It’s a phrase I never imagined I’d be able to use with a straight face: “Man — I could really use the help of R. Chris Clark right about now.”
Gerken, Conover, Mercer inducted as first IR soccer HOF class
There are two stars adorning the sleeves of Indian River High School soccer jackets. The stars stand as symbols — the program’s way of honoring its rich history and two state championship teams: the first in 2013, the other in 2015.
Recently, however, the Soccer Boosters at Indian River came up with a new way of honoring past stars — the ones who aren’t specifically mentioned on the prideful coats of current IR soccer lettermen and coaches yet still shine brightly from their days in green and gold and as one of the main reasons for the program’s development and continued success.
Last Thursday, March 9, three of those stars — Howard Gerken, Christopher Conover and Josh Mercer — got a chance to shine once again when they were officially honored as the first class of the Indian River High School Soccer Hall of Fame.
Indians set sights on South title
On his first day of practice after taking over the Indian River High School baseball team, first-year head coach D.J. Long told his squad of his playing days at long-time district rival Sussex Central.
Understandably, he was booed.
But while the gesture was made in jest, it also served as the ice-breaking introduction for the former-Golden Knight-turned-Indian, as he swaps out the blue in his blue-and-gold for green, boos for cheers, and aims to get the Indians back to the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
“It is different. I did have to update my wardrobe — it was all blue and gold,” said Long with a laugh. “Now, the Central game is definitely going to be a game I look forward to. I’m excited for that.”
Bear Trap Dunes to host Drive, Chip & Put viewing party
Ocean View’s very own Sarah Lydic will soon be headed to Augusta for the national finals of the Drive, Chip & Putt challenge; and her home club at Bear Trap Dunes is ready to watch her tee off on the national stage.
Bear Trap will host a viewing party and brunch at their restaurant, The Den at Bear Trap Dunes, where fans can watch the event unfold live on the Golf Channel and celebrate the occasion when it gets under way next month.
Lydic earned her way to the home of the Masters after placing first overall in the Girls’ 10-11 division at a regional qualifying event held at Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pa.
Last year, there was a new team. This year, there’s a new attitude.
Relying heavily on seasoned vets, such as Blue-Gold All-Star selection Emiley Shuey, in 2016, first-year head coach Kelsea Ayers and an inexperienced Indian River High School girls’ lacrosse squad still managed to win five games during their varsity season.
But despite graduating their leading scorer, the new-look Indians are aiming to double their win total and make a run at the playoffs this spring, with a full year of experience and new commitment to getting the program off the ground.
“Last year, as a beginning team, it was definitely more of relying on just a couple of players. This year, we’ve all improved as a team, so I don’t think this year will be just one person stepping up — I think it will be more of a whole team coming together,” explained senior Lexi Haden. “Instead of one person taking [Shuey’s] place, it’s going to be all 12 of us on the field being one.”
Bomhardt back on the diamond, tallies first career NCAA hit, run
Tripple Overtime: How Emilio Estevez may or may not have inspired female hockey players from the Middle East and/or everywhere
Emilio Estevez. You either love him, hate him, are completely indifferent to him, are somewhat indifferent to him, have another unspecified opinion of varying nature about him, or have no idea who he is. He’s just one of those classic ’80s movies stars where there is no in-between.
IR competitive cheer team ‘brings on’ first state title since 1984
The Indian River High School competitive cheerleading team knew they were going to have to “bring it on” when they took the mats at Smyrna High School for the state championships last Sunday, March 5. Luckily for them, it had already “been brought."
An impromptu performance in front of the entire school at a pep rally held on Thursday, March 2, paved the way for one of the team's top performances of the season at states just three days later, and helped bring home the school’s first state championship for competitive cheer since 1984.
“It was strategic. I didn’t want them to get comfortable,” said head coach Kaitlyn Donofrio of notifying her squad of the pep rally appearance the day before. “Every time you perform in front of people it helps.”
“We were nervous so we didn’t do our best. Two of our stunts fell,” said sophomore Gabby Hudson of that Thursday performance. “It just showed us that we needed to work harder before states.”
