Sports

Flipping for Families event to support Alana Rose Foundation

Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.Coastal Point • Submitted: The Alana Rose Foundation will host the Flipping for Families event at Mid-Coast Gymnastics on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m.For the second year in a row, the Alana Rose Foundation is teaming up with Mid-Coast Gymnastics to give kids the chance to have a fun afternoon while supporting other families.

The Alana Rose Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was borne out of the tragedy endured by Kyle Prettyman and Alexa Shoultes, who lost their daughter Alana Rose to a neurodegenerative disease at 15 months old, in December 2015.

According to its website, “The Alana Rose Foundation works to provide financial assistance to help with travel, housing and/or living expenses for qualified families, making children happier and healthier by keeping their family together.”

The Flipping for Families event will be held on Sunday, Nov. 19, from 1 to 4 p.m. The cost of admission is $10 per child, with children younger than 4 able to attend free of charge. Parents and caregivers may attend the event at no charge. There is no pre-purchase required; families may buy tickets at the door the day of the event.

IR boys’ soccer kicks off state tournament

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Indian River’s Juan Linares fights for control of the ball against McKean High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dover High School. IR won the game 6-0 and advanced to the semi-finals vs. Delaware Military Academy.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Indian River’s Juan Linares fights for control of the ball against McKean High School on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dover High School. IR won the game 6-0 and advanced to the semi-finals vs. Delaware Military Academy.The Indian River High School varsity boys’ soccer team began their climb to the summit of a Division II title with a very decisive 6-0 blanking of upstate challenger McKean High School (11-3-1) on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Dover High School.

Senior Indians offensive player Oscar Cruz Osorio scored all three points in the first period, starting with a penalty kick at 5:37.

That was followed minutes later with a series of calamities, ending at 14:17 with the McKean goalie landing on top of Cruz Osorio as the ball gently rolled into the net. Cruz Osorio was credited with the goal on an assist from Esly Carmona Deras, who also assisted in Osorio’s third goal of the period, with the clock at 53:19.

With a little help from Indians senior Egardo Velasquez, fellow senior Juan Linares booted in their first goal of the second period at 64:54. Velasquez was on the assist again at 69:32 when Carmona Deras hit the net with the Indians’ fifth goal. IR got a final point near the game’s end when sophomore Jared Cordoba finished it at 74:28 with an unassisted netting.

Indians football ends season with 35-point loss to Sussex Tech

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River running back Adam Bordeau makes his read against the defensive line in IR’s 35-0 loss on Thursday, Nov. 9.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River running back Adam Bordeau makes his read against the defensive line in IR’s 35-0 loss on Thursday, Nov. 9.Last Thursday, Nov. 9, Indian River High School’s varsity football team played their last game of the 2017 season. When it was over, there was the feel of a collective sigh from players, coaches and fans. The 1-9 2017 season will be a longtime losing Indian River benchmark.

The team that surprised a highly-ranked Glasgow High School 21-20 in mid-September suffered its ninth straight loss by mid-November — this one a 35-0 blanking from inter-county rivals the Golden Knights of Sussex Central.

Despite the loss, IR’s defense — which had allowed 35 points in the first half —prevented the Central team from scoring at all in the second half.

With just 3:38 minutes off the first-quarter clock, the Golden Knights offense got their first possession on an IR kickoff fumble at the 20-yard line, reaching the goal line in just two plays. The Golden Knights rallied on from there, scoring a total of 35 by halftime. But the Indians didn’t just give in.

Coastal Point Pickleball Worthies of 2017

Let’s stop the presses for at least one brief moment this week before yet another pickle harvest engulfs us. Before we hermetically seal the year 2017, I want to mention just a few people who I believe do more than the rest of us — much of it selflessly unseen — so the game of pickleball along our pickleball coast and beach resorts can be enjoyed by so many.

