Sports

Extra Points – January 6, 2016

IR boys’ hoops falls to 5-2 after loss to Milford

After a three-week hiatus, the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team returned to the court on Tuesday, Jan. 1, in a 68-38 loss to Milford. The division setback dropped the Indians to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in the Henlopen South, as IR head coach B.J. Joseph faced off against his former team.

Tripple Overtime: Sussex County Sports Crystal Ball: What to expect when expecting 2K17

In the sort-of-famous words of the Seattle-based 1990’s alt-rock/grunge band and obvious Kurt Cobain wannabes “Alice In Chains”: “Yeah, here comes the rooster, yeah.”

Extra Points – December 30, 2016

Indian River High School to host ‘Battle at the Beach’ wrestling tournament

Wrestlers from across Delaware will hit the mats at Indian River High School this weekend, when the Indians host their annual “Battle at the Beach” tournament.

The event is open to the public, and set to take place on Thursday, Dec. 29, and Friday, Dec. 30.

Shorebirds release 2017 times for home games

Coastal Point • File Photo: Shorebirds Justin Viele and Gregory Lorenzo round the bases during a 2014 game.Coastal Point • File Photo: Shorebirds Justin Viele and Gregory Lorenzo round the bases during a 2014 game.It may still be getting cold out, but for the Delmarva Shorebirds, spring is just around the corner with the official release of their 2017 game times.

The Baltimore Orioles Class A affiliate announced the game times for all 2017 home games to be played at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md.

Starting with their home-opener against South Atlantic League rival and Washington Nationals Class A affiliate, the Hagerstown Suns, at 7:05 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, the majority of the rest of their Monday-Saturday game times will feature a 7:05 p.m. start time as well.

“The game starts for this season will continue to be primarily at 7:05 p.m. with some unique start times to accommodate special promotions and holidays,” said Shorebirds general manager Chris Bitters of the 2017 game times in an official statement.

Tripple Overtime: Year in Review: 2016 sports in 2,016 words or less

As the old saying goes, “You’ve gotta spend monkeys to make monkeys.”

Marcozzi nears record after 100th career win at Beast of the East

Special to the Coastal Point • Lorna Arlett: Senior Zeke Marcozzi, center, commemorates his 100th career win with senior Jared Arlett, right center, and fellow teammates after the Beast of the East wrestling tournament.Special to the Coastal Point • Lorna Arlett: Senior Zeke Marcozzi, center, commemorates his 100th career win with senior Jared Arlett, right center, and fellow teammates after the Beast of the East wrestling tournament.There are only four names displayed on the “100 Wins Club” wrestling banner hanging up in the Indian River High School gymnasium.

Just over two weeks into his senior campaign, however, IR senior Zeke Marcozzi is already adding his name to that list, after a 4-1 performance at the Beast of the East tournament, held at the University of Delaware from Friday, Dec. 16, through Sunday, Dec. 18.

“We knew Zeke could potentially hit it in that tournament,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish.

“It’s definitely a milestone — very few wrestlers get to reach that accomplishment. It’s a testament to his off-season work ethic. He worked hard to get where he is, but he needs to continue to work that hard and finish out the season strong.”

Indians, Seahawks each win one in growing swim rivalry

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR sophomore Patrick Banks takes the lead against Sussex Academy’s Trey Mitchell in the 100-breaststroke on Tuesday, Dec. 20.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR sophomore Patrick Banks takes the lead against Sussex Academy’s Trey Mitchell in the 100-breaststroke on Tuesday, Dec. 20.New season. New pool. Same wall-to-wall rivalry.

The Indian River High School and Sussex Academy swim teams faced off for the third straight year but the first time at Sussex Academy’s new pool on Tuesday, Dec. 21, with each team walking away with a division win.

On the boys’ side of things, the Indians pulled off a 96-76 victory, while the Seahawks’ girls’ team came out on top 99-66 after getting edged in a close matchup last season.

Showcasing the rivalry’s tension once again was IR senior McKenna Burke and SA sophomore Cailey Murphy, who have been longtime friends on land but cutthroat competitors as soon as they hit the water.

Last year, Burke got the best of that rivalry in the 100-butterfly, but this year, it was Murphy hitting the wall first, clocking in less than a tenth of a second before Burke, with a time of 1:07.59.

