To quote the famous and fictitious Michael Scott, “I’m not superstitious, but I am, a little stiticious.”
It was anyone’s game at the break.
A back-and-forth first-half battle had left a highly touted Sussex Tech High School football team up only one score on the Henlopen Southern Division’s Indian River, 27-20.
In the second half, however, the Ravens would outlast the Indians, showing how they earned their Top 10 pre-season state ranking and taking advantage of turnovers as they rode the big play to an eventual 48-28 win.
While IR head coach Phil Townsend was disappointed by the loss, he was by no means disappointed in his squad’s performance.
“It says a lot about our guys how well they came out and took on that challenge,” said Townsend. “We had a really good week at practice this week. Coming off that loss [against Linganore] last week, they didn’t dwell on it. They came in Monday and they were ready to work.”
It was exactly what the Indian River High School volleyball team needed when down 11-10 in the first set: four straight aces from their ace acer, Carly Collins.
“I just serve. That’s what they tell me to do,” said Collins, a junior outside hitter, of her back-to-back-to-back-to-back aces that gave her squad a 14-11 lead and the game’s momentum.
“Carly came in and made a bunch of serves like she should do,” added IR head coach Jim Barnes. “That’s one of the things that Carly does well. She’s one of the best servers on our team.”
In a set that saw seven tie scores before the Collins serving rally, the Indians were able to jump back out in front and stay there, going up 17-13 on two straight aces from senior middle hitter Sami Mumford and eventually taking the first set 25-19.
It was the first win of a complete sweep against the Seahawks on Friday, Sept. 16, as IR went on to take the next two sets 25-14 and 25-20, respectively, for their season’s first win, improving to 1-1 in the Henlopen South after a tough loss against Delmar the previous night.
“This was an extremely important win for us,” said Barnes of the victory on the heels of the 3-1 loss to the Wildcats on Thursday, Sept. 15.
Tiger Woods. Phil Mickelson. Jack Nicklaus. Arnold Palmer.
And now, Sarah Lydic.
After her win at the regional Drive, Chip & Putt competition at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa., earlier this month, the 11-year-old wunderkind has earned a bid to the national championship at Augusta National — home of not only the Masters tournament, but of some of the game’s greatest masters as well.
“Part of me feels like I’m in a dream and that this isn’t really happening,” said Lydic of the accomplishment.
“I also feel proud of all the hard work I’ve done this summer to prepare myself for this competition. I’m excited to be going to Augusta, because I’ll be getting a chance to be where the Masters is played and see that beautiful course and be around many great golfers.”
The Ocean View native and member of Bear Trap Dunes Golf Club finished first overall in the Girls’ 10-11 division at the regional competition, going up against golfers from Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan and even Canada.
Her total score of 115 bested Ohio’s Mia Raynes and Kentucky’s Trinity Beth, who finished with scores of 109 and 108, respectively.
Placing fourth in the drive category, and tied for third in putting, Lydic’s edge came in the chipping competition, where she out-shot everyone, with a total score of 40, to earn the win and the only qualifying spot for nationals in her respective division.
Raynes and Beth, who finished second and third, each earned alternate spots.
While they may be 0-2 so far, the Indian River High School football teamed is looking primed and ready for their first win of the season when Cape Henlopen comes to town on Friday, Sept. 23, after a strong showing against top-ranked Sussex Tech (2-0) last Friday.
With three games in the same week, the Indian River High School field hockey team was put to the test to start off the 2016 season but still managed to come out with three straight wins and a 3-0 record for the second year in a row.
“It was a very tough week for them,” said IR head coach Jodi Stone. “In high school, playing three games in one week is a lot — especially still getting acclimated to going to school all day and then practicing in the afternoon — so they really held their own. I’m very proud of them.”
Indians 3, Laurel 0
(Thursday, Sept. 15)
After taking down Tech on Tuesday, the Indians faced off against Laurel in their home opener on Thursday, Sept. 15, rolling the Bulldogs 3-0.