Indians fall to Lake Forest in rainy battle

Special to the Coastal Point  photos• Bruce Walls: Indian River field hockey players fight for ball control vs. Lake Forest, before ultimately falling 0-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 7.Special to the Coastal Point photos• Bruce Walls: Indian River field hockey players fight for ball control vs. Lake Forest, before ultimately falling 0-1 on Tuesday, Nov. 7.In a steady rain, 12th-seeded Indian River High School’s girl’s field hockey team faced 5th-seeded Lake Forest on the Spartans astro-turfed football field on Tuesday, Nov. 7, for round one of the DIAA State Tournament.

Under harsh conditions both defenses battled fiercely to keep their opponents from scoring. Then, with just over five minutes remaining in the second half, the Spartan offense scored the game’s only goal, breaking the longstanding tie.

“The girls played well,” said IR Head Coach Jodi Stone. “This is the second time we’ve made the tournament — two consecutive years — so as a young team we have to be proud of our journey. We were at least able to get to the tournament. There’s nothing to be ashamed of and we’re going to keep our heads high.”

Indian River soccer team falls to Laurel in battle for South title

Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.Laurel Star • Mike McClure: Indian River’s Oscar Cruz-Osorio looks to hold back Laurel’s Santos Rodas as he dribbles the ball. Cruz-Osorio had a pair of assists in his team’s 4-2 road loss.The stars aligned for the Laurel varsity soccer team last Wednesday night. The Bulldogs’ home matchup against Indian River had been pushed back due to weather, setting up a final divisional showdown with the Indians for all the marbles and the Laurel team didn’t disappoint its fans.

The Bulldogs scored a pair of unanswered goals in the second half to win the game and the Henlopen South with the 4-2 victory.

“I didn’t sleep last night, that’s how nervous I was,” Laurel’s sophomore goalie Jailon Gillespie said. “It feels so good to beat a team you’ve never beaten and to be on top.”

Indian River took advantage of Laurel’s nervousness at the start of the game as Erick Aguilera-Baruch scored on a feed from Oscar Cruz-Osorio for a 1-0 Indian lead with 38:21 left in the first half.

Girls cross-country team makes history

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: The girls’ cross-county team poses with their Southern Division Conference title trophy.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: The girls’ cross-county team poses with their Southern Division Conference title trophy.Indian River High School’s varsity Girls Cross Country team made school history last Saturday, Nov. 4, at Killens Pond State Park where the Henlopen Conference Championships were being held. The girls brought home their first regular season Southern Division Conference title. They earned seven wins, beating Delmar, Dover, Polytech, Sussex Academy, Milford, Cape Henlopen and Sussex Central.

According to Coach Katie Ryman, who co-coaches the teams with her husband, Frank, it took, “Five years of hard training with different teams that we’ve had. We’ve built upon our successes every single year. This year we did our best to keep our runners as healthy as we could.”

The girls were 6th place overall, and individually Micayla Meehan was 8th overall with a time of 21:05 for 2nd team All-Conference, and Lauren Meehan finished 20th overall, with a time of 21:50 for 3rd team All-Conference.

“We had significantly fewer injuries and that was because we focused on speed in the beginning of the season. We always consider the fitness level of our runners, and any aches and pains from the previous days workouts were considered before deciding on a workout for each day,” Katie explained.

The boy’s cross-country runners finished 9th overall, with 2 medal winners. Junior Patrick Spencer was 12th overall with a time of 17:28, and junior Tony Velasquez, who was 10th in County, completing the distance in 18:02

IRSD ready to pursue Bermuda grass on fields

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River is considering making the switch to Bermuda grass like this at Seaford High School.After tossing the idea around for years, the Indian River School District’s Board of Education unanimously voted this week to begin pursuing Bermuda grass for the football and field hockey stadiums at both high schools.

“I think the public is going to appreciate what we’re doing with these four fields,” said Joe Booth, supervisor of Buildings & Grounds. “I work for the district, but I also am a district resident. … I think this is a good thing moving forward, trying to improve these fields for our students.”

The optimum option would be artificial turf, he said, but Bermuda grass is a great runner-up.

