For years, Cape Henlopen High’s field hockey team has set the standard for excellence. What’s the secret of Cape’s success? An unbeatable combination of ingredients: coaching, preparation, family support — and players’ commitment to give their all.
By Jack Rodgers | Photograph by Dan Cook
From the September 2016 Issue
The attacks always came from the sea. The raiding parties traveled to all points of the compass, pushed by winds from the frigid lands of the north. Their longboats plowed through the waves, and upon landfall issued ax-wielding invaders, against whom defense was impossible. For centuries, coastal inhabitants would hope against hope for deliverance from the Norsemen’s wrath.
To the modern day opponents of Cape Henlopen’s vaunted field hockey team, an arriving bus carrying the feared Lady Vikings might seem akin to a longboat of yore, given the steep odds of defeating Cape on the field of battle. Their sticks are not sharpened, but, deftly handled, they can strike a ball with authority and accuracy.
Yes, the metaphor may be too grand, but coaches whose teams have never beaten the juggernaut from coastal Sussex County ruefully remember the brutal defeats. Most painful of all are surely the near misses — games when a luckier bounce here or official’s judgment there could have tipped the balance their way.
“Cape,” notes former Lady Vikings coach Nicole Hughes, “is everybody’s rival!”
She’s right. In today’s world of scholastic field hockey, Cape Henlopen is the team to beat. The current edition is riding a wave of five straight state championships, which is unprecedented in the Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association. It is a proud history, this Cape field hockey dynasty, replete with legendary tales such as the 1995 state title game that took an unbelievable 168 minutes, eight overtimes and stretched over two days to complete. The fact that such a triumph was not recorded in runes makes it no less historic or dramatic.
A Question of Character
Some Rehoboth Beach residents say the trend toward building massive homes — what they call ‘mini-hotels’ in residential areas — degrades the neighborhood feel of the town. But other property owners contend that the new houses — with swimming pools, modern high-end amenities and room for 20 or more people — fit the resort’s identity as a tourist destination.
From the August 2016 issue
Summers at the Myers vacation home in The Pines section of Rehoboth Beach aren’t as nice as they used to be. The house is no longer in a quiet neighborhood, says Lynne Myers, who owns the property with her husband, Donald.
Last summer, her grandchildren had trouble sleeping, and Myers says she couldn’t sit in her backyard and read.
The difference: Two new homes that have been built nearby, each of which has a pool. “Mega-homes,” Myers calls them — houses that she asserts were constructed strictly with renting in mind.
“They are beautiful to look at, but they are built to accommodate the maximum number of people.”
And with the pools right there, the renters often stay at home instead of walking the block and a half to the ocean. “They congregate and they party and even when they are trying to be considerate, they have to talk over the water fountains,” she adds. “It’s so loud.”
The Myerses were among the Rehoboth Beach residents who pushed last year for new zoning laws to curtail the construction of such homes. They wrote a letter to the editor of the Cape Gazette, which appeared in the Oct. 30 edition. “[Our] tranquility was shattered when two large rental homes were built behind our house,” the couple wrote. “Each has a swimming pool that generates constant noise — children shouting, parents and family trying to talk over the noise, and music blaring from loudspeakers and boomboxes. The noise and commotion are nonstop.”
The Top Speed
From high-school pickup band to bar-scene institution, Love Seed Mama Jump is still keeping it loose and lively 25 years on
With its energized stage presence, twisted cover tunes, devoted following, and, of course, its enigmatic name, Love Seed Mama Jump is one of the most successful bands ever born and raised in coastal Delaware.
This summer, Love Seed (as the band is commonly known) is celebrating its 25th anniversary in typical fashion: with head-swiveling, stage-stomping, party-’til-last call performances, notably at the Rusty Rudder deck in Dewey Beach, its home base.
But avid music fans know all that, and are familiar with the group’s long, strange trip from lifeguard party band to the Washington Redskins’ “official” rock band, from musical upstarts to venerable veterans of the local scene.
So, since that’s common knowledge, this story will be a collection of little-known behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the early days — before Love Seed earned its well-deserved fame, when it was more about the usual motivations in starting a band: girls, fun, free beer and, oh yeah, musical expression.