Indian River High School’s head swimming coach, Colin Crandel, had one goal in mind heading into last weekend’s DIAA state championships: he wanted personal bests for all his qualifying swimmers.
“It’s not about winning. It’s about personally winning,” said Crandel regarding the IRHS seniors that he has been training since the first year he started the Sharks youth program. “They might come out second or third, but if they hit their best time — they just won. I’m just really proud of them.”
Not only did the boys’ swim team accomplish that goal last Saturday, March 1, at the finals held at the University of Delaware, but coach Donna Smith and the girls’ team went above and beyond in achieving some goals of their own.
“These kids have made Indian River history,” Smith said to put the fifth year program’s accomplishments in perspective. “[They’re] the first female squad to make it to the finals round.”
Just months after starting the school’s first-ever dance team, the Del Tech Diamonds were put to the test in front of a lively crowd at the University of Delaware on Friday, Feb. 21, performing the halftime show for the Delaware 87ers — a semi-pro basketball team.
Representing southern Sussex County in the show were 2013 Indian River graduate Adriana Alarcón Sosa and Milford-graduate-turned-Selbyville-local Carina Aguilar, who said they “brought it on” in their first-ever live performance.
“We brought it,” Aguilar recalled enthusiastically. “The audience loved us. I was ecstatic to be a part of Del Tech’s dance team.”
“It was an amazing and unforgettable experience,” added Alarcón Sosa. “After we finished our dance, all my girls felt accomplished and proud of how far we came in such little time.”
In the program’s first year, the team members only had about a month to prepare for the show, overcoming inexperience as a whole, as well as differing levels of experience within the team.
“We made history, pretty much because we have never had a dance team until this semester,” Alarcón Sosa explained. “We practiced for over a month. To come up with a team in such little time — everybody was really impressed.”
Though some of the girls on the squad are just starting out, Alarcón Sosa and Aguilar have both been dancing since they were young.
Indian River senior forward London Tucker wasn’t part of the starting five at the beginning of basketball season. Senior forward Jaevon ‘B.B.’ Holland only has two years of varsity experience under his belt after breaking his knee as a freshman and having to sit out his sophomore year.
But neither of these factors could stop either player from collecting All-Conference honors in their senior seasons — or from leading the Indians to their first post-season appearance in boys basketball since 1999.
Holland, who was named second team All-Conference last year as a junior, was awarded first team honors for the 2013-2014 season, while Tucker makes his first appearance on the honorable mention list — though he has also been named All-Conference for football.
“I’m very honored to make it to the first team,” said Holland. “It shows that I came a long way in two years. It shows how much my game improved in a year. It really showed me what I have taken from [Head Coach Mike Fabber] teaching me.”
“When I was a sophomore I did not think I would be in this position,” Tucker continued. “It’s a great feeling.”
The Indian River High School football program will be sending two seniors to Newark this summer to participate in the 59th Annual Delaware Foundation Reaching Citizens Blue-Gold All-Star football game, to be played at the University of Delaware Tubby Raymond Field.
The Ocean City (Md.) Recreation & Parks Department held its 3rd Annual Sportsmanship Ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at which it recognized several youth athletes participating in the department’s winter-season sports who had “exemplified good sportsmanship” in their respective sports. A select number of participants from boys’ basketball, girls’ basketball and indoor soccer were chosen to receive an award and public recognition at the banquet.
The event also recognized two winners of the Mid-Atlantic Recreation & Parks Sports Association Alliance (MARPSA) 2013 Dennis Callahan Good Sport Award.
Kealey Allison of Selbyville had already attended a special ceremony in Annapolis at which she and Robert “Bob” Frick of Bishopville, Md., received the prestigious Callahan award for their year-round participation in several different sports offered by the OCRPD and exemplary sportsmanship the two exhibited while participating in those sports. Allison participates as an athlete in multiple sports, while Frick has been coaching youth teams since 1987.