“It’s mainly because of the recovery, and it gives you a little bit of the cushion. It’s mowed short so you don’t have a problem with cleats getting caught,” he said. Also, “It’s flat. It’s consistent all the way through.”

Pickleball Tips: Sweet Spot and Sweet Spots

Bonkeys in Ocean View is my favorite sweet spot. Too many trips to Bonkeys can definitely have a negative influence on finding the other sweet spot, the one on your pickleball paddle. It matters not how large your paddle sweet spot is if you can’t move into position to hit returns of serve and volleys.

Fourth annual Thanksgiving Day Gabby Gobble nears

Coming to the Delaware beaches for Thanksgiving and looking for a twist on your family tradition?

Join up for the Fourth Annual Gabby Gobble 5K on Thanksgiving morning, Thursday, Nov. 23, at Irish Eyes Pub in Lewes. The race will begin at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds from the race will go to the Get Well Gabby Foundation.

Annual Turkey Trot scheduled for Thanksgiving Day

The 10th Annual Fenwick Island Turkey Trot will be held on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. The untimed 2.2-mile fun-run/walk starts oceanside on Lewes Street in Fenwick Island, and goes south to the Maryland state line and back.

Pickleball Points — Endorsements can make a market, or break a company

Professional endorsements work because consumers make them work. Seldom, but sometimes, the company involves the athlete in product development. Billie Jean King and Chris Evert were involved in their Wilson autograph tennis rackets.

Endorsements are not to be taken lightly because of the financial risk, which can ruin companies.

Indians’ football bested by Bulldogs

Laurel Star photos • Mike McClure: IR’s Jalen Snead hauls in a pass from quarterback Ian Shaner during Saturday’s 17-0 loss in Laurel.Laurel Star photos • Mike McClure: IR’s Jalen Snead hauls in a pass from quarterback Ian Shaner during Saturday’s 17-0 loss in Laurel.The Indian River High School offense was able to bend, but not break the Laurel defense in last Saturday’s varsity football game in Laurel as the Indians looked to snap a five-game losing streak that’s denied them a W since the first game of the regular season. But the Bulldogs came away with a 17-0 Homecoming win to take them to 3-4 on the season.

The Laurel offense moved the ball to the Indian River 45-yard line before punting on the first possession of the game. On 3rd-and-6 from the 30, IR quarterback Ian Shaner completed an 18-yard pass to Jalen Snead. But on 2nd-and-3 from the Laurel 45, the Bulldogs’ Devantay Clanton dropped Shaner for a 5-yard loss, and Laurel’s Dylan Dukes and Kevon Williams later added a sack to force the Indians to punt.

Indian River’s defense forced another Laurel punt, giving the Indians offense the ball on their own 40. Reshawn Turner had a 15-yard run to the Laurel 29, and Shaner completed a 16-yard pass to Jason Killen on 3rd-and-12 from the Laurel 31, but Shaner’s pass on 4th-and-8 from the 13 fell incomplete, giving the ball back to Laurel.

The Bulldogs’ Ja’Mir Townsend moved the chains with a 9-yard run on 3rd-and-6 from the 17. A Dalton Perdue run and a face-mask penalty set up 1st-and10 on the 45. Williams had a 12-yard run and later caught a 15-yard pass from Perdue. Laurel went for a field goal on 4th-and-12 from the Indians’ 18, and kicker Wilder Gonzalez-Perez connected on a 35-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 3:59 left in the first half.

Pickleball Points — Pickled medal announcements from the Huntsman World Senior Games

Coastal Point • Submitted: Marion Lisehora, ‘the Queen Mother of Delaware Pickleball,’ left, recently won Huntsman World Senior Games gold in the Women’s Doubles pickleball competition for ladies ages 85 to 89, with partner Barbara Miachika of Florida, right.Coastal Point • Submitted: Marion Lisehora, ‘the Queen Mother of Delaware Pickleball,’ left, recently won Huntsman World Senior Games gold in the Women’s Doubles pickleball competition for ladies ages 85 to 89, with partner Barbara Miachika of Florida, right.If a sport that takes America by storm can be called “pickleball” after a dog named Pickles, then I see nothing wrong with calling the recent Huntsman tournament in Utah the “Cat’s Meow” of pickleball. When I asked the president of Pro-Lite Paddles, who has been in pickleball his entire life, how pickleball at Huntsman compared to the national championships, he responded that it’s a very big deal, because they are the senior world championships.

