Sports

County approves loan documents for sports complex

The Sussex County Council voted on Tuesday to approve loan documents related to a $1.5 million loan to the Sussex Sports Complex’s backing foundation.

Sussex Riptide athletes gain strength

Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert: SODE athletes from the Sussex Riptide are getting in their strength training at Sea Colony.Coastal Point • Shaun Lambert: SODE athletes from the Sussex Riptide are getting in their strength training at Sea Colony.Local athletes from the Special Olympics Delaware (SODE) Sussex Riptide are working hard to become better athletes by doing strength training every week at Sea Colony.

“I watched all the athletes when they were performing in their sports, and they all had weak core body,” said one of group’s coaches, Tony Gough. “They didn’t have the core they needed to do the sport. So, I decided we should train them to get them a stronger core body so they could do better in whatever sport they took.”

Gough, who also serves as one of the group’s cycling coaches, said all athletes are welcome to attend the weekly strength-training session, which starts out with stretching and moves on to machines.

“All of them are stronger,” he said of the improvements he’s seen. “They had weak upper body and weak core body, so it was just a matter of focusing on those areas.”

Field hockey coaches work to develop programs

Coastal Point • Bruce C. Walls: Indian River High School field hockey coach Molly Chamberlin is working with young field hockey players to try to pass along a love of the sport, and to build a strong feeder program for the high school.title=Coastal Point • Bruce C. Walls: Indian River High School field hockey coach Molly Chamberlin is working with young field hockey players to try to pass along a love of the sport, and to build a strong feeder program for the high school.Molly Chamberlin graduated from Indian River High School in 2007. Her time at IR included three years on the school’s highly respected varsity field hockey team, which went 10-5 her senior year.

That fall, Chamberlin enrolled in the University of Delaware, majoring in health and physical education. After graduating from U.D., Chamberlin returned to her Sussex County roots, and began teaching and coaching field hockey at Selbyville Middle School.

In addition to her work at Selbyville Middle School, she also worked as an assistant coach for IRHS field hockey coach Jodi Stone. But returning to her old team was disappointing. The 10-5 team she had left four years prior was now struggling to hold onto a 5-8-2 season.

After talking with Sussex Central High School field hockey coach Karen Irvin, Chamberlin discovered that both teams were struggling to keep players and the ones who did show up for practice were inexperienced.

Pickleball Points: The one pickleball shot you must improve

No doubt, your own error analysis will highlight how many errors you make from the forehand side. Why? Because you just naturally hit more shots with your forehand and you naturally will make more errors. So, since 60 percent or more of all the shots you hit are forehands, at least get your forehand perfected.

Milford Buccaneers pin IR wrestlers’ tournament hopes

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River came up short in their quest for a state championship, falling to five-time champion Milford in their semifinal match in Smyrna on Saturday, Feb. 10.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River came up short in their quest for a state championship, falling to five-time champion Milford in their semifinal match in Smyrna on Saturday, Feb. 10.Indian River High School wrestlers received a No. 2 seed in the DIAA Division II state dual tournament held last Saturday at Smyrna High School’s gym. IR had the first-round bye, facing in the semifinals Milford High School’s Buccaneers, who were seeking their fifth-straight DIAA Division II title.

Milford quickly showed the Indians why they are the five-time title winners.

The Buccaneers pinned their first three Indians opponents, starting with sophomore Will Keller in the 160-pound class. IR junior Zimmerman (170 pounds) was the next Indian pinned, followed by senior Collin Donaway in the 180-pound class. Junior Zach Schultz stopped the Buccaneers’ first run with a decision at 195 pounds. IR senior Brock Wingate lost the 220-pound class by decision.

Sophomore Raymond “Bam” Turner slammed his 285-pound Buccaneer opponent to the mat and quickly pinned him. Freshman Ian Shaubach lost a 25-14 decision at 106 pounds, and sophomore Will Rayne lost 25-14 at 113 pounds.

IR swimmers make podium finishes at conference championships

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River swimmers fared well in the Henlopen Conference championships on Saturday, Feb. 9.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Indian River swimmers fared well in the Henlopen Conference championships on Saturday, Feb. 9.Athletes from the Indian River High School swim team competed against 10 teams during the Henlopen Conference swimming championships last Saturday at the Sussex Academy pool in Georgetown. Sophomore Joshua McIntire led IR with two first-place finishes, including a record-setting 500 freestyle time of 4:57.86 that was 10 seconds faster than the previous record.

