Sports

IRHS boys want volleyball

Volleyball for all! That’s what some students, parents and staff at Indian River High School are asking, as on Jan. 22, a group of boys and adults asked the Indian River School District’s Board of Education to allow creation of an IRHS boys’ volleyball team.

Winter Birding Weekend offers trips, more

Birds, it turns out, figured out long before humans that winter is a great time to be at the beach. This weekend, humans can hang out with hooded mergansers, brown-headed nuthatches, wood ducks, harlequin ducks, eiders, purple sandpipers, falcons and what Delmarva Birding Weekend organizers call the “snowy trifecta” that is within reach of birding enthusiasts on the peninsula this winter.

Indian River girls lose to Laurel, 56-38

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Kealey Allison drives toward the paint against Laurel.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Kealey Allison drives toward the paint against Laurel.Kealey Allison drives toward the paint against Laurel. After leading Laurel’s Bulldogs girls’ varsity basketball team 10-7 at the end of the first period on Jan. 18, Indian River High School’s girls’ basketball team went backwards from there, leading to a 35-44 loss at their home gym. The loss gave them a 5-7 record for the season thus far.

Junior Julia Jordan quickly got the Indian’s scoring started, in just over 15 seconds. Another basket and a free-throw gave IR a 5-0 lead. IR shooters built a 7-2 advantage at the 4:15 minute mark.

Laurel tied it 10-10 with a basket and a foul shot in the opening seconds of the second period. Laurel scored again, and the Indians tied it again at 12 all at the 4:15 mark. Laurel then raced ahead, outscoring IR 21-4 in the second eight minutes, to lead 28-14 at the break.

“We knew Laurel would be competitive. All we wanted to do was try and come in and compete, and I felt like we did that in the second half more so then in the first half,” said IR head coach Donna Polk.

IR wrestlers win home opener, 59-6, over Lake Forest

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River’s Brock Wingate won 7-0 in a decision over Wade Brooks in the 200-pound weight class on Wednesday, Jan. 10.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River’s Brock Wingate won 7-0 in a decision over Wade Brooks in the 200-pound weight class on Wednesday, Jan. 10.Indian River High School’s varsity wrestlers (1-0) earned a 50-6 home win over the visiting Lake Forest Spartans (1-0) last Wednesday, Jan. 10, and backed it up on Thursday, Jan. 11, with a northern road trip to Hockessin, where they crushed Wilmington Christian School, 60-15.

“It’s nice to open up the season in your home gym with a win — especially a win of that margin,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish. “The kids came out and wrestled really, really aggressively, and that’s what we preached the last few days that we had them.

“It’s just going out and being the first person to score, and not taking your foot off the gas and keep opening those scores up. The kids fought hard tonight. It really didn’t help, with the snow and all. Anytime you miss practices, you miss the opportunities to get better prepared.”

Indians sophomore Christopher Saylor started the slaughter by slamming Spartan Gene Smith in the opening 106-pound class at the 3:02 minute mark. Ian Shaubach gave the Indians more points with a win over Spartan Gene Smith in the 113-pound weight class.

IRHS boys’ basketball gets revenge 66-48

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River’s Jamier Felton goes up for a layup against Lake Forest on Thursday, Jan. 11. Indian River went on to win 66-48.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Indian River’s Jamier Felton goes up for a layup against Lake Forest on Thursday, Jan. 11. Indian River went on to win 66-48.Since their narrow 47-50 loss to Lake Forest High School back on Dec. 19, the Indian River High School boys’ basketball team has been patiently waiting, 23 days, for the Spartans visit their home gym. That day arrived on Thursday night, Jan. 11. When they got there, the Spartans found a newly energized and experienced Indians team, with a 7-4 record, eagerly ready for revenge.

“We caved a little bit, and they ended up beating us by three points up there, and then they’re 5-1,” said IR head coach B.J. Joseph. “I knew they’d be right there in the South this year, because they got that transfer from Dover. He’s pretty tough, but the foul shooting and securing the ball tonight and rebounding looked like a clinic at first, the way we were moving the ball and getting lay-ups and things.”

With less than two minutes off the first-period clock Indian shooters built a 7-2 lead over the Spartans, on their way to a sweet 66-48 win. Seconds later, sophomore Kevin Custis swished a three-pointer, giving the Indians a 10-2 advantage. Indians shooters put eight more points on the board before the first period ticked off the clock.