The Huntsman World Senior Games began in 1987 with the idea of promoting worldwide peace, health, friendship and fun. Today, they conduct 30 different competitive games in Utah, for men and women from around the world of age 50+, by a staff of 2,500.

In addition to athletic events, the Huntsman Games promote health by providing life-saving health screenings for cancer — breast and prostate. Screenings also detect other serious health threats, such as glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and decreased bone density.

If people have trouble knowing where the “where” is in Delaware, these three folks continue to teach them:

Marion Lisehora, “the Queen Mother of Delaware Pickleball,” won gold in the 85-89 Women’s Doubles, and silver in the 85-89 Mixed Doubles. Marion — once the young girl on the diving horse at Atlantic City’s Steel Pier — also medaled in the volleyball games for most of the last 18 years, and brought home gold this year for volleyball in the 76+ category.

Team Surfgimp

Coastal Point • Submitted: Team Surfgimp gathers at the north side of the Indian River Inlet on Sunday, Oct. 15.Coastal Point • Submitted: Team Surfgimp gathers at the north side of the Indian River Inlet on Sunday, Oct. 15.Team Surfgimp started nine years ago as a call for a few volunteers to help Jay Liesener realize his dream of surfing. At the time, Liesener had been paralyzed for almost 20 years. But the team has ended up to being so much more.

Liesener’s life forever changed at age 17, when a trampoline accident left 85 percent of his body paralyzed.

“No, he wasn’t a gymnast,” said Liesener’s wife, Melanie. “He was just an adrenalin-fueled kid. He still is, in many ways. You know, he hang-glides, too!”

The first few years after the accident involved hospitalizations, rehabilitation and taking classes at the University of Maryland. They were not the college years he had anticipated: an education supplemented with fun, frolic and friends. That whole life was gone. Rather, Liesener’s focus was trying to get his hands to work, his electric wheelchair to negotiate the campus and his body to avoid causing embarrassment.

Homecoming heartache

IR football falls to Seaford 32-20

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: QB Jalen Snead, above, hands the ball off to RB Kevin Custis during IR’s 32-20 loss to Seaford during Homecoming week.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: QB Jalen Snead, above, hands the ball off to RB Kevin Custis during IR’s 32-20 loss to Seaford during Homecoming week.It was Friday the 13th. A steady rain pelted players and the hardy spectators who huddled to watch Indian River High School’s football team lose this year’s Homecoming game to Seaford’s Blue Jays 32-20.

Seaford freshman FB/LB Brandon Gibbs broke through Indian tackles to score the Blue Jays’ first touchdown with 3:44 minutes left on the first-quarter clock. Seaford’s conversion failed, but IR receivers fumbled the kickoff back to Seaford, who came close but couldn’t take advantage of IR’s mistake.

Seaford reigned 6-0 when the first half expired. The Blue Jays out-scored the Indians 14-12 in the third quarter. Seaford freshman HB/DB Leroy McLaughlin found a hole in the Indians’ defense, shook off several attempted tackles, and ran in Seaford’s second touchdown. That time, the point-after kick went wide, and the Blue Jays extended their lead to 12-0.

Junior quarterback Jalen Snead took a keeper across the goal line for the Indians with 4:41 minutes remaining in the third quarter. IR’s extra-point attempt went wide and they trailed 12-6.

Without the knees, you can’t bring home the cheese

The Eastern Shore was fairly remote up to the 1950s, and the only major connections, before they built the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, were a ferry crossing or a couple two-lane roads from Wilmington.