“I was kind of out of it. I wasn’t feeling good,” described McIntire. “But I was able to use my training to hold onto my first place, and that was about it.”

McIntire also won the 200 individual-medley (IM) event. His seed time was 2:06.01, and for the top of the podium, his time was 2:04.16.

Junior Michael Barnes had two podium finishes. Barnes was second-fastest in the 100 freestyle and third in the 200 freestyle. In the men’s 100 freestyle, his seed time was 52.39. When it counted, Barnes cut through the water in 51.90 seconds. Barnes dialed in a seed time of 1:57.11 in the men’s 200 freestyle. Then, in the final, he covered the distance in 1:57.35.

IR wrestlers come up short against Laurel in final match of season

DII No. 2 team falls in semi-finals to tourney champs Milford

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce C. Walls: The Indians came up short in their match against Laurel on Wednesday, Feb. 7.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce C. Walls: The Indians came up short in their match against Laurel on Wednesday, Feb. 7.Laurel High School’s Bulldogs wrestling team came to Indian River High School on Wednesday, Feb. 7, (after Coastal Point press time), and after several hours of grueling bouts, the Bulldogs ended up taking a 37-28 bite of Indians hide home with them. The loss dropped the Indians’ season record to 16-5, while Laurel improved to 6-2.

“We wrestled a good team. They came ready to wrestle. Our kids came ready to wrestle. We just came out on the wrong side of the scoreboard,” said IR head wrestling coach Jeff Windish.

“I think my kids wrestled well,” he added. “We definitely have some things that we need to work on in two days to get ready for the state duels on Saturday. Like I told them in the wrestle room — you didn’t change the outcome of your season, you just changed your seed.

“We’re going to get another chance at them Saturday, hopefully,” Windish said, “so we have things to clean up and go back to work.”

IR boys’ basketball shoots down Sussex Academy 77-43

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Calvin James goes up strong for two points against Sussex Academy on Friday, Feb. 9.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Taylor-Walls: Calvin James goes up strong for two points against Sussex Academy on Friday, Feb. 9.Indian River High School’s boys’ basketball team hosted and easily defeated a much younger Sussex Academy team 77-43 last Friday night, Feb. 9.

The 11-6 Indians team was certain enough that they could handle the 1-15 Seahawks that some of IR’s starters told their head coach, B. J. Joseph, they wanted to let some of the players who don’t get as much time on the floor start the first quarter and then let the usual starters finish the game in the second half.

“We still had to play our game. We couldn’t play around with this team,” said IR junior Jamier Felton, who had 17 points for the Indians. “They do play to their potential, and we had to play to ours.

“We started off slow,” Felton said. “We let the other guys who don’t get much time out there to play. We allowed them to start tonight to show we care for them and their sportsmanship on and off the court. Then, when the starters took over, we blew the game out. It was a great win.

Pickleball Points: Kathy Casey and First State Pickleball Club

Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: Mixed-doubles partners Dianne Milam and Rick Bell, gold medal winners, warm up prior to one of their matches.Coastal Point • Submitted Photo: Mixed-doubles partners Dianne Milam and Rick Bell, gold medal winners, warm up prior to one of their matches.Now that First State Pickleball Club has grown to almost 500 members, I was curious as to what plans might await the pickleball community. There were just a couple dozen members only three years ago.

Besides running First State Pickleball Club as a volunteer, President Kathy Casey maintains a fulltime job, so it was a rarity last week when she had a cancelation and could sit down for an hour.

We met at a coffee shop, and my first question was, “Why should I send my $25 check to First State Pickleball Club for the 2018 year?”

“In 2018,” she said, “we anticipate pickleball, the fastest growing sport in America, will continue to explode here as well, and we will continue to organize throughout the year periodic weekend events, such as social and competitive round-robins for our members.