Season opens March 1
The DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife recently announced that its spring 2014 downstate trout season will begin Saturday, March 1, with the opening of two downstate ponds stocked with rainbow trout. On that date, Tidbury Pond near Dover in Kent County and Newton Pond outside of Greenwood in Sussex County will open for trout fishing beginning at 7 a.m.
Hot dogs and baked beans, apple pie and scrambled eggs: who wants some?
If you’ve been to an Indian River High School basketball game in the last decade, you’re well aware that this isn’t a grocery list — it’s a chant. You’re probably also aware that it isn’t just any chant, it’s a chant from the Indians’ number one fan, Queen Bratton, strategically timed to disrupt the concentration of opposing foul shooters.
After shouting out her signature foul shot chant, students in the bleachers usually respond with an enthusiastic “I do!” — and sometimes even begin the chant themselves, most recently at a packed gymnasium on the road during the Indian River/Stephen Decatur matchup.
“I like that, it was awesome because it was support,” said Bratton of the cheer section at the Decatur game. “I need that support. I knew somebody had my back.”
Coming off a deflating 83-59 loss to Stephen Decatur last Monday, Feb. 17, the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team rebounded with a 66-64 win against Seaford on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to keep their state tournament hopes alive.
Senior forward Jaevon Holland put up a team-high 17 points for the Indians in what was an uncharacteristically low-scoring game for two typically high-scoring teams.
“Every time we play these guys, it’s a war,” said head coach Mike Fabber after the game. “Both coaches know each other real well. Both teams are pressing teams — both teams tried not to press today.”
Holland also pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds and added five steals and a block defensively. “We played a hard game. We played our hearts out,” he stated. “We know what type of team we are.”
The Indian River High School girls’ basketball squad has come a long way since the beginning of the year, but ended the season with back to back road losses against Stephen Decatur and Seaford.
Battling a hostile environment and talented Decatur team last Monday, Feb. 17, the Lady Indians continued to fight until the last whistle but ultimately fell, 63-28, to the Lady Seahawks.
“The kids understood the value of this game,” said head coach Matt Mayette after the loss. “We played a good middle two quarters, and then we showed our frustration in the fourth.”
Junior Faythe Wise put up a team-high 11 points in the loss, but the Lady Indians struggled against the Lady Seahawks’ bigger inside players.
For years, Lower Sussex Little League has held their opening day ceremonies on a Saturday. But this year, the league will begin a new tradition after scheduling opening day festivities for Friday, April 11.
The BunnyPalooza 5K/10K will take place a month later this year, thanks to the shifting Easter holiday, with the hopes of warmer weather drawing up more interest for the already successful Quiet Resorts Charitable Foundation event.
“We sold out at 800 last year,” said event coordinator Brigit Taylor. “I would venture to say that we will have the same number, if not more” this year. “It’s about a month later, so warmer weather will probably bring out more people.”
The Bethany Beach-based run is set for Saturday, April 19, but the surrounding events will kick off with a guest bartending event held at the Cottage Café on Wednesday, March 5, from 5 to 9 p.m., with a percentage of the proceeds going toward the QRCF. The event will feature music and raffles, with the opportunity to win race-day gear and even free entries.
Anyone who doesn’t remember Marquel Knight probably didn’t catch too many Indian River High School football games in the past few years — or pick up a copy of the Coastal Point to read the sports section, for that matter.
One of the key players on the Indians’ 2011 state championship team, Knight racked up 45 total touchdowns during his junior and senior seasons. As a wide receiver his junior year, he pulled in 73 passes for 1,168 yards with former-IR-quarterback-turned-Major-League-Baseball-prospect Jamie Jarmon under center.
After Jarmon graduated, Knight took control of the offense and was implemented in more of a running back role, carrying the ball 261 times for 1,838 yards, for an average of more than 7 yards per carry, and leading the Indians to their second consecutive Henlopen South title.