IR boys’ soccer nets another win

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Oscar Cruz boxes out a defender during Indian River’s 4-2 win over Seaford on Thursday, Oct. 5.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Oscar Cruz boxes out a defender during Indian River’s 4-2 win over Seaford on Thursday, Oct. 5.Indian River High School’s boys’ soccer team improved their conference season record to 5-2 with a dominant 4-2 win over Seaford High School last Thursday, Oct. 5.

IR was first on the scoreboard, as senior Oscar Cruz Osorio hit the game’s first goal at 26:21, with an assist from junior Luke Morgan.

“We knew they’d be a tough opponent,” Cruz Osorio said. “We had to work extra hard today, especially since it was a conference game. We put more players in the middle. At first, we started with a 4-3-3 — we wanted to see how it was.

“Once we saw that we could go forward a lot more, we put numbers up — more people in the middle. That helped us find the strikers, and we could get into the attack a lot more.”

Seaford senior midfielder Andy Elorge tied it at 1-1 with a penalty kick. With less than 2 minutes in the first half, the Indians’ Jared Cordoba got a head shot into the goal to give IR a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Cruz started the Indians’ second-half scoring with a penalty kick. IR senior Wilberth Gonzalez Gomez sealed the win several minutes later.

Smyrna stops IRHS volleyball win streak

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls : IR’s Sierra Johnson sends the ball over the net against Smyrna in Tuesday night’s loss.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls : IR’s Sierra Johnson sends the ball over the net against Smyrna in Tuesday night’s loss.Indian River High School’s varsity volleyball team suffered their first loss of the season on Tuesday night at home, at the hands of the Smyrna Eagles, ending the Indians’ win streak at eight.

Smyrna won a hard-fought first match 25-18. IR rebounded, taking the next set 25-18 and tying the game 1-1. Then IR took the lead with a 25-19 third-set win. Smyrna tied it back up with a 25-18 fourth set, forcing a first-to-15 tie-breaker set, which the Eagles handily won, 15-2.

“There was a lot of good play tonight. I was really hoping we’d come out with a win tonight,” said IR head coach Jim Barnes. “I’m really proud of the girls. I really felt we could beat Smyrna.

“They’re a great team,” he added. “They just served very well at the end, and we just couldn’t make the offensive moves to win the game. Our passing wasn’t there to set up the play, and we just kept turning it over to them.

IR football suffers fourth straight loss

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Indian River quarterback Jalen Snead rushes the football against the Lake Forest defense.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Indian River quarterback Jalen Snead rushes the football against the Lake Forest defense.Saturday, Oct. 7, may have been a happy homecoming football game for the Lake Forest Spartans, but on the Spartans’ home turf, it was also the Indian River High School football team’s fourth straight loss.

After their narrow 21-20 win over Glasgow High School back on Sept. 7, they’ve suffered losses at the hands of Polytech High School (39-21), St. Marks High School (51-13), Delmar High School (41-6) and now Lake Forest High School, 28-14.

While his team lost, for Indians sophomore LB/FB JaQuan Floyd, it wasn’t such a bad day. The 6-foot, 2-inch 200-pound Floyd crossed the goal line twice for the Indians. The Spartan offense scored on the game’s first drive, and Floyd responded by picking up a kickoff fumble and running across the goal line to tie the game 7-7.

“It felt good getting those two touchdowns,” Floyd admitted. “I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing the team. We just didn’t capitalize on winning. We’ve got to keep pushing and work hard.”

A pickle and a movie review

Before there was unequal prize money in tennis, there was no prize money in tennis. The various national tennis associations paid the player’s expenses and then pocketed the proceeds from the gate of national events to fund their own organizations and sometimes overinflated egos. The players were little more than indentured servants.

Battle of the undefeated

IRHS volleyball goes to 8-0 against DCHS

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls : Julia Bomhardt lays into the volleyball with a spike in Tuesday night’s win over Delmarva Christian High School.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls : Julia Bomhardt lays into the volleyball with a spike in Tuesday night’s win over Delmarva Christian High School.On Tuesday night, Indian River High School’s varsity volleyball team entered their home gym, packed with spectators, to face a formidable 8-0 Delmarva Christian High School team. With perseverance and determination, IR’s team — themselves also undefeated, 7-0 — came out fighting and, despite early losses, fought back to win the match, 3-2.

