Sports

How do the pickleball boom and the tennis boom of the 1970s compare?

With Wimbledon just finishing, I found myself comparing the pickleball boom with the great tennis boom. I was in the catbird’s seat of the tennis boom in the early ’70s when Wilson Sporting Goods enjoyed incredible market share in both tennis rackets and tennis balls, and the sales were extraordinary.

Peninsula Oil donates $5,000 to Autism Delaware through running festival

The 3rd Annual Coastal Delaware Running Festival in April hosted more than 3,500 runners, thousands of fans, and dozens of volunteers. The Coastal Delaware Running Festival, a Focus Muiltisports event, has been designated a State of Delaware Championship event by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) and a Boston Marathon-qualifying race.

Ocean City Tuna Tournament marks 30th anniversary

There are several new rules and added entry-level calcuttas in place for the 30th annual Ocean City (Md.) Tuna Tournament, taking place July 14-16.

Tournament organizers met with a committee of past participants over the winter to brainstorm and discuss the competition, and some adjustments were made for the 2017 event.

Tripple Overtime: Michael Phelps vs. Great White Shark vs. Vegas... vs. Tripple OT?

Whenever the last Olympics was, that’s when I wrote about the time I sort-of ate sushi with Michael Phelps.

Robb, Redmond ready to drop in on Delmarva for Catch Surf Get Wet Tour

Coastal Point • File Photo: Pro surfer Kalani Robb is ready to drop in on Delmarva for the Catch Surf 'Get Wet Tour.'Coastal Point • File Photo: Pro surfer Kalani Robb is ready to drop in on Delmarva for the Catch Surf 'Get Wet Tour.'

Someone hit the Thin Lizzy on the jukebox, because come this Saturday, the boys are back in town.

After a one-year break, the Catch Surf Get Wet Tour will return to the East Coast and bring pros Kalani “The Godfather” Robb and Johnny Redmond back for the ride — the internationally renowned wave-riders set to make a pit stop in Delaware, en route to their tour appearance at K-Coast Surf Shop in Ocean City, Md., on July 15.

Back to captain the tour bus once again will be Sussex County native and Catch Surf East Coast Sales Manager Ryan Savage, ready to lead the way home after stops in Rhode Island and New Jersey to team up with local Catch Surf pros including Bill Baxter and Brian Stoehr.

Whether it’s some good old-fashioned backwoods bass fishing or firing up Baxter’s famous “winch” for a few afternoon airs at the drive-on, as always at the tour’s midway mark, the boys from “Big Sussex” will be ready to show their pals from the West Coast and North Shore another thing or two about the Slower Lower lifestyle.

Let’s hear it for the girl guards!

Coastal Point • Submitted: A mix of Fenwick Island and Dewey Beach lifeguards gather during Sussex County’s first all-women’s lifeguard competition.Coastal Point • Submitted: A mix of Fenwick Island and Dewey Beach lifeguards gather during Sussex County’s first all-women’s lifeguard competition.

Female lifeguards competed in severe weather conditions during Sussex County’s first all-women’s lifeguard competition on July 6.

The young women were set to compete on Middlesex Beach at 6 p.m. when a rainstorm hit the area. The coordinators, Middlesex Beach Patrol Capt. Justin Voorheis and Ocean City’s Sgt. Rick Cawthorn still decided to hold the event, saying they were confident that the competition would not be compromised by the weather conditions.

The women competed in six different events: the Ironwoman (a combination of running, paddling and swimming), a mile-long beach run, a run-swim-run event, a run-paddle-run event and an event called “beach flags.”

According to Voorheis, there were more than 40 guards who attended competition. The women represented patrols from Assateague Island to Rehoboth Beach.

District III champs!

LSLL Major League All-Stars clinch District III softball title

Coastal Point • Submitted: Back row: Manager Sarah Hoban, Manajha Briddell, Shania Lewis, Lanla Lewis, Olivia Rogers, Camryn Ehlers, and coaches Amy and Chad Hall. Front row; Logan Marvel, Destiny Mitchell, Kinsley Hall, Jaya Shaub, Lily Hoban and Aniyah Blake.Coastal Point • Submitted: Back row: Manager Sarah Hoban, Manajha Briddell, Shania Lewis, Lanla Lewis, Olivia Rogers, Camryn Ehlers, and coaches Amy and Chad Hall. Front row; Logan Marvel, Destiny Mitchell, Kinsley Hall, Jaya Shaub, Lily Hoban and Aniyah Blake.

