The 2013-2014 Indian River High School boys’ basketball regular season ended on an extremely high note, as they played their best basketball when it counted most, down the stretch, and guaranteed their spot in the 2014 DIAA state tournament. The 2014-2015 Indians will look to repeat that success this season while aiming to bring back a Henlopen South Division title to the school and make a longer run in the 2015 tournament.
The key for this Indians team to maintain and build on the success of the past two years is to remain a tough opponent to defeat by playing a tenacious style of defense — quickly becoming the hallmark of the team — and a selfless style of offense, favoring the hot hand playing the smartest basketball.
The 2013-2014 regular season for the Indian River High School girls’ swim team was one of — if not the most — successful season in the program’s short history. The Lady Indians went 8-3 and had several personal bests in finishing at the individual state meets at the University of Delaware, and they ended the regular season on a six-meet winning streak.
The Indian River High School boys’ swimming program took huge strides last year, both in the conference and the state, only losing team meets to traditional powerhouses Cape Henlopen and Caesar Rodney. A strong core of record-setting seniors led the Indians into the upper-echelon of Henlopen Conference swimming and knocked on the door of the DIAA record books.
Sports are often remembered in terms of the final score, but the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association wants sportsmanship to be just as important. And Sussex Central High School has portrayed that mentality to win the 2014 DIAA Sportsmanship Award.
“It’s a competition against a set of standards. It’s a very difficult set of standards to meet,” said Kevin Charles, DIAA executive director, “to create a school culture … where doing the right thing is the expectation. It’s what a student naturally does, instinctively does, in a difficult situation.”
It comes down to how students decide to react in difficult situations, on and off the field, he said.
“How are you, as a student, going to respond to that?” Charles asked. “In DIAA, the sports field is the classroom, and coaches are the teachers. We’re teaching life skills through interscholastic athletics.”
After losing their 5-year-old daughter to cancer in 2011, the Vogel family vowed to help other families in the same situation.
“Our biggest thing is Gabby didn’t get well,” said her mother, Carolynn Vogel. “Unfortunately, the cancer was terminal upon diagnosis, and there have been no medical advances in over 30 years in her type of cancer.”
Sussex Technical High School hosted the Delaware Special Olympics Basketball Skills Competition on Monday morning, Nov. 17, inviting select athletes from Sussex County elementary schools to participate in a variety of competitions involving various basketball skills, with a chance at winning medals.
Lord Baltimore Elementary School sent Omar Baker, Alex Gomez, Rebecca Kelly, David LeCates, Mason Leith, Isaac Lowman, Alijah Taylor and Harmony Tuelia as athletes to compete in such skills as dribbling, shooting and passing.
Helping the athletes as Unified Partners were students Gabriel Mouynivong and Laysha Salazar-Molina, who teamed up with the athletes to assist in any way they could to help their teammates earn a medal.
Taylor, who loves his mom and wanted everyone to know that, represented Lord Baltimore in carrying the Olympic torch to the podium, as he waved his hand in model fashion and helped take part in kicking off the event, which was organized by Jon Buzby, director of media relations for Special Olympics Delaware, assisted by around a hundred Sussex Tech students, all belonging to the Project Unify Club.
Nov. 13 was National Signing Day — a day when thousands of high school seniors sign letters of intent to continue playing their sport of choice at their choice of a higher-education institution — and Maggie Allison, a senior at Indian River High School, was one of those select few elite athletes across the country, signing her letter of intent to play NCAA Division I lacrosse for the Tigers of Towson University.
“I don’t even know the words to describe it... I just feel happy, thankful. It’s a relief to actually have signed,” Allison said after the official signing.
Allison’s achievement of being one of the few high school students around the country to accept the scholarships awarded to a NCAA Division 1 college athlete is made all the more impressive when one considers that her high school does not currently field a women’s lacrosse team upon which Allison can play.
The 2014 season for the Indian River boys’ soccer team came to a heartbreaking end last Wednesday night, at the new Dover High School in the outskirts of Dover, against No. 1-ranked Caravel Academy, a private school known as an athletic powerhouse that competes in the DIAA Division II championships despite boasting an almost all student-athlete student body and athletic resources few schools in Delaware have the luxury of utilizing.
Caravel came into the contest boasting a 13-1-1 record, while the Indians, 10-4-1, came into the contest red-hot, winners of seven of their last eight matches, outscoring opponents 60-14, for a goal differential of 46 points.
The battle on the pitch that night was set to be a hard-fought one, as two of the most elite teams in Delaware soccer — Division I included — faced off.
Before kickoff, the Indians kneeled in a huddle as a unit, to prepare each other for the obstacle laid before them and display their strength in unity. After all, the defending Division II champs had begun the season facing some of the best soccer clubs not just in the state, but in the country. They showed they belonged in the same category, despite what the numbers of wins and losses said.
I am a huge fan of running because it is one of the best ways to increase your health.