“They played well,” said IRHS head coach Jim Barnes. “I thought they played really well in the beginning. They were the better team in the first two sets. I thought our girls played well and stuck with it. You never know — that’s why you play five sets. We picked it up. We had to pick it up against that team.”

“We needed more offense, made some adjustments, and the girls played well and we came through,” he added.

“Delmarva Christian High School’s volleyball team is a very good volleyball team. That’s why they’re undefeated and that’s why this was such a good game tonight,” said Barnes. “You had two undefeated teams going at it. You couldn’t ask for a better matchup, and certainly I’m pleased with the outcome.”

IR field hockey ends week with wins

Special to the Coastal Point photos • Bruce Walls: Sammi Whelen advances the balls upfield during IR’s 10-3 win over Worcester Prep on Friday, Sept. 29.Special to the Coastal Point photos • Bruce Walls: Sammi Whelen advances the balls upfield during IR’s 10-3 win over Worcester Prep on Friday, Sept. 29.After defeating Caesar Rodney High School’s varsity field hockey team 3-0 last Tuesday, Sept. 26, at home, the Indian River High School team went on the road for two wins later in the week.

On Thursday, Sept. 28, the Indians slayed Sussex Central’s Golden Knights, and on Friday, Sept. 29, they blew the feathers off of Worcester Prep’s Fighting Mallards, 10-3, to improving their record to 4-0-2.

The Indians got both of their goals against the Golden Knights in the first period.

Senior midfielder Kaleigh Cordrey struck first, with 21:44 minutes remaining in the first period. Then, with 0:19 seconds left in the first period, sophomore attacker Avery Congleton scored the Indians second and final goal, with an assist from freshmen attacker Kayler Townsend.

“It really was fun. Everybody worked good as a team, and we were very successful,” freshman attacker Kayler Townsend said of the win.

IR football drops 41-6 loss to Delmar at home

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls:  An IR runner tries to get through the pile against Delmar on Friday, Sept. 29.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: An IR runner tries to get through the pile against Delmar on Friday, Sept. 29.Last Friday, Sept. 29, third-ranked Delmar High School’s Wildcats (2-1) handed Indian River’s Indians a humbling 41-6 defeat at home.

The Wildcats scored their first touchdown on their opening play and added an extra point. The Wildcats would get across the goal line two more times before Indians sophomore running back Kevin Custis scrambled across the goal line for IR’s only touchdown, with 11:53 minutes still on the clock. The kick went wide, and the Indians’ downfall began.

“We gave up some early touchdowns, got down quick, and their offense is very well sound — they’re well-coached. They beat us up front tonight, especially the offensive line,” said IR Head Coach Phillip Townsend.

“We didn’t get the surge up front that we needed on defense to make stops, and we didn’t wrap up a couple times. We just gave up big plays. We’d have a stop or two, and then we’d give up 10- or 15-yard big play. You can’t win games like that,” Townsend said.

Indian River hosts cross-country trip-meet

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: The first male runners across the finish line on Sept. 17 were Tony Velasquez and Patrick Spencer (newly elected junior class president).Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River High School’s cross-country course begins behind their football stadium’s visitor’s side, quickly heading into the woods behind the school along grassy paths, leading to an opening by the soccer field. From there, the 3.1-mile course returns to the woods and eventually to the finish line behind the tennis courts.

Last Wednesday, Sept. 17, IR invited teams from Dover High School and Delmar High School to a varsity tri-meet, including those school’s girls in the competition. That day, winds blew sustained at 10-15 mph, occasionally whipping up to 25 mph.

“Everyone has to deal with the wind,” said IR girls’ head coach Katie Raymond. “The woods will shield them from the wind, but once they get to the soccer field, it’s all open.”