Few athletes are fortunate enough to accomplish career milestones in front of their home crowds, but on Feb. 5, Indian River High School senior Jake Troublefield notched his 100th career wrestling win and got to do it at IRHS, against Sussex Central.
“The best way I can describe it is bittersweet, because it’s the last time I wrestle in this gym,” Troublefield explained of the feeling of accomplishing his longtime goal in front of the people who have been there to witness it all. “All my friends and students came out to watch me, my family came down — my dad was really proud of me. I can’t explain it. I’m speechless. It’s amazing.”
“It’s great for Jake. He’s worked hard,” said head coach Jeff Windish. “He did things the right way, and when you do that, things are going to pay off for you. I’m proud of him, and I’m happy for him. That’s an accomplishment — not many people get that.”
IR students and fans packed the stands, while former teammates including Marquel Knight made the trip from college, and some students even made T-shirts with slogans such as “J.Troubs, 100 Dubs” — all in support of Troublefield’s impending milestone.
“I’ve been wrestling in this gym since I was a freshman,” Troublefield continued. “I love it. It’s always a good crowd. The fans are amazing. Indian River’s a great school. I love going here.”
After Troublefield pinned Sussex Central senior Kevine Nocks in 3:18, the crowd jumped to their feet as his achievement was announced over the loud speaker.
Riding high after a six-game win streak — including five straight on the road — the Indian River High School basketball team found themselves battling for control of the Henlopen South Conference last Monday night against Woodbridge (12-3, 7-2). However after jumping to a 26-22 lead, the Blue Raiders held the Indians to two points in the third quarter, eventually notching a 53-34 win and taking control of their own destiny in the conference.
“That one half doesn’t define us,” said Indians Head Coach Mike Fabber after the Feb. 10 game. “It doesn’t define our season or the run we had. We’re still sitting pretty good for the state tournament. There’s a lot of basketball left to be played.”
“We didn’t play our regular game,” senior forward Jaevon Holland said of the team’s out-of-character second-half performance. “We came out slow. We came out sluggish.”
Senior point guard Brian Arthur led the charge for the Indians early on, continually driving to the rim and putting up eight points in the first quarter. Sophomore guard KiAnté Sturgis would give the Indians their first lead of the night after draining a three-pointer in the same quarter.
Two months ago, the Indian River High School girls’ basketball team struggled to compete with the better teams in the conference, losing to more experienced teams, such as Woodbridge, 48-7. Nearing the end of the season, however, the young squad has come together and come a long way — most recently battling tough against that same Woodbridge team in a 57-41 loss on Senior Night last Monday, Feb. 10.
“I’m proud of us. We’ve grown so much,” said head coach Matt Mayette after the game. “To lose 48-7 to these guys the first time and then to be competitive until the last two possessions — we just battle and fight, and we’re battling and fighting with six kids, so I can’t be more proud of these kids. They work so hard.”
Not only did both the boys’ and girls’ Indian River High School swim teams win their first Henlopen South championship last week — both teams broke records while doing it.
Senior Carter Michael clocked in at 49:07 in the 100-meter freestyle — taking first place at the meet held at Lake Forest and earning him an HAC championship. Michael, along with Merrick Kovatch, Mason Sanders and Ben Boonin, also won the HAC championship in the 400-meter relay and tied for first in the 200-meter relay, clocking in at 1:33:76. The boys took third place overall for the entire Henlopen Conference.
“Their overall goal for the program is to become a stronghold in the southern part of Delaware,” said head coach Colin Crandel of what the title means. “In the next 10 years or so, I want college coaches and everyone looking at us as just as strong” as northern schools, he said.
The Indian River High School Indians weren’t the only local swim team to make a splash last week, with the Sea Colony Sharks taking third place at the Two Bays Championship and setting some records of their own.
Both Declan Burke and Tessa Elling scored “high point” at the meet, and three records were broken — one of which was 10 years old.
