Indians say goodbye to Ford, McGee
Headed into the season, the goal for second-year head coach Donna Polk and the Indian River High School girls’ basketball team was simple: Be better than they were last year.
Even after dropping their last game of the season 38-20 to Laurel on Thursday, Feb. 16, that was still a goal that the Indians would accomplish, doubling their win total from 2015-2016 and finishing 10-10 — their best record since 2013.
“We’ve definitely improved. We’re getting better,” said Polk. “This year, I thought we started off really well, with them understanding the expectations a little bit more.”
After going back and forth with the Bulldogs during the first half of last Thursday’s game and eventually trailing 20-16 headed into the break, the Indians would struggle with the scoring in half No. 2.
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For basketball fans, or even for fans of just, like, general humanity, it was very exciting. It was very, very exciting.
The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team is hoping to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2011, after the Indians clinched their 10th win of the season.
After a 53-27 loss to Sussex Central on Thursday, Feb. 7, the Indians bounced back with a 74-7 win over Delaware Design-Lab High School on Saturday, Feb. 11, and a 35-24 win over Maryland’s Salisbury School on Monday, Feb. 13.
Sophomore center Julia Jordan put together her fourth double-double of the season in Saturday’s game against Design-Lab, finishing the game with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while senior guard Madi McGee racked up a career-high 15 points and freshman guard Yolanda Wise added a career-high 13 points.
Marcozzi ties Magaha’s record
The Indian River High School wrestling team was ready to bring home the school’s first state title on the mats when they got to state duals at Smyrna High School on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Instead, they’d see Milford bring home that school’s second in a row, as the Bucs came back from a 15-point deficit to take down the Indians 34-40.
After a back-and-fourth bout at states and 16-3 season, however, IR head coach Jeff Windish was far from discouraged with his state-finalist squad as they geared up for individual conference and state championships.
“We left it all out there. I don’t think anybody had anything left to give and, as a coach, that’s what you want to see,” said Windish.
Bratton selected as Blue-Gold All-Star
In front of a packed house last Thursday, Feb. 9, the Indian River High School basketball team earned a 64-57 win over district rival Sussex Central, in the process bettering their chances of returning to the DIAA state tournament for the first time since the 2013-2014 season.
“They’re starting to buy into the process. They’re buying into it, and it’s working,” said IR head coach B.J. Joseph, who took over the squad last season. “We just have to keep getting wins, taking one game at a time.”
The Indians started off hot in that game when senior forward Isaiah “Izzy” Bratton won the tip-off and sent a dart down to sophomore forward Jamier Felton, who finished the chance and put his squad up 2-0 in the game’s opening seconds.
Going up against some of the state’s stop talent at the Henlopen Conference championships on Saturday, Feb. 11, the Indian River High School swim team rose to the challenge, with a slew of swimmers taking the podium and setting new personal records in the process.
Among the top individual performances was IR senior Lindsey Grow taking second with a time of 1:05.88 and senior McKenna Burke taking third with a time of 1:07.68 in the 100-yard butterfly.
Both times were personal bests for the senior co-captains, earning both Grow and Burke top spots on the podium, along with Cape Henlopen senior Amelia Nigh-Johnson and her first-place time of 1:00.78.
“It was great to be up on the podium together. That was awesome,” said Burke after receiving her medal. “We were pushing each other in our heat.”
The Selbyville Middle School track-and-field team is about to get a whole lot of experience. More than 40 years of experience, to be almost exact.
It’s been a historic season so far for the Indian River High School wrestling team.
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The Indian River High School Class of 2017 saw eight seniors sign letters of intent on Thursday, Feb. 2, as they get ready to take their talents to the NCAA in the fall.
Among them were Madison Hogsten, headed to Salisbury University to play soccer; Samantha Mumford, joining the Salisbury University softball team’ Zion Howard, headed to Virginia Beach, Va. to play baseball at Virginia Wesleyan College; Johan Cordoba, Jordi Ramirez and Arturo Salas, all joining the Chesapeake College soccer team; Mac Smith, signing with Millersville University to play soccer; and Lindsey Grow, signing with the Milligan College swim team.