The Lower Sussex Little League Major League All-Stars were off to the state tournament on Monday, June 10, after bringing home the Delaware District III softball title on Saturday, July 8, for players ages 11 and 12.

The 9-3 victory over Laurel came just one day after the squad’s 4-3 victory over that team on Friday, July 7, with Lower Sussex needing the back-to-back wins in order to clinch.

“We wanted to come out early and score first,” said LSLL head coach Sarah Hoban of Saturday’s championship game. “They put up four runs in the first inning, and I don’t think they ever let up after that, so we’re just really proud of the girls. It was a complete team effort from top to bottom.”

Working their way through the bracket, the Major League All-Stars had pulled off major victories throughout, with an 8-0 shutout over Millsboro on Friday, June 30, 17-0 shutout over Woodbridge on Sunday, June 2, and 12-2 win over Cape Henlopen on Wednesday, July 5.

Garrett Rogers takes to the field at Camden Yards

Millsboro boy injured last spring by drunken driver looks to return to play this fall

Photo courtesy of Orioles Baseball : Garrett Rogers throws out the first pitch at Camden Yards on July 1.Photo courtesy of Orioles Baseball : Garrett Rogers throws out the first pitch at Camden Yards on July 1.

For Wendy Rogers, the simple joys of summertime seem sweeter this year.

That’s because last year at this time, her son Garrett “G-Money” Rogers was recovering at A.I du Pont Hospital for Children in Wilmington from the severe injuries he sustained in a car accident. Garrett was struck by a drunk driver last May when he ran to retrieve balls during a baseball practice in Millsboro. His injuries were serious, and his future outlook was very much in question in the beginning.

“That day, I was in the helicopter; I was in the ambulance to Beebe, and I did not come home ’til August,” Rogers said. Garrett was in a medically induced coma for several weeks, allowing his brain and body to recover slowly from the trauma of the accident.

By September, though, Garrett had recovered enough to throw out the first pitch at a Delmarva Shorebirds game in Salisbury, Md. Surrounded by friends, the then-10-year-old Little League pitcher took a victory lap around the bases.

This year, with a little help from his friend and physical therapist Josh Smith, Garret upped his game a bit. On Saturday, July 1, he threw out the first ball at a Baltimore Orioles game. Again, family and friends — “a lot more than I expected” — were in stands, cheering him on, Rogers said.

It wasn’t the first time the team had reached out to the young baseball player. Immediately after the accident, baseball teams from all over the country, from Little League to pro — including the Orioles — sent photos and get-well wishes to Garrett. The support went viral on social media, with athletes and non-athletes alike sporting Garrett’s 22 jersey number and the hashtags #22 and #gmoneystrong.

Hydrate — don’t evaporate

No one needs to tell the weekly reader of Coastal Point that this region of the country can be very hot and humid in July and August. It’s one of the reasons so many people flock to our beaches. Society refers to the hottest part of the year as the “dog days” because that is when the star Sirius — the Dog Star — rises just before the sun in late July.

‘Release the Kraken!’

Viking Mini Golf adds 19th hole, more mythology to ‘Fenwick Boardwalk’

Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The new 19th hole features ‘The Kraken’ from Scandinavian mythology (but it also kind of looks like the Coastal Point • Tyler Valliant: The new 19th hole features ‘The Kraken’ from Scandinavian mythology (but people say it also kind of looks like the "Star Wars" monster, too...)There may be plenty of mythology surrounding the course, but for decades, Viking Golf has been a very real fixture on the outskirts of Fenwick Island.

Whether it’s conquering 18 holes of Viking-style mini-golf, heading for the finish line at the Go-Kart track, splashing down at Thunder Lagoon waterpark, or just grabbing some boardwalk-style french fries; there’s always been something new at the “Fenwick Boardwalk.”

“The boardwalk was always here, really. First, we had some little shacks — there was a flower shop and a seafood place and a T-shirt shop, things like that,” said Jon Andersen, who, along with his brother, Tor, and business partner, Pete, took over ownership from his father, Bjorn, after he passed away. “But every couple of years, it seems like we’re doing something new.”

After renovating the greens and adding two brand new holes to the course this off-season, this summer will be no exception, as Viking Golf gets ready “release the Kraken” on Fenwick Island.

Pickleball Points - So what’s the pickle about all these paddles?