The Indian River High School soccer team is off to their first 2-0 start since the 2012 season, after taking down Delmar 9-0 in a division matchup on Thursday, Sept. 15.
Senior forward Mikie Mochiam got the Indians on the board first, taking a pass from senior midfielder Mac Smith and finding the net in just the fourth minute.
IR Soccer Boosters to hold dine-and-donate at Mio Fratello
The Indian River High School Soccer Boosters are sponsoring a dine-and-donate at Mio Fratello Italian Steakhouse in West Fenwick Island on Wednesday, Sept. 28, from 4 to 8 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the state champion soccer team, with the general public encouraged to attend and help support the cause.
It hadn’t been done since 2013.
That’s the year that the Indian River High School soccer team downed Henlopen North powerhouse Caesar Rodney twice — not only in the same season, but the same week, the first victory coming in a regular-season matchup on Oct. 26 and the second for the Henlopen Conference championship just seven days later.
The Indians’ 2016 defending state championship squad, however, was looking for some redemption after they fell to the Riders 4-0 in their opener last season. And on Tuesday, Sept. 13, they got just that, with a 3-1 decision to start off the season 1-0.
“Any time we can win, that’s a plus. Any time we can beat CR, that’s a huge plus,” said head coach Steve Kilby of the rivalry matchup that every year could very well end up as a preview of the HAC championship game. “It’s a huge opponent to start a season with.”
The Indians struck first, when senior midfielder Johan Cordoba sent a ball to senior forward Mikie Mochiam, who then sent it to the back of the net in just the 13th minute, to go up 1-0.
“We usually have that type of chemistry where he passes the ball and run off of it,” Mochiam explained of the score. “Johan gave me the nod, and I ran off of it. He tipped it, it was a pretty good tip and I just kind of had my tippy toes on it.”
The good news is the Indian River High School football team has likely already faced their toughest test this season.
The bad news is 2015 Maryland Class 3A regional semifinalist Linganore still handed the Indians a 61-0 loss in their opener on Friday, Sept. 9.
After making the trip from across the bridge, the Lancers took the field at Indian River High School’s football stadium — a.k.a. “The Steele Cage” — in front of a packed house of green and gold, which included alumni from the 1960s and 1970s who were being honored at halftime. The teams appeared early on to be evenly matched, despite a student population back in Frederick nearly doubling that of IR.
It still stands as the single greatest season in Delaware State University baseball history — the year that the Hornets won it all.
And on Friday, Sept. 9, some 27-odd years later, the 1989 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) championship team got some well-deserved recognition for that season, when they were inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Among them were local residents Chris Megee and Chris White.
“I was so glad to get to see some of the guys after 27 years. We’re truly brothers forever,” Megee said, noting that he had been looking forward to last Friday ever since receiving the news of the HOF induction this past summer.
“It’s truly an honor to have the team recognized for our accomplishments. It just shows how hard we worked together. The work we put in paid off.”
After stumbling to Maryland’s Linagnore High School to start the season, the Indian River High School football team will turn their attention to Route 9 rival Sussex Tech this Friday.
The Ravens roared to a 36-6 win over the Indians in 2015, behind the three-headed monster that was senior running backs Timaun Williams and Patrick Griffin and junior running back Isaiah Brown.
The trio would eventually lead Tech to an 8-2 regular-season record and DIAA state tournament appearance before getting knocked out by Middletown 42-7 in the first round.
While the Ravens won’t have Williams and Griffin to lean on anymore, the 5-foot, 9-inch, 168-pound Brown returns to take over as the Ravens’ bell cow, wasting no time in the lead roll with a seven-touchdown 276-yard performance in a 61-20 home victory over A.I. du Pont during the DRFC Kickoff Classic on Thursday, Sept. 8.
McGee nets two in season debut
Headed into their opening matchup against highly touted Sussex Tech last season, the Indian River High School field hockey team was very much the underdog. No one expected them to win, especially not 1-0 off a Lexi Haden overtime goal.
This year, however, the bar had been raised, and winning had almost become the expectation. An expectation that the Indians knew they had to meet.