(Salisbury University, soccer)
After earning a starting spot when she debuted for the Indians’ girls’ soccer team as a freshman, Maddie Hogsten quickly established herself as one of the team’s most dangerous offensive weapons.
Taylor goes 9-0 in regular-season duals
It was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Selbyville Middle School wrestling team.
Graduating a slew of talent from an 8-2 squad last season — including current Indian River High School standouts Ta’Jon Knight, Will Rayne and Ramon Turner — the SMS Indians returned only six wrestlers for the 2016-2017 season.
But with an influx of brand new wrestlers going on to breakout seasons, the Indians still managed to finish the year 5-4, with a fifth-place finish at the conference championships held at Milford Central Academy on
“We figured we’d be lucky to get to .500, only bringing six guys back,” said SMS head coach Neal Barch of expectations heading into the season. “But we’re pretty happy with how the season turned out.”
Saturday, Feb. 4.
It was all about the seniors for the Indian River High School swim team last Thursday, Feb. 2.
After getting the morning started with co-captain Lindsey Grow officially signing on to continue her swimming career at Milligan College, the Indians sent Grow and seniors McKenna Burke, Erin Haden and Andy Elsburg out on a high note with wins over Polytech and a Senior Night ceremony held at the break.
“They’re a special group. They leave an impression on you,” said IR head coach Colin Crandell, who coached Grow on the Sea Colony Sharks from the age of 6 and has known Haden since she was a junior lifeguard on his patrol in Bethany Beach. “They’re like daughters to us by now. So, it was bitter in the sense that they’ll be leaving us, but also sweet, because you know that they’re going on to leave an impression on other people the same way.”
The Indian River High School boys’ basketball team is on a roll, racking up back-to-back division wins over Sussex Academy on Friday, Feb. 3, and Milford on Tuesday, Feb. 7.
The Indians took down the Seahawks 85-34 last Friday, behind 16 points from sophomore guard Jamier Felton and 13 points from junior guard Patrick Mumford. Junior Calvin James also saw a double-digit scoring night, finishing with 10 points.
The Seahawks were led by a 21-point performance by sophomore forward Zachary Zalewski.
The Indians continued to ride the momentum of their hot streak into Tuesday, with head coach B.J. Joseph earning his first win over his former team since taking over for the Indians last season, notching a 54-47 win over the Bucs.
Felton led the scoring in that game as well, finishing the night just one rebound shy of a double-double, with 16 points and nine boards.
Senior Isaiah Bratton was also knocking on the door of a double-double on the night, finishing with eight points and 14 rebounds. Freshman point guard K.J. Custis had 11 points, and senior guard Thomas DiBuo racked up eight points on the night.
Delle Donne traded to Mystics, headed to D.C.
WNBA superstar and University of Delaware graduate Elena Delle Donne will make her way back to the East Coast after being traded by the Chicago Sky to the Washington Mystics last week.
After a one-year hiatus during renovations of its fitness center, Sea Colony will grease up their wheels once again when “Ride for Delaware Hospice” makes its return to the newly revamped facility near Bethany Beach later this month.
Tripple OT: The rigging of the ‘greatest quarterback of all time’ conversation by the Soviet-apologist Vladimir Putin
Disclaimer: The following transcript has been derived from a secret-impromptu-Ocean’s 11-conspiracy-type meeting called by four-time respective Super Bowl champions Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw that involves several other former NFL signal-callers typically mentioned in the “greatest quarterback of all time” conversation, in addition to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in a misguided attempt by them, as in the quarterbacks, to convince him, as in Putin, to rig Super Bowl LI (51) as he did, allegedly, the 2016 United States presidential election and also, allegedly, Super Bowl XLII, when the Patriots lost to the Giants on that crazy David Tyree helmet catch, and so, but anyway, the meeting was called to make sure that Tom Brady does not become the only player in NFL history to win five Super Bowl championships, the ramifications of which would most likely finally shed some definitive light on the whole “greatest quarterback of all time” conversation-thing mentioned earlier and be all-together bad news for both Montana and Bradshaw, as well as the other professional leather egg-throwers/co-conspirators in attendance.