Coastal Point • SubmittedCoastal Point • SubmittedFor pickleball, your equipment needs are simple.

You need sport shoes with smooth tread for tennis-type courts, because running shoes on court surfaces can abruptly terminate your forward progress, ending in a nasty fall. Think about getting a pair of inexpensive sport goggles, because sometimes an errant ball might be attracted to your eyes or nose, and wear old, loose sports clothing because you soon will be ready to buy a smaller size.

Now, let’s talk about the paddle.

Like many of you, I first bought two of those wooden paddles, and they soon became very expensive firewood. I should have known better. I spent a lifetime developing and marketing tennis rackets using the same materials used in pickleball paddles, and I am even confused today when I go to the Internet to determine paddle playability differences.

Local hockey standout Patille returns from first year at Taft

Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dominic Patille recently returned home from his first year away at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn.Coastal Point • Shaun M. Lambert: Dominic Patille recently returned home from his first year away at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn.Like most kids growing up in Sussex County, Ocean View native Dominic Patille spent most of his springs on the baseball diamond, behind the plate as a catcher for the Lower Sussex Little League.

Unlike most kids growing up in Sussex County, however, Patille also spent most of his winters traveling around to rinks in Harrington and Easton, Md., typically finishing up homework assignments in the back of his father’s pickup on the way to practice, to keep alive his childhood dream of one day playing professional ice hockey.

That still being the case following his freshman year at Indian River High School, when Patille was accepted into the Taft School — a highly selective private co-ed boarding school in Watertown, Conn., with both a baseball and hockey team — the chance to play both sports at the high-school level was the chance he had been waiting for.

“The harder decision wasn’t going away — it was which school to go to,” said Patille, who was accepted into three other highly ranked schools with hockey programs throughout Connecticut and New Hampshire. “I think it was someone that my mom worked with — her son played hockey, too, and was going away to prep-school. At the time, my dream was to play in the NHL, so that was how I first got into it.”

‘Big Sussex meets Bigger Texas’

Catching up with local pro Colin Herlihy on his trip to NLand Surf Park

Special to the Coastal Point • Lauren Herlihy: Colin Herlihy tests out the waves at NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas, during his latest surf trip.Special to the Coastal Point • Lauren Herlihy: Colin Herlihy tests out the waves at NLand Surf Park in Austin, Texas, during his latest surf trip.They say that everything is bigger in Texas.

Recently, however, local pro wave-rider and everything-outdoorsman Colin Herlihy decided to find out for himself if the same was true about the surf.

Chances are you’ve spotted Herlihy around town at some point, whether it be helping the kids on Monday nights at the Bethany Surf Shop Skim Jam during the summer, dropping in on record surf along the Delmarva coast during hurricane season (Google “Hurricane Sandy surfer,” and he’ll be there), or the signature “Buck Board” logo from his Toobs’ pro-model under the arms of young skimmers and surfers just about anywhere there’s water. Maybe you’ve even not-spotted him camo’ed-out on a hunting trip somewhere deep in the Sussex County backwoods.

His world surf résumé includes everything from the now-renowned breaks that his father, Dan Herlihy, helped pioneer in Rincon, Puerto Rico, to all across Europe and then some. But before last month, the Lone Star State was one of the lone left off the list.

IRSD Field Hockey Camp continues to score in year No. 4

Coastal Point • Submitted: The IRSD Field Hockey Camp celebrated their most successful summer yet at Millsboro Middle School on Thursday, June 22.Coastal Point • Submitted: The IRSD Field Hockey Camp celebrated their most successful summer yet at Millsboro Middle School on Thursday, June 22.The Indian River School District Field Hockey Camp saw more than 80 youth players come out to Millsboro Middle School last Tuesday, June 20, through Thursday, June 22, to learn the sport from IRSD coaches Pattiva Cathell, Molly Chamberlin and Karen Irvin.

With hockey back on the rise throughout lower Sussex County, the fourth year for the camp turned out to be its most successful yet, steadily growing since launching in 2014 and already showing dividends at both the middle school and high school levels throughout the district.

“Our goal is to grow the game,” said Chamberlin, who this past fall helped coach Indian River High School to their first playoff appearance in 10 years.

“We want to see more girls playing hockey, and we want to see our local high school teams able to compete competitively against some of the better teams in the state. And I think we can already see that it’s working. We’re really hoping this is just the beginning of hockey growing in our area.”