“The bar had already been set. We knew we had to take it to the next step,” said IR head coach Jodi Stone, after her squad’s 2-1 victory over the Ravens on Tuesday. “They were ready.”
“It was an expectation this year, so we were a lot more nervous,” added senior forward Madi McGee. “It was a good nervous.”
Beam tallies assist in 2OT draw with Elon
Fresh off her first goal of the season, against Sacred Heart on Sunday, Sept. 4, former Indian River Indian and current Richmond freshman forward Brooke Beam recorded her second assist of the season during a 3-3 draw against Elon on Sunday, Sept. 11.
It seems to be kind of a trend this year. I’m getting sort of Belichick’ed, in a way.
IR volleyball ready to take the court with great expectations
Last season was all about evaluation.
After taking over the head coaching duties of the Indian River High School volleyball team, Jim Barnes spent the season getting to know his players, and they spent the season getting to him, too.
Now, in year two, the attitude has shifted.
“We’re definitely in the mindset to win this year,” explained senior Shelby Cannatelli. “Last year we were all new to this, Coach Barnes was new. This year, it’s definitely different.”
“That’s the biggest difference — this year, everyone wants to be here,” added senior Sami Mumford of the team’s new outlook.
After graduating six seniors from last year’s squad — including All-Conference selections Kaya Ziskay, Melissa Woody and Tiffany Rybicki — Cannatelli and Mumford are leading the charge as the sole seniors on this year’s squad.
While they were in it until the end, the Henlopen South title slipped out of reach for the Indian River High School football team with a late-season loss to Lake Forest in 2015.
With a new season of high school football set to get under way this Friday, Sept. 9, however, rosters throughout the division are shaping up for 2016.
There wasn’t supposed to be practice last Friday, the Friday before Labor Day weekend, for the Indian River High School field hockey team.
But there was.
After a successful pre-season campaign, the senior captains didn’t want to go four days without practicing, especially with Tuesday’s season-opener at Sussex Tech just a week away. So, they called one.
That’s the attitude that the team has this year.
“There’s so much more passion on the field,” said senior Maggie Ford, an All-Conference selection at defense as a junior last season. “Just at the scrimmages I can tell we’ve been working hard each game.”
“This is definitely the most confident that we’ve ever been,” added senior forward Madi McGee.
Beam nets first career NCAA goal in 3-1 win over Scared Heart
She scored more than 100 of them during her career at Indian River High School alone, but just last Sunday, former Indian and current Richmond freshman Brooke Beam scored her first-ever goal in the NCAA.
As a lifelong athlete and fitness trainer, Trevor C. Hurd is now passing his knowledge on to others. But that love of functional fitness started during his days as an All-American tennis player, which has now helped earn him a spot in Washington College’s Athletic Hall of Fame.
He was a top-ranked athlete, graduating in 1993 from the liberal arts school located in Chestertown on the eastern shore of Maryland.
Now he’s the owner/personal trainer at Coastal Athlete with a mission “to train every individual to achieve success, whether on the playing field or in life.”
Living near and working in Bethany Beach, Hurd will be Delaware’s only representative out of 13 inductees officially joining the Hall at the Oct. 1 ceremony in Chestertown.
The Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company announced this week that it will be holding its 9th Annual Golf Tournament at the Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club in Dagsboro on Friday, Oct. 14, with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. The tournament is a fundraiser to help defray the increased operational costs of the fire department.
I don’t really get it, how my friends don’t really get it, how I most definitely do not want to get in on their fantasy football draft.
Local guards earn top finishes at USLA nationals
There were 43 beach patrols from across the nation that showed up to compete at the 2016 United States Lifeguard Association (USLA) National Lifeguard Championships, held in Hermosa Beach, Calif., from Thursday, Aug. 11, through Saturday, Aug. 13.
Among the best of them were local guards from Sussex County.