It boosts your immune system, preventing a variety of diseases and health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, while raising your good cholesterol levels. Medical research has shown that people who run have a more agile brain that functions, like that of someone much younger, too.
So I’m leaving. On a jet plane. Don’t know when I’ll be back again.
After falling short in the Henlopen Conference championship, the Indian River High School soccer team rebounded with a 6-1 win against No. 12 McKean last Saturday night to advance to the DIAA semi-finals.
Freshman midfielder Oscar Cruz got the Indians on the board early, finding the net from nearly 20 yards out for the go-ahead goal.
Senior midfielder Danny Garza would score back-to-back goals to make it 3-0, one of them off an assist from sophomore Johan Cordoba. Senior forward Luis Cruz would set up Garza for his second goal and would make it 4-0 with a goal of his own on a free kick just before the half.
The No. 4 Indians continued to tack on scores in the second half, with Oscar Cruz netting his second goal of the game, to make it 5-0.
After the 6-1 quarterfinal victory, the defending state champs earned a spot in the semi-finals against No. 1-ranked Caravel last Wednesday, Nov. 10, (after Coastal Point press time).
After being eliminated from playoff contention, the only thing that the Indian River and Sussex Central high school football teams had left to play for last Friday night was pride.
Considering the circumstances, neither team disappointed in their final games of the season, in a shootout and back-and-forth matchup through three quarters that Golden Knights eventually capped off with a 42-28 victory.
“I thought the effort was super,” said Indian River head coach Ray Steele after the game. “We played great. I think we got wore down a little second half, but I have no complaints about the way they played. I thought they left everything on the field.”
“We slowed down a little bit, then that fourth quarter — that’s what got us. Other than that, we all played great,” added senior OL/DL Spencer Sturla. “I left everything on the field. That’s all you can do.”
After starting the season with a surprising seven losses, the Indian River High School volleyball team finished the 2014 season a disappointing 3-12, despite high expectations.
“I think it was disappointing,” said senior co-captain Taylor Bunting. “We had talent, but we couldn’t work it all together.”
After somewhat of a rebuilding year in 2013-2014, the Indian River High School girls’ basketball team will take the court this season returning multiple starters and with higher expectations.
Wilgus Associates will host the Ten Mile Miracle for ALS on Saturday, Nov. 22, in Bethany Beach.
The run was established to help raise money for the Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s ALS Clinic, after Wilgus Associates Vice President Tim Hill was diagnosed with the disease. All of the proceeds from the event will go to the clinic.
Washington Redskins Head Coach Jay Gruden had a decision to make going into last Sunday’s matchup against the Minnesota Vikings. Start the quarterback with the hot hand? Or the one with the $21 million contract?
On the surface, 2-1 is a familiar score for the Indian River and Caesar Rodney high school soccer teams. Not only was it the score of last year’s Henlopen Conference Championship game, but it was also the score when the two teams met in the 2013 regular season — with the Indians on the winning end of both match ups.
While this year’s Conference Championship score was no different, the conference champion was, as the Riders overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to lock in their first title since 2008.
The game between the Henlopen North and South champs went scoreless for the majority of the first half, until senior forward Luis Cruz scored on a free kick in the 36th minute from nearly 20 yards out.
Just 30 seconds in the second half, however, the Riders would answer the call when senior midfielder Jose Quinonez-Alvarez found himself with a wide-open shot in front of the goal for the equalizer.
Every year, the Henlopen Conference Cross Country Championships are held at Killens Pond. However, for the first time in what is believed to be 40 years, Indian River High School became the first school to break tradition and host the event.
“It’s a huge deal, we bucked tradition,” said Indian River High School Cross Country Coach Frank Ryman.
Overall, Ryman said that the event was successful in accommodating the 12 schools competing in both boys and girls cross country at the varsity and junior varsity levels.
“It wasn’t just Indian River, it was coaches from the other schools, that all pitched in and made it happen,” he noted. “We did a lot of the initial work up front but when it came time to help the runners through the shoot, take times, move runners along, everybody pitched in.”
With home course advantage and added motivation, most of the Indian River runners bettered their times.
Heading into last Friday night’s matchup against Henlopen South rival Delmar, the Indian River High School football team still had high hopes for the state playoffs. However after the Wildcats’ 42-6 victory, not only do the Indians find themselves at 4-5 and eliminated from playoff contention, but in danger of their first losing season in well over 10 years.
“I don’t think we’ve had a losing record since 2001, 2002,” said head coach Ray Steele. “This is a pride thing now.”
The Wildcats moved the ball on the ground with ease throughout the first half behind senior quarterback Shane Leatherbury and freshman running back Brooks Parker, scoring early and often.
“We could not tackle,” said Steele. “We didn’t come to play, we made every mistake we could make. Their big plays offensively came on plays that we practiced against all week long. The kids never quit, we just never played well.”
Offensively, the Indians didn’t fair much better, as turnovers off fumbles, including one that was returned for a touchdown, continued to give the Wildcats scoring opportunities to cash in on, and they did.