So, that’s what the Indians did as they prepared for their final performance of the season on Sunday, stabilizing their stunts and nailing their routine to eventually hoist the trophy in the co-ed division.
“I think everybody’s really excited,” said sophomore Lauren Grow. “Everybody was really excited on the bus ride there. At our last competition, at Lake Forest, it had been a little bit shaky, but then our warm-ups were really, really good, so everybody was feeling really good. We went out and performed, and I think it went a lot better.”
After down seasons, IR wrestling returns to top
It’s been, without a doubt, a history-making season for the Indian River High School wrestling team.
Not only did the Indians post their first winning record on the regular season since 2011 and their best regular-season record since before that at 16-3, not only did they see their first Henlopen Conference championship since 2011, in 106-pound freshman Will Rayne, and advance all the way to the state-duals — the Indians even saw senior co-captain Zeke Marcozzi break the school’s all-time wins record, with 133 career wins.
They also saw senior co-captain Jared Arlett nearly become the sixth wrestler in IR history to eclipse the 100-career wins mark, finishing just three short, with 97 on his career.
Delaware’s biggest road-race weekend is about to get even bigger.
After seeing nearly 2,400 racers turn out last spring, Coastal Delaware Running Festival race director Rick Hundley and the team at Focus Multisports are expecting upwards of 4,000 participants to show up when the starting gun goes off in Dewey Beach for the run’s return this April.
Recently named “Delaware’s #1 Marathon” by TripAdvisor, the First State’s only Boston Marathon-qualifier event will also be adding a 5K to the lineup and will again feature a marathon, half-marathon and 9K, all showcased along its scenic flat courses spanning from Dewey Beach up to Lewes.
River Soccer sign ups still under way until March 15
There’s still a chance to sign up for the outdoor spring recreational season at the River Soccer Club, with registration remaining open through Wednesday, March 15.
Having been sent off with a pep rally in their honor as they headed into their first playoff appearance since 2014, the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team returned home on Thursday, March 2, after suffering a loss to No. 15 St. Marks.
Despite seeing their state tournament run cut short, the Indians still finished the regular season 12-8, after going just 5-15 last season and after a 16-year playoff drought spanning from 1997 to 2014.
With a predominantly young squad of primarily freshmen and sophomores, and set to graduate just three seniors — forward Isaiah “Izzy” Bratton, guard Colby Chandler and guard Thomas DiBuo — the boys’ basketball program at Indian River looks to be very much up and coming.
With the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team set to make their first state tournament appearance since 2014, winter sports certainly aren’t over yet.
Crandell named HAC Coach of the Year
The goal for head coach Colin Crandell and his Indian River High School swimming team is always the state finals.
The Indians actualized that goal last weekend, when they clocked some of their best times of the year at the DIAA state championships held at the University of Delaware, breaking IRHS school records in the process.
The only female swimmer for the Indians to make it to the Top 16 on Saturday, Feb. 25, was senior Lindsey Grow, who broke her own school records in the 200 IM with a time of 2:20.61 and 100 Breaststroke with a time of 1:12.50.
The 100- yard breaststroke time was good for an 11th-place finish as Grow returned to the finals for the fourth straight year.
When we drove up Saturday, the whole conversation was about mindset,” said Crandell of heading into the finals. “The goal is always states. It’s a progression. Our trajectory is always to get them to go faster and faster and faster, and they did that. If they improve, we’re happy.”
IR's Rayne takes second at states
After a strong showing at the Henlopen Conference championships last week, local wrestling squads, including Indian River and Sussex Central high schools, followed up by sending a collective six wrestlers to the DIAA state individual championship finals, held at Dover High School on Saturday, Feb. 25.
For the Indians, it was freshman Will Rayne making it all the way to the finals of the 106-pound bracket, eventually earning himself a second-place finish after being taken down by Salesianum’s Zach Spence in a 10-6 decision.
Spence entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, while Rayne earned the No. 2 seed when he clinched IRHS’s first Henlopen Conference individual title since 2010 at the HAC championships held at Sussex Central last weekend.
The Golden Knights saw two individual state championships on the night, when junior Rashad Stratton edged Charter’s Jesse Muaka for the state title in a 7-6 decision.