Sports

LSLL opening ceremony set for Friday: Signups for Challenger League open

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark  : Little Leaguers at last year's LSLL Opening Day show what the event is all about … fun!Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark : Little Leaguers at last year's LSLL Opening Day show what the event is all about … fun!

While the Lower Sussex Little League may have kicked things off with their first game of the season last Monday night at the Pyle Center, they’ll celebrate the occasion this Friday, April 17, with their annual opening-ceremonies event. The festivities are set to begin at 6 p.m.

“The first hour is gonna be the opening ceremonies,” said LSLL President Tracey Littleton, “the flag-raising ceremony and recognizing the people we need to recognize. It’s just a fun night for the kids.”

Also honored at the ceremony will be former LSLL players who went on to serve the country, as well as the LSLL Big League team that made it to regionals last year, coached by Sam O’Shields.

“We’ll be honoring them,” Little explained. And, “We had some Pat Knight teams that won first place in their tournament, so we’ll be recognizing them.”

Get in golf shape before you tee off

The Masters is the defining moment every year that tells us golf season is under way. Golf offers so many benefits — it’s not only a terrific way to socialize and have some fun, but golfers who are regularly on the links are gaining all kinds of benefits. Golf is a wonderful way to get fresh air and exercise that will build your muscular strength and cardiovascular health.

Indians’ fifth-inning frenzy kicks off wild comeback vs. Wildcats

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior Kenny Rishel celebrates with teammates Jake Hudson and Ryan Engh after scoring from second against Delmar on Saturday.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Senior Kenny Rishel celebrates with teammates Jake Hudson and Ryan Engh after scoring from second against Delmar on Saturday.Bases loaded. Full count. The game on the line.

It’s the situation that Indian River senior 3B/P Eddie Hogan found himself in after his team had rallied back against Delmar last Saturday to lead 10-5. And, in a display of what has come to be expected from the Indians’ captain, he delivered, getting a Delmar batter swinging and sealing the win in dramatic fashion his squad.

“He’s starting to be that guy that wants to have the ball — a senior leader,” said coach Kevin Cordrey. “That’s what we need — somebody that’s gonna go in there and throw strikes like that.”

“I think it’s just a sign of him being a leader on our team,” added coach Chris Megee. “He wants the ball, and we want him to have the ball. We’ve got faith that he’s gonna pitch the contact and he’s gonna put it in our fielder’s hands and we’re gonna get an out.”

Late rally, McWilliams’ 17 saves, not enough to spoil Tech victory

Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark: Sophomore goalie Hayden McWilliams was put to the test against 49 shots from Sussex Tech on Monday night.Coastal Point photos • R. Chris Clark: Sophomore goalie Hayden McWilliams was put to the test against 49 shots from Sussex Tech on Monday night.It was a tale of two lacrosse programs on Monday night, as a young Indian River High School squad took on the seasoned veterans of Sussex Tech. Ultimately, experience would win out, as the Ravens soared to a 17-4 victory over the Indians.

“They’ve been playing together a long time,” explained Indian River co-head coach Jerry Sheridan of the Henlopen North squad. “They’ve got a lot of good athletes over there that have been playing the game a long time — on travel teams, club teams, things like that.”

The Ravens showcased their team chemistry and talent early on, jumping to a 13-0 victory at the half, despite Indian River sophomore goalie Hayden McWilliams’ relentless efforts between the pipes.

“If I’ve got him in goal, I’m confident in any game that we play,” said Sheridan of McWilliams’ 17 saves on the day. “Great kid, too.”

Lady Indians roll to 5-0 with wins at DCHS, Smyrna

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Junior midfielder Madison Mercer goes to the goal during the Lady Indians’ 8-0 victory over DCHS last Monday.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell: Junior midfielder Madison Mercer goes to the goal during the Lady Indians’ 8-0 victory over DCHS last Monday.The Indian River High School girls’ soccer team has only given up one goal this season. They’ve scored 34. In just five games.

Even more impressively, they’ve gotten off to their 5-0 start without having hosted a single home game yet this season — most recently racking up road wins against Delmarva Christian High School on Monday, April 13, and Smyrna on Tuesday, April 14.

Indian River 8, DCHS 0

In their 8-0 win over the Lady Royals last Monday, the Lady Indians had only play the first half with their leading goal scorer from last season, junior forward Brooke Beam, who got the offensive started with a quick unassisted goal, adding another off an assist from freshman Sammi Whelen and tallying an assist of her own before calling it a day.

Lady Indians wreck Tech in first-ever girls’ lax game at IR

Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Sophomore midfielder Lexi Haden moves the ball during the Lady Indians’ 14-4 win over Sussex Tech on Monday. The game was the first ever girls' lacrosse match up held at Indian River High School.Coastal Point • R. Chris Clark: Sophomore midfielder Lexi Haden moves the ball during the Lady Indians’ 14-4 win over Sussex Tech on Monday. The game was the first ever girls' lacrosse match up held at Indian River High School.The Indian River High School girls’ lacrosse program couldn’t have scripted a better opening scene.

After demolishing the Salisbury School last month in the program’s first-ever game, they followed that performance by taking down rival Sussex Tech 14-4 on Monday night, in what was the first-ever home game in IRHS girls’ lacrosse history.

“The Tech rivalry is always a big one,” said assistant coach Anne McBride. “I know the girls were pumped for it.”

One of the girls especially pumped for it was lifelong laxer and freshman midfielder Kealey Allison, who gave the Lady Indians a 1-0 advantage early on. They’d go on to make it 7-0 before halftime, with another score from Allison and goals from junior Emily Shuey, sophomore Lexi Haden and freshman Helen Davis. Two key first-half saves from freshman goalie Brianna McGee kept the Lady Ravens off the board.

