Delmar Wildcats hockey a buzzsaw with claws

Ran into a buzzsaw – That sports term (not shop class) is used mostly in tournament wrestling when a good kid gets dominated or quickly pinned by a phenom from another state. The last several years, I’ve sat with a camera in the corner beyond the cage and watched Delmar field hockey go Cat Scratch Fever, frenzied like cats on catnip on Christmas morning, hence the term conniption. I just know I’m getting action photos from inside the circle as the goalie gets buzzsawed by a bevy of Tasmanian devils. Coach Jodi Hollamon indicated to me that the start of the 2022 postseason tournament was bittersweet and I let it go at that, which is why I’m cool with coaches so they confide in me. Josie Hollamon and Maci Bradford are graduating – Jodi’s daughter and niece – and they will no longer play with Jodi’s younger daughter Jordyn.

Lineman for Life– Robert Mitchell a 6’3” 305 pound offensive lineman and redshirt senior for North Carolina Central was named MEAC Lineman of the Year which is no small award. Robert from Millsboro, played football and basketball at Cape graduating in 2017. He played his first two years of college ball at Lackawanna College. Robert the athlete is known for quick feet and soft hands. Robert should be on the board for the spring NFL draft

Hard and fast rules – As a general rule, I roll like Gumby on a sun porch with total flexibility, treating each situation differently and inconsistently. I usually avoid postseason high school and college all-star games for all sports, but on a whim if the spirit moves me, I may show up. On Nov. 20, the Division III field hockey all-star game was played at Rowan College in New Jersey, the artist formerly known as Glassboro State. Cape alumnae Darby Klopp (Franklin and Marshall) and Marcella Sabbagh (Christopher Newport) played in the 60-player event with 30 colleges represented. I didn’t show up – I would for Darby and Marcella – because I was too busy covering a pair of state championship games on the astroturf (fast like Veterans Stadium of the ’70s) at the University of Delaware. At Champions Stadium on Sunday, the weather was frightful for the high noon senior Blue-Gold field hockey all-star game. I thought no one would show up, but all players arrived backed by bundled families. I saw Quinn the Eskimo and Nanook of the North in the stands, fans covered in Eddie Bauer and LL Bean activewear. The players wore no numbers; most were hatless. I anticipated a lame game, except it was well played. Goals were scored, but like a super ball on a concrete floor, I had to bounce at the end of period one. I had lost feeling in my fingertips – what we photographers call tactile sensitivity.

NFL Power Rankings Top 5 – I’m OK with the ESPN power rankings after week 12. The teams are Kansas City Chiefs, Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and Dallas Cowboys. The Eagles have games remaining at home against the Packers and Titans followed by road games at the Giants, Bears, Cowboys, then close out at home against the Saints and Giants. A non-delusional Eagles fan knows the Cowboys (7-3) are poised to pounce on the Eagles if Philly falters like Bailey Falter and comes into Dallas with a one-game lead with just three to play. You just don’t want that Jerry Jones celebration face in high definition Dec. 24 inside your flat screen that hangs on the bonus room wall surrounded by boughs of holly. Have a stress ball ready to squeeze or throw it at your reluctant retriever Pinkston, who refuses to catch anything over the middle.

DIAA Football Championships – First-round scores that catch your attention: 1A: Laurel 41, St. Andrew’s 7; Seaford 34, Wilmington Charter 7. 2A: Newark 20, Tower Hill 0; Archmere 42, Concord 0; Red Lion 36, Delmar 0. 3A : Smyrna 50, Cape 0; Middletown 34, Salesianum 7; Dover 20, Sussex Central 0. Unified: Cape 55, William Penn 42. The most intriguing weekend semifinal games are in 3A with Middletown at Smyrna Friday, Nov. 25, and St. Georges at Dover Saturday, Nov. 26. Both games begin at 7 pm In 2A, Lake Forest plays Wilmington Friends Nov. 25 at 1 pm at Abyssinio Stadium. In 1A, Seaford plays St. Elizabeth Nov. 25 at 7 pm at Abyssinio.

Analyze this! Cape football finished the first season under head coach Mike Frederick (my nephew) with 100 athletes in hats, and full JV and varsity teams that combined for an 11-5 record. Those undercard games featured full-roster participation. The varsity team had a decent season playing a tough schedule that featured six teams that made the 3A postseason tournament. Cape was the eighth seed, which meant the Vikings had to close the season with back-to-back Friday night games at top-seeded Smyrna. The Vikings lost by a combined 90-13. That is the reality, but it doesn’t begin to tell the story. Cape had a shot at Sallies, losing 28-21, and was tied at halftime against Appoqunimink and St. Georges before losing. Dover and Sussex Central both gashed Cape pretty well with their running game and oddly enough traded shutouts, with Central winning the regular season Oct. 14 by a 21-0 score, then Dover flipped the script Nov. 19, winning in the playoffs 20-0. Looking back at the regular season, Smyrna hung over 40 points on Caesar Rodney, St. Georges, Mergenthaler Vo Tech of Maryland, Dover, Salesianum, Appo and Cape. And yet they lost to Middletown 21-14 Sept. 16. Think of the football teams below the canal and stopping in Dover. St Georges, Middletown, Appoquinimink, Smyrna and Dover. Where are all these families with school-aged kids coming from? That’s not a story, it’s a summer project.

Snippets – Soccer is a sport played by kicking a big old ball at a giant net featuring exquisite athletes. It’s always described in metaphysical terms because over 90 minutes, not much happens. I’ll watch the World Cup on television, but I wouldn’t travel to Qatar if you bought my ticket and placed me in a luxury box. I’m not xenophobic, I actually like the xylophone, but being German, I’m partial to the glockenspiel. I’m all about world cultures. Go on now, git!

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