Going up against year-round crews including the L.A. County Surf Lifesaving Association and Fort Lauderdale Ocean Rescue, Sussex County’s summer-only patrol team placed fifth for the Howard Lee Trophy for total overall points in open and age-group events combined, with a score of 281.500.
The county team also placed sixth for the Greg Farry Trophy, for overall points in men’s and women’s open divisions, finishing with 255.000. The total was just over 10 points shy of the score for the Monmouth County (N.J.) squad, which took fifth and also edged Sussex in the Howard Lee Trophy standings.
Among the top finishers from the group were local guards from Bethany Beach, South Bethany, and Fenwick Island — all three patrols earning gold medals at the event.
She may have traded in her signature No. 1 jersey for No. 25, and her Indian River High School green and gold for Richmond red, but Brooke Beam is still making soccer headlines, just three games into her freshman campaign for the Spiders.
The two-time Top XI selection and 2016 Gatorade Player of the Year recorded the first official NCAA points of her collegiate career in a 4-2 win against JMU on Friday, Aug. 26, tallying two assists and being named the Atlantic 10 Conference Rookie of the Week in the process.
“It’s really exciting to see Brooke take off so quickly at the collegiate level,” said Indian River head coach and River Soccer Director of Coaching Steve Kilby, who coached Beam at various levels throughout her career.
“I would imagine it’s extremely difficult for a freshman to make the type of impact that she has had at a Division I program so quickly.”
The Pyle Center in Roxana has hosted its last Big League World Series.
After seeing local Big League teams from Millsboro and Laurel make it to the title game and appear on national television throughout the years, and Little League legends including Regan Green take the circle, this year’s team from Millsboro-Georgetown will be the last to represent District 3 in the division, after Little League International recently announced that it will discontinue the age division for players ages 17 to 18 for both baseball and softball.
Instead, the restructuring will cap all Little League play at the age of 16, beginning as soon as the 2017 season. The Big League Softball World series had previously been held since 1982.
“Little League strives to continue to find new ways to support communities around the world and provide a healthy, fun sporting experience for children around the world,” explained Stephen D. Keener, Little League president and CEO, on the Little League website.
Ansboury to appear at Sports at the Beach for pickle ball clinic
As part of the 25th Anniversary of the Delaware Senior Olympics, current national women’s pickleball champion Sarah Ansboury will be making her way to Sussex County for instructional clinics.
It started with a club program at Indian River High School. Then a varsity program for the boys, and eventually one for the girls. Then youth clinics and, just this past summer, the first Sharp Shooter Lax Shooting Camp.
Now, with the sport on the rise not only across the state of Delaware, but the nation as well, the local area could finally have its first lacrosse feeder program, with the Tribe Lacrosse Youth Developmental League.
“The hunger is there for the sport. We just don’t have enough kids that are into it yet because they really don’t know where to turn,” said Indian River High School assistant lacrosse coach and Sharp Shooter Lax Shooting Camp’s Dave Spencer.
“We want to be in competition with some of these powerhouses around. Even though we’re five years old, we feel like, to step up and play with the big boys, you gotta do it the right way and doing stuff like this is the right way.”
Tucked away near Holts Landing, next to the Indian River Bay, is Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club.
Cripple Creek boasts an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Algie M. Pulley, dining experiences that range from casual to elegant, tennis courts and a saltwater swimming pool. But the most special feature of the private club may not be its first-class facilities, but its first-class members.
“A couple weeks ago I was playing golf and someone said to me, ‘Isn’t this a great club?’” recalled Don Antonucci, who has been a member for 12 years. “I was thinking to myself, I belong to clubs in New York, in Maryland, in Florida … I have always felt that Cripple Creek was the best.
“It’s the membership — it’s the people themselves. It’s a unique club from the standpoint of actually caring about its own membership, caring about the community and their charitable initiatives.”
Throughout American history, the sports world and world in general have seen their fair share of lies and liars.
Starting with the Indians’ season-opener against Maryland’s Linganore High School on Friday, Sept. 9, the Indian River High School Football Boosters will be honoring past alumni with halftime ceremonies at home games throughout the 2016-2017 season.