Extra Points – December 23, 2016

Sussex Central wrestling starts 2-0 with wins over Tech, Middletown

The Sussex Central High School wrestling team is off to a 2-0 start with dual-meet wins over Sussex Tech on Wednesday, Dec. 14, and Middletown on Friday, Dec. 16.

Tripple OT: Is Jeff Fisher the Donald Trump of the NFL? One local sports reporter says, ‘Yeah, kind of’ (It’s me)

Jeff Fisher made the move from a city sort of near the “Big Easy” to a city sometimes referred to as the “Big Orange” with only one thing on the agenda: make the Los Angeles Rams great again.

IR wrestling ready for run at South championship, state duals

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior John Keller, left, and senior Zeke Marcozzi, right, square up at practice on Friday, Dec. 9.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior John Keller, left, and senior Zeke Marcozzi, right, square up at practice on Friday, Dec. 9.Headed into the 2016-2017 season with a beefed-up roster, it’s no wonder that the Indian River High School wrestling team has some beefed up expectations as well — ready to take a run at both the Henlopen South title and the state duals this February.

With a number of key returning upperclassmen and a talented incoming freshman class, head coach Jeff Windish and his squad will have 34 wrestlers hit the mats this year — exactly double the size of last year’s squad, which totaled just 17.

“We have numbers this year — they can all contribute,” said Windish of the 13 freshmen joining the ranks, five or six of whom he said could crack the varsity lineup.

“We always set our exceptions high — we want to compete in the South, but we want to compete for a state title as well. This year, with the pieces coming together and if we continue to work the way that we’re working, I think that’s an obtainable goal.”

IR girls' hoops starts 3-1 after OT win over Delmar

Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: Junior forward Latayja Atkins goes up for what would end up the winning basket in overtime against Delmar on Friday, Dec. 9.Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: Junior forward Latayja Atkins goes up for what would end up the winning basket in overtime against Delmar on Friday, Dec. 9.The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team entered the 2016-2017 season determined to surpass their win total from the 2015-2016 season.

Just four games in their schedule, second-year head coach Donna Polk and her squad and already more than halfway to reaching that objective, jumping out to a 3-1 start after a 37-34 overtime victory against Delmar on Friday, Dec. 9.

“The goal is we have to be better than last year, and we always want to compete every game. That’s the first thing,” said Polk after the win over the Wildcats. “They’re more used to me, they understand the system — they came into practice excited to play basketball. That foundation is starting to be there, and they’re starting to understand what to expect.”

“Our main goal is to be better than we were yesterday,” added junior guard Fabrea McCray, one of the team’s co-captains this season, “to work together and to achieve more than we did last year.”

McCray is one of seven returners for the Indians this season, posting double-digit points in three of the first four games so far and leading the way along with senior co-captains Maggie Ford and Madi McGee.

Also returning to lineup are junior forwards Latayja Atkins and Braydee Whitman, junior guard Trayona Nock and sophomore center Julia Jordan.

Atkins was instrumental in last Friday’s win over Delmar, recording her first career double-double, with 23 points and 17 rebounds, also giving the Indians a 37-34 advantage when she put away a shot under the basket on an assist from Ford with just 0:34 left to go in overtime.

McGee first IR female athlete to receive Brian Piccolo award

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Madi McGee, left center, and Indian River High School field hockey coach Jodi Stone, right center, accept a $1,000 donation to the school’s athletic department from members of the Brian Piccolo Award committee on Friday, Dec. 9.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Madi McGee, left center, and Indian River High School field hockey coach Jodi Stone, right center, accept a $1,000 donation to the school’s athletic department from members of the Brian Piccolo Award committee on Friday, Dec. 9.It had only happened one other time in Indian River High School sports history.

And while the Indians have seen their fair share of finalists for the Brian Piccolo Award through the years, it had never been awarded to a female athlete.

Until Madi McGee.

The senior standout for the Indians in field hockey, basketball and softball made her way into the school history books recently, officially becoming the first female athlete at Indian River to receive the award honoring former Chicago Bears running back Brian Piccolo.

“I was so excited when I found out I won,” said McGee, who received the UNICO National Delaware District 1 award at a ceremony last month. “This recognition is great because of the meaning behind the award. And being the first female at IR to win this award is just awesome.”