IR wrestlers fall to Division I foe Sussex Central

Coastal Point Photos • Bruce C. Walls: Despite a valiant effort, Indian River High School lost out to Sussex Central High School, 46-22.Coastal Point Photos • Bruce C. Walls: Despite a valiant effort, Indian River High School lost out to Sussex Central High School, 46-22.In a David-vs.-Goliath battle between Division II wrestling leader Indian River High School (16-4) and the powerful Division I’s third-ranked Sussex Central High School (6-3) on Monday night, Feb. 5, at IR’s gym, the Indians held their own but fell short, 46-22. IR wrestlers earned a pin and five decisions.

Indians sophomore Will Rayne pinned his opponent, Cole Jester, at the 4:33 mark. Sophomore Ta’Jon Knight won an 11-3 decision against Golden Knights wrestler Yony Morales in the 120-pound match. Also winning by decisions for IR were junior Dylan Ely, junior Reshawn Turner, junior Zach Schultz and sophomore Raymond Turner.

Ely edged out Golden Knight Junior Perez 5-4 in the 126-pound class. Reshawn Turner topped the 152-pound match with a 5-0 decision over Lankford, and Schultz defeated Central’s Yunior Cruz in 195-pound class, 5-2. In the evening’s final bout, at 285 pounds, IR’s Ramond Turner topped Central’s Tyler Karr.

“We won six matches, but only got 22 points. That hurts you on the scoreboard,” said IR head coach Jeff Windish. “But we took six matches from a tough team. They’re the No. 3 team in Division I.

IR boys win nail-biter against Seaford on the court

Indian River High School boys’ basketball fans were on the edge of their seats last Tuesday night, Jan. 30, as they watched their team take on Seaford High School’s Blue Jays.

IR girls grab home basketball win

Photo by Susan Taylor-Walls: Junior center Julia Jordan, in addition to a career-high 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots.Photo by Susan Taylor-Walls: Junior center Julia Jordan, in addition to a career-high 22 points, grabbed 14 rebounds and blocked five shots.Delmar High School’s Wildcats lived up to their mascot’s nature last Friday night, Feb. 2, at Indian River High School’s gym. The Wildcats girls had their claws drawn and ready for the Indians, but IR’s varsity squad tamed them, 46-35.

With less than a minute to play of the first eight, both teams made free-throws, giving IR a slim 10-9 lead going into the second quarter. With less than a minute off the second-quarter clock Wildcats shooters quickly took a brief 11-10 lead.

Indians senior guard Fabrea’ McCray tied it from the line, and junior center Julia Jordan, who bucketed a career-high 22 points on the game, added two points to put IR back in the lead. Delmar out-shot the Indians 11-10 in the second period, for a 20-20 tie at halftime.

The back-and-forth battle continued until halfway through the third period, when IR nailed nine unanswered points. IR outshot the Wildcats 16-6 in the third period, to take a 36-26 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

Pickleball Tips: The Leaning Tower of Pickle

In the previous pickleball lesson session, you learned how important it was to be balanced and focused early on the arriving ball.

With love of education, Millville man earns athletic honors

For Ron Belinko, a job in school athletics was the greatest career in the world.

“You have such an influence on young people. When you moved into administration, you transfer that influence on to the coaches, principals…” said Belinko, a retired coach, teacher and athletic administrator.

Years later, middle-aged adults still recognize him on the street, decades after he first coached them in Baltimore County, Md.

This winter, he was inducted to the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Hall of Fame.

Although he played organized sports in school, city kids played games all year ’round.

IR girls come up short against Wildcats at home

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Forward Braydee Whitman goes up for two against Cape Henlopen on Thursday, Jan. 25.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: Forward Braydee Whitman goes up for two against Cape Henlopen on Thursday, Jan. 25.Last week was a tough one for the Indian River High School girls’ varsity basketball team. On Tuesday, Jan. 23, the Indians lost a one-point home heartbreaker to the Wildcats of Woodbridge High School. Then they traveled to Lewes on Thursday, Jan. 25, and were clobbered by Division I Vikings of Cape Henlopen High School.

Tuesday’s game was tied eight times before the Indians lost 50-49. Despite the loss, senior guard Kealey Allison paced the Indians with 15 points. Junior center Julia Jordan had a stellar night. She scored 14 points, earned her first double-double of the season, pulled down 15 rebounds and was two blocks shy of producing a triple-double, with eight blocks. Senior guard Fabrea’ McCray added 14 points for IR.