IR wrestling downs Sussex Tech, primed for state duals
The last time they pulled it off was 2011.
That didn’t stop the Indian River High School wrestling team from bouncing back from their first loss of the season, against Milford, however, with a 31-28 win over Sussex Tech on Friday, Jan. 21.
“Sussex Tech is a well-coached team,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish after the dual-meet win. “They’re young, but Scott [Layfield] has them coached-up. He’s a good coach, and they’ve got some good wrestlers.”
While most meets this season have started off with tone-setting pins from standout freshmen including Will Rayne at 106 and Ta’Jon Knight at 120, the Ravens held the Indians to a 12-0 lead after the first three matches ended with a 6-1 decision for Rayne over Sussex Tech’s Mason Rolph, a major decision at 113 for IR’s Christian Lopez and Knight getting a 16-0 tech fall at 120.
It was what Indian River High School head boys’ basketball coach B.J. Joseph referred to as “a trap game.”
The last day of winter exams. No school the next day. Against a 1-12 team.
But, despite seeing the game against Delmar go to overtime on Thursday, Jan. 26, the Indians still pulled out a 67-64 division win, with Joseph getting his second win of the season over a coach who is one of his former players — Delmar head coach Shawn Phillips.
“I knew they would play hard. When you’re 1-12, you don’t have anything to lose,” said Joseph after the game. “We weren’t ready for that game. The silver lining is we did pull out a W, and it was one we had to have.”
The Indians got off to a slow start after the opening draw, falling behind 6-2 before sophomore center Kashid Waples finished an offensive rebound and senior guard Colby Chandler managed a steal shortly thereafter and got it down to senior forward Isaiah “Izzy” Bratton on a fast break to tie things up.
Falling behind and tying it up would become a first-quarter trend after that, as the Wildcats took a 20-16 lead into the second quarter, and five points from IR sophomore guard Jamier Felton just before the half tied the game at 30-30 headed into the break.
Felton led with 21 points on the night, with the Indians also seeing production from junior guard Patrick Mumford and freshman point guard KJ Custis, who each tallied 13 points in the matchup.
District 3 ‘Challenger Division’ returns for third year
While online registration for the 2017 Lower Sussex Little League season is already open, the league will begin walk-up registration at the ballpark starting on Wednesday, Feb. 9, spanning through Saturday, Feb. 18.
Participants will have four chances to sign up in person, with additional sessions held on Saturday, Feb. 11, and Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Pyle Center in Roxana.
It won’t be your average rivalry game when the Indian River High School and Sussex Central High School basketball teams tip off on Thursday, Feb. 9.
Not only will the night feature a double-header, with both the boys’ and girls’ varsity teams facing each other; not only will there be history made, with the district’s first Unified basketball game for players with special needs in between; but the community is being encouraged to come support their hometown teams with half-time skills competition, contests, prizes, a special Blue-Gold All-Star presentation and even some live entertainment from IR’s competitive cheer team.
With all that going on, Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann and the IRHS Basketball Boosters are aiming to make Indian River High School the place to be next Thursday night.
“We’ve made some changes to basketball games this year. Both teams are having successful years. We’d really like to build our fan base back up,” Fuhrmann said. “We want the people in the community to come out and enjoy some great games and a great night.”
Tickets still available for IR soccer alumni mixer
The Indian River High School Soccer Boosters will host an alumni mixer for both the boys’ and girls’ soccer programs at the Frankford fire hall on Friday, Feb. 11.
It was a battle of the unbeaten when the Indian River High School wrestling team took on Milford on Wednesday, Jan. 25, with the defending state champion Bucs keeping their perfect record intact and handing the Indians their first loss of the season in comeback fashion, 37-33.
“We definitely have some things to work on, but I know I speak for the whole coaching staff when I say that we’re definitely pleased with the way we wrestled,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish after the match. “We had some kids really step up big in matches.”
The Indians jumped out to a quick lead with pins from freshmen Will Rayne at 106 and Ta’Jon Knight at 120.
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The Indian River High School swim team came out on top after a tri-meet held at Sussex Academy on Tuesday, Jan. 24, with the Indians coasting to wins over both Seaford and Virginia’s Nandua.