The national award has been designed to recognize high school athletes of Italian heritage exemplifying “courage, friendship, loyalty, teamwork, dedication, anti-bias and a sense of humor,” since 1977.

Surfin’ Snowman 5K sends out 2016 with 2nd annual ‘twilight run’

Back in Bethany Beach for the fourth year, and the second for the area’s only “twilight run,” is the Surfin’ Snowman 5K and Santa’s Helper 2-mile Walk/Run, ready to ring in the New Year and help send out 2016 in style on Friday, Dec. 30.

IR’s Mais named ‘small school’ Assistant Coach of the Year

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Brandt Mais, left, and Steve Kilby show off the newest addition to the Indian River High School trophy case after Mais was named state ‘small school’ Assistant Coach of the Year.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Brandt Mais, left, and Steve Kilby show off the newest addition to the Indian River High School trophy case after Mais was named state ‘small school’ Assistant Coach of the Year.After the Indian River High School soccer team saw 12 players receive All Henlopen Conference honors, five players bring home All State honors, and senior Johan Cordoba named a Regional All American, the IR coaching staff also earned some post-season recognition when Brandt Mais was recently named the state “small school” Assistant Coach of the Year.

“I was very excited but very humbled as well,” Mais said of when he received the news of the honor.

“It’s really a team award, though — I didn’t get Assistant Coach of the Year by myself. It wouldn’t have happened without the support of the parents, players, the community, the coaching staff, everyone.”

Also named the Henlopen South Division Coach of the Year, Mais was recognized for stepping in earlier this season to take over for head coach Steve Kilby after he was sidelined from the pre-season with health issues.

Extra Points – December 16, 2016

Hair of the Dog/Exercise Like the Eskimos set for New Years’ Day

The sixth annual Hair of the Dog 5K/10K and 21st Annual Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos Plunge will return to Bethany Beach this New Years’ Day, with online registration open through Dec. 27.

Tripple Overtime: ‘Banquet Crashers’: I got a new shirt last week

What do you like better, Christmas or wedding season? The correct answer would be: banquet season.

There’s nothing like a good misquoted Vince Vaughnism [sic] to send us into the most wonderful time of the year.

Four-peat???

IR swimming aiming for fourth straight South title, first conference title

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The Indian River High School swim team is hoping to earn their fourth straight Henlopen South and first-ever Henlopen Conference title this season.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: The Indian River High School swim team is hoping to earn their fourth straight Henlopen South and first-ever Henlopen Conference title this season.They graduated two of the top swimmers in Indian River High School history, in Mason Sanders and Lauren McCoy.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is a youth infusion of new swimmers joining the ranks and returning veterans coming back even stronger has Indian River High School head swimming coach Colin Crandel with not only hopes for a fourth straight division title for both the boys and girls, but a possible first-ever conference title for the boys as well.

“The boys’ team doubled in size — we’ve got more talent than I anticipated, so I’m really excited about our chances,” Crandel said. “It’s a really good moldable group that I can work with.

“With the boys, I anticipated a rebuilding year, but more of them came out than I anticipated, and they’re more talented than I anticipated.”

A football life

Legendary Indian River coach Dale Steele passes away at 68

Coastal Point • Submitted: Dale Steele coaches for the Indians during the mid-1980s.Coastal Point • Submitted: Dale Steele coaches for the Indians during the mid-1980s.Hanging up facing the desk of Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann at Indian River High School is a photo. There isn’t much else on display.

The photo is in black and white, and it’s simple: Dale Steele leaned back in his chair in his own former office, with the look of someone who’s exactly where they’re meant to be, doing exactly what they’re meant to be doing.

The point of the photo is simple as well. It’s a reminder for Fuhrmann from his former mentor on not only how to do the job, but on how to do the job well.

That’s the kind of legacy and influence that Dale Steele left behind at Indian River High School and across the Sussex County sports world when the long-time IRHS athletic director, head football coach and baseball coach passed away after a battle with cancer on Friday, Dec. 2, at the age of 68.

“He really helped me out, and helped me learn the ins and outs of being here in the small school setting,” said Fuhrmann, who spent a year under Steele after arriving at Indian River as an athletic trainer in 2004.