“These kids were just born when that record was set,” head coach Janna Schneider said, to put it in perspective. “Two kids on our team getting high point is a pretty big accomplishment.”
Burke combined with Evan Davis, Trey Mitchell and Carson Barnes to set the Boys 9-10 100-meter freestyle record, clocking in at 1:07:44, smashing the old record of 1:10:20 set all the way back in 2003.
Before I introduce you to my new friend, dioramic artist Debbie Martucci, I must share with you why this week’s “Marie’s Kitchen” will be my final regularly scheduled column. After more than seven years of bi-weekly deadlines, I realized that the two books I’m writing will never come to fruition unless I sequester myself and devote huge blocks of time and attention to the task.
The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team split games last week, hanging on in a tight game against Delmar for a 39-37 win last Friday before falling to Henlopen North power house Sussex Central, 70-35, on Tuesday night.
“It was an exciting game. We kind of had a big advantage early on, and they came back and made it into a tight game,” said head coach Matt Mayette after last Friday’s win. “Our girls responded really well.”
Junior point guard Taylor Billinger led the Lady Indians in scoring against the Lady Wildcats, with 19 points, three of which came from knocking down a three-pointer. Freshman guard Maggie Ford also hit a shot from beyond the arch in that matchup, and junior guard Maggie Allison added nine points of her own after switching positions.
“Maggie [Allison] is in more of a shooting guard role,” Mayette noted. “She was the biggest facilitator for us [against Delmar]. She was trying to get herself into the paint and draw defense and create opportunities for her teammates, which was huge for us.”
Ocean View’s Lance Fargo nearly locked in his second national championship of 2013 last month, when his Weimaraner, Sarge, took second place in the WCA Amateur Gun Dog Championship, held in Ardmore, Okla.
“The first-place dog had a stronger run and ranged out farther [than Sarge],” Fargo explained of the scoring criteria for the event. “That’s what the judges were looking for in their first-place dog. [The first-place dog] didn’t have the number of finds that Sarge had but had a stronger run.”
The second-place national finish came just four months after Fargo himself took first place in the Clydesdale 40-plus division at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship held in Milwaukee, Wis.
“It’s definitely something that crossed my mind,” he said regarding what a second national championship in the same year would have meant. “I knew it would be a pretty cool feat to pull off. It would be awesome just for its novelty.”
Fargo originally got involved in the gun-dog sport when he acquired Blitz as a puppy in 2003 from Virginia Alexander, who is widely considered the “godmother of Weimaraners” after literally writing the book on the breed. It was Alexander who encouraged Fargo to enter the world of AKC field trials.
Just more than two months after winning Indian River High School’s first-ever state soccer championship, senior standouts Sam Izzo and Sam Cannon each signed letters of intent to play collegiate soccer — Izzo at Bloomsberg University in Pennsylvania and Cannon at Lynchburg College in Virginia.
“My phone was ringing last night. I had a few coaches calling me, asking me to delay my decision or change my decision,” Izzo said this week. “It was stressful, to say the least, but I believe I made the right call.”
Izzo said the school’s academic reputation — specifically, its business program — was the main factor in his decision process, but, as an added bonus, his older brother currently plays soccer there, as well.
Facing a Seaford team with only five swimmers last Tuesday night, the Indian River High School swim team’s main competition was themselves.
“We knew we had a meet we were going to win,” explained Head Coach Colin Crandel after the win. “That’s not to discredit then — they didn’t have the numbers. For once, we had the numbers.”
Despite literally swimming against themselves when Seaford didn’t have enough swimmers to qualify for events, the Indians saw two swimmers qualify for state competition and set two records on Senior Night.
“I asked them to break records tonight, and they did,” Crandel said of the inspired performance. “It’s hard to challenge yourself when they swam by themselves the whole race. It shows what they can do when they put their minds to it.”
