tested,” since the team’s opening matchup against Sussex Tech.
But leading the Henlopen North’s Smyrna 1-0 on Thursday, Sept. 28, the IR field hockey team defense and junior goalkeeper Mya Parks held the Eagles’ offensive attack at bay, despite penalty strokes and lopsided time of possession, to start the season 4-0.
“I did not want them to score at all,” Parks said of the particularly palpable tension at the end of the game, with the Eagles knocking on the door and looking for the equalizer.
“It definitely helps, having a good defense to bring the nerves down. Maggie [Ford], Sammi [Whelen] and Mac[kenzie Gorey] — I know that I can count on them. I know they’re going to be there. They had to get through all of them before it got to me.”
Cape Henlopen 17, Sussex Academy 45 (boys’ cross-country)
The Cape Henlopen boys’ cross-country team started the season 1-0 with a 17-45 win over Sussex Academy on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
Sophomore Greg Boyce, sophomore Sam Nye and senior Ryan Shaffer earned the top three spots for the Vikings, while senior Mason Hayes led the Seahawks with a fourth-place finish.
New student section making an impact
It seems to be a trend at Indian River High School this year: up-and-coming programs proving they’re on the up-and-up with their most successful starts in recent years.
No exception to that trend has been the Indian River volleyball team, which got over the .500 hump and off to a 3-2 start with a win over Worcester Preparatory School in three sets on Friday, Sept. 23.
“It is nice to be 3-2. Yesterday was a great win at Milford. That was a hard-earned victory, and I was happy that we won that game. I was happy that we won this game, too,” said IR head volleyball coach Jim Barnes of the start and 3-2 division win over Milford on Thursday, Sept. 22.
After the tight matchup at Milford to get to 2-2, the Indians came back out the next day to roll the Mallards by scores of 25-9, 25-11 and 25-17.