Coming off a 90-80 win over Sussex Tech on Thursday, Jan. 19, the boys’ team stayed undefeated and moved to 8-0 with a 67-21 non-conference win over Nandua and 81-15 division win over the Blue Jays.
The boys swept the meet with first-place finishes across the board, with junior John Kohr taking first in both the 50 and 100 freestyle, junior Blake Shuart taking the top spot in the 100 butterfly and 100 backstroke, sophomore Dylan Tuttle winning the 100 breaststroke, sophomore Michael Barnes earning first in the 500 freestyle and 200 IM, and sophomore Max Kohr taking first in the 200 freestyle.
Jordan posts career double-double
The Indian River High School girls’ basketball team made it back-to-back division wins on Tuesday, Jan. 24, taking down Seaford 54-32.
“Today I told the girls before the game that, for us to have an opportunity to win this, we needed to hold Seaford to 30,” said IR head coach Donna Polk after the game. “They got 32, so that’s kind of where we needed to be in order to control the tempo of the game.”
Coming off a 39-36 win over Woodbridge on Tuesday, Jan. 17, the Indians started off hot in their matchup against the Blue Jays when junior guard Fabrea McCray knocked down a shot from beyond the arch to make it 3-0.
Two more lay-ins from McCray and senior forward Maggie Ford would put the Indians up 7-0 before Seaford could answer, closing the gap to 9-7. IR junior guard Trayona Nock then answered the call to put the Indians back up 11-7, on their way to a 20-11 lead at halftime.
Ford would get the second half started in similar fashion when she found sophomore center Julia Jordan down low to make it 26-11, with Jordan making it 28-11 on the next possession after pulling down a rebound and finding the net.
Jordan would finish the game with a career-high double-double, posting 19 points and 17 rebounds in the matchup.
It may not be a federal holiday, but that won’t stop the Indian River High School basketball programs from honoring veterans on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when they host “Military Appreciation Night” for their boys’ and girls’ varsity doubleheader against Cape Henlopen.
“We just wanted to take an opportunity to thank and respect all of our military veterans, anyone who’s fought and served for our country, on a day that’s not necessarily a special day set aside,” explained Indian River High School Athletic Director Todd Fuhrmann of the concept.
“It’s something that I’ve seen done at the college level and other venues, and I had never seen one here, so I thought it’d just be a great thing to do at one of our games.”
The festivities will get under way with the girls’ game against the Vikings, starting at 5:15 p.m., with the boys’ game to follow.
Lower Sussex Little League signups under way
Sign-ups for the 2017 baseball and softball seasons are under way at Lower Sussex Little League, with online registration currently open at www.lowersussexlittleleague.com.
It’s Schrödinger’s cat. Nobody going to a restaurant because it’s too crowded. Pretty much every major plot point in the 1985 American science-fiction adventure-comedy “Back to the Future.”
Team posts wins at Rebel Duals, against Wilmington Christian
While invitational tournaments may be winding down for the Indian River High School wrestling team, dual meets are just starting to gear up.
Whether they need an RSVP or not, however, the Indians have been continuing to rack up the wins.
That’s exactly what they did while hosting their first home dual-meet of the season on Thursday, Jan. 12, rolling Wilmington Christian School 66-9, to move to 2-0.
“There were definitely some bonus points that we left out there,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish after the match. “We’ve got some work to do to clean that kind of stuff up, but a win’s a win, so the coaching staff is pleased.”
The Indians jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead when freshman Chris Saylor went out at 106 and managed a pin in just 49 seconds.
IR hoops back on track with 52-40 win over Laurel
It had been more than a month since the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team had managed a win.
While winter break was a factor, the Indians were still riding a three-game losing streak, after starting the season 4-0, when they hosted then-5-2 Laurel on Friday, Jan. 13.
But Friday the 13th superstitions aside, that’s a streak that they’d finally snap in front of a packed house at the Indian River High School gymnasium, taking down the Bulldogs 52-40, to improve to 5-3 overall and 2-3 in the Henlopen South.
“We had to pull this one out,” said sophomore guard Jamier Felton after the game. “This game was important to us after losing the last three.”