IR boys’ tennis sweeps Central, starts 3-0

Coastal Point • Submitted: Indian River’s Adam Izzo and Patrick Mochiam took down Central's Hayden McCabe and Brandon Ventura 6-1, 6-2, in the second doubles matchup on Monday.Coastal Point • Submitted: Indian River’s Adam Izzo and Patrick Mochiam took down Central's Hayden McCabe and Brandon Ventura 6-1, 6-2, in the second doubles matchup on Monday.With a roster composed mostly of state-champion soccer players, it’s not entirely surprising that the Indian River High School boys’ tennis team is off to a 3-0 start and eyeing a Henlopen South title.

“They’re proving themselves,” said head coach Kelsey Waite. “They’re all such athletes — maybe they’ll be playing against someone with more match experience, but they’re fighters and they don’t like to lose.”

The squad further proved their will to win on Monday, with a 5-0 sweep of district rival Sussex Central.

“I think staying focused was key yesterday, just to get back in the groove of things,” said Waite of the matchup held right after spring break. “They did a really good job.”

Sophomore Mac Smith headlined the victory at first-singles, taking down Sussex Central’s Chris Wise, 6-1, 6-0.

“That’s a lot of pressure for a sophomore,” said Waite. “Mac is really doing a nice job at [first-singles].”

Inaugural Coastal Delaware Running Festival nearly sold out

Certified Race Directors Rick Hundley and Ernie Felici of Focus Multi-Sports reported this week that the inaugural Coastal Delaware Running Festival, scheduled for May 3, has nearly sold out for registrations.

Bridgeville golf tournament to honor fallen Marine

On May 9, golfers can play a round and celebrate a fallen U.S. Marine in the process. The second annual Cory Palmer Memorial Golf Tournament is being hosted by a group of the young man’s best friends that Saturday, at Heritage Shores Golf Club in Bridgeville.

Seaford resident Cory L. Palmer died on May 6, 2006, when his Humvee patrol was struck by a roadside bomb near Fallujah, Iraq.

Indian River splits doubleheader against Maryland’s Easton, Parkside

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Senior third-baseman Eddie Hogan tags out a Parkside runner last April 2.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Senior third-baseman Eddie Hogan tags out a Parkside runner last April 2.The Indian River High School baseball team picked up their first win of the season last Thursday, taking down Easton 6-5 in the first game of a doubleheader against a pair of Maryland squads.

“This is a team that’s starting to get fun to be around,” said coach Kevin Cordrey of his squad’s developing chemistry. “I think they’re starting to become brothers, just like we want them to be.”

Falling behind 3-0 after three innings and 5-0 after the fifth, the Indians started to heat up at the plate when they strung together five runs in the top of the sixth inning, to tie the game 5-5. RBIs from senior third-baseman Eddie Hogan, junior Ryan Engh and sophomore catcher Andrew White were all instrumental in the late comeback.

Keller brings ‘K-Vest’ golf technology to Cripple Creek

Coastal Point • Submitted : Cripple Creek Pro Matt Keller introduced Bethany-area residents to the K-Vest last April 2, with a demo displaying a new way to help improve their golf swing.Coastal Point • Submitted : Cripple Creek Pro Matt Keller introduced Bethany-area residents to the K-Vest last April 2, with a demo displaying a new way to help improve their golf swing.Cripple Creek golf pro Matt Keller is taking his game to the next level.

While he’s long been an advocate of using modern technology to help not only his students, but himself, become better golfers, last Thursday he stepped it up a notch when he introduced Cripple Creek to the “K-Vest.”

“In the past, what we’ve done is use video swing analysis,” said Keller. “This is almost the ideal learning setting. It makes it so much easier to feel how you should swing the golf club.”

In the demo held at Cripple Creek Golf & Country Club near Dagsboro last week, Keller introduced his newest venture to the public and demonstrated the advantages the cutting-edge technology offers that regular methods to do not.

“I spent a lot of the off-season just studying, researching,” said Keller. “I want to become a better instructor, and I want my students to improve, as well. I believe in what I’m doing, and I think it’s really gonna help people.”

Top-rated O’s prospects Reyes, Gonzalez, Heim to make Delmarva debut

Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Pitcher Austin Urban posted a 3-4 record and recorded six saves for the Shorebirds in 2014. Urban is now with the Frederick Keys.Coastal Point • Tripp Colonell : Pitcher Austin Urban posted a 3-4 record and recorded six saves for the Shorebirds in 2014. Urban is now with the Frederick Keys.Shorebirds fan favorites pitcher Hunter Harvey and catcher Chance Sisco may be among those moving on as they make their way to the big leagues, but this year’s Delmarva roster is just as full of sure-to-be future O’s — and they all arrived at Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Md., last week.

The “break camp” roster is in place to start the 2015 season, featuring 22 players from last year’s Aberdeen Ironbirds — the Orioles’ Class A Short Season affiliate. Of the 28-man roster, 12 players spent time in Delmarva last season, under manager Ryan Minor, who returns to lead the birds in what will be their 20th anniversary season.

A former Shorebird and Baltimore Oriole himself, the mark holds even more meaning for Minor.

“It is special, when a player comes back to the town that he played in and coaches, manages in that town. It just doesn’t happen in baseball a lot of times,” he said. “For me to have that opportunity means a lot to me.”

Considering the team’s success in the first half of last season, and what he saw at spring training, Minor is even more encouraged about what the 2015 season could hold.