After finishing the regular season 7-0 and collectively outscoring their opponents 204-0, the Lower Sussex Junior Pee Wee football team found themselves without a commanding lead for the first time all season when they faced Dover in the Regional qualifier last Saturday.
“We haven’t played from behind all year, we haven’t given up a touchdown all year so, that was unique for the kids to deal with. I didn’t know how they were going to react to that,” said head coach Jim Gates regarding Dover’s 13-0 lead to start the game.
Despite the unfamiliar circumstances, the Indians managed to spark a comeback with a well-executed drive that ended in a goal-line score by quarterback Tyler Bowen.
It was Thursday Night Lights at Indian River High School last week, as the Seniors/Team “I Woke Up Like This” racked up three touchdowns to take down the Juniors/Team “Junior Mints” 21-2 in the 2014 Powder Puff game.
Both squads came out fired up, but the seniors would steal the momentum after running back Taylor Billinger broke a long run to the outside, opening up the passing game for quarterback Maggie Allison.
Allison would take a shot to the end zone shortly afterwards, looking for wide receiver/running back Marissa Fox on a jump ball near the goal line. Despite the tight defensive coverage by the Juniors’ secondary, Fox pulled down the pass for the game’s first score.
“She passed it right to me, I was surrounded by the other team’s defense,” explained Fox. “I went up, just jumped and caught it and I got piled on but I still held that ball and made that touchdown and was pretty hype about it.”
With five different coaches in the past seven years, and not many more wins, the Indian River Field Hockey program hasn’t been taken seriously in more than a decade. They’ve been regarded as an easy win on the schedule by other teams throughout the league, have struggled to retain players and generate interest in the sport as a result of what had become a tradition of losing, and with no feeder program, showed no signs of turning things around.
However, after just two seasons at the helm, head coach Jodi Stone is establishing a new culture for Indian River Field Hockey. One with new expectations, new goals, and a whole new attitude. A culture where what has come to be known as “The Quiet Storm,” is starting to get louder.
“I called last year our foundation season,” said Stone of her first year with the team, where things began to change. “We really built a decent foundation last year and we really turned the corner.”
Both the Millsboro Middle School and Selbyville Middle School field hockey programs capped successful seasons last Thursday, as MMS scored a last minute goal off a corner to manage a 1-0 win against their district rival.
“We haven’t scored off of a corner ever,” said MMS coach Molly Chamberlin of what turned out to be the game winner. “Today they finally finished it.”
Nearing the end of the game, Millsboro’s Maille Ryan inserted a pass to Avery Congleton, who hit it back to Ryan before it was finally knocked in by Kelsey Kormanik.
“It was a text book play,” Millsboro coach Pattiva Cathell said of a play her squad has practiced all season.
“They were extra pumped today just because it’s a rivalry and last game of the season they wanted to go out with a win,” Chamberlin added of the growing rivalry.
More than 140 golfers turned out for the 15th Annual Jean & Joan Cancer Fund Golf Tournament held at Kings Creek Country Club Monday, Sept. 29, resulting in an additional $30,000 being raised to support cancer patient services at the Tunnell Cancer Center at Beebe Healthcare’s Rehoboth Beach Health Campus.
There’s been a lot of speculation this week as to why the Seattle Seahawks decided to trade wide receiver Percy Harvin to the New York Jets — much of it being based off of rumors, hunches and whatever else Adam Shefter says.
This year’s Indian River High School senior soccer players had never known a season without a Henlopen South title as they headed into the final home game of their high school careers on Monday, and they made sure they never would, with an 8-0 Senior Night shutout against Woodbridge.
“We’re sending a message,” said senior captain Danny Garza of the impressive title streak.
Fittingly, it was senior forward and captain Luis Cruz who scored the game’s first goal, on an assist from sophomore captain Mac Smith in the fourth minute.
Freshman Oscar Cruz would make it 2-0 in the 23rd minute, with a goal assisted by sophomore Mikie Mochiam, and sophomore Johan Cordoba would make it 4-0, with two goals in a row still in the first half. Cordoba was assisted by freshmen Edgardo Velasquez and Garza.
Suiting up to play at Indian River High School’s football stadium one last time, senior WR/HB/CB Kei Juan Major knew he had to make a play for the fans in his and the senior class’ final home stand against Seaford last Friday night.
“[The seniors were] hyped for this game, knowing it was the last time playing on this field,” said Major. “Had to do something spectacular for the fans.”
With the Indians already up 14-0 nearing the end of the first quarter, Major got his opportunity when he intercepted a pass and took it back 93 yards for a touchdown.
“The quarterback just lobbed it in the air,” he said of the play. “I had to run and go get it, and then I saw a hole wide open and I took it and scored.”
It’s that time of year again. And, no, I’m not talking about the time of year when the leaves start changing colors and the days start getting shorter. I’m talking about the time of year when sports pundits start breaking out references to former NFL Head Coach Jim Mora’s famous “Playoffs!?