The first male runners across the finish line on Sept. 17 were Tony Velasquez and Patrick Spencer (newly elected junior class president).Tony Velasquez was IR’s first male runner to reach the finish line. Velasquez completed the course in 19:06 minutes.

“It was a pretty good race,” said Velasquez, a 16-year-old junior. “I just ran and did what I mostly do. I pushed myself at the end. When I see that finish line, I just do what I do — run hard.”

IR’s first female to cross the finish line was 16-year-old junior Sarah Roehl.

“It’s pretty hard,” Roehl said of her run. “We kind of had an advantage because it’s our home course, but it’s always a tough run,” she described, adding that the wind encouraged her to run harder and faster.

Delmar Wildcat A. Cabe turned in the meet’s fastest time, with a run of 16:34 minutes. Following Cabe in the top five of 67 entries were Dover runners G. Williams (17:26), N. Guy (18:16), S. Courtney (18:53) and Velasquez.

Pickleball points — Picking pickles and the pickleball tour

This week, I became enamored with the title “Picking Paddles,” but I am a little shaky on the rest of the story. Well, here goes…

Muscle cars will be on display at Selbyville luau

A luau in October? Why not?

To celebrate the grand opening of their muscle-car showroom, the Speed Shop in Selbyville will host a luau-themed ribbon-cutting party on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sports center asks County for support

Members of the Sussex Sports Center Foundation this week requested that Sussex County financially support their endeavor at the Sussex County Council meeting on Sept. 26, giving a presentation on the project to the council.

The foundation is planning to build a sports facility for resident and visitor use in Georgetown, just north of Route 9 on Sandhill Road.

IR blanks Caesar Rodney 3-0 in field hockey

Special to the Coastal Point photos • Bruce Walls: The Indian River girls’ lacrosse team took down Caesar Rodney 3-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 26.Special to the Coastal Point photos • Bruce Walls: The Indian River girls’ lacrosse team took down Caesar Rodney 3-0 on Tuesday, Sept. 26.Indian River High School’s varsity field hockey team defeated Caesar Rodney’s Riders 3-0 on Tuesday, on the Indians’ home field. IR struck early and kept the ball in CR territory throughout most of the game.

“We connected right away. They kept up scoring throughout the game, which was nice,” described IR head coach Judi Stone.

Sophomore Avery Congleton hit two goals in the first half. Her first goal was at 27:00, her second at 16:55. Assisting were sophomore Rylie Cordrey and freshman Kayler Townsend.

According to Stone, having younger talent on her team is “awesome, because I get to keep them longer.”

In the second half, Indians freshman Morgan McGee hit the team’s final goal, with an assist by Cordrey.

IR outshot CR 8-2 and had six penalty corners to CR’s two. Although the Indians missed some shooting opportunities, Stone said she was pleased with her team’s offense.

Pickleball Points — Bangers versus the third-shot soft game

Special to the Coastal Point • Vaughn Baker: Anti-banger Rick Bell takes position in the No-Volley Zone.Special to the Coastal Point • Vaughn Baker: Anti-banger Rick Bell takes position in the No-Volley Zone.In pickleball lexicon, bangers are players who have learned to hit the ball as hard as they can in hopes of forcing their opponents to make an error. I must admit, it is great fun. But that strategy only takes them so far, until they run into a team who can consistently get into the net and volley, and their banging style then returns fewer wins.

The game that beats the bangers we refer to as “the soft game,” where the ball is returned softly into the “No-Volley Zone.”

While enjoying the new Big Chill Beach Club last week, I overheard two pickleballers discussing the merits of the soft pickleball-style game, versus the slamming game. The bigger fellow went on to say the people where he played didn’t hit the soft drop approach, but just slammed the ball, and as a result, he didn’t get a chance to play the soft game.

It was so difficult for me not to pipe up and say: “Pay attention. The soft game with the third shot isn’t played because it is fashionable or others play it — it is used precisely because their opponents are slamming the ball.”

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