IR started second period 18-8. Spartans shooters had narrowed the gap to five points when the buzzer sounded ending the first half. IR took a 28-19 lead into the locker room.

Pickleball tips: Sweet Spot and Sweet Spots

Session 2 — balance, clinics, places and footwear

Last week, I offered basic, but important, advice to pickleballers, suggesting they cut their errors in half, knowing full well that if they seriously tried to do this, they would become woefully aware of the importance of the three Fs: fitness, focus and footwork.

Indians boys and girls dominate Sussex Academy on the courts

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Ja’Shaun Johnson goes up for two in Indian River’s win over Sussex Academy.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Ja’Shaun Johnson goes up for two in Indian River’s win over Sussex Academy.Indian River High School’s boys’ basketball team dominated the Sea Hawks of Sussex Academy on Jan. 3, on SA’s home turf.

IR shooters got an early 8-0 run on the Sea Hawks with 6:35 minutes of play remaining in the first period. Sea Hawks shooters got on the board just as the clock ticked down to 6 minutes. At by the end of the first period, IR had built a very comfortable 16-point cushion, leading 29-13.

IR outshot the Sea Hawks 16-10 in the second eight minutes, for a commanding 45-23 halftime advantage. They returned to finish the job, outscoring the Sea Hawks 27-13 in the third period and 15-3 in the final period, making for a 87-39 victory. It was the Indians’ fourth straight win, for a 6-4 record thus far in the season.

“Now we’re four in a row, you know, and we won the tournament down in Salisbury, and we won here tonight,” beamed IR head coach B.J. Joseph after the victory. “We’re supposed to play Cape [Henlopen] Friday, and that would be a good test, but I don’t know what’s going to happen with the snow and all forecasted.” (That game was rescheduled to Tuesday, Jan. 25.)

Pickleball Tips: Sweet Spot and Sweet Spots

Improve your pickleball game by more than 50 percent

If you want to improve your own pickleball game this season, cut your errors in half.

I know it sounds like an over-simplification, but it is estimated that 80 percent — and frequently more — of all pickleball points are the result of errors. Players tend to think about that one winning shot they nailed down the middle, but then have amnesia about the eight or nine errors they made.

IR boys win Governor’s Challenge Tournament’s A bracket

It only took two wins for Indian River High School’s varsity boys’ basketball team to be crowned Division A champions at the largest high school boys’ and girls’ basketball holiday tournament in the country — the Governor’s Challenge High School Basketball Ball Tournament — last week, Dec. 26-30.

IR girls go 1-1 at Pat Borowski basketball tournament

After suffering a 51-24 loss to Dover High School’s Senators in the opening round of the Pat Borowski Girls Holiday Basketball Tournament on Dec. 27, the Indian River High School varsity girls’ basketball team topped Milford High School, 51-33, on Dec. 28.

Pickleball Points: New knees, please

Folks, after a decade of pain, my right knee is pain-free! I am doing well — too well — so please stop sending the cookies and other goodies, as I am hoping to return to, not roll onto, the pickleball court this new year.

It’s time to renew Delaware fishing licenses

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police this week reminded anglers that it’s time to purchase their 2018 Delaware fishing licenses, as 2017 licenses expired Dec. 31. A valid fishing license is required for fishing, crabbing and clamming in Delaware, in both tidal and non-tidal waters.

Start the New Year off right — with a quick run and dip

Coastal Point • File Photo: Revelers took a (cold) leap of faith into the ocean off Bethany Beach last Jan. 1 to participate in the Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos event, put on by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.Coastal Point • File Photo: Revelers took a (cold) leap of faith into the ocean off Bethany Beach last Jan. 1 to participate in the Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos event, put on by the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.

Those who are looking for a way to start the New Year off with a bang, and possibly wash away 2017, may want to consider a cleansing dip in the Atlantic on Jan. 1.

The Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos will celebrate its 23rd year in Bethany Beach on Jan. 1, 2018, giving people of all ages the opportunity to dive into the frigid ocean.

Shiver me timbers! Fenwick Freeze returning Jan. 1

What’s it like to jump in the Atlantic Ocean on New Year’s Day?

“It’s not as bad as it seems,” said Becca McWilliams, organizer of the Fenwick Freeze. “You go in so fast, and your adrenaline is pretty pumped at that point. You’re in and out before you feel how cold it is. … If you do it, you really feel good after you do it. It’s kind of exhilarating.”