“He really loved the kids and just loved everything he did. He did everything for the kids. That was what was so great about him.”

New year, new them

IR boys’ hoops starts 3-0, aiming for South title

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Sophomore guard Jamier Felton sets up the offense against Seaford on Tuesday, Dec. 6.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Sophomore guard Jamier Felton sets up the offense against Seaford on Tuesday, Dec. 6.Change the culture.

That’s what head coach B.J. Joseph set out to do after taking over the Indian River High School basketball team last season.

Now, in just his second year at the helm, his coaching philosophies are already starting to set in, with the Indians off to a 3-0 start with wins over Delmarva Christian, Worcester Prep and Seaford.

“He keeps us going. He wants to work hard every day — he’s not playing around,” said senior forward Isaiah “Izzy” Bratton of Joseph. “We’re confident, but we’re not slacking off. Not a bit. We still have to go hard at practice.”

“It looks like the culture is starting to change,” said Joseph. “I think we’re moving in the right direction.”

Five Indians collect All-State soccer honors

Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: From left, junior forward Oscar Cruz, senior goalkeeper Kevin Calles, senior forward Mikie Mochiam, senior defender Patrick Mochiam and senior forward Johan Cordoba.Coastal Point photos • Shaun M. Lambert: From left, junior forward Oscar Cruz, senior goalkeeper Kevin Calles, senior forward Mikie Mochiam, senior defender Patrick Mochiam and senior forward Johan Cordoba.After seeing 12 players earn All Henlopen Conference honors, the Indian River High School soccer team now sees five players collect All-State honors following their 2016 season.

Four of the five players making the cut were seniors, with senior forward Johan Cordoba being named to the state Top XI list, senior goalkeeper Kevin Calles and senior defender Patrick Mochiam named First Team All-State, and senior forward Mikie Mochiam and junior forward Oscar Cruz being named Second Team All-State.

Along with senior midfielder Mac Smith, who was sidelined for most of the fall with a foot injury, Cordoba, the Mochiam brothers and Calles were also invited to play in the annual Blue-White All-Star game, with Calles being named MVP, Cordoba notching a goal and Smith marking three assists in that game.

This season, they helped lead the Indians to a 13-3 record, the group’s fourth straight Henlopen South title, a third Henlopen Conference title and a third DIAA state championship appearance, having won it in 2013 and 2015.

Extra Points – December 9, 2016

IR girls’ hoops off to 2-1 start

The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team is off to a 2-1 start this season, most recently taking down Seaford on the road, 47-40, to start 1-0 in the Henlopen South.

The Indians also earned a 50-41 win over Delmarva Christian on Friday, Dec. 2, before taking their first loss against Worcester Prep 34-25 on Saturday, Dec. 3.

IR’s Cordoba named NSCAA Regional All-American

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: IR senior forward Johan Cordoba is met by teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against St. Georges in double overtime at the state semi-finals.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: IR senior forward Johan Cordoba is met by teammates after scoring the game-winning goal against St. Georges in double overtime at the state semi-finals.Only five players from each region are selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) as All-Americans and, this year, Indian River High School’s Johan Cordoba is one of them.

Not only was the senior forward named a First Team All-Conference selection, as well as a Blue-White All-Star selection and to the DIAA All-State Top XI team, but last week, coaches from across the state voted to honor Cordoba with one of the most prestigious accolades in Delaware high school soccer.

“I was very happy when I found out that Johan had been recognized,” said IR head coach Steve Kilby.

“I went into the All State meeting under the premise of putting Johan up for the Coaches’ Top XI Team — it’s a difficult task; there’s always more upstate coaches than there are downstate coaches. You figure, Sallies, they’re putting up four or five guys for that team, and here’s little Indian River again looking to get some recognition for a player that’s very deserving of it.”

Tripple Overtime: The Tribe Top Ten

The best plays from Fall 2016

What… a… season.

While the 2016 fall sports calendar may not have shaken out as planned for a few teams at Indian River High School, this one has certainly been one for the record books for the Tribe.

‘Gone with the wind’

Sudden weather lifts Tower Hill over IR in state title game

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR senior goalkeeper Kevin Calles makes a save in the first half.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: IR senior goalkeeper Kevin Calles makes a save in the first half.It was very much like a scene out of “Twister.”