Senior Carter Michael broke his butterfly record of 58.2 seconds, clocking in at 57.75, and the team also broke their Medley Relay record of 151.63 when they came in at 150.77. The swimmers for the relay included Michael, senior Merrick Kovatch, senior Ben Boonin and junior Keaton Burke.
All Indian River High School sports fans need to know about their favorite IRHS athletic program is now available on their smartphone, and all the gear they need for game day is now available via their computers, as the school announced the launch of its first official mobile app this week, as well as the launch of their first official online store.
Indian River High School senior Jake Troublefield has had a goal since his eighth-grade class visited the School for “Moving Up Day” four years ago: to become one of the best wrestlers the school has ever seen.
“I remember the day in eighth grade when my class came up to tour the high school for Moving Up Day,” he recalled. “I walked in and saw that banner in the gym that only had two names on it for wrestling, and I thought, ‘Wow — I really want to get on that.’ Ever since then, I made that my goal, starting my freshman year, to get 100 wins.”
You’d never be able to tell by watching the standout senior battle it out in matches for the past few years — but Troublefield hasn’t always been as dominant on the mats, and 100 wins didn’t always seem like it was a possibility, much less an inevitability.
The Indian River High School basketball team pulled off a major conference victory on Tuesday, Jan. 28, knocking off Division II leader Laurel, 66-61.
“That was a big win in our conference. We needed that win,” said senior forward Jaevon Holland after the game. “We came together as a team.”
The Bulldogs (10-2, as of Coastal Point press time on Wednesday, Jan. 29), played fast-paced and aggressive — which is a style of basketball that the Indians are certainly accustomed to under head coach Mike Fabber.
Senior forward London Tucker put up 15 points in the upset, with junior guard Kei Juan Major leading the charge with 21 points of his own.
Following a sold-out 2013 clinic, the Walt Jones Memorial Project is moving to Delmarva Christian High School in Georgetown for its Indoor Winter Golf Clinic on Saturday, Feb. 1.
Now with six indoor courts, after a $3 million renovation project, it’s no wonder why the tennis program at Sea Colony in Bethany Beach has long been considered one of the best in the area.
The Indian River High school girls’ basketball team ended a five-game road series this week, falling to Red Lion on Friday, Jan. 24, but finishing strong on Tuesday, Jan. 28, with a 30-29 win against Laurel High School.
The Indian River High School wrestling squad lost an uncharacteristic two matches in a row last week, falling to Henlopen Conference foe Lake Forest (4-1) on Friday, Jan. 17, and to Sanford School (5-3) on Saturday, Jan. 18, in a non-conference match.
“That match got away from us,” head coach Jeff Windish stated after the disappointing conference loss. “We left way too many bonus points out there. That’s going to make a difference with a good team.”
Jake Troublefield and Colt Kollock were the only IR seniors to notch wins on senior night against the Spartans — with Troublefield taking his match to two overtimes.
Standout freshman Chris Esque got the only pin for the Indians on the night, at 132 pounds, taking down Lake Forest sophomore Ryan Oritz in 2:30. Freshman Zeke Marcozzi got the only other defeat for Indian River in that match at the next weight class up, wrestling at 138 pounds.
After leading through three quarters, the Indian River High School basketball squad wore down psychically after junior guard Kei Juan Major fouled out — eventually being overtaken by a hot-and-cold Milford team. The 82-76 conference loss put the Indians at 3-5 on the season and 2-2 in Henlopen South play.
“They started calling the game really tight,” explained head coach Mike Fabber. “When that happens, it’s normally not in our favor — we play a very aggressive style of basketball.”
The Bucs (5-5, 2-3), switched their focus to taking away senior forward Jaevon Holland after Major left the game, and by the end of the third quarter had made up for a nine-point halftime deficit.
“Obviously, that hurts us. He’s a key part of our offense, part of our team and our rotation,” Fabber said of how losing one of the team’s biggest contributors affected the rest of the game.