“It was a very intense game, exciting to watch,” said a visibly disappointed IR head coach Donna Polk. “Making the foul shots, and this would have been a different story. The girls played well.”

At the end of the first eight minutes of Tuesday’s game, IR led 10-9. The Wildcats surged ahead in the second eight minutes, out-shooting IR 15-9 for a 24-19 halftime lead. IR took the third period 13-8. The intensity heated up in the final period, with Woodbridge sinking 18 points to IR’s 17.

Indians girls lose to Cape in basketball doubleheader

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: IR center Julia Jordan gets a pass off against Cape Henlopen.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: IR center Julia Jordan gets a pass off against Cape Henlopen.Indian River High School’s varsity basketball teams traveled to Lewes last Thursday, Jan. 25, for a doubleheader against Cape Henlopen High School’s Vikings. It was a double disappointment for the IR teams, as they both lost. The girls played first, with IR losing to the Vikings, 51-35.

Cape commanded the game from the start, leading the first eight minutes 17-6. The Vikings shot for 13 points in the second period and held IR to five points, taking a 30-11 lead into the locker room at midway.

When they returned to the floor for the second half, the revived up Indians played their best quarter, outshooting the Vikings 16-11. But going down the final stretch, the Viking offense expanded the gap with a 10-to-8 final-period, to take the game 51-35.

“We started out flat and then came out with a lot of energy, and we just weren’t able to catch up in the second half,” said IR head coach Donna Polk.

IR boys hold their own in loss to powerhouse Cape

Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: IR’s Jamier Felton shovels a pass to a teammate against Cape on Thursday, Jan. 25.Special to the Coastal Point • Bruce Walls: IR’s Jamier Felton shovels a pass to a teammate against Cape on Thursday, Jan. 25.After watching their varsity girls’ team get beaten by Cape Henlopen High School’s Vikings on Jan. 25, it was the Indian River boys’ team’s turn to take to the Viking court and face the District I title contenders in a makeup game from earlier in the month.

IR opened with a brief two-point lead before the Vikings produced a seven-point run on the Indians with 6:47 minutes remaining in the first period. IR’s offense fought back in the period’s final seconds, but fell to a score of 13-12 at the first buzzer. IR’s offense bucketed 17 points to Cape’s 16 in the second period, as the teams went to their halftime locker rooms tied at 29-all.

In the third quarter, IR posted 21 points on the board, while Cape collected 10. Cape dropped to 50-39 heading into the final period, but the Viking offense put the game away in the final eight minutes, outscoring IR 26-6 to win the game, 65-56.

“That’s the No. 1 team, they say, in the state right now, and we were with them all day. And then we sort of wilted at the end there, a little bit. It was just a good learning experience,” said IR head coach B.J. Joseph.

Busy week for Indian River wrestlers

Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Brock Wingate works on breaking free from his opponent.Special to the Coastal Point • Susan Walls: Brock Wingate works on breaking free from his opponent.Last week was a busy week for Indian River High School wrestlers. On Wednesday, Jan. 24, they hosted a quad-meet, inviting teams from Delmar High School, Nandua High School from Virginia and Seaford High School. Indians wrestlers swept the event, defeating all three invited schools.

IR beat Delmar’s Wildcats 59-13. In that match, Indians wrestlers earned five pins, two decisions and a forfeit. Indian Aaron King won the closest decision of the night in a long, tough bout, narrowly defeating Wildcat Tyler Wright 11-10 in the 145-pound class.

After catching his breath, King, a 16-year-old sophomore from Frankford, said, “It was tough. I just wanted to come out and be aggressive. It was a lot of defense. I was a little nervous when he turned me and stuff, but I just kept my composure and tried to stay aggressive. We practiced real hard, so we’re all in shape and we keep pushing.”

Sophomores Ta’Jon Knight and Zachary Schultz led the way for IR. Knight pinned three opponents, while Schultz had two pins for the night, along with a 7-6 decision.

Pickleball Points: Caveat emptor

I finally have to speak my mind about some of the ridiculous commentary about pickleball paddles on social media.

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.

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