The clouds swept over ominously during the singing of the national anthem. The winds began to gently rattle nets and backdrops during a moment of silence before the opening draw. Then, out of nowhere, the world began to howl.

By the opening whistle, all that was missing was the flying cow — although, considering the circumstances, some Indian River fans would go on to mutter something metaphorical about pigs taking flight.

Facing the wrong direction against wind gusts clocked between 30 and, in some cases, up to 50 mph to start the DIAA Division II state championship game on Saturday, Nov. 19, the Indian River High School soccer team saw their title hopes whisked away with that wind, as No. 3 Tower Hill took full advantage of the early aid and drained four first-half goals, to go on to an eventual 4-2 victory.

“There was no wind during warm-ups,” said IR head coach Steve Kilby after the game. “As soon as they blew the whistle, it started, so nobody knew what was going on at that point.”

‘Slam Dunk’ announces 2016 teams and schedule

The Slam Dunk to the Beach basketball tournament is back for the third year after its resurrection, and it’s bringing the game’s brightest future stars from across the nation with it.

Gerken to be honored as DYSA TOPSoccer Coach of the Year

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Howard Gerken, right-center, gathers with volunteers and players from River’s TOPSoccer program last spring.Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: Howard Gerken, right-center, gathers with volunteers and players from River’s TOPSoccer program last spring.The Delaware Youth Soccer Association (DYSA) announced this week that long-time Indian River High School and River Soccer Club coach Howard Gerken will be honored this January as the DYSA TOPSoccer Coach of the Year.

“Howard is a leader in every sense of the word,” said River Soccer Club President Rebecca Mais. “He does it so smoothly you don’t even know what just happened and he’s got things done. But the greatest gift of all is Howard’s real caring and love of other people.”

TOPSoccer is short for “The Outreach Program for Soccer,” a program designed for players with special needs.

Not only did Gerken help pioneer that program but also the River Soccer Club as it’s known today, holding practices at area schools before the club found its home at the River Soccer complex along Gum Road near Frankford.

Extra Points – November 25, 2016

IR’s Cordoba named NSCAA Regional All-American

Only three players from each region are selected by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) as All-Americans, and this year, Indian River High School senior forward Johan Cordoba is one of them.

SPORTS UPDATE: Indians to face Tower Hill for DIAA title after win in 2OT

It was a Murphy’s Law kind of night for the Indian River High School soccer team, to say the least.

Tripple Overtime: The ‘Not Top Five’: The best worst sports blunders of fall 2016

While it may be a little early for our “Tribe Top Five” and all the best sports moments from fall 2016, with the Indian River High School soccer team still keeping IR fall sports alive and playing for a shot at the state title, it’s never too early for our ‘Not Top 10” and all the best worst sports moments from the past season involving a certain Coastal Point sports reporter with an inclination toward run-on sentences and Mighty Ducks references.

Cordoba’s goal in 40th minute sends IR soccer past Caravel, to semi-finals

Special to the Coastal Point • Melissa Timmons: IR senior forward Mikie Mochiam moves the ball upfield during the Indians 1-0 quarterfinal win over Caravel last Saturday.Special to the Coastal Point • Melissa Timmons: IR senior forward Mikie Mochiam moves the ball upfield during the Indians 1-0 quarterfinal win over Caravel last Saturday.At Coastal Point press time on Wednesday, Nov. 16, the Indian River High School soccer team was either headed to the DIAA state championship game, or they weren’t.

After a 1-0 win over Caravel on Saturday, Nov. 12, the No. 1-seeded Indians punched their ticket to the semi-final game against No. 12 St. Georges on Wednesday — needing a win to stay alive and earn a bid and a chance at a second-straight state title.

Coming off a second-straight Henlopen Conference championship and first-round bye, the Indians took on No. 9-seeded Caravel at Milford High School during last Saturday’s quarter-final match and managed to advance with a 1-0 victory.

The game’s lone goal came in the 40th minute, when senior forward Johan Cordoba finished a chance after a corner kick from senior midfielder Edgardo Velasquez.

Headed into the semi-final game on Wednesday, St. Georges was riding the upset with tournament wins over No. 5 Archmere and No. 